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Talent

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Talents are the collective name for special abilities innate to those who can channel. Talents are innate and cannot be learned, unlike most weaves. All Talents are relatively rare, and some are unpredictable. It appears that certain Talents are more common in certain channeling organizations - for example, far fewer Wise Ones have the Talent to Heal than Aes Sedai, and far fewer Aes Sedai have the Talent known as Cloud Dancing than Windfinders - although the reason for this is unknown. A possibility could be the dwindling number of channelers in general, making the likelihood of innate Talents even smaller. Elayne Trakand considers it a likely option that the Windfinders are extremely skilled Cloud Dancers because of their lifestyle.

One of the more commonly known, and most rare, Talents is Foretelling, which causes the channeler to experience trance-like states in which they perceive future or present events.

The ability to see ta'veren is also a Talent, as is the ability to enter the World of Dreams (commonly known as dreamwalking or Dreaming) though its more common among the Aiel and more common among non-channelers. A recently discovered Talent allows the channeler to "feel" the effects or intended use of a ter'angreal through simple physical contact.

Some of the Talents in this Age are new, such as the Talent to see ta'veren. Many other lost Talents, however, are just now being discovered by the channelers of this Age, such as the Talent of Aligning the Matrix, and the making of ter'angreal and cuendillar.

Other TalentsEdit

  • Aligning the Matrix - The ability to make metal stronger, the key to crafting Power-wrought weapons. Fager Neald has this Talent.
  • Blood Boiling - The ability to cause another person's blood to boil, killing them. Apparently, this Talent is strongly linked with the Talent of Healing. Rianna Andomeran has this Talent.
  • Cloud Dancing - The ability to control and manipulate weather patterns, such as creating storms or wind or clearing the sky to make a sunny day. Atha'an Miere Windfinders call this Talent Weaving the Winds. Verin Mathwin and Moiraine Damodred both strongly possess this Talent.
  • Compulsion - The ability to influence another person's mind and actions. It is possible to completely erase one's personality and autonomous thought with enough layers of Compulsion. Graendal is said to have an unmatched mastery of this Talent. Verin and Liandrin know a milder form of Compulsion, lesser strong and effective, in particular Verin is able to imprint only vague suggestions in the mind of others that are effective if her victims find a valid reason to follow them, so she needs to imprint suggestions that are adaptable to the mind of her victims, not ones that are strongly in opposition to their usual thinking.
  • Delving - Allows the user to discern a patient's injuries and illnesses. Verin Mathwin thinks that she is unsurpassed at Delving. Nynaeve al'Meara also seems to possess this ability, allowing her to detect intricate weaves of compulsion placed by Delana and Aran'Gar on Lord Ramshalan, which allows Rand al'Thor to discover Graendal's hideout. Nynaeve uses this to detect the madness of Naeff, Jahar Narishma, and Damer Flinn. Her delving skills allowed her to find the emptiness caused from the gentling and stillings of Logain Ablar, Siuan Sanche and Leane Sharif. Another completely independent Talent involves being able to sense and extract ores from the earth without causing disruptions to the landscape. This Talent was lost to modern Aes Sedai, however it had not entirely disappeared amongst the Seanchan. The Talent requires a strong ability in Earth, something rare among women. Egwene al'Vere is an Aes Sedai revealed to have this ability.
  • Earth Singing - Ability to understand, control and manipulate Earth, such as creating boulders from the ground or generating landslides and earthquakes. Differs from controlling the Earth by weaves in that people with this Talent do not need to use as much strength, and have far greater control and manipulative ability. Also, Earth Singers can actually manipulate Earth instead of simply moving it. It is not very common among female channelers but Egwene al'Vere showed it greatly.
  • Air control - Ability to understand, control and manipulate Air weaves with major ease and dexterity than usual. It is not very common among male channelers but the Asha'man Naeff showed it greatly.
  • Flying - Mentioned several times as a talent that was lost during the Breaking. Allows the channeler to fly. Echiko was an Accepted who thought she rediscovered Flying and jumped off the roof of the White Tower and fell to death. Yukiri thinks gateways in the air could be the path to flying.
  • Healing - The Talent to heal another person completely of any wounds or ailments. A common Talent amongst Aes Sedai. The old method used Air, Spirit, and Water only among the Five Powers, drawing its strength from the channeler and unable to focus on a specific ailment or wound, but a new method, discovered independently by Nynaeve al'Meara and Damer Flinn, uses all Five Powers, is able to be focused on a specific ailment or wound, and draws its strength from the One Power only. Since there are not many people with the ability to use all of the Five Powers efficiently, some still prefer the old method.
