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he Real Black Tower

by WinespringBrother: 2005-06-13 | 5.58 out of 10 (24 votes)

Previous Categories: Plans of the Dark One

1. Dreadlords will be an important part of the Last Battle for the Shadow, and not something that recruitment of has been left to chance.

2. The Shadow had no way of knowing in advance that Rand would start the Black Tower.

3. The Dark One likes to make long term plans, leaving nothing to chance. For example, witness the efforts to change the weather, the Lord of Chaos plan which has not yet shown any immediate obvious results, and the leaving Rand alive for some as yet unseen reason.

4. It's likely that there were already a pool of Dreadlords available when the Black Tower was started, and the Fearsome Foursome (Kisman, Rochaid, Torval, Gedwyn) were sent to infiltrate it as part of the Shadow's plan to keep an eye on Rand. Dashiva was also sent to keep an eye on them.

5. Kisman and Rochaid were both younger than Rand, and therefore it is possible that they are sparkers, and gained their ability on their own before joining the Black Tower. Gedwyn is only a little older than Rand, and may have been a recent sparker as well. Since sparkers generally have a higher limit than non-sparkers in ability, this may explain why they became Asha'man so quickly, since the Black Tower only existed for 2 months (according to the Chronology of the Wheel of Time) by the time they were all Asha'man at the Battle of Dumai's Wells. Whether due to favoritism by Taim or not, no channelers who did not have the ability to channel saidin at will could be raised to the highest ranks, which took even Rand some time to be able to do.

6. Training of these Dreadlords implies centralized organization, to maximize the potential of their limited resources, the pool of darkfriend male channelers, a combination of 2 groups that both have very low populations to begin with. Since the 4 were all strong in the power by the time the Black Tower existed 2 months, they were all probably at the top of their darkfriend class, implying there are many more that are of lower skill levels. And at Rand's visit to the Black Tower, Kisman, Rochaid and Torval already seemed to be peas in a pod, the latter being dragged off by the former after challenging Rand on his arrival.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 42 - The Black Tower

"Sometimes we need a hard discipline," Taim said, coming to stand over the man on the ground. His voice was almost jolly, but his dark tilted eyes stared close to murder at the man he had clubbed. "You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small." The Dragons climbing the sleeves of his black coat glittered in the sunlight; thread-of-gold would do for the one, but what could make the blue shine so? Abruptly he raised his voice. "Kisman! Rochaid! Drag Torval away and douse him until he wakes. No Healing, mind you. Maybe an aching head will teach him to mind his tongue."

Two men in black coats, younger than Rand, came running and bent over Torval, then hesitated, glancing at Taim. After a moment, Rand felt saidin fill them; flows of Air lifted a limp Torval, and the pair trotted away with him floating between them.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 55 - Dumai's Wells

"Grady, raise the Banner of Light!" Taim called, and the Power made his voice boom. On flows of Air, Jur Grady lifted the crimson banner out of a surprised Dobraine's hand and raised it all the way through the hole in the top of the dome. Fire burst around it and lightning flashed as brilliant red lifted amid the smoke billowing up from the burning wagons. Rand recognized a number of the men in black coats, but he knew only a few names aside from Jur's. Damer and Fedwin and Eben, Jahar and Torval; of those, only Torval wore the Dragon on his collar.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 55 - Dumai's Wells

"A man in a black coat darted in front of Rand, staring after Gawyn, and the ground erupted in a gout of fire and earth that toppled half a dozen horses as they reached the wagons. Rand saw Gawyn sway in the saddle in the instant before he beat the black-coated man to the ground with a mace of Air. He did not know the hard-faced young man who snarled at him, but the fellow wore both the sword and Dragon on his high collar, and saidin filled him.

In an instant, it seemed, Taim was there, blue-and-gold Dragons twined around the sleeves of his black coat, staring down at the fellow. His collar bore neither pin. "You would not strike at the Dragon Reborn, Gedwyn," Taim said, at once soft and steely, and the hard-faced man scrambled to his feet, saluting with fist to heart."

Conclusion: there is a separate Shadow Black Tower, that preceded Rand's, that was created for the purpose of training Dreadlords.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2005-06-26

I like this idea; for some reason I never thought of a large quantity of them having come already pre-trained and evil. But, I think your quotes adequately prove that Taim, at the very least, was working for the DO by the time he meets up with Rand, and that he is able to find so many recruits so fast, because some if not many, were already being trained with him. It almost seems, from their attitudes, that some of them resent Taim's position, but they have to pretend loyalty to him in such a manner because of the position he is given by Rand within the Black Tower. So, in your opinion WSB, what percentage of the Black Tower were previously being trained as Dreadlords?

2

Callandor: 2005-06-27

**4. It's likely that there were already a pool of Dreadlords available when the Black Tower was started, and the Fearsome Foursome (Kisman, Rochaid, Torval, Gedwyn) were sent to infiltrate it as part of the Shadow's plan to keep an eye on Rand. Dashiva was also sent to keep an eye on them.**

I don't see that as likely at all. The Shadow got thrown a curve, and made the best of it. By my opinion, they did a pretty good job of taking the best advantage from it as possible.

**Whether due to favoritism by Taim or not, no channelers who did not have the ability to channel saidin at will could be raised to the highest ranks, which took even Rand some time to be able to do.**

Rand didn't have a teacher, and even if Taim is a Dark recruiter, he is a teacher. In roughly the two months of training with Asmodean (a bad teacher), Rand became much, much, more powerful and deadly.

Two months I could see easily, with favoritism by Taim, regular training, and I'm sure pretty lax defintion of when to give them "Asha'man" titles.

**Since the 4 were all strong in the power by the time the Black Tower existed 2 months, they were all probably at the top of their darkfriend class, implying there are many more that are of lower skill levels.**

Or they were truely trained in the two months spent at the Black Tower, and they grew in strength very rapidly the same way all the Asha'man have been due to the way their training is structured. Plus, the natural ability of male channelers to gain strength faster compared to female channelers.

After all, Flinn, Narishma, Morr, and Hopwill, all seem quite strong in the Power, and were (or at leas seem) "good guys."

Taim I can see, and even support quite strongly being Shadow trained before the Black Tower came into being -- but not a whole school of them. They were simply people of which the Dark appealed to -- and the Shadow capitalized on it.

3

mako0424: 2005-06-27

i like this theory a bit, some of it seems even intuitive, but nobody has stated it before, but i imagine the same holds true for both females and males being maybe pre-trained by the Shadow, in which case, im sure the percentages are directly proportional between black ajah in the white tower, and black asha'man in the Black Tower.

but i really like the Tamyrlin's injected theory about some of them resenting Taim, but i imagine it isn't just because Rand placed him higly among the Black Tower, because that was unintentional and no way could have been predicted in my opinion. but dissension among the Shadow's ranks of channelers is profuse as seen by the Forsaken and the Black ajah, so maybe Taim has to watch his back from multiple angles.

4

Great Lord of the Dark: 2005-06-27

You should try linking this to the Black Ajah plot involving Taim.

Interesting idea. Taim made these guys use the Power all day every day in his training. They should have progressed quicker than Rand, so maybe their quick advancement is not the indicator you think it is.

5

JakOShadows: 2005-06-27

Winespringbrother: That does seem to make sense. The quotes give excellent support for what you say. I'm just curious to what degree. Would they be protected from the taint, or are they considered not as important. It seems like Taim would be protected, but I don't know about the others. It is probably an obvious answer that I didn't notice, but I'm justing throwing the idea out there.

6

Tamyrlin: 2005-06-27

I don't know Callandor, "Two months I could see easily, with favoritism by Taim, regular training, and I'm sure pretty lax defintion of when to give them "Asha'man" titles."[..]"Taim I can see, and even support quite strongly being Shadow trained before the Black Tower came into being -- but not a whole school of them. They were simply people of which the Dark appealed to -- and the Shadow capitalized on it.", I think you are dismissing the possibility to quickly. Taim would have to be an evil ta'veren convince me he could have turned these men within such a short time. Taim not only raised these men quickly, they just happen to be his right hand men, and Taim quickly organizes an inner group that expands rather fast, some members whom then we see reporting to or having communication with Forsaken. Since we know Taim is evil, and we know his inner group is evil, I think it is entirely plausible that Taim recruited, initially, Friends of the Dark that could channel, or dreadlords in training. I think Jordan has the Aes Sedai make a big deal about how surprised there are by the large numbers of them...precisely because Taim knew where to find many, beyond the fact that there were many normal challeners in waiting within the population. Either way, I can't imagine Taim could have convinced so many to turn, with such high access, without bringing in some help. Imagine running such a large organization, being responsible for the room and board of hundreds of people, and still having time to recruit on the side?

7

Callandor: 2005-06-28

**Taim would have to be an evil ta'veren convince me he could have turned these men within such a short time.**

Not at all -- Taim is simply "evil" (as if it were a bucket of paint heh ;)), and the ta'veren forces you ascribe to him could easily just be orginiating from Rand. Everybody's actions are running off of Rand's ta'veren forces, and some off of Mat and Perrin -- but the source can always be linked back to Rand (course, that's kinda watered down ;)).

**Taim not only raised these men quickly, they just happen to be his right hand men, and Taim quickly organizes an inner group that expands rather fast, some members whom then we see reporting to or having communication with Forsaken.**

As I pointed out, of that same group of the 4 of Taim's men, he had Flinn, Eben, Morr, Narishma, as well as Adley, Neald, Grady, and Karldin.

There were a lot of fast trained people. That was the point of the Black Tower -- to train weapons fast.

As for Taim's companions that just happen to be evil, I think that's obvious: he picked them. What else? ;) There doesn't need to be a secret alternate Black Tower to do Shadow training for male channelers -- all that needs to be is Taim with a few "willing" joiners. Favoritism does the rest.

**Since we know Taim is evil, and we know his inner group is evil, I think it is entirely plausible that Taim recruited, initially, Friends of the Dark that could channel, or dreadlords in training.**

Sure, he could've gone to Friends of the Dark to see if they could channel -- but I can't see him simply going to a Dark Tower (ha, ha, oh the top of wittiness today...) and picking out a few guys.

**Either way, I can't imagine Taim could have convinced so many to turn, with such high access, without bringing in some help.**

I can. In all total, Taim has turned 4 for sure, if it was him. The rest is unknown. Were they the only ones? Eh, kinda doubtful -- more than likely he has at least a few potentials, which just happens to be what is implied by his special trainings.

**Imagine running such a large organization, being responsible for the room and board of hundreds of people, and still having time to recruit on the side?**

1. He did it in the Two Rivers.

2. He still finds time to do special trainings for around 30 people (I believe that was the number).

So, I don't see that as an outlandish idea at all.

8

Anubis: 2005-06-28

Dark Friends have signs to tell eachother secretly who they are. It could be that taim just gave the recruits who WERE darkfriends preferential treatment.

9

WinespringBrother: 2005-06-28

The main point is totally missed though, Callandor. Why would the Shadow leave training of its male dreadlords up to chance? Especially when they had 20 years notice that the Dragon was reborn and the Last Battle approaching? Or did you think they would leave it up to Rand's whim to start a training facility and then have their one supposed dreadlord Taim start putting out "We want you to join us" enticements secretively to new recruits. For one thing, the Shadow is more discrete than that. And while there have been some deaths in training, they are not enough to account for the amount of people who would turn down Taim's alleged offer and need to be killed because they now know too much.

10

WinespringBrother: 2005-06-28

A Shadow Tower also can help explain why the Red Ajah is so unsuccessful at tracking down male channelers in recent decades. The Shadow eyes and ears may be more extensive than the Reds' and may be getting to the male channelers and offering them enticements and protection to become darkfriends, then using their discretion to conceal them.

11

JakOShadows: 2005-06-28

Callandor: I do see what your saying. It is possible for Taim to all of that himself. But looking at the situation it was a fast start for the organization. It does seem like he had some outside help at least at the start. I do believe that now there is another school for male channelers led by darkfriends. The BT has just grown too quickly and supporters for Taim have been too common for anything else to make sense. Because I always thought it was a slow process convincing someone one to become a darkfriend, that it couldn't just be done in some special training sessions. In two months, start from scratch, Taim made a move against Rand fairly quickly. Of course if you read the last Q&A posted at tor, Jordan implies that it might not have been planned all the way through when the attack came. But in the books, it just seems like Taim would need some help to do anything like that so quickly.

