Sheriam revealed to Egwene during her Accepted Testing that the last known Turning occured during the Trolloc Wars. The fact that channelers can be Turned is a secret closely guarded by the White Tower, to prevent an even greater mistrust of Aes Sedai among the common people.
Until recently, this technique had no official name. Many of the fans referred to it as the "13x13 trick."
In order to perform the technique, the Shadow needs to gather thirteen Myrddraal and thirteen Dreadlords in one place. The victim of Turning must also be able to channel, it is not possible if the individual is under the influence of Forkroot or if they have been subjected to Stilling or Gentling. When the channelers attempting to turn someone are the opposite sex as the victim, the Turning becomes harder to resist.
Process and effects
Thirteen Dreadlords channel using thirteen Myrddraal as a filter. The combination of saidar or saidin, mixed with the Myrddraal's power, which is derived from the True Power, is able to shift the allegiance of any channeler to the Shadow against their will.
The process twists the person so that any previous commitment to the Light is redirected towards the Shadow. The stronger a person's conviction to fight for Light is the more dedicated they will be to fighting for the Shadow. As shown by Androl Genhald's manipulation of Evin Vinchova, while Turning makes the victim more susceptible to the Shadow, elements of their personalities remain the same, such as insanity from Saidin.
Individuals who have been subjected to Turning are said to have a darkness or soullessness behind their eyes. They retain all of their old memories, mannerisms, personality, and failings but it is as if an evil shade has replaced the person's soul. It is rumored that Turning leaves the person soulless. Lanfear complains that Turned are robbed of creativity and initiative. She also says that some believe Turned to be possessed by some shadow monstrosity.
It is possible to fight Turning. A strong-willed individual may resist it though this comes at a heavy emotional price. In the case of Algarin, he was "reduced to a whimpering wreck after two sessions." Additionally, Logain, who was subjected to close to a dozen attempts, found himself thinking darker thoughts and wondered if they had "broken" something inside of him even though he was not turned.
Locations of Turning
Before the founding of the Black Tower, the only known place where Turning occurred was in The Town. The Shadow took advantage of the Aiel custom of sending men who could channel into the Blight to 'spit in the Dark One's eye' to capture and turn many of those sent North. The allowed the Shadow to create an unknown group of channelers loyal to the Dark One. Even after the cleansing of saidin Slayer identified a procession bringing in another captured Aiel.
The Black Tower is the other major location where Turning occurs. The Shadow, in an attempt to deny the forces of the light additional channelers, had Taim begin the process of converting individuals into Darkfriends willingly or unwillingly. Both the Asha'man and the Aes Sedai residing in the Black Tower have been targeted, with individuals being okay in the morning and "changed" in the evening.
- Aes Sedai
- All Samma N'Sei not born in The Town