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Letter to Paul Ward - March 2000
Nearly 3 years ago I had posted the group saying I was planning on writing a letter to RJ to ask him some questions and asked if anyone had anything they wanted to ask. Well, I had been hoping for some sort of response within 6-8 months, but it didn't happen. I then went away for 2 years. I was recently going through some boxes of stuff that my parents had saved/received for me and found RJ's response. I was quite surprised. My parents had never told me it had come. It is dated in March of 2000, about a year after I wrote to him.
Since the letter I wrote him seems to be missing from my computer, we can only try to guess what it was I asked him, but following are some answers and some possible questions that prompted them. For complete answers on a topic, email me.
(Possible questions: Does balefire affect itself? Can you balefire balefire? If you balefire another person, but then you get balefired, what happens to the person you balefire?)
1) "The balefire weave exists wholly or partly outside time, which removes it from its own effect."
-- This would have been helpful back during the balefire physics debates.
(Possible question: Who killed Asmodean?)
2) "I really think that the best suggestion for the murderer of Asmodean was that it was Moiraine acting under Compulsion imposed by Bela. Of course, that is not the answer, but it is the best suggestion from a fan."
--I can't remember who suggested that. It's the *best* suggestion?
(Possible question: Why did the ter'angreal doorway burn down when Lanfear and Moiraine passed through?)
3) "When Moiraine and Lanfear went through the ter'angreal, it burned in part because both were channeling, and the world on the other side of the doorway has a radically different set of natural laws. The odd optical effects witnessed in that other world are not artificially produced artifacts." (complete answer)
--The laws for channelling are different on the other side of the doorway...interesting.
(Possible question: What's up with the Accepted test ter'angreal?)
4) "Anyone being tested is merely a visitor, or rider, on whoever she is in [another reality.]"
-- Therefore, though Sharina may be a real person, it doesn't mean anything in terms of her future advising to the Malkier throne.
[Verbatim answer for 4: "The places that novices visit while testing for Accepted are other realities, but it's not quite that simple. Anyone being tested is merely a visitor, or rider, on whoever she is in that world. Some of those who have not come back have died, and some have become absorbed in the different reality, but that is not to say that they are still alive in any sense that we would recognize. You really don't want to stay in the other reality, no matter how terrific it might seem."
-- Verbatim. Everything he said about the Accepted test ter'angreal.]
(Possible question: Languages/accents?)
5) Seanchan -> Texas accent. TwoRivers -> Irish/English accent. Illianers -> Dutch. Aiel -> somewhat Slavic. Tairen -> Spanish. Domani -> Indian. Saldaean -> Egyptian/North African.
(Possible question: How did the 100 Companions link to make the seals on the DO's prison?)
6) "... they did not do it linked. They worked together individually, which made it more difficult, and that is part of the reason the seals have weakened so quickly. I never meant to imply linking. It is possible for large numbers to do a large project without linking, although it is more easily done in a circle."
(Possible question: Someone found a "Master Knifemaker" Herron. Was he the inspiration for heron-mark blades?)
7) "No... I am not familiar with him at all."
(Possible question: Is the DO pure TP? Why does the Creator ignore Randland except to talk to Rand at the end of TEotW?)
8) "No, the Dark One is not pure True Power. Who says the Creator takes little interest in the activities of mankind? And I will neither confirm nor deny that the Creator spoke to Rand."
-- Neither confirm nor deny? What's up with that?
(Possible question: ??)
9) "The taint and the True Power are both manifestations of the Dark One -- they are the same substance, but those who access it are not destroyed in the same way."
-- This would have been helpful -- but then again, may not -- during the taint theory debates.
There were a few other minor things as well, and of course:
(Lots of other questions)