Thus Spake The Creator

One Power, True Power, Channeling

Q: Mr. Jordan, you've outdone yourself with Crown of Swords. My question concerns the True Power. How is it distinguishable from the One Power? 
A: It's fairly self-evident from the book. What can be done with the True Power is very similar to what can be done with the One Power. Except that where the One Power is drawn from the True Source and is the force that drives the Wheel of Time and powers the universe, the so-called True Power is drawn from the Dark One. There are limits in the same ways there are limits to the One Power. It would be very long if I went into it too much, but some of those limits and costs of drawing on the Dark One are shown in CROWN OF SWORDS.

Q: Can gateways be created at non-right angles to the ground? If not, why not? If yes, why haven't we seen them? 
A: They can be, and you haven't seen it because there's been no need to do it. And also some of the people who can make gateways don't know how to do it.

Q: Cuendillar grows stronger when the One Power is directed into it, but can the One Power be drawn out of it, causing it to break? 
A: Read and find out! :) That's something I may or may not use in a future book, but it's information that I don't want you to have yet. And that's the reason why I say "Read and find out" when I say it. :) 

Q: What was the process through which cuendillar was made? 
A: Entirely too complex for me to go into here. If there's anyone out there who can channel on the level of a Forsaken I would be happy to enter into a correspondence with them on the making of cuendillar. :)

Q: Can you clarify who can tell when one is using the True Power? 
A: No one can tell if you're using the True Power except the Dark One, of course.

Q: Rand recovered verly quickly from his dual healing.. is this because of the way men heal or because of the warder bond.. or both? 
A: Partly the warder bond and partly the kind of healing that was used on him. It should be obvious that Damer Filnn has discovered the same method of healing that Nynaeve uses and of course, he still is not completely Healed, remember.

Q: And also is the Dark One the only source of the True Power? 
A: Yes, the Dark One is the only source of the True Power.

Q: How do you explain the longevity of the Kin? 
A: Read and find out! :) The clues are there. 

Q: Would you be willing to tell us a little more about the limits of healing with the One Power, as they're understood in the present day and/or the Age of Legends? Could someone heal a genetic condition like Huntington's or color blindness? A chromosomal defect like Down's syndrome? A degenerative condition like arthritis?
A: Not with the form of healing that is generally known. With the newly rediscovered forms of healing, it would be quite possible, but with the newly rediscovered forms of healing people would learn how to do it because everything is healed differently with the new way.

Q: We know that people who can channel can mask the fact that they can channel. Is it possible for a person to make it appear as if she/he is less powerful than she/he really is? 
A: Read and find out... Later he answered this as yes - Raina.

Q: Hello, Mr. Jordan. I find the magic system in the series so complex and fascinating. Could you tell us if it is something you worked out before you started writing the series, or did you just add things in as you went along? 
A: I had the basis of it before I began writing, and a good part of how it fit together. Other parts were added in when I realized that there was a question to be answered -- something that I had to decide here and now, how this worked. But I have now quite a large file describing the one power and how it works, and the things that can be done with it and the things that can't be done, and the exceptions to the rules and all that. It would probably be 300 pages if I printed it out, maybe a little more, but I never have. It's just a computer file at the moment.

Q: is Rand the most powerful channeler alive right now? 
A: RAFO.

Q: We see a lot of characters making estimates about how strong such and such a channeler is or will be, but when we're talking about so far unfullfilled potentiel, how accurately can it be judged? Especially if the channeler making the judgement doesn't know how much training the channeler being judged previously has had? 
A: Someone can judge a current strength. This differes between men and women. A woman that can channel can very accurate judgement of another woman's strength whether she is channeling or not if she is standing close enough. Among Aes Sedai at least, knowledge of potential strength, especially if it is thought to be a great strength, becomes very wide spread. Among men the circumstances are different. A man who can channel cannot judge the strength of another unless the other is channeling the One Power of holding the One Power, and even then all he can judge is how much of the One Power the other man is holding. He can't say how much he can hold. There are great differences between men and women in the One Power.

