Glossary - Terms

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Author: Nairah Tarak


Young women in training to be Aes Sedai who have reached a certain level of power and passed certain tests. It normally takes five to ten years to be raised from novice to Accepted. Somewhat less confined by rules than novices, they are allowed to choose their own areas of study, within limits. Accepted wear a Great Serpent ring on the third finger of the left hand. When an Accepted is raised Aes Sedai, which usually takes another five to ten years, she chooses her Ajah, gains the right to wear the shawl, and may wear the ring on any finger or not at all if circumstances warrant. See also Aes Sedai.

Aes Sedai (EYEZ seh-DEYE)

Wielders of the One Power. Since the Time of Madness, all surviving Aes Sedai are women. Widely distrusted and feared, even hated, they are blamed by many for the Breaking of the World, and are thought to meddle in the affairs of nations. At the same time, few rulers well be without an Aes Sedai advisor, even in lands where the existence of such a connection must be kept secret. See also Ajah; Amyrlin Seat; Time of Madness.

Aiel (eye-EEL)

The people of the Aiel Waste. Fierce and hardy. Also called Aielmen. They veil their faces before they kill, giving rise to the saying "acting like a black-veiled Aiel" to describe someone who is being violent. Deadly warriors with weapons or with nothing but bare hands, they will not touch a sword. Their pipers play them into battle with the music of dances, and Aielmen call battle "the Dance." See also. Aiel warrior societies; Aiel Waste.

Aiel Kinship Terms

Aiel relationships of blood are expressed in complex ways which outsiders consider unwieldy, but which Aiel consider precise. A few examples must suffice to demonstrate, as an entire volume would be needed for a full explanation. First-brother and first-sister have the same mother. Second-brother and second-sister refer to the children of one's mother's first-sister or first-brother, and sister-mothers and sister-fathers are first-sisters and first-brothers of one's mothers. Greatfather or greatmother refers to the father or mother of one's own mother, while the parents of one's father are second greatfather or second greatmother; one is closer blood kin to one's mother that father. Beyond this the complications grow and are thickened by such factors as the ability of close friends to adopt each other as first-brother or first-sister. When it is also considered that Aiel women who are close friends sometimes marry the same man, thus becoming sister-wives and married to each other as well as to him, the convolutions become even more apparent.

Aiel Warrior Societies

Aiel warriors are all members of one of the warrior societies, such as the Stone Dogs (Shae'en M'taal), the Red Shields (Aethan Dor), the Water Seekers (Duahde Mahdi'in), or the Maidens of the Spear (Far Dareis Mai). Each society has its own customs, and sometimes specific duties. For example, Red Shields act as police. Stone Dogs often vow not to retreat once battle has been joined, and will die to the last man if necessary to fulfill this vow, while Maidens are often scouts. The clans of the Aiel frequently fight among themselves, but members of the same society will not fight one another even if their clans are doing so. In this way, there are always lines of contact between the clans even when they are in open warfare. See also Aiel; Aiel Waste; Far Dareis Mai.

Ajah (AH-jah)

Societies among the Aes Sedai to which all Aes Sedai except the Amyrlin Seat belong. They are designated by colors: Blue, Red, White, Green, Brown, Yellow, and Gray. Each follows a specific philosophy of the use if the One Power and the purposes of the Aes Sedai. The Red Ajah bends all its energies to finding men who are attempting to wield the Power and to gentling them. The Brown Ajah forsakes involvement with the mundane world and dedicates itself to seeking knowledge, while the White, largely eschewing both the world and the value of worldly knowledge, devotes itself to questions of philosophy and truth. The Green Ajah (called the Battle Ajah during the Trolloc Wars) holds itself ready for Tarmon Gai'don, the Yellow concentrates on the study of Healing, and Blue sisters involve themselves with causes and justice. The Gray are mediators, seeking harmony and consensus. There are rumors (hotly denied, and never safely mentioned in front of any Aes Sedai) of a Black Ajah, dedicated to serving the Dark One.


In the Old Tongue, "fighters of the spear, " or "spear fighters." The name given to those Aiel who carry the spear and regularly take part in battle as opposed to those who follow crafts.

Amyrlin Seat (AHM-her-lin SEAT)

(1) The title of the leader of the Aes Sedai. Elected for life by the Hall of the Tower, the highest council of the Aes Sedai, which consists of three representatives (called Sitters) from each of the seven Ajahs. The Amyrlin Seat has, theoretically at least, almost supreme authority among the Aes Sedai, and ranks socially as the equal of a king or queen. A slightly less formal usage is simply the Amrylin.
(2) The throne upon which the leader of the Aes Sedai sits.


Soldiers who owe allegiance or fealty to a particular lord or lady.

Asha'man (Ah-shah-mahn)

(1) In the Old Tongue, "Guardian" or "Defender," with a strong implication that this is a defender of truth and justice.
(2) The name taken by followers of the Dragon Reborn, men who have come to what is now being called the Black Tower in order to learn how to channel. Some have dreamed of channeling despite all the dire risks, while others remain only because passing the test for the ability to learn has itself started them on the road to channeling, and they now must learn to control it before it kills them. They train not only in using the One Power, but in the use of the sword and in fighting with hands and feet. Their training concentrates on the ways in which the One Power can be used as a weapon, and in another departure from the usages of the White Tower, once they learn to seize saidin, the male half of the Power, they are required to perform all chores and labors with the Power. The Asha'man, who wear distinctive black coats, are divided according to the level of knowledge they have achieved, the lowest being a Soldier. The next level is a Dedicated, marked by a pin in the shape of a silver sword worn on the coat collar. The highest level is called simply an Asha'man, marked by a red-and-gold enameled pin in the shape of a Dragon worn on the coat collar opposite the silver sword. Unlike Aes Sedai, who go to great lengths to make sure that those they train are not allowed to move dangerously fast, the Asha'man are pushed hard from the beginning, most especially in learning to use the Power as a weapon. As a result, where the death or stilling of a novice of the White Tower during her training would be something spoken of with horror for years, at the Black Tower it is expected that a certain number of Asha'man Soldiers will die or be burned out attempting to learn. The existence of the Asha'man, and their connection to the Dragon Reborn, has caused a reevaluation among some Aes Sedai of the immediate necessity for gentling, but many have not changed their view at all. See also gentling, stilling.

