Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Looming Towers #1: Possible Darkfriends



By Linda

I thought it might be interesting to name a few likely, but currently unexposed, Darkfriends, some of which might be revealed in Towers of Midnight.


With Rand:

The Tairen High Lord who wore “elaborately silver-worked boots” at Ishamael’s Darkfriend social in The Great Hunt is probably Weiramon Saniago, since he is the only one to wear such boots and has been acting suspiciously. (It is remarked more than once that Weiramon’s sigil is very similar to Lanfear’s – not a suggestion that he is her, but a subtle hint that he is also allied to the Shadow.)

Weiramon may have been undermining the effectiveness of Rand's attacks from the inside. His ‘mistakes’ include:

  • 1. He grossly flatters Rand, trying to puff up his ego, so that Rand becomes excessively arrogant and dictatorial, judges poorly and repels people. This is happening.


  • 2. He tries to make Rand distrust other nations’ forces; he sows disunity and suspicion (The Path of Daggers, Answering the Summons).


  • 3. Weiramon encourages Rand spread his forces among too many targets.


  • 4. He underestimates the size and effectiveness of enemy attacks. For example, he claimed the forces attacking Tear in The Fires of Heaven were only bandits and pirates (The Fires of Heaven, The Craft of Kin Tovere) and he told Rand that the remnants of Sammael’s Illianer army was only as small force, yet it was not (The Path of Daggers, Floating Like Snow). He and Gedwyn together persuaded Rand to ignore Bashere’s advice and push on to Ebou Dar fighting the Seanchan.


  • 5. Weiramon attacks too early with too little forces, often managing to leave behind, divide or lose some of his forces, e.g. against the Shaido in Cairhien (The Fires of Heaven, The Craft of Kin Tovere), and against Sammael in Illian (A Crown of Swords, A Crown of Swords). In Cairhien, if he had his way, he would have lead the core of the Tairen forces Rand had in Tear to utter destruction before even the final battle.


  • 6. In battle he leaves his assigned position, opening holes in the defence for the enemy to penetrate, as happened against the Seanchan in Altara. Rand was nearly killed as a result (The Path of Daggers, Fog of War, Storm of Battle).


  • 7. He doesn’t push hard enough when in battle. In Altara Weiramon did not even get slightly dirty and the Taraboners in the Seanchan said the Tairens fought less fiercely than expected, unlike Rand’s other troops (The Path of Daggers, A Time for Iron).


Such an extensive list adds up to a deliberate pattern of sabotage, aiming at undermining the effectiveness of Rand’s leadership and armies. It is a wonder he has survived any military engagements at all (we have seen other military incompetents promptly killed in battle, for example Melanril), let alone have any credibility among Tairens. He was particularly stupid about the Shaido, yet is old enough to have fought in the Aiel War. In fact, in New Spring, The Hook, a young Tairen noble with silver worked boots gave Lan orders to position his forces as an anvil against which Tairen forces were supposed to crush Aiel. This did not happen and if the Aiel – in much larger numbers than the Tairen said - had not withdrawn after Laman was killed, Lan and his forces would have been wiped out.

Weiramon’s conversation with Darkfriend Asha’man Gedwyn in The Path of Daggers showed that he is sometimes not so stupid at all:

"I don't care who you are, I won't take more risk without a command direct from the lips of -"

- The Path of Daggers, A Time for Iron

When he saw that he was overheard, he looked murderous and then acted stupidly again. Gedwyn apparently tried to pull rank on Weiramon but was ignored. Weiramon was unimpressed by a very high up (dark) Asha’man, which implies that Weiramon was under orders from somebody higher up than Gedwyn, somebody even more impressive - one of the Forsaken, for instance.

I consider Lews Therin’s comments in The Gathering Storm to be a red herring:

I like him, Lews Therin thought.
Rand started. You don't like anyone!
He's honest, Lews Therin replied, then laughed. More than I am, for certain! A man doesn't choose to be an idiot, but he does choose to be loyal. We could do much worse than have this man as a follower.

