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 himself out. This is Callandor, the sword which is not a sword. The access keys for the two most powerful sa'angreal known to man, the Choedan Kal, are in Rand al'Thor's possession, allowing him access to one designed for men which is buried in Cairhien, and another 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. It should also be noted that sa'angreal is probably derived from Sangreal, the name of the Holy Grail.
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 a'dam, 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 the Winds that was used to correct the weather in The Path of Daggers.
Although apparently indestructible, the seals of cuendillar that formed the Dark Ones prison have become so weakened from the strain that it is now possible to cut slivers from them with a simple knife, or for them to shatter from a fall.
The Flame and the Void is a conceptual idea used by beginning male channelers to harness the male half of the One Power known as saidin. The premise is that one pictures a single flame within his mind; into that flame one pushes all of his emotions and thoughts. The process leaves one with a clear mind, which in the case of a male channeler allows them to access the One Power. It has also been known to be used by non-channelers as well to gain more focus when performing such tasks as shooting a bow and arrow or fighting. In the Borderlands, this technique is known as the ko'di, or The Oneness. Tam al'Thor uses this technique to win the archery contests in the Two Rivers.
Ji is honor, and toh is obligation. The greatest ji comes from touching an enemy in battle without killing him. This incurs 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, woman with a child, or 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.
Toh is met in various fashions from service, to humility, to beatings. Although toh is met when the one who requires it says 'this person has no toh to me,' the one who incurs the toh, implicitly sets the amount required. Of the various ways to meet toh, the one that incurs the least ji is purchasing with money or valuables.
When the rebel Shaido Aiel invaded the wetlands, they took wetlanders as gai'shain, violating ji'e'toh and adding to their shame. Due to this violation, it may be construed that they are reconstructing their culture according to what works best for them, now that they know the truth of their history.
The Prophecies include some rather specific events, such as taking the Stone of Tear and drawing Callandor, and also some circumspect ones, such as being "marked by the heron." The Prophecies can be read in many ways, due to the Old Tongue's ambiguity in meanings.
The Seanchan version of the Karaethon Cycle include a prophecy that the Dragon will kneel before the Crystal Throne, a corrupted version created by Ishamael. The mainland Prophecies state that he will bind the Nine Moons.
The original followers of the Way of the Leaf in the Age of Legends were known as the Da'shain Aiel. During the breaking and shortly thereafter, they were referred to as the Jenn Aiel. In the current time period, only the Tuatha'an (Tinkers) follow the Way of the Leaf.
The parallel to the Way of the Leaf among ocean cultures is the Water Way adhered to by the Amayar, who live among the Atha'an Miere.
Ogier stand about 10 feet tall ("half again as tall as a man"). They have broad noses, wide mouths, and long tufted ears. Ogier are also very long lived compared to humans: Loial, a prominent supporting character, is considered by his elders the impetuous and irresponsible equivalent of a 15-year-old human teenager, despite being 90 years old.
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 is to bring mountains down on your head" suggests the difficulty of provoking an Ogier--and also the danger.
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. It is implied that five years out of a stedding is an extreme absence for an ogier to make, while they can still live at ten years away, any period of time between will begin to affect the mental and physical health to varying degrees. An ogier who has been long from the stedding might be required to take several days rest every now and then to recuperate and delay the Longing. 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). Also there is no reflection of stedding in the World of Dreams, and a Dreamwalker cannot enter them.
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, called Gardeners, who apparently do not have the same reservations against violence as Ogier in the mainland. Seanchan Ogier also do not suffer from the Longing, as there are far more stedding on the Seanchan side of the Aryth.
As a gift to the Ogier for the Ogier's help during the Breaking of the World, the male Aes Sedai grew a strange network of portals called the Ways using the One Power. Waygates stand just outside every stedding, due to the male Aes Sedai's inability to channel inside a 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, in recent centuries, Machin Shin, the Black Wind, has appeared within the Ways; this hungry, irrational presence devours anyone or anything it encounters. Furthermore, the Ways themselves are deteriorating: well-maintained stone paths and gardens, once spiraling majestically into warmth and light, now crumble into bottomless darkness and pitted bare stone. Because some of the northern stedding have been consumed by the Blight, the Shadow's forces now have access to the Ways, and they are sometimes used to quickly move troops across vast distances (although the presence of Machin Shin has made this a risky maneuver).
