Eyes-and-Ears

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Author: Atarah al'Norahn

Contents

General

Eyes-and-Ears is the term used for the networks of agents “who [send] in reports and rumors of what [is] going on in the world” (LoC, Prologue). They are very common among Aes Sedai; Egwene thinks that sometimes, it seems as if the world holds more networks of eyes-and-ears than it does Aes Sedai (ACoS, Ch. 9). They are as useful for passing messages along to another sister as they are for finding out information (NS, Ch. 12).

Each Ajah, with the exception of the White, has its own network of eyes-and-ears (TFoH, Prologue). The Amyrlin Seat also traditionally has a network that is passed down from Amyrlin to Amyrlin. Many individual Aes Sedai also have their own networks (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24). No network of agents, in the entire history of the Tower, has ever been run by anyone other than an Aes Sedai (LoC, Ch. 7).

Eyes-and-ears agents cannot be found just anywhere (TFoH, Ch. 11). The reliability of agents varies from agent to agent; some sisters, such as Elaida, think that agents exaggerate to make their information seem all the more valuable (TFoH, Ch. 11; ACoS, Prologue). Additionally, much of what the agents pass on is rumor and untruth. Most agents for Aes Sedai networks are women (LoC, Ch. 15).

It is rumoured that some agents are double-agents, but not many are willing to risk going against Aes Sedai in such a way (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).

Although most networks have agents in all of the big cities, villages are often too small to hold White Tower eyes-and-ears (TPoD, Prologue).


The Amyrlin

The Amyrlin Seat has her own private network of eyes-and-ears. The head of the Amyrin’s network is traditionally the head of intelligence for the White Tower, though she is answerable only to the Amyrlin Seat (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).

Despite the fact that Elaida was elected Amyrlin Seat of the White Tower, she was not able to get the secrets of the Amyrlin’s network from Siuan before she escaped. Elaida is very anxious to have the secrets of Amyrlin’s network passed on to her (ACoS, Prologue), as she must currently rely upon her personal network and whatever the Ajahs choose to share with her.

Since arriving in Salidar, Siuan has been allowed by the Salidar Aes Sedai to run the Amyrlin’s network, as she remembers all of the agents from when she held the Amyrlin Seat. Aeldene Stonebridge, the head of the Blue Ajah’s network, wanted to add the Amyrin’s agents to those of the Blue Ajah, since Siuan was a Blue before being raised. However, others think that as Aeldene is the head of the Blue’s network, she should not also be in charge of the Amyrlin’s network. In addition to Aeldene, the Hall of the Tower also wants control of the network. Egwene has told Siuan that no one can make her give it up (ACoS, Ch. 11).

It took some time for Siuan to re-establish contact with the network and begin having them send their reports to Salidar rather than to the White Tower, as they are scattered all over the Westlands. Elayne does not think that Siuan has yet been able re-establish contact with her agents in the Borderlands (LoC, Ch. 7). Egwene does not think that any of the Amyrlin’s agents know who their reports are going to at the moment (ACoS, Ch. 9).

Agents in the Amyrlin’s network include a printer in Illian and a laboror on the docks in Illian (TPoD, Ch. 16).

Over the course of the series, Siuan has garnered a great deal of information from her eyes and ears. Some of the more important information includes the following.

  • There are many rumors from Cairhien about Aes Sedai who are allied with or serving Rand. Egwene and Siuan dismiss these rumors (TPoD, Ch. 16).
  • One of the agents in Illian claims that Rand killed Mattin Stepaneos with his own hands and then destroyed the body and that he has proof of this; another claims that she saw Mattin Stepaneos bound, gagged and being carried aboard a ship (TPoD, Ch. 16). This last rumor is actually true, as Elaida had the king kidnapped (KoD, Ch. 2).
  • They receive reports of the Shaido being everywhere; these reports are often from people who have heard it from other people who have heard it from yet others (TPoD, Ch. 16).
  • As soon as she hears that Cadsuane is in Cairhien, Siuan has her agents keep an eye on her (CoT, Ch. 18).


