Monday, October 19, 2009

The Storm is Coming! #14: Mired in Altara part 2: The Wolfpack's Who's Who

The Wheel of Time Zoo mired in Altara part 2:
Who's Who with and around the Wolf King

by Dominic

Following the first entry of the "Mired in Altara" series, here's a Who's Who of the characters with Perrin or closely involved with him.

As usual, parts involving discussion of material from the prologue are hidden by the spoiler tags.

Perrin's story line is one of those where the patterns and the circularity is the most apparent: recurring motifs like Faile's capture (going back to the ending of The Dragon Reborn when Perrin missed events in the Stone while he looked for Faile, trapped in tel'aran'rhiod); Perrin's progressive encounters with the Whitecloaks are important junctures in his character's progression (in The Eye of the World, when pursued by the ravens he sheltered with Egwene in the hand of Artur Hawkwing, hoping some of his justice remained - only to fall into the hands of Bornhald senior and Jareth Byar; his second encounter and killing of Whitecloaks in Remen in Northern Altara; the events in TSR where he bumped into Bornhald junior and Byar, and Bornhald betrayed his word and abandoned Emond's Field to its fate) and so on. Perrin is even now in the general area of Remen again, where he met both Faile and Gaul, where he killed Whitecloaks, with Galad, Bornhald and Byar close to his location. And that is barely scratching the surface of repeating patterns in a story line that seems to want to come full circle with a lot of its early events.

Curiously, while Rand is the shepherd and Perrin the Wolf, it's Perrin who has emerged through the series as a protector and unifier figure, currently missing only a Kandori, an Illianer and a Shienaran to have at last one representative from each nation around him. His story line is highly concerned with placing more and more people under his protection, and gaining the respect or allegiance of more and more leading figures (or heirs), rulers and nobles. Despite, or perhaps in part because of, his often unassuming attitude, Perrin has so far not gathered people around him through intimidation, plain terror, bullying or because of the prophecies like Rand - or through the kind of Hero worship that sprouted around Mat, but generally through his charisma, or his deeds, his unassuming intelligence or his strength and qualities as a leader. In many small and not so small ways, Perrin's story line echoes that of Artur Hawkwing and Aemon of Manetheren. Is a future leader for the world after Tarmon Gai'don emerging? We'll see.

Some of the main players in the story line:

Perrin t'Bashere Aybara, Lord of the Two Rivers, the Wolf King of the Karaethon Cycle. Perrin is a man with a lot on his plate. A mission from Rand that has petered out; one hundred thousand refugees to feed and protect or find ways to send home; Tarmon Gai'don on the horizon with still little idea of what his role in the Wolves's "Last Hunt" will be; a few mysteries still to solve; potential problems again with his foes Bornhald and Byar on the horizon - and perhaps his greatest of all, managing his wife. Now that Faile has been rescued, what are Perrin's plans?

Faile ni Bashere t'Aybara: Perrin's falcon and the daughter and heir of Lord Davram Bashere, currently with Rand in Arad Doman. Bashere is the first in line to inherit the throne of Saldaea if his Queen, currently in Andor, were to die. Faile herself stands next in line. Min has Viewed "something dark" in Lord Davram's future. During her captivity with the Shaido, Faile arose as a leader among the gai'shain and actually became liege lady to a large number of them.

TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

A new spin was given to her story line in the prologue, when in a sudden plot twist she took matters in her own hands and hunted down and killed Masema and the last of his men after they escaped from near Perrin's camp after Malden. A dark deed Faile called it, but sometime a wife must do what her husband can't bring himself to do. It is presently unknown how Perrin went from arranging his deployments at Malden in the hope Masema and his followers would get killed too, dithering or plainly refusing to hang the whole lot of them, especially after he had proof Masema tried to have him killed using Aram. Will Faile manage to hide the truth from Perrin for long? Does she know by now of Sebban Balwer's skills at ferreting things out and of his involvement with her agents of Cha Faile?

After Malden, Faile claimed Sevanna's treasure in jewellery, intending to buy supplies for the one hundred thousand refugees from the Shaido she apparently intends to protect.

Shortly before her capture, events were starting to go smoothly for Faile and Perrin after Elyas made him understand what Faile wanted of him: not to make her appear and feel weak by refusing to stand up to her.

Several new issues have arisen since.

Perrin has learned from Elyas that Faile stands to inherit the Broken Crown after Tenobia and/or her father's death and predicted a solid row when he brings this up with her.

Faile may or not learn about the rumours in the camp about Perrin and Berelain sleeping together on the night of her capture. While it's doubtful Faile would ever believe Perrin was unfaithful and would most likely puzzle out that Berelain is behind it, many believe this could be the last straw for Berelain when Faile learns. There have been mentions before, which could be foreshadowing, of Faile wanting to shave Berelain bald (Egwene, amusingly, also wished in LOC to see her lose all her hair, in the episode where she had no choice but to ask Berelain to help her keep her presence secret from Elaida's Aes Sedai in Cairhien). This used to be a traditional punishment in real life for women poaching others' husbands, for prostitutes and so on. Such an outcome would be all the more amusing given that Berelain is a Paendrag...

Another issue Faile may have is over the fact in Saldaea it is traditional for the woman of the House to be responsible for intelligence gathering. How will Faile take to Sebban Balwer, and his loyalty to Perrin? Will he smoothly become Faile's spy master or be seen as a rival? Will he keep her secrets or remain loyal to Perrin?

For additional speculation concerning Faile and Tenobia - her cousin with whom she has a rivalry that seems to have some things in common with her other one with Berelain, see Tenobia's entry in the Borderlands Who's Who.

Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron, First of Mayene, Blessed of the Light, Defender of the Waves, High Seat of House Paeron: The First of Mayene is another important side player introduced by Jordan early in the series. She became Faile's bitter rival after Faile put herself between her and her efforts to seduce Perrin to get a close tie to the Dragon Reborn. Berelain's greatest hope is that by serving Rand well, she will ensure the future of Mayene and get rid of the Tairen dominance over Mayene. Berelain's greatest fear is that unless she stays close to Rand or his inner circle, he will forget her services or his promises to protect Mayene or change his mind because Tairen High Lords served him better, or he has greater need to curry favours from them. Rejected by Rand, Berelain turned to Perrin which turned into a girlish and immature challenge or game with Faile with Perrin all too often as their battleground.

For all the harsh remarks and the despite for her shown by nearly all the main female players who hate or disdain her without understanding her political position or the culture of Mayeners, Berelain has proven herself as a solid ally to Rand (one of his best and most trustworthy), a very capable administrator and ruler, much respected, loved and admired by her people. She has become a friend of the Aiel Wise Ones and a kind of surrogate daughter to Rhuarc himself after a failed attempt to seduce him - the Aiel understands what she's doing all too well, and it is no different from how the Wise Ones manage the Clan Chiefs.

Pursuing her rivalry with Faile again as soon as she showed up in Cairhien with Perrin, Berelain has however greatly changed and matured during her rival's captivity. She began by offering Perrin to put her "game" (not that she calls it that) on hold until Faile returned, to which he reacted badly and a bit unwisely. The rumours started by the fact she had brought him to sleep in her tent on the night of Faile's capture may or not be of her doing (they were essentially spread by her maids). They could well be Berelain's lesson for the way Perrin reacted to her offer. She appeared truly and well offended that he would believe she would take advantage of Faile's kidnapping to seduce him. In any case, Berelain did put her game on hold afterward and, Perrin aside, she was probably the most fervent and determined in seeing Faile rescued. Over the months of the hunt, she turned into a valuable and loyal ally to Perrin, in turn an advisor on politics and his role as a Lord, a skilled negotiator and sparing no resources to help, with her person, her money or her people. Perrin has begun to see her value, though she still exasperates him. Berelain's respect for Perrin has obviously grown. It is unclear at this point if a genuine friendship on her part for him has emerged, or if she might actually have been caught at her game and fallen in love with him.