12

Dumai Wells: 2005-06-28

You guys are forgetting something important. DEMANDRED. This is where Sammael's comments in LOC come into play about Demandred using "proxies" and "Lacky's" I dont know if there is a dreadlord black tower but you can bet your bottom dollar demandred had something to do with the fearsome foursome coming to the farm. We know from WH that Kisman POV talks about Demandred commanding him. Remember Kismans POV "Kill him" said demandred then Taim later said "kill him" "as if Demandred didnt know of Taim's order" Kisman is assuming that Taim and Demandred not only know about eachother but converse with eachother. I think all the Darkfriend Ashaman were placed in the blacktower by Demandred and Im gonna go one step further and say Taim was also placed by Demandred Remember Rand's comment to Taim "watch out for any man who learns too fast" Rand was worried about the Forsaken slipping in..so instead of Demandred himself slipping in(he's too arrogant to lower himself to be an ashaman) this is where you have his "proxies", the fearsome foursome placed and manuevering for him, that is the definition of a proxy.. "you were responsible for watching him Demandred, you and Osan'gar." Mesanna prob told Demandred about the kidnapping, thats how taim miraclously got his ashaman to Dumai's Wells and boom they save Rand and fall into his good graces. remember after Dumai Wells Rand always had Ashaman stuck to him everywhere he went after that. Taim was adamant about it being Gedwyn or Torval..but rand chose.. The DO commanded "Let the Lord Of Chaos rule" and demandred comments at the end of LOC "have i not done well master?"

13

Dumai Wells: 2005-06-28

Here is Webster's definition:

Proxy - 1 : the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another

2 a : authority or power to act for another b : a document giving such authority; specifically : a power of attorney authorizing a specified person to vote corporate stock

3 : a person authorized to act for another :

14

Kantuna: 2005-06-28

How about this:

There is an Evil Black Tower, and Taim was part of it as a darkfriend/dreadlord. He was sent to get near to Rand, and was put in charge of the Black Tower. With that position, he could bring in more Darkfriends (Ie, Gedwyn and co.) to the Black tower. From there, it is an easy step to convince Channelers to turn to the Dark.

Another way to make them turn. Tell them that if they do not turn to the DO then they will certainly die from the taint instead of (maybe) getting the Dark One's protection.

(They started this before the taint was cleaned, and probably abandoned that technique afterwoods.)

15

matoyak: 2005-06-28

i believe that this is possible and highly likly...i like it...

16

Callandor: 2005-06-29

**Why would the Shadow leave training of its male dreadlords up to chance?**

When did I ever say that it was? The fact that I believe Taim to be a Forsaken trained channeler, who just happens to be the leader of the Asha'man should more than show that I do not believe this was merely chance and coincidence. For Taim. That part, was planning.

Taim's lackies however, are the same as how the Shadow got the Forsaken in the Age of Legends -- people have a dark side, and they capitolized on it. You could say it was left to "chance" for them, but I don't see it that way. I see Taim sifting through the Soldiers of the Black Tower to take special notice of these 4 and gradually (or hey, maybe he even just came out and said it to them) brought them to see the Dark viewpoint on things.

**Especially when they had 20 years notice that the Dragon was reborn and the Last Battle approaching?**

Ah, so because Rand was born, the Shadow instantly thought, "We're going to need a lot more channelers on our side."?

**Or did you think they would leave it up to Rand's whim to start a training facility and then have their one supposed dreadlord Taim start putting out "We want you to join us" enticements secretively to new recruits.**

Yes, I do. I feel the Shadow might have been taken for a surprise with the Black Tower being formed, but I could also see as actually motivated by the Shadow (after all, Ishamael more than likely gave Rand the idea anyway, when he told him he would have no Hundred Companions to help him -- doubt Rand instantly thought of this end result, but I'm sure he didn't forget that little push of knowledge).

**For one thing, the Shadow is more discrete than that.**

Look at how RJ explained how the Black Ajah searches for canidates on the Tor interview Q&A -- I can see the exact same thing happening at the Black Tower, why can't you? Where's the secret White Tower that trains the Black Ajah, then?

**And while there have been some deaths in training, they are not enough to account for the amount of people who would turn down Taim's alleged offer and need to be killed because they now know too much.**

What, you think he would just go around asking random people? I don't see that at all, and never intended to even imply that.

**A Shadow Tower also can help explain why the Red Ajah is so unsuccessful at tracking down male channelers in recent decades.**

As far as we saw in New Spring, and what we know of the Vileness, they seem to be pretty good still.

**It does seem like he had some outside help at least at the start.**

In finding possible lackies? I don't see that at all.

**The BT has just grown too quickly and supporters for Taim have been too common for anything else to make sense.**

1. The Black Tower has grown so quickly for one simple reason -- there's a lot of male channelers out there! It's less than 1% of the population that can channel and half of that is male channelers, and roughly 3/4 of that .5% or less are learners, not sparkers. The Black Tower takes in every single canidate it can -- just as the White Tower is now doing. That is why it has grown so fast -- very good recruitment policies.

2. Why Taim has so many supporters? Why does Rand have so many supporters? Why does Taim have so many detractors? Taim is a charasmatic guy, and it seems obvious he's a natural leader. He's basically the embodiment of the Black Tower -- of course he will have supporters.

Why does he have so many Darkfriend followers? Why are there so many Darkfriends in Caemlyn? Or Tar Valon? Or Illian? They're everywhere and in every society! Taim just found a few (and again, we only know for sure of 4 -- the other 30 might or might not be in the same catagory (but even them I would say are at least sliding to that side)).

**In two months, start from scratch, Taim made a move against Rand fairly quickly.**

It wasn't two months -- it was more like 3 and a half ;) Dumai's Wells was roughly 2 months after the Black Tower was formed though.

**But in the books, it just seems like Taim would need some help to do anything like that so quickly.**

Just don't see it that way.

**I dont know if there is a dreadlord black tower but you can bet your bottom dollar demandred had something to do with the fearsome foursome coming to the farm. We know from WH that Kisman POV talks about Demandred commanding him.**

Yeah, but that doesn't mean that he was always commanding Kisman. Odds are he didn't start until he came to the Black Tower and became a Taim lacky.

**I think all the Darkfriend Ashaman were placed in the blacktower by Demandred and Im gonna go one step further and say Taim was also placed by Demandred**

Taim being placed there by Demandred (or possibly Ishamael) is a generally well accepted theory (lots of support, but there are a few objections) -- that there is a completely seperate Dark Tower, now that is a step further ;)

**Mesanna prob told Demandred about the kidnapping, thats how taim miraclously got his ashaman to Dumai's Wells and boom they save Rand and fall into his good graces.**

But Mesaana wanted to capture Rand -- and what about Demandred, Semirhage and Mesaanna's alliance? Wouldn't that be broken by Demandred's interference?

Besides, RJ answered as to how Taim got to Dumai's Wells:

"On the Asha'man finding Rand in LoC, he said that they knew where Rand was. How they did know he began with the following words: "Mazrim Taim is a paranoid S.O.B." When finding out of the disappearance of Rand, and a large bunch of Aiel from Cairhien, he followed the route from Cairhien towards Tar Valon by Traveling, until he encountered Elaida's Aes Sedai. From there, he brought in the Asha'man."

17

Biedomon: 2005-06-29

ok, just a thought inspired by this theory and a thread on the message board....assume for a moment that the Evil Black Tower is real and that Taim was/is a student/teacher there. (if he was just another student, that would explain the contempt sometimes shown him by the other ashaman known to be black: they knew him before as a peer and cannot respect him his position over them in Rand's Black Tower). Anyway, an Evil Black Tower needs teachers. Asmodean was chosen by Lanfear to teach rand. admittedly there were other reasons such as his being weak willed and alienated from the other forsaken, but none of these eliminate the possibility of him being a teacher at the black tower. The point is this, if Asmodean knew Taim as a student at the evil black tower, and knew his strength, and knowing himself to be shielded, it would be quite natural for him to be shocked and say "You! No!" before Taim killed him. It would even make sense fore Taim to be there since it was known that Asmodean was in Rand's camp. The leaders of the black tower could have sent their strongest student to kill him, not knowing him to be partially shielded.

hope that made sense

18

Narianna: 2005-06-29


if taim was SENT to rand for some nefarious purpose, then why he has to give rand the seal.

sure it could be said that it ws a gift to make rand trust taim, but why the SEAL especially as some evidence points out that taim was trained under ishy.for what? to be unleashed as a false dragon and create chaos?but why then the training from a forsaken himself? false dragons have created havoc in the past and they were not trained by ishy.

is it possible that taim was trained to take command of the shadow's black tower.and when ishy knew that dragon's coming is near he ordered taim to declare himself as dragon in order to cause destruction . and when rand declared his amnesty taim is sent in hope that he might take control of the management of BT and thus create even a large training pool for shadow?

but this hypothesis assumes that this plan of shadow was so important that taim was given a seal in order to convince rand to trust taim.

19

JakOShadows: 2005-06-29

Allright, I do see what you are saying. He would just need a few core people to starting turning people. Then the cycle would continue on with help from the newly turned people. I was just seeing the fact that Taim would need at least a few people to help, but you are right the Demandred could have done that. And I've have noticed Demandred's area he has controlled recently is the BT. Most likely, what they are trying to do now is turn the asha'man into their own personal army of channelers and have Rand be none the wiser. It obviously doesn't seem to go unnoticed though.

20

WinespringBrother: 2005-06-30

**Why would the Shadow leave training of its male dreadlords up to chance?

When did I ever say that it was? The fact that I believe Taim to be a Forsaken trained channeler, who just happens to be the leader of the Asha'man should more than show that I do not believe this was merely chance and coincidence. For Taim. That part, was planning.**

So you are acknowledging then that there was a formal Dreadlord training program then. You are agreeing with my premise of a Shadow Black Tower.

**Especially when they had 20 years notice that the Dragon was reborn and the Last Battle approaching?

Ah, so because Rand was born, the Shadow instantly thought, "We're going to need a lot more channelers on our side."?**

My argument is that they planned well before that and had the Shadow Tower in place, INSTEAD OF waiting for the last minute. 20 years is not an instant. And this Shadow Tower most likely was in place even before that.

**Or did you think they would leave it up to Rand's whim to start a training facility and then have their one supposed dreadlord Taim start putting out "We want you to join us" enticements secretively to new recruits.

Yes, I do. I feel the Shadow might have been taken for a surprise with the Black Tower being formed, but I could also see as actually motivated by the Shadow (after all, Ishamael more than likely gave Rand the idea anyway, when he told him he would have no Hundred Companions to help him -- doubt Rand instantly thought of this end result, but I'm sure he didn't forget that little push of knowledge).**

So you think Ishamael was counting on his little 100 Companions comment to inspire Rand to start a training facility that the Shadow could infiltrate to train their own male Dreadlords. Unlikely.

**Look at how RJ explained how the Black Ajah searches for canidates on the Tor interview Q&A -- I can see the exact same thing happening at the Black Tower, why can't you? Where's the secret White Tower that trains the Black Ajah, then?**

"secret White Tower that trains the Black Ajah"? They don't need a secret Tower. They are respected Aes Sedai, not taint-maddened male channelers. They have no need to form a Tower in secret when they have a perfectly fine White Tower to already infiltrate. The Shadow Tower didn't have that luxury until Rand started the Black Tower. So they had to congregate on their own without attracting attention, and thus doom, from the White Tower. Until Rand arrived and provided his amnesty, and the opportunity for the Shadow to send a few trained Dreadlords to spy on him.

21

Callandor: 2005-06-30

**So you are acknowledging then that there was a formal Dreadlord training program then. You are agreeing with my premise of a Shadow Black Tower.**

Not at all, WSB.

All I am saying, is that Taim was trained, by a Forsaken, and possibly ordered to the Black Tower -- not that there is an entire school that the Shadow uses for such purposes.

**My argument is that they planned well before that and had the Shadow Tower in place, INSTEAD OF waiting for the last minute. 20 years is not an instant. And this Shadow Tower most likely was in place even before that.**

Based on what? As far as I can see -- blind faith.

**So you think Ishamael was counting on his little 100 Companions comment to inspire Rand to start a training facility that the Shadow could infiltrate to train their own male Dreadlords. Unlikely.**

No, I don't -- but I leave it to possiblity. Whether it was planning or not on that front, it more than likely was an idea sparker for Rand.

**They don't need a secret Tower.**

EXACTLY! And neither does the Black Tower need a secret Dark Tower training.

