Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Semirhage in a Nutshell

The Age of Legends

- Her original name was Nemene Damendar Boann.

- She was one of the greatest Restorers of her Age, and earned her third name through her exceptional Healing skills. She could apparently bring back people who were on the verge of death – patients which no other Restorer could Heal.

- She speaks about being summoned all over the world to help those no one else could.

- Her specialty was the brain.

- She was a sadist who tortured her patients while she was Healing them. No one reported her because they were so grateful to be alive that they quickly forgot the pain she put them through.

- Her actions apparently predated the Dark One’s influence on the world by a considerable margin.

- If she felt the patient was not important to society, she would torture them to death during the procedure, or kill them afterwards.

- The Hall of the Servants discovered her crimes at some stage and sent a delegation to give her an ultimatum. She was either to be bound against violence and never know her pleasures again as well as see the end of her life approach, or to be severed from the One Power and cast out in disgrace from the Aes Sedai. The Aes Sedai expected her to ask for the binding. At this point she went to Shayol Ghul and swore her soul to the Dark One.

- The announcement that she had turned to the Shadow caused great turmoil when it was revealed that such a famous woman had joined them.

- She caused a lot of trouble during the second half of the Collapse, namely by kidnapping members of the Hall. She tortured them as part of her revenge, and to force them to turn to the Shadow. Freed victims rarely recanted their allegiances, and even then it took prolonged treatment by Restorers to help them. Their greatest fear was apparently falling back into her hands again.

The War of Power

- She was a general of average abilities.

- She is part of an alliance with Demandred and Mesaana, which apparently predates the War of Power. The alliance stipulates that they make no move against one another until the other Chosen are dead.

- She governed several territories where cruelty and violence rose to a level which stood out even among the Forsaken.

- She forced the inhabitants of several captured cities to torture and break one another to death.

- Despite the thousands of deaths attributed to her hands in the War, they still only represent a low level of cruelty compared to the personal attention she gave her special prisoners. She honed torture to an art, and spent many hours studying what could be done to strip away dignity and human will.

- Her interest was seeing what a person would do to avoid more pain. She claimed there were no limits, except death which she saw as an escape.

- On occasion she would stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain when interrogating patients. She only did this rarely because it was less enjoyable for her, and because her patients were incoherent afterwards with their desire to experience that pleasure again. She claimed that it was a faster way to achieve a goal, though because patients would do anything to experience it again.

- Her primary targets were Aes Sedai, but she also practiced her art on civilians, soldiers and traitors in the Shadow. She sent the soldiers and civilians on missions against their former friends, which were usually successful.

- All prisoners of repute were given to Semirhage, and special precautions were needed to prevent them from killing themselves when they learned that they were being handed over to her.

- She discovered that using a circle of thirteen channelers with thirteen Fades as filters could turn another channeler to the Shadow against their will.

- She tortured several Fades to death to see if they knew why how they traveled in the shadows, but they didn’t know.

- She headed a network which had the primary function of rooting out traitors and spies in the Shadow.- She was captured during the War of Power but escaped after she frightened her jailors to the point that they released her.

- She is sometimes referred to as the Lady of Pain.

Since being released

- The Dark One sent her secret orders to send Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle Sammael’s. Her Trollocs coincidentally saved Rand’s life. Rand and Sammael both attributed the intervention to Lanfear.

- The Dark One and Shadar Haran charged her with the complete interrogation of Cabriana Mecandes. She tortured her, gave her information Aran’gar and then killed Cabriana.

- Asmodean only fears the Dark One more than her fears her. Asmodean, Mesaana and Moghedien allude to her as the gold-standard of cruelty when they experience or perform something sadistic.

- She disguised herself as Anath Dorje, Tuon’s truthsayer. She almost certainly killed Tuon’s previous servant. Her sadism was apparent when Tuon asked to be beaten.

- She was excused from several Forsaken meetings because of the dangers of channeling in Seanchan.

- Jordan confirmed that she was at the Cleansing of saidin, though we never saw a PoV from her.

- Moridin showed her an image of the ta’veren. She said that they would be dead if he’d shown her the images sooner. She was in Mat’s presence several times.

- She set up an ambush for Rand and his friends which involved the male a’dam. Her Illusion was unraveled by Cadsuane’s ter’angreal, but she launched a fireball which destroyed Rand’s hand. She was shielded and taken prisoner, but revealed to Rand’s friends that Lews Therin was speaking to Rand.

As an Individual

- She is as tall as most men with a very dark skin and dark eyes.

- She is described as graceful and beautiful. Mesaana says that Semirhage is always calm and always graceful. However, when Cadsuane unraveled her Illusion, she apparently looked furious.