Three notable pending plot elements about Berelain:

  • Min has viewed that she would fall head over heels for a man in white. It is unknown if the man in white in question will return her love. The favourite candidate to be this man in white has long been Galad Damodred, now in the same vicinity and with several signs that he has to meet with Perrin's group at some point. The other favourite contenders include a gai'shain (a pre-KOD favourite theory of some was that Rolan, the Mera'din pursuing Faile's attention, would be made gai'shain and attract Berelain's interest - and ignore her. Perrin's hammer put a final end to that scenario), and a man in mourning white (the two most often mentioned are Perrin himself and King Beslan, in mourning for his mother, Tylin - in a scenario in which Berelain finds herself invited to meet Tuon in Ebou Dar or captured by Tuon's forces).

  • In another sign of her genuine loyalty to Perrin, Berelain has turned against her Aes Sedai advisor Annoura Larisen after Perrin found out from his own spies that Annoura and Masuri have been secretly meeting with Masema. It appears that Berelain has never managed to get Annoura to tell the truth of what went on, hinting as much when she spoke publicly of Annoura having broken something (her trust) and that it was up to her to mend things. This will be discussed further in Annoura's entry below.

    TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

    Of interest here is the fact Berelain seeks to learn the truth and now that Masema has been secretly killed (which Perrin may not ever learn about - he may believe him to have escaped, pursue him a while before giving up) it's possible Annoura and Masuri and the Wise Ones become suspected of being behind the murder. Berelain is not really someone Faile would wish to pay too great attention to what has happened to Masema. But who knows... this could result in blackmail if Berelain finds out, or revealing the truth to Perrin or even perhaps Faile and Berelain could even ally to keep it secret in the end.

  • The third point of interest about foreshadowing for Berelain is the matter of her ancestry. A direct ancestor of Artur Hawkwing Paendrag through a grandson of his, the son of his daughter who lead the second overseas expedition, the one to Shara that failed around the time Hawkwing himself died, after which she vanished. It appears that the survivors of the Shara expedition have found refuge in the Mayene peninsula and remained there during the War of Hundred Years, perhaps too weak to resurface and aware that Hawkwing's descendants were being slaughtered.

    Berelain has thus a strong claim herself to Hawkwing's heritage, one she or her ancestors have never reclaimed, unlike the line of Luthair who now leads the Return. Her ancestry was however finally proclaimed to the Seanchan Banner General Tylee Khirgan, as was her determination not to let her Seanchan Paendrag counterpart Tuon succeed in her war of conquest. Berelain has thus officially thrown the glove to Tuon. Several scenarios could bring an encounter between Berelain and the new Seanchan Empress. Tylee is bound to report her presence to her superiors, as well as Perrin's claim to be the protector of Ghealdan against the Seanchan, which he asked her to pass along. Tuon, who sees plots and schemes in her soup, is not going to look too kindly on Berelain, or to discard her as unimportant, the least so the more she learns of the details: a man who is a liege lord to a Queen (in the Seanchan eyes, there can be only one who is liege to rulers, the Empress), who commands Aes Sedai and Asha'man alike and is thus obviously tied to both the Tower and the Dragon, a man with at her side a supposed Paendrag heir of his own (forcibly also tied to the Tower) who also claims she will stop the Return - a group who possessed an universal writ by the traitor Suroth, a fact that was left unexplained to Banner General Khirgan. Added to the mix is the fabulous yet all too realistic house of cards built by the Seeker Almurat Mor who put Karede on Tuon's trail and who believed Suroth involved in a vast conspiracy against the Crystal Throne with the White Tower, one that involved Tuon's murder (though at some point, Mor seemed to suggest Tuon herself, or someone with her, might be involved. Did he actually suspect Anath?) Mor suspected, rightly so, that an Aes Sedai was hidden among Suroth's da'covale (it's the Black Sister Liandrin). It may not take much for Tuon to decide she must capture Perrin and Berelain before they get out of Altara - they may owe their safety to the fact Tylee knows they can Travel, which may convince Tuon they're long gone. On the other hand, Travelling is a secret much sought after by the Seanchan... If Tuon sets a trap by inviting Berelain or Perrin to a meeting about the Return, it wouldn't take much for them to fall for it.

    TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

    especially that an alliance with the Westlands is what Tylee Khirgan now wishes for. If Tuon were to decide to use her as her envoy to Perrin and Berelain... anything could happen.

    There are those who also see the desire expressed by Perrin to fly on a raken one day as foreshadowing of his further involvement in the Seanchan story line.

    To compound the possibility of further involvement of Perrin and Berelain with the Seanchan is the fact Galad Damodred is so close from Perrin's group, and Galad and his Whitecloaks are deserters to be hunted down.

    Several theories concern Berelain's ancestry, some of which suggest a key role she might play in solving the Seanchan conundrum down the line. Some even contend that she, not Tuon, could lead the Seanchan settlers in the Westlands after Tarmon Gai'don.

    Alliandre Kigarin, Queen of Ghealdan, Blessed of the Light, Defender of Garen’s Wall: The last in a series of short-lived rulers of Ghealdan who didn't manage to keep the Throne since the troubles that plagued Ghealdan in the last years (first Logain's depredations as False Dragon, later Masema's as the Prophet) Alliandre managed to survive by appearing to bow to Masema. She contacted Rand to ask for his protection, resulting in Perrin's mission to deal with Masema and her. Alliandre was touring the South while Masema was off to Amadicia and his war against the Whitecloaks when Perrin found her in Bethal. She swore allegiance to Perrin as a man close to the Dragon. It was understood that after Alliandre proclaimed her support of Rand, Rand would send her protection and help. Perrin repaid the favour in Knife of Dreams by proclaiming to the Seanchan that he was liege lord to Queen Alliandre and Ghealdan was thus under this protection (by which he no doubt means he intends to make Rand keep his word to send protection to Ghealdan - Perrin has other duties, and nowhere near the forces to protect Ghealdan himself). Alliandre was of course captured by the Shaido and now rescued. It is unclear what's up for her next. It appears Perrin may intend to send her back to Jehannah now; at least he instructed Basel Gill to send her servants that way. Perrin may have meant this just as a plan B in case Malden turned to disaster, however. Alliandre seems to want to come meet Rand.

    Elyas Machera: The strange mentor who introduced Perrin to the wolves in the Eye of The World, Elyas has so far advised Perrin a great deal more on how to be a man than a wolfbrother. Elyas has rejoined Perrin in Ghealdan, sensing his need it appears, and warned of his presence by the wolves. He has mostly played the role of wise man and psychological counsellor since then, when he wasn't busy with scouting on the Shaido's trail.

    Elyas is the warder of a Green Sister named Rina Hafden. She is now one of the young Sitters in Elaida's Hall, handpicked by the Ajah Head Adelorna Bastine. Around seventeen years ago, Elyas was revealed as a Wolfbrother and the Red Ajah attempted to capture him, apparently to try gentling him. Elyas escaped, killing other warders in the process. Rina has masked his bond, but left him alone. It's a distinct possibility that she does it to protect him, so he isn't tempted to return to her and fall prey to the Reds or the sisters whose warders he has killed. The whole affair is still fairly obscure, having happened during the years of what Cadsuane calls the 'vileness' or close, when the Black Ajah was very active and illegal gentlings occurred. Some have suggested the Reds (or Blacks) actually suspected Elyas was the Wolf King. Alanna Mosvani certainly showed a great interest in Perrin, and was instrumental in the villagers adopting the Wolf Head as his banner. Have the Green Ajah puzzled out something about the Wolf King? Possibly. It's certainly not a coincidence that Rina Hafden has surfaced in the series, in a position that could bring her close to Egwene before the end.