Assemblage, the

A body in Illian, chosen by and from the merchants and shipowners, that is supposed to advise both the King and the Council of Nine, but historically has contended with them for power.

Atha'an Miere

See the Sea Folk.

Band of the Red Hand

(1) A legendary band of heroes (Shen an Calhar) from the Trolloc Wars who died at the Battle of Aemon's Field, when Manetheren fell.
(2) A military formation which gathered to follow Mat Cauthon, and which is currently shadowing the rebel Aes Sedai and their army with orders to carry Egwene al'Vere to Rand al'Thor and safety, should she express a wish to flee from her current situation, and also any other sisters who might wish to join her.


During the Trolloc Wars, The commander of a military unit called the Banner.


(1) A rank in the Children of the Light. A rank just below Hundredman.
(2) A man (usually military) who carries a banner.


(1) Military units that were used during the Trolloc Wars. A Banner usually comprised of about one thousand five hundred Calvary, primarily archers, or three thousand infantry. It was considered the basic military unit during that time. These "banners" combined into armies under the command of a general, often a noble, and were usually accompanied by a small complement of Aes Sedai.
(2) A signatory plain displayed visibly. Usually used to represent officers, nobles, or nations.

Battle Ajah

See the Green Ajah


A basic infrantry unit. They carry bills -- a halberd. Mat Cauthon prefers to mix them with crossbowmen and pikemen.

Black Ajah

Rumors of its existence sprouted during the Trolloc Wars. The Trolloc armies were commanded by Dreadlords -- Shadowsworn who could channel -- who were most often women, many of them believed to be renegade Aes Sedai. The eighth Ajah, though it has no official Sitters in the Hall, and historically has never been mentioned to anyone outside the Aes Sedai save with vehement denial. Most Aes Sedai refuse to believe it exists. It is the Black Ajah. Its sisters are said to have forsworn all their oaths, and serve only the Shadow. They are rumored to walk the halls of the Tower disguised as members of the other seven Ajahs. See Ajah.

Black Eyes

(1) In the old tongue, Seia Doon.
(2) An Aiel warrior society.

Black Years

Several sources use terms such as "the Black Years" and "the Years of Silent Rage" for the period from FY 961 to 965, The final years of the Consolidation and also the near disatrous invasion of the Aiel Waste in FY 964. it began with the deaths by poison in FY 961 of Amaline and their three remaining children which came close to undoing him. Hawkwing is said to have sealed himself away from all human emotion, "and of these, love and pity he buried most deep." Even writers plainly favoring Hawkwing agree that his search for the murderers was harsh and unrelenting; and they speak of more than one hundred executions. His initial treatment of Aldeshar, the last nation to fall to him, was certainly cruel: no prisoners taken in a number of battles, the displacement of nearly the whole population to other parts of the empire, the confiscation of all estates with the whole nobility and the entire merchant class reduced to absolute penury and scattered to every corner of the empire. Salvation for the empire, and very likely for Hawkwing personally, came in the person of a woman named Tamika. At her behest he relented in his treatment of Aldeshar, allowing the people to return, restoring confiscated estates and titles. Because of her, the harshness that had begun to spread from Aldeshar into the rest of the conquere lands vanished like ice at the spring thaw.

Bleakness, the

Term given by the Aiel to the effects on many of learning that rather than having always been fierce warriors, their ancestors were strict pacifists forced into defending themselves during the Breaking of the World and the years following. Many feel that this was their failure of the Aes Sedai. Some throw down their spears and run away. Others refuse to put off gai'shain white when their time is up. Still others deny the truth of this, and with it deny neccessarily that Rand al'Thor is truly the Car'a'carn; these either return to the Aiel Waste or go to join the Shaido opposing him. See also Aiel; Aiel Waster; Car'a'carn; gai'shain.

Blood, the

Term used by the Seanchan to designate the nobility. One can be raised to the Blood as well as born to it.

Blue Ajah

The Blue Ajah is run by a single very powerful woman, and is perhaps the most influential of the Ajahs, although one of the smaller ones. The primary focus of the Blue Ajah is to champion worthy causes (thought worthy by Aes Sedai standards) and to promote justice. Skilled at political maneuvering, Blues are also able administrators. Since Artur Hawkwing's time, more Amyrlins have been raised from the Blue than from any other Ajah. See Ajah.

bonding, of Aes Sedai and Warder

Once a woman has become a full Aes Sedai, she may bond a Warder. While most Ajahs hold that an Aes Sedai may have one Warder bonded to her at a time, there is no law conerning their number, Red sisters bond no Warders at all, while Greens bond as many as they wish. The bonding is done with the One Power, and permanently links the Warder and the Aes Sedai. Ethically the Warder -- also called Gaidin, Brother to Battle -- must accede to the bonding voluntarily, but it has been known to be done against the Warder's will. The bond gives the Warder the gift of quick healing, the ability to go without food, water, or rest for long periods of time, and the ability to sense the taint of the Dark One at a distance. He can also sense certain things about his charge, including her death. The bond allows the Aes Sedai to know if her Warder is alive, no matter how far away he might be, though it does not tell her the actual distance. When he dies she will know, through the bond, the moment and manner of his death. When a Warder dies, the surviving Aes Sedai often will bond another eventually, although rarely before the emotional upheaval caused by the death fades. If the Warder lives but his Aes Sedai is killed, the Warder losed the will to live. Worse, he seems to seek death. Attempts to keep these Warders alive usually fail. There are indications that the Aes Sedai receive other benefits from the bond with their Gaidin, but their exact nature is a closely held secret.

