Monday, March 25, 2002

The Cache from Ebou Dar


By Linda

This article describes the objects of the Power from the cache found at Ebou Dar and lists their functions where known.

The discovery of the cache was accidental in a way. Nynaeve and Elayne used ‘need’ in Tel’aran’rhiod to find something that would convince the rebel Hall to support Rand, and located a ter’angreal – the Bowl of Winds - that could return the seasons to their proper places (Lord of Chaos, Under the Dust.) The Bowl was in a cache of ter’angreal and angreal at the top of a run-down building in the Rahad in Ebou Dar. The challenge was to find this building in the real world.

Earlier, Bair, Melaine and Amys had dreamt of the Bowl of Winds and told Aviendha about it:

All three [Dreamwalkers] had this dream, which makes it especially significant. Rain…coming from a bowl. There are snares and pitfalls around the bowl. If the right hands pick it up, they will find a treasure perhaps as great as the bowl. In the wrong hands the world is doomed. The key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer.

- Lord of Chaos, Matters of Toh

Aviendha, in turn, told Rand, but did not remember the dream by the time she joined Elayne’s and Nynaeve’s quest for the Bowl.

The dream was accurate:

  • the ‘snares and pitfalls’ were the difficulty of finding and gaining acceptance from the Kin and fighting off two separate groups of Darkfriends (one with a gholam) and then the Seanchan attack.


  • the ‘treasure’ that they found with the Bowl was not only the other items in the cache, but also the Kin themselves, who, since their extent was unknown to the Shadow, probably have no Darkfriends among them.


  • the ‘one who is no longer’ is probably Setalle Anan, who led Nynaeve and Elayne to the Kin. She is the former Aes Sedai named Martine Janata, who was burnt out 25 years ago (see Setalle Anan article). In a way though, the Kin also qualify to be ‘ones who are no longer’ – they were all in the White Tower once as novices and Accepted and are no longer.

The cache was finally located in A Crown of Swords, Six Stories, and was hotly contended for. Nynaeve’s and Elayne’s group fought off Moghedien’s crew and captured Ispan, but Sammael’s group (with gholam) got away with items:

The Light send that the Darkfriends had not gotten away with anything important; they had taken some, but certainly less than a quarter of what the room had held, rubbish included.

- The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

The cache was created by the Kin over hundreds of years and was mixed with junk in the top floor room of a decrepit building in the Rahad to make it as inconspicuous as possible:

The storeroom where they had found the Bowl of Winds had been stuffed full, things that should have been on a refuse heap jumbled in with more objects of the Power than just the Bowl, some in beetle-riddled casks or chests, some carelessly stacked. For hundreds and hundreds of years the Kin had hidden away all things they found that were connected to the Power, fearful of using them and fearful of delivering them to Aes Sedai.

- The Path of Daggers, Unweaving.

To sort the objects, Elayne kept anything that resonated to saidar. What follows is a description of the items known so far:


Bowl of Winds

The bowl is described as:

a shallow, heavy disc of clear crystal two feet across, worked inside with thick, swirling clouds

- The Path of Daggers, The Breaking Storm

and when someone channels into the bowl, the clouds change. It is a ter’angreal to control the weather, and Elayne believes she is “not quite strong enough to work the bowl” by herself ( Lord of Chaos, Under the Dust).

Moridin is familiar with such ter’angreal and immediately sees the possible consequences of one in the expert hands of Windfinders:

a ter’angreal to control the weather…In his own Age, weather had been carefully regulated with the use of ter’angreal…One of the surprises of this Age – one of the smaller, it had seemed – was that there were those who could manipulate the weather to a degree that should have required one of those ter’angreal. One such device should not be enough to affect even a large part of a single continent. But what could those women do with it? What? If they used a ring?

- The Path of Daggers, Unweaving.

Moridin’s surmises were correct. A very powerful ring was used to manipulate the weather with the Bowl and they were able to affect the weather of the whole world, not just part of a continent. Interestingly, once activated with saidar, the Bowl accessed both Powers:

The Bowl was drawing saidin as well as saidar.

- The Path of Daggers, The Breaking Storm

The use of such a powerful and skilled ring had consequences, however: both saidin and saidar acted strangely for some distance around the site of farm where the bowl was used:

something had been wrong, back in Ebou Dar, and not just with this damane… They said the damane were all sick or insane.

