The Ways

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3000 years ago, the Ogier offered the male Aes Sedai the sanctuary of their stedding to keep the men from channeling saidin and going mad during the Breaking of the World. The men eventually left, but before they went they created the Ways as a gift of thanks to the Ogier. The Ways exist apart from the normal world - distance and time are not the same within the Ways. The Ways were created to give the Ogier a safe way to travel between their stedding during the upheaval and anarchy of the Breaking when normal travel was unsafe. When the last of the male Aes Sedai left the stedding, they gave the Ogier a Talisman of Growing so they could "grow" new paths within the Ways to other stedding as these were rediscovered after the Breaking.

Each stedding has its own Waygate. Because the Ways were created with the One Power, the Waygates cannot be grown within a stedding's boundaries, but are located just outside of its border. In appearance, the Waygates look like walls of white stone carved with vines and flowers that almost seem alive. When it is created, each Waygate has two "keys" in the shape of avendesora leaves. There is one key for each side of the Waygate. They can be locked by placing both keys on the same side.

Waygates exist not only near the stedding, but also within many of the cities in the world, and in locations where cities that have been destroyed once stood, as it is virtually impossible to destroy a Waygate. These Waygates were created when the Ogier stonemasons traveled to a location to help build or repair a city. They were placed in the Groves the stonemasons planted to comfort them and remind them of home while they were away. Unfortunately, most of these groves were either chopped down to allow the cities to expand, taken over for private use, or have been allowed to go to root and grow wild. All the Groves but the one in Tar Valon are gone, but the Waygates still exist, although some are now located in a shop basement or the personal garden of some king or queen.

Within the Ways, the time of day has no meaning. When they were first created, there was always enough light to see by for easy travel, making it seem as it if was "day" all the time. Each of the islands had grassy areas and trees that bore edible fruit. Now the darkness has fallen upon the Ways, and they are a place of eternal night where nothing grows.

The pathways of the Ways are constructed from bridges ramps and walkways that appear to hang suspended in space with no visible means of support. Each of the bridges and ramps connects with an island. On each island is a tall slab of stone marked with Ogier script. These guideposts are known as Guidings, and the script written on them indicates the path to follow to reach a particular city or stedding. The Ways were connected with hidden traps that spring only for Shadowspawn, a protection laid to help keep them from traveling the Ways.

Ogier guides know the workings of the Ways and the Signposts, and are the only Ogier allowed to travel the Ways freely. They work under the direction of the Council of Elders or the Stump. They guide other Ogier between the Stedding, and to various cities for diplomatic missions. They have been known to guide humans through the Ways as well, depending on the need or situation as it has arisen.

The Ways on Cuendillar are not as deteriorated as those in the books. They have grown dark, making it impossible to travel without some sort of lighting. Many of the ramps and islands show signs of wear and have started to crumble, but they are by no means a total danger to travel yet. There are rumors of a presence within the Ways that has caused the disappearance of a traveler or two, but these haven't been reliably confirmed.

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