- The Gathering Storm, Before the Stone of Tear

Yep. We could have Taim, for instance! *rolls eyes* Actually a man can choose to be an idiot – or at least appear one. Just as he can choose to appear loyal.

We have seen very few Darkfriends among the Aiel. Way too few for the numbers of Aiel. I think Sorilea might be a Darkfriend. It's suggestive that the Shadow burgle Cadsuane the day she shows Sorilea and Bair where the male a'dam was hidden and on the only night that she is out of her room visiting...the Wise Ones. Cadsuane unravelled the weave while Sorilea was in the room. I think it was Sorilea that showed Elza the ‘rarely known weaves’ (as Sanderson put it) required to arm/disarm the box and get the Domination Band since Sorilea was too weak to do it herself. The weaves were inverted, so Sorila couldn’t see them to unweave them as Wise Ones can do to regular weaves. The situation mirrors Sorilea’s demonstration of Travelling to Cadsuane to put her in her debt in the first place, even though Sorilea’s weaves were too weak to open a gateway.

Quite possibly other Wise Ones are also Darkfriends, and, judging by the amount of discord among the clan chiefs, at least one clan chief probably is a Darkfriend.


Aes Sedai:

Evanellein is pretty much a definite since she fled the Tower when the Black Ajah did.

I think Javindhra is Black too. She is supposedly Elaida’s lapdog, yet smirks when she says that news of Dumai’s Wells is spreading to discredit Elaida no matter how hard the Red Ajah leadership works (Knife of Dreams Prologue). It sounds as if she is aware of Alviarin’s order to do this. She wears ‘almost black’ clothing, often a sign of a Black sister. And now she’s at the Black Tower. Desala, a particularly nasty tempered Red (and that says something) is also a possible Darkfriend. She’s now at the Black Tower too.

Men can’t link without women and if the Shadow want to forcibly turn channellers to the Shadow with 13 Dreadlords and 13 Myrddraal, Black sisters would be useful. Not since Liandrin’s group was broken up have there been 13 Black Ajah free and available to link together with 13 Myrddraal to forcibly turn channellers to the Shadow. Of course, the circles of 13 don’t need to be all women, but there does need to be at least 7 women in a circle of 13 - one more woman than the number of men. Even a free and available group of 7 Black sisters hasn’t occurred that often before now.

The rebel Sitter Malind, who worked with Moria in suggesting to the Hall that the rebels make an agreement with the Black Tower is probably a Darkfriend. She also drafted an appeal to nearby nobles that might have turned the whole countryside against the rebels ( The Path of Daggers, Unexpected Absences). If she is Black, Verin failed to identify her, and she might be one of the rebels now at the Black Tower.

Salita, a Sitter who definitely went on the rebels’ expedition to the Black Tower, is another possibility since she proposed to levy a tax on every town and village the rebels passed through, which would have also have had the countryside against them.

Escaralde is another possible Black rebel Sitter since she too promoted the deal with the Black Tower and might now be on the rebels’ delegation there. If she is Black, Verin failed to identify her.

Of the one third of Aes Sedai that stood aside from the Tower schism and listened to Cadsuane, 20 to 25% of them will be Black.

Surely one of the Aes Sedai with Perrin is Black.

Memara, the Red sent to bully Tenobia, is a likely Darkfriend since Alviarin was the one to send her.

At least two Aes Sedai with the Borderlander rulers are probably Darkfriends – at least one each from the group that accompanied Tenobia (led by Illeisien), and the one with Paitar (led by Coladara). Since individually the groups could not have hoped to hold Rand, and combined they total exactly 13 I think the two groups were always working together.