**They are respected Aes Sedai, not taint-maddened male channelers. They have no need to form a Tower in secret when they have a perfectly fine White Tower to already infiltrate.**

I rest my case. How is this any different from the Black Tower at all?

The Black Ajah started in the White Tower, seeking out those Dark-siding people to become Darkfriends (or already were) -- the Black Tower is already there, it has a man more than likely a pretty dang high ranking evil-doer doing all the training.

Where is the difference that smacks of needing a completely seperate Dark Tower, and not just spur of the moment, but 20 years in the past?

**The Shadow Tower didn't have that luxury until Rand started the Black Tower. So they had to congregate on their own without attracting attention, and thus doom, from the White Tower.**

Just to show you how simple this would be to do if the same circumstances were used for recruiting in the Black Tower compared to Black Ajah recruiting, here's the Tor Q&A on the subject:

**Question:

How exactly does one become a Darkfriend? How does the recruiting structure for the Black Ajah work? Being Mistress of Novices, was Merean particularly active in recruiting?

Robert Jordan Answers:

By and large, each cell of Darkfriends recruits people it thinks are likely candidates, though they need to do so very carefully, studying them, sounding them out slowly. Darkfriends are always on the lookout for new members, since they feel very much like an oppressed minority and want to increase their numbers. Once a move to recruit is made, though, either it succeeds or the failed candidate dies.

For someone seeking actively to become a Darkfriend, generally one begins by trying to attract the attention of those who already are Darkfriends. One fairly safe way is to let comments drop that indicate that you don't think the Light is all it's cracked up to be, that praying to the Creator seems useless etc. If this comes to the wrong ears, you might be in varying degrees of trouble depending on what country you are in and who it is that overhears, but you are unlikely to get worse than a flogging from the authorities and possibly only a stern warning to watch your talk from somebody in a tavern, perhaps accompanied by a clout on the ear. Although someone might decide to slip a knife into you in some rougher areas of some towns. It's only relatively safe. By the by, claiming not to believe in the Creator is a good way to avoid recruitment by the Darkfriends. After all, if there is no Creator, how can the Dark One be imprisoned, and if he isn't, then why hasn't he taken over and rewarded the faithful? One of the fastest ways to attract attention is to show yourself willing to kill to advance yourself or simply for gain. That doesn't mean that every strongarm who's willing to slit a throat to steal a purse is a Darkfriend. Some of those might well be horrified by the suggestion. This method has its drawbacks, of course, since if you attract the attention of the authorities first, you are very likely to end up with a noose around your neck or a trip to the headsman's block.

In the White Tower, Black sisters watch novices and Accepted closely for any indication that they might be leaning toward the Shadow or susceptible to the promises of the Shadow. They also watch other sisters, since people do change. Not every Black sister was recruited on the day she gained the shawl nor soon after. Merean had a fine position for watching novices and Accepted, but many sisters teach. Some do little else, but others take turns at it for various periods, so Merean was not necessarily the primary recruiter during her time as Mistress of Novices, not even among those in her charge.**

So, where is the difference WSB?

Also, as an aside, doesn't this idea go contrary to your belief that Taim is not a Darkfriend? After all, why would he show favoritism and gain 4 Darkfriend followers, if he wasn't one himself?

22

mazrimashaman: 2005-07-01

Ok, just to clarrify this, it is very doutfull that taim was part of some BLACK tower, because if any one remembers(i have no exact quote but...) In the books, i believe it suggest that the thirteen ba were planning on turning him to the shadow, thus also giving a reason for the men who "dislike" his position. and the part about dememandred..was it... giving order that taim did but not knowing it Demandred does not know taim is shadow ...sorry if this makes no sence what-so ever, its 1:11 here, and ive been up since 4 this morning.

23

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-01

I base this theory on intuition, and the well-documented fact that the Dark One is very patient, knowing he has to only win once to gain final victory in the Last Battle. His altering of the weather, having Fain do his searching for several years and his main minion's plots such as sending Hawkwing's son out over the ocean, creation of the Black Ajah and the Three Oaths, all imply carefully laid plans. It would be a big thing for them to not plan a repository of male dreadlords for the final battle, which would conceivably give them a great advantage over a all-female White Tower.

As for Rand's inspiration for the Black Tower, a simple comment by his sworn enemy doesn't even rate consideration. If Rand thinks the 100 Companions sets a good example for his strategy, he can just use LTT's memories as a source for that.

As for needing a Tower, that's how the Shadow trains and protects its male dreadlords from detection. Without the White Tower, the Black Ajah may not exist, or would not be as powerful. A Shadow Tower provides hierarchy and training and discipline for the male dreadlords that would be all destroyed if they tried to survive on their own.

And the Q&A provided just proves that recruiting darkfriends is not so simple as one may think. Long careful thought is put into it before approaching someone, and great power and responsibility is not just given to a person who has been only a darkfriend for a couple of months. Witness Lady Shiaine, who had over 20 kills and was a darkfriend for a number of years before moving up in the ranks. An Asha'man rank darkfriend doesn't just get that job because the supposed main darkfriend, Taim, just met him less than 3 months ago, recruited him, decided he really does follow the Great Lord and gives him a high level job, which is where the Fearsome Foursome were by the battle of Dumai's Wells. My point is that they were probably darkfriends for longer than a few months, and earned their accolades elsewhere. The best way for a male dreadlord to prove himself is to be a powerful channeler, and that implies lots of training, and several of them imply organization.

As for 4 darkfriend followers under non-darkfriend Taim, it's not unusual. Witness darkfriend Alviarin under lightfriend Elaida. He didn't gain the darkfriend followers and show favoritism to them because he is a darkfriend, rather they gained favor through their abilities and attaching themselves to him as any respectible corporate yes-man would.

24

Callandor: 2005-07-02

**As for Rand's inspiration for the Black Tower, a simple comment by his sworn enemy doesn't even rate consideration. If Rand thinks the 100 Companions sets a good example for his strategy, he can just use LTT's memories as a source for that.**

You for some reason must believe that I accept that Ishamael inspired Rand to make the Black Tower -- I do not. I was simply throwing that out. I believe the Shadow got caught with it's pants down about the Black Tower.

**As for needing a Tower, that's how the Shadow trains and protects its male dreadlords from detection.**

Once again, supposition.

**Without the White Tower, the Black Ajah may not exist, or would not be as powerful.**

Without the White Tower, the Black Ajah is pointless. The same is true of any Darkfriend sect of male channelers without the Black Tower.

You say they need a place to hide -- where better than where the place started?

**A Shadow Tower provides hierarchy and training and discipline for the male dreadlords that would be all destroyed if they tried to survive on their own.**

And using the Black Tower as a hiding ground does not fulfill these criteria?

**And the Q&A provided just proves that recruiting darkfriends is not so simple as one may think. Long careful thought is put into it before approaching someone, and great power and responsibility is not just given to a person who has been only a darkfriend for a couple of months.**

It also shows how the Black Ajah is recruited for -- and how that recruitment can easily be transfered over to the Black Tower in the ways I have said.

As I mentioned before, the White Tower does not need a sperate Shadow Tower to train Black Ajah -- neither does the Black Tower need a seperate Shadow Tower to train Darkfriend male channelers.

**An Asha'man rank darkfriend doesn't just get that job because the supposed main darkfriend, Taim, just met him less than 3 months ago, recruited him, decided he really does follow the Great Lord and gives him a high level job, which is where the Fearsome Foursome were by the battle of Dumai's Wells.**

So, you are comparing a non-channeling assassain, to that of a male channeler in a unique position in the ranks of Mazrim Taim? How else can I say this comparison is not valid?

**My point is that they were probably darkfriends for longer than a few months, and earned their accolades elsewhere.**

And your point is a major supposition -- you cannot show to me that there is a difference in assignment for new-Darkfriends to the dedicated long-timers, in a unique situation that is the Black Tower.

Tell me, how long were some of the Forsaken Darkfriends before they commited their attrocities? Some quite a while -- yet others had only just turned at the end of the war. You cannot simply tell me the difference, without acutally knowing it. Otherwise, you're just supposing.

**The best way for a male dreadlord to prove himself is to be a powerful channeler, and that implies lots of training, and several of them imply organization.**

Which is given where? The Black Tower!

**As for 4 darkfriend followers under non-darkfriend Taim, it's not unusual.**

A what?!

**Witness darkfriend Alviarin under lightfriend Elaida.**

Ok, that comparison is terrible, WSB. Alviarin was in that position to dominate and control Elaida -- the 4 Darkfriend Asha'man were completely subserviant to Taim to the degree that they followed out his orders to kill the person who lead the faction they originally joined.

That's not even close to the same situation.

**He didn't gain the darkfriend followers and show favoritism to them because he is a darkfriend, rather they gained favor through their abilities and attaching themselves to him as any respectible corporate yes-man would.**

So, now you are saying that they did get trained at the Black Tower in these ways -- but Taim was completely inept to this. He just happened to order those 4 to kill Rand, out of coincidence I suppose....

25

JakOShadows: 2005-07-03

I agree with you winespringbrother. I didn't think about the fact that they would need protection too. And that would also account for why he has so much power right now in the darkfriend society. Good insight there.

26

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-04

The Shadow, who currently has the longest living, arguably most knowledgable living person, plus a Deity who has been planning for untold millennia, got caught with its pants down? It's not likely.

A separate sect of male channelers would indeed need a Tower, before the Black Tower ever existed or the thought even was imagined by Rand to start one. That is the basis of this theory. And the Black Ajah probably existed in other incarnations before being insinuated in the Tower. Think of all the Dreadlords in the Trolloc Wars. They were probably not hanging around the White Tower waiting to join the attack. They were most likely being trained in the Blight to work with the Trollocs and Fades.

The Black Tower didn't exist long enough to do any realistic screening for darkfriends. Recall how surprised Taim was that anyone even showed up for the Tower, let alone anyone who could learn to channel. The Shadow probably wouldn't even bother wasting the effort to try to find darkfriend male channelers there, with the odds stacked so much against them. They already found their male dreadlords and trained them before Taim ever showed up.

Even channeling darkfriends have to work their way up, and aren't automatically placed above non-channelers. Shiaine was placed above channelers, for whatever reason (in this case their failures) so it is not without precedent.

The Black Tower is just another organization, like the White Tower, or a government, that the Shadow wanted to infiltrate as part of Moridin's Sha'rah game. Nothing special about it, except it was best to place male dreadlords there, because that is the motif of the place.

There is no relevance to this theory to how long some of the Forsaken were Darkfriends. But all of them were in their position long enough to commit great atrocities, as recited by Rand to Taim at their first meeting.

My point about Alviarin and Elaida is that the Shadow doesn't need to have someone totally in charge, as long as there is someone in a high position to pull strings and keep an eye on things. As for following Taim's orders, or whoever may have been impersonating Taim, they are Darkfriends. So what if Rand was the leader of their faction that they joined? They weren't really following Rand, they were double agents and following the Dark One.

Taim was told to look for Forsaken or channelers that learn too fast, indeed. Yet he obviously wasn't hip to a Forsaken that did join the crew. So why would he be expected to catch on to the Fearsome Foursome being darkfriends?

27

Callandor: 2005-07-04

**The Shadow, who currently has the longest living, arguably most knowledgable living person, plus a Deity who has been planning for untold millennia, got caught with its pants down? It's not likely.**

So, with all their plans, and assertions that Rand would face the Dark One alone (as far as going to making a Dark Prophecy that states this exact thing), they couldn't be thrown for a loop?

With the Shadow being what it is, I can easily see them planning on Rand not making a center for male channelers expressly for the reason that the taint is still in place.

And it's not like all the Shadow's plans have been going exactly to accord. Ishamael's plans have been foiled a few times, Be'lal's, Rahvin's (as well as Sammael, Graendal, and Lanfear), Asmodean's, Sammael's again, Mesaana's.

So, how is it out of line that the Black Tower's creation didn't surprise the Shadow?

**A separate sect of male channelers would indeed need a Tower, before the Black Tower ever existed or the thought even was imagined by Rand to start one. That is the basis of this theory.**

And one in which you would have to prove the existance of a seperate sect of male channelers existing before the Black Tower was created. People that we are nearly for sure on being Dreadlords (IE: Taim), can be accounted to Forsaken training -- but not entire schools.

**And the Black Ajah probably existed in other incarnations before being insinuated in the Tower.**

So all of the planning you ascribe to Ishamael and the Dark One was for naught before then? Otherwise do you have a quote we do not?

