It's a Mad, Mad World part 2: An Arad Doman Who's Who
Here's the second part of our recapitulation/survey of Arad Doman, a who's who of the players currently in Arad Doman and notes on some of the Domani characters involved with other storylines.
This post include some discussion of material from chapter one of The Gathering Storm. Those sections are hidden by spoiler tags. Click the tags if you want to read them.
1. The Current Players in Arad Doman
- Lady Basene: An old, invalid Lady with great political influence, who resides in her country palace in sight of the Mountains of Mist, a palace said to be well-known through Arad Doman. The woman is actually Graendal, who established herself early on (perhaps shortly after the events of Falme, but we don't know for certain) in this persona. It is not known if a real Lady Basene ever existed, but it's probable - as Graendal herself pointed out once, compulsion is all well and good, but you can't compel everyone. Sammael, however, seemed to believe otherwise, that Graendal has invented this woman and made everyone believe she and her family have been around forever.
In the months after the events of Falme at the latest (this is when civil war erupted and Dragonsworn appeared), Graendal started playing her games in Arad Doman, snatching several of the most powerful and beautiful Domani for her private amusement park. She has captured Alsalam and several members of his family, compelled the Merchants' Council in Bandar Eban to believe they had sent them in hiding for their protection. While involved in various plots of the Forsaken on the side, Graendal at home transformed Arad Doman itself into a madhouse, using forged orders to send armies at the wrong place at the wrong time, having them chase each other like mad dogs all over the country, when she didn't have them bump into each other in the night by accident. In the meantime, all factions in the country believe dear old Basene supports them and only them.
As Rand's forces began to arrive, they found the country in a state of complete chaos and ruin, Bandar Eban itself left to the terror of the mob, its population starving and victim of attacks by thugs, and rapes. In one of her later moves (made in autumn 999 NE, we are now in Spring 1000 NE) Graendal had the nation's General Ituralde go after the Seanchan in Tarabon, orders she arranged to make him believe the Shadow was trying to stop. The subtlety has escaped Itulrade that Graendal may have wanted him to believe the Seanchan had something to do with the Shadow (it is unknown if Graendal has puzzled out or learned Semirhage was with them). This tie to the Shadow may not escape Rand, however, if Ituralde was to tell him about the circumstances surrounding the king's orders. Graendal is an elusive, devious and deadly adept of mind games and plots. She is braver than most Forsaken and wiser than most of them, according to Shai'tan's Hand of the Dark itself. According to Aran'gar (KOD), Graendal can also count on one of the larger networks of Friends of the Dark - a network Aran'gar, who was lately seeking an "alliance" (as the Forsaken understand such things) with Graendal, intended to use in ways she thought Graendal wouldn't approve of. Aran'gar, who more than a little contemplated having Rand killed (KOD), was by the end of the book chased away from the Aes Sedai rebellion with the Black Sister Delana Moselaine after her alias of Halima has been pierced by Romanda Cassin after Narishma mentioned a mysterious Forsaken woman channelling saidin at the Cleansing. Aran'gar is another dangerous player - and a loose cannon at that - who may join the dance of madness in Arad Doman, or interfere with Graendal's plans.
In her early days before the War of Shadow when she was still known as the Aes Sedai Kamarile Maradim Nindar, Graendal was an ascetic and intellectual of great reputation, if too exacting and judgmental to be well-loved - something of a recluse, promoting order and simplicity, before she grew disgusted with society's failings to meet her standards and turned herself into the living caricature of society's worst excesses. She then joined the Shadow, early on during the Collapse, one of the first to have done so (something she has in common with Ishamael and Semirhage). A predator on mind and body alike, Graendal used to be a Healer of the mind, one of the best ever known, specializing in patients for whom the One Power could do nothing. She has become one of the most adept wielders of Compulsion ever to have existed, able to wield it most efficiently like an Hammer as well as mastering the most subtle forms of the weave, according to her undetectable. As The Gathering Storm opens and Rand has just entered the asylum she's made of Arad Doman, Graendal in her palace, surrounded by her zoo of mindless pets, having touched and compelled the Creator alone knows who else among the country's players, and knowing all too-well Rand's weaknesses about women, may be the most challenging, devious and altogether dangerous Forsaken Rand has faced yet.
