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The Black Ajah of the Aes Sedai is a secret Ajah, consisting of Darkfriend Aes Sedai who masquerade as sisters of other Ajahs and who have forsaken their Three Oaths in order to serve the Dark One. Reports of its existence have been vehemently denied by the White Tower for millennia, however the mass execution of all Black sisters among the rebel Aes Sedai proves the Black Ajah does indeed exist. The leader of the Black Ajah is a very powerful woman, who sits at the head of the Supreme Council and answers directly to the Forsaken.

SizeEdit

Due to the secretive nature of the Black Ajah, its exact size is unknown to all except its leader. However, Verin Mathwin spent decades compiling a coded list of Black sisters, including their Ajahs:[1]

  • Red: forty-eight (making at least twenty-four percent of all Red sisters actually Black, best guess is that they hunted the future Dragon)[2]
  • Green: thirty-eight
  • Gray: thirty-one
  • Brown: twenty-eight
  • Yellow: twenty-one
  • Blue: twenty-one
  • White: seventeen
  • Total: 204

During the Great Purge, Egwene al'Vere commented that six more Black sisters were found outside of Verin's list, however, their former Ajah is unknown. Of course it must be taken into account that many of the sisters on Verin's list are now deceased as the majority of those in the rebel camp were executed by Egwene al'Vere and the rebel Aes Sedai and several more were similarly executed after Egwene was raised in the Tower.

DemographicsEdit

The demographics of the Black Ajah put them across all nationalities:

All remaining Black nationalities are unknown.

MembershipEdit

Most sisters who join the Black Ajah were not Darkfriends before they did so. They worked for years as ordinary sisters until members of the Black Ajah suspected that they may be susceptible to swearing allegiance to the Shadow. Liandrin was a Darkfriend before she came to Tar Valon and sought out the Black Ajah from the day she arrived,[3] but we know that Galina Casban[4] and Katerine Alruddin[5] were both Red sisters for longer than they have been Black.

Those who might be willing to become a member of the Black Ajah are likely those who find the Three Oaths chafing and who delight in the power an Aes Sedai has over non-channelers, even having been known to abuse it. The Black Ajah allows them to exploit their power free of the restrictions of Tower Law and the Oaths, but at the price of swearing to the Shadow. Like most Darkfriends, they probably did not feel the truth of their fealty to the Shadow until the arrival of Ishamael a few years after the Aiel War.

Tower initiatesEdit

The position of teachers of the novices and the Accepted makes it easier for the Black Ajah to know every student very well before they even become Aes Sedai. Thus are women groomed for the Black Ajah, or perhaps singled out as possible candidates, from very early on in their training.[verify] As the Black Ajah does not recruit from among Tower initiates, having a Black sister as Mistress of Novices is a very handy way of keeping tabs on those girls when they are raised to the shawl. Previous Mistresses of Novices who were also Black Ajah include Merean Redhill, Sheriam Bayanar, and Katerine Alruddin.

OrganizationEdit

The Black Ajah is administered by a Supreme Council, alternatively called the Great Council, which consists of thirteen sisters who meet while hooded so that none may know the identity of another. If one member of the council dies, then another is raised in her place, thereby keeping a constant number in the leadership of the Black Ajah. The Great Council is headed by one woman, who knows the identity of every sister in the Ajah.

Within the Black Ajah, sisters are organized into "hearts," groups of three women who know each others' identity and who in turn each know one sister from another heart.[6] Only the head of the Great Council knows the full structure of the Ajah concerning how all the hearts are interlinked and which sisters they contain.[7] It is unlikely the division of sisters into hearts survived the Great Purge as the purpose was to help maintain secrecy in the Tower, no longer necessary with the remaining members relocated from the Tower.

LeadersEdit

Alviarin Freidhen

Alviarin Freidhen (right), head of the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah.

