Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Concepts in the Wheel of Time series
- Major Characters in the Wheel of Time series
- Minor Wheel of Time characters
- Places in the Wheel of Time series
- Events in the Wheel of Time series
See main article: One Power
Items of Power
Angreal are items of the One Power which enable the user to draw more of the One Power than they would normally be able to. Angreal also protect the user from drawing enough Power to burn themselves out.
Sa'angreal are identical to angreal, except that they allow the user to draw more Power than even an angreal can handle. At least one sa'angreal, usable only by men, is known to be missing the buffer that prevents the user from burning themselves out - Callandor , the sword which is not a sword. The two most powerful sa'angreal known to man, the Choedan Kal, are in Rand al'Thor's hand, one designed for men which is buried in Cairhein, the other designed for women which is buried on Tremalking. These two sa'angreal are able to be used remotely by way of ter'angreal (see below) that are linked to them.
Ter'angreal are objects of the power that perform functions. Some ter'angreal do not require the One Power to be used for their activation, such as the spiral ring that Verin gave to Egwene (which she gave to Elayne and Nynaeve), and the twisted red doorframes that lead into the realms of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn (Snakes and Foxes). By studying the twisted ring Elayne was able to devise, and test, a successful theory for creating ter'angreal.
The Aes Sedai consider all items of the power to be property of the White Tower, and in general, this is not disputed. The High Lords of Tear, in their fear of anything connected to the Power due to the Prophecies of the Dragon and Callandor, collected a cache of items suspected to use the power that they hid away from the world. The Kin also collected a cache of items, one of which was the Sea Folk's Bowl of Winds that was used to correct the weather in Path of Daggers.
Ji'e'toh is the system of honor and dishonor that the Aiel follow. Ji'e'toh determines all interactions in Aiel life; fighting, housing, even intimate relationships and marriage. The term is from the Old Tongue and means, literally, honor and obligation.
- To be expanded
Ji is honor, and toh is obligation. The greatest ji comes from touching an enemy in battle without killing him. This incurrs a great deal of toh, and the person who is touched usually becomes gai'shain, which in the Old Tongue means "pledged to peace in battle." A gai'shain serves his or her captor for a year and a day, touching no weapon, doing no battle, and wearing only white. A Wise One, blacksmith, child or woman with a child under the age of ten may not be made gai'shain.
The least amount of ji comes from killing an enemy, as the Aiel believe that killing is easier than leaving an enemy alive.
Prophecies of the Dragon
The Prophecies of the Dragon, sometimes known as the Karaethon Cycle, are a series of Foretellings regarding the rebirth of The Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon. The last known prophecy was made by Elaida do Avrint a'Roihan in the Crown of Swords. In her own words, she foretold The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrilin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds.
- To be expanded
The Way of the Leaf
The Way of the Leaf is a philosophy of nonviolence similar to ahimsa (although probably not applying to animals) that is followed by the Tuatha'an (Tinkers).
- To be expanded
The Wheel of Time has a variety of races and species that, while deriving from fantasy, is nevertheless portrayed in a unique and original manner.
Ogier are a race of non-human creatures who have an intense love of knowledge. They are also great architects who build many of the most impressive structures and cities in the world in such a way that the buildings and stone appear to have been grown like plants. Despite their skill with stoneworking, however, the true passion of the Ogier is forestry; they love the trees of their stedding, and grew groves near the cities they built to remind them of the home.
Ogier stand about 10 feet tall (described as half again as tall as a man). They have broad noses, wide mouths, and long tufted ears. Ogier are also, compared to humans, very long lived: Loial, a prominent 90-year-old supporting character, is considered by his elders the impetuous and irresponsible equivalent of a 15-year-old human teenager.
Ogier from the mainland are a peaceful and reclusive race who rarely leave their stedding. While the Ogier still visit larger cities to maintain their ancient stonework, the more remote areas have relegated them to myth and legend. Their society emphasizes rationality and slow, thorough debate; they deplore haste and abhor violence. However, when roused to anger they make unflinching, steadfast warriors; the common saying "To anger the Ogier and bring mountains down on your head" suggests the difficulty of provoking an Ogier--and also the danger.
Ogier also live in the Seanchan empire far across the Aryth Ocean; very little is known of Seanchan society or how the Ogier function within it, except that a division of the Empress's Deathwatch Guards is composed solely of Ogier.
Ogier live in the stedding, small enclaves of exceptional botanical growth. After the Breaking of the World, the Ogier were forced out of their stedding and wandered the land for many years, seeking new ones; as a result, the entire race was instilled with the Longing; any Ogier who venture away from the stedding for too long will die. The stedding also have the unique property of insulating anyone inside them from the One Power, and during the Breaking, some male Aes Sedai sought refuge there from the Dark One's taint. Historians argue about whether this prolonged the Breaking or diluted it (not coincidentally, those who hold the former view tend to be of the Red Ajah).
