He is described as being an older, graying version of his son Matrim Cauthon.
Sometime after Rand, Mat, Perrin and the others left Emond's Field, he journeyed to Tar Valon with Tam al'Thor to find out what happened to his son and the others.
When Perrin Aybara comes home to Emond's Field, Marin al'Vere tells him that Abell and Tam al'Thor managed to escape when the Whitecloaks arrested Abell's family and the Luhhan's, and that they are hiding somewhere in the Westwood. Her husband says that Padan Fain has offered two hundred pieces of gold for Tam and Abell. The Whitecloaks have also burned Abell's house.
During the fighting with Trollocs in Emond's Field, Abell shows himself to be a very capable fighter and he and Tam help Perrin with the planning on more than one occasion.
Abell's name may have been inspired by the Biblical character, Abel, son of the first man, Adam.