Borderlanders:

Kyril Shianri, Paitar’s advisor, has the usual characteristics of Darkfriends: dissatisfaction, vanity and arrogance. To make sure all the rulers were committed to what amounts to weakening the Borderlands, he was very quick to pounce on any doubt and scorn it. He actually butted in on exchange between a King and Queen:

She [Ethenielle] made her own greetings just as short, ending with a direct "I hope you've come this far without detection."
Easar snorted and leaned on his cantle, eyeing her grimly. A hard man, but eleven years widowed and still mourning. He had written poetry for his wife. There was always more than the surface. "If we've been seen, Ethenielle," he grumbled, "then we might as well turn back now."
"You speak of turning back already?" Between his tone and a flip of his tasseled reins, Shianri managed to combine disdain with barely enough civility to forestall a challenge.

- The Path of Daggers, Deceptive Appearances

So eager is Shianri that he seems to be over-reacting. Neither Easar nor Ethenielle were thinking of turning back.

Lomas, the Kandori scout described as sly by Ethenielle, is another possible Darkfriend.


Ogier:

Covril, Loial’s mother who has been trying to get the Ogier to open the Book of Translation ASAP and leave the world, and thus miss out on the Last Battle. I explained why in this recent post.


Seanchan:

We know there are some Darkfriends among the Seekers and/or the Hands controlling the Seekers from Crossroads of Twilight, The Tale of a Doll.


Sea Folk:

Carridin believed the slender, heavily wrapped Sea folk person at Ishamael’s social was male, but he might have been wrong. I think that this person could be female.

Speaking of Sea Folk women that might be Darkfriends, we have the two sister Windfinders to Clan Wavemistresses. But which one is the Darkfriend? Tebreille or Caire? That is the question. While having the seemingly benign sister a Darkfriend would be more surprising and original, it’s not likely since Caire was crucial in restoring the seasons. While we’ve seen Darkfriends do ‘good’ before, this might be going too far, even allowing for the desire for a great personal achievement. Most Darkfriends have pretty obvious character defects, so I guess Tebreille is the likely Darkfriend.


Black Tower:

Taim’s personally trained Asha’man are obviously Darkfriends.


Whitecloaks:

Einor Saren who spread chaos on Almoth Plain for Carridin and was ruthless enough to order a whole village killed

and stupid enough to throw the bodies into the river to float downstream and trumpet their deed from Alcruna to Tanchico.

- The Great Hunt, The Shadow in Shienar

Handy for promoting further division and chaos. He confirmed the existence of the strangers, the Seanchan and baited Bornhald with the possibility of his legion fighting them:

”Or are you sliding from the Light?" Saren's smile was a grimace. "If battle is what you seek, -you may have your chance. The strangers have a great force on Toman Head, more than Tarabon and Arad Doman together may be able to hold, even if they can stop their own bickering long enough to work together. If the strangers break through, you will have all
the fighting you can handle. The Taraboners claim the strangers are monsters, creatures of the Dark One. Some say they have Aes Sedai to fight for them. If they are Darkfriends, these strangers, they will have to be dealt with, too. In their turn."
For a moment, Bornhald stopped breathing. "Then the rumors are true. Artur Hawking's armies have returned."
"Strangers," Saren said flatly. He sounded as if he regretted having mentioned them. "Strangers, and probably Darkfriends, from wherever they came. That is all we know, and all you need to know. They do not concern you now.”

- The Great Hunt, The Shadow in Shienar

Bornhald and his legion died doing just that. Saren used reverse psychology; all the Questioners are aware of how the other Children see them. In the light of this, Saren’s suggestions to Asunawa sound like he is promoting division between Niall and the Questioners (and reminding Asunawa that Morgase should be killed).

And now I come to a tricky one.


Berelain

I am in two minds about Berelain. There may be good reason why we’ve never had a POV from her and also that Lanfear gave her the letter that claimed Rand. She’s done some good (when she was under the eyes of the Aiel) but has also been a great distraction and time-waster for Perrin and Faile. So I think she very well could be one of the cleverer Darkfriends. Some of her parallels indicate she is (Delilah, for instance, or Nephthys). Her motive? The survival of Mayene. It’s possible she’s one of those unknowingly working for Moridin but if so, who is giving her the orders and why is she obeying them?