In order to protect themselves from the Longing, the Ogier, with the help of the Aes Sedai, grew a strange network of portals called the Ways. Waygates stand just outside every stedding, and every Ogier grove in any Ogier-designed city, and allow rapid transit to other Waygates, shortening to several days journeys that would otherwise take months. However, of late, Machin Shin, the Black Wind, has taken up residence within the Ways; this hungry, irrational presence devours anyone or anything it encounters. Furthermore, the Ways themselves are deteriorating: well-maintained stone paths, once spiraling majestically into warmth and light, now crumble into bottomless darkness. Finally, as some of the stedding have been consumed by the Blight, the Shadow's forces now have access to the Ways, and they were used on at least one occasion (the siege of the Two Rivers) to transport troops quickly (the Dark One having little care for Machin Shin).
Trollocs are creatures of the Dark One. They were created by Aginor, one of the leading biologists of the Age of Legends, by cross-breeding human and animal stock. Trollocs are generally bipedal and humanoid, often with both human and animal features: human eyes but an eagle's beak, for instance, or a bear's paws and claws. They are the basic shock troops of the Shadow.
Myrddraal are Trolloc offspring, but are throwbacks to human origin. They are tall and pale, muscular and serpent-quick; they have no eyes, which does not impair their vision in the slightest. Myrddraal are most often seen leading groups ("fists") of Trollocs, and sometimes "link" with its soldiers to achieve even greater control. However, this comes at a cost - killing a Myrddraal will instantly kill any Trollocs linked to it.
Myrrdraal wear black armor with overlapping scales, and black cloaks which do not stir in the wind. They are able to move between, or disappear into, shadows, they are reluctant to cross running water and mirrors only reflect a misty image of them. Aginor, one of the Forsaken and creator of both trollocs and Myrddraal, theorized that they were "slightly out of phase with time and reality," but was unable to prove his thesis despite extensive (often fatal testing). Their blood is acidic and will etch steel if not cleaned off. When killed they thrash around blindly for a time, often still holding their weapons, as if refusing to admit they are dead. They wield swords forged at Thakan'dar, on the slopes of the Shayol Ghul, which carry the taint of the Dark One and cause inevitably-fatal injuries if Aes Sedai Healing is not administered. They have the uncanny ability to instill stark terror in any they gaze upon: "The look of the Eyeless is fear." Finally, in most nations, they are treated about as seriously as bogeymen. The only thing they fear is running water.
Myrddraal have their place in the legend and lore of most of the world's societies, where they are are known by many names: Halfmen, the Eyeless, Shadowmen, Lurk, Fetch, Fade, Neverborn.
Darkhounds are a race of Shadowspawn used by the Dark Lord Ba'alzamon (Shai'tan). They are about the size of a small horse and look vaguely like a dog. Darkhounds typically run in packs of ten to twelve, though a pack may be as large as fifty hounds. The saliva of a darkhound is an acid that causes bruising and burns which spread quickly, and a few drops are enough to kill a person. The darkhounds (or at least a sub-species Rand al'Thor fights at Rhuidean) are seemingly solid but if they are chopped into bits the parts liquify, pool, and reform into the darkhound once again. The darkhound leaves no tracks on dirt, grass or snow; but if it steps on stone it leaves footprints.
Masuri, a Brown Aes Sedai, has researched Darkhounds and claims to have crossed the paths of seven different packs. She says that the number of packs in existence is in dispute, with some sources saying only seven packs exist, while others claim nine, thirteen, or more. Some ancient sources even state that at the time of the Trolloc Wars, there were "a hundred packs" and "in numbers like unto the nightmare of Mankind." See Crossroads of Twilight for a more detailed discussion.
The gholam is another creation of Aginor. Only six, three male and three female, were ever created, and only one is known to survived the Breaking (preserved in a stasis box). Gholam are among the Shadow's most deadly creatures. Gholam are extremely physically strong and can shrug off all but the most serious wounds or attacks; one was stabbed and did not bleed. Gholam have no bones and can slip through the tiniest cracks. Finally, as their only purpose is to kill channelers, they were made completely immune to the One Power. (This may have contributed to their rarity: should these creatures have turned against the Forsaken, there would have been no stopping them.) Only one thing has been known to seriously injure them: a foxhead medallion, currently in the posession of Matrim Cauthon.
Gholam need to feed occasionally on blood to stay alive. They prefer human, but any will do.