    For all his taking to the woods and avoiding civilization, Elyas has shown surprising knowledge at times of the affairs of the world, notably details about Berelain's few years of rule in Mayene. There may be more to Elyas than meet the eye, though he's extremely unlikely to be a darkfriend and have fooled the wolves about it.

    The entourage of the main players:

    Each of the main players has their own entourage of military officers and servants. Perrin also has a large group (around 300 people) of servants and craftsmen loaned to him from his estates by Lord Dobraine Taborwin of Cairhien, who has since became Steward of Cairhien for Rand. Dobraine has developed much respect for Perrin and Faile following Rand's kidnapping, the rescue at Dumai's Wells and the events with Colavaere in the capital. No character has truly emerged from the lot of Dobraine's servants and so far they have all been background players.

    Sebban Balwer: Balwer used to be the unassuming secretary of Lord Captain Commander Pedron Niall until his murder by Abdel Omerna at the instigation of Eamon Valda and Asunawa, after which he was himself killed. In truth Balwer was secretly Niall's spy master, and in that position has shown himself to be as intelligent, insightful and devious as the likes of Siuan Sanche. Balwer is a sceptic and never shared the Whitecloaks's virulent fanaticism, notably toward Aes Sedai. Balwer appears to be a man who genuinely revels in his job itself, and to be interested above all in being near the circle of power because this is where his talents can best serve. Renown and rewards seem of no interest to him - far from it, as he dislikes his role being known - and he appears pleased with the appreciation of his master alone. Balwer holds a deep grudge against the Whitecloaks for the murder of Niall and his own mistreatment afterward, especially against Eamon Valda whom Galad recently murdered (which sparked a hint from Balwer in KOD that he may owe Galad a bit for this).

    Balwer was instrumental in the escape of Morgase Trakand and her people from Amador after the Seanchan conquest. The group was rescued by Perrin when they were trapped by the Prophet's ruffians.

    Morgase Trakand: After escaping from the clutches of Rahvin, whom she still knows only as Lord Gaebril, Queen Morgase went to find the support of Lord Bryne, her ex-lover, whom she had exiled while under compulsion. Alas for her, Bryne had gone chasing after ex-Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche, ending up in Salidar and now heading Egwene's army besieging Tar Valon. Morgase then got the ill-conceived notion to seek support from King Ailron in Amadicia, puppet of the Whitecloaks, which landed her in the control of Pedron Niall in no time. Niall sought to make her sign a treaty granting many rights to the Whitecloaks in Andor. Mistaking an attempt by the High Inquisitor Asunawa, a rabid Aes Sedai hater to terrorize her for a move of Niall’s, Morgase suddenly signed the treaty. When Niall was murdered, Morgase fell into the hands of the vicious new Lord Captain-Commander Eamon Valda, who intimidated her into sleeping with him. The Seanchan invasion made her discover the perils awaiting Andor if she remained Queen, and she secretly resigned the throne in Elayne's favour. Travelling under the alias Maighdin Dorlan, Morgase and her party were rescued out of Bethal by Perrin. She decided to enter his service after Perrin let slip Rand's arrogant boast of "putting Elayne on the Lion Throne". In fear for her daughter from her involvement with the Dragon Reborn (but far from suspecting she could be the grandmother of his children if she survives the next few months) Morgase decided the best she could do to help Elayne was to attach herself to one of his cronies. Morgase was captured alongside Faile by the Shaido. Her pitiful channelling ability, of all things, proved instrumental in saving Faile's life in the end - something for which Perrin, who has been told about it, should be extremely grateful to Maighdin. It remains to be seen how Morgase's captivity, Faile's loyalty as her mistress and Perrin's rescue will have changed her opinion of the man she judged before to be "very dangerous" and "a beast".

    Morgase could find herself in a difficult position soon. So far, Sebban Balwer has protected all her secrets; it was obvious Perrin had nothing to gain by learning who Morgase really was. Balwer has now learned that Morgase's son is nearby. Will he tell her, or will he decide he should tell Perrin before he learns otherwise what Balwer's been keeping secret from him? There are several theories concerning Morgase and Galad, most of which seem to involve Galad recognizing Morgase among Perrin's servants. Other favourites include Morgase managing to hide herself for a while in fear Galad will do "the right thing" and try to save her while he hasn't nearly enough men to face Perrin's group, and Morgase deciding to escape to join Galad's group. While it all appears obvious, this could turn out to be a story arc with some surprising twists and turns.

    Lini Eltring: Lini is one of those strong, no nonsense old women Robert Jordan was very fond of, from Cadsuane to Sorilea. The nurse of Morgase's mother, Morgase herself and Elayne in turn, Lini is now in charge of Faile's servants - her Shatayan, probably, though she's not been given the title so far unlike Basel Gill, her Shambayan. Lini has got a burr in her bonnet since Perrin slept in Berelain's tent on the night of Faile's capture. What she truly believes about it is a mystery, but if anyone is likely to warn Faile about it, perhaps especially if she doesn't believe Perrin was unfaithful to Faile but just foolish to fall prey to Berelain's ploy, it's Lini. As Knife of Dreams ended, Lini had been sent north with Basel Gill and the rest of the servants. There are some who believe it's Lini and the servants a few hours ahead of the rest of Perrin's group who Galad will have bumped into while the battle of Malden was going on. Galad's last position from Tylee's camp on the eve of Malden makes it a possibility, although a bit remote.

    Basel Gill: The innkeeper of The Queen's Blessing in Caemlyn, very loyal to Morgase, whom he revered, and an old friend of Thom Merrilin. With Bayle Domon, he is another of the secondary characters from The Eye of World who just refuses to go away. Gill was instrumental in helping Morgase to leave Andor. Faile made him her Shambayan, in charge of keeping the household supplied, which suggests she may rely on him even more now that she has so many refugees to feed. Some have suggested that Basel Gill may be asked to buy supplies in Remen or some other town ahead of the group, perhaps with an Asha'man. If Balwer holds his tongue, Gill could be the one who spots Galad and the Whitecloaks.

    Lamgwin, and Breane Taborwyn: Lamgwin used to be Gill's strongarm at the Queen's Blessing. He has fallen in love with Breane, a Cairhienin noblewoman fallen on hard times who went to Andor as a refugee. Breane is from Lord Dobraine's House, but her exact relationship with him is unknown. She's very unlikely to be his daughter, perhaps a niece more or less distant. It is an open question if she has been recognized by some of Dobraine's servants with Perrin, and why they choose to remain silent if it's the case. Lamgwin and Breane are now part of Perrin's household staff. Breane is not a great admirer of Morgase.

    Martyn Tallanvor: A former Guardsman-Lieutenant in the Queen's Guard who managed to keep his position under Rahvin while keeping his loyalty entirely to Morgase, the Queen he secretly loved. In his early thirties, Morgase considers him much too young for her, but it appears they've become lovers. Tallanvor went alone chasing after the Shaido, catching up to Perrin's group in So Habor and bringing them the news about Tylee's army advancing north to deal with the Shaido. Tallanvor spent the battle of Malden in the aqueduct and was finally reunited with his beloved at the end, while she was unconscious from drinking water tainted with forkroot.

    Gerard Arganda: He is Alliandre's First Captain of Legion of the Wall, her lancers. Arganda has been a problem at times during her captivity, often challenging Perrin's plans. A veteran of the Aiel and Whitecloak Wars, he appeared much impressed to see Tam al'Thor as Perrin's First Captain, which made him fall in line meekly as a lamb at Malden.

    Lord Bertain Gallene: Berelain's Lord Captain of the Winged Guards, and taken his role of protecting her dead seriously, especially when Berelain, a bit like Faile, tends to put herself in the line of danger.