35 comments:

Hinkel said...

"Of the one third of Aes Sedai that stood aside from the Tower schism and listened to Cadsuane, 20 to 25% of them will be Black."

I would have expected Black sisters to be ordered to be present among the two sides to promote continued division. Though, of course, it could have been their job to keep the rest from choosing a side and maintaining a balanced division.


Thanks for the post, Linda.

TWW said...

In the beginning if TDR Perrin has some dreams, including one in which he sees the Forsaken creeping around a place that had ramps and pathways set in darkness (always sounded like the Ways, to me). One of the people he sees is Bel'al (unbeknownst to him). He is described as wearing ornate, silver-worked boots. An indication, IMO, that Weiremon could be of the Shadow, similar to the hint that his sigil closely resembles Lanfear's.

Frank said...

I have seen it suggested that Annoura is Black and is somehow manipulating/Compelling Berelain. Annoura does stand out as secretive and opaque in a whole society of secretive and opaque women. But Berelain could just be a Darkfriend; she would do anything to protect Mayene.

I've seen the arguments for Sorilea being a Darkfriend, but like you said, most Darkfriends have obvious character flaws and seething resentment and lust for power. While one could argue that Sorilea is a bully, she's also very in-keeping both with the other Wise Ones and the way strong older people tend to get (look at Cadsuane). Also, she is almost the de facto Head Wise One, and no indication that she was ever anything other than powerful and influential. So I guess she could be a Darkfriend, but she just doesn't seem to fit the profile, to me.

I don't know about any of the Aiel chiefs being DFs, either. The discord is very easily explained by the WOs: old rivalries, and Rand being his usual infuriating self. We know so little about any of them, though, except for Rhuarc, it's hard to say.

While it does stand to reason there would be Darkfriend Seekers/Hands, I thought the implication of that chapter was more that they had been coopted by Suroth or, probably more likely, Anath/Semirhage, which isn't quite the same thing as being Darkfriends.

Tim said...

Another group we haven't seen Darkfriends from? The Two Rivers folk. Sure, they're an isolated community, but that doesn't exclude them from swearing to the Shadow.

My top picks among them: Daise Congar and Cenn Buie.

Daise due to the fact that if their are DFs in Emond's Field, it's highly likely there'd be some among the Conger/Coplins, plus her being in the Women's Circle and then Wisdom would make her a good recruit.

Cenn always seems to oppose what everyone else sees as the good and right thing to do. He's not meant to be a likeable character. This doesn't mean he's a DF, but it puts him on my list of possibilities.

Nicole said...

My knee-jerk reaction when you cited Berelain as a possible DF was, "NOOOOOOOOO!!!"

I agree she's been a distraction for Perrin and Faile, and her advisor often acts shadily, and it's very clear Berelain will do anything to safeguard Mayene's independence and prosperity. And it's also suspicious that Lanfear gave her the letter.

Still, wouldn't Perrin have sniffed her out, his lack of brainpower notwithstanding? Or wouldn't Moiraine have done so? She did ask Berelain why she delivered Lanfear's letter, and Berelain replied, "She was... impressive." I say Compulsion (or instant girl-crush).

In short, I disagree about Berelain, and would not even have thought of the possibility of her being a DF if you hadn't mentioned it. I will be sad if Jordan and Sanderson prove me wrong -- Berelain is pretty cool...

Todd said...

I would be fairly disappointed if Cenn Buie turned out to be a DF. I would like it if there were some grumpy, annoying people who weren't DFs. I'd be slightly disappointed if there were a lot of DFs among the Coplins and Congers, but since that's a larger group, it would make some sense.

Here's hoping Cenn is good.

Anonymous said...