Draghkar are a flying creature of the Dark resembling a pale man with large eyes and bat-like wings. They sing hypnotically to their prey and suck their souls out once in proximity. Though dangerous when undetected, they are not difficult to defeat if one can avoid their song.
Aelfinn and Eelfinn
Living outside the Universe, and connected to the Tower of Ghenji. Two portal ter'angreal allow visitation, provided that you bring neither iron, instruments of music, or fire (reminiscent of fairies). The Aelfinn look human with snakelike features, and they answer three questions, although the answers are difficult to unravel. Questions directly pertaining to the shadow are to be avoided, as are frivolous questions. The Eelfinn resemble foxes. They grant boons, but at a price, and if the price isn't set before the request then the Eelfinn themselves will set the price.
The Aelfinn and Eelfinn live in a twisted world, which allows them to read the pattern more effectively than humans may (a sort of oracle.) The Aelfinn and the Eelfinn are said to not be evil per se, but to have a point of view and intelligence so different from humans as to make them seem evil. (compare to The Great Old Ones from Lovecraftian Fiction).
Aes Sedai is the most important, powerful and influential society on the continent. Due to the vast amount of information concerning them, their own page has been given. Please see Aes Sedai Society.
The Aiel (pronounced "eye-EEL") inhabit an arid, treeless region on the East side of the Spine of the World which they refer to as the Three-fold Land, and which is known to "wetlanders" as the Aiel Waste. They are generally pale-skinned, with red or blond hair and blue eyes. They are deadly warriors, and follow a system of honor and obligation called ji'e'toh. Parallels have been drawn between them and Frank Herbert's Fremen.
See this article for more information.
The Sea Folk make up a nation based on islands far to the south of the main continent of the story. They spend almost all of their lives on their sailing ships, which are the best in the world. They do this because during the Breaking of the World, their people survived by staying aboard ships while the world was torn apart. They are known for their secrecy and disdain toward those who live on land.
Asha'man, Guardians in the Old Tongue, are men who can channel the One Power, recruited by Mazrim Taim at the direction of Rand al'Thor to be his army at Tarmon Gai'don. Like Aes Sedai, Asha'man identify their status by title. The main titles among Asha'man are:
- Soldiers, the trainees, are identified by no rank pins, only their black coats
- Dedicated, the officers, are identified by a pin of a silver sword
- Asha'man, the masters, are identified by a pin of a golden dragon
- M'hael, leader. This title is taken by Mazrim Taim. Variations have been given to other Asha'man for titles such as "Battle Leader."
Asha'man have generally been distrustful of Aes Sedai, largely because throughtout the millenia, due to the Dark One's Taint on saidin, Aes Sedai have been hunting male chanellers and cutting them off from One Power. Most of the prominent leaders of Asha'man (including Rand al'Thor, Mazrim Taim and Logain Ablar) have been captured by Aes Sedai at one time or another throughout the series. A number of Aes Sedai have been captured by the Asha'man too, held captive with a kind of Warder bond that permits Cumpulsion to control captives.
The primary residence of Asha'man is the Black Tower (though not actually a tower, but rather a substantial village), located in Andor, named in contrast to the White Tower of the Aes Sedai. This is where the Asha'man train new recruits,
Asha'man have proved to be a major force in Rand al'Thor's armies, both when supporting the conventional forces, or when acting as an army on their own.
Children of the Light
Children of the Light, or Whitecloaks as they are commonly known, are religious zealots. They blame the Breaking of the World on the Aes Sedai and believe that the One Power is a tool of the Dark One. All Aes Sedai, and any who associate with them or who have trained in the White Tower, must therefore be Darkfriends.
The Children of the Light wear white cloaks with a bright gold sunburst. The battle armour is silver with a gold sunburst and conical caps.
The Hand of Light
The Hand of Light, also know as Questioners are a faction of the Children of the Light denoted on their cloaks by a red shepherd's crook. The Questioners are known for their somewhat... questionable ability to find Darkfriends anywhere and everywhere, even in the most unlikely places. The Hand of Light will use any means necessary to gain the confession(s) they want, including (but not limited to) various forms of torture.
Darkfriends, or Friends of the Dark, are normal folk who have secretly pledged support to the Dark One, whom they call the Great Lord of the Dark. Darkfriends, though not necessarily dangerous combatants, are also ubiquitous, as they can be and often are found just about everywhere. Prominent Darkfriends include Whitecloak Jaichim Carridin (ironically a prominent member of a religious-zealot movement), any number of Black Ajah women (see Aes Sedai for more details), the late Melindhra of the Charra sept of the Shaido Aiel, peddler-cum-madman Padan Fain, and the Forsaken.