Breaking of the World

When Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions resealed the Dark One's prison, the counterstroke tainted saidin. Eventually every male Aes Sedai went horribly insane. In their madness these men, who could wield the One Power to a degree now unknown, changed the face of the earth. They caused great earthquakes, leveled moutain ranges, raised new mountains, lifted dry land where seas had been, made the ocean rush in where dry land had been. Many parts of the world were completely depopulated, and the survivors were scattered like dust on the wind. This destruction is remembered in stories, legends and history as the Breaking of the World. See also Hundred Companions, the.

Brothers of the Eagle

In the Old Tongue, Far Aldazar Din. An Aiel warrior society.

Brother to Trees

In the Old Tongue, tia avende alantin. The Ogier were so name for their love of working with living and growing things.

Brown Ajah

They are dedicated to seeking and preserving knowledge. They are run by a ruling council. The Browns are primarily responsible for the procurement and preservation of the vast cache of books and scrolls which help make the Tower library the largest single repository of knowledge in the Land. Much that is known of artifacts or new Talents has been discovered by sisters of the Brown Ajah.


In the Old Tongue, "chief of chiefs." According to Aiel Prophecy, a man who would come from Rhuidean at dawn, marked with two Dragons, and lead them across the Dragonwall. The Prophecy of Rhuidean says that he will unite the Aiel and destroy them, all but a remnant of a remnant. See also Aiel; Rhuidean.

Cha Faile

(1) In the Old Tongue, "the Falcon's Talon."
(2) Name taken by the young Cairhienin and Tear|Tairens, attempted followers of ji'e'toh, who have sworn fealty to Faile ni Bashere t'Aybara. In secret, they act as personal scouts and spies.

Children of the Light

Society of strict ascetic beliefs, owing allegiance to no nation and dedicated to the defeat of the Dark One and the destruction of all Darkfriends. Founded during the War of the Hundred Years to proselytize against an increase in Darkfriends, they evolved during the war into a complete military society. Extremely rigid in beliefs, and certain that only they know the truth and the right. Consider Aes Sedai and any who support them to be Darkfriends. Known disparagingly as Whitecloaks. Their sigil is a golden sunburst on a field of white. See also Questioners, the.

Companions, the

The elite military formation of Illian, currently commanded by First Captain Demetre Marcolin. The Companions provide a bodyguard for the King of Illian and guard key points around the nation. Additionally, the Companions have traditionally been used in battle to assult the enemy's strongest positions, to exploit weaknesses, and, if necessary, to cover the retreat of the King. Unlike most other such elite formations, foreigners (except Tairens, Altarans and Murandians) are not only welcome, they can rise to even the highest rank, as can commaners, which is also unusual. The uniform of the Companions consists of a green coat, a breastplate worked with the Nine Bees of Illian, and a conical with a faceguard of steel bars. The First Captain wears four rings of golden braid on the cuffs of his coat, and three thin golden plumes on his helmet. The Second Captain wears three rings of golden braid on each cuff, and three golden plumes tipped with green. Lieutenants wear two yellow rings on their cuffs, and two thin green plumes, under-Lieutenants one yellow ring and a single green plume. Bannermen are designated by two broken rings of yellow on the cuffs and a single yellow plume, squadmen by a single broken ring of yellow.

Consolidation, the

When the armies sent by Artur Hawkwing under his son Luthair landed in Seanchan, they discovered a shifting quilt of nations often at war with one another, where Aes Sedai often reigned. Without any equivalent of the White Tower, Aes Sedai worked for their own individual power, using the Power. Forming small groups, they schemed against one another constantly. In large part it was this constant scheming for personal advantage and the resulting wars among the myriad nations tht allowed the armies from the east of the Aryth Ocean to begin their conquest of an entire continent, and for their descendants to complete it. This conquest, during which the descendants of the original armies became Seanchan as much as they conquered Seanchan, took more than nine hundred years and is called the Consolidation.


In the Old Tongue, "the Return." The name given by the Seanchan both to the fleet of thousands of ships and to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, craftsmen and others carried by those ships, who will come behind the Forerunners to reclaim the lands stolen from Artur Hawkwing's descendants. See also Forerunners; Hailene


In the Old Tongue, literally, "leashed one." Seanchan term for women who can channel and are, as they see it, properly controlled by use of a'dam. Women who can channel but are not yet damane are called marath'damane, literally "those who must be leashed." See also a'dam; Seanchan; sul'dam.

Darkfriends: Adherents of the Dark One. They believe they will gain great power and rewards, even immortality, when he is freed. Secretive of necessity, they organize into small groups called "circles," with members of one circle rarely if ever known to members of another. Rank in the outside world has no bearing on rank with the circles; a King or Queen who was a Darkfriend would be expected to obey a beggar who gave the proper signs. Among themselves, they sometimes use the ancient name Friends of the Dark.


Title of the heir to the Lion Throne of Andor. Without a surviving daughter, the throne goes to the nearest female blood relation to the Queen. Dissension over exactly who was nearest by blood has several times led to power struggles, the latest being "the Succession"-so called in Andor and "the Third War of Andoran Succession" elsewhere-which brought Morgase of House Trakand to the throne.

