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Characters: The Wheel Of Time The Black Tower
A relatively recent organization of male channelers known as Asha'man co-led by Mazrim Taim, Logain Ablar, and Rand al'Thor. Serves as the Spear Counterpart
to the White Tower, and uses the polar opposite philosophies. Due to the rather unpleasant
reputation of male channelers, this idea is met with less than great praise, but they serve to fight much more readily and with less constraints than the Aes Sedai.
- Almighty Janitor: Due to their training, even a "Soldier" is a very serious threat.
- Badass Army: How Rand first intends for them to help him, hence why he made the organization with "Soldier" as the lowest rank.
- Badass Longcoat: All members of the Asha'man wear long black overcoats.
- Blessed with Suck: Saidin and its Taint are rather horrible ways to die, and inevitable for male channelers. That is, until the end of Book 9, and less as of Book 13, with Nynaeve's discovery of the anti-taint madness weave.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: An unknown number of them were turned to a forced Face-Heel Turn by Taim by using the "thirteen channelers through thirteen Myrdraal" trick.
- The Dreaded: A quote from the RPG mentions that "The Order of Asha'man represent something feared since the Breaking of the World-an organised brotherhood of men who can channel."
- This attitude is starting to change with the beginning of the Fourth Age, although it is acknowledge by certain characters that this will take some time.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: At least to the rest of the world. Or rather, from nightmare to even worse nightmare.
- Human Weapon: Rand created the tower for the express purpose of creating weapons for the Last Battle.
- I Am Not a Gun: Rand's last order to the Asha'man is to think of themselves not as weapons, but as men.
- Last Name Basis: Almost every single one of them is referred to by last name almost exclusively aside from within the Black Tower itself. One notable exception is Logain.
- Magic Knight: They are all trained in both swordsmanship and the Power, and are explicitly referred to as soldiers.
- Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: Their use of the power is so alien to Aes Sedai that it is impossible to teach one gender how the other uses it effectively.
- Mundane Utility: People in the Black Tower are told to use their channeling for anything and everything so as to train themselves at all times, as opposed to Aes Sedai who only use channeling when they need to and are punished for using it without permission before being raised to the shawl.
- Person of Mass Destruction: An organization of them. See the Battle of Dumai's Wells for a specific example.
- The Unfettered: Unlike the White Tower. Asha'man have none of the moral constraints of Aes Sedai except their own compunctions, leading them to be able to perform weaves that Aes Sedai never would, such as a Ludicrous Gibs maker and Aligning the Matrix to make Power-wrought weaponry.
- Spear Counterpart: To the White Tower. They even have their own three-rank system (Soldier—>Dedicated—>Asha'man), just as the Aes Sedai have their own (Novice—>Accepted—>Aes Sedai).
- Training from Hell: Trainees are pushed relentlessly to develop their power, so their attrition rate is much higher than the more forgiving White Tower. Justified in that the Tower was founded with the knowledge that the Last Battle was coming soon.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: And they're the good guys! ...mostly.
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Mazrim Taim, M'Hael of the Asha'man
A "False Dragon", Taim once declared himself the Dragon Reborn as a publicity stunt. Obviously, he's not, but that didn't stop the chaos. Unlike most False Dragons, Taim can actually channel (and very strongly too), and escaped soon after he was captured by Aes Sedai (which is more than can be said for Logain Ablar). He unexpectedly shows up in Book 6 (though he had been The Ghost
since Book 2) and is placed in command of Rand's personal Wizarding School
, "The Black Tower," where male channelers train to become Asha'man
and fight in The Last Battle. Rand trusts him to do this, which is unfortunate, because Taim quite obviously has his own agenda
. He's actually a Darkfriend recruited by Demandred and sent to undermine Rand's efforts at organizing male channelers; he ended up bringing enough new Dreadlords to the Last Battle that it got him a promotion to the Forsaken under the name M'Hael
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: He is officially named M'Hael by the Dark One in the prologue for Book 14, and joins the ranks of the Forsaken.
- Badass: A prominent ex-False Dragon, and the only one who was never gentled. The Ludicrous Gibs weave at Dumai's Wells was his idea, though he doesn't get much of a chance to show off in person until the last book. He's the only Third Ager judged worthy of joining the Forsaken, on top of that.
- Big Damn Heroes: He arrives at Dumai's Wells with 200 recruits just in time to save Rand from 40,000 angry Shaido warriors, leading to...
- Combat Pragmatist: "Asha'man: kill."
- Dark Messiah: The most powerful and dangerous False Dragon who ever lived.
- Devil in Plain Sight: He's a boundlessly ambitious military commander who's been channeling for a decade with no sign of madness, who resents the Dragon, and whose subordinates avoid speaking his name, preferring instead to refer to him by a vaguely ominous-sounding word in the Old Tongue. Logain seems to be the only person to see any danger signs in this. However, A Memory of Light shows that most of the Asha'man who weren't his cronies began to suspect he was up to no good; he used a dreamspike to keep anyone from Travelling to or from the Black Tower and catching on, and then used Myrddraal to help Turn those who still resisted him.
- Even before he started showing his true colors, the voice of Lews Therin in Rand's head screams to kill him whenever Taim is around. Unfortunately, Rand ignores this.
- The Dragon: Spends most of the Last Battle acting as this for Demandred.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: The Dark One names him a member of the Chosen in the prologue to Book 14, with the Last Battle imminent, for his services with regards to the Black Tower.
- Evil Counterpart: To Logain.
- Just the First Citizen: M'Hael just means "leader" in the Old Tongue, which doesn't sound very impressive as a title- until you consider that without specifications, the word M'Hael by itself implies that he leads everyone and everything. Führer also means leader in German.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Meaningful Rename: Originally, M'Hael was just his title. After he became a Forsaken, it became his name.
- In a more meta-sense, M'Hael sounds somewhat like Michael, as in the Archangel Michael who cast Lucifer from Heaven on the orders of God. Rand is Lews Therin reborn, whose name and reputation are reminiscent of Lucifer. So he's a perversion of the Biblical story with Michael cast as the Devil, as Taim tries to expel Rand from the Tower in the service of the resident God of Evil; Rand's naïve trust in Taim evokes Lucifer being able to fool both Michael and God that he was a good guy until the 11th hour too. For bonus points, one of the other names for Lucifer / Satan is The Dragon.
- The Mole: For the Shadow. He was so good at it he got promoted to the Forsaken.
- Power Levels: Almost as strong as Rand in the Power.
- Putting on the Reich: Assigns titles blatantly stolen from the Germans. His own title - M'Hael - means leader; however his use of it as an unqualified title actually translates more to "Führer".
- The Resenter: Fulfills exactly the same role towards Rand that Demandred did towards Lews Therin Telamon
- Red Herring: Taim is introduced in the same book as Demandred, only a few chapters after Demandred gets an important task from the Dark One. When he and Rand come face to face for the first time, Lews Therin starts screaming about killing the Forsaken in Rand's head. At the end of the book, after Taim plays an integral part in the climax, Demandred is lauded for the success of his plan by the Dark One. The two also have a physical resemblance, most obviously in their hooked noses. Despite the hints, Robert Jordan confirmed that Taim is not Demandred in disguise, one of the very few times he ever Jossed something. This is confirmed in the prologue for Book 14, where both Demandred and Taim are present in the same scene. In perhaps a shout-out to the "Taimandred" theory, Demandred is revealed to have been the one who recruited him for the Shadow.
- Shadow Archetype: To both Logain and Rand.
- The Starscream: Even though Rand is not the Big Bad though it's later revealed that Taim is working for the Big Bad, and not just for his own ambitions. He plots to pull a more traditional version on Demandred- including getting smacked down handily for his troubles.
- Taken for Granite: Turned to crystal by Egwene during the Last Battle.
False Dragon at the same time as Mazrim Taim, he appears early on in the series, when Rand sees him being paraded through Caemlyn. Also an extremely powerful channeler, second only to Taim and Rand himself. He later reappears every now and then, as a supremely depressed individual focused only on revenge against the Red Ajah. Then he got his mojo back and leads one of the two factions of the Black Tower.
- The Ace: One of the most powerful male channelers alive, led a nearly successful campaign as a false Dragon, cunning, can see Ta'veren, and commands his own faction within the Black Tower.
- Broken Ace: After being Gentled. He recovers from it before joining the Asha'man. In AMoL: after being captured by Taim, tortured and subjected to the 13x13 trick (which failed to Turn him), he becomes a bit unhinged and obsessed with gaining power. He gets better.
- Badass: As a prominent channeling ex-False Dragon, he'd have to be.
- In AMoL he is one of the four people to take on a sa'angreal-wielding Demandred, and despite losing, gets away the most unscathed.
- Four-Star Badass: A skilled military commander and one of Rand's right hand men.
- Blue Blood: A minor lordling from Ghealdan. He had his estate confiscated after he proclaimed himself The Dragon Reborn.
- Bookends: In Logain's first appearance, the people of Caemlyn look at him in awe, and in his final appearance, the Caemlyn refugees look at him in awe. The difference is that the first time, the people are terrified of his power, but the second time, they are grateful for having been rescued from Trollocs. See What You Are in the Dark below.
- Brainwash Residue: He didn't actually get Turned to the Shadow, but he came away with some serious PTSD.
- Cassandra Truth: The very first time he meets Rand, Logain