I like Berelain. I can't believe she's a DF. Though..Well, she has a history of trying to get close to Rand. By sex, and later by coming to Cairhien. And it was never explained how she mananged to get her army from Mayene to Cairhien, with Tear blocking the way. Does anyone smell secret Darkfriend contacts among Tairens and Mayeners?
Auch. It'll be painful to read it if she is a DF.

I think Masuri is the likeliest DF among Perrin's AS. A typical Brown who after swearing to the Shadow uses her leisure to study Darkhounds =)

I hope we'll find out these undercover DFs. It would be cool to have their PoVs at the break of the Last Battle after Moridin or someone has ordered them to kill and destroy as much as possible. I can hope, I suppose?

Nice article, though wilder speculation would have been nice. You were pretty conservative with your predictions.

luvtheedragon said...

Berelain: DF ? well she is a bitchy character who tried to sleep with all 3 - Rand first, Mat was not her taste, then Perrin. If she knew about Lanfear she would go near Rand sexually. She has served Rand finely, more importantly Min has see and has made a foreshadowing of her. We know that the most significant things that a person is able to do, turn up in her foreshadowing, so anything bad that she could have possible done would be on the table. I don't buy it. Also if she is a DF so is Rhurc, we never get the know little talk they had, even when the other Aiel maidens know it.

WO:
the wise ones are far more devious than AS. Just notice how easily they made Moraine go in the glass ter'angreal, acting to have spilled the beans when actually they almost cornered her and pushed her to do it. All WO have always time and again iterated that the survival of the Aiel is the only thing that they care about, rest of Randland can rot in hell for all they care. Also the dreamers in them have seen further than egey, because they have been doing so for decades, are better at it and don't have the tremendous pressures, like leading the AS single handedly. So these WO are armed with greater degree of foreknowledge than they display ...
Sorilia might be a DF because have feet in both camps seems like a fine thing to do to ensure aiel survive after TG or she just gave the weave to Elza because of what the WO have seen must happen for things to fall into place quickly. these things did expedite Rand's descent and subsequent ascent.

DF among Two river's folk is a laughable notion, because that kills the entire purpose of having Fain in the first place.

Anonymous said...

As always Linda, great work.

Though I'll disagree on three points.

1) Berelain.

She's been VERY loyal and helpful in most situations. Efficient and just when left to rule. No way. Plus, Galad's going to fall for a DF (the Lady in White from Min's viewing)? I don't think so.

2) Sorilea.

The timing and method of the theft from Cadsuane are damning, but she's been superb other than that. Still, you are VERY persuasive.

I also think we may have a smaller % of Aiel DF's because the Shadow may have not considered them as important.


3) The Amount of DF AS in the outside.

First off, 20-25% would be around 75 BA, way too many if Verin is even in the ball park.

We know 73 or so in the rebel camp: some seventy from Eggy POV + three more they found. Less than 20 escaped, 50+ execute (I'd say 54). So, say 74 from the Rebels.

I'd say about 100 in the Tower. Egwene says a "majority" of 60 escaped. So the number has to be south of 120. If there were only 80/90, then using "majority" when 2/3 or 3/4 is the truth is poor word choice. So I'd guess 100.

And that number may not include the four "suspected" Verin didn't catch (Evanellein + 3 others mentioned by name).

Anyway, we are now north of 173 DF's, only 30 short of Verin's initial list.

Per LoC, we knew 294 loyal to tower (almost a third of the total, which was "less than a thousand", and slighly less than in Salidar. I roughly guessed Salidar # to be 310. So 604 between them.

Like the majority call earlier, what does fewer than 1,000 mean? Given RJ's accuracy, I'd say it is more than 950 (else, more than 900 would be more likely). So you've got a range of 951-999, with 971 at the midpoint. Even taking 951, less the 604 = 347 x .20 = 70 DFs.

Now we are way over Verin's estimate and her inaccuracy rate, plus I'd think the DF's would want MORE DF's centered in Salidar/TV to affect events.