The Aelfinn and Eelfinn live in twisted worlds, which allow them to read the Pattern more effectively than humans may. The Aelfinn and the Eelfinn are not believed to be evil, but their point of view and intelligence are so different from humans and so thoroughly alien that they might as well be (compare to the Great Old Ones from Lovecraftian fiction). It is believed that one can only visit each species once, through their corresponding ter'angreal. Moiraine and Lanfear fell battling into one of these portals and while Lanfear has apparently been resurrected by the Dark One, Moiraine remains trapped in the world of the Eelfinn.
The Tower of Ghenjei is a shining column of metal some 200 feet (60 meters) tall, and as big around as a house. Despite this, it has no apparent seams or an entrance. Through the Tower of Ghenjei it is possible to reach both worlds of the 'elfinn. One must use a bronze knife and make a sign: a triangle drawn in the air and then a wavy line through it, anywhere on the side of the tower, and a door will open.
Trollocs are credited with being able to see better than a man in the dark, however they can be blinded by bright lights. Trollocs are also able to track by scent or sound, and kill for the pleasure of killing.
Trollocs are omnivorous and will eat any kind of meat. They are routinely fed captives taken during battles with humans, which are cooked in large cooking pots. If there are no prisoners then lower-ranking Darkfriends are sometimes fed to the Trollocs instead. It is often stated that they 'kill for the joy of killing'. Trollocs are known to be lazy and this is shown when Rand al'Thor and Loial sneak past a Trolloc guard in The Great Hunt and reclaim the Horn of Valere from Padan Fain.
Unlike other creatures of the Shadow, Trollocs are social animals and form into clan-like bands, such as Al'ghol (Ghoul), Dhai'mon (Demon), Ghar'ghael (Gargoyle), Ahf'frait (Efreet), Bhan'sheen (Banshee), Dha'vol (Devil), Dhjin'nen (Djinn), Ghob'hlin, (Goblin), Ghraem'lan (Gremlin), Ko'bal (Kobold), Kno'mon (Gnome), and Gho'hlem (Golem). Only male Trollocs are allowed to participate in raiding parties. Females are cloistered and remain in the Trolloc camps.
Some trollocs are capable of rudimentary human speech, but usually they converse amongst themselves in their own guttural tongue. Trollocs also have a written script for their language, in the form of angular runes. One trolloc, Narg, spoke to Rand al'Thor in his home in "The Eye of the World".
Trollocs are commanded by the Myrddraal, also known as Halfmen, the Eyeless, Shadowmen, Lurk and Fade. Their command of Trollocs began when the Age of Legends ended and the Forsaken were bound. During the Trolloc Wars, they led the trollocs in battle under the Dreadlords.
The weapons of Trollocs are made at the forges in the valley of Thakan'dar. Some of these weapons leave that place with a stain of evil in the metal. These blades can create wounds that will not heal or illnesses that medicine cannot mend. The weapons they use are often crude and cruel, something which reflect their brutish and war like nature.
Trollocs are hated by wolves, who hunt them and call them "The Twisted Ones".
Myrddraal gain certain powers from the Dark One. They have the ability to cause paralyzing fear with a look and can vanish wherever there are shadows. They have few known weaknesses, one of which is that they do not like to cross running water.
Myrddraal wear black armor with overlapping scales, and black cloaks which do not stir in the wind. In battle a Myrddraal wields his sword with great skill and incredible speed. They are able to move between, or disappear into, shadows, and mirrors only reflect a misty image of them. Aginor, one of the Forsaken and creator of both Trollocs and (inadvertently) 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 made at Thakan'dar, the forges on the slopes of Shayol Ghul, which are imbued with the soul of a human. (These humans are usually Borderlanders captured during Trolloc raids.) A Myrddraal's sword causes injuries that are almost always fatal if Aes Sedai Healing is not administered. The swords, however, only have a limited lifetime. Myrddraal have the uncanny ability to instill stark terror in anyone they gaze upon: "The look of the Eyeless is fear." The only things Myrddraal are known to fear are running water, the city Shadar Logoth, the half-Mordeth monster named Padan Fain, and the One Power. Myrddraal, along with Gray Men (see below), are the only known creatures who do not dream. Even Trollocs have dreams.
