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)

No comments: