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Oath Rod

The Oath Rod.

"The Oaths hold us together, a stated set of beliefs that bind us all, a single thread running through every sister, living or dead, back to the first to lay her hands on the Oath Rod. They are what make us Aes Sedai, not saidar."
   —Siuan Sanche

The Oath Rod is a ter'angreal that makes oaths sworn upon it unbreakable. Its origins are in the Age of Legends, in which it was called a Binder. Binders were used on criminal channellers of One Power. One such example was Semirhage, most talented healer at the end of Age of Legends bound to not satisfy her sadistic streak on her patients. Binders don´t work on persons not being able to channel One Powers. On such other ter'angreal were used instead.

At the third age there are only a two binders known. They are smooth, ivory-white cylinder shaped, a foot long and wrist-thick with odd, cursive script carved on one flat end. They feel almost like glass, cool to the touch. Every one is activated by a thin thread of Spirit added to the numeral that is carved into it.

White Tower Oath RodEdit

It is a binding rod that is possessed and used by the White Tower from millennia. The numeral three is carved into it.

It is used when raising Accepted to Aes Sedai, upon which they are required to swear the Three Oaths. It makes oaths binding; that is, it is not possible to knowingly break an oath sworn on the Oath Rod unless the rod is used again to release the person from it.

The Black Ajah has found a way to break the Three Oaths while retaining an ageless face. The Black Ajah uses the Oath Rod to remove their Oaths and swear three new Oaths to the Shadow. [1] One of these Darkfriend Oaths is to "not betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death." [2] Another Oath is to not betray the identity of any Black sisters, although the exact phrasing is unknown.

Seaine Herimon, Pevara Tazanovni, Saerin Asnobar, Yukiri, and Doesine Alwain secretly used the Oath Rod to investigate sisters and force then to reswear the Three Oaths in order to prove they are not a member of the Black Ajah. As part of carrying out this task they tested themselves, Talene Minly and the rebel sisters who were spying on the White Tower sisters.

The day after the Battle of Tar Valon during which she was involuntarily rescued from her White Tower captivity, Egwene "fetched" the Oath Rod from Saerin for two purposes: she wanted to swear the Three Oaths in front of the rebel Sitters and she wanted to use it to ferret out sisters of the Black Ajah who wandered among them.[3] To accomplish the latter she made all rebel sisters reswear the Oaths, but to ensure that members of the Black Ajah did not escape, she kept her possession of the Oath Rod a secret until she was ready to force the confrontation.

After Egwene's rise to power as Amyrlin Seat in the White Tower, the Oath Rod was used again on the remaining sisters to wring out any darkfriends who had not yet escaped.

Seaine presents to Egwene three possible ways for a Forsaken to circumvent the Oath Rod: using another Oath Rod just after taking the Three Oaths to negate them, sending another woman under the Mirror of Mists to take the Oaths, and using some voice-changing weave to make others hear the words of Oaths instead of the words that were really spoken.[4]

The Oath Rod is the cause of the Aes Sedai agelessness. Although most Aes Sedai believe that the ageless look comes with the ability to channel, the Kin, the Forsaken, the Wise Ones and the damane do not have ageless faces, despite centuries worth of channeling. Egwene herself states to Romanda that the Oath Rod is the cause of agelessness.[5] See also Source:Budapest Q&A, April 2003, close to the end of that long article for confirmation from RJ, himself.

Besides causing agelessness, the Oath Rod reduces an Aes Sedai's life span in more than half. One of the members of the Kin is almost three hundred years older than Cadsuane Melaidhrin, the oldest living Aes Sedai.

Shaido Oath RodEdit

The second known Oath Rod is in possession of the Shaido Aiel. It was probably found in the Kin's Storeroom in Ebou Dar and given to Sammael by Falion and other Darkfriends. Some time after it was given to Sevanna of the Shaido Aiel, by Caddar (Sammael in disguise), although it was since seized by Therava. It was used to bind Galina Casban to the will of the Sevanna and her allies. Galina commented the it is very similar to the one in the White Tower, the only difference is the numeral impressed on it.

OthersEdit

Three more binding rods are shown to be in the possession of Moridin, among other objects of the Power he owns in his fortress in the Blight. It is not known if they are attuned to saidin or saidar as the two described above.

NotesEdit

  1. A Crown of Swords, Chapter 40
  2. The Gathering Storm, Chapter 39
  3. The Gathering Storm, Chapter 43
  4. Towers of Midnight, Chapter 15
  5. Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 30

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