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I'm currently reading "Winter's Heart", and it seems like Egwene and company have made a connection between

the Oath Rod and the lifespan of Aes Sedai.

I understand why the connection was made, but not the how. How did they arrive at this conclusion?

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    I don't remember specifics to cite, but The Kin, all the tower exiles, and their extreme longevity, were the most obvious evidence. – Radhil Jan 25 '18 at 19:23
  • @Radhil: Like I said, I understand WHY it was made. But not how. – PiousVenom Jan 25 '18 at 21:12
  • the relationship between Aes Sedai, their customs and rituals, and the contrast of other channelers is a reoccurring theme throughout the series. More explanations on the matter comes later in the series. – NaturesCreed Feb 8 '18 at 18:06
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They determined the Oath Rod foreshortened Aes Sedai's lives by contrast with the Kin, who lived longer and did not look "ageless" in the same way. From The Path of Daggers (emphasis mine):

She hoped that was the end of it. It should have been. But when Chilares left, Sareitha replaced her, and she too had a reason the Kinswomen were not to be trusted. Their ages. Even Kirstian claimed to be older than any living Aes Sedai, while Reanne was over a hundred years more than that and not even the oldest of the Kin. Her title of Eldest went to the oldest of them in Ebou Dar, and the rigid schedule they followed to avoid notice had a number of still older women off in other places. It was obviously impossible, Sareitha maintained.

Elayne did not shout; she very carefully did not shout. “We will learn the truth eventually,” she told Sareitha. She did not doubt the Kinswomen’s word, but there had to be a reason why the Kinswomen looked neither ageless nor anything near the ages they claimed. If she could only puzzle it out. Something told her it was obvious, but nothing leaped up said what. “Eventually,” she added firmly when the Brown opened her mouth again. “That will be enough, Sareitha.” Sareitha nodded uncertainly and fell back. Not ten minutes later, Sibella replaced her.

I wasn't able to find the 'eureka!' moment, but by Winter's Heart, the Kin are cited as proof that the Oath Rod shortens life (emphasis mine):

Egwene raised one hand as if to stop her, but her reply was calm and level. “There’s no need to think further, Elayne. The Three Oaths, sworn on the Oath Rod, are what make us Aes Sedai. I didn’t see that, at first, but I do, now. The very first day we have the Tower, I will swear the Three Oaths, on the Oath Rod.”

“That’s madness!” Nynaeve burst out, leaning forward in her chair. Surprisingly, still the same chair. And still the same dress. Very surprising. Her hands were fists resting on her lap. “You know what it does; the Kin are proof! How many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it? And don’t tell me I shouldn’t talk about age. That’s a ridiculous custom, and you know it. Egwene, Reanne was called Eldest because she was the oldest Kinswoman in Ebou Dar. The oldest anywhere is a woman called Aloisia Nemosni, an oil merchant in Tear. Egwene, she’s nearly six . . . hundred . . . years . . . old! When the Hall hears that, I wager they’ll be ready to put the Oath Rod on a shelf.”

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  • Yeah, I'm trying to find the 'eureka' moment, as you put it. That last paragraph is what got me thinking about how they made the connection. The Oath Rod is never really brought up to them. – PiousVenom Jan 26 '18 at 14:47

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