  • Listening to the Wind - A term used in the Two Rivers for the skill of foretelling the weather and also predicting the abundancy of crops. While all Wisdoms claim to have this skill, it is a manifestation of saidar; and so only those Wisdoms who, almost always unknowingly, have the ability to channel can actually Listen to the Wind. Nynaeve al'Meara has the Talent that goes on another way, she can predict problems as if it were storms. See also Wilder.
  • Killing - The ability to stop another person's heart from beating, killing the person. Apparently this Talent is closely associated with the Talent to Heal. Chesmal Emry has this Talent, as does Siuan Sanche.
  • Milking Tears - Unknown function, mentioned by Moghedien during her days in Salidar. It is speculated that this Talent allows a channeler to manipulate the emotions of others, possibly in something similar to Compulsion. Could also be the ability to feel emotions that reside in objects, Nynaeve al'Meara possesses this ability particularly with ter'angreal.
  • Reading Residues - A channeler with this Talent can read the residues of a former use of the One Power. Some of this readers can even track and duplicate a weave days after it was woven. For instance Donalo Sandomere is able to track were a gateway was opened and to reproduce it perfectly to travel in the same place as the former one. The only way to leave no trace of a weave is to unpick it, one strand at a time, which is very dangerous: this is another talent called Unweaving.
  • Spinning Earthfire - Unknown, but presumably has a militaristic function. It is possible that this could mean creating magma, since combining Earth and Fire would be something like magma.
  • Ta'veren Seeing - Allows the channeler to see ta'veren in a golden light. Although described as even rarer than ta'veren themselves, Logain Ablar, Siuan Sanche and Nicola Treehill all possess it.
  • Ter'angreal, reading - the ability to discern the purpose of a ter'angreal. Aviendha has this talent.
  • Ter'angreal, making - the newly discovered ability to create a ter'angreal. Elayne Trakand and several Seanchan have this Talent.
  • Unweaving - The ability to pick apart a weave so as to leave no evidence of it behind. It is uncommon amongst Aes Sedai and is known to be dangerous to those who try it without the Talent. Aviendha and some of the Wise Ones are capable of this feat.
  • Tie weaves. In some cases the weaves of the One Power can be tied so the flows will stand for a while (some weaves can be programmed to stand tied for hours, years, centuries and even millennia as the ones protecting Callandor in the Stone of Tear). By the description given many times in the books, it seems that not all the channelers are able to tie a weave, so this skill can be considered a personal talent of some of them as in the case of Moiraine, though it has also been found more common in channelers above a particular strength.
  • Fast Learning. Usually the ability to learn a new weave is connected to the strength of a channeler, in fact the strongest can learn a new weave with greater ease than the weakest, for example it is enough for Rand and Alivia to have seen the composing of a new weave only once in order to learn how to reproduce it; for Nynaeve, and Elayne it is enough to see it formed a few times. Alternatively, it may take the weakest channelers years of study in order to learn a new weave. But there are very weak channelers as Sorilea and Asra with the unique talent to learn quickly like the strongest. Also some Aes Sedai (as Salita Toranes) showed this talent which permitted them to reduce a lot their time in training as Novices and Accepted.
  • Shielding. Usually the act of blocking someone from the One Power with a Shield is done by a channeller to one weaker than him, because a much stronger adversary can easily break the Shield. But the Kinswoman Berowin (who is not very strong), has the unique talent to Shield even the strongest channeler, maintaining it with ease.
  • Traveling and Skimming. The weaves for opening a Gateway for Skimming can be learned by all the Channelers and if the required strength is provided, all of them can use it proficiently. Instead to open a Travel Gateway directly from a place to another it needs not only the right amount of strength, but it needs also to possess at least a minimum Talent. In fact we know strong Channelers as Damer Flinn with little talent in Traveling that are able to open smaller Gateways then their strength would allow and with lesser precision than Gateways opened by weaker channelers than them. Also there are some very weak Channelers as Androl with a stunning talent in Traveling, for instance he is able to open Gateway larger than some of the stronger channelers, Gateway from and to anywhere without knowing the place, always with a precision rarely performed by others.

See alsoEdit

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