Q: The general consensus seems to be that the Bowl of Winds caused the weirdness in the power around Ebou Dar. Do we know enough at this time to determine the true cause or do we have to RAFO more info? 
A: I think you know enough by this point. It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. I always hated it when my math professors said that.

Q: Since the ability to channel seems to be primarily linked to the soul, if a Channeler is gentled/stilled, will this affect his/hers soul in a follow life as well, as in, will the ability to Channel still be lost? 
A: No.

Q: Ask what the deal is with Nyn being able to hold half the power as ten sisters with a sa'angreal but not being able to handle two pussy little BA by herself. 
A: Some people have shielding talents.

Q: What happens when two people balefire each other simultaneously? 
A: A lot of confusion.

Q: Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in EotW, or if he just drew too much of the OP. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.
A: Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in.

Q: First off thanks for joining us on the chat. To settle a dispute on our mailing list I would like to know if the gholam works the same way as Mat's medallion? Can it be killed by lightning or any such thing?
A: Read and find out. The principle is the same, but it doesn't work in the same way as Mat's medallion.

Q: Mr. Jordan, I love your books. If a person begins to channel at an old age, eg. Sharina, will she begin to physically look younger when she slows, or will she remain the same and pick up from there?
A: She remains the same. It's not the same as having been stilled or burnt out. She's going to have a very long life, still, just not as a youthful person.

Q: Were the 9 Rods of Dominion mentioned in the Eye of The World prologue sa'angreal? Do they or will they play any role in the series? Was the sa'angreal used to heal Mat one of these Rods?
A: Read and find out.

Q: how exactly do Wells work, if a person is in a place where the cannot sense saidar then how do they embrace to channel from the Well? And can you use a well when you are shielded from the Source?
A: Read and find out!

Q: Mr. Jordan, as a witch I would like to thank and compliment you on your explanation of the elemental powers
A: I've been reading about elemental powers for years, glad you like it

Q: There's a suggestion in the books that Lanfear was believed to be as strong as any female channeler could ever become. What was the reason for that belief?
A: Read and find out!

Q: Mr. Jordan, When ever a channeler draws on the OP, does he\she become temporarily outside the Wheel's control? I ask this because min's viewings of aes sedai get fuzzy whenever they draw on the Power and in LOC egwene avoids rand's taveren effect by drawing on saidar.
A: Read and find out!

Q: Nobody who can channel saidin or saidar can sense the True Power. And, since the Forsaken don't seem to notice Moridin channeling the True Power, is it detectable at all (besides by a gholam)? IE-can someone already holding the True Power sense another using it?
A: No. Not by any method we've seen yet

Q: Can you give some more details on how the Taint was cleansed. I was sort of confused reading the book.
A: Sorry... I can't.

Q: What would happen to a gholam suddenly deposited, one way or another, into a stedding?
A: Read and find out. That is a common answer for me, by the way!

Q: Mr. Jordan, is it possible that in another age, another turning of the wheel, that Saidar could be tainted instead of Saidin? This relates to the Female Dragon Theory.
A: That is not something I intend to explore.

Q: Will the Choedan Kal be used again during the series, and if so, will other access keys be found? Let me guess ... read and find out?
A: This is my answer: You got that one right, sport!

Q: Does the healing of the taint reverse its previous effects? Or does the victim have to live with whatever he's gotten to that point and be grateful it won't get worse?
A: The second.