**The Black Tower didn't exist long enough to do any realistic screening for darkfriends.**

Huh??? By the time of Dumai's Wells it had existed for two months! Day in, day out 24 hour screening for Darkfriends eager to serve is not out of the question here.

**Recall how surprised Taim was that anyone even showed up for the Tower, let alone anyone who could learn to channel. The Shadow probably wouldn't even bother wasting the effort to try to find darkfriend male channelers there, with the odds stacked so much against them. They already found their male dreadlords and trained them before Taim ever showed up.**

What odds stacked against them? You want to find the bad apples? Do you look in the pile of oranges? No, you look in the apple pile. A central location for male channelers is the perfect place to find Darkfriends of that nature -- the same way that finding Darkfriend female channelers is best done by searching in the White Tower.

**Even channeling darkfriends have to work their way up, and aren't automatically placed above non-channelers.**

Who said they were? All we know is that the 4 were Taim's lackies -- who cares who they could command.

**The Black Tower is just another organization, like the White Tower, or a government, that the Shadow wanted to infiltrate as part of Moridin's Sha'rah game. Nothing special about it, except it was best to place male dreadlords there, because that is the motif of the place.**

So you completely contradict your previous assertion that the Shadow wouldn't even look at the Black Tower for canidates? Which is it?

**There is no relevance to this theory to how long some of the Forsaken were Darkfriends. But all of them were in their position long enough to commit great atrocities, as recited by Rand to Taim at their first meeting.**

When they turned has everything to do with it, WSB.

You have the dedicated sworn to the Shadow and knew it long before anyone else (Ishamael, Semirhage, Lanfear, Aginor (I think he was one), and possibly some others I am forgetting), yet there are others who only turned very near the end (Be'lal, Sammael, Demandred), but they were all in high places of command for what they were.

You supposed that because they were Taim's lackies, and their positions, that they must have been Darkfriends for a long time -- the way the Forsaken turned early and some very near the end shows that can be a load of crock.

**My point about Alviarin and Elaida is that the Shadow doesn't need to have someone totally in charge, as long as there is someone in a high position to pull strings and keep an eye on things.**

Yeah, and again, how is this applying to Taim and the 4 Asha'man? Unless you are going for Taim being the Darkfriend and the others are not, since Taim is the one pulling the strings.

**As for following Taim's orders, or whoever may have been impersonating Taim, they are Darkfriends. So what if Rand was the leader of their faction that they joined? They weren't really following Rand, they were double agents and following the Dark One.**

So, you're saying, Taim is completely innocent, a nice guy, who just happens to be a sap and picked for favorites 4 Darkfriend male channelers? And then, someone else ordered them to kill Rand.

**Taim was told to look for Forsaken or channelers that learn too fast, indeed. Yet he obviously wasn't hip to a Forsaken that did join the crew. So why would he be expected to catch on to the Fearsome Foursome being darkfriends?**

1. Who says he didn't know about Dashiva? Or at least think he wasn't a Darkfriend (I highly doubt he knew he was a full fledge Forsaken)?

2. Let's say he didn't know anything about Dashiva and thought he was a good guy -- Dashiva left after only a little while it seems since he was not appart of the original group; yet the 4 Asha'man stayed with Taim ever since they arrived it seems.

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WinespringBrother: 2005-07-05

It's not about the Shadow creating male dreadlords to directly counter Rand's Black Tower, it's about Moridin's obsessive planning and string pulling for 1000's of years to have all his ducks in a row. And it's not about plans being foiled either. The ruined Forsaken plots - all high-profile - were ruined by Rand, Moiraine or Nynaeve because they were risky and exposed. The Shadow Tower is more like the Black Ajah, which until recently has acted with total impunity, for 1000's of years totally successfully, with many inside the White Tower not even believing in its existance. There is no comparison. And it is beside the point whether the Shadow was surprised by the creation of the Black Tower. They were already prepared. And none of the Forsaken POV's we see early in LOC reveal any panic about it. They just weren't concerned.

This is a theory, a supposition. Not a proof. If there was 100% proof of such a Tower, than it would be a very silly theory. This is Theoryland, not Proofland. As for the existance of this sect, it's not proven but it makes sense. There are thousand of darkfriends, operating in secret. The odds are, a small number of them, would be male sparkers, and the Shadow would utilize these assets, rather than let them go to waste, by organizing and training them to learn to channel, and find other darkfriends who could be learners.

"So all of the planning you ascribe to Ishamael and the Dark One was for naught before then? Otherwise do you have a quote we do not?"

What planning for naught is being referred to here?

2 months is a drop in the bucket compared to millennia of planning and preparations. It's very unlike the Dark One and the Forsaken, who intricately and meticulously plan for the smallest details, like learning to imitate 3rd age handwriting, and who know their long-term success depends on careful attention to detail. Even the Forsaken's failed plots were given a lot of thought before being put into motion.

Instead of looking in a giant pile of oranges (the entire population) with a deadline approaching (Tarmon Gai'don), why not already do that search in advance, which Moridin did. There is no indication anywhere that he doesn't plan that well, and leave things for the last minute.

It's significant that they were already Storm Leader, or Attack Leader, or what not, high level lieutenants in the Black Tower. Despite not having the same hierarchy, they are comparible to being sitters or Ajah heads, which are important jobs for black sisters in the Tower.

I never said they won't look in the Black Tower for candidates. But they already had their infiltrators beforehand.

No, I'm saying that while Taim isn't a goody two shoes (neither is Elaida), he isn't as aware of or in control of events as he thinks (neither is Elaida). Both found their seconds in command were traitors and declared them renegades.

If the Fearsome Foursome were all of a sudden raised to Chosen, that would be significant. But they weren't. So there is no comparing the Forsaken to them.

I think Dashiva impersonated Taim to tell them to kill Rand. That is why Demandred told Kisman to avoid discovery, "even by Taim, as though he didn't know of Taim's order."

Taim was clearly surprised by Dashiva's betrayal, as evidenced by his outburst on learning of Dashiva's attack on Rand. And the Fearsome Foursome were only with Taim for a little over a month after Dashiva's joining Rand. Hardly enough time for Taim to uncover a darkfriend cell when he had so many other things on his plate, like training and recruiting.

29

Callandor: 2005-07-06

**And it's not about plans being foiled either. The ruined Forsaken plots - all high-profile - were ruined by Rand, Moiraine or Nynaeve because they were risky and exposed. The Shadow Tower is more like the Black Ajah, which until recently has acted with total impunity, for 1000's of years totally successfully, with many inside the White Tower not even believing in its existance. There is no comparison.**

Yes, exactly my point -- the Black Ajah need to be inside the Tower to remain that hidden. Proposing the idea of a secret camp for training dreadlords, is completely unbased, as well as unneeded.

And the Forsaken's plots were hardly exposed -- the plan to drive Rand toward Sammael was on perfect course, until Rand decided to attack Rahvin; Mesaana's plot to capture Rand seems to be only foiled by Taim's intervention (and that may have even been part of the plot); and Moghedien's plans, c'mon there aren't any plans more secret than hers ;)

**And it is beside the point whether the Shadow was surprised by the creation of the Black Tower. They were already prepared.**

See, no, that is the point of why they were surprised -- they didn't see it coming, hence: not prepared!

And once again, your assertion that they were prepared -- total supposition.

**And none of the Forsaken POV's we see early in LOC reveal any panic about it. They just weren't concerned.**

Why should they be in early Lord of Chaos when they can already adapt to it's creation by that time? News of the Black Tower's creation was nearly a month old (or was it longer?) by that point -- you're telling me that they couldn't think to put a few high people in there in a few months and instead had to be planning for it for over 20 odd years???

**This is a theory, a supposition. Not a proof. If there was 100% proof of such a Tower, than it would be a very silly theory. This is Theoryland, not Proofland.**

Yes, WinespringBrother, the title of the place is well known. That doesn't mean that making up ideas with absolutely no hints to their backing are going to even come close to flying.

**As for the existance of this sect, it's not proven but it makes sense.**

Ah, so my objections are just incoherent babble? For after all, this makes complete sense.

**2 months is a drop in the bucket compared to millennia of planning and preparations. It's very unlike the Dark One and the Forsaken, who intricately and meticulously plan for the smallest details, like learning to imitate 3rd age handwriting, and who know their long-term success depends on careful attention to detail. Even the Forsaken's failed plots were given a lot of thought before being put into motion.**

Cleansing attack? Hmm.....

**Instead of looking in a giant pile of oranges (the entire population) with a deadline approaching (Tarmon Gai'don), why not already do that search in advance, which Moridin did. There is no indication anywhere that he doesn't plan that well, and leave things for the last minute.**

See, here is the problem with you saying it's Theoryland -- you're stating your ideas as facts here, by saying that Moridin actually went and did these things, just because you believe them. It's not proofland, and you're not making a proof at all -- you supposing big time, and making a show of it.

**It's significant that they were already Storm Leader, or Attack Leader, or what not, high level lieutenants in the Black Tower.**

They didn't get those titles until The Path of Daggers, not at Dumai's Wells.

**Despite not having the same hierarchy, they are comparible to being sitters or Ajah heads, which are important jobs for black sisters in the Tower.**

Oh my god! Because the Black Tower has a chain of command that means there must have been deep Shadow planning about it! It all makes so much sense!

...

Or! The Shadow got thrown for a loop, sent one of their actual Forsaken trained Dreadlords to capitalize, and since he is the leader anyway, he can appoint whoever the heck he wants to be his lackies -- they just happen to be Darkfriends (please note the sarcasm).

**I never said they won't look in the Black Tower for candidates. But they already had their infiltrators beforehand.**

Once again, supposition, completely unbased, and there is no way no earth you can even convincingly show that the ones who became Taim's lackies were nothing more than ignorant morons with a slide to the Dark side being a good chance.

**No, I'm saying that while Taim isn't a goody two shoes (neither is Elaida), he isn't as aware of or in control of events as he thinks (neither is Elaida). Both found their seconds in command were traitors and declared them renegades.**

Yet, the difference is Taim hand picked his lackies (FOUR of them -- not one), and trained them, while Elaida was in a position of either appointing Alvarin to be her second or never becoming Amyrlin in the first place.

As you said before, the situation is not comparable.

**If the Fearsome Foursome were all of a sudden raised to Chosen, that would be significant. But they weren't. So there is no comparing the Forsaken to them.**

And who the hell said they were Forsaken or even stood a chance at becoming them? No one! That is not what I am saying WinespringBrother, and I'm sick and tired of you saying I do not have a point here.

Here it is:

**You have the dedicated sworn to the Shadow and knew it long before anyone else (Ishamael, Semirhage, Lanfear, Aginor (I think he was one), and possibly some others I am forgetting), yet there are others who only turned very near the end (Be'lal, Sammael, Demandred), but they were all in high places of command for what they were.

You supposed that because they were Taim's lackies, and their positions, that they must have been Darkfriends for a long time -- the way the Forsaken turned early and some very near the end shows that can be a load of crock.**

The mighty and dreaded Forsaken were composed of dedicated Shadowsworn people for quite a long time, as well as the fresh turners. The backbone of the Shadow is to turn new people over to the Dark to be used. With the Black Tower you have the same situation going on. You have Taim as the long serving one, and he suddenly and miraculously has 4 lackies who all turn out to be Darkfriends -- he trained them, he guided them, he spent day in and day out for months with them, but you simply say "Oh, they must have already been Darkfriends, because the timing is too short for them to be in those positions."

That is such bull, and I'm surprised you haven't caught on to that yet.

**I think Dashiva impersonated Taim to tell them to kill Rand. That is why Demandred told Kisman to avoid discovery, "even by Taim, as though he didn't know of Taim's order."**

Once again, supposition. All I have to do is quote the section where it says that Taim ordered them, and I already have a stronger case against you by doing that.

**Hardly enough time for Taim to uncover a darkfriend cell when he had so many other things on his plate, like training and recruiting.**

Yeah, more like because there wasn't ever a Darkfriend cell, and they were being trained by Taim for that entire 2 months (65 days from creation of Black Tower to Dumai's Wells by WoT Chronology, but it is not for sure when the 4 joined, but it seems to be quite close to the start of Lord of Chaos anyway) -- day in and day out.

I really think you need to sit down and realize how big a chunk of time that is to spend with people constantly, and to get to know them inside and out isn't hard in two months (think how much you yourself have changed over any one of your summer breaks). Finding what these guys actually believe in and seeing the Dark side of things -- relatively easy by any comparison.