- Her prisoners said she could look motherly and gentle, or forbidding.

- She almost always wears black.

- We don’t know how strong she is in the One Power. Jordan said that Nynaeve was as strong as most of the female Forsaken, so she is probably close to Nynaeve in strength. Mesaana says that she and Semirhage are pretty similar, which is Forsaken dialect for Mesaana's inferiority.

- According to Asmodean, she has a very poor Talent for the Weather.

- She is the only Forsaken with an above-average Talent in Healing. Graendal says that Semirhage is the only Forsaken with the skill to Heal Sammael’s scar, which was apparently an easy procedure in the Age of Legends. The Forsaken have repeatedly said that none of them would ever trust her to Heal them.

- When the sun shines while it is raining, it is said that the Dark One is beating Semirhage.

- She despises Lanfear more than any other Forsaken, claiming that the woman is a meddler who ruins other’s plans and then leaves before anything happens to her.

- She is the only other Forsaken who notes an aptitude for Tcheran, a board game from the War of Power. While she describes herself as an indifferent player, Moridin says that he was a master at the game.

- Her hobby is needlework.

- Aran’gar implies that Semirhage’s sexual appetites extend to sadism too.
(Imagery property of Dabel brothers)

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Aginor in a nutshell

The Age of Legends

- His original name was Ishar Morrad Chuain.

- He was one of the best, if not the top biological scientist in the Age of Legends. Apparently he understood the most basic structures of living things better than anyone else in the Age.

- It was believed that nothing more could be discovered in his field except for a few small minor discoveries, but he resented that belief.

- His primary field of expertise was plant life where he researched crops and ornamentals. However, he was disciplined more than once for unauthorized work on animals.

The War of Power

- He was one of the first Forsaken to turn to the Shadow – within the first thirty years of the Collapse.

- His motive was the ability to do unrestricted biological research.

- After he became a Forsaken, he started to develop Shadowspawn. His first creation was the Trolloc. The True Power was used to some degree to make them. He wasted no time in making them, because by the time the War of Power started they were already present in huge numbers.

- He also developed Draghar, Gholam, Jumara and other creations. The Myrddraal were an unexpected offspring of his Trolloc creations.

- He didn’t know why Myrddraal could move in shadows, and he experimented and destroyed over one hundred of them trying to find out, without success.

- He never held a field command, and was never a governor of any territory.

- He was given free reign to develop his Shadowspawn, which required human and animal components. All of the Forsaken sent people, whether civilians or soldiers, to his Trolloc camps for experimentation, production or Trolloc fodder.

- Ten thousand people were sent to his camps on a daily basis from the beginning of the War of Power, until the end where the number may have doubled in the last five years of the War. Millions of people died in these concentration camps.

- At some stage he says he faced Lews Therin in the Hall of Servants and attacked him in some way. He says he met Lews Therin ‘stroke for stroke’.

Since being released

- He was caught very close to the surface of the seal and as a result his flesh withered and he became extremely old and parched.

- He and Balthamel didn’t experience a deep sleep like the other Forsaken, but a state which allowed them to focus on any area in the world.

- Moiraine challenged him at the Eye of the World, but he defeated her. She was surprised that she could stand against him for so long.

- He competed with Rand al’Thor for the Eye of the World but overdrew on saidin and destroyed himself. All that was left of him was ash. He states later that death was a very unpleasant experience.

- He was reincarnated as Osan’gar, a plain faced younger man.

- He masqueraded as Corlan Dashiva, an Ash’aman for a few months. He fought in several battles with Rand, including Rand’s move against Sammael.

- He pointed Flinn in the right direction regarding Healing with saidin.

- He attacked Rand in the Sun Palace with huge fireballs, and then fled. He did not follow the other renegade Ash’aman to Far Madding.

- He planned to balefire Rand, and seize Callandor for himself at the Cleansing of saidin. He was targeted by Elza using Callandor, where she destroyed the hill he hid on. He is presumed dead, but there is not enough evidence at the moment to state so absolutely. He will be the only Forsaken to have died twice.

As an Individual

- In his restored form, Aginor is as tall and physically strong as Rand with a look as hard as a Warder’s. He is a man in his prime, but not good looking (he states that he always hated being ordinary).

- Aginor dislikes physical activity, and he says that he never considered himself to be a soldier. Demandred says that if Aginor wasn’t so gifted in his field, he never would have been a Forsaken.

- His strength in the One Power is an area of contention. He is clearly mentioned as the second strongest male Forsaken in the One Power. Moiraine also says that he was close behind Lews Therin in strength. The Guide, however, also says that Demandred was slightly weaker than Lews Therin – which immediately casts doubt on Aginor’s position. Moiraine says that only the strongest channelers could manage the flows from the Eye, and Rand estimates that Dashiva is nearly as strong as he himself. However, Adley says in the same chapter that Sammael is about as strong as Rand. It is possible that Aginor was the second strongest male in the Shadow, until the appearance of Demandred and Sammael… or he might be the second strongest.