Graendal is also notable for the fact that while being one of the most scantily dressed characters in the whole series, and wearing the same dress for months (she must have found a washer-and-dryer ter'angreal somewhere), her colour-changing streith allowed Robert Jordan to describe this same dress several times in each scene she appeared. A pretty unique feat to rival all of Demandred's on-screen accomplishments so far.
- Lord Rodel Ituralde : High Seat of House Ituralde and General of Arad Doman. Born a commoner, he was raised to the (lower) nobility by Alsalam himself. Nicknamed The Wolf (and the Little Wolf in his back, mocking his short stature - which unlike Graendal's "little friend" Sammael he doesn't mind), Ituralde is a veteran of the Aiel War and a military genius famed for his cleverness in the field and the deviousness of his plans. He is accounted one of the four remaining Great Captains in the Westlands. Ituralde was very active early on in the main series, but until his first POV in COT he was always behind the scenes. Through the timeline of The Great Hunt, he was first involved in the war breaking with Tarabon over control of Almoth Plain, then he led the Domani forces against the Seanchan's landing on Toman Head, gaining insight on their military tactics and strategy. As all hell broke loose in Arad Doman in the months following the apparition of Rand in the sky over Falme and the disappearance of King Alsalam, Ituralde was the one who led the forces loyal to the throne against several rebellious factions contending for it, and against the emerging groups of Dragonsworn, his efforts largely undermined by the King's string of chaotic orders actually issued by Graendal. Ituralde still managed to win a few victories, but not enough to turn the tide, until recently when he managed to get several important players to accept a truce.
Ituralde paid at least one call that we know of to Lady Basene's (Graendal) palace in the autumn of 999 NE (LOC) – and is thus a potential victim of her more subtle forms of compulsion. A few months later in early winter 1000 NE (TPOD), he's received orders "from the King" (still Graendal) to attack the Seanchan and then started to hide, in fear of more orders coming that would countermand this mission (apparently for nothing, the fact Dragonsworn and loyal Lords alike obeyed his orders indicates Graendal may have let it happen, maybe even hoped for/helped it). Two months later, Ituralde arranged a secret meeting at Lady Osana's abandoned hunting lodge, hours north of Coron Ford (non-located place in Arad Doman) with several important Domani and Taraboner Dragonsworn and managed to convince them to accept a truce and join their forces to attack the Seanchan (detailed in The Storm is Coming #3). Last mentioned (by the Seanchan General Galgan, KOD) as heading straight north from the mountains on the coast in southern Arad Doman, leading an army a hundred thousand strong and having trapped his Seanchan pursuers between him and a second Domani army two hundred thousand strong, Lord Ituralde's exact current location is unknown, but
Tears from Steel spoiler - click to expand
Ituralde is no doubt at this point the most important Domani player that we know of, a major potential ally for Rand and through his own truce with the Dragonsworn and the reverence he inspires to loyalist Domani nobles, a potential key to bringing some order back to Arad Doman. In contact at least once with Graendal, and perhaps having much trust in the influential "Lady Basene" who everyone in the nation believes supports them and only them, he remains however a complete wildcard, a man Rand may make a massive mistake to trust, who could unwittingly cause great harm or embroil Rand in the labyrinth of Graendal's intrigues. Ituralde is also very loyal to Alsalam, and may not accept easily a deal with Rand without his prior approval – again placing the initiative in Graendal's hands.
- The Council of Merchants: Formed of the Heads of the greatest Houses from the Merchants' Guild – most of them women - the Council keeps a close eye on the royal affairs and trade in Bandar Eban. The Council, all its members extremely likely to be under Graendal's compulsion, served her as a smokescreen to make the King disappear: officially, it's the Council who decided to send him and his family in hiding because of the civil war, and they've evaded since all questions concerning his whereabouts. According to Logain's report to Rand (KOD) his emissaries, Lord Dobraine Taborwin of Cairhien and Rhuarc, have already made contact with the Council, presently in charge of the city, and unsurprisingly given Graendal's touch, making an extremely poor job of it. None of the Council's members is presently known, but it would be very surprising we don't meet some of them over the course of The Gathering Storm – all of them possible pawns of Graendal to observe closely.