The Ajahs

Most of the Ajahs have their own network of eyes-and-ears. Each Ajah has one Aes Sedai who is in charge of their network and reports the information to the Head of the Ajah (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24). The head of each Ajah’s network is known only to a few, and is always an Aes Sedai (TFoH, Ch. 27).

No Ajah is required to pass on what it learns from its eyes-and-ears to either the Tower as a whole or the Amyrlin Seat. When they do choose to share information, they use their Sitters to relay it to the Hall of the Tower, or else pass it on to the Keeper to tell the Amyrlin Seat (ACoS, Prologue; TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24). Elaida is very put out at the fact that the Ajah’s eyes-and-ears have been telling her very little (ACoS, Ch. 32; KoD, Ch. 2; KoD, Ch. 25). In truth, Alviarin has been keeping some of what the Ajahs have relayed to her (ACoS, Ch. 32).

Egwene thinks that it is interesting to see what the Ajahs decide to pass along to her, because it is interesting to see what they choose to keep to themselves (CoT, Ch. 27).

Most Ajah agents seem to use emergency signals that alert sisters and other agents of the Ajah to the fact that they have news (TFoH, Ch. 9; LoC, Ch. 11). Only a few sisters usually know who the eyes-and-ears are (TFoH, Ch. 9).

Because of the split in the Tower, many of the Ajah’s agents are currently lying low (ACoS, Ch. 9).

Information that the Ajahs in general have received from their networks includes the following.

  • No report has been received by the Ajahs from Tanchico in over a month. Other agents throughout Tarabon have also failed to send in reports (TFoH, Ch. 25).
  • Various Ajah agents in Caemlyn claim that Morgase has been in seclusion for days, though a confused report says that a Red sister claims to have seen her at a public audience (TFoH, Ch. 25).
  • Little news come from the lands held by the Seanchan (CoT, Ch. 18).
  • There are wild tales from Arad Doman, claiming that King Alsalam has been killed, or has begun to channel and gone mad. There are also tales about Rodel Ituralde, saying that he is dead, has usurped the throne of Arad Doman, or has invaded Saldaea. The Council of Merchants is also rumoured to be dead, or has fled, or are engaged in a civil war over who is to be the next king (CoT, Ch. 18).

The Blue Ajah

The Blue Ajah has the most extensive network of eyes-and-ears, both within the Ajah and among the individual Aes Sedai (TFoH, Prologue). Its agents often report on matters of political intrigue (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).

Around the time of the Aiel War, Cetalia Delarme was the head of the Blue Ajah’s network of eyes-and-ears (NS, Ch. 12). Her successor was Siuan Sanche; after Siuan was raised to the Amyrlin Seat, she was succeeded by Aeldene Stonebridge. Even within the Ajah, very few sisters know the identity of the person who heads the eyes-and-ears (ACoS, Ch. 11).

When she arrives in Salidar, Siuan is given permission to run the Amyrlin’s network of eyes-and-ears as well as the Blue Ajah’s network (TFoH, Ch. 27). Before Aeldene arrives in Salidar, she manages to get in touch with a handful of the Blue Ajah’s agents. When Aeldene discovers that Siuan has not only revealed her identity to the other Salidar Aes Sedai, but also that she has been running the network in Aeldene’s absence, she is very angry (ACoS, Ch. 11).

One of the Blue Ajah agents is Duranda Tharne in Lugard, Murandy. Her information is always timely. When Siuan visits her, she tells the innkeeper that she can sing “The Song of the Three Fishes” and “Blue Sky Dawning,” which seems to be some kind of code. People who visit Duranda for information are supposed to visit her at opening or closing. Duranda has been an agent since before Siuan took over the eyes-and-ears, which was about twenty years ago. She claims that she has been working for the Blue Ajah for so long that she wouldn’t know what to do with herself otherwise. She wants Siuan to tell Aeldene, if she sees her, that she is still loyal ({tfoh|11}}).

Information passed on through the Blue’s network includes the following.

  • Duranda Tharne is told to give the name “Sallie Daera” to any Blue sister (TFoH, Ch. 11).
  • Moria tells the Hall of the Tower that, according to reliable sources, there are nearly as many Asha'man as there are Aes Sedai. This information could be from the Blue Ajah eyes-and-ears or from her own personal eyes-and-ears (CoT, Ch. 19).

