Owyn Merrilin was a man who could channel. For three years, he kept his channeling under control, however members of the Red Ajah found him and gentled him outside of Tower law. After being gentled, his village found out and exiled him and his wife. Because of the gentling, he died and his wife also died within a month.
Thom's fall from Court Bard Edit
During his time as Court Bard for Morgase Trakand, Queen of Andor, Thom found out that the Red Ajah was hunting Owyn. He did not, however, leave Morgase's side to help him. Later, when he did leave, it was too late; Owyn had died. Morgase was angry at Thom leaving, so much so that when he returned, she and Thom had a fight and Thom left Caemlyn one step ahead of the headsman's ax. One of Thom's reasons for helping Rand al'Thor is to make up for his failure to help Owyn. Moiraine Damodred, Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah knows the names of the Red sisters who gentled Owyn. Thom helps Elayne Trakand and Nynaeve al'Meara to get this information. Moiraine, however, disappears before the information could be passed on.