    Lord Havien Nurelle: One of Berelain's Lord Lieutenants of the Winged Guards, he lead her men at Dumai's Wells where he acquired deep respect, even awe, for Perrin.

    Nana and Rosene: Berelain's two maids; they mostly giggle and gossip. Their biggest contribution so far appears to have been to spread the story that Berelain slept in Berelain's tent, at her instigation or behind her back remains to be seen.

    Santes and Gendar: Berelain's two thief-catchers. She set them to spy on Masema, and they were daring, if unwise, and stole Suroth's writ from him. He appears to have discovered, or suspected, and they were murdered.

    The Aes Sedai, their warders and the Asha'man:

    Annoura Larisen: Berelain's Aes Sedai advisor. She followed her from Mayene and appeared at her side in Cairhien, where she entrapped Colavaere by letting her believe she had agreed to be her advisor. Annoura and Berelain exposed her crimes to get the crown. Annoura, a Taraboner Grey, appears to be unaligned with either Elaida or the rebels. She's long been the target of suspicions of being Black Ajah, though she's done little so far to warrant them. Much of it arose from her habit of rubbing her thumbs in away that is all too close to a Black Ajah signal. She did it first when Cadsuane was interrogating her, fishing for a possible involvement in the "vileness" which she soon waved away. Further down the line (in Knife of Dreams notably) we've seen Annoura use the gesture whenever she is nervous. It seems increasingly likely this was all a red herring, something to increase suspicion before her curious involvement with Masema behind Berelain's back.

    TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

    The prologue of TGS may offer us a clue where Robert Jordan was heading with all of this, now that Faile intends to keep Masema's execution secret: it seems likely suspicions will first fall on Annoura and Masuri and the Wise Ones. What were Annoura and Masuri, with her warder up to then? Well... it might be quite simple.

    Masuri initially thought that there may be a way to control Masema. The Wise Ones and Seonid disagreed and thought he ought to be killed. Perrin confronted the Wise Ones and forbade them to kill Masema. It sounds quite possible that the Wise Ones decided to let Masuri find out if she could put a leash on Masema and she convinced Annoura to help her. The Wise Ones may be the ones who ordered the pair not to let Perrin know; one reason for it may be that they didn't want Perrin to know he had won. As it turns out, we learn that somewhere along the way Masuri changed her mind and decided that Masema ought to be killed after all. There is very little at this point to suggest any of the three Aes Sedai with Perrin is Black Ajah.

    Masuri Sokawa: A Brown Arafellin of rebel allegiance. She was part of the rebel Embassy to Rand and ended up swearing fealty to Rand after Dumai's Wells. Her still mysterious involvement with Masema aside, she came to the forefront in the So Habor episode where she wished to remain behind (the sisters all know the dead walking are a sign of the imminence of Tarmon Gai'don; hardly surprising that a Brown wished to study the phenomenon and a Green, who stand ready for signs of TG wished to investigate it further) and in the episode with the darkhounds circling the camp. Masuri turned out to be some kind of specialist of darkhounds that Elyas later revealed to Perrin as being made with the souls of wolves. It seems very obvious that Perrin is hardly done with darkhounds, though the target of the group circling his camp remains a mystery, and if Masuri remains at his side for some time, she probably has more to tell to the Wolf King down the line. She would be a very likely person for him to inquire to about the verses concerning the Wolf King or any mentions of the wolves. Perrin is a man of duty, and his mind freed now that Faile has been rescued, he may sooner, rather than later, turn his attention toward the role he will have to play at Tarmon Gai'don.

    Seonid Traighan: A Green Cairhienin, likely a noble by her name. Like Masuri she was part of the rebel Embassy, came to Dumai's Wells and ended up sworn to Rand. Seonid's main contributions were her conviction that Masema ought to be killed because he was dangerous to Rand (which may well rule her out as a potential Black Sister - hard to believe any of them wouldn't have seen an opportunity to harm the Light by letting a rabid man like Masema reach Rand), and her desire to remain behind in So Habor to help the people, a legitimate desire for a Green. Like Masuri, she agreed to go down the aqueduct to bring Faile out of Malden.

    Rovair Kirklin: Masuri's warder. He has played a very minor role so far, but accompanied her in her visits to Masema. He went down the aqueduct with Masuri during the battle of Malden.

    Furen Alharra and Teryl Winter: Respectively Tairen and Murandian, they are Seonid's warders. Teryl may be of interest if Perrin has to go into Murandy or have to deal with Murandians.

    Fager Neald: A young Asha'man soldier of about seventeen years old. Fager has been part of Rand's inner circle since Dumai's Wells. Fager and his colleague Grady could be in a predicament if Perrin decides to set them to find Rand. Both are very likely on the deserters' list by now, and Mazrim Taim, at least, would certainly be most interested in finding out where they have vanished to. Finding out where Rand is could be quite a challenging task for the two Asha’man

    TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

    especially now that Rand is trying to hide his location, and the Asha'man in Arad Doman appear to hide with him.

    Short of finding Logain, or by chance asking Elayne (whom they know nothing about) or bumping into Alanna in the Stone, Neald and Grady could have a hard time or be gone for quite a while if Perrin asks them. Some see as foreshadowing that Alanna will be the key for Perrin to find Rand (Alanna’s location is known in Cairhien, even if sisters like Kiruna and the rest of the sworn Aes Sedai went to Arad Doman with the Wise Ones now - an unknown - Samitsu at least is there) in RJ's insistence on a few occasions that Perrin was but an hair from puzzling out that she has bonded Rand, first at Dumai's Wells and a few more times before. Others believe the colour swirls hold the key. Fager is the second Murandian in Perrin's entourage.

    Jur Grady: In his late twenties, Grady is a Dedicated Asha'man and the father of a young son from his wife Sora, currently at the Black Tower and to whom he is bonded. Grady is perhaps the most likely of the two Asha'man who would make the mistake of going back to the Black Tower to see the wife he's left behind months ago, which could end up into a death trap. Another possibility is that Grady could feel something is wrong if Taim ever intends to use the women and children at the Black Tower as hostages to shatter the Asha'man with Rand. Like Neald, Jur is completely unaware of the dark twists and turns the Black Tower has taken since his departure for Ghealdan: the betrayals of Taim, the attempts of Rand's life, the split into Logain and Taim's factions. Very dangerous waters to tread for two men who've been isolated from all this for months now.

    The Two Rivers men

    When Perrin felt Rand's pull and decided to leave Emond's Field to join him, he brought along a small army of longbowmen numbering over three hundred or so (three hundred or so survived Dumai's Wells, that is), all of them men. When Rand Travelled to Cairhien with Perrin and Faile in the aftermath of the fiasco for the rebel Embassy caused by Verin, Perrin left orders for the men to take the road and join him, while the servants-in-training of the Aybara household were to remain near Caemlyn (and have not been heard of in a long time, they might be a plot device to give a reason to Perrin to go back to Caemlyn further down the line). The men met the remnants of the Aes Sedai Embassy, now taken over by Kiruna and Bera, and Alanna's bond to Rand brought them to Perrin at Dumai's Wells. The survivors have followed Perrin to Ghealdan and since. Most of them are young men, boys really, from the group who had taken to calling themselves the Companions, having heard tales about Tam's past from him or others who knew in the Two Rivers and suddenly became talkative about something that used to be kept hush-hush before (Rand didn't even know about it). An ongoing motif attached to the Two Rivers men since Faile's capture is that Perrin feels, or imagines, they are displeased with him over the fact he slept in Berelain's tent - extra marital affairs being very frowned upon in the Two Rivers, a reputation a man has a hard time getting rid of if he gets one. None have given sure signs of this, however, the way Lini Eltring sure did - and Perrin is known for widely misjudging things like this at times. For certain, they all began to step warily around him after the capture because of his murderous temper, and their distance may be over the fact they have failed to protect Faile and fear Perrin is blaming them. It's something that will no doubt get clarified in TGS or ToM, when we discover how RJ intended to use this plot device of the night at Berelain's after Faile's rescue.

    A second group of Two Rivers Men, at least ten times larger than the original one (numbering between three and four thousands) joined Perrin for the battle of Malden. It's even possible that several known characters from the Two Rivers still unrevealed are among them. Abell Cauthon, for instance, is one who is noted for his archery skills.

    It is difficult to assess how large a percentage of the full forces of the Two Rivers these three-four thousand men represent, especially with the apparently massive influx of refugees there, but it must be significant. For comparison's sake, there were two hundred archers at the western end of Emond's Field during the first attack by Trollocs. Will the men of the Two Rivers be caught in a replay of the long march to Manetheren as the Last Battle begins? The Manetheren story line has permeated Perrin's and the Two Rivers's. A less dramatic event could involve Elayne, who had on her mind back in Winter's Heart to send someone she could trust, if she could find one, to deal with the apprehended rebellion in the Two Rivers. The greatest irony would be for her to ask Perrin to deal with this if he ever shows up in Caemlyn, before she learns how he's involved.

    Tam (Tamlin) al'Thor: Rand's adoptive father, of course, and a veteran of the Whitecloak Wars (that involved Ghealdan, Altara and Illian) and the Aiel War, during which he rose to the rank of Second Captain of the Illianer Companions. He resigned from the position sometime after finding "an Aiel baby" on Dragonmount to return to the Two Rivers with his Caemlyner wife Kari, who died a few years later of a fever. It's obvious Tam chose to hide Rand's true origins, but it's been confirmed by Robert Jordan it's not because he suspected Rand was the Dragon Reborn. Forcibly, it has to be because Rand was an "Aiel savage". Tam, like the rest of the village leaders, has fallen quickly behind Perrin's leadership in The Shadow Rising, becoming both a trainer and leader of the men in the campaign against Isam's Shadowspawn. To fight the Shaido, Perrin has called on this Aiel war veteran that Jur Grady brought to him via Gateway on the morning of the battle, alongside over three thousand longbowmen under him. Perrin has now officialized his status by presenting him publicly as his First Captain. Tam is obviously well-known and well respected by Lord Gerard Arganda, Alliandre's First Captain, who put an end to all his misgivings about Perrin's plan the second he learned Tam al'Thor would lead and approved of the plan.

    A major recent development with Tam is the fact when Taim visited the Two Rivers to recruit Asha'man, he revealed that Rand was the Dragon Reborn, a fact that obviously tortured Tam as it's one of the first things he told Perrin about, and Perrin confirmed it.

    Tam is likely to become a major player at Perrin's side.

    Dannil Lewin: In his early twenties, Dannil is one of the earliest followers of Perrin, a Companion and the leader of the men who left the Two Rivers with Perrin. He is the cousin of Ban al'Seen and Tell Lewin.

    Ban al'Seen: Another youngling and early Companion, Dannil Lewin's cousin. He was sometime used to lead others. He led the Two Rivers men sent down the aqueduct to Malden.

    Tell Lewin: Dannil's cousin and Flann's nephew, another early Companion. He seemed to act as Dannil's second a few times.

    Jondyn Barran: A slacker, but one of the best woodsmen with Perrin. Jondyn didn't get much chance to slack, as Perrin used him during the whole hunt for the Shaido as one of his main scouts with Gaul, Elyas and the Maidens.

    Tod al'Caar: Another youngling, a year younger than Perrin. Tod was first mentioned as part of Perrin's escort in Lord of Chaos.

    Kenly Maerin: A Two River boy, who has barely started shaving. At Malden he was part of those sent down the aqueduct with Ban al'Seen.

    Leof Torfinn: A young man, and another for the aqueduct.

    Bili Adarra: A distant young cousin of Perrin, which didn't stop him from being sent down the aqueduct too.

    Had al'Lora: The last named character sent through the aqueduct, another youngling.

    Jori Congar: A representative no doubt making the Congars proud, Jori is a light-fingered drunk, but a fine hunter and excellent archer. He was last seen on the ridge at Malden, his fate is thus unknown (Perrin lost some of his men, but very few - less than a hundred dead between his and Tylee's forces, by her assessment).

    Ban (Bandry) Crawe: The son of Samel Crawe from the Village Council. Ban was last referred to in Crossroads of Twilight, making stools.

    Rad al'Dai: A very obscure background player, last mentioned in A Crown of Sword and not often since his introduction in Lord of Chaos.

    Flann Barstere: Another youngling. Flann was last seen with the men lead by Wil al'Seen that went with Perrin to So Habor.

    Wil al'Seen: The local Don Juan. Wil's last broken hearts were those of Sharmad Zeffar and Rhea Avin, who asked Faile in Lord of Chaos to decide which of them had a right to Wil. Exasperated by their foolishness (and quite blind to the irony that she of all people should judge a fight over a man) she sent both to Daise Congar, for what she hoped would be a memorable moment. They probably remember this better than Wil who left soon after with Perrin. The similarity has not escaped Perrin, who reflected in Crossroads of Twilight that Wil is the only man he knows who was ever chased after by women the way Berelain does after him. Wil was last seen leading the Two Rivers men in the So Habor scenes.

    Falton: One of the older folk with Perrin. Falton is a farrier. He was last seen... with horses, in The Path of Daggers.

    Aemin: Another greying farrier, last seen around horses in The Path of Daggers.

    Hu Marwin: Another youngling. His most notable contribution was to be part of those who were sent by Perrin with Jondyn after the people who had been sent out of Malden by the Shaido, returning with enough information to draw a good map of the city.

    Get Ayliah: The second man sent with Jondyn. Last seen in the same map episode in Crossroads of Twilight.

    New arrivals lead by Tam al'Thor:

    Hu and Tad Barran: Background players since The Eye of The World, the two brothers are middle-aged and stablemen at the Winespring Inn.

    Bar Dowtry: A young cabinet maker. He once had the bad luck of getting caught by Nynaeve making whoopee in the barn with Kimry Lewin. They were promptly married.

    Thad Torfinn: A farmer who had a dispute over their field’s boundary with his neighbour, settled by Faile in Lord of Chaos.

    Jon Ayellin: The neighbour of the former.

    Oren Dautry: A farmer from the Westwood, Tam’s and Rand's closest neighbour. Mentioned as far back as The Eye of the World, he made his first appearance, of a sort, in Knife of Dreams.

    Kev Barstere: A very young man from a farm north of Emond's Field (the Barsteres appear to be mostly from around Watch Hill), he was still too much under his mother's thumb to be involved in the events of The Shadow Rising.


    al'Dais (We know of Hu, father of Bili al'Dai who was killed by Trollocs in TSR)
    a'Seens (We know of Jac, who was one of the archmen in TSR)
    Thanes (We know of Jon, miller and village councilman and his oldest son Lem)
    al'Caars (We know of Adan, Jac, Paet and his son Wi)
    Crawes (We know of Samel, village councilman and father of Bandry)

    and men from "every family" Perrin knew, and men he didn't know from Deven Ride, Taren Ferry and Watch Hill and a considerable amount of refugees who started a new life and consider themselves Two Rivers men now.

    Cha Faile (OT for The Falcon's Talon)

    Cha Faile is a secret society with a public front as Faile's retainers that originated in the fancy that took the Tairen and Cairhienin lords and ladies to adopt the Aiel ways after the near conquest of the city by the Shaido and its relief by Rand's Aiel - a spin on "if you can't beat them, join them". These younglings have taken to dressing up like Aiel, learning not the spears but the sword, and mimicking they could observe of ji'e'toh as outsiders, often resulting in foolish behaviour as they don't understand the traditions and philosophy behind it, and the offended Aiel won't teach them. They are a solid test on the Aiel's sense of humour, in fact they are not much amused.