- According to Rand his ability with Healing is worse than his own (and Rand can barely Heal a bruise).

- Despite his arrogant demeanor against Rand in the Eye of the World, he is probably a weak personality. Demandred and Moridin openly chide him and he doesn’t respond. Osan’gar says that he feared Moridin and Ishamael for as long as he could remember.

- One of his habits is to dry wash his hands.

(Image the property of Dabel brothers)

Be'lal in a Nutshell

The Age of Legends

- His original name was Duram Laddel Cham.

- He earned his prized third name as an advocate of great repute.

- He once defeated Lews Therin in a game of stones and bragged about it on several occasions.
- When he turned to the Shadow is a point of contention. Two sources say that he turned during the Collapse. At the same time he mentions to Lews Therin that he rode side by side with him in battle, and the Guide says that he was one of the leaders against the Shadow (like Sammael) before he turned.

- He was called the Envious … notably because he was envious of Lews Therin, Ishamael and Lanfear.

- He was also called the Netweaver, possibly the hallmark of a cunning and devious planner.

- He was one of the great generals of the Shadow – and proved to be a cunning planner who fought directly with any foe.

- He governed at least one territory.

- It is suggested that he was greater than both Sammael and Rahvin – and that he surpassed and combined their talents. However, Jordan in his QoTW excluded Be’lal as one of the Forsaken who was always present at the top levels of the Shadow, whereas he did include Sammael.

- His campaigns and regions of governance were marked by extreme violence and cruelty.

- He was present when the Hall of the Servants was razed in Paaren Disen, only a few days before the Bore was sealed by Lews Therin and the Companions.

- After Sammael’s armies ruined the plan to use the Choedan Kal, Be’lal and Demandred’s armies made a push which effectively sealed the fate of the Light.

Since being released

- He pulled Alviarin into Tel’aran’rhiod.

- He disguised himself as one of the High Lords of Tear, Samon.

- He and Rahvin met in Tel’aran’rhiod where they started arguing. They were cowed to silence by the arrival of Ishamael who started berating them. They all started arguing until Ishamael violently ended the meeting.

- According to Silvie (Lanfear), he used to spend large amounts of time coming to view Callandor in Tel’aran’rhiod.

- Be’lal instructed the Black Ajah to capture Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene in Tear. He also sent for thirteen Myrddraal to turn the girls to the Shadow against their will.

- He instructed the Black Ajah to neutralize Moiraine with the hedgehog ter’angreal, but Faile was caught in the trap instead.

- He confronted Rand in the Stone of Tear and pretended to allow mercy so that Rand would take Callandor. In fact, his only intention was to have Rand release it from its wards so that he could take it from him. He was not aware that Ishamael was present at the time.

- Moiraine balefired him.

- There are some people who believe that he was reincarnated as Taim.

As an Individual

- He is described as a tall and athletic man with close-cropped silver hair. When Perrin sees him in Tel’aran’rhiod he says that he looks aged, but that he moves like a strong young person. Considering how old Aes Sedai lived in the Age of Legends, and the appearance of the other Forsaken, he may be the oldest of their number – possibly older than 400 years old if Alivia or Graendal are used as markers.

- He is clearly determined and fearless in what he does. His bravado irritates Rahvin, who mentions that Be’lal is so hasty that he’s going to ruin all his plans. He also says that Be’lal was a fool in the War of Power, and that he is still a fool since his release (but bias is inevitable between these two foes). Moiraine believes that his nickname implies that he was a patient planner, but Rahvin says that he is impulsive.

- Clearly he is very strong in the One Power. It has been theorized that he is one of the weaker males in the One Power. His envy of Ishamael and Lanfear, key signatures in One Power strength – and his instant ambition to grab Callandor support this.

- He is very strong in Spirit. He projects his dreams of Callandor onto the whole city of Tear which Moiraine explains is a sign of strength in this area.

- His Talent in Tel’aran’rhiod may be above average. There are hints that pulling people into Tel’aran’rhiod requires the tracking of dreams, which only Egwene and other Talented individuals can attain.

- He is a blademaster.
(imagery property of Dabel brothers)

Saturday, January 11, 2003

The Forsaken in a nutshell

Quick guides to the Forsaken's biographies, personality traits, skills, weaknesses and deeds, from the Age of Legends to the eve of the Last Battle.

Available Entries

  • Aginor
  • Be'lal
  • Semirhage
  • Moghedien