The Brown Ajah

The eyes-and-ears of the Brown Ajah search for and relay information on caches of books and knowledge (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).

The Gray Ajah

One of the Gray Ajah’s agents is thought to be Arilyn Dhulaine, a Cairhienin noblewoman (LoC, Ch. 25).

Information on the activities of the Gray Ajah's network includes the following.

  • Coiren and the rest of Elaida’s embassy on Rand stay with Arilyn in Cairhien (LoC, Ch. 25).
  • A Gray agent has seen Elayne and Nynaeve in Ebou Dar and sends a report to the White Tower about them “pretending” to be Aes Sedai. He includes sketches of them, and while he is no artist, the two girls are recognizable (ACoS, Prologue).
  • The Gray Ajah in Salidar has been focusing on reports from the south, especially with the Seanchan threat in Illian and the siege on the Stone of Tear (CoT, Ch. 18).
  • According to Beonin, the Gray eyes-and-ears have been busy of late; some of Elaida’s secrets are beginning to become known to them (KoD, Ch. 24).

The Green Ajah

The eyes-and-ears of the Green Ajah search for information that pertains to military matters (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).

One of the known Green agents is a butcher in Caemlyn (LoC, Ch. 11).

Information received from the Green Ajah's network includes the following.

  • The butcher in Caemlyn tells Alanna of what has happened in the White Tower (LoC, Ch. 11).
  • A Green agent from Caemlyn claims that there are over four hundred people at the Black Tower. He counted the supply carts that leave the city to come up with this number (ACoS, Prologue).
  • The Green Ajah is particularly concerned over the information that they have learned of the Borderlander army near New Braem (CoT, Ch. 18).

The Red Ajah

Elaida thinks, or at least hopes, that the Red Ajah shares all of its information with her, even if the other Ajahs don’t (KoD, Ch. 2).

There are Red agents in Shienar (TFoH, Prologue). Some of the Red’s eyes-and-ears have managed to find employment inside the Black Tower, though none are among Taim’s servants (KoD, Epilogue).

Information on the activities of the Red Ajah’s network includes the following.

  • The Red Ajah’s agents in Shienar are keeping an eye on the clashes there (TFoH, Prologue).
  • The Red Ajah’s eyes-and-ears have been full of talk about the recruiting parties that the Asha’man have been sending out (CoT, Ch. 22). They have also sent a great deal of information about the Black Tower (KoD, Epilogue).
  • Toveine Gazal sends a letter to Galina through a Red agent in Cairhien. It contains information about what has happened at the Black Tower (CoT, Ch. 22).

The White Ajah

The White Ajah is the only Ajah that does not have a network of eyes-and-ears, as they are devoted to logic and philosophy (TFoH, Prologue).

The Yellow Ajah

The Yellow Ajah’s network of eyes-and-ears is apparently a rather small and “pitiful thing” (TFoH, Prologue). Their informants specifically look for outbreaks of diseases (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24). However, as it is believed that there is nothing that an Aes Sedai can learn of sickness or Healing from a non-channeler, some view it as of little use (TFoH, Prologue).

The head of the Yellow Ajah’s eyes-and-ears is Narenwin Barda (TFoH, Ch. 9).

One of the Yellow Ajah’s agents is Ronde Macura in Mardecin, Amadicia (TFoH, Ch. 9).

An emergency signal used by the agents of the Yellow Ajah to attract sisters or other agents is a bunch of broomweed with a hanging piece of yellow ribbon that is split in three. It has not been used in nearly three hundred years (TFoH, Ch. 9).

In order to alert a Yellow agent to the fact that the speaker wishes to know information, they must include the words “yellow” and “heal” in a sentence (TFoH, Ch. 9).

Information on the activities of the Yellow Ajah’s eyes-and-ears includes the following.

  • A description of Elayne is sent to Ronde Macura, along with orders to report any sightings of her and to try to delay or capture her if she can. Ronde is even to risk exposure if she must, which would mean death for her in Amadicia. When Elayne and Nynaeve stop at her shop, she drugs them with forkroot tea and tries to send them off to the White Tower before they are rescued (TFoH, Ch. 10).
  • The Yellow Ajah’s eyes-and-eras in Cairhien are excited about Rand’s interactions with the Atha’an Miere (TPoD, Ch. 15).