A small subset of Darkfriends (of both genders, despite the name) actually donate their souls to the Great Lord. They become Gray Men, ordinary-looking folk who are, in fact, very difficult to notice. Their ubiquity and unremarkability is their primary asset, as they are sent as assassins against sensitive marks; frequently they do the deed without anyone even realizing they were there. Like the Draghkar, however, they are only truly dangerous if overlooked.
The Kin are a secret group of female channelers hiding from the White Tower. They offered a safe haven for others who had been put out of the Tower due to their failure to measure up to the Tower's standards. Their history dates back to the Trolloc Wars, more than two thousand years ago (circa 1000-1350 AB) where the first group of women upon fearing to return home in the midst of the wars, fled to Barashta (near present-day site of Ebou Dar), as far from the fighting as was possible to go at that time. The members of the Kin, calling themselves Kinswomen, accepts runaways, as well. They made great efforts to keep these girls from learning anything about the Kin until they were sure that Aes Sedai would not swoop down and retake them. After all, everyone knew that runaways were always caught sooner or later, and the Kin knew that unless they held themselves secret, they themsevlves would be punished severely. Unknown to the Kin, Aes Sedai in the Towers were aware of their existence almost from the very first, but prosecution of the wars left no time for dealing with them. By the end of the wars, the Tower realised that it might not be in their best interests to snuff out the Kin. Prior to that time, a majority of runaways actually had managed to escape, whatever the Tower's propaganda, but once the Kin began helping them, the Tower knew exactly where any runaway was heading, and they began retaking nine out of ten. Thus, the Kin became the Tower's unconventional trap for runaways, and the Tower decided to leave them alone and to keep the Kin's very existence a secret known only to full Aes Sedai. The Kin do not have laws, but rather rules based in part on the rules of novices and Accepted in the White Tower, and in part on the necessity of maintaning secrecy. As might be expected given the origins of the Kin, they maintain their rules very firmly on all their members. Recent open contacts between Aes Sedai and Kinswomen, while known only to a handful of sisters, have produced a number of shocks, including the facts that there are twice as many Kinswomen as Aes Sedai and that some are more than a hundered years older than any Aes Sedai has lived since before the Trollocs Wars. The effect of these revelations, both on Aes Sedai and on Kinswomen, is as yet as a matter for speculation.
The Knitting Circle
The Knitting Circle is the group which leads the Kin. Since no member of the Kin has ever known how Aes Sedai arrange their own hierarchy--knowledge passed on only when an Accepted has passed her test for the shawl--they put no store in strength in Power but give great weight to age, with the older woman always standing above the younger. The Knitting Circle (a title chosen, like the Kin, for its innocuity) thus consists of the thirteen oldest Kinswomen resident in Ebou Dar, with the oldest given the title of the Eldest. By the rules, all will have to step down when it is time for them to move on, but so long as they are resident in Ebou Dar, they have supreme authority over the Kin, to a degree that any Amyrlin Seat would envy.
The Seanchan ("SHAN-chen") are the descendants of Artur Hawkwing and the armies he sent across the Aryth Ocean. The Seanchan have returned after hundreds of years to reclaim the land that was stolen by 'oathbreakers,' rulers who claimed lands after Artur Hawkwing died. The Seanchan believe that any women who can channel (marath'damane - "those who must be leashed") are dangerous and must be captured and controlled. Damane, "leashed ones," are controlled by using a ter'angreal called an a'dam, a silver collar and silver bracelet connected by a leash. The a'dam gives the sul'dam ("leash holder") the ability to direct the damane's channeling as well as deal reward or punishment. Damane are treated as animals and property, a weapon in the hands of their sul'dam, to be used and abused as the sul'dam sees fit; Seanchan are quite good at propaganda and psychological subversion, and those in their service tend to embrace their slavery. The Seanchan as a whole remain unaware that sul'dam are women who can channel but do not have the spark.
Also known as Traveling People or Tinkers (see Irish Traveller)
The Tuatha'an are a wandering people that live in wagons like Gypsies. They follow the pacifist Way of the Leaf and will not attack or kill, or even touch a weapon. They are some of the few people allowed in the Waste by the Aiel, although the Aiel avoid them. The Aiel share the same ancestors as the Tuatha'an, but forsook the Way of the Leaf and took up the spear, as the Tuatha'an gave up the mission entrusted to them by the Aes Sedai.
The most violent thing about the Tuatha'an are their colours. Their wagons are painted in the brightest colours—yellow, green, blue, red. Yet the colours of their clothing are even brighter.
The Tuatha'an are continually in search of a Song that their ancestors knew, but that is now forgotten.
The language that was used in the Age of Legends. See also here.
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