- The Path of Daggers, Gathering Clouds

It was saidin itself that seemed full of currents and surges.

- The Path of Daggers, A Time For Iron

Both saidar and saidin were behaving unpredictably due to the way the Bowl had been used:

This was due to the Bowl being stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the advanced knowledge of the Windfinders. It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region. Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but also along the ‘spokes’ which radiated from that place.

- Robert Jordan at a The Path of Daggers book signing in Virginia, 21 November 1998, as reported in the original WOT FAQ.

This over stressing did not affect the functioning of the Bowl in any way, as was proven in the Blight, where the Windfinders used it to combat the fierce storms the Dark One created. Without their efforts the Dark One would have destroyed the army in Thakandar with storms.


Angreal

Three, perhaps four, angreal were discovered in the cache:

  • a turtle shaped brooch angreal:

    a small amber brooch in the shape of a turtle…not a strong angreal, but better than nothing

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving.

  • a golden bracelet and rings angreal:

    one [angreal] was an odd piece of jewellery, a gold bracelet attached by four flat chains to finger rings, every bit of it engraved in an intricate maze like pattern. That was the stronger [angreal]…Strangely, the bracelet had a tiny lock, complete with a miniscule tubular key dangling from a fine chain that was obviously made to be removed. Along with the key.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    This is the strongest of the angreal found in the cache and it appears to fit whatever hand it is put on.

    Strangely, the angreal that fitted Nynaeve so well, fit on her [Alivia’s] longer hand just as easily.

    - Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal

  • a woman clothed in her hair figurine angreal:

    a seated woman in age-darkened ivory, her legs folded in front of her, her exposed knees bare, but with her hair so long and luxuriant she could not have been more muffled in the heaviest cloak. It was not even as strong as the turtle…One hand rested on a knee, palm up and fingers arranged so the thumb touched the tips of the middle two fingers, while the other hand was lifted, the first two fingers raised and the others folded. The whole figure carried an air of supreme dignity, yet the delicately worked face showed amusement and delight.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    The woman appears to be in a yoga posture and is making the sign of peace. With this fairly weak angreal, Aviendha can hold almost twice as much of the Power (The Path of Daggers, The Breaking Storm).


  • a small gold ring angreal found by Graendal among Sammael’s belongings:

    a plain golden band too small for any but her little finger. It had been a pleasant surprise to find an angreal attuned to women among Sammael’s possessions…A pleasant surprise to have time to find anything useful with al’Thor and those Asha’man constantly in and out of Sammael’s chambers in the Great Hall of the council. They [the Ashaman] had stripped it bare of what she had not taken…The angreal did not offer much…

    - The Path of Daggers, New Alliances.

    This ring may have been in the stasis box Sammael found (and mentioned in Lord of Chaos, To Understand A Message), but more likely it came from the Ebou Dar cache. According to Graendal, the person that filled the stasis box followed the Dark One (Lord of Chaos, To Understand A Message). If this Darkfriend had the angreal, they would be far more likely to keep such a useful item on their person than store it away. Plus, Nynaeve’s and Elayne’s portion of the Ebou Dar cache contained both angreal and jewellery.

    It is to be noted from Graendal’s thoughts that she may have taken a few other things from Sammael’s rooms and would have liked to take more.


Cups, Bowls and Vases:

Cups and bowls and vases, no two the same size or design or in the same material.

- The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place
  • Flat White Bowl

    A flattish white bowl almost a pace across is for looking at things that are far away (Knife of Dreams, A different Skill).


  • Tall Vase with Vines

    A tall vase worked with vine in green and blue gathers water out of the air (Knife of Dreams, A different Skill).


Headwear

  • pair of metal hats: seemingly made of metal, too ornate and too thin to be helmets (The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place), each :

    covered with strange angular patterns of what seemed to be the most minute engraving, it was much too thin to be use as a helmet, though it was twice as heavy as it appeared. The metal felt slick, too, not simply smooth, as if it were oiled.

    - Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill

    According to Aviendha, the one she touched allows a person to direct a machine.

  • a helmet of metal feathers:

    a thread of Fire touching what looked like a helmet made of fluffy metal feathers gave everyone else within twenty paces a blinding headache. Except for herself.