(That almost hyperventilating girl I mentioned before asked a question about how exactly Rand cleaned the Taint.)
A:You don't think it's obvious?
Err, let's see. You have.. You're using both repulsion and attration of opposites here. Repulsion of things that are opposite and repulsion of things that are the same. The Taint upon the... as versus the conduit, which is made of saidar through which the saidin passes. The saidin and saidar, as men and women, are in many ways opposite. It repels one another. It is safe to make this conduit of saidar between saidin and Shadar Logoth, because there can be no mixing. [So far for wacky ideas that saidar is now tainted] As the eh.. as saidar [even Jordan sometimes has trouble remembering which is which...] passes through, as the taint passes through, the saidar actually repels it, pushes it away from the ..., alright? Now, you have a taint on ... the eh source, the male half of the source, you have the taint on shadar logoth. They're not the same, yet they are. The Taint on Shadar Logoth did not come from the Dark One. The taint was created by humans, who believed that they must do whatever was necessary, anything that was necessary to defeat the Shadow. And because they would accept no limits to what they would do, to what could be done, to what needed to be done, they created their own destruction. Their evil is, or was, as great as that of the Dark One, but diametrically opposite. It is an evil created for the best of intentions, created for good intentions. So it is the opposite. So, this attraction created the conduit begins to pull the Taint from saidar [ouch, again] to cipher it of. Remember, it's always been described it's not at mixed all through saidar [and again] , it is like a thin skin of rancidness, think of a thin skin of rancid oil floating on a pond, and if you get through it, you've got clean water, but you can't get through it without putting your hand in that oil. You're getting it on your hand... To attract one another because they are opposites, but because even being opposite, they have gone far enough around the circle, they act to destroy one another. You see, it's not opposites along a straight line. We're actually talking opposites along a circle. Continuing the motif of the Wheel of Time, if you will. So you've got two things that are both opposites and the same. [He's been waving his hands in the air for this. Hands far apart for the straight line versus hands together, making a circle and coming together again] That will both attract one another and negate one another.
Do you understand better now?
Q: yes, thank you.
A: Oh, and one last point: It's all imaginary my dear...

Q: In 'The Shadow Rising,' Lanfear mentioned two sa'angreal stronger than Callandor that a male could use. Is the second one ever going to appear?
A: Read And Find Out. (Of course, but hey, there's no harm in trying anyway...)

KuraFire asked: "Can burned out channelers still sense the Source?" (This was because of that debate that pops up every now and then, where because of that one glossary entry people just won't believe that buring out and stilling really aren't synonyms. From now on this should be settled forever.)
A: Ah, burned out? No. The difference between being burned out and being stilled.. We use the term as if it is interchangable, but they aren't. Technically 'stilled' means something that is being done to you deliberately. 'Burned out' is an injury that you received accidentally.
Q: Is it the difference between a clean cut and a cauterized wound? (From memory, the background noise here got too loud for my memo-recorder; a problem throughout this signing.)
A: Yes, and if you're burned out, you cannot sense the Source.

Q: When/ If Rand manages to remove the taint placed on saidin, are the people infected with it cured? or does their condition remain the way it is?
A: when/if the taint is removed from saidin further ill effects are stopped but what has already occured remains

Q: Question concerning Winters Heart: What happened to the fem ter'a Choedan Kal, what didn't happen to the male ter'a Choedan Kal?
A: rafo!

Q: Howcome that foretelling is only for those who can channel?
A: howcome breathing under water is only for fish? some things follow natural laws and in this universe fortelling is only for people who can channel.

Q: Is the material of a true heron blade altered the same way as a ter'a?
A: the material of a true heron mark blade is altered. It is not simple steel anymore.

Q: Are ther any channelers on the Seanchan continent that suffer from an emotional block like Nyneave had
A: Read and find out
( I asked this question to support my theory that the sul'dam have an emotional block, but I forgot that there are probably some damane who suffer from it as well which increased the chance to get a RAFO )

Reports from signings

The total number of people in a circle, when you have the maximum number of women for each man, is always divisible by three. RJ thought that there was an error in the LoC glossary and that it had been fixed in ACoS.

The universe is driven by saidin and saidar working against each other. They will not end up as the Light Power.

New dreadlords? Via TP? What are limits of TP? When did we see it used before? Access to the TP is a matter of wanting it and the dark one letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to EotW we saw TP to heal insanity. The OP can not be used to heal insanity. TP used at SG will fry you instantly.