Myrddraal are hated by the wolves more than any other shadowspawn. They are called the "Neverborn" by the wolves. A whole pack of wolves will willingly die trying to kill one Myrddraal.
Myrddraal have their place in the legend and lore of most of the world's (Randland's) societies, where they are known by many names: Halfmen, the Eyeless, Shadowrunners, Shadowmen, Lurk, Fetch, Fade, Neverborn. In most nations, they are treated about as seriously as bogeymen, but those in the Borderlands or who have had the misfortune to encounter them, know better.
Recently, a Myrddraal has appeared that seems to be the Dark One's avatar.
Darkhounds are created by an existing darkhound consuming the soul of a wolf. The wolves themselves refer to them as Shadowbrothers.
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 nightmares of Mankind." See Crossroads of Twilight for a more detailed discussion.
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, they would have been difficult to destroy). Only one thing has been known to injure them: a foxhead medallion, currently in the possession of Matrim Cauthon, caused burns when brought in contact with the gholam. It is possible that this is because of their similar natures; the medallion has been shown to protect Mat from the direct effects of channelling.
While not necessarily made of the same material, the gholam and Mat's foxhead medallion are seemingly the only things which absorb the One Power, other than cuendillar (which is said to be strengthened by it, not dispersed/conducted by it).
The concept of the gholam may be related to the Golem of Jewish mythology.
Though dangerous when undetected, they are not especially difficult to defeat if one can avoid their song. Their fragile wings and lack of armor or other weapons make them susceptible to direct attack; as such, they are often employed as assassins, along with Grey Men, to eliminate enemies of the Shadow.
A small subset of Darkfriends (of both genders, despite the name) actually donate their souls to the Great Lord. While most Gray Men are men, some women have been "stupid enough even among darkfriends" to give up their soul. They become Gray Men, ordinary-looking folk who are, in fact, very difficult to notice, to the point of 'hiding in plain sight': to a person not specifically looking for one, a Gray Man carrying a knife is about as interesting as an old chair. 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. Unlike the Draghkar, the Gray Men are very easy for most people to overlook.
Warders are traditionally trained at the White Tower so that, once their training has been completed, they may serve the Aes Sedai as bodyguards. In their training, they are brought to a pinnacle of swordplay; man for man, Warders are historically considered to be the finest fighters in the land. They are highly recognizable for their "color-shifting" cloaks, which are made of fancloth created by a ter'angreal recovered from the Age of Legends, and provide chameleonic camouflage for their wearers.
The Warder bond has distinct benefits for both parties. The bonded party (the Warder) gains greater stamina and physical prowess, a greater capacity to resist evil, and greater resistance to injury (as well as the proximity of his Aes Sedai, who can probably Heal whatever injuries he does take). The Aes Sedai, for her part, gains a bodyguard, confidant and ally-in-schemes who is intrinsically linked to her and whose behavior can be controlled (to some extent) through the bond. She is also able to draw on the warder's strength if needed. Both parties are able to sense the other's general location, physical well-being and, to some extent, emotional state. Of course, this in itself can cause problems, should one party or the other become intoxicated or involved in romantic liaisons. Death is also a major occupational hazard; if one member of the bond is killed, the other suffers extreme emotional trauma, to the point that most orphaned Warders lose all will to live, and often throw away their lives in a berserker rage.
Whether by custom or law, all Warders are male; the only (known) woman Warder is Birgitte Trahelion, bonded to Elayne Trakand, who bonded her because because doing so was the only way to save Birgitte's life. Female-female bonding is more empathic than male-female bonding: Birgitte finds Elayne's emotional state contagious, and vice versa. Aes Sedai are capable of bonding several Warders at once, though only the Green Ajah make a habit of it; generally, men are bonded one at a time, as opposed to several through the same bond, and it is unknown if Warders bonded this way have any extrasensory awareness of each other. Three women (Elayne Trakand, Elmindreda Farshaw and Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Tardaad Aiel) have recently bonded a single, communal Warder (their mutual lover, Rand al'Thor); all three women hold the bond and are connected to him, though not to each other. It is not known if the converse, a single bond used to hold multiple Warders, is possible. Women who cannot channel (Min Farshaw) can hold Warder bonds, though still she required her channeler friends to create it. It is possible for two separate women to bond the same man as Warder on separate occasions, without interfering with each other's bonds: al'Thor, at the time of his bonding to his three loves, had already been bonded (against his will) by Alanna Mosvani in a fruitless attempt to control him. Finally, Warder bonds can only be dissolved by the holding Aes Sedai; the Warder himself can be kept against his will.