    - The Path of Daggers, Into Andor

    Elayne is over confident with ter'angreal despite being warned.


Jewellery

Many items of ter’angreal jewellery were found in the Ebou Dar cache.

  • The most important pieces are probably the jewellery defence system that Nynaeve currently wears:

    A flat, worm-eaten box, half-falling apart… held pieces of jewellery – a necklace and bracelets set with coloured stones, a slim gem-studded belt, several finger rings – and there were spaces for more.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    Cadsuane describes each piece in more detail:

    More interesting, more disturbing was the jewellery Nynaeve wore, a long gold necklace and slim gold belt, with matching bracelets and finger rings, the gaudy red and green and blue gems that studded them clashing with her yellow-slashed dress.

    - Crossroads of Twilight, Ornaments

    The slim golden belt set with very good rubies (Knife of Dreams, The Golden Crane) is a well for saidar:

    Her hands settled on the slim jewelled belt around her waist. “She [Cadsuane] called it a ‘Well’”…”It is a well,” she laughed behind her fingers pressed over her mouth, “or a barrel, anyway. And full of saidar. Not very much, but all I have to do to refill it is embrace saidar through it as if it was an angreal.”

    - Winter’s Heart, A Portion of Wisdom.

    The belt allows the wearer to store saidar so that it can be accessed when they are shielded (tarvalon.net Q&A), or in a stedding or a warded place like Far Madding that would otherwise prevent channelling.

    The bracelet with pale red stones can cover the wearer with very strong armour:

    She thrust her hand out from under her cloak to show the bracelet with its pale red stones. “This can cover me with armour better than any steel. I’d hardly feel a sword hitting me.”

    - Winter’s Heart, Blue Carp Street

    The ring with one pale green stone detects someone channelling either saidin or saidar close enough to threaten, even if they have masked their ability and inverted the weave (Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box), and may possibly indicate their direction as well:

    “Cadsuane showed me what two of my terangreal do”…Smiling, Nynaeve thumbed one of the three rings on her right hand, the one with a pale green stone. “I knew this would detect someone channelling saidar as much as three miles away, if I set it, but she says it will detect saidin, too. She seemed to think it should tell me what direction they were, as well, but we could not see how.”

    - Winter’s Heart, A Portion of Wisdom.

    The stone glows faintly when it detects channelling and it vibrates differently for saidin and saidar (Knife of Dreams, The Golden Crane). Yet as Rand’s party approached Semirhage, Nynaeve could not tell whether saidin or saidar was being channelled, just that someone was channelling (Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box ).

    A ring with a flawless sapphire goes cold when someone nearby is angry or hostile (Knife of Dreams, The Golden Crane).

    One of the jewellery pieces can stop direct weaves of the power, since Cyndane’s weave disintegrated when it reached Alivia:

    Just as it [the ball of fire] reached the woman, almost close enough to singe her garments, the web of Fire unravelled. The woman did not do anything; the net simply came apart! Cyndane had never heard of a ter’angreal that would break a web, but it must be that.

    - Winter’s Heart, With The Choedan Kal

    Of course, Cyndane soon worked out that the wearer is still vulnerable to indirect attacks with the Power, especially if they are inverted.

    This unknown piece functions in a similar way to Mat’s medallion. It may be the ring that detects saidar and saidin, or it may be one other of the pieces of jewellery.

    At first sight, Elayne did not understand their function:

    Every single one was a ter’angreal, and they all matched, meant to be worn together though Elayne could not imagine why any woman would want to carry so many about her at one time.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    This is a foreshadowing, because by Winter’s Heart, the function of the pieces as a defence system was recognised by both Nynaeve and Elayne, and taken advantage of by Nynaeve:

    Not until much later did she [Elayne] learn that the collection of angreal and ter’angreal they had carried out of Ebou Dar was missing the most powerful of the three angreal, and several other items besides. Some of those, she was sure, were intended for a woman who expected to be attacked at any moment with the One Power.

    - Winter’s Heart,, A Lily In Winter

    Cadsuane recognised them as soon as she touched them in Winter’s Heart, A Portion of Wisdom. They were very similar to her own ornaments and made for the same reason:

    [They were] much like her own decorations, too, ter’angreal, and plainly made at the same time, during the Breaking of the World, when an Aes Sedai might find many hands turned against her, most especially those of men who could channel.

