Thursday, February 28, 2002

Far Madding’s Anti-channelling Ter’angreal

By Linda

Far Madding possesses the Guardian, a ter’angreal with a three-fold function (or perhaps two or three ter’angreal): to duplicate a stedding against saidar and another against saidin, and to detect both saidin and saidar being channelled inside and outside these steddings (for at least a short distance, since Narishma was able to go beyond the range of the ter’angreal and give a demonstration).

It does this by creating “invisible protective bubbles” that block people from touching the One Power. The Guardian doesn’t stop weaves being made, since a channeller can use a well (see Jewellery section) inside the ter’angreal’s stedding however, just as in an Ogier’s stedding (Winter’s Heart, The Hummingbird’s Secret). More sinisterly, the Guardian can’t block the True Power either (Towers of Midnight, A Testing).

The larger stedding against saidin begins about a mile from the lake’s edge and it surrounds the smaller stedding against saidar, which begins before the bridge to Far Madding’s island (Winter’s Heart, To Lose the Sun). The ter’angreal’s very function prevents its or their examination or removal (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels), since, like in a Stedding, a channeller in Far Madding can neither channel nor feel the True Source, nor, according to Sarene, can a weave made outside affect what is inside. Yet Nynaeve thought that a weave aimed into Far Madding from outside, as Rand was threatening to do, should work (The Gathering Storm, Scents Unknown). This would severely compromise the protection the ter'angreal offers if Nynaeve is right.

The ter’angreal is a double pointed red oval rimmed with yellow sitting in the centre of an intricate blue and white tiled maze. Around the edge of the tiled floor are three clouded crystal discs a span across inlaid with a long thin wedge of clear crystal that points toward the centre of the floor. Metal collars surround the murky discs, marked off like a compass but with ever-smaller markings, probably numerals, between the larger. A woman watches each of these discs (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels). If a man channels within range of the ter’angreal, the clear wedges on each disc turn black and point to roughly the same direction. The women then establish his location using triangulation and a map. If a woman channels, the ter’angreal apparently reacts in the same way, except that the wedges turn red. Once the channelling stops, the wedges immediately turn clear and point to the centre again. Kumira speculates that the ter’angreal may be able to do more than this (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels).

Interestingly, Rand hid Callandor just outside the ter’angreal’s stedding against men, so the ter’angreal would have detected his channelling and location (Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal).

Far Madding’s ter’angreal are believed to have been made during the Breaking, as protection from insane male channellers (Winter’s Heart, To Lose the Sun).


Written by Linda, August, 2005

1 comment:

Laural H said...

How do Verin and Cadsuane or anyone from Far Madding end up in the Tower? For that matter, I bet it's boring watching no one channel for 24 hours a day...