Thursday, February 28, 2002

Bowls, Cups and Vases

By Linda

Bowl of Winds

The Bowl is a shallow, heavy bowl of clear crystal two feet across, worked inside with thick, swirling clouds (The Path of Daggers, The Breaking Storm) and when someone channels into it, 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). Elayne and Nynaeve found it in a cache of angreal and ter’angreal in Ebou Dar (see The Cache from Ebou Dar article about the finding of the Bowl).

When a small amount of the Power is fed into it—relative to what it needs to work it—it turns a pale sky blue and the clouds seem to move. They are not in the same positions after as they were before. When sufficient of the Power to work it is fed into it, it turns much deeper, darker colors, the blue of the sky and the green of the sea. The clouds sometimes appear to be waves. Both clouds and waves move, and when the Bowl is "powered down," whichever was last up, clouds or waves, is what is now worked into the inner surface.

- Robert Jordan, Sea Folk notes

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

In his own Age, weather had been carefully regulated with the use of ter’angreal…One of the surprises of this Age 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 of thirteen women plus three angreal 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. The Windfinders had possessed a Bowl early in the Third Age and lost it over 2000 years ago. (It is unknown if the lost Bowl is the Bowl that was used.) The leader of the circle, Caire, had closely studied the records of its use and was able to make a very complex series of weaves to restore the seasons.

All Five Powers were used in intricate weaves very precisely placed atop the Bowl (The Path of Daggers The Breaking Storm). The first weave of a four-pointed star made the Bowl turn the bright blue of a summer sky with fleecy white clouds. Next a five-pointed star made the Bowl show a green sea with great heaving waves. Then a six-pointed star made the Bowl show a dark blue sky with purple clouds heavy with rain or snow and a seven-pointed star a gray-green stormy sea. This pattern continued with an eight-pointed star showing sky, and a nine showing sea. At this point the Bowl began to draw saidar on its own, in a much larger amount than the circle was drawing, and also saidin. The pattern of sea to sky and waves to clouds continued, while a writhing, braided column of all Five Powers of saidar (and saidin) shot up in a column from the Bowl and after more weaves from the circle, spread in an intricate lace over the horizon. When Caire stopped channelling into the Bowl, it turned clear again, but small patches of saidar flashed and crackled around its edges.

The use of such a powerful and skilled ring had consequences, however: both saidin and saidar acted strangely for some distance around the site 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 at Thakan’dar where the Windfinders used it to combat the savage storms the Dark One created there (A Memory of Light, To Ignore the Omens). The Bowl is the property of the Sea Folk Windfinders, as part of the bargain made with them in exchange for their expertise.

Flat White Bowl

A flattish white bowl almost a pace across was found in the Ebou Dar cache is for looking at things that are far away (Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill). It was taken to Caemlyn, and it is not known if Elayne kept it with her or it was destroyed in the sacking of Caemlyn.

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). It was found in the Ebou Dar cache and was taken to Caemlyn. It is not known if she took it with her or if it was destroyed during the sacking of Caemlyn.

Other Cups, Bowls and Vases

Cups and bowls and vases, of varied size, design and composition were found in the Ebou Dar cache (The Path of Daggers, A Quiet Place). They were taken to Caemlyn. It is not known if she took them with her or if they were destroyed during the sacking of Caemlyn.


Written by Linda, August, 2005 and updated March, 2013 and June, 2019

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