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2.6.6: Military Roundup: Situation Report
[Contributors: Allen Bryan, Rich Boyé, Jean Dufresne, Kjell Stahl]
Armies, armies everywhere, and it's probably getting a little confusing, no? This section gives a rundown on the military who, what, and where as of COT.
The list is organized roughly by geography (except for Rand's armies, which are all over the place). Numbers are given where I've been able to find them.
- Rand's Forces
- Cairhien - mixed Aiel, Cairhienin, Tairens. Numbers uncertain. In [TFOH: 42, Before the Arrow, 470-471], according to Mat, the seven clans with Rand had almost double Couladin's one hundred and
sixty thousand spears (or, a little over three hundred thousand). After the battle, the four undecided clans, whose numbers equaled the Shaido's, joined Rand, bringing the tally up to almost half a million,
minus losses. So conservatively figure Rand had about four hundred thousand Aiel after defeating the Shaido, plus however many Tairens and Cairhienin he didn't send to Illian. He lost a good chunk of the Aiel after Dumai's Wells (at least a few thousand threw down their weapons and ran off, thinking Rand had abandoned them [ACOS: 3, Hill of the Golden Dawn, 96]). Other than the clans Rand sent to deal with the
Shaido in ACOS, and those he took with him to Illian, Rand's Cairhien forces have been sitting outside the city since TFOH.
- Andor - Rand took around six thousand Aiel with him to Caemlyn [TFOH: 54, To Caemlyn, 644], and was joined in LOC by Davram Bashere and his nine thousand Saldaean horse, since reduced to a little over eight thousand after the campaigns in Illian [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 68]. There were fifteen thousand of the Legion of the Dragon before Rand took them and the Saldaeans to Illian in [ACOS: 41, A Crown of Swords, 647]; the Legion probably has been growing steadily since then, thanks to Taim's aggressive recruiting program, and may by now be more than double the ACOS number. The Aiel in Caemlyn, led by Bael, were rousted from the city by Elayne's arrival, and have joined Bashere's men outside Caemlyn; they have had sporadic communication with Elayne, who has asked them not to interfere in the siege. Bashere then took a hundred Saldaeans with him to join Rand in Tear [COT: 24, A Strengthening Storm, 546].
- Illian - Before engaging the Seanchan in TPOD, Rand dismantled most of the huge army he had built up in Illian and sent them back to Cairhien and/or Andor. After the Seanchan campaign stalled, Rand pulled most of the rest out as well, except the Illianers themselves, but now Gregorin (Rand's Steward in Illian) is reported to be mustering forces to meet the approaching second Seanchan attempt at Illian [COT: 18, A Chat With Siuan, 449].
- Tear - Darlin has taken over as Rand's Steward in Tear, joined by High Lord Astoril and the other Lords left in the city still loyal to Rand [COT: 23, Ornaments, 528]. Currently besieged in the Stone by the Haddon Mirk rebels.
Rand is in Tear as well, holed up at a minor Lord's manor, where he was joined by Bashere, Logain, and Loial; he sent the three of them to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan [COT: 24, A Strengthening Storm, 559]. Bashere came back with the answer: "The Seanchan are amenable... They require a meeting with you in person, though... Suroth wants you to meet someone called the Daughter of the Nine Moons" [COT: Epilogue, An Answer, 680]. (see section 1.4.12.)
- Kinslayer's Dagger - In [ACOS: 18, As the Plow Breaks the Earth, 323], Rand sent a large force of Aiel (four clans, or probably about a hundred and fifty thousand spears) to Kinslayer's Dagger to deal with the Shaido. Of course, the Shaido disappeared before they could get there, and we've heard nothing of Rand's Aiel since; it may probably be presumed that after finding nothing there, they returned to Cairhien.