The head of the Great Council of Thirteen is Alviarin Freidhen, who was raised to the position by Ishamael. The remaining twelve members of the council are unknown, apart from Galina Casban who used to be on the council. It is possible that Sheriam Bayanar was on the council, since Egwene says that Verin mentioned her as "a leader among the Black Ajah." [8]

HeartsEdit

Known hearts include:

Replacing the Three OathsEdit

The members of the Black Ajah are not bound by the Three Oaths, but they do have three replacement oaths.[4] One of them is an oath to not reveal any current plots that the Black Ajah is involved in, or to expose any other Black sisters. A second was revealed by Verin Mathwin as "not to betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death".[1] This wording makes it possible for a Black sister to betray those secrets in what she knows to be her last hour of life. The nature of the third oath is unknown.

Involvement with the ChosenEdit

It is thought that the Black Ajah was founded by Ishamael, who was not bound completely into Shayol Ghul as the rest of the Forsaken were.[verify] Since the release of the other Forsaken, Mesaana, Be'lal, Lanfear and Graendal have all come to the White Tower and spoken with Alviarin.

The Black Ajah is nominally controlled by Mesaana, who is undercover in the White Tower. This is because she controls Alviarin Freidhen, the head of the Black Ajah, who knows the identities of all Black Sisters.

During the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod, Egwene al'Vere mentally overpowered Mesaana. Her mind was destroyed, and a Brown sister called Danelle was then found as a non-sentient invalid. This led the White Tower to conclude that Mesaana had either been Danelle the entire time, or had been impersonating the original Danelle.[9]

The truth is, however, that the Black Ajah are as subject to the whims of the Forsaken as any other Darkfriends and know they have no choice but to obey any of the Chosen should they command it. Not only that, but they would have to obey any non-channeling Darkfriend that may stand higher than them in Darkfriend circles.

ActivitiesEdit

FutureEdit

With the existence of the Black Ajah having been proven, and with the subsequent execution of all Black sisters in the re-unified White Tower, it seems the Black may be on the brink of extinction. But many Black sisters evaded capture and have fled the White Tower; they remained hidden until the Last Battle. After the Dark One's defeat, many Black Sisters are dead or captured, and, with no more of the Forsaken free and Alviarin captured, they are leaderless.

List of current Black sistersEdit

See also Category:Black Ajah

Alphabetical tableEdit

Name White Tower Ajah Status Faction / Group / Association Darkfriend Controller
Alviarin Freidhen White Held captive in Stedding Sholoon White Tower Mesaana
Amico Nagoyin Yellow Dead: Killed by Slayer Liandrin's group Moghedien
Asne Zeramene Green Dead: Killed during kidnapping of Elayne Trakand Liandrin's group Be'lal, Moghedien
Atuan Larisett Yellow Unknown: Possibly executed White Tower None
Berylla Naron Blue Presumed dead following the Last Battle Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Birlen Pena Unknown Alive: Escaped after the Battle of Tar Valon White Tower Moghedien
Careane Fransi Green Dead: Killed by Vandene Namelle Salidar Rebels Unknown