30

JakOShadows: 2005-07-07

Winespringbro: Everything you said makes since. I was just wondering if you could give me page numbers for your quotes so I could look at them myself. But besides that your theory makes a lot of sense. And it matches up very well with what their strategy is in all the other organizations. For example, Rand has some BA close to him in all the countries he's ruling and the WT is controlled much the same way. The same thing with the Seanchan. So it stays in line with events.

31

Frenzy: 2005-07-11

Callandor, do you think male Dreadlords just sprout up like mushrooms after a spring rain?

TITLE: The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time

CHAPTER: Rise and Fall of the Ten Nations

No reason for the Trolloc invasion is known. In most cases these armies were commanded by Dreadlords Shadowsworn who could channel who were most often women, many of them believed to be renegade Aes Sedai (almost certainly Black Ajah, by definition), ***though there were no small numbers of male Dreadlords.*** Without doubt some of the men were Darkfriends, but it is possible that some turned to the Shadow rather than face gentling or death.

Considering there's no organization for active male channelers in the Westlands akin to the White Tower, Wise Ones, Ayyad or Windfinders, where did these Dreadlords come from?

32

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-11

"So, with all their plans, and assertions that Rand would face the Dark One alone (as far as going to making a Dark Prophecy that states this exact thing), they couldn't be thrown for a loop?

With the Shadow being what it is, I can easily see them planning on Rand not making a center for male channelers expressly for the reason that the taint is still in place. And it's not like all the Shadow's plans have been going exactly to accord. Ishamael's plans have been foiled a few times, Be'lal's, Rahvin's (as well as Sammael, Graendal, and Lanfear), Asmodean's, Sammael's again, Mesaana's. So, how is it out of line that the Black Tower's creation didn't surprise the Shadow?" "Yes, exactly my point -- the Black Ajah need to be inside the Tower to remain that hidden. Proposing the idea of a secret camp for training dreadlords, is completely unbased, as well as unneeded. And the Forsaken's plots were hardly exposed -- the plan to drive Rand toward Sammael was on perfect course, until Rand decided to attack Rahvin; Mesaana's plot to capture Rand seems to be only foiled by Taim's intervention (and that may have even been part of the plot); and Moghedien's plans, c'mon there aren't any plans more secret than hers ;)"

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All I'm saying is that their long-term plans - mainly to do with setting up forces for the Last Battle, such as the consolidation of Seanchan, the destruction of Hawkwing's empire, the creation of the Black Ajah - have been very successful. That's why I believe they also set up a repository of male channelers in advance.

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"See, no, that is the point of why they were surprised -- they didn't see it coming, hence: not prepared. And once again, your assertion that they were prepared -- total supposition."

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Well there is zero proof that they were surprised also, so your assertion as just as much theoretical as mine. You should make a theory about it.

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"Why should they be in early Lord of Chaos when they can already adapt to it's creation by that time? News of the Black Tower's creation was nearly a month old (or was it longer?) by that point -- you're telling me that they couldn't think to put a few high people in there in a few months and instead had to be planning for it for over 20 odd years???"

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That's the difference between our arguments. I don't think the Shadow anticipated a Black Tower, but they already had male channelers to infiltrate it. You believe they didn't have any male channelers trained and decided to start looking for them.

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"Yes, WinespringBrother, the title of the place is well known. That doesn't mean that making up ideas with absolutely no hints to their backing are going to even come close to flying."

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Well, that is YOUR opinion.

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"Ah, so my objections are just incoherent babble? For after all, this makes complete sense."

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I didn't say your objections are incoherent babble.

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""Cleansing attack. Hmmm...."

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The Shadow had little intelligence to go on, and what they did have, was interpreted perfectly. How the heck did Moridin guess that Rand would use the CK to cleanse saidin, based on the fact that he has them and that he plans to cleanse saidin? Unless he had other sources of info that are yet to be revealed. Though only Rand, Min, Nynaeve and Lan knew his plans before the FCH (he told Cadsuane after they left Far Madding, IIRC).

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"See, here is the problem with you saying it's Theoryland -- you're stating your ideas as facts here, by saying that Moridin actually went and did these things, just because you believe them. It's not proofland, and you're not making a proof at all -- you supposing big time, and making a show of it."

------------

I didn't say as fact that Moridin (actually Ishamael) went and did these things. I said that he is a meticulous planner, which is a fact, unless you are disputing that, and it makes sense for him to create his own Black Tower.

------------

"They didn't get those titles until The Path of Daggers, not at Dumai's Wells."

------------

They still got the titles in a very short time.

------------

"Oh my god! Because the Black Tower has a chain of command that means there must have been deep Shadow planning about it! It all makes so much sense!"

------------

The deep Shadow planning is based on Moridin's/Ishamael's organizational type personality, not on the Black Tower chain of command. You are confusing correlation with cause and effect.

------------

"Once again, supposition, completely unbased, and there is no way no earth you can even convincingly show that the ones who became Taim's lackies were nothing more than ignorant morons with a slide to the Dark side being a good chance."

------------

Then how did Taim find so many (3) who were likely sparkers due to their ages, and thus likely to be of much higher than average ability? That is very much against the odds.

------------

"Yet, the difference is Taim hand picked his lackies (FOUR of them -- not one), and trained them, while Elaida was in a position of either appointing Alvarin to be her second or never becoming Amyrlin in the first place. As you said before, the situation is not comparable."

------------

Taim may have picked them, but they were the best candidates for the job because of their previous training. They were "pre-selected" by the Shadow to go and earn the jobs as Taim lieutenants because they had the best chances of doing so.

------------

"Once again, supposition. All I have to do is quote the section where it says that Taim ordered them, and I already have a stronger case against you by doing that." [about Dashiva impersonating Taim].

------------

Your stronger case isn't foolproof though, and it doesn't explain why Demandred ordered the Fearsome Foursome to avoid discovery by Taim. Mine does - that Taim has declared them traitors and anathema, and will kill them or capture and question them and find out they are darkfriends.

------------

"**Hardly enough time for Taim to uncover a darkfriend cell when he had so many other things on his plate, like training and recruiting.** Yeah, more like because there wasn't ever a Darkfriend cell, and they were being trained by Taim for that entire 2 months (65 days from creation of Black Tower to Dumai's Wells by WoT Chronology, but it is not for sure when the 4 joined, but it seems to be quite close to the start of Lord of Chaos anyway) -- day in and day out. I really think you need to sit down and realize how big a chunk of time that is to spend with people constantly, and to get to know them inside and out isn't hard in two months (think how much you yourself have changed over any one of your summer breaks). Finding what these guys actually believe in and seeing the Dark side of things -- relatively easy by any comparison."

------------

Well, you can spend 2 months with someone and think you know them well. You can also spend years with someone and not know them at all. One of Siuan's best friends, Delana, is a darkfriend, but certainly has kept that totally hidden from Siuan, who is one of the most insightful and politically astute characters there is. And Seaine, while only a "logical" person, was totally blind to the same about her good friend of over 100 years, Talene. Not to mention Asne's 3 non-darkfriend warders. And Ingtar, who was with Rand and co. for quite a long time.

------------

33

Callandor: 2005-07-12

**Callandor, do you think male Dreadlords just sprout up like mushrooms after a spring rain?**

Depends on the situation. With a high-ranking Darkfriend in control of a place of central male channeling (The Black Tower under Taim of course), I can see them showing up quite a bit. Merely on their own? No.

**Considering there's no organization for active male channelers in the Westlands akin to the White Tower, Wise Ones, Ayyad or Windfinders, where did these Dreadlords come from?**

There are wilders Frenzy, and even wilders can be Darkfriends, especially with the taint being an influence.

34

solomonrex: 2005-07-12

One simple point:

The OP doesn't work the same in the Blight.

So the 'Other' Black Tower would have some trouble training male Channelers, even if the Forsaken had been available 20 years ago, even if the 'teachers' weren't going mad every 20 years (there's no evidence that the DO could protect channelers prior to the seals weakening), even if the Myrdraal and Trollocs could get along with them (they can't). I think basically, Dreadlords are a short-term thing, they're just channelers and leadership drawn from DFs. Nothing more. There's no alternate white tower. The DO isn't into building things and organizing things and helping people.

There's no other black tower.

35

Callandor: 2005-07-13

**That's the difference between our arguments. I don't think the Shadow anticipated a Black Tower, but they already had male channelers to infiltrate it. You believe they didn't have any male channelers trained and decided to start looking for them.**

Wrong WinespringBrother. I have repeatedly pointed out that I firmly believe Mazrim Taim to be a Dreadlord as well as Forsaken trained, and he is the one that is doing the looking and "converting" for these new Dreadlords you speak of. But Taim was the only original male channeler to join the Tower -- the rest weren't.

**Well, that is YOUR opinion.**

How is it my opinion? It's a simple statement: your theory is based on a completely supposed concept -- that there was already a school of male channelers already in existance. You have not proof of it's existance or even hints.

**I didn't say your objections are incoherent babble.**

No, but you're saying that a completely hidden sect of Darkfriend male channelers makes more sense than the Shadow capitalizing on having a Dreadlord in command of the Black Tower.

**How the heck did Moridin guess that Rand would use the CK to cleanse saidin, based on the fact that he has them and that he plans to cleanse saidin? Unless he had other sources of info that are yet to be revealed.**

You do remember that Dashiva was in Rand's group....

**Though only Rand, Min, Nynaeve and Lan knew his plans before the FCH (he told Cadsuane after they left Far Madding, IIRC).**

He let slip his plans to Cleanse saidin in The Path of Daggers, chapter 14, Message From the M'Hael. In hearing of it were Torval, Narishma, Morr, Hopwil (who look at him with wonderment and hope), and Dashiva (who looks poleaxed).

It's funny that Torval, one of the Darkfriends, and one you propose was apart of a secrect sect of male channelers prior to the Black Tower, reacts the same way as some of Rand's companions do to the possiblitiy of Cleansing saidin. You would think they would've heard of/maybe even had the ability to become protected by the taint.

**I didn't say as fact that Moridin (actually Ishamael) went and did these things. I said that he is a meticulous planner, which is a fact, unless you are disputing that, and it makes sense for him to create his own Black Tower.**

So, let me get this straight.

You're not saying that Ishamael/Moridin created the Black Tower.

You're just saying that Ishamael/Moridin is a good planner.

But then you say it makes sense for Ishamael to create the Black Tower.

Which is it WinespringBrother? Pick one, stick to it, and accept that it's a supposition instead of trying to dodge it.

Yes, Ishamael/Moridin is a meticulous planner -- but we already have one example of him setting up a secret sect of Darkfriend channelers already setup in an established culture of channelers with the Black Ajah. Which do you think would be his method of action?

**They still got the titles in a very short time.**

A title can be given at anytime -- but you seem to be implying that they got titles because they are simply Darkfriends (again, I'm wondering how the heck you can go for this option, but take the utter opposite about Taim himself), and not because they're training was enough at that point.

By The Path of Daggers, Chapter 14, Message From the M'Hael, there are 29 Asha'man. I guess they were all Darkfriends that came to the Black Tower?

From the day the Tower was founded to the time the first title is used, is almost 3 months, and at that time, again, there are 29 full Asha'man. The training is fast, the men learn fast, and Taim and the others are good teachers. That is how you get the Asha'man so fast -- that, after all, is the point that Rand wanted.

**The deep Shadow planning is based on Moridin's/Ishamael's organizational type personality, not on the Black Tower chain of command. You are confusing correlation with cause and effect.**

No, you're saying Ishamael has a personality opperation that is incorrect. Ishamael works from within, by creating a sect of Darkfriends -- IE: the Black Ajah.

Once again, the way the Black Ajah, and Darkfriends at large, increase their numbers should be the working model for where the 4 Darkfriend Asha'man came from -- Taim selected them, Taim trained them, Taim groomed them. Not that they came from outside and supposed sources.

**Then how did Taim find so many (3) who were likely sparkers due to their ages, and thus likely to be of much higher than average ability? That is very much against the odds.**

You're kidding me right? The 4 that came were learners -- Jahar is the only one remarked upon as being a learner. Sparkers aren't the only ones with ability, WinespringBrother.

**Taim may have picked them, but they were the best candidates for the job because of their previous training.**

Once again, supposition, and it would seem that would slide into Taim being a Darkfriend then.

**Your stronger case isn't foolproof though, and it doesn't explain why Demandred ordered the Fearsome Foursome to avoid discovery by Taim.**

Because Demandred has his own plans? Because Demandred doesn't work with Taim? Because he's telling them to be careful?

**Well, you can spend 2 months with someone and think you know them well. You can also spend years with someone and not know them at all. One of Siuan's best friends, Delana, is a darkfriend, but certainly has kept that totally hidden from Siuan, who is one of the most insightful and politically astute characters there is. And Seaine, while only a "logical" person, was totally blind to the same about her good friend of over 100 years, Talene. Not to mention Asne's 3 non-darkfriend warders. And Ingtar, who was with Rand and co. for quite a long time.**

But...

And this really takes the brillant leap here, WinespringBrother...

Not one of those examples, were Darkfriends looking for possible fellow Darkfriends or potentials.

Taim, a Darkfriend, and seeking out ones to train and advance, given the methods RJ has already handed down as being the ones the Black Ajah and other Darkfriends already use, to the ones that either were thinking about it in themselves, or had resolved the idea that they were going to be Darkfriends, or already were (but not in a secret sect of male channelers set up some many many years ago as you claim -- just average Darkfriends), and he found those 4. That would take a lot less time for Taim, and be far more obvious to him, than a Light-follower trying to find Darkfriends (or in the case of your examples, them not trying to find Darkfriends).

**There's no alternate white tower. The DO isn't into building things and organizing things and helping people.**

He is with the Black Ajah -- but that requires an already present White Tower, not an alternate one as you already pointed out. Surprisingly nice parallel to the Black Tower....

36

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-13

Solomonrex:"The OP doesn't work the same in the Blight."

Is there a quote you can provide that demonstrates this?

Solomonrex:"So the 'Other' Black Tower would have some trouble training male Channelers, even if the Forsaken had been available 20 years ago, even if the 'teachers' weren't going mad every 20 years (there's no evidence that the DO could protect channelers prior to the seals weakening), even if the Myrdraal and Trollocs could get along with them (they can't). I think basically, Dreadlords are a short-term thing, they're just channelers and leadership drawn from DFs. Nothing more. There's no alternate white tower. The DO isn't into building things and organizing things and helping people."

They wouldn't have used forsaken as teachers, since they were all locked up. They would use already trained male dreadlords. Remember, saidin channelers live for hundred of years, even longer than oathbound aes sedai. So while their #'s are fewer, they make up for it in longevity. And who says they can't cooperate with fades and trollocs? They did just that in the Trolloc Wars. And it has nothing to do with building things and helping people, it is part of his overall plot to destroy the Wheel of Time.

37

ThunderWalker: 2005-07-13


From Frenzy's quote "***though there were no small numbers of male Dreadlords.*** Without doubt some of the men were Darkfriends, but it is possible that some turned to the Shadow rather than face gentling or death."

No small number. I would think Ishamael had something in place to train them. Also, I don't think there is any proof that the Dark Ones protection against the taint was not avaliable to others since the sealing. Ishamael was running around with taint protection while the seals were not "weak".

Whether or not there was an official Dark Tower, I wouldn't think that Ishamael would have put all his eggs in one basket (that is if Taim is a dreadlord). There is more than likely more than one male dreadlord available for insertion into the Black Tower. A taint protected male power user would live quite a long time without being subject to a Binder. Although Ishamael would only be able to recruit while he was free from the bore, it is not beyond posiblilty that there were at least a handful around. So there may not be Hundreds of male dreadlords, but there may be a few.

Once the Black Tower was formed, it would only be natural to place a few Dreadloards there, similar to the Black Ajah in the white tower. In fact, the Black Tower's existance would greatly aid in increasing the Dreadlords number by providing an easier method for recruitment.

I guess what I am saying is that a "Dark School for Dreadlords" may not be necessary. Ishamael could just have a few apprentaces at a time, who could even live among the non-power users (since there is no way for an Aes Sedai to detect a male channeler who is descreet).

And the core baddies in the Black Tower could have been power wielding darkfriends, ie. Dreadlords, before the Black Tower started recruiting.

38

Frenzy: 2005-07-13

Frenzy originally wrote: **Callandor, do you think male Dreadlords just sprout up like mushrooms after a spring rain?**

Callandor replied: Depends on the situation. With a high-ranking Darkfriend in control of a place of central male channeling (The Black Tower under Taim of course), I can see them showing up quite a bit. Merely on their own? No.

Frenzy's response: Then explain the male dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars. No Black Tower back then, yes?

Callandor writes: By The Path of Daggers, Chapter 14, Message From the M'Hael, there are 29 Asha'man. I guess they were all Darkfriends that came to the Black Tower?


From the day the Tower was founded to the time the first title is used, is almost 3 months, and at that time, again, there are 29 full Asha'man. The training is fast, the men learn fast, and Taim and the others are good teachers.

Frenzy's response: Can you then explain why every single Asha'man not with Rand is in Taim's camp, receiving special lessons? And why the Asha'man WITH Rand have been named by Taim as deserters?

39

Callandor: 2005-07-13

**They wouldn't have used forsaken as teachers, since they were all locked up. They would use already trained male dreadlords. Remember, saidin channelers live for hundred of years, even longer than oathbound aes sedai. So while their #'s are fewer, they make up for it in longevity. And who says they can't cooperate with fades and trollocs? They did just that in the Trolloc Wars. And it has nothing to do with building things and helping people, it is part of his overall plot to destroy the Wheel of Time.**

Ah, so now all the teachers at this training camp have the Black Cords? Otherwise, you have hundreds of year old male channeling teachers -- who are mad, if not rotted to dust.

**Frenzy's response: Then explain the male dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars. No Black Tower back then, yes?**

Wilders.

**Frenzy's response: Can you then explain why every single Asha'man not with Rand is in Taim's camp, receiving special lessons? And why the Asha'man WITH Rand have been named by Taim as deserters?**

And, yes I can. My view of it is simple: Taim is recruiting people who either lean toward the Shadow or already are Darkfriends (but not apart of a sepereate sect of male channelers), and is making them into informal (or even formal, who knows right now) Dreadlords.

It's no strange coincidence that the 4 that were Taim's lackies were Darkfriends, when we know the way they were trained, we know the way Darkfriends and Black Ajah recruit, and when it is highly likely that the only one at the Black Tower can raise people in rank is a full fledge Dreadlord himself and possibly even Forsaken trained.

I for one do not see how this notion of the need for a seperate Black Tower even got started. Go to the source: Taim. Taim is a Darkfriend if not a Dreadlord; it's one of the most likely things in the series (I only say that he is a Darkfriend to erk WinespringBrother ;)). All of a sudden, his lackies are doing Darkfriend acts -- gee, I wonder why!

And for why the Asha'man with Rand have been labeled deserters, I don't really see the relavence here. Taim's arrogant and rising above himself -- even WinespringBrother believes that idea (I think so, sorry if I misinterpreted).

40

JakOShadows: 2005-07-14

Frenzy: At first it seemed like a good idea. But as I took a closer look at it, it seems highly unlikely that they had a whole school. Probably what could have happened is as Thunderwalk put it, the forsaken to a few male channelers then left it up to them to recruit, like in the WT. And then a forsaken with the right connections could place someone in the Black Tower to gain more recruitment, and actually use people who were accounted to be good at it. And since it is likely, they could have easily found this much support in 3 months. And the hard training which burns men out could also help hide a lot of the leak of information. So it is actually an excellent situation to this, and it would not necessarily require another BT.

41

Frenzy: 2005-07-19

Oh, i don't think there was a formal brick-and-mortar Black Tower prior to Rand's "farm." But i also don't think fully-trained Male Dreadlords sprung full-grown Athena-style into the Trolloc Wars. The truth is probably somewhere in-between. After all, the grandiose-sounding "Daughters of Silence" had a mere 23 members.

42

Callandor: 2005-07-20

**But i also don't think fully-trained Male Dreadlords sprung full-grown Athena-style into the Trolloc Wars.**

I don't see a reference for a fully trained Dreadlord male channeler in the Trolloc Wars, Frenzy.

43

Frenzy: 2005-07-20

Callandor says: I don't see a reference for a fully trained Dreadlord male channeler in the Trolloc Wars, Frenzy.

Frenzy replies: You made me burn 2 searches for this, Callandor. Good job. Next time do your own damn research. :p

EotW Glossary -

Dreadlords: Those men and women who, able to channel the One Power, went over to the Shadow during the Trolloc Wars, acting as ***commanders of the Trolloc forces.***


EotW Chapter 9: Tellings of the Wheel -

"The host that faced the men of Manetheren was enough to daunt the bravest heart. Ravens blackened the sky; Trollocs blackened the land. Trollocs and their human allies. Trollocs and Darkfriends in tens of tens of thousands, and ***Dreadlords to command.***

Do you think they gave command to Novices?


tDR Chapter 23: Sealed -

"Browns seek knowledge, Blues meddle in causes, and Whites consider the questions of truth with implacable logic. We all do some of it all, of course. But to be a Green means to stand ready." A note of pride entered Alanna's voice. "In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. ***We were the counter to the Dreadlords.*** The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green."

Do you think an entire Ajah's purpose is to counter untrained Wilders?



BWB Chapter: Rise and Fall of the Ten Nations -

No reason for the Trolloc invasion is known. In most cases these armies were commanded by Dreadlords Shadowsworn who could channel who were most often women, many of them believed to be renegade Aes Sedai (almost certainly Black Ajah, by definition), though there were no small numbers of male Dreadlords. Without doubt some of the men were Darkfriends, but it is possible that some turned to the Shadow rather than face gentling or death.

There's no differentiation between the Aes Sedai Dreadlords and the male dreadlords in terms of rank. One is not considered superior to the other. Aes Sedai are VERY thoroughly trained, wouldn't you say?

44

Callandor: 2005-07-20

**Do you think they gave command to Novices?**

No, they give command to experienced commanders -- yet that is irrelevant to channeling ability and knowledge of channeling.

**Do you think an entire Ajah's purpose is to counter untrained Wilders?**

Wilders commanding large swarms of Trollocs and Myrddraal, and utilizing a power that is undetectable to female channelers -- yes.

And not to mention that not all Dreadlords were male of course.

**There's no differentiation between the Aes Sedai Dreadlords and the male dreadlords in terms of rank. One is not considered superior to the other. Aes Sedai are VERY thoroughly trained, wouldn't you say?**

Yes, Aes Sedai are very well trained. But that does not mean the male Dreadlords were well trained.

Look, of course there wouldn't be a difference in rank between Aes Sedai and male Dreadlord -- because they are one in the same. They're both refered to as Dreadlords.

Furthermore, it's just another showing of Darkfriend hierarchies that there is no difference between the normal high and mighty and the normal low. We've seen beggers that could have high lords on their knees if they commanded it. Does that mean that the beggers will have more money? Of course not.

You still haven't given a reference to show that male Dreadlords were "fully trained."

45

Frenzy: 2005-07-20

Callandor, going off your definition of Dreadlord (that dreadlords are commanders that can channel, nothing more), a novice is an Aes Sedai because she can channel. i'd say that's stupid, but that same logic was applied to raise Egwene to the Amyrlin Seat.

No, it's still stupid, it just isn't unique.

A Wilder is defined in the books as someone who has self-taught nominal control over the Power. Nominal, not proficient. Think Nynaever before Moiraine showed up in Emonds Field. Yes, she can channel and yes, she's very powerful, but she couldn't consciously channel to save her skin. Why would the Shadow give someone of that level of inexperience a position of command and a position that requires active channeling? That makes no sense.

46

Callandor: 2005-07-21

**Callandor, going off your definition of Dreadlord (that dreadlords are commanders that can channel, nothing more), a novice is an Aes Sedai because she can channel. i'd say that's stupid, but that same logic was applied to raise Egwene to the Amyrlin Seat.**

Not my definition, Frenzy -- the one you gave:

**Dreadlords: Those men and women who, able to channel the One Power, went over to the Shadow during the Trolloc Wars, acting as ***commanders of the Trolloc forces.***

Once again, they're commanders. Some like Aes Sedai Dreadlords are well trained. But nothing we've seen indicates that male Dreadlords were anything but wilders.

**Nominal, not proficient.**

Yeah, is anything else needed?

**Think Nynaever before Moiraine showed up in Emonds Field. Yes, she can channel and yes, she's very powerful, but she couldn't consciously channel to save her skin.**

Blocks are different for different people.

**That makes no sense.**

You're complaining about plans of the Shadow not making sense? Hate to say it, but where is this inconsistant with the books? ;)

47

Frenzy: 2005-07-21

Callandor says: "But nothing we've seen indicates that male Dreadlords were anything but wilders."

And Wilders never ever ever band together for mutual protection, profit, aid or free rounds at the tavern?

48

Callandor: 2005-07-21

**And Wilders never ever ever band together for mutual protection, profit, aid or free rounds at the tavern?**

Maybe, but that's hardly fully trained, as you were ascribing, and are currently implying ;)

49

Frenzy: 2005-07-21

There you go, assuming only the orthodox institution can fully train a channeler. How Aes Sedai of you. :p

There's a chance that the male dreadlords weren't fully formally trained, but there's a HELL of a lot more logic to the concept that they had some sort of training than to expect they cropped up self-taught and ready to rumble.

50

Jalt Varyd: 2005-07-21

I can believe that the Shadow would have some sort of training program for male Darkfriend wilders, but it doesn't seem that there would have been an apparent need for large numbers of well trained male Dreadlords. The Forsaken were clearly not expecting the cleansing of the Taint - they did try to stop it, but lacked a well-organised plan for dealing with the attempt. Thus, the Shadow was most likely depending on the Taint to keep the Dragon Reborn from gathering any sort of effective army of male channelers. Had this worked, male Dreadlords would not need Aes Sedai level training. They are fighting as part of an army, with Black Ajah assistance, and the Aes Sedai could not easily get much experience at dealing with Saidin.

Any sort of training program for male channelers would be very dangerous, and difficult to disguise. The bigger the group was, the harder it would be to conceal The Aes Sedai might allow small groups of female channelers to exist, as long as they keep quiet and don't cause trouble, but nobody would permit the existance of a school for male channelers. If it was discovered, it could also draw attention to anyone who might have been involved in the project. Why go to such trouble and risk when a handfull of partially trained Wilders is more than you expect your enemy to have?

51

Callandor: 2005-07-22

**There you go, assuming only the orthodox institution can fully train a channeler. How Aes Sedai of you.**

Look at how well trained Nynaeve was, Even Rand was nothing close at all to "fully trained" and he has severe differences with any other male channeler.

**There's a chance that the male dreadlords weren't fully formally trained, but there's a HELL of a lot more logic to the concept that they had some sort of training than to expect they cropped up self-taught and ready to rumble.**

Again, it is unbased. There is nothing that states that male Dreadlords were anything more than wilders, and nothing at all that they were fully trained or even a little trained.

The proposed logic here is based on claiming an institution exists dedicated to training these people. It's completely unbased, and outlandish, as well as unneeded.

52

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-24

"Look at how well trained Nynaeve was, Even Rand was nothing close at all to "fully trained" and he has severe differences with any other male channeler. "

You are choosing the strongest channeler of the age, and one of the strongest, as your examples for skilled, non-trained channelers. Skill in learning the One Power is directly related to channeling ability, so those 2 don't need as much training as the average channeler. Besides, Rand did get some training from Asmodean which got him to the point that he can seize saidin whenever he tries, which he couldn't before the training. If the most powerful saidin channeler needed training for that, what about the average saidin channeler. Also, how do you know he has severe differences with any other male channeler? That's a big assumption. He hasn't been compared with many male channelers, especially of the third age. And he is pretty close to Taim, as well.

53

Callandor: 2005-07-25

** Besides, Rand did get some training from Asmodean which got him to the point that he can seize saidin whenever he tries, which he couldn't before the training.**

So, you are arguing my point for me? Well, thank you.

**If the most powerful saidin channeler needed training for that, what about the average saidin channeler.**

Hmm, they would most likely need training.

**Also, how do you know he has severe differences with any other male channeler? That's a big assumption.**

Rand suddenly spouting a new weave which even he doesn't know and knowledge that comes from a previous life? That's quite a difference from normal channelers, WSB.

Look, you and Frenzy are simply not going to dislodge this point that I am making: the Dreadlords are never refered to as full trained. They could all be wilders. There are reports of Aes Sedai fighting for them, great, they're fully trained I would say, but the male channelers are definately not.

All the Dreadlords did were command the Shadowspawn. They were commanders. Wilder male channeler Darkfriends, are still quite dangerous in and of themselves. They may not be able to reach saidin everytime, but when they do...

I'll state my objections one to this theory one final time WSB.

You're proposing that there needs to be a seperate school of training specifically for Darkfriend male channelers, and that this is proven because Gedwyn, Rochaid, Torval, and Kisman all learned what they did fast and became leaders and Asha'man fast.

This does not neccessiate a completely other school of training. All this requires, is intensive training (Black Tower already does that), a leader who shows favoritism (Taim definately does that, Darkfriend or not), a leader who is a Darkfriend (Taim could very easily be a Darfriend), a relative amount of time (they had a few months there day in day out), and a tendancy toward or already Darkfriends in the canidates (this is the only unknown unless you follow the line that Taim is not a Darkfriend).

Then the scenario works easily:

Taim, as the Darkfriend he is in the situation he is in, seeks out fellow Darkfriends or canidates leaning that way (in the exact same way that Darkfriends are found in the White Tower to become Black Ajah), and begins to train them and others. Eventually, he begins to favor them with extra lessons when they lean his way or he knows they are Darkfriends. After an amount of time, they are given the rank of Asha'man, and fully become his lackies.

There you go. Any need of a seperate Black Tower that is run by the Shadow? Absolutely not.

54

JakOShadows: 2005-07-25

I think that it would be the shadows interest to train their male channelers even if they are small in number. I do agree with the fact that they are small in number, but wouldn't they want every advantage possible. I think of like our special forces operations, small and undetectable most of the time, but highly lethal and efficent. Wouldn't something like that require training. And it wouldn't have to be complicated, one of the forsaken could easily train them in a matter of months to do what they need. They probably don't learn anything complicated like the aes sedai, rather more like training damane in seanchan. They specialize and teach them only what they will need. So it could be done fairly quickly, efficiently and clandestine; and it would be in their best interest since it's possible.

55

Callandor: 2005-07-25

**They specialize and teach them only what they will need. So it could be done fairly quickly, efficiently and clandestine; and it would be in their best interest since it's possible.**

See, here's the thing. The Shadow doesn't need to do the training -- the Black Tower would easily do that for them. All they have to do is focus in on getting more recruits for the Shadow.

Otherwise, you're putting this out for the idea that this secret Black Tower has been in existance all along, and it's only now gotten a use out of it, Ishamael never mentioned it as an accomplishment, and the Aes Sedai never found it.

All because some people believe the 4 lackies of Taim were taught "too quickly." Completely unnecessary.

56

WinespringBrother: 2005-07-26

"Otherwise, you're putting this out for the idea that this secret Black Tower has been in existance all along, and it's only now gotten a use out of it, Ishamael never mentioned it as an accomplishment, and the Aes Sedai never found it.

All because some people believe the 4 lackies of Taim were taught "too quickly." Completely unnecessary. "

Not 'all because' as you claim. I believe there are a few other points backing my theory, if you will go and re-read it. And not 'only recently' either. They were very useful during the Trolloc Wars for example. And just because we don't see other appearances by trained saidin channelers onscreen doesn't mean they aren't out there.

57

Wompat: 2005-08-13

i agree.... sort of. we know ishy has been around in the past, especially at times when the world was unifying, i.e. the Trolloc Wars & Hawkwing/ war of 100 yrs. we also know that the term dreadlord is commonly mistaken for forsaken/dark channelers in the aol, when in fact they are "MEN and women able to channel the one power, who went over to the Shadow DURING the Trolloc wars,acting as commandersof the trolloc forces. occasionally confused with the forsaken by the less well educated."

-Glossary, THE DRAGON REBORN

from this, we can gather that the Shadow had/ could still have, male channelers in the 3rd age. It is entirely possible that the male dreadlords of the trolloc wars were completely unaware of their ability to channel and thus were untrained. if so, why wouldn't Ishy train them if they were to be his generals, and why woudl he leave the trainign of the women to the white tower, which fought him?

also, we know that the shadow fared well during the Trolloc wars, after all it destroyed Manetheren, which was half way between the Blight and the Sea of Storms. could untrained male channelers contribute enough stregnth to make them worthy of the title and postion of dreadlord? i dont think so, not for the 300 years the trolloc wars lasted.

since it is fairly obvious (i think, but i might get a quote shoved down my throat) that the shadow had trained male channelers during the TWs, why wouldnt they have any now?

even Callandor agrees that Taim is probably forsaken trained. why would they stop at him? fear of losing their power to 3rd agers? doesnt seem to bother ishy, especially since one of the craziest forsaken (i use the term crazy not to mean insane, but rather as an evil genius/ mad scientist) Aginor says Ishy is the ONLY forsaken he was scared of. and since NO OTHER FORSAKEN WAS AROUND either in the trolloc wars it is safe to say that it was all ishy's doing. it is also easy to detirmine which, if any, other forsaken would/ did train new dreadlords since returnign from the bore:

1. Aginor- killed at EOTW, reincarnated, sent to BT after its creation = not around to train due to death

2. Balthemal- died at EOTW, reincarnated in chicks body and sent to Delana= not available to train

3.Be'lal- goes to tear, needs to establish self, make plans, balefired= not a trainer

4.Rahvin- goes to andor, establishes self engages in df plots, bangs every chick at palace via compulsion= no time to teach

5.sammael- to illian, constant plots to kill rand, establish control over/ kill Mattin Stepaneos= no time to teach

6.Asmodean= dont know plans until brought to the Waste by Lanfear, teaches Rand under duress= possible teacher, once freed but not later

7. Demandred= no idea except that uses proxies, tasked to watch rand, events in south have his name on them= motive to teach

8. Ishmael- all over the place, willingness to teach, i.e. rand and dreadlords

most likely only demanderd and Ishy would be the teachers since they are the only ones who we know will teach ( ishy offers rand, demmy uses his proxies, some of which are probly channelers) and have time to. asmodean only taught rand because he had no other choice.

therefore i think it entirely possible there are shadow trained male channelers out there pre- BT. with the creation of the BT, i think those trained by the shadow were instructed to infiltrate it, with or without the help of taim.

back to the point though, why would the shadow train male channelers just to stop the covenant of the 10 nations, but not to fight the DO's archenemy? and Taim beingt the only one taught is ludicrous. with the whole how old is taim controversy, if he was trained by other male channelers connected to the shadow it woudl explain his ideosyncracies (but that's for another theory) including how he appears to be middle aged, putting him at least at 100 years old.

58

Callandor: 2005-08-14

**And just because we don't see other appearances by trained saidin channelers onscreen doesn't mean they aren't out there.**

"Just because we haven't seen it, doesn't mean it's not out there." Well, for once you're right. It doesn't mean they aren't out there.

All that does is show it's at a push, and your proofs amount to nothing.

1. You haven't shown the prior use of a Shadow Tower.

2. You haven't shown the current use of a Shadow Tower.

3. All your idea seems to be is a way to try to squeeze black ink off of Taim's "record" for which I know you love to try to do daily.

4. There are greater compelling theories out there that do not require a 3500+ (or however long you wish to arbitrarily put in at your whim) secretly unknown Shadow organization for male channelers who are Darkriends.

5. You want to claim the classic catcheism that since we have no proof against it, it could be out there.

**if so, why wouldn't Ishy train them if they were to be his generals, and why woudl he leave the trainign of the women to the white tower, which fought him?**

1. They were the commanders -- the Dreadlords. They led the Fades, who led the Trollocs. Chain of command, see Ishamael was at the top. He of course, ordered the Dreadlords.

2. Of course he would leave the training of women to the White Tower -- Ishamael can't train them. What he did was establish the Black Ajah, so he had dedicated followers inside the White Tower, so what the White Tower was doing was building Ishamael's army along with it's own.

**also, we know that the shadow fared well during the Trolloc wars, after all it destroyed Manetheren, which was half way between the Blight and the Sea of Storms. could untrained male channelers contribute enough stregnth to make them worthy of the title and postion of dreadlord? i dont think so, not for the 300 years the trolloc wars lasted.**

What do they have to do? We've already seen the effectiveness in male channelers by themselves in the Asha'man. They possess two critical advantages:

1. Saidar channelers cannot even barely detect saidin weaves (without testing for resonances).

2. Saidin channelers are generally stronger than saidar channelers.

All the male Dreadlords have to do is sow a bit of confusion and chaos in the battle lines of the Lightfollowers, while the Trollocs sworm the lines with superior numbers.

**since it is fairly obvious (i think, but i might get a quote shoved down my throat) that the shadow had trained male channelers during the TWs, why wouldnt they have any now?**

It hardly is. No quote about the Dreadlords says that they were fully or highly trained -- just that they were commanders. Add into the fact that it's not all male Dreadlords doing the work -- there would be a good number of female channelers out there.

**why would they stop at him?**

What makes you think he wasn't anything more than a pet Forsaken's scheme to increase chaos? What makes you think anyone else was needed? A Forsaken's plan to sow chaos by creating and then controlling a false Dragon is much more likely than an institution of male channeling Darkfriends with no hint of existance, that might be as old as the Breaking or as early as 20 years ago. It's a no contest case between the two.

**it is also easy to detirmine which, if any, other forsaken would/ did train new dreadlords since returnign from the bore:**

So, are you arguing that this is a new institution, or one set up over 2000 (if not 3000) years ago?

**most likely only demandred and Ishy would be the teachers since they are the only ones who we know will teach ( ishy offers rand, demmy uses his proxies, some of which are probly channelers) and have time to.**

Very interesting that you use the two channelers that are at the forefront for being Taim's teachers -- and just Taim.

**back to the point though, why would the shadow train male channelers just to stop the covenant of the 10 nations, but not to fight the DO's archenemy?**

Again, there is no reference for the Dreadlords being trained. There is none at all. They are just commanders.

**Taim being the only one taught is ludicrous.**

Why? He's the only one needed for a plan at the beginning to set up a false Dragon, to stir chaos in Randland. The plan changed over time (was going good for a while), due to his capturing, and then Rand! threw the Shadow for a loop.

**with the whole how old is taim controversy, if he was trained by other male channelers connected to the shadow it woudl explain his ideosyncracies (but that's for another theory) including how he appears to be middle aged, putting him at least at 100 years old.**

Taim doesn't need to be anything more than 30-35 (as the books ascribe him to be), if he was a learner -- since channelers do not slow unless they have channeled and gone past a certain age. If he was a wilder, as WinespringBrother supports, then, you enter into the whole aging problem.

59

Jumai: 2005-08-14

Eventually someone was going to have to bring this up.

Taim recruits anyone (ANYONE) who says they'll follow the dragon reborn. He brings people in by the THOUSANDS.

Without getting into conspiracies, some of the people he scoops up are going to be darkfriends already. Show the right signs and they'll even admit it.

It's not at all implausible that darkfriends who are being rather useless in some nowhere town where their darkest deed was murdering a housecat might have been ordered to head to the black tower and report from the Legion or the Asha'man.

60

Callandor: 2005-08-14

**Taim recruits anyone (ANYONE) who says they'll follow the dragon reborn. He brings people in by the THOUSANDS.**

Well, more like small groups at a time that amount to thousands, but yes ;)

**Without getting into conspiracies, some of the people he scoops up are going to be darkfriends already. Show the right signs and they'll even admit it.

It's not at all implausible that darkfriends who are being rather useless in some nowhere town where their darkest deed was murdering a housecat might have been ordered to head to the black tower and report from the Legion or the Asha'man.**

Oh, no, it's not implusible at all. In fact, that's most likely what Kisman, Torval, Gedwyn, and Rochaid were: they already were Darkfriends (I would completely accept that, if not push for that option). Whether they were told by other Darkfriends to go to the Black Tower for training, it's debatable, but not really relavent.

What is unlikely, is that there was a seperate Shadow run Black Tower that was in existance, that trained Kisman, Torval, Gedwyn, and Rochaid, and then told them to go to the Black Tower.

As I said, I'm completely for:

1. The Fearsome Foursome to already be Darkfiends before going to the Black Tower (on orders of other Darkfriends or not seems rather irrelevant).

or

2. Them leaning toward being Darkfriends, went to the Black Tower, and they were simply convinced of being Darkfriends at the Black Tower (most likely, by Taim).

Either of those two options is perfectly fine to me. But not that there was a seperate Shadow institution that gave them prior training, and then ordered them to inflitrate the Black Tower. That's quite unlikely to downright implausible, and is quite unneccesary when compared to other explainations of the same actions.

61

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-16

RJ stated at DragonCon that the Shadow has a few wilders among its darkfriends. Could that possibly mean some dreadlords with a little extra training? Although there are other possibilities (sea folk, wise ones, kin), I believe it indicates male channelers.

62

Callandor: 2005-09-19

**RJ stated at DragonCon that the Shadow has a few wilders among its darkfriends. Could that possibly mean some dreadlords with a little extra training? Although there are other possibilities (sea folk, wise ones, kin), I believe it indicates male channelers.**

Well, if they're trained, don't know if they would truely be "wilders" in the sense ;)

Yes, I would say it applies to male channelers. And would fit perfectly into my position that male dreadlords can simply be male wilders who work for the Shadow.

63

: 2006-01-25

OK, this is my first post so take it easy on me...

Anyhow, I agree with Callandor. Here's why:

1. There is no text or RJ quote (that I'm aware of) that supports a Shadow Tower. Not in the BWB, nor in any of the books themselves. It simply doesn't make sense (to me) for RJ to leave out something that would be so important to the shaping of events throughout the series for the very last book.

2. The Shadow is known to conserve and utilize it's resources very carefully. It would be a tremendous effort to conceal any such Tower and/or organization from the AS and/or the world in general, especially from the point in history when the Dreadlords first appeared (Trolloc Wars, iirc). That said, I accept the POSSIBILITY that Ishy did some form of training for the Trolloc War era male Dreadlords, even if it was just a basic "here's how to seize Saiden". But that is, imho, only a POSSIBILITY based on LOGICAL SUPPOSITION. There is no direct text or RJ quote I'm aware of to support that viewpoint one way or another. Also, Ishy has been the primary ‘manager’ behind the Shadows efforts. In relation to the current conflict, it is well known that the majority of Ishy’s concentration before the other Forsaken were freed was to find the Dragon Reborn. For him to manage not only the hunt for Rand and the rest of the Shadow’s plans, and also run an entire Shadow Tower is not very feasible. It is plain that Ishy’s main focus up to that point was to find Rand. It was not his only task I’m sure, but certainly his most important, and one that required the majority of his attention. Also, where were these male Dreadlords while hunting for Rand? Or Matt and Perrin, for that matter? It would seem logical to utilize these resources in what would have to be considered the most important task for the Shadow up to that point. After all, the Shadow went to great lengths to find these guys, everything from sending your average DF after them to making Padin Fain the DO’s “hound”. Wouldn’t male Dreadlords be, at the very least, involved in finding our heroic threesome? Especially since, as has been previously noted, the Dreadlords are higher ranking commanders in the Shadow’s armies. You would think that there would be one or two present to drive the Fades and Trollocs for such an important event, even in Emond’s Field. Also, who would suspect a male of channeling in a little village such as Emond’s Field? They would have the advantage of surprise, a major advantage imho.

3. As WSB pointed out, "RJ stated at DragonCon that the Shadow has a few wilders among its darkfriends." Perhaps I'm off base, but to me Wilder generally means untrained channeler. A counter to this would be Ny and other AS (no quotes handy, sry) having been referred to as Wilders by AS who had been properly discovered using the WT's accepted methods (which have since changed, if only in the Rebel Camp). But iirc that is from a few different AS POV's (again, sry for lack of quotes but I don't have the books handy). Perhaps someone has a quote or text that validates the definition of a Wilder? If not this point could go either way. But added to the other reasons I’ve listed here, I think it follows suit.

4. Even during the Trolloc Wars, the male Dreadlords were rarer than their female counterparts. Also, the Shadow now has a resource that was unavailable to it during the Trolloc War conflict: the Forsaken. That's not to say that the Shadow doesn't want or need new male Dreadlords, it just makes it less of a priority since the Forsaken are deemed much more powerful and capable than today's channelers. Added to that is the fact that Ishy did create the BA by recruiting within the WT. IE: using ALREADY TRAINED AS to fill the ranks, then allowing them to govern themselves with minimal direction from him (and eventually the other Forsaken). Why wouldn’t he utilize that same methodology with the creation of the BT?

5. While Taim is very likely a Dreadlord, he is DEFINITLY a DF. Note his comment to the rebel AS at the end of KoD – “Let the Lord of Chaos Rule” (then mwahahahaha!!! evil laughter =P). The ONLY ones who know of that saying are the followers of the Shadow, as that command was handed down by the DO himself, not from a book of prophesy or any similar source. So, following that line of thinking, IF Taim is a Dreadlord, wouldn’t it stand to reason that since he is almost as powerful as Rand (even if the Shadow didn’t know that for a fact, he is obviously very powerful, maybe even more so than the weaker male Forsaken such as Asmo), he would be instructing other Dreadlords? BUT HE WASN’T. As we all know, he was given a much different task. Consider this. Taim was a False Dragon at a time when there ALREADY WAS A FALSE DRAGON in the world (Logain). Why then would the Shadow utilize him in that way? LET THE LORD OF CHAOS RULE, that’s why. Yes I know that command was given to Demandred in LoC, but I think it a safe bet that this was the DO’s plan all along, and 2 false Dragons at the same time may very well be the first evidence of it. A second false Dragon in such a short period of time all by itself drove the nations into a panic. Panic is a good bedmate for chaos, and most certainly it makes it easier to create chaos. And it was definitely more in compliance with the Shadows’ methodology at the time. After all, at that time the Shadow was under the impression that the Taint would keep the number of male channelers to a bare minimum. With the Forsaken loose and the Tain intact, the Shadow’s need for male channelers would be minimal. With the cleansing of the Taint and the creation of the BT however, that changed. So the Shadow adapted its strategy to utilize the BT resource in the same manner it had already employed successfully with the WT and the creation of the BA. This is evidenced by the fact that though the ‘Fearsome Foursome’ were Taim’s lackies, he has since recruited several more to his cause, and continues to do so. As to whether there are or were pre-trained channelers within the BT, who knows? We do know that there is absolutely no definitive evidence either way, not yet at least. Any ‘pre-trained’ Ashaman could just as easily be wilders or trained by Ishy and/or Taim prior to their admittance to the BT. Frankly, there just isn’t any evidence to support either supposition (pre-trained vs. wilders).

Bottom line, there is no definitive evidence of a Shadow Tower, and imho no definitive evidence currently to support pre-trained Ashaman. Sorry WSB, but I have to agree with Callandor on this one.

64

tworiverswoman: 2006-01-26

Very nice post, whoever you are. Very clean.

I have not formed a firm opinion on this one, yet, other than leaning gently in Callandor's direction, mainly because there's been NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER in the books of ANY formal training "off-screen" for any male channeller, with the possible exception of Taim. (He knows too much to be a wilder, unless he, too, has a voice in his head, which is doubtful, imo.)

The biggest problem I have with the concept of a full-on, long-standing, hidden Shadow Tower is that there's no possible way they could have kept it a secret for as long as you imply it's been in existance, WSB.

One of your own quotes, **"Sometimes we need a hard discipline," Taim said, coming to stand over the man on the ground. His voice was almost jolly, but his dark tilted eyes stared close to murder at the man he had clubbed. "You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small."**

People who need to be clubbed over the head on a routine basis to keep them under control would find it EXTREMELY difficult to keep from public notice their entire lives. And there just haven't been enough "False Dragons" during the long centuries.

OTOH, it’s vaguely possible that the Forsaken are doing a little “head-hunting” on spec for Taim, sending along likely candidates with a head start, now that they have a place to send them. But it’s not in any way necessary that this be happening.

I’m sure the DO was comfortably certain that the taint on Saidin would give him all the advantage he needed in terms of keeping male channellers in check. Even the “fearsome foursome” reacted with longing at the idea that Rand might be able to remove the taint. Although, if other theories about the circular nature of time are correct, this must have happened before, who knows how many times. But RJ has said the Pattern isn’t “identical” each time around. How much variation is allowed? Has the Cleansing happened each time? Or is this the first.

Never mind – tangents ‘r us. Back to the Shadow Tower.

Ishy might have amused himself, off and on, during his occasional periods “out of the box”. Or not – there’s no evidence. But he would have been the only one who could. Unless you think it was self-sustaining over the centuries and they were just “vewy, vewy qwiet. Sssssh!” Not bloody likely. Huh!

65

sogoloth: 2006-01-27

Thanx TRW! Not sure why my name didn't show up, but it was me :)