    Many of these young men and women were disowned and scorned by their families and Houses. During Rand's kidnapping and the short reign of Colavaere Saighan, Faile brought these Aiel wannabes under her protection, desperately in need for agents and allies to tread the dangerous political waters she was facing with Rand and Perrin gone, and perhaps feeling a certain kinship to these young nobles, remembering her own struggle to learn combat skills despite her father's refusal, and her escape from home to become a Hunter. The members of Cha Faile have all pledged fealty to Faile herself (which they call Water Oath, with little idea of what this truly is in Aiel culture). Faile has been training them to be her agents and spies. Their exact number is unknown, but there's about two dozens of them who followed her to Ghealdan (twenty went into the aqueduct with Selande, two others were named at the battle). It is unknown if Faile left a few behind to serve as her eyes-and-ears near Rand in Cairhien, but knowing her reservations about Rand, essentially having to do with Perrin's standing and the roles he assigns Perrin, it's not impossible she did.

    During Faile's captivity, Cha Faile came under Perrin's control until Faile returned, after he manipulated them by threatening to take their horses from them and make them walk. When Sebban Balwer became his spymaster, Cha Faile's activities passed under his supervision, and their role as agents and spies resumed.

    TGS (prologue) spoiler - click to expand

    Some time after Faile's rescue, she appears to be back in control of the lot (and they're back playing behind Perrin's back). Several unidentified members were with her when she hunted down and kill Masema and his last men.

    Here are the known members of Cha Faile. More about some of them can be found in the Nobles of Cairhien and Nobles of Tear articles. Several of these younglings are probably sons or daughters of known characters, though it's not been revealed so far except in one case.

    Selande Darengil: Selande is the leader of the Cha Faile society, with the implicit approval of Faile, who didn't see the need to change their hierarchy beside placing herself secretly at their head. As leader, Selande was the one on which Sebbban Balwer rested the most, his liaison to Cha Faile members. She made her entrance in the series in The Fires of Heaven, as one of the young noblewomen from Colavaere's entourage (probably her ladies-in-waiting from lesser houses) she tried to push on Rand to take as a lover. One might wonder how much Selande's terror of Rand, who chased her away, and especially the beating Colavaere got from Aviendha, have influenced the younglings to adopt the Aiel way. Selande was involved in several episodes during Faile's captivity. At the battle of Malden, she lead the group of Cha Faile that entered the aqueduct to reach the fortress and bring Faile out the same way, a plan that came to nothing because of Galina's betrayal. She was last seen reunited with Faile in front of the gates of Malden. Selande's House is a fairly minor one (six slashes of colours) about which no more is known.

    Arrela Shiego: Arrela Shiego is a Tairen noblewoman of unknown rank. One of those who accompanied Faile on the hawking expedition (a double joke on falcons/hawks and hunters becoming the prey, typical of RJ's love of irony) Arrela was one of two Cha Faile who was captured with her. In captivity, she and Lacile tried to escape to warn Perrin of the size and strength of the Shaido's forces but got caught and were severely punished. Arrela was rescued from Malden. Another gai'shain, an Amadician bookkeeper named Aldin, fell in love with her during their captivity, though being a lesbian she doesn't return his feelings.

    Lacile Aldorwin: The second Cha Faile captured with Faile, this one a Cairhienin noblewoman of unknown rank. Faced with rape and violence from the increasingly depraved and drunken Shaido warriors, Lacile accepted the protection of the Mera'din Jhoradin who had made her gai'shain and whom she took as her lover. Jhoradin got into his mind to take her back to the Three-Fold Land and marry her. Jhoradin ended up dead with two knives in his back. Perrin believes Lacile killed him and was crying over the fact she had to kill someone, which may be right or a complete misinterpretation of what happened. Perrin had no idea Lacile was Jhoradin's lover. It appears, however, that Faile and Lacile killed Jhoradin and the other Brotherless Kinkhuin out of necessity (these Brotherless knew too much), which didn't stop Lacile from having feelings for Jhoradin.

    Latian: A young Cairhienin noble of low rank (four stripes of red and blue) and from an unknown House. He has appeared only in Crossroads of Twilight, in the party that accompanied Perrin and Tylee to the supply depot in Almizar, Amadicia, and among the two who escorted Sebban Balwer when he remained in So Habor.

    Medore Damara: A Tairen of high rank, being the daughter of the retired High Lord Astoril Damara, who came out of his retreat only to support High Lord Darlin against the Tairen rebels. His current whereabouts are unknown, though he was possibly left behind in Tear because of his age and health. He was not named among those Rand sent to Arad Doman or Illian. Medore was the other Cha Faile who went with Balwer in So Habor. Perrin and Sebban Balwer initially planned to use her rank to have Berelain befriend her so Medore could spy on the Mayeners, but Perrin backed off this plan when Berelain hinted that she was well aware of the role of Cha Faile. Medore was last mentioned with the escort that went to Almizar.

    Haviar: Haviar is a Tairen nobleman of unknown House and rank. With Lord Nerion, he was chosen by Balwer to infiltrate the ranks of Masema's followers. They reported the meeting of Masuri and Annoura with Masema.

    Nerion: A Cairhienin nobleman of unknown House of rank, he was the second Cha Faile spy placed by Balwer near Masema.

    Barmanes and Camaille Nolaisen: Brother and sister and Cairhienin nobles from an House of unknown rank. While Camaille first showed up in A Crown of Swords, neither she nor her brother, introduced in Knife of Dreams, has played a significant role so far. They were both part of Perrin's escort to Almizar, the last time they have appeared by name.

    Carlon Belcelona: A Tairen nobleman of unknown rank and another background player so far. He was also part of the escort in Almizar and has not been mentioned since.

    Meralda: A Tairen noblewoman of unknown rank and House. She last appeared among the agents Faile sent into Bethal who were to spy and eventually kidnap Alliandre if she refused to come to Perrin.

    Parelean: A Tairen, also of unknown House and rank. Parelean was part of the escort in the hawking expedition and was killed trying to fight the Shaido.

    The Aiel:

    Rand sent many Aiel to accompany Perrin. They include around thirty Far Dareis Mai, six Wise Ones supervising their two apprentices, the sworn Aes Sedai Masuri Sokawa and Seonid Traighan (both formerly part of the rebel Embassy), and a retinue of gai'shain. The only male warrior is Gaul, tied to Perrin by his life-debt and his pursuit of the maiden Chiad.

    Gaul: Gaul is a Stone Dog (Shae'en M'taal) from the Hot Springs hold of the Imran sept of the Shaarad Aiel, and a significant player in Perrin's story line. Gaul and Perrin go way back to their previous adventures.... in Remen, Northern Altara in The Dragon Reborn.

    Part of the Aiel looking for He Who Comes with Dawn, Gaul and Sarien bumped into Hunters of the Horn, Sarien died and Gaul got captured and put in a cage in the town square of Remen. Perrin freed him, killing Whitecloaks, attracting even more Faile's attention to him. These events in Remen were a significant turning point for Perrin, heralded by one of Egwene's dreams and one of Min's Viewings. Perrin and Gaul are tied; the full importance of their relationship may still have to fully unfold. Gaul has been marked by his Wise One Bair to become the future clan chief of the Shaarad when Jheran dies. There is an important motif of full circle surrounding the return of Gaul and Perrin to northern Altara (perhaps even to Remen itself eventually, if Perrin follows the alluded to itinerary. Remen is beside the Manetherendrelle, beyond the Molvaine Gap - an unavoidable stop if Perrin decides to enter the passes into Murandy). Robert Jordan attracted our attention back to Gaul, the killing of the Whitecloaks and the events of Remen in Crossroads of Twilight, in the key scene where Perrin explains to Elyas why he decided it was time to throw away his axe, a time Elyas had long ago said would come, and to pick his blacksmith hammer. Perrin traces back his discovery of his bloodlust/berseker nature to Remen:

    That was the night I met Gaul, and the Whitecloaks tried to kill us. (Crossroads of Twilight, What Must Be Done)

    Owing his life to Perrin, Gaul has attached himself to him and became as much of a close friend as Perrin has had since Mat and Rand, and one of the most endearing and funny Aiel characters, with his wit and wisdom and his good nature. Gaul, like most Aiel but Shaido, has grown up reconciling a warrior culture and living a "normal life" - Gaul loves the dance of the spears, but never lost his love of life and laughter and tears. He is a potential inspirational figure for Perrin to turn to, if losing his humanity becomes a threat again.

