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In The Great Hunt, Liandrin takes Egwene and Nynaeve through the ways into captivity, and leaves her friends (apparently) to be killed. Why go through all the trouble if the someone wanted them out of the way? Why not just kill them?

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    Haven't got the books available to me at the moment, but iirc Liandrin takes Egwene and Nynaeve to High Lady Suroth (another Darkfriend). The Seanchan were always looking for new damane and again iirc Suroth was working for Semirhage, where Liandrin was not working for any of the Forsaken directly, meaning that Suroth may have more "rank" than Liandrin... – Alith Apr 12 at 14:31
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    Like that would be so easy. They were much stronger then her. Why risk death (Nynaeve later spontaneously reinvented the balefire!) when she manipulated them so easily? Also, they were supposed to be a bait for Rand, IIRC. – Mithoron Apr 12 at 16:16
  • To speculate, it is quite likely that Ishamael is the person behind the plot and he wants Egwene and Nynaeve as bait to draw Rand into a confrontation. He is driven by dark prophecies and insanity both. I don't remember if this is actually confirmed by the books though. – Amarth May 3 at 8:30
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The quotes within that section make it clear that someone, presumably a Forsaken, has ordered Liandrin to deliver Egwene and Nynaeve to Suroth, alive and leashed rather than dead.

Liandrin laid a hand on Nynaeve's shoulder and one on Egwene's. "These are the two of whom you were told..."

This quote indicates that those two had specifically been mentioned to Suroth. Since she appears prepared to take two marath'damane and leash them, it's clear they were meant to be delivered alive.

"You were to bring me two," Suroth said.

Just a confirmation that Suroth is working off the same script here, and annoyed by the extraneous presence of Elayne and Min.

"I brought you three," Liandrin said calmly. "If you cannot manage to hold them, perhaps our master should find another among you to serve him."

Here Liandrin indicates that she and Suroth share a master, and are therefore both taking orders to perform this transaction.

"If either [Egwene or Nynaeve] is allowed to remain here," Liandrin said tightly, "our master will trouble himself with you, Suroth. Take them both, or pay the price."

Again, the master is mentioned, and it's clear that he wanted Egwene and Nynaeve leashed and taken by the Seanchan, not killed.

Quotes are from The Great Hunt, chapter 40 "Damane"

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