How much stronger do you have to be to forcibly shield someone else who is already holding the OP? Is it different for men than for women, or for heterosexual shielding? If the answer is only a little stronger, then ask him how come Ny couldn't shield Elayne in aCoS, Chapter 21 (Swovan Night)? Also, how much weaker can you be and still be able to hold a shield on someone, Berowin excepted? He did not use a "real scale" for OP stuff. You just have to be stronger. Mostly handwaving. consider the kin. The woman who is very weak but has a real talent for shielding. 

"Is channeling ability strictly, or partly geneticaly based?" partially. Worked it a bit with some friends but just left it mostly hanging.  "Can weaves be inverted in a way that prevents them being detected even while they are being woven, ie so you could draw and weave with Saidin, and noone would detect it, or can the weaves only be hidden after they have been tied off?" no answer.

Can you use the TP in the Stedding? ye....er...RAFO. You must be a stone cold fanatic to *want* to use the TP. Moggy is terrified of it. Avoids it. If TP were used on you, would there be negative effects wrt the DO? RAFO. of course, if you die, the answer is obvious.

On channeler strength he said that he knew the rough strength of every channeler in the books, imposed on a 21-graded scale. Nynaeve he said had Forsaken strength, ie as strong as most female Forsaken. Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha was a step lower, and an additional step lower Elaida, Siuan and Moiraine was found. They were the strongest Aes Sedai known before "the new ones". Several Aes Sedai, including Leane and Kiruna, was next in strength. By the old standards they were deemed very strong and capable. The Flame and the Void he said was mainly a concentration technique, but one very close to the techniques used for teaching men contact the OP.

On Skimming and Traveling he said: "In Skimming, one need to know the target better than the starting place. In Traveling, one need to know the starting place better than the destination." [ Not exact quote, but nearly so, and the effect is exact. _Very_ interesting implications if taken literally. ]

He didn't give any conclusive answer to the Two Rivers channeling paradox, but he noted that many strange occurances come from there, like inherent ability to speak the Old Tongue under stress.

On linking he stated that 6 men is the maximum number of men present in a link, and 66 is the limit for women. He also said that the "one more women than men rule" in the LoC glossary was invalid. Complete rules for linking would be found in the WoT Guide. Yes, and they contradict this quote! The largest possible circle with the minimum number of men is 6 and 66 according to the Guide, so maybe that's what he meant. -Raina

Regarding if the Warder bonding had similarities with the linking between a man and a woman he answered that there were bits and pieces that were similar, but that they in whole were very dissimilar.

On if Aes Sedai damane can use the OP in battle he said that [ OBS! secondary source, I didn't hear him say this myself ] it is theoritically possible, basically by forcing the Aes Sedai to think that she does not use the OP as damane. It is though very hard to acheive. In the book next after CoS, this might become a factor.

Mat's Foxy Medallion: As we surmised, it works by blocking direct channelling of both Saidin and Saidar, and its weakness is that it doesn't protect against indirect effects, like _lightening_.

How learning to use the OP works: The older you are, the faster you reach your full potential. Men reach their full strenght faster than women. Forced training makes you learn faster, but it is very dangerous--it can kill you, or burn you out. The Asha'man are being trained that way, and the casualties of the training show this. (X number dead, Y number burned out...) Egwene, and El and Ny have also experienced forced training.

Mat's amulet blocks both Saidin and Saidar. Jordan answered this one straight-out when asked. He pointed out that the amulet only blocks actual weavings of the One Power, not the physical effects that could be caused by a weaving. For example, Elayne was able to use the OP to hurl a rock at Mat. Rahvin was able to create a bolt of lightning which struck Mat.

Next was a question about Balefire. 
Questioner "If person A Balefires person B, then person C Balefires person A, what happens?" 
RJ: Depends on how strong the BF was....

The question I asked was "does anyone within the books have the ability to use the flame and the Void"
The answer was "The flame and the void is a concentration aid and you do not have to be able to channel to do it."