- Sea Folk - Included here because technically they are part of Rand's forces, according to the bargain Merana and Rafela struck with Harine, even if he has yet to use them. They're also the only group in Randland with naval capabilities anywhere close to the Seanchan. The Windfinder damane Mat freed in WH staged what was essentially a huge prisonbreak in Ebou Dar, freeing large numbers of Sea Folk but also killing hundreds of Seanchan and Atha'an Miere alike in a massive OP battle, leaving the Seanchan navy in Ebou Dar in a shambles [COT: 1, Time to Be Gone, 99]. The Wavemistresses are gathering in Illian's harbor to elect a new Mistress of the Ships [COT: 12, A Bargain, 312], according to Zaida, but Harine (who Min foretold would be Mistress of the Ships) and her entourage have gone to Tear, which is crowded to bursting with Sea Folk [COT: 23, Ornaments, 528].
- Asha'man - Taim reported a total of 448 channelers on the rolls as of [TPOD: 14, Message from the M'Hael, 298], and that 3-4 more men joined every day. (Torval says that there were 51 burned out/destroyed in the same amount of time.) By the Prologue of WH, 22 days later, Toveine counts 500 Asha'man; if she's right, then Taim was actually boasting only slightly about the rate of increase. The end of COT is approximately 45 days after the WH Prologue, which means the BT could have 600 or more channelers by now (plus 50 AS Warders). Logain Ablar took "over half a dozen" Asha'man and eight AS Warders and went with Bashere to Cairhien and then Tear to join Rand, without Taim's knowledge (Taim thinks Logain is going on a recruiting trip) [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 36]. Logain tells Rand that the Asha'man receiving "special training" from Taim number twenty to thirty, and incidentally are all the Asha'man except Logain who wear the Dragon pin [COT: 24, A Strengthening Storm, 557]. Evidently, none of the Asha'man really believe that Rand was responsible for cleansing the taint from saidin.
- Rebels in Haddon Mirk: Tairens who actively rebelled against Rand's takeover in Tear in TSR. While in Far Madding, Rand hears a rumor that the Stone of Tear is under siege [WH: 32, A Portion of Wisdom, 593], and the Windfinders with Elayne confirm that Darlin is besieged by nobles who want the Dragon Reborn out of Tear [COT: 12, A Bargain, 306]. In [WH: 25, Bonds, 491], Rand dispatched Alanna, Rafela, Merana, Bera, and Faeldrin to Haddon Mirk to negotiate an end to the rebellion; Merana has been seen going to a meeting with High Lord Tedosian and High Lady Estanda [COT: 18, A Chat With Siuan, 450].
- Arad Doman: Chaos, indeed. General Rodel Ituralde's POV in COT's Prologue tells us that Graendal has been having him chase his tail for months, delivering senseless and contradictory troop deployments in King Alsalam's name (making Alsalam the most likely candidate for the identity of Graendal's old man). Before being co-opted by Moridin, Graendal sent one last false order to Ituralde, making it look like the Shadow was desperate to stop it [TPOD: 12, New Alliances, 261], which commanded him to strike at the Seanchan forces massing along Arad Doman's southern border in Almoth Plain. She may not, perhaps, have anticipated that Ituralde would obey by offering truce to the Dragonsworn and free Taraboners he had previously been fighting, or that he plans to fight the Seanchan by infiltrating their Taraboner conscripts and goading them north into a trap [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 24-27].
- The Seanchan: Other than all of Rand's forces combined, the Seanchan are the largest military force in Randland - and the only army besides the Rebel AS that can mount a decent defense against Rand's Asha'man (sul'dam and damane). Exact numbers unknown, but including conscripts from Tarabon, Altara, and Amadicia easily fall in the hundreds of thousands. The Seanchan also possess the only true navy in Randland proper - and the only air force! They control most of the southwestern coast from Tarabon to Ebou Dar, including most (but not all) of Amadicia.
They are currently readying (or at least rumored to be readying) to mount offensives on several fronts:
- A second attempt east against Illian;
- A move against Arad Doman in the northwest;
- A Lord Yulan is planning an imminent attack against Tar Valon [COT: 4, The Tale of A Doll, 156], of which absolutely nothing is known except that the distance involved means they must be using to'raken fliers in some capacity. Egwene sees one (most likely, though she thinks it is a bat) flying over Tar Valon immediately before she is captured [COT: 30, What the Oath Rod Can Do, 677]. Matthew Julius suggests that the loudly bruited-about attack on Illian is merely a front for the Tar Valon offensive.