Daughters of Silence, the

During the history of the White Tower (over three thousand years), various women who have been put out have been unwilling to accept their fates and have tried to band together. Such groups - most of them by far, at least - have been dispersed by the White Tower as soon as found and punished severely and publicly to make sure that lesson is carried to everyone. The last group to be dispersed called themselves the Daughters of Silence (794-798 NE). The Daughters consisted of two Accepted who had been put out of the Tower and twenty-three women they had gathered and trained. All were carried back to Tar Valon and punished, and the twenty-three were enrolled in the novice book. Only one of those managed to reach the shawl. See also Kin, the.


(1) In the Old Tongue, "one who is owned," or "person who is property."
(2) Among the Seanchan, the term often used, along with property, for slaves. Slavery has a long and unusual history among the Seanchan, with slaves having the ability to rise to positions of great power and open authority, including over those who are free. See also so'jhin.

Deathwatch Guard, the

The elite military formation of the Seanchan Empire, including both humans and Ogier. The human members of the Deathwatch Guard are all da'covale, both as property and chosen while young to serve the Empress, whose personal property they are. Fanatically loyal and fiercely proud, they often display the ravens tattooed on their shoulders, the mark of a da'covale of the Empress. The helmets and armor are laquered in dark green and blood red, their shields are laquered black, and their spears and swords carry black tassels. See also da'covale.

Defenders of the Stone, the

The elite military formation of Tear. The current Captain of the Stone (commander of the Defenders) is Rodrivar Tihera. Only Tairens are accepted into the Defenders, and officers are usually of noble birth, though often from minor Houses, or minor branches of strong Houses. The Defenders are tasked to hold the great fortress called the Stone of Tear, in the city of Tear, to defend the city, and to provide police services in place of any City Watch or the like. Except in times of war, their duties seldom take them far from the city. Then, as with other elite formations, they are the core around which the army is formed. The uniform of the Defenders consists of a black coat with padded sleeves striped black and gold with black cuffs, a burnished breastplate, and a ringed helmet with a faceguard of steel bars. The Captain of the Stone wears three short white plumes on his helmet, on the cuffs of his coat three intertwined golden braids on a white band. Captains wear two white plumes and a single line of golden braid on white cuffs, lieutenants one white plume and a single line of black braid on white cuffs and under-lieutenants one short black plume and plain white cuffs. Bannermen have gold coloured cuffs on their coats, and squadmen have cuffs striped black and gold.


(1) In the Old Tongue "master handler."
(2) Among the Seanchan, the suffix applied to indicate a senior and highly skilled handler of one of the exotics, one who trains others, as in der'morat'raken. Der'morat can have a fairly high social status, the highest of all held by der'sul'dam, the trainers of sul'dam, who rank with fairly high military officers. See also morat.


General term used for supporters of the Dragon Reborn, usually by those who either oppose him or at least think to remain neutral. In fact, many given that name have never sworn any sort of oath, and it is frequently applied to brigands as well, some of whom quote the name in the hope that it will quell resistance. A great many atrocities have been committed by people claiming to be Dragonsworn.


Men and women able to channel, who went over to the Shadow during the Trolloc Wars, acting as generals over the armies of Trollocs and Darkfriends. Occasionally confused with the Forsaken by the less well educated.


Aiel name for a woman able to enter Tel'aran'rhiod, interpret dreams and speak to others in their dreams. Aes Sedai also use the term, referring to Dreamers, but rarely, and they capitalize it-Dreamwalker. See also Talents; Tel'aran'rhiod

Far Dareis Mai

(FAHR-DAH-rize MY) Literally "Maidens of the Spear." A warrior society of the Aiel, which unlike any of the others, admits women and only women. A Maiden may not marry and remain in the society, nor may she fight while carrying a child. Any child born to a Maiden is given to another woman to raise, in such a way that no one knows who the child's mother was. ("You may belong to no man, nor may any man belong to you, nor any child. The spear is your lover, your child, and your life.") These children are treasured, for it is prophesied that a child born of a Maiden will unite the clans and return the Aiel to the greatness they knew during the Age of Legends. See also Aiel; Aiel warrior societies.

Fists of Heaven

Lightly armed and lightly armored Seanchan infantry carried into battle on the backs of the flying creatures called to'raken. All are small men, or women, largely because of limits as to how much weight a to'raken can carry for any distance. Considered to be among the toughest soldiers, they are used primarily for raids, surprise assaults on positions at an enemy's rear, and where speed in getting soldiers into place is of the essence.

Forsaken, the

The name given to thirteen powerful Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends, thus among the most powerful ever known, who went over to the Dark One during the War of the Shadow in return for the promise of immortality and were imprisoned along with the Dark One when his prison was resealed. While it has long been believed that they alone abandoned the Light during the War of the Shadow, in fact others did as well; these thirteen were only the highest ranking among them. Their own name for themselves was "the Chosen." Their names given to them are still used to frighten children. They were: Aginor (AGH-ih-nohr), Asmodean (ahs-MOH-dee-an), Balthamel (BAAL-thah-mell), Be'lal (BEH-lahl), Demandred (DEE-man-drehd), Graendal (GREHN-dahl), Ishamael (ih-SHAH-may-EHL), Lanfear (LAN-fear), Mesaana (meh-SAH-nah), Moghedien (moh-GHEH-dee-ehn), Rahvin (RAAV-ihn), Sammael (SAHM-may-EHL), and Semirhage (SHE-mih-RHAHG). The Forsaken are somewhat reducing in number since their awakening in the present day. A number of strange encounters, however, suggest the possibility either that several new Chosen have been selected by the Dark One or that Lord of the Grave has in some cases reached beyond death. (B8) It is believed by those with some current knowledge that only Demandred, Graendal, Mesaana, Moghedien, Semirhage, and two who were reincarnated in new bodies and given new names, Osan'gar and Aran'gar. Recently, a man calling himself Moridin has appeared, and may be yet another of the dead Forsaken brought back from the grave by the Dark One. The same possibility may exist regarding the woman calling herself Cyndane, but since Aran'gar was a man brought back as a woman, speculation as to the identities of Moridin and Cyndane may prove futile until more is learned.