I asked Jordan when a man with the spark would slow.  He hesitated and rubbed his chin, obviously trying to make up the answer on the spot, and doing it to be consistent with the books.  The answer is: Women usually 
slow at twenty, sometimes a little earlier, but usually around there.  Men wouldn't slow until 25, usually closer to thirty.  He claims that they could go past thirty, but that probably depends on how early they start and how much they channel.

The first question Chris channeled through me had to do with the female mega sa'angreal on Tremalking, and the Seanchan damane there.  We were wondering if the female sa'angreal would have the same effect on female 
channellers as the male sa'angreal in Cairhien had on Rand.  Our impression of events was that Rand did not willingly channel into the thing, but that it just pulled the One Power through him.  Unfortunately, RJ answered the question with a "Yes, if they tried to channel through it."  Uh. Okay. Whatever.

I asked why Elayne thought even a Forsaken couldn't break the shield Adeleas and Vandene were holding on Ispan, expecting the answer that Elayne is clue-impaired.  The correct answer is that holding a shield on someone 
depends not only on relative strength and fatigue, but also on whether the shield is held by channellers of the same sex as the victim.  Thus two women (A and V on Ispan, or Ispan and Falion on Nynaeve in CoS) can hold 
another woman, but three women just get severed if they try to shield Rand.  As a curiosity, it is also possible for multiple people to hold a shield without linking, but this is less strong and less precise, producing basically a layered shield.

The third was someone else again, and I didn't hear the question clearly, but I think it was about the weird Power effects.  Assuming I heard correctly, this should support the Bowl theory, due to the lack of effects in Andor despite the gateway detonation and the timing of the effect first showing up.  Of course, he didn't say so explicitly, but that is what would seem to be the intuitively obvious explanation.

RJ said that a channeller can hide strength as well as ability to channel, but added that 1) few people know how to do it, and 2) the AS don't even know these tricks are possible.  Those caveats are rather obvious, I know.  But I mention this answer because I thought I heard it reported here that this question was met with "RAFO" in the past.  I'm sure someone will clarify that for me. It was. -Raina

The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up.  His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up.  I expected this to be a sheer RAFO. I was surprised.  He went into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the 
advanced knowledge of the Windfinders.  It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region.  Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but 
also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place.  (I should have asked if a spoke went out over Tear.)  My comment: Nyah-nyah.

He has no particular real world inspiration for the One Power, at least not that he knows of.  He admits that he's read a lot of stuff and at times forgets a source here and there.

And another tidbit that I meant to mention, but neglected.  Someone actually asked Jordan whether a hermaphrodite would channel Saidin or Saidar.  Jordan was...  non-plussed.  "A hermaphrodite?!  I dunno.  I'd  have to sit down and figure that out."  He shot the guy a funny look as he walked away, then remarked to the next group of people in line that he put that in the same category as the person who wrote to ask him what Donald 
Duck would channel.

"I personally have specifically asked Robert Jordan about this issue. (during a book launch in Sydney late 1999) He confirmed that Cadsuane's hairpiece IS a ter'angreal, and that we should have enough information to know what it does. Whether this means that it acts similar to Mat's foxhead medallion, or senses male channeling, or both, is still unknown." 

Q7: Can you use the True Power in a stedding? [I think Far Madding was mentioned..?]
A7: No. [That should help some arguments.]

Q13: [Someone was nitpicking about the EotW prologue, when Ishamael suddenly pops in. It was a ripple or a shimmer or something of the sort, not a ‘gateway’. So, this guys asks what was up with that? Creative license? Had not established the magic of the realm yet?]
A13: <semi-heard filler here> What do you think?
Fan Response: [The guy said TP Travel]
RJ: Yes. [Can’t give you specifics of response, but he did say that it (TP) was the reason for the difference in Travelling.] 

Ah yes, KuraFire asked about the prologue of TEotW, where Ishamael traveled, but with a different description than that of usual Traveling.
Jordan said that that was because the Traveling was done by using the True Power. We'd seen the same since, when Moridin Travels somewhere... "The Pattern screamed."

Raina's Hold / Thus Spake The Creator - Index
 

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