My guess is around 33-35 AS DF's on the outside, half that. Though I'll admit, that some of the BA that were in the Tower at the time, are now loose (like Duhara and Talene).

Anyway, we'll certainly see. And great work as always.

I'd hope Egwene would give us a more detailed report on Saerin's census.

luvtheedragon said...

well there is also the case of BA sisters collared. It will be interesting if they could be uncovered.

TWW said...

Check Egwene's last chapter...
Almost no BA were captured during the raid. Or very few, at least.

And just to clarify, Berelain falls head over heels for a MAN in white, not the other way around. We have no confirmation as to whether Galad will return the feeling, though we have no precedent of unrequited love in WOT.

Linda said...

Thanks for your comments all. There are many interesting and good suggestions.

Since some think my list is too unadventurous, and others too startling, I might have got it about OK. :D

Some question the numbers of BA in the various camps. Vein identified 203 of them and her success rate was 95% roughly. So there were about 215 (rounded).

Of these, 70 were among the rebels. Sixty of those in the Tower, which was the majority of those there, escaped. Egwene didn't say nearly all escaped. So let's say that the Tower originally held between 70 and 90. 80 + 70 = 150 roughly. That leaves 65 or so unaligned. Therefore a fair percentage of those with Cadsuane are Black, maybe the 'typical' proportion of Darkfriend Aes Sedai of 20-25%.

I agree that Egwene's reporting of numbers on the list and escaped and executed leave much to be desired. Sometimes it was quite hard to understand.

Masuri told a lot of useful info about Darkhounds. Annoura is definitely questionable. Seonid? She's the one who didn't meet Masema.

Berelain falls for Galad. Not the other way around. Min said she'd be 'snubbed up' by some guy in white. And that she had no shame (like we didn't know).

Sorilea's been superb at not doing a great deal directly. Apart from participating in forcing Aes Sedai to swear to Rand.

It's true Perrin hasn't smelled anything 'wrong' about Berelain. He didn't identify Aram's danger either, nor Galina.

Not all Darkfriends are obviously nasty pieces of work: Moria (no hint), Delana for instance.

Linda said...

More to add:

It's true that Min didn't see anything significantly quesionable around Berelain. However, think of what she saw around Sheriam. Silver and blue flashes and a golden light. It seemed innocuous and sounded good even. And it was - for the Light, not for Sheriam. The viewing described Sheriam's execution.

Galad, Mr Perfectly Good, having a dodgy woman pursuing him is an interesting image.

Anonymous said...

TWW - sure there is an example of unrequited love: Galad's love of Egwene.

Rob

TWW said...

Wasn't love, but interest/affection. Thinkig along those lines, you'd have to put Egwene's affection for him as equal as his for her. They were both interested, but neither pursued to any degree.

Anonymous said...

Most DFs join the shadow to gain power denied to them in the normal world. Examples of this are for example Sheriam and Shiaine.

Many of the AS who join the BA do so because their channeling strenght limits their opportunity to gain power. It's interesting to note that in NS, Cadsuane mentions 2 AS to Moiraine as being the next strongest after Cadsuane dies. Both were part of Tamra's search and both were killed by the BA. This hints that people with a lot of channeling strength are at least less likely to join the shadow. Surely the shadow would want to recruit them, but somehow they never joined.

WO society doesn't hold people from positions of power just because they lack channeling strength. WO's can rise in power to match their potential and joining the shadow wouldn't really give them better options. For this reason I find it very unlikely for WO's to join the shadow. Shaido WO's are a different story of course :)

Having power in the public world is likely also a reason why DF Sul'dam are rare.

The big shifts in power/station might make the Seafolk a breeding ground for the shadow but we haven't seen much of it yet.


About Berelain:
She delayed Mangin's execution so Rand had to order it, possibly knowing Rand considered him a friend. If she is black, she could have hoped Rand would make an exception which would have undermined his authority just like Sheriam tried to convince Eggy to pardon the two-rivers' novices who hid Nicola's escape. I'm still not convinced she's a DF but if she is, she hasn't been very successful so far.