- King Alsalam Saeed Almadar : Lord of Almadar, High Seat of House Almadar, Alsalam has been king of Arad Doman for over 20 years. He is probably in his middle-years, since he has both a sister young enough and an eldest daughter old enough to be some of Graendal's pets – which makes him a somewhat unlikely candidate to be the "sad old man" briefly glimpsed among Graendal's pets in a scene of TFOH. Alsalam was accounted a good ruler, before he "went in hiding" and chaotic orders started being given by Graendal in his name. He is a friend of Rodel Ituralde, whom he made a lord and General of the Land. Not quite up to Graendal's standards of beauty to have become a pet, it is a complete mystery what she has done with him, and if he is even alive. Graendal is in possession of his royal seal, and is a skilled forger of his handwriting.
- The Lords of Katar: These Domani Lords ruling the city of Katar in the south-east of Arad Doman above Lake Somal are sometimes forgetful they even are Domani thanks to the independence they've gained from the great wealth generated from the mines and forges of Katar (KOD glossary entry). Rodel Ituralde won victories at Katar and at Lake Somal, teaching the Lords not to sell their goods to "the enemies of Arad Doman". Typically with the madhouse that is Arad Doman, it is unclear whether they sold to Dragonsworn, Domani rebel factions in the civil war, fighters on Almoth Plain, Taraboners or several of these groups, and whether they did so by greed or by sympathy for their cause. The brief mention of the Lords of Katar by Ituralde in COT was the first one in the series, though like many apparent "throwaway" mentions, it's not impossible Robert Jordan was setting the table for an appearance by these characters or this location down the line.
- Loyalist Lords: Lord Machir, Lord Teacal and Lord Rahman are three of the Domani lords loyal to the King, all of them commanders in the field and legally under the authority of Lord Ituralde, though these three were mentioned by him (COT) as receiving directly and obeying chaotic orders from "The King" at odds with those Ituralde gave them. They are all likely important Lords. All three and their men are probably now with the forces of 300,000 Domani following Ituralde. Their involvement with Graendal's chaotic orders, a tenuous and perhaps totally innocent link, is still a good reason to keep an eye open should any of them appear in The Gathering Storm.
- Donjel: An old soldier, with a hanging scar from his youth like Mat's, and one-eyed (interesting coincidence to place such a man near The Wolf – has Jordan given him a one-eyed Fox?). He is sworn to Lord Ituralde, his best scout and the messenger he had picked to tell his wife if he didn't return from the meeting with the Dragonswon in COT. First and last seen in that book, he is likely still with his liege lord and considering his skills, almost certainly part of the small group he brought with him for the raids against the Seanchan in Tarabon in KOD.
- Ilturalde's Weather-Wise: A woman or man, by internal evidence someone able to predict the weather, an important asset for a General in the field. It may be the local equivalent of a Wisdom, or something "special" in the vein of a Sniffer. Ituralde had left his weather-wise behind in COT. It is unknown if this person was waiting with the rest of his soldiers at Coron Ford.
- Jaamal Nishur: A young officer of Ituralde and one of his personal retainers. He may be a minor lord. Jaamal was part of the small group that infiltrated Tarabon to attack the Seanchan, and is presumably still with his liege lord.
- Lady Tamsin: Ituralde's apparently very fierce-tempered wife. She swore to hunt and haunt him if she ever gets the message he's been killed. She is at an unknown location in Arad Doman. Let us just hope Ituralde has not sent her into the country for safety, for instance at Lady Basene's palace!
- The Dragonsworn Lords: Lord Shimron is an old and high standing Lord, well-known of Ituralde and like him a veteran of the Aiel War, who was before the events of Falme one of Alsalam's most trusted advisors. He now stands high in the councils of the Dragonsworn. The reference to his closeness to Alsalam at court makes his Dragonsworn allegiance a bit suspicious. The fact the Dragonsworn Lords who have spread chaos in the country have become more abstemious than Whitecloaks, very atypical for Domani, might be Graendal's idea of an ironic joke – she was once an ascetic herself. Is it the result of Graendal's compulsion? We'll see. We have seen this sort of righteous behaviour professed by Masema's followers, however – so it may just be what's expected of Dragonsworn. Lord Rajabi, Lord Wakeda, Lord Ankaer are three other very powerful Domani Lords who are Dragonsworn. Like Shimron, they have agreed to Ituralde's truce and most likely are part of either of the two armies presently involved in his trap for the Seanchan. All these lords are accompanied by lesser lords and many retainers. The Dragonsworn are natural allies for Rand, but also perfect serpents in the bosom for Graendal to manipulate.