Chai Rugan

Unknown Alive: Escaped after the Battle of Tar Valon White Tower
Chesmal Emry Yellow Dead: Killed by Elayne Trakand Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Dagdara Finchey Yellow Presumed Dead: Executed in White Tower Purge Salidar Rebels
Delana Mosalaine Gray Dead: Killed at Natrin's Barrow Salidar Rebels Aran'gar
Duhara Basaheen Red Dead: Killed by Aviendha at the Last Battle White Tower
Eldrith Jhondar Brown Dead: Killed during escape from Caemlyn Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Elza Penfell Green Dead: Killed by Rand al'Thor Sworn to Rand Semirhage
Evanellein Gray Dead: Killed by Egwene al'Vere White Tower Mesaana
Falion Bhoda White Dead: Killed by Aviendha at the Last Battle Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Fera White Alive Sworn to Rand
Galina Casban Red Gai'shain of the Shaido Aiel White Tower Unknown, possibly Mesaana
Ispan Shefar Blue Dead: Killed by Careane Fransi during the murder of Adeleas Namelle Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Jarna Malari Gray Dead: Killed by Ishamael White Tower None
Jeaine Caide Green Dead: Killed by Thom at the entrance to the Pit of Doom Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Joiya Byir Gray Dead: Killed by Slayer (with Amico) Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Karale Sanghir Gray Alive, possibly escaped Tower Purge White Tower None
Katerine Alruddin Red Dead: Killed by Egwene al'Vere in Tel'aran'rhiod White Tower Mesaana
Larissa Lyndel Yellow Dead: Purged Salidar Rebels
Liandrin Red Alive: Permanently Shielded Leader of twelve other Black Members Moghedien
Marillin Gemalphin Brown Presumed dead following the Last Battle Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Marris Thornhill Brown Alive: Possibly executed or escaped White Tower Purge White Tower

Melvara

Unknown
Merean Redhill Blue Dead: 979 NE. Killed by Moiraine Damodred White Tower None
Mestra Unknown Dead: Killed by Egwene in the Battle of Tel'aran'rhiod
Miyasi White Alive: Escaped the Purge White Tower
Moria Karentanis Blue Dead: Executed (Rebel Camp Purge) Salidar Rebels
Nacelle Kayama Green Dead: Executed (Rebel Camp Purge) Salidar Rebels
Nalaene Forrell Unknown Alive Sworn to Rand al'Thor
Nesita Red Alive White Tower
Notori Unknown Dead: Killed by Nynaeve al'Meara in the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod

Ramola

Unknown Alive
Rianna Andomeran White Possibly held captive in Stedding Sholoon Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Sedore Dajenna Yellow Dead: Killed by Egwene a'Vere in the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod] White Tower
Sheriam Bayanar Blue Dead: Executed (Rebel Camp Purge) Salidar Rebels Aran'gar, Mesaana
Talva Yellow Dead: Killed by mistake by Alviarin Freidhen in the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod] White Tower
Talene Minly Green Alive: Escaped before the Battle of Tar Valon White Tower
Temaile Kinderode Gray Dead: Killed by Jaq Lounalt, failing to escape Caemlyn dungeon Liandrin's Group Moghedien
Velina Behar White Alive White Tower
Verin Mathwin Brown Dead: Suicide to allow betrayal of Black Ajah Herself None
Zanica Unknown Alive White Tower

Table by AjahEdit

Red Green Gray Brown Yellow Blue White (Unknown)
Duhara Basaheen Jeaine Caide Delana Mosalaine Eldrith Jhondar Atuan Larisett Berylla Naron Alviarin Freidhen Birlen Pena
Galina Casban Talene Minly Karale Sanghir Marillin Gemalphin Chesmal Emry Moria Karentanis Falion Bhoda Chai Rugan
Liandrin Elza Penfell Temaile Kinderode Marris Thornhill Sedore Dajenna Sheriam Bayanar Fera Melvara
Nesita Nacelle Kayama Joiya Byir Verin Mathwin Dagdara Finchey Ispan Shefar Miyasi Nalaene Forrell
Katerine Alruddin Asne Zeramene Evanellein Talva Merean Redhill Rianna Andomeran Zanica
Careane Fransi Jarna Malari Larissa Lyndel Velina Behar Ramola
Amico Nagoyin Notori
Mestra

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Gathering Storm, Chapter 39
  2. TWORJTWOT
  3. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 18
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Crown of Swords, Chapter 40
  5. Lord of Chaos, Prologue
  6. Crossroads of Twilight, Prologue
  7. Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 21
  8. The Gathering Storm, Chapter 43
  9. Towers of Midnight, Chapter 42
Ajahs of the Aes Sedai

Blue | Green | Yellow | Red | White | Gray | Brown | Black

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