    - Crossroads of Twilight, Ornaments.
  • Michael Whelan, the cover artist for A Memory of Light, said that Nynaeve took off the bulk of her jewellery before the entry to Shayol Ghul, probably to lend it to someone for their protection.

  • Medallions:

    Half a dozen large medallions in bronze or steel, most worked with strange patterns and not one carrying an image Elayne could really understand.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

  • Many other items of jewellery were also in the cache:

    There were finger rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and buckles, many of a very peculiar pattern indeed.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    These ranged from tiny ones that must have been meant for children to heavy ones that surely would be uncomfortable to wear, according to Robert Jordan’s Aes Sedi notes in box 55—although this was edited out of the published book. Some of these pieces could also be protective ter’angreal. Five earrings, six finger rings and three bracelets are for talking to people a long way off (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill) and would have been useful for organising forces in the Last Battle if they could have worked out how to use them.

Elayne’s portion of the Ebou Dar cache also contained a thin and flexible gleaming silver circlet that had been padded inside at one time, according to Jordan’s Aes Sedai notes in box 55. It strongly tempted Elayne to put it on, and she found it hard to resist.

Knives

  • Blunt dagger:

    Aviendha found a dagger with gold wire wrapped around a hilt of rough deerhorn, the blade was dull, and by all evidence, always had been.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    It affected Aviendha strongly: she kept turning it over in her trembling hands and stared at it licking her lips when Elayne took it and put it aside. Aviendha thinks that if you have the ter’angreal in your possession, the Shadow, including Shadowspawn and even the Dark One, cannot see you due to the warding it makes (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill). Rand used it to arrive at Shayol Ghul without warning (A Memory of Light, Into Thakan’dar).


  • Several knives that did have edges ( The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place)


Rods

  • An Oath Rod/binder was in Sammael’s portion of the cache:

    Caddar held out a smooth white rod about a foot long… a little slimmer than her [Sevanna’s] wrist, the rod was smooth, except for a few odd, flowing symbols incised on one flat end. It felt not quite like ivory, not quite like glass…

    “You might call it an Oath Rod,” Caddar said…”It only came into my hands yesterday… All you need to do is have your Aes Sedai…or any woman who can channel hold the rod and speak whatever promises you wish while someone channels a little spirit into the number… You can use it to release her, too, but that is more painful.”

    - A Crown of Swords, Spears.

    This rod is now with Therava.


  • a black flexible rod:

    A black rod no thicker than her little finger, a pace in length, stiff yet so flexible she thought she could have doubled it into a circle.

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

    Nynaeve says that the rod feels like pain and Aviendha that the rod causes pain. The amount of pain each blow of the rod gives can be altered – one blow can feel like one, or a hundred (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill).

  • a bright red, hot rod:
    A rod, as thick as her wrist, bright red and smooth and rounded, firm rather than hard for all that it seemed to be stone; it did not warm slightly in her hand, it almost felt hot! Not real heat…

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    Elayne later examined it one evening when she was alone and decided to channel Fire into it:

    The heat of the rod made her think of Fire.

    - The Path of Dagger, Into Andor

    The next thing she knew was waking up the next morning, with everyone trying not to laugh and too embarrassed to tell her what happened. Birgitte let us know when she said:

    I don't know about you two, but I intend to get drunk enough to ... well ... to take off my clothes and dance on the table. And not a hair drunker."
    Min did not understand that at all, or why Aviendha stared at Birgitte and suddenly began laughing about it being "a wonderful joke."

    - Winter's Heart, A Lily in Winter

    Except that Elayne was not conscious when she did her dance.

  • a bent dull black featureless rod:

    as wide as a wrist - it seemed metal, yet one end accommodated itself to any hand that gripped it - made [Aviendha] think of cutting, either metal or stone if they were not too thick. Nothing that could catch fire though.

    - Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill
  • a small green rod:

    According to Robert Jordan’s Aes Sedai notes in box 55, there was a small green rod as thick as Elayne’s finger and twice as long in her and Nynaeve’s part of the Ebou Dar cache. The rod has a thin gold line in the middle, and comes apart there.

Statues

  • a black and white figurine of a bird with long wings held in flight is for talking to people a long way off (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill), but it was not used in the Last Battle because they did not work out how to activate it.