- Ramsid, and his young wife: He is Alsalam's brother, and with his wife one Graendal's favourites. Or perhaps he was… Last mentioned by name in LOC, during Sammael's visit, Ramsid could be one of the two pets, referred by Graendal as "two of her prettiest", whom Shaidar Haran killed when he came to summons her to meet Moridin, in TPOD.
- Lady Osana: She is a woman of relative youth but great beauty. She is infamous for hunting men of power and making trophies out of them, and for her licentious activities at her remote countryside "hunting lodge", in effect a palace, now abandoned (it was used for Ituralde's secret meeting with the Dragonsworn in COT). A kind of poor man's Graendal, in short. Osana "joined" Graendal's little freak show very early when the troubles started wrecking Arad Doman, indicating that Graendal settled in Arad Doman very early on. Lady Osana was last mentioned by name in Graendal's scenes during Sammael's visit to the palace in LOC.
- Chiape and Shaofan: Sh'boan and Sh'botay of Shara. Graendal had them kidnapped strictly for her double-bluff to make Sammael believe she was attempting to distract him from plans she had, or pretended to have, with Demandred, Semirhage and Mesaana. The scheme worked but backfired: as a result Sammael came up with a scheme to force Graendal to follow him and betray what she knew about the trio, an outcome Graendal had not seen coming. The Shara connection is one of few clues that make many readers believe the 'sad old man' briefly glimpsed among the pets in TFOH is Jain Farstrider/Noal Charin (who is one of the few people known to have entered Shara).
- Lady Tuva: Mentioned in TPOD. When Graendal sent "Alsalam's" letter to Ituralde, she was to be Alsalam's supposed messenger to him, who had been stopped by a Grey Man and died. She is probably a close cousin of Alsalam (but Graendal's allusion to this is ambiguous and might refer to Nazran, the real messenger). Nothing actually suggests Lady Tuva is dead, but if she is not for Graendal to safely mention that she is, she must been one of her servants or pets.
- Ebram: A handsome young footman of Lady Basene rather than a pet, because he is just a merchant's son (implying the Domani pets are almost certainly all of noble blood). He calls Graendal 'Great Mistress' and is aware of her true identity. This could mean he is a Darkfriend, even though Sammael believed Graendal used none (Aran'gar believes she rather has an extensive network). With Graendal's skills at compulsion, however, there is no certainty. Graendal uses him as one of her 'front door' servants, the ones in the parts of her palace she lets outside visitors see. He was at her side when she met Lord Ituralde in LOC and has not been mentioned since.
- Lord? Nazran: A young man Graendal considers not beautiful enough to be a pet, which suggests by his status he might however have been suitable and so, that he is probably a noble. With Compulsion, Graendal made him believe he has been her lover. She also needed a touch of Compulsion to make him obey her, indicating he is not a Darkfriend. He was a friend of one of Graendal's pets killed by Shaidar Haran (TPOD). Graendal passed him off as a retainer of Lady Tuva whom, according to Graendal's inventions, Tuva charged with reaching Ituralde with Alsalam's orders to attack the Seanchan before she died from her wounds given by a Gray Man. He has appeared so far only in that scene in TPOD. He may be a "close cousin" of Alsalam, if it's not Lady Tuva herself Graendal had in mind saying that, which is more likely.
- Rashan: A beautiful muscular young man, almost certainly a noble. He was in attendance, along Lady Osana, during Sammael's visit in LOC, and was sliced in two by Sammael's gateway to return to Illian. Not even Semirhage could have done much for that one. He is quite dead, but may be mentioned again.