Gaidin (GAYE-deen)

Literally "Brother to Battles" A title used by Aes Sedai for the Warders. See also Warder.

gai'shain (GYE-shain)

In the Old Tongue, "Pledged to Peace in Battle" is as close a translation as is possible. An Aiel taken prisoner by other Aiel during raid or battle is required by ji'e'toh to sever his or her captor humbly and obediently for one year and a day, touching no weapon and doing no violence. A Wise One, a blacksmith, a child or a woman with a child under the age of ten may not be made gai'shain. Since the revelation that the ancestors of the Aiel were in fact pacifist followers of the Way of the Leaf, a good many gai'shain refuse to put off white when their time ends. Additionally, although by tradition as strong as law one who does not follow ji'e'toh can be made gai'shain, the Shaido Aiel have begun putting Cairhienin and other prisoners into gai'shain robes, and many have come to believe that since these people do not follow ji'e'toh, there is no need to release them at the end of the year and a day. See also bleakness.


A traveling storyteller, musician, juggler, tumbler, and all-around entertainer. Known by their trademark cloaks of many-colored patches, they perform mainly in the villages of smaller towns.

Gray Man

One who has voluntarily surrendered his or her soul in order to become an assassin in serving the Shadow. Gray Men are so ordinary in appearance that the eye can slide right past without noticing them. The vast majority of Gray Men are indeed men, but a small number are women. Also called the Soulless.

Hall of the Tower

The legislative body of the Aes Sedai, traditionally consisting of three Sitters in the Hall from each of the seven Ajahs. At present, there is a Hall sitting in the White Tower, which contains no Sitters for the Blue, and a Hall among those Aes Sedai who oppose Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan. This rebel Hall contains no Red Sitters. While the Amyrlin Seat is by law the absolute power in the White Tower, in fact her power has always depended on how well she could lead, manage or intimidate the Hall, as there are many ways that the Hall can balk any Amyrlin's plans. There are two levels of agreement that may be required for items to pass the Hall, the lesser consensus and the greater consensus. The greater consensus requires that every sister present; the presence of at least one Sitter from each Ajah is also required, except when the matter before the Hall is the removal of an Amyrlin or Keeper, in which case the Ajah from which she was raised will not be informed of the vote until after it has been taken. The lesser consensus also requires a quorum of eleven Sitters, but only two-thirds of those present need stand for an item to pass. Another difference is that there is no requirement for all Ajahs to be represented in the lesser consensus except in the case of a declaration of war by the White Tower, one of several matters left to the lesser consensus which many might think would require the greater. The Amyrlin Seat may call for any Sitter to resign her chair, or indeed for all to, and that call must be heeded. This is seldom done, however, as nothing stops an Ajah from returning the same Sitter or Sitters except a custom that sisters not serve again in the Hall after leaving it. As an indication of how serious such a call for mass resignation would be, it is reliably believed that it has happened exactly four times in the more than three-thousand-year history of the White Tower, and that while two of those resulted in the selection of an entirely, or nearly, new Hall, the other two resulted in the resignation and exile of the Amyrlin involved.

High Lords of Tear

Acting as a council, the High Lords are the rulers of the nation of Tear, which has neither king nor queen. Their numbers are not fixed, and have varied over the years from as many as twenty to as few as six. Not to be confused with the Lords of the Land, who are lesser Tairen lords.

Hundred Companions, the

One Hundred male Aes Sedai, among the most powerful of the Age of Legends, who, led by Lews Therin Telamon, launched the final stroke that ended the War of the Shadow by sealing the Dark One back into his prison. The Dark One's counterstroke tainted saidin; the Hundred Companions went mad and began the Breaking of the World. See also Time of Madness; Breaking of the World; True Source; One Power.

Kin, the

Even during the Trolloc Wars, more than two thousand years ago (circa 1000-1350 AB), the White Tower continued to maintain its standards, putting out women who failed to measure up. One group of these women, fearing to return home in the midst of the wars, fled to Barashta (near the present-day site of Ebou Dar), as far from the fighting as was possible to go at that time. Calling themselves the Kin, and Kinswomen, they kept in hiding and offered a safe haven for others who had been put out. In time, their approaches to women told to leave the Tower led to contacts with runaways, and while the exact reasons may never be known, the Kin began to accept runaways, as well. They made great efforts to keep these girls from learning anything about the Kin until they were sure that Aes Sedai would not swoop down and retake them. After all, everyone knew that runaways were always caught sooner or later, and the Kin knew that unless they held themselves secret, they themselves would be punished severely.
Unknown to the Kin, Aes Sedai in the Tower were aware of their existence almost from the very first, but prosecution of the wars left no time for dealing with them. By the end of the wars, the Tower realized that it might not be in their best interests to snuff out the Kin. Prior to that time, a majority of runaways actually had managed to escape, whatever the Tower's propaganda, but once the Kin began helping them, the Tower knew exactly where any runaway was heading, and they began retaking nine out of ten. Since Kinswomen moved in and out of Barashta (and later Ebou Dar) in an effort to hide their existence and their numbers, never staying more than ten years lest someone notice that they did not age at a normal speed, the Tower believed they were few, and they certainly were keeping themselves low. In order to use the Kin as a trap for runaways, the Tower decided to leave them alone, unlike any other similar group in history, and to keep the very existence of the Kin a secret known only to full Aes Sedai.
The Kin do not have laws, but rather rules based in part on the rules for novices and Accepted in the White Tower, and in part on the necessity of maintaining secrecy. As might be expected given the origins of the Kin, they maintain their rules very firmly on all of their members.
Recent open contacts between Aes Sedai and Kinswomen. while known only to a handful of sisters, have produced a number of shocks, including the facts that there are twice as many Kinswomen as Aes Sedai and that some are more than a hundred years older than any Aes Sedai has lived since before the Trolloc Wars. The effect of these revelations, both on Aes Sedai and on Kinswomen, is as yet a matter for speculation. See also Daughters of Silence, the; Knitting Circle, the.