As of the later books in the series, Asha'man have discovered their own form of the Warder bond using saidin and have begun bonding women as Warders. In the beginning, married men bonded their wives, primarily for the benefit of being able to stay in contact with them through the bond, but recently Asha'man have also bonded a small number of captured Aes Sedai, much to the consternation of the White Tower. This form of the bond permits the use of Compulsion to control the captive Aes Sedai. In addition, three Asha'man (Damer Flinn, Jahar Narishma, and Eben Hopwill) have been bonded as Warders by Aes Sedai, and in Knife of Dreams, Mazrim Taim grants permission to Aes Sedai to bond his Asha'man. The fact that both parties can channel has had no (known) effect on the Warder bond, but there has been speculation that male channelers universally cannot be controlled the way normal Warders can.
Asha'man have generally been distrustful of Aes Sedai, largely because throughout the millennia, due to the Dark One's Taint on saidin, Aes Sedai have been hunting male channelers and cutting them off from the 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 Compulsion 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. However, Rand's other followers don't trust them, since they are all inevitably condemned to go mad due to the taint.
This was believed even though Rand and Nyneave used the Choedan Kal and linked to cleanse saidin of its taint in Winter's Heart.
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.
Philosophically, the Children are nearly identical to the long-dead inhabitants of Shadar Logoth, who believed that "The victory of the Light is all," and became so oppressive of anything resembling the Shadow that they became an evil of their own. This link is used by Padan Fain to spread the evil of Shadar Logoth to the Whitecloaks, but that spread has ceased with the fall of the Dome of the Light to the Seanchan.
The Dreadlords originated in the Trolloc Wars. They refused to call themselves the Chosen for fear that, after they won and the actual Chosen were freed, they would be punished for claiming the title.
The members of the Kin, calling themselves Kinswomen, accept 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 themselves 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 maintaining 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 hundred years older than any Aes Sedai has lived since before the Trolloc Wars. In Crossroads of Twilight, it is suggested that the reason that the Kin are in some cases much older than any Aes Sedai is because they have not sworn on the Oath Rod which may cut an Aes Sedai life in half. The effect of these revelations, both on Aes Sedai and on Kinswomen, is as yet as a matter for speculation.
The Amayar are followers of the Water Way and generally ignore the world beyond their scattered islands. They believe that this world is only an illusion, a mirrored reflection of belief. Some of their prophecies speak of the great sa'angreal on Tremalking and the "end of illusions."
It is interesting to note that there is a similarity between their view of the world as an illusion and the Aiel's view of the world as a dream, which raises the question whether the two people are related and maybe both descendants of the Da'shain Aiel. This is supported by the similarities between the Water Way and the Way of the Leaf.
All Amayar---men, women, and children---committed mass suicide by poison after the great female sa'angreal was partially destroyed, when it was used in the cleansing of saidin; according to Amayar prophesies, this signaled the "End of Illusion", when the Amayar must "wake" from this dream and enter a new world. Several are known to have survived, kept from death by the Sea Folk, causing them incredible sadness.
There seems to be some inconsistency in how saidar is chanelled and manipulated by the sul'dam/damane pair. When Egwene was collared, she had to be told by her sul'dam to possess the power and to blow up the ground, which she did on threat of torture. However, when the Tuon collars Teslyn and Joline, the power is instantly accessed and woven to block the doors and to shield Edesena without a word be spoken nor any threats.
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, and the colours of their clothing are even brighter. The Tuatha’an are also well known for their singing and dancing. They sing and dance at any opportunity, and Tinker camps are seldom without music. Sometimes the Tinker women will dance the tiganza, a dance capable of bringing mens’ blood to a boil.
The Tuatha'an are continually in search of a song that their ancestors knew, but that is now forgotten. They believe that the song once found will bring a new Age of Legends. It is possible that 'the song' refers to the tree growing song sung by Aiel, Ogier and Nym during planting season in the Age of Legends.