- Unnamed pets: Graendal has in her menagerie Alsalam's youngest sister and his oldest daughter. They have not so far been named. Graendal's habit of killing children whose parents she enslaves, something she calls a kindness, doesn't bode well for Alsalam's other children, if only his oldest has been made a pet. The Queen/Consort of Arad Doman, if still alive, has so far not been mentioned.
Tears from Steel spoiler - click to expand
Graendal's identified pets and servants
2. Selected members of Rand's forces and inner circle:
Tears from Steel spoiler - click to expand
3. Other Players in Arad Doman:
- General Turan: A Seanchan general in the western theatre who was ordered by the High Lady Suroth (KOD) to hunt down Ituralde and bring her back his head. Turan has fallen into the first of Ituralde's trap and his now caught between his two armies. The additional rakens sent him on Suroth's orders and which he could count on to scout have been recalled to Amadicia and Altara by Yulan and Galgan. His forces are described as being outnumbered by Ituralde's two armies, though Galgan thought Turan's damane might offset this.
4. Other Domani Characters of Interest:
These Domani characters, all out of the country, are described here more succintly. Some may reappear with more details in articles devoted to the story lines they are part of. Most Domani who have died, like Careane and Melore, are not listed. Neither are unnamed ones and "background extras" like merchants seen at inns etc.
- Abar & Balat: Two Domani brothers, fire eaters and sword swallowers, part of Lucas' Travelling Show. They gave up their tent to Mat, who had to move out of his after Egeanin and Bayle married. Perhaps the whole show will have fallen to a big bubble of evil or something… (one can always hope!)
- Akein: Akein is a mare of the prized Razor breed. Those rare and priceless horses are bred and favoured by the Domani bloodborn and rarely seen, and never sold, outside of Arad Doman. Perhaps a sign of the chaos or nobles falling on hard times, this razor mare somehow found her way to the stables of one Toke Fearnim in Jurador (Altara), where Mat bought her as a gift for Tuon, who named her Akein, or swallow in the old tongue (KOD). Tuon showing up riding Akein would certainly cause some stir in Arad Doman. Horses in the series are often symbolic of their riders' destiny – interesting that Tuon's is priceless, should not be out of Arad Doman, and has sharply divided dark and light patterns.
Tears from Steel spoiler - click to expand
- Asra: Asra is a kinswoman of very weak strength but with a great Talent at Healing. She followed Elayne to Andor and is presumably still in the Caemlyn palace. She has not been seen since The Path of Daggers .
- Burin: He is the warder of the Blue Sitter Lelaine Akashi, and described as a "copper-skinned stump".
- Caiden: A plump and pretty Domani in Elayne's Queen's Guard. She is likely a former merchant's guard.
- Demira Eriff: She is a Brown sister in the rebellion and was part of the embassy sent by the Hall to Rand in Caemlyn. Demira was the victim of the staged attack by fake Aiel, an incident Verin then used (assuming she has not organized it in the first place) to make the embassy's efforts with Rand derail. Initially favourably impressed with Rand because he had started schools, Demira probably isn't so much anymore. Demira was part of those sent back to Salidar with the Two Rivers novices by Kiruna Nachiman, when she took the lead. She has not reappeared since Lord of Chaos .
- Duhara Basaheen: Duhara is a Red sister who used to be Keeper of the Chronicles under Sierin Vayu (a Gray). She is tall, slim and beautiful – but with a meanness about her. Duhara is suspected of belonging to the more extremist faction of the Red Ajah, and was possibly involved in the widespread corruption within her Ajah in the years of the reign of Sierin Vayu. She was raised to the Hall by Galina Casban (then Highest, and standing right below Alviarin on the Black Ajah's Supreme Council) in replacement of Teslyn Baradon, exiled by Elaida. She appears close to Elaida, who chose her as her emissary to Andor, with the mission to be Elayne's advisor and to force her to return to the Tower. Sent packing immediately and summarily by Elayne at the end of KOD, Duhara either went to report to Elaida or may have remained in the city. Considering she was raised to the Hall by Galina at a time the Black Ajah strove to control it, many suspect Duhara of being Black Ajah.
