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.
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:
- Red: forty-eight (making at least twenty-four percent of all Red sisters actually Black, best guess is that they hunted the future Dragon)
- 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.
The demographics of the Black Ajah put them across all nationalities:
- Four Andoran
- Four Domani
- Three Saldaean
- Three Taraboner
- Two Kandori
- One Arafellin
- One Cairhienin
- One from Far Madding
- One Ghealdanin
- One Illianer
- One Malkieri
- One Shienaran
All remaining Black nationalities are unknown.
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, but we know that Galina Casban and Katerine Alruddin 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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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." 
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. 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". 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.
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.
- The murder of all sisters involved in the search for the Dragon Reborn after his birth.
- Be'lal and Mesaana sent a group of thirteen Blacks to Tear, in the hopes of capturing the Dragon Reborn. They fled the Tower with several ter'angreal, murdering a score of people along the way.
- The attempted assassination of Egwene, in both the real world and the World of Dreams.
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; it is likely they will remain hidden until the time when the Last Battle begins.
List of current Black sistersEdit
- See also Category:Black Ajah
|Name||White Tower Ajah||Status||Faction / Group / Association||Darkfriend Controller|
|Alviarin Freidhen||White||Alive: Escaped after the Battle of Tar Valon||White Tower||Mesaana|
|Amico Nagoyin||Yellow||Dead: Killed by Slayer||Liandrin's group||Moghedien|
|Asne Zeramene||Green||Dead: Killed during kidnapping of Elayne Trakand||None||Be'lal, Moghedien|
|Atuan Larisett||Yellow||Unknown: Possibly executed||White Tower||None|
|Berylla Naron||Blue||Alive||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|
|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||Alive: In Caemlyn||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||Alive||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||Alive||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||Alive||Liandrin's Group||Moghedien|
|Marris Thornhill||Brown||Alive: Possibly executed or escaped White Tower Purge||White Tower|
|Merean Redhill||Blue||Dead: 979 NE. Killed by Moiraine Damodred|
|Mestra||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||Alive||Sworn to Rand al'Thor|
|Notori||Dead: Killed by Nynaeve al'Meara in the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod|
|Rianna Andomeran||White||Alive||Liandrin's Group||Moghedien|
|Sedore Dajenna||Yellow||Dead: Killed by Egwene a'Vere in the Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod]|
|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|