    As for "repeating patterns", there is much to tie Gaul and Perrin. His relationship with Bain and Chiad, adopted first-sisters - Chiad he is in love with and Bain he isn't, but he won't be able to have one without the other and must accept and be accepted by the two of them or neither, functions as a mirror of Perrin caught in Berelain and Faile's game over him. Gaul also shared Perrin's pain over losing Faile, as Chiad was made gai'shain too. At the end of Knife of Dreams, Gaul was seen going to look for Chiad in the aftermath of Malden. If he found her first, she would be his gai'shain, which often results in marriage at the end of the year-and-a-day. But Gaul is very much afraid the Maidens will get to Bain and Chiad first. Will Gaul have managed to get Bain and/or Chiad as his gai'shain and will it be the one he cares for or the one he doesn't, will the Maidens have them, or more dramatically have they been mistakenly taken by Tylee at Malden (where they would not have fought or hid) or worse, brought away by Therava, or even worse was one accidentally killed in the battle (likely Chiad, for drama's sake)? All interesting possibilities, all sending Perrin's story line in very different directions.

    Another 'repeating pattern' that might come in to play is Gaul's capture by Whitecloaks, from which Perrin saved him. What a "coincidence" that Galad and his 7000 men are now nearby, among them Byar and Bornhald with "unfinished business" and deep hatred of Perrin? Will they meet in Remen, will Gaul get a chance to repay what Perrin has done for him the last time they were there? Yet another possible direction. Robert Jordan very obviously prepared to "weave something" but it's too early to tell how this weaving will be set.

    Bain and Chiad: Maidens of the spears bonded as first-sisters, respectively of the Black Rock sept of the Shaarad Aiel and the Stones River sept of the Goshien Aiel (blood enemy of Chiad's and Gaul's clan). Bain and Chiad befriended and attached themselves to Faile in Tear, following her with Perrin to the Two Rivers. Since Tear, they have given poor Gaul, who is in love with Chiad, a run for his money. Bain and Chiad both got captured by the Shaido alongside Faile, easing her captivity when they could, without going against ji'e'toh. They intend to stick to custom and serve their year-and-a-day as gai'shain. As mentioned above, their fate was left hanging, in an obvious set up for the last books.

    Sulin: Sulin is another character who goes way back, to The Fires of Heaven where she was introduced as the Far Dareis Mai leader, and who has gone through a lot. A long time with Rand, she ended up incurring toh for having acknowledged and ordered a gai'shain as a Maiden. She chose to meet her toh by humiliating herself as much by becoming a servant. When Rand puzzled it out, he chose to help her meet it faster by making her his personal servant, eventually pushing her onto Perrin and Faile. Sulin decided her obligation was met when it was discovered Rand had been kidnapped. Bringing the Maidens who fought at Perrin's side at Dumai's Wells, Sulin accompanied him to Ghealdan leading about two dozen Maidens. Right before the battle of Malden, Sulin's mission was to lead the Maidens into an expedition to kill the Shaido sentries north of Malden, so Perrin could send his servants to safety in that direction. Sulin was last mentioned by name returning from that expedition; a success but with a price.

    Aviellin: A Maiden with Sulin. She was seriously injured in the expedition to kill the Shaido sentries north of Malden, but the Wise One Janina, who learned Healing from Masuri and Seonid presumably succeeded at saving her life.

    Briain: A young Maiden with Sulin. She was killed in the expedition to deal with the Shaido sentry in the early morning before the Battle of Malden.

    Elienda: A Maiden who was often part of the scouting parties sent by Perrin during the chase for the Shaido, she also died in the expedition to kill the Shaido sentries north of Malden.

    The Wise Ones: Edarra (Shiande Aiel), Janina, Marline, Nevarin, Delora, Carelle: The six Wise Ones Rand sent with Perrin, though Wise Ones being Wise Ones, they probably decided how many and whom would go after he told them he needed Seonid and Masuri to go with Perrin. Beside Edarra, who had appeared in Amys's circle in Lord of Chaos, all the others were characters introduced with the departure for Ghealdan. Except for their involvement at various twists and turns (healing, puzzling out that all the Shaido Wise One who could channel were with Sevanna, fighting them at Dumai's Wells, apprenticing the two Aes Sedai and following them around etc.), the largest role played by the Wise Ones came up early, when they confronted Perrin over the fact they believed Masema was a rabid dog who needed to be killed, that he should never be allowed near Rand. Their role in sending Masuri Sokawa to meet with Masema behind Perrin's back is an unknown. The Wise Ones were not best pleased, to say the least, that Perrin's deal with Tylee included letting the Shaido Wise Ones be made damane - but they went along.

    Gharadin: A Shaido warrior made gai'shain at Dumai's Wells, probably to a Maiden, but perhaps given to the Wise Ones too. He's the only one of the gai'shain who came into play by name in the story line so far, a brief mention by the Wise Ones that Seonid had to ask him before she healed a wound on his face and accept his refusal if he declined the offer. He may have accepted; it may be the occasion on which Janina learned healing. The total number of Aiel with Perrin was said to number below fifty, which would mean perhaps a dozen or a few more gai'shain. Their number could have increased greatly with the Battle, as not only could Shaido be taken by the two dozen Maidens, but the clan's real (ie: Aiel) gai'shain can also be seized in battle, and when she escaped Therava mentioned travelling light and with stealth, and leaving the gai'shain behind.

    The Refugees

    The outlander gai'shain of the Shaido, which Faile put under her protection after Malden, number around a hundred thousand. While she has secured Sevanna's jewels to pay for supplies to feed and dress these people, Faile has been quite out of the loop for a while and the task may be quite beyond her powers to accomplish, what with the spoilage of food supplies everywhere, likely to worsen still with the coming of spring and summer.

    Over forty gai'shain in Malden swore fealty to Faile. It is not beyond possibility that a mass movement to do so happens after the rescue, making them her and Perrin's people.

    Most have played minor roles so far, besides helping Faile in Malden, including the group who found her with the Mera'din.

    A few of the key players among them:

    Aravine Carnel: An Amadician woman of high if obscure high standing, possibly a rich merchant or a noble. She was the first to pledge herself to Faile. Some have suggested her "osbcure" station hides the fact she's actually the wife or parent of a Whitecloak officer who will turn out to be with Galad, though most believe she's simply a noble. It has also been suggested that with most of the male Amadician nobility dead at Jeramel (with the possibility that the families of these 'traitors' were made da'covale) Aravine could turn out to be the highest standing free noblewoman from Amadicia. A Queen for Amadicia would certainly be an interesting twist, though the possibility sounds very remote. Aravine continues the trend of high standing people gravitating around Perrin, however.

    Dairaine Saighan: The antagonist of the lot. Far from being sworn to Faile, Daraine Saighan is an example of patterns repeating in variations. A schemer currying favour by reporting to Sevanna about the doings of her gai'shain, Dairaine is obviously a relaitve, close or distant, of Colavere Saighan, with whom Faile got involved. Dairaine shared the tent of Faile's group and very nearly sold her out to Sevanna on the morning of the escape. Judging that she couldn't kill the woman and risk her body being found out before they had escaped, Faile asked Chiad and Bain to hide the woman for her. Whoever found Chiad and Bain, if they were found and not carried away by Therava, is very likely to have rescued the viper Dairaine at the same time. Chances are we're not done yet with this charming new member of House Saighan. A possibility is that she is the one who takes revenge by spreading tales about Faile and Rolan.