Knitting Circle, the

The leaders of the Kin. Since no member of the Kin has ever known how Aes Sedai arrange their own hierarchy -- knowledge passed on only when an Accepted has passed her test for the shawl -- they put no store in strength in the Power but give great weight to age, with the older woman always standing above the younger. The Knitting Circle (a title chosen, like the Kin, because it is innocuous) thus consists of the thirteen oldest Kinswomen resident in Ebou Dar, whit the oldest given the title of Eldest. By the rules, all will have to step down when it is time for them to move on, but so long as they are resident in Ebou Dar, they have supreme authority over the Kin, to a degree that any Amyrlin Seat would envy. See also, Kin, the.


In most lands, noblewomen do not personally lead their armsmen into battle under normal circumstances. Instead, they hire a professional soldier, almost always a commoner, who is responsible both for training and leading their armsmen. Depending on the land, this man can be called a Lance-Captain, Sword-Captain, Master of the Horse, or Master of the Lances. Rumors of closer relationships than Lady and servant often spring up, perhaps inevitably. Sometimes they are true.

Legion of the Dragon, the

A large military formation, all infantry, giving allegiance to the Dragon Reborn, trained by Davram Bashere along lines worked out by himself and Mat Cauthon, lines which depart sharply from the usual employment of foot. While many men simply walk in to volunteer, large numbers of the Legion are scooped up by recruiting parties from the Black Tower, who first gather all of the men n an area who were willing to follow the Dragon Reborn, and only after taking them through gateways to near Caemlyn winnow out those who can be taught to channel. The remainder, by far the greater number, are sent to Bashere's training camps.


In the Old Tongue, "those who must be leashed," and also "one who must be leashed." The term applied by the Seanchan to any woman capable of channeling who has not been collared as a damane. See also damane.


In the Old Tongue, "the Brotherless." The name adopted, as a society, by those Aiel who abandoned sept and clan and went to the Shaido because they could not accept Rand al'Thor, a wetlander, as the Car'a'carn, or because the refused to accept his revelations concerning the history and origins of the Aiel. Deserting clan and sept for any reason is anathema among the Aiel, therefore there own warrior societies among the Shaido were unwilling to take them in, and they formed this society, the Brotherless.


Aiel kinship terms meaning friends as close as first-sisters or first-brothers. Near-sisters often adopt one another formally as first-sisters. Near-brothers almost never do. Aiel kinship terms meaning friends as close as first-sisters or first-brothers. Near-sisters often adopt one another formally as first-sisters in an elaborate ceremony carried out before Wise Ones, after which they are recognized by other Aiel as truly born twins, though a pair of twins with two mothers. Near-brothers almost never do this.

Oaths, Three

The oaths taken by an Accepted on being raised to Aes Sedai. Spoken while holding the Oath Rod, a ter'angreal that makes oaths binding. They are:

  1. To speak no word that is not true.
  2. To make no weapon with which one man may kill another.
  3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defense of her own life, or that of her Warder or another Aes Sedai. The second oath was the first adopted after the War of the Shadow. The first oath, while held to the letter, is often circumvented by careful speaking. It is believed that the last two are inviolable.
Ogier (OH-gehr)

(1) A non-human race, characterized by great height (ten feet is average for adult males), broad, almost snout-like noses, and long tufted ears. They live in areas called stedding. Their separation from these stedding after the Breaking of the World (a time called the Exile by Ogier) resulted in what is called the Longing; an Ogier who is too long out of the stedding sickens and dies. They rarely leave their stedding and typically have little contact with humankind. Knowledge of them among humans is sparse, and many believe Ogier to be only legends. Although they are thought to be a pacific people and extremely slow to anger, some old stories say they fought alongside humans in the Trolloc Wars, and call them implacable enemies. By and large, they are extremely fond of knowledge, and their books and stories often contain information lost to humans. A typical Ogier life span is at least three to four times that of a human.
(2) Any individual of that nonhuman race. See also Breaking of the World; stedding, Treesinger

Prophet, the

More formally, the Prophet of the Lord Dragon. Once known as Masema Dagar, a Shienaran soldier, he underwent a revelation and decided that he had been called to spread the word of the Dragon's rebirth. He believes that nothing - nothing! - is more important than acknowledging the Dragon Reborn as the Light made flesh and being ready when the Dragon Reborn calls, and he and his followers will use any means to force others to sing the glories of the Dragon Reborn. Forsaking any name but "the Prophet," he has brought chaos to much of Ghealdan and Amadicia, large parts of which he controls.