Landro

TWW said...

I remember reading somewhere that the AS to join the BA were most often of EITHER very little or very high strength. Either they want to gain power they don't have or bolster whatever power they already have, in the form of political scheming.
I'm sorry to say I don't remember where I read that, if it wasn't from the books.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I posted this on the wrong thread. Reposting.

Hi, I love your theories, you always gather so much information from so many places to support them! Really impressive.

But regarding the red sisters in the Black Tower, I will have to desagree. I think any black sister would have told her superiors (up to Alviarin) of the reds intentions, and I remember Alviarin having great care not to send any black sister to the Black Tower, when Elaida sent her 50 sister force. I would doubt she would allow any one of them to go in this instance as well. Bye!

Linda said...

TWW: If you look here in The Black Ajah article, the strength levels over-represented in the BA are the middling to slightly strong.

Anon: Alviarin had no choice, just as she had to give permission for Verin to compile info on BA way back when. I think that again in this situation her hand was forced. The two Red Sitters in the Tower were told to go by the Highest. So was Tarna. Tsutama wanted to send a lot of Reds but was persuaded by Pevara to limit it to a half dozen.

Misopogon said...

I have been suspicious of Berelain for awhile -- this is the first anyone else has mentioned it that I've seen. Thanks for making me not think I'm crazy.

Her motive is obvious: it takes a deal with the Dark One to keep a tiny place like Mayene free.

Her persistence with Perrin even after he was married and made it clear that he wouldn't cheat is what really makes me suspect her. I think she's under orders from someone (perhaps Lanfear, and she hasn't heard?) to stick herself to Perrin. It sounds very much like a Forsaken kind of order to tell the lascivious queen she must bed one of the three ta'veren, thinking no man would be able to resist such charms.

Otherwise, you'd think a smart lady like her would know a losing battle, and find a better way to stay on Perrin's good side.

aspeo said...

Linda, that was a very good article with some interesting predictions!
I was wondering about something you say in these comments though. When did Alviarin give Verin permission to gather info on the BA? I had assumed that Verin did it on her own in hopes of one day exposing them.

Also I have never believed that Berelaine is a DF. I would believe that Annoura is BA though. Berelaine has always seemed fairly straightforward in her actions, while Annoura has been more mysterious and closed about what she is doing. I could definitely see it being a case of Annoura guiding/compelling Berelaine to do things that might help the shadow.

Anonymous said...

Aspeo, after Liandrin and her group stole Ter'angreal, Siuan ordered Verin to provide the super girls with information about Liandrin and her group. Verin could only do so after asking Alviarin for permission, since one of her black oaths prevented her from betraying black sisters without permission.

Landro

TWW said...

Ah, thanks Linda. I can always count on you to know exactly where everything is.

'rew said...

So, some food for thought as to Sorilea's position vis-a-vis Shadowiness...

It seems that most people place her tGS involvement with the box as a major point in favor of Darkhood.
I can definitely see that, however, an opposite argument concerning her:
She was definitely set up on purpose as a foil or mirror character of Cadsuane (I'm not gonna cite any evidence, it's all over the place...).
So- as a foil, I can see her either as the "Dark" version of Cadsuane, or a true foil- on the same side, but just as Cadsuane was unable to see where she was going wrong and erred entirely, Sorilea made a similar mistake: she shared what she had learned about the warding weaves she saw Cadsaune use with others of the Wise Ones (while they all seem disdainful of learning from AS, they also seem to pick up anything they see them do...), one of whom is a DF.

I kinda like the thought that the two most competent and strongest women made similar mistakes that had disastrous effects. I haven't checked, but Sorilea's reaction in tGS when Rand confronts Caddy about the Dom Bands could probably be read either way- i.e. she doesn't want to get involved, feigning innocence, or she is shamed, because she is also partially to blame for it...

'rew said...

ps- thanks as always for your thoughts, Linda. Very well thought out...

Linda said...

Many characters' actions can be explained away or justified. The trouble is, that you can never find Darkfriends that way.

I joked with Terez as I was putting the finishing touches to this article that I felt like a Whitecloak. That is the sort of mindset you need though, unless you do what Verin did. Whitecloaks of course, overdo it. Hopefully I haven't...

'rew said...

If you haven't killed or tortured anyone in the putting together, then I'd say your on safe ground. :P

Frank said...

I was wondering if there was anything more to the notion of Desala being Black than having a nasty temper. I reread the end of KoD just now and there really are no obvious "yep, she's Black" clues for her. She's ill-tempered, but if that were a criterion, Nynaeve would be The Highest! Frankly, except for Javindhra, who I for some reason am beginning to think is a red (ha!) herring, I don't think any of the Reds who went to the Black Tower are Black. It's such a small sample, and the criteria Pevara used so unusual, that I don't think any Blacks would have been picked up. Black-Reds seem to be particularly nasty, quite openly, and they were chosen specifically because they AREN'T particularly nasty.

Linda said...

Frank: Leane described Desala as a 'dreadful woman'. But she complain at all about Melare who also interrogated her.

Javindhra is a special case. The Highest ordered her to go - to set an example.

Nameless Asha'man said...

Regarding Sorilea:
I wouldn't be surprised if there were NO DFs among the WO or Clan Chiefs. I suspect the harsh testing in Rhuidean weeds out such weak characters.

Regarding Berelain and others with Perrin:
If there are DFs in Perrin's entourage, how long before we see another attempt on his life? As of KOD, Moridin wants them dead and we saw attacks on both Perrin and Mat.

Cadsuane Melaidhrin said...

Quote: "there does need to be at least 7 women in a circle of 13 - one more woman than the number of men."

So, how did The Lord of the Morning(Reborn) link with El'Nynaeve ti Al'Meara Mandragoran alone while cleansing Saidin in the capital of Aridhol?

Linda said...

What you quote is about a circle of 13 only and this size circle is required for turning a channeller to the Shadow. My point was that 7 female Dreadlords are required for such a circle and there haven't been many places where 7 such women have been together until now.

Smaller circles are quite possible and are favoured even for many tasks. The circle of one man and one woman (in which the man has to lead) is one such.

WJ said...

Sorilea? I doubt it. The big thing against her is Elza getting the Dominion Band. Would it not make more sense that Shadar Haran was lurking in the shadows and saw the exchange about the weaves and used the True Power to get the band out of the box? The true power wouldn't be detectable any more then anything else. If Sorilea gave the weaved to Elza, would she give the bands to Semirhage while under compulsion to serve Rand? It just doesn't make sense. Shadar Haran, however, would have the means to reduce the compulsion and the *whatever it is* to order Elza and make it stick.

Linda said...

WJ: It's just as likely that Sorilea told the Shadow where the Domination Band was hidden. She is too weak to disarm the box herself, but she showed Elza how the weave was done.

Elza did give the band to Semirhage while under Compulsion:

"I live to serve, Great Mistress," the woman whispered. "I am instructed to tell you that there is Compulsion in my mind you are to remove."
Semirhage raised an eyebrow; she hadn't realized there were any of the Black among those Aes Sedai here. Removing Compulsion could have a very . . . nasty effect on a person. Even if the Compulsion were weak or subtle, the brain could be harmed seriously by removing it. If the Compulsion were strong . . .well, it was quite interesting to watch.
"Also," the woman said, handing something forward, wrapped in cloth. "I am to give you this." She removed the cloth, revealing a dull-colored metallic collar, and two bracelets. The Domination Band.

If SH overrode the Compulsion, why waste time getting Semirhage to undo it?

Linda said...

WJ: Right then and there, I mean. Compulsion takes time to undo and that was quite a risk to take without good reason.