- Tallanvor informs Perrin of a force of fifteen thousand soldiers, mostly Taraboners, plus at least a dozen damane, sent north to deal with the Shaido [COT: 27, What Must Be Done, 601-602].
- Banner-General Furyk Karede of the Deathwatch Guard has taken a hundred soldiers, twenty Ogier Gardeners, and six damane (including the former Aes Sedai Mylen) to hunt for Tuon [COT: 4, The Tale of A Doll, 166].
Mat hears rumors from several sources that Suroth has concluded an alliance with an unknown party that will "give her access to many lands"; Bethamin merely called it "someone powerful", but Juilin heard it was "some king" [COT: 28, A Cluster of Rosebuds, 612-613]. This could not refer to the possible truce Rand is seeking with the Seanchan, since Mat hears about the alliance at least a week before Rand even sends Bashere and Logain to negotiate. The rumor may refer to Masema (though he's not a king, and one wonders what "many lands" he thinks he has), based on the letter he has from Suroth (see below). Other possibilities are Darlin (also not a king, but we know he will be), or Roedran of Murandy. Another possibility, given Suroth's DF status, is that "someone powerful" refers to Moridin or some other agent of the Shadow.
- La Resistance: Anti-Seanchan partisans in Ebou Dar and possibly elsewhere (Mat hears about small armed groups all over Altara), planning to fight the invaders from within. Led in Ebou Dar by
Prince - now King - Beslan. It's not clear how they weathered the OP battle following Mat's escape from Ebou Dar, nor what effect Beslan's coronation will have on his participation.
- Perrin's forces: A ragtag mixture of Mayeners, Aiel Maidens (and Gaul), Duopotamians, Ghealdanin, six Wise Ones, three Aes Sedai, two Asha'man, and a partridge in a pear tree. Perrin tallies up the numbers at around two thousand [WH: 6, The Scent of Madness, 166]. Currently still trying to rescue Faile. After a wild-goose chase through Amadicia and into Altara, Perrin tracked the Shaido to the walled town of Malden, and is now camped within easy Gating distance, approximately forty miles away.
- Dragonsworn: Though there are plenty of random bandits running around calling themselves Dragonsworn, here I'm referring to the followers of the Prophet. The numbers range between ten and twelve thousand men [COT: 5, The Forging of a Hammer, 178] and though they are nominally in an uneasy alliance with Perrin's army, Faile and Co. discovered right before getting captured that Masema is actually in cahoots with the Seanchan. Perrin himself discovers Masema's treachery about half a month later [COT: 6, The Scent of a Dream, 200], along with a very useful document: a carte blanche signed by High Lady Suroth, charging the bearer with free will and unlimited command in the name of the Empress. To add to the fun, both Masuri and Annoura Sedai have been sneaking off from Perrin's camp to meet with Masema, for purposes as yet unknown.
- Shaido: According to Faile and Elyas' information, there are ten septs of the Shaido gathered in Malden with Sevanna, which means ten thousand spears and about seventy thousand people total [COT: 8, Whirlpools of Color, 220], [COT: 9, Traps, 241]. Faile says there are about 400 Wise Ones in the camp; since Sevanna took all who could channel with her when the Shaido split up [ACOS: 40, Spears, 636], and Marline told Perrin that there were less than five hundred WOs who could channel total in the Shaido clan [COT: 8, Whirlpools of Color, 234], that means that probably pretty much every Wise One in Malden can channel. And of course, according to Therava there are about seventy-six more septs still "scattered on the wind", from Almoth Plain to Illian and possibly beyond, so that means the total number of Shaido spears still around is about 86,000, or slightly more than half their original numbers. Sevanna is of the opinion that in two or three more weeks, ten more septs will join her in Malden [COT: 9, Traps, 263].
- Children of the Light: Balwer reported to Perrin that the Whitecloaks, led by Eamon Valda, took most of their numbers north from Amador before the city fell to the Seanchan [TPOD: 9, Tangles, 207]. They are still in northern Amadicia as of COT, numbering over nine thousand cavalry [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 28]. Last we saw, Asunawa was trying to convince Valda to move them east into Altara, but Valda seemed less than enthused at the idea.