Questioners, the

An order within the Children of the Light. Avowed purposes are to discover the truth in disputations and uncover Darkfriends. In the search for truth and the Light, their normal method of inquiry is torture; their normal manner that they know the truth already and must only make their victim confess to it. They refer to themselves as the Hand of the Light, the Hand that digs out truth, and at times act as if they were entirely separate from the Children and the Council of the Anointed, which commands the Children. The head of the Questioners is the High Inquisitor, who sits on the Council of the Anointed. Their sign is a blood red shepherds crook. See also Asunawa, Rhadam; Children of the Light, the.

Red Ajah

See Ajah

Red Shields

See Aiel warrior societies

Return, the

See Corenne

Sea Folk

More properly, the Atha'an Miere (a-tha-AHN mee-AIR), the People of the Sea. They live most of their lives on their ships and strongly dislike going any distance from the ocean. Relatively little is known of their customs, giving rise to an air of exotic mystery and often to fanciful takes. Most seaborne trade is carried by Sea Folk ships, considered by the inhabitants of port cities to be bargainers who outstrip the more widely known Domani. As survival at sea often depends on strictly to their hierarchy, though there are surprising fluidities at some large and small, each headed by a Wavemistress. Below her are the Sailmistress, the ships' captains of the clan. A Wavemistress has vast authority, yet she is elected to that position by the twelve senior clan Sailmistress, who are referred to as the First Twelve of that clan, and she can be removed by the order of the Mistress of the Ships to the Atha'an Miere. The Mistress of the Ships has a level of authority any shorebound king or queen would envy, yet she also is elected, for life, by unanimous vote of the twelve senior Wavemistresses, who are called the First Twelve of the Atha'an Miere. (The term "the First Twelve" is also used for the twelve senior Wavemistresses or Sailmistresses present in any gathering.) The position of Master of the Blades is held by a man who may or may not be the husband of the Mistress of the Ships. His responsibilities are the defense and the trade of the Sea Folk, and below him are the Swordmasters of Wavemistresses and the Cargomasters of Sailmistresses, who hold like positions and duties; for each of them, any authority outside these areas is held only as delegated by the woman he but since trade and finances are totally in the hands of the Cargomaster (or, at higher levels, of the Swordmaster or the Master of the Blades), a close degree of cooperation is required. Every Sea Folk vessel, however small, and also every Wavemistress, has a Windfinder, a woman who is almost always able to channel and skilled in Weaving the Winds, as the Atha'an Miere call the manipulation of weather. The Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships has authority over Windfinders to the Wavemistresses, who in turn have authority over Windfinders to the Sailmistresses of their clans. One peculiarity of the Sea Folk is that all must begin at the very lowest rank and work their way up, and that anyone other than the Mistress of the Ships can be demoted by those above, even to the very bottom again in extreme instances.

Seanchan (SHAWN-CHAN)

(1) Descendants of the armies Artur Hawkwing sent across the Aryth Ocean, who have returned to reclaim the lands of their forefathers. They believe that any woman who can channel must be controlled for the safety of everyone else, and any man who can channel must be killed for the same reason.
(2) The land from which the Seanchan come. See also Hailene; Corenne; Rhyagelle.

Seekers for Truth

A police/spy organization of the Seanchan Imperial Throne. Although most are property of the Imperial family, they have wide powers. Even one of the Blood (a Seanchan noble) can be arrested for failure to answer any questions put by a Seeker, or for failure to cooperate fully with a Seeker, this last defined by the Seekers themselves, subject only to review by the Empress.


In the Old tongue, "lowered eyes," or " downcast eye." Among the Seanchan, to say that one has "become sei'mosiev" means that one has "lost face." See also sei'taer.


In the Old Tongue, "straight eyes," or "level eyes." Among the Seanchan, it refers to honor or face, to the ability to meet someone's eyes. It is possible to "be" or "have" sei'taer, meaning that one has honor and face, and also to "gain" or "lose" sei'taer. See also sei'mosiev.

Shen an Calhar

In the Old Tongue, "the Band of the Red Hand." (1) A legendary group of heroes who had many exploits, finally dying in the defense of Manetheren when that land was destroyed during the Trolloc Wars.
(2) A military formation put together almost by accident by Mat Cauthon and organized along the lines of military forces during what is considered the height of the military arts, the days of Artur Hawkwing and the centuries immediately preceding.


Aiel kinship term. Aiel women who are near-sisters or first-sisters who discover they love the same man, or who simply do not want a man to come between them, will both marry him, this becoming sister-wives. Women who love the same man will sometimes try to find out whether they can become near-sisters and adopted first-sisters, a first step to becoming sister-wives. An Aielman faces with this situation has the choice of marrying both women or neither; if he has a wife who decides to take a sister-wife, he finds himself with a second wife.


In the Old Tongue: "spears of the dragon," with a strong implication of ownership. The name taken by a good many men among the Aiel, but no women. These men do not actually acknowledge the name-nor do any other, in fact-but they wear a strip of red cloth wound around the forehead with a disc, half black and half white, above the brows. Although gai'shain normally are prohibited from wearing anything that would be worn by an algai'd'siswai, a large number of gai'shain have taken to wearing the headband. See also gai'shain.


The closest translation from the Old Tongue would be "a height among lowness," though some translate it as meaning "both sky and valley" among several other possibilities. So'jhin is the term applied by the Seanchan to hereditary upper servants. They are da'covale, property, yet occupy positions of considerable authority and often power. Even the Blood step carefully around so'jhin of the Imperial family, and speak to so'jihn of the Empress herself as to equals. See also Blood, the; da'covale.