    Alvon and Theril: An Amadician woodcutter and his eldest son, both sworn to Faile. Theril was the one who managed to steal the Binder from Therava's tent and bring it to Faile who passed it to Galina, for whom it did no good at all in the end.

    Lusara: Lusara is a Domani merchant, sworn to Faile

    Alainia: She is a silversmith from Amadicia, sworn to Faile

    Dormin: A Cairhienin bootmaker, sworn to Faile

    Corvila: An Altaran weaver, sworn to Faile

    The Children of the Light

    Seven thousand Children of the Light have escaped from Amadicia with their new Lord Captain Commander Galad Damodred, seeking allies north to fight the Seanchan, and eventually to join the last battle.

    Galad's group was last seen by Seanchan scout fifty miles away from Tylee Khirgan's camp itself a few leagues west of Perrin's base camp before he moved to Malden. Perrin's camp was upward to 80 miles south-east of Malden. Depending on Galad's speed, he could be very close to Malden as KoD ended. Several people in Perrin's group are aware of the news about the Whitecloaks and the fact it's Galad who leads them, including Lini Eltring, who was in service in the tent when it was mentioned and Sebban Balwer. It probably won’t be too long before Morgase learns about it.

    Galad's group is a wildcard. He has with him two characters extremely antagonistic to Perrin, and Galad's vision of the right thing to do can be very unpredictable. Will the bridges be mended soon between Perrin and the Whitecloaks, or does Galad's arrival means further problems ahead? We should soon have a better idea.

    These Whitecloaks are also in a predicament. Labelled as deserters, with whom the Seanchan are merciless, they managed to escape largely because Suroth disregarded High Lord Galgan’s opinion that they should be tracked down. With Suroth's demise and Tylee's report of their position, with the return to Altara of the nine out of ten raken Suroth had sent to the army pursuing Ituralde and the dragonsworn in Tarabon, Galgan may act soon against Galad. There is even nearby (five days south of the Molvaine Gap, 10 days before the battle of Malden) General Chisen’s large army that could easily be used to trap Galad in the Molvaine Gap; bad news for Perrin if he gets caught with them, or even in between.

    A few players:

    Lord Captain Commander Galadedrid Damodred: The adoptive son of Morgase, his father's second wife, the son of Taringail Damodred, Moiraine's half-brother whom Thom Merrilin had killed, and Tigraine Mantear, Rand's mother and the sister of Luc Mantear (half of Slayer), Galadredid is at the same time Elayne and Gawyn's half-brother - admired by the second and much loathed and disliked by the first; Rand's half brother - something only Rand is currently aware of; and Moiraine's nephew, like Gawyn and Elayne - a kinship that has so far not come into play in any way and wasn't even mentioned or acknowledged by Moiraine (Elayne herself doesn't seem to have made the connection that Moiraine is a Damodred, a fact Moiraine tended to hide). Galad is obsessed with righteousness and can be unpredictable in the ways he chooses to apply his judgement, especially that for Galad it's never as simple as obeying the rules or an oath blindly but more a matter of ethical reasoning, of varying success. One minute he will choose to go to the Whitecloaks in disgust of the White Tower's treatment of Elayne and Egwene, despite the fact he was well aware of all the problems the WC had recently caused in Andor. He seemed to regret it later, the Children falling well short of his standards, though he persisted in his oaths and rather took the opportunity of his new position to steer the Children back on the right path promptly. To Elayne's surprise (and to Galad's surprise in turn that she could have thought otherwise of him), he put his duty to the daughter-heir, his sister, above his Whitecloak Oaths when he chose to help her escape Ghealdan, starting open war with the Prophet as a consequence. Galad is still the favourite contender to be Berelain's man in white. Viewings from Min tie him in some way to Egwene, who also dreamed of him wrapping himself in white as if putting on his own shroud - which some interpret as meaning he would join the Whitecloaks while others see a more dire omen deriving from it. Besides perhaps misconceptions about Morgase's situation with Perrin, mistaking Perrin's huge group for Masema's mobs vanished from Amadicia or Ghealdan or in general Dragonsworn responsible for depredations in the south-east, Galad has little personal reasons to antagonize Perrin. He has however two men with him who could push him in the wrong direction: Dain Bornhald and Jaret Byar. Some see in the fact Elayne mentioned lately that she would be happy to see even Galad return to in Caemlyn as foreshadowing that Galad intends to go to her.

    Jaret Byar: An officer first with Dain's father Geofram who saw Perrin as a darkfriend from the first encounter in The Eye of the World, witness of the events at Falme he misinterpreted, his tales of Perrin's involvement sparking in turn Dain Bornhald deep hatred of Perrin, Byar is probably the most loathsome of all the Whitecloak characters, fanatical and coldly and unemotionally cruel, very close to the blind hardness and fanaticism of the men of Aridhol. Byar is one of the two players who could mislead Galad about Perrin and make an encounter derail.

    Dain Bornhald>: Geofram's son induced by Byar's misconceptions into a deep hatred for Perrin whom he blames for his father's death (ironically, at the hands of the Whitecloaks's current enemy the Seanchan). More down to earth than Byar, and higher in the hierarchy, Bornhald is an even greater potential threat when Galad and Perrin meet. Perrin himself hates the man, following his betrayal of Emond's Field, when Bornhald abandoned the village to Shadowspawn after promising to fight to save it, in exchange for Perrin surrendering to him afterward. Not a man Perrin would be glad at all to see again, his very presence could convince him not to trust any promise by Galad either.

    Child Doirellin: A Cairhienin with Galad. Some have suggested he may be kin to an Aes Sedai with the same family name, Lirene Doirellin, the Red Sitter who was exiled in 985 NE and now returned to the Tower, although she is a lot older than he. The family seems to run to extremists.

    Child Kashgar: A Whitecloak introduced in Knife of Dreams. He is a Saldean, and, faithful to his habits, Jordan may very well have introduced him to get someone with Galad who can identify Faile Bashere, or her name.

    Trom: A recently raised Lord Captain, Trom is, with Bornhald and Byar, one of the three officers who backed Galad in his desire to bring Eamon Valda to a Trial under the Light. Trom seems to be of the less unsavoury sort, as far as Whitecloaks go.

    The Comment feature of the Blog has been disabled for the last week before the release of the new boook to prevent spoilers from early copies being posted by accident or maliciously.

    If you are a registered member in our forums, you're welcome to come discuss the article or leave your comments in this thread. Until we enable the Comment feature once by October 30, you can also leave any comment or question about previous articles in the same sub-forum.

    Anonymous said...

    Great summary.

    Two points not mentioned.

    1) The issue Faile may have with infidenlity as well, given the minstrations of the Brotherless she let continue while held captive.

    2) Galad's relationship to Rand. Could be an interesting turn of events when/if Galad learns the Dragon is his brother.

    Anonymous said...

    "Nana and Rosene: ...Their biggest contribution so far appears to have been to spread the story that Berelain slept in Berelain's tent, at her instigation or behind her back remains to be seen."

    Should'nt that be PERRIN slept in Berelain's tent?

    Anonymous said...

    Perhaps Bornhold will have mellowed about Perrin. After all, when he first learned of his father's death neither he nor Byar believed in the Seanchan. After events at Jeramel, they're no doubt quite aware of what a Seanchan army could do to a Whitecloak legion. Also, both spent a fair amount of time around Fain during TSR, which probably made them (even more) prone to hatred.