Individual Networks

Many individual Aes Sedai have their own networks of eyes-and-ears (LoC, Ch. 7). Only sisters who spend their lives within the White Tower are actually known to not have networks (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24). No Aes Sedai will willingly expose her informants (LoC, Ch. 43), and most will only share the information that they learn if it threatens the White Tower itself (CoT, Ch. 12). It is said that these sisters guard their agents even more closely than the Ajahs do (TFoH, Prologue).

Because of the split in the Tower, many agents do not know where the Aes Sedai they are in service to is currently located (ACoS, Ch. 9).

The Aes Sedai in Salidar are able to keep in touch with their eyes-and-ears thanks to Moghedien; every night, many Aes Sedai use Skimming in order to check the dovecotes that they use for messages (ACoS, Ch. 9)

Cadsuane Melaidhrin

Cadsuane has had her eyes-and-ears keeping watch on Siuan and Moiraine without learning anything for years (WH, Ch. 13).

Demira Eriff

Milam Harnder, who is the Second Librarian in the Royal Palace in Caemlyn, has been one of Demira’s agents for nearly thirty years. She goes to see him while staying in Caemlyn with the rest of the Salidar embassy to Rand (LoC, Ch. 46).

Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan

Because Siuan never revealed any information about the Amyrlin’s network (ACoS, Prologue), Elaida must instead rely upon her own personal network and whatever the Ajahs decide to pass on to her.

Most of Elaida’s personal agents are located in Andor, a fact that she regrets as it means that she does not get detailed reports from elsewhere in the Westlands (ACoS, Prologue). She does, however, have plenty of eye-and-ears throughout the Borderlands (LoC, Ch. 7).

Information that Elaida has received from her network includes the following.

  • Elaida’s eyes-and-ears in Tarabon have been silent lately; she has only heard of Tarabon in rumors from Amadicia that there are Aes Sedai involved in the war there (LoC, Ch. 7).
  • There are very few reports from Arad Doman lately, and they are confused (LoC, Ch. 7).

Leane Sharif

Leane is rare, and perhaps even unique, in that while holding the position of Keeper of the Chronicles, she had eyes-and-ears within the city of Tar Valon itself (LoC, Ch. 7). This is rare because, according to Egwene, “it was a human failing to watch keenly what was happening down the street while ignoring what lay right at your feet” (CoT, Ch. 18).

Despite the fact that most Aes Sedai use women as their informants, Leane’s eyes-and-ears all seem to be men. Elayne notices her speaking to unfamiliar men, patting their cheek or smiling at them (LoC, Ch. 15).

Leane’s contacts give her influence with the Aes Sedai in Salidar; Egwene thinks that this is one of the reasons why she was allowed to remain in Salidar (ACoS, Ch. 11).

Leane sends her eyes-and-ears reports to no one but Egwene (CoT, Ch. 17).

Leane claims that it shouldn’t be difficult to get in contact with her other informants from before she became the Keeper of the Chronicles (TFoH, Ch. 27).

Moiraine Damodred

One of Moiraine’s agents was Nieda Sidoro in Illian, who served her for a dozen years (TDR, Ch. 44).

The activities of Moiraine’s network include the following.

  • She has her agents in Tear watch Rand, Mat and Thom. Mat, however, manages to evade her eyes-and-ears with ease, and Moiraine thinks to herself that her eyes-and-ears must have missed some of the notes passed from Thom to Rand, as Thom has been giving Rand good advice that Moiraine didn’t know about beforehand (TSR, Ch. 21).
  • Her eyes and ears hear Thom muttering to himself about Tanchico, so Moiraine knows that Nynaeve and Elayne will be well taken care of when they leave for Tarabon (TSR, Ch. 21).
  • Her agents in Tear refuse to spy on the Aiel since one woman was found “bound and gagged, hanging by her ankles from the battlements and staring wild eyed at the four hundred foot drop beneath her” and one man has simply disappeared (TSR, Ch. 21).
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