The act, performed by Aes Sedai, of shutting off a woman who can channel from the One Power. A woman who has been stilled can sense the True Source, but she cannot touch it. So seldom has it been done that novices are required to learn the names and crimes of all who have suffered it. Officially, stilling is the result of trial and sentence for a crime. When it happens accidentally, it is called being burned out. In practice, the term "stilling" is often used for both. Women who have been stilled, however it occurred, seldom survive long; they seem to simply give up and die (B7) unless they find something to replace the emptiness left by the One Power. While it has always been believed that stilling was permanent, lately a method of Healing it has been discovered, though there appear to be limits to this which are yet to be explored.

Stone Dogs

See Aiel warrior societies


See Lance-Captain

ta'veren (tah-VEER-ehn)

A person around whom the Wheel of Time weaves all surrounding life-threads, perhaps ALL life-threads, to form a Web of Destiny. This weaving is little understood except that it seems in many ways an alternation of chance; what might happen, but only rarely, does. The effect can at times be quite localized. Someone influenced by a ta'veren may say or do what they would only have said or done one time in a million under those circumstances. Events occur of seeming impossibility, such as a child falling a hundred feet from a tower unharmed. At other times the effect seems to extend to influencing history itself, though often by means of the localized effects. This, it is believed, is the real reason that ta'veren are born, in order to shift history and restore a balance to the turning of the Wheel. See also Pattern of an Age; ta'maral'ailen.


Disparaging term used by the Aiel for Cairhienin, along with "oathbreakers." Both refer to King Laman's cutting down of Avendoraldera, a gift from the Aiel, and act which violated the oaths given at the time the gift was given. To the Aiel, both terms rank with the worst that anyone can be called. See also Aiel War.


An Ogier who has the ability to sing to trees (called "treesinging"), either healing them, or helping them to grow and flower, or making things from the wood without damaging the tree. Objects made in this manner are called "sung wood" and are highly prized. Few Ogier remain who are Treesingers; the Talent seems to be dying out.

Tuatha'an (too-AH-thah-AHN)

A wandering folk, also known as the Tinkers and as the Traveling People, who live in brightly painted wagons and follow a totally pacifist philosophy called the Way of the Leaf. Things mended by Tinkers are often better than new. They are among the few who can cross the Aiel Waste unmolested, for the Aiel strictly avoid all contact with them.

Village Council

In most villages a group of men, elected by the townsmen and headed by a Mayor, who are responsible for making decisions which affect the village as a whole and for negotiating with the Councils of other villages over matters which affect the villages jointly. They are odds with the Women's Circle in so many villages that this conflict is seen as almost traditional. See also Women's Circle.


A warrior bonded to an Aes Sedai. The bonding is a thing of the One Power: by it he gains such gifts as quick healing, the ability to go long periods without food, water, or rest, and the ability to sense the taint of the Dark One at a distance. Warder and Aes Sedai share certain physical and emotional knowledge of one another through the bond. So long as a Warder lives, the Aes Sedai to whom he is bonded knows he is alive however far he is, and when he dies she will know the moment and manner of his death. While most Ajahs believe Aes Sedai must have one Warder bonded to her at a time, the Red Ajah refuses to bond any Warders at all, and the Green Ajah believes an Aes Sedai may bond as many as she wishes. Ethically the Warder must accede to the bonding voluntarily, but it has been known to happen against the Warder's will. What the Aes Sedai gain from the bonding is a closely held secret. By all known historical records, Warders have always been men, but recently a woman has been bonded, revealing certain differences in the effects. See also Birgitte.


See Children of the Light


A woman who has learned to channel the One Power on her own; only one in four survive this. Such women usually build barriers against knowing what they are doing, but if these can be broken down, wilders are frequently among the most powerful channelers. The term is often used in a derogatory fashion.


In villages, a woman chosen by the Women's Circle for her knowledge of such things as healing and foretelling the weather, as well as common good sense. Generally considered the equal of the Mayor, and in some villages his superior. She is chosen for life, and it is very rare for a Wisdom to be removed from office before her death. Depending on the land, she may instead have another title, such as Guide, Healer, Wise Woman, or Seeker among others.

Wise Ones

Among the Aiel, Wise Ones are women chosen by other Wise Ones and trained in healing, herbs and other things. They have great authority and responsibility, as well as great influence with sept and clan chiefs, though these men often accuse them of meddling. A good many Wise Ones can channel to one degree or another; they find every Aiel woman born with the spark in her and most of those who can learn. The fact that Wise Ones can channel is not spoken of among Aiel, by custom; as a result many Aiel do not know for sure which Wise Ones can and which cannot. Also by custom, Wise Ones avoid all contact with Aes Sedai, even more so than other Aiel. Traditionally, all Wise Ones have stood outside feud and battle, but this custom has recently been shattered, perhaps beyond mending. What this may do to the protections accorded Wise Ones under the Aiel belief of ji'e'toh has yet to be seen.

Wise Woman

Honorific used in Ebou Dar for women famed for their incredible abilities at healing almost any injury. A Wise Woman is traditionally marked by a red belt. While some have noted that many, indeed most, Ebou Dari Wise Women were not even from Altara, much less Ebou Dar, what was not known until recently, and still is known only to a few, is that all Wise Women are in fact Kinswomen and use various versions of Healing, giving out herbs and poultices only as a cover. With the flight of the Kin from Ebou Dar after the Seanchan took the city, no Wise Women remain there. See also Kin, the.

Women's Circle

A group of women elected by the women of a village, responsible for deciding such matters as are considered solely women's responsibility (for example, when to plant the crops and when to harvest). Equal in authority to the Village Council, with clearly delineated lines and areas of responsibility. Often at odds with the Village Council. See also Village Council.