Monday, October 26, 2009

The Storm is Coming #25: The Fox's Band's Who Who

The Storm is Coming! series comes to and end with this little Who's Who of the characters with Mat Cauthon.

Linda and I wish to thank everyone who's read, commented or help support our efforts with the Storm is Coming series, from the Blog visitors to our forum posters to the likes of Jason at DM and Jen at Tor who by their support have brought so many readers. We love you guys, you've all made a contribution to give us the energy and motivation to bring this to its end. We've had a terrific time doing this series, and be sure we'll repeat the experience next summer as Towers of Midnight approaches.

In the meantime though don't fear - we're not going away! We'll be back very soon after a few days of rest with our The Gathering Storm reviews, a new series of posts reflecting on everything we can find in The Gathering Storm itself starting in November, and tons of updated and new articles. Regarding the Reference Library articles: Linda would like to be given the courtesy of at least a month to update them with new info from the Gathering Storm. In the meantime please refrain from leaving comments on the articles about what needs to be updated - after all, not everyone will have read the book even in that time and you will be spoiling it for somebody!

On this, I wish all of you a great time reading the new book. We've waited many years for this, take the time to savour it and enjoy it to your heart's content. We sure will on our side.

With the Fox, a condensed Who's Who

Thom Merrilin: Former court-bard, risen to exalted rank of Gleemen, as he likes to put it, Thom doesn't really need a presentation anymore. Thom has been with Mat since the Salidar expedition to Ebou Dar. He remained behind with Mat when Olver went missing as Elayne's party headed for the Kin's retreat. Thom has attracted the Seanchan's Seeker Almurat's Mor attention – he believes him to one of the top White Tower's agents. Karede thought he was the mastermind behind Tuon's kidnapping. Tuon and Seleucia are also much suspicious of who Thom really is. Thom helped Beslan organize the riot/rebellion that hit Ebou Dar the night of Mat's escape. He is highly suspected of being the one who spread rumours about "a girl with a Seandar accent" matching Tuon's description perfectly in Ebou Dar to cover their traces. Thom managed to make Mat promise to help him rescue Moiraine from the Aelfinn and Eelfinn.

Juilin Sandar and Thera: One of the best thief-catchers in Tear, he has gravitated with Thom around Elayne and Nynaeve for a long time, accompanying them to Ebou Dar. Juilin has fallen in love with and rescued the former Panarch Amathera of Tarabon (currently going by the name Thera), made da'covale by Suroth for refusing to swear the Oath to the Empress and accept the Seanchan conquest of Tarabon. By the end of Knife of Dreams, Juilin and Thera were befriending Domon and Egeanin, who had recently married.

Olver: A Cairhienin orphan of ten who has been with Mat and the Band since Maerone. An ugly duckling, with even more charm than Mat himself. Olver has had many roles so far, ranging from humour to a device for character development to a number of plot devices, the most significant so far was to delay Mat's departure from Ebou Dar.

Joline Maza: Joline was a Sitter for the Green in the Tower, raised in the aftermath of the Tower Coup. She was unchaired by Elaida a first time, sent back by the Green, unchaired again and exiled as "ambassador" to Ebou Dar. Joline intended to capture Elayne and Nynaeve to regain Elaida's favour (and not for love of Elaida, mind you), but her colleague Teslyn Baradon drugged her on the day of their departure to prevent it. Joline still managed to escape the Seanchan and was found and hidden by Setalle Anan. Mat agreed to rescue her. Joline has proven a complete pest, kept in check only by the combined efforts of Edesina and Teslyn, Setalle and the two ex-sul'dam. Joline has had a bee in her bonnet since Mat gave her a taste of the medicine he got all his childhood and spanked her for disobedience. Asked by Mat to fight in the battle against the army sent to assassinate Tuon, Joline complied but told Mat afterward he was now in her debt. Some believe she intends to steal the Foxhead medallion and bond him as her warder. Joline has two warders, Blaeric and Fen, who don't like Mat so much…

Teslyn Baradon: A Red Sitter exiled by Elaida who now hates her with a passion and is all too willing to harm her. She could be of help to Thom Merillin eventually. Teslyn warned Mat about the threat to Elayne and Nynaeve from Joline. She got made damane when the Seanchan landed in Ebou Dar. When Mat found out it was she who passed him a note, he decided he owed her and had no choice but to rescue her. Teslyn, unlike Joline, has proven extremely grateful – to the point of telling Mat he could ask her anything - a promise that might turn out important later on: Egwene had a dream of Mat weighing two Aes Sedai on a balance scale, and that on each choice depended something terribly important, the fate of the world maybe. Many argue this dream has been fulfilled, as choosing to rescue Teslyn, not only Joline, launched a chain of events that lead straight into marrying Tuon – which may have been what's "really important" for the world.

Edesina Azzedin: Edesina is a Yellow of rebel allegiance, chosen to be one of the ambassadors to Tarabon, where she got captured by the Seanchan. As she was not yet broken as a damane, Teslyn insisted on her being included in the rescue. Edesina has more or less fallen with Teslyn against Joline so far. Among the benefits of having her around would, obviously, be providing Healing at some important point.

Setalle Anan: The innkeeper of The Wandering Woman in Tanchico, who has taken a great liking to Mat and agreed to help in his escape plan. Her family escaped on fishing boats to Illian, where Setalle intends to eventually rejoin them. She has become a friend, almost a surrogate mother to Mat. Setalle is actually the Aes Sedai Martine Janata, a Brown specialist in ter'angreal who burned herself out studying one. Many believe she's bound to meet Elayne down the line, perhaps help her with her advice and knowledge, for instance deciphering the Old Tongue from the Age of Legends portable library Elayne has in her possession. We have a full article on Setalle Anan in the Reference Library.

Noal Charin, aka Jain Charin, aka Jain Farstrider: One of the series' men of mystery. Charin is a great traveller and renowned author who disappeared after he was used by Ishamael many years ago, "painted as a fool" and sent to the Ogier to spread what appears to have been pure propaganda about a threat to The Eye of the World. Charin is obviously under Compulsion, a compulsion that has shown signs in the last books of waning now, much as Morgase's from Rahvin did. Noal has asked to be the third man to accompany Mat and Thom to the Tower of Ghenjei. There are an infinity of theories concerning Jain Farstrider, ranging from the darkest (he is still being used by the Shadow) to the possibility he disappeared while tracking down Isam, to the possibility he witnessed the events of Falme firsthand before being captured by Graendal. Certainly a character to keep a close eye on!

Egeanin Sarna, aka Tamarath aka Leilwyn Shipless: Egeanin is a Seanchan captain with the forerunners who's been around since The Great Hunt, when she captured Bayle's Domon Spray and brought it to High Lord Turak in Falme. By The Fires of Heaven, Egeanin was chosen by Suroth to be an agent in the Westlands, looking for Seanchan deserters. By a twist of fate, she happened to collar a sul'dam she had found and discovered it held them as surely as damane. After her meeting with Nynaeve and Elayne, Egeanin learned the full truth, that they were women who could channel. Caught in a moral conflict, she ultimately kept the secret and freed Bethamin. She accepted the mission from Nynaeve and Elayne to go drop the ter'angreal that bind a male channeler to the bottom of the sea, but approaching Cantorin Domon's ship was captured again. Egeanin had to give the ter'angreal to Suroth's people. Domon made a row and got made da'covale. Egeanin 'saved him' by buying him and raising him to her so'jhin, as her reward for the ter'angreal was to be raised to the Low Blood.

By Winter's Heart, the new Captain of the Green Tamarath was in trouble, the Seeker Mor having built a house of cards out of unrelated facts and suspecting her of treason and involvement with the White Tower. He tried to used Bethamin as spy, and Bethamin told everything to Egeanin. Domon convinced her to hire Mat and his men to arrange an escape, which provided Mat with what he was still missing for his own plan: three sul'dam.

In the course of things, Egeanin was cast out of the Blood, in effect being made da'covale (a shea dancer) by Tuon and renamed Leilwyn Shipless by her so'jhin Seleucia. A threat that never came into play so far – Tuon returned to Ebou Dar without Leilwyn as da'covale, nor Bethamin and Seta – in accordance with her promise to Mat not to touch the people with him.

Egeanin and Bayle married during Knife of Dreams.

Bethamin, Seta and Renna: The three sul'dam Egeanin forced to participate in the plan to escape Ebou Dar. Over the course of KOD, Renna betrayed and tried to kill Egeanin and reach the Seanchan to report Tuon's whereabouts, an action Tuon herself has judged treason. Renna was killed by Harnan on Mat's order. Seta and Bethamin, brought to admit they saw the weaves, have made the leap to embrace the source and are now being trained by Joline, against Teslyn's wishes.

From the Band of the Red Hand:

After he was done with his deal with King Roedran, Talmanes Delovinde brought part of the Band in Altara to find Mat: three banners of cavalry, four thousand mounted crossbowmen, the masons, the Band's mapmaker. He left three banners of cavalry and five banners of infantry with Estean in Murandy, with orders to head for Andor. The exact position of Estean's men is unknown as is the path they mean to follow into Andor. Talmanes didn't need to explain it to Mat, who knew perfectly well where the smuggler pass was. Alas, we do not. My guess is that the Band with Estean is travelling to the east, while Mat is more likely to travel north in the west of Murandy.

Talmanes Delovinde: A Cairhienin young noble and a very competent soldier. Talmanes was left in charge of the Band by Mat when he left for Ebou Dar, and is one of Mat's new Lieutenant-Generals (the other is Daerid who isn't yet aware of his promotion and currently leading the infantry left with Estean and his cavalry and heading for Andor on Talmanes' orders). Talmanes has half the Band's cavalry under his control.

Carlomin: A Tairen noble. One of Mat's Banner-Generals with Talmanes in Altara. His banner call itself Carlomin's Leopards.

Reimon: One of the Band's officers with Talmanes and Mat's half of the Band in Altara. He is also a Tairen and also a Banner-General. His banner is called Reimon's Eagles.

Fergin, Gorderan, Metwyn: The three surviving Redarms who had followed Mat to Ebou Dar. Most of the others were killed by the gholam in the Rahad at the building where the Bowl was found, others were killed by Moghedien in her attempt to balefire Nynaeve. They are lead by a fourth redarm, their File Leader Harnan. Fergin is not very intelligent but a good soldier. Metwyn is mentioned as a very good swordsman.

Chel Vanin: A master horse-thief and Mat's best scout. A big hater of nobles, but much to Mat's grief a huge admirer of Elayne Trakand.

Master Roidelle: A Cairhienin master mapmaker hired by the Band of the Red Hand.

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