The Red Ajah of the Aes Sedai was, for more than two thousand years, dedicated to prevent the wrong and dangerous use of the One Power, in particular the Red sisters dedicated themselves in locating men with the ability to channel and bringing them to the White Tower for gentling.
Red sisters generally do not have friends outside of their Ajah, and upon donning the shawl are often forced to end any friendship with women not also of the Red. Until recent times they bond no Warders, and have been at odds with the Blue Ajah for a millennium. The leader of the Red Ajah is known as the Highest.
The Red was for long and until recent time the largest Ajah, comprising approximately one fifth of all sisters. Given that there were approximately one thousand Aes Sedai in total when the Dragon proclaimed himself, it can be calculated that the Red sisters were approximately two hundred. This Ajah had the greatest concentration of Black sisters with at least forty-eight (around a quarter of the entire Ajah); however we have only learned the identity of five.
After the purge or escape of so many Black sisters, the Seanchan Raid, and the unfortunate expeditions of the Reds to kidnap the Dragon or to destroy the Black Tower (when many Reds were killed or captured and later turned to the Shadow), the total number of Red sisters has dramatically dropped and probably prior to the Last Battle remained at only 130-140 Aes Sedai (which is still more than many other Ajah because the White, the Blue, the Yellow and the Brown gather each less than 130 sisters).
Four Taraboner, two Cairhienin, two Domani, one Altaran, one Andoran, one Ghealdanin, one Illianer, one Kandori, one Murandian, and one Tairen. There are not many Domani Reds, and most of them are meaner than snakes caught in a fence. All remaining Red nationalities are unknown.
History and Characteristics Edit
The Red Ajah focuses on castigating the wrong and dangerous use of the One Power, which mostly consists in capturing male channelers and bringing them to the Tower for gentling. Also it means, especially in the past, to search and eradicate any group of female channelers who gathered outside the White Tower law.
The Red has, for millennia, been seeking out men who can channel and gentling them. They do this mostly by detecting the residue of weaves made from saidin. The Ajah eyes-and-ears are specialized to signal all the strange events and other singularities that can be related with an improper use of the One Power.
However, it is unlikely that the Red Ajah's purpose was, particularly when it was originally formed, solely to hunt down male channelers. Rather, the Red Ajah was likely more concerned with misuse of the One Power in general, and Reds travel also in search of wilders or other female channelers (for instance runaways or sent away from the Tower) to check their behaviour.
In doing so probably they find also girls with the spark (or simply the ability to learn to channel) to bring back to the White Tower for training. It should be noted however that Aes Sedai do not specifically search for girls with the ability to channel; rather, they prefer girls come to them asking to be tested, preferably to the Tower itself.
Dueling successfully against some Dreadlords in the Black Tower, Pevara revealed that the Reds are trained specifically to duel against stronger channelers, using any trick to win the fight. Therefore the Reds can often use painful Stunning weaves to overcome stronger channelers.
The Red Ajah and the Blue Ajah have never really been on good terms with each other. This is partly because the only two Amyrlins (until Siuan Sanche) to be officially deposed and stilled were Red, and both were replaced by Blues. The Blue and Red oppose each other very often, as a matter of course; at times, this opposition nearly brings the Hall of the Tower to a standstill.
Also the White Ajah and the Green Ajah do not get along very well with the Reds, so they usually side with the Blue. On the contrary the Red Ajah usually is in good terms with the Gray Ajah and the Yellow Ajah, and the three of them form alliance in the Hall of the Tower. The Brown Ajah instead is usually neutral between this two alliances.
The Ajah has historically forbidden its members to bond Gaidin, though certainly the protection and benefits brought by the Warder bond would be a bonus for any Red, as capturing male channelers is a very dangerous occupation. Indeed, as a newly-raised Red sister, Pevara Tazanovni received a penance for saying she wished she had a Warder, and after becoming a Sitter has openly stated that Warders would make the Red Ajah's job easier. Pevara was later chosen as part of the Red delegation to the Black Tower after the Highest decided that Reds would bond warders in a manner similar to the Green Ajah with the requirement that the Red would only bond men who could channel.
A large part of Red sisters claim they do not trust men, and so could not bear the intimacy and closeness brought by the bond. But many people attribute their lack of Gaidin to a supposed hatred for men, and in fact, it is said that many Red sisters hate all men in general, not just those who can channel. This certainly seems a valid reason to explain their lack of Warders, and may also explain the high prevalence of Red sisters who seem to prefer women sexually.
The only known Amyrlin Seats raised from the Red since the Breaking are Tetsuan, Bonwhin Meraighdin and Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan. All three women have in some way or another allowed their jealousy, pride or anger to almost destroy the White Tower, and in the cases of Tetsuan and Bonwhin, this led them to being two of only three Amyrlins deposed and stilled since the beginning of the Age.
Due to the distrust caused by Bonwhin, for another millennium after her raising there were no Amyrlins raised from the Red. By comparison, in the same amount of time, the Blue Ajah has had eleven sisters raised to the Amyrlin Seat. Because in the election of an Amyrlin Seat is needed the maximum consensus in the Hall (which means unanimity) it can be supposed that eleven times the Red Sitters voted for Blue sisters (or maybe left the Hall), putting away their animosity to the Blues for the good of the White Tower.
Elaida's greed weakened the Tower so, that one third of the Aes Sedai fled Tar Valon and left the Tower defenseless during the Seanchan attack, causing the Amyrlin's kidnapping.
Future for the Red AjahEdit
Now that saidin has been cleansed and the Black Tower has been formed, the Red Ajah's main purpose is unclear. It has been suggested by the Highest, much to their extreme displeasure, that Red sisters should bond Asha'man, to try to control them. Egwene also told Silviana that the misuse of the One Power is still to be castigated.
The current Highest of the Red Ajah is Tsutama Rath, and as such she wields a huge amount of power within the Ajah. The Highest is considered an equal of the Amyrlin herself among the Reds. The former Highest was Galina Casban. Currently the Sitters in the Hall of the Tower for the Red are Barasine, Raechin Connoral and Viria Connoral. Former Red sitters were Pevara Tazanovni, Teslyn Baradon, Duhara Basaheen, Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, Javindhra Doraille, Toveine Gazal, Amira Moselle, Lirene Doirellin and the same Tsutama.
List of Amyrlin Seats from the Red Ajah Edit
Despite being the largest Ajah, the Red only managed to raise three known Amyrlins. These Amyrlins brought the White Tower a bad reputation, which caused the deposition of the first two. The third usurped the Amyrlin Seat and was only acknowledged by one third of the Aes Sedai.
- Tetsuan 5(+8) (Unknown - c. 1200 AB)
- Bonwhin Meraighdin (c. FY 939 - c. FY 992)
- Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan 13(1) (999 NE - 1000 NE)
List of current Red sisters (with saidar strength)Edit
- See also Category:Red Ajah
In the first half of the Saga the Red Ajah is not presented very positively, in fact among the protagonists there are Blue Sisters traditionally rivals to the Reds, and also because the presence of not very nice Red characters (as Elaida, Liandrin and Galina). In the second half of the Saga the Author described it more positively, giving a more complete representation of the Reds and introducing nicer characters as Pevara, Silviana, Tarna and Teslyn.