- The Band of the Red Hand: Ten thousand soldiers as of [TPOD: 18, A Peculiar Calling, 369], according to Egwene. Led by Talmanes of House Delovinde in Mat's absence. Last seen in Murandy, serving as mercenaries to King Roedran while waiting for Mat to reappear.
- Murandian Army: A joke, mostly. Numbers unknown but surely negligible. Roedran hopes to bolster them with the Band in an effort to maintain his sovereignty.
- Dyelin Loyalist Army: Led by Lady Aemlyn of House Renshar, Lady Arathelle of House Carand, and Lord Pelivar of House Coelan. They were camped in northern Murandy with various minor Murandian nobles tacked on, but have now split up and moved back into Andor two hundred miles or so south of Caemlyn, leaving the Murandians behind [COT: 14, What Wise Ones Know, 349-350]. Dyelin hopes they are simply returning to their respective estates, pointing out that without the Murandians they are no match for Arymilla's army, but Elayne is grimly convinced they are coming to Caemlyn to completely screw up the whole situation by declaring for Dyelin: "The last time the great Houses split evenly among three claimants for the Lion Throne had been nearly five hundred years ago, and seven years of open war followed before a queen was crowned. The original claimants were all dead by that point."
- Arymilla Marne's Army: Currently besieging Caemlyn, consisting of the unlikely combination of Elenia Sarand and Naean Arawn's supporters' forces, who were forcibly co-opted by Arymilla and the loopy Nasin Caeren. Norry estimated their numbers at anywhere from twenty to thirty thousand men [WH: 27, To Surprise Kings and Queens, 531], and that actually seems to have been a little conservative, based on Bashere's observation that they have divided themselves into eight camps of about five thousand each in order to surround the city [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 61]. There is a possibility that Arymilla is being influenced by an agent of the Shadow in some way, in the person of a mysterious and cruel "Taraboner" calling himself Jaq Lounalt [COT: 15, Gathering Darkness, 371].
- Elayne's Army: The original Queen's Guard was pretty well gutted by Rahvin; Elayne, in deciding to reconstitute the Queen's Guard, shocked Dyelin by decreeing that they be a massive, national standing army, as large as ten houses put together [WH: Prologue, Snow, 29]. No nation in the series has a national standing army, owing allegience solely to the state. (In fact, as a historical side-note, the decision to fashion a standing national army has always been the death knell for the feudal system.) Elayne also commanded recruitment of Hunters of the Horn and mercenaries to flesh this army out.
So much for what she has decreed; what she's gotten so far are thirty companies of mostly mercenaries [COT: 12, A Bargain, 306], three thousand armsmen from the four Very Junior Nobles [COT: 13, High Seats, 331], two hundred and five more fairly useless retainers from minor Houses loyal to Trakand [COT: 10, A Blazing Beacon, 277], and at least thirty-two women for her personal Bodyguard [WH: 26, Expectation, 503]. She anticipates the arrival of her own house retainers (and Gawyn) once they learn she is alive and in Caemlyn, but evidently they still haven't arrived. I'm not clear on how many troops constitute a "company", but at a guess I'd say no more than a hundred or so men each. In any case, it's safe to assume Elayne doesn't have anywhere near Arymilla's numbers. She does have nine Windfinders left after the others went to Illian [COT: 12, A Bargain, 318], the Kin, three Aes Sedai, and the sul'dam and damane; all told, there are about a hundred and fifty women who can channel in the Palace [COT: 11, Talk of Debts, 285].
- The Kin: Not technically an army, true, but one thousand seven hundred and eighty three channelers [ACOS: 31, Mashiara, 500], minus losses, is nothing to sneeze at, however untrained in battle
they might be. Reanne, the Knitting Circle, and what Kin were at the farm in TPOD are in Caemlyn with Elayne (over a hundred, according to Hanlon [COT: 15, Gathering Darkness, 377]), and the rest are scattered all over the place; Nynaeve and Reanne sent eighteen of those in Caemlyn to Altara and Tarabon and Amadicia via Gateways, to try and find any of the Kin still in Seanchan-controlled territory [WH: 8, Sea Folk and Kin, 201]. Gathering them all up and joining them with the AS will likely be a fine mess.
- The Borderland Treaty Organization (BoTO): By Merilille's estimate, around two hundred thousand soldiers [WH: 26, Expectation, 511], plus thirteen unaffiliated Aes Sedai and one of the
world's great generals (Agelmar Jagad). Elayne has asked them to move into Andor and play decoy, which they are doing, but very slowly. They claim to have moved south to meet with Rand and discuss his neglect of the Blight border, but their true motives are uncertain: "'Further south,' Easar added, 'it may be well to have thirteen Aes Sedai with us'" [TPOD: Prologue, Deceptive Appearances, 23]. Elayne gave them the mistaken impression that Rand is in Murandy.
- Blight Border: It's uncertain just how many soldiers the BoTO left behind them when they marched south. Ethenielle is of the opinion that what she's left can guard the Blight "short of
the Trolloc Wars coming again", but her companion Alesune evidently disagrees [TPOD: Prologue, Deceptive Appearances, 20]. Even if Ethenielle is correct, though, a second Trolloc War may be exactly what
the Borderlands will have to face.
- Shadowspawn/DO's forces: The Blight's been quiescent for months, which makes it a good bet that something major is brewing; we're way overdue for Trollocs and Myrddraal to reenter the
picture, not to mention the BoTO haring off south means there hasn't been a better time to launch a Shadow offensive against the Borderlands since the Breaking. The Forsaken, with the possible exception of Semirhage, appear to be all firmly under Moridin's thumb as of WH, and ready to act in concert.
- The Rebel Aes Sedai: Over thirty thousand soldiers as of [TPOD: 15, Stronger Than Written Law, 318], plus around 300 full Aes Sedai [ACOS: Prologue, Lightnings, 24], a fair posse of Warders, twenty-one Accepted [COT: 17, Secrets, 420], and 987 novices [COT: 16, The Subject of Negotiations, 399]. Led by one of Randland's greatest generals, Gareth Bryne, they are currently besieging Tar Valon, but initially unsuccessfully, since they could not block the harbors. After setting up fruitless negotiations as a front, Egwene executed a plan to block the harbors by turning the chain gate across each into unmovable cuendillar, during which she was betrayed and captured (see section 2.6.8). Egwene finished her chain in Northharbor; it is unknown if Leane completed transforming the chain in Southharbor or not.
- The Tower Aes Sedai: Bryne tells Egwene in [TPOD: 15, Stronger Than Written Law, 318] that Elaida has ordered the Tower Guard increased to fifty thousand men, though it is unknown whether she actually accomplished that goal. It's also not clear if the Tower Guard serves as the only armed force in Tar Valon (not counting the Warders) or if the city has a separate militia. Add to that around 200 or so Aes Sedai, after losses at Dumai's Wells (27 sisters) and the Black Tower (Toveine's 50). Though the Tower is divided by internal dissent and a brewing Black Ajah purge, Elaida now (presumably) has the leader of the rebels in her possession, which could give her a distinct advantage (or might have, were the Tower not about to be attacked by the Seanchan).
- The Younglings: A small but elite fighting force led by Gawyn Trakand. Their numbers were reduced to less than 200 men after Dumai's Wells [ACOS: Prologue, Lightnings, 52]. They had escorted
the twelve TAS who escaped Dumai's Wells back to Tar Valon, but were then refused entrance to the city by the bridge guards [ACOS: 32, Sealed to the Flame, 506]. They have since been wintering in the village of Dorlan, outside Tar Valon, and their numbers have swelled to over three hundred men [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 54]. Gawyn has evidently not received his sister's summons to Caemlyn, since he is unsure where Elayne is until Tarna tells him she's with the rebels (which are now between him and Tar Valon). Despite this, he tells the AS Narenwhin that he is still loyal to Elaida.
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