  • a palm-sized blue figurine of a woman in an oddly cut skirt and coat is for talking to people a long way off (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill), but they have not worked out how to activate it.


  • a bronze statue of a man holding a book:

    The figure of a stout bearded man with a jolly smile, holding a book: two feet tall, it appeared to be age-darkened bronze and took both of her hands to move.

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

    This statue holds thousands and thousands of books. If thin flows of Fire and Earth are touched to a particular place on the figure, the words Ansoen and Imsoen (Fiction and Non-Fiction) in black appear above the statue (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill).

    This was one of the few ter’angreal we know of from the cache that Elayne definitely took from Caemlyn before it was sacked by the Shadow. She gave it to the Aes Sedai for use. The books it contains pre-date the drilling of the Bore (A Memory of Light, Eastward the Wind Blew).


  • a foot tall glassy figurine of a man with his hand raised as if to signal stop will chase away vermin (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill). Too bad they haven't used it yet.


  • more statues:

    There were statuettes and figures of birds and animals and people

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place
    found in the cache. Robert Jordan’s Aes Sedai notes in box 55 describe a statue of a too slim figure of a woman about a foot tall stretched on her toes, with arms raised and two fingers pointing upward, in Elayne’s and Nynaeve’s part of the Ebou Dar cache. It made a pair with an equally thin man pointing downward. The resonance in each statue of the pair was different, and the two statues would not do the same thing.

Miscellaneous Ter’angreal

  • a blue stone carving:

    a stone carving a little larger than her hand – it felt like stone; it might have been a carving, though it did not exactly look carved, for some reason – all deep blue curves vaguely like roots.

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

    According to Aviendha, this carving:

    was for growing something. Not plants. It made her think of holes, only they were not exactly holes.

    - Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill

    Aviendha does not believe anyone has to channel to make it work, only sing the right song. While some have speculated that this is a Talisman of Growing, the Ogier say that they were given only one. They prize memory, so if they lost one back in the past, they would remember this disastrous event. Furthermore this carving is a little small for Ogier to handle easily. It could be some ter’angreal used in scientific experiments that the male Aes Sedai modelled the Talisman of Growing on. The Ways themselves were based on the results of studies of the Portal Stone worlds.

    Another possibility is that the ter'angreal grows vacuoles, which were used in some scientific experiments by Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends. If this is so, the ter'angreal would be activated by Da'shain Aiel singing, not Ogier.


  • a green and red box:

    a small box that felt like ivory, covered in wavering red and green stripes; she set it down carefully without opening the hinged lid.

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

    Aviendha thinks the box holds music: hundreds and hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of tunes (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill). One or more of them could be the melody or melodies of the Song/s or spark a memory of Singing.

  • a tiny crystal vial:

    a tiny stoppered vial that might have been crystal, with a dark red liquid inside.

    - The Path of Daggers, Unweaving

    This item is not the same as a cour’souvra (mindtrap), since a cour’souvra is made of gold-wire and crystal (A Crown of Swords, Mindtrap).


  • a set of nested metal balls

    a set of metal basketwork balls, one inside the other. Any movement produced a faint musical chime, a different tone every time, and she had the feeling that no matter how hard she looked into it, there would always be a still smaller ball waiting to be discovered.

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

  • a glass blacksmith’s puzzle

    a thing that looked like a blacksmith’s puzzle made of glass

    - The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place

    was so heavy she dropped it. When she channelled into it:

    her first touch of the thing that looked like a blacksmith’s puzzle made of glass left her dizzy and unable to sleep for half the night.

    - The Path of Daggers, Into Andor

    This is not the first time that Elayne’s over-confidence with ter’angreal has caused a problem.

How many items did Nynaeve and Elayne end up with?

The final tally for Elayne’s and Nynaeve holding is:

objects that use the One Power filled five entire panniers on the packhorses.

- The Path of Daggers, Into Andor


Elayne kept at least some of her store with her when she left Caemlyn, including the library ter’angreal and Shadow-warding dagger, but it could be that some were lost during the sack of Caemlyn by the Shadow and its subsequent firing in A Memory of Light.

_________________________________________

Written by Linda, June 2004 and updated March 2013 and May 2016

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