- Faiselle: One of the Sitters from before the Tower Coup who have joined the gathering in Salidar and later took a chair in the rebel Hall, Faiselle is stocky, square-faced and forceful to the point of belying every story of Domani women's seduction. She is part of Lelaine's faction… at least officially. She is part of the Sitters who negotiate with their counteparts from the Tower in the village of Darein.
- Ferane Neheran : Short, stout and austere – totally defying the classic image of Domani women, Ferane is the First Reasoner of the White Ajah (to make the Head of the Ajah devoted to reason and logic a very atypical player from the Land that is a "madhouse" is a very typical of RJ's private jokes with secondary players). Involved in the so-called "Ajah Heads' Conspiracy" that put "too-young Sitters" in the Tower Hall (with a likely link to the same mystery in the Rebel Hall), Ferane was last seen in the company of Seaine Herimon of the Black Ajah Hunters, who seeks on the side to discover what the Ajah Heads are playing at.
- Hafeen Bakuvun : Domani commander of a mercenary company hired by Elayne during the siege of Caemlyn. When the Far Madding gate was betrayed to Arymilla Marne, his company remaining loyal may have made the difference in Dyelin's success at holding the gate before the arrival of Birgitte's troops.
- Karale Sanghir : Black sister from the Gray Ajah. A member of Atuan's Heart, Karale was captured and put to the question by the Black Ajah Hunters. (KOD).
- Jeaine Caide: A nasty Black Sister of the Green Ajah, part of Liandrin's group who left the Tower. Jeaine has not been seen since The Fires of Heaven, when she was sent on a mysterious mission by Moghedien that made her shiver with horror in anticipation. Her current whereabouts, and the nature of her orders, are still unknown.
- Leane Sharif : Once of the Blue and Keeper of the Chronicles under Siuan Sanche, she also got stilled by Elaida when Siuan was deposed. Later healed in Salidar by Nynaeve, at a fraction of her former strength, Leane has switched Ajah to join the Green, an unprecendented move. Involved with Siuan's early schemes to manipulate the Rebel Hall and Sheriam's circle, Leane is part of Egwene's inner circle and handled for her a network of spies inside the city of Tar Valon. Her skills at making cuendillar got her involved in Egwene's plan to block the harbours of Tar Valon, which got betrayed, and she was captured alongside Egwene. A big loss to the rebellion, as with Leane went their sources of intelligence inside the city.
Leane is the daughter of a deceased Domani merchant. Now again the consumate Domani seductress of her youth, her name is an inside-joke derived from the Leannan Sidhe, a Fairy character from Irish folklore who entices and dazzles men.
- Lusara: Stunningly beautiful, she is a Domani merchant, captured and made gai'shain by Sevanna's Shaido. She has sworn fealty to Faile and was rescued at the Battle of Malden. She is likely to remain in Faile's entourage; the way it's booming, Emond's Field may need merchant houses very soon!
- Namene: A tall and slim young novice (about fifteen years old) who giggles a lot. She is part of Nicola's little coterie that has mysteriously started to look up and defer to Egwene. Some suspect Mesaana may have toyed with the novices…
- Rajar: An experienced warder student of six years, Rajar joined Gawyn's Younglings during the Tower Coup. He is a veteran of Dumai's Wells and Gawyn's First Lieutenant. He was last seen in Dorlan with him (KOD).
- Sharmad Zeffar: A Domani refugee in Emond's Field, Sharmad got into a foolish contest with Rhea Avin for the attentions of the local unassuming Don Juan Wil al'Seen (who, probably much to the girls's chagrin, joined Perrin when he left for Caemlyn). She was last seen being sent by a very annoyed Faile to have a very bad time with the Wisdom Daise Congar. That was in Lord of Chaos, but she probably still remembers it.
- Theodrin Dabei: A young Brown Aes Sedai, raised to the shawl by an edict of Egwene alonside Faolain, Nynaeve and Elayne. With Faolain, she swore fealty to Egwene and was set to spy on Romanda, who had taken her under her wing. A wilder, Theodrin was the one assigned by the Hall/Circle to help Nynaeve break her block, with no result. Linda thinks she has been tampered with by Mesaana, Dominic disagrees.
- Therille Marza : A seamstress and refugee in Emond's Field, who attempts to dress Faile for the balls in Bandar Eban. She was first and last seen in Lord of Chaos.