Until now, Demandred has held back (or been hidden by the author), but if he is ever going to strike on-screen, this is his only remaining chance. As he has always intended, he will strike at Moridin as well as Rand.
In The Gathering Storm Prologue, when Moridin asked him about the status of his preparations, Demandred said:
"My rule is secure," Demandred said simply. "I gather for war. We will be ready."He was careful not to give any location, or even hint of where his forces are. Moridin may think he knows, but Demandred may have secreted extra in at least one other location.
In this Age the Shadow requires a general the equal of Mat Cauthon. Looked at the other way, the Pattern had to arrange for someone allied to the Light to be as good a general as Demandred, and as successful a gambler, too. The Shadow are well aware of the difference luck makes, and in the early books often commented on Lews Therin’s good fortune. After a lot of effort, Mat is both a brilliant general and a lucky gambler.
The Age of Legends was the equivalent of the Ancient Roman republic (see The Age of Legends essay) and enemies of Rome parallels of the Forsaken (see Three Strands Common to the Forsaken article). Demandred is a parallel of Hannibal, renowned for bringing elephants over the Alps to invade the Republic, the ultimate unexpected movement of forces or ultimate movement of unexpected forces. I think Demandred will move his forces via the Ways from “unlikely” places such as Seanchan.
One could compare the heights and depths of the paths and islands in the Ways with the steep passes of a mountain range. The Seanchan literally have elephants (s’redit) of course, but there are creatures from the If worlds trained for war that could also be brought to terrify mainland forces and cause chaos. These animals were able to eradicate all the Shadowspawn on the Seanchan continent (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time) so they’d be a very useful addition to any army wanting to fight or defend itself against the Shadowspawn attacking the Westlands, whatever side that army is on.
So when Graendal remarks:
Demandred liked having armies to command, but there were none left moving in the world.This is not altogether true: there are plenty on the Seanchan continent and, as Graendal muses, perhaps some on the mainland that have been at least partly subverted. Demandred may well have some forces in Murandy - not enough to be a threat to Moridin – and others elsewhere. It always puzzled me, with so many nations/areas and so few Forsaken, why some Forsaken haven’t drawn on more than one nation. Demandred has always liked using proxies, according to Sammael (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow), and by doing so he can amass armies in various locations until the time comes to move them into position on the gaming board.
The Gathering Storm Prologue,
I see him as being the general of all the Shadow's forces, but having some of his own personal forces in reserve to take control of areas he's conquered, destroy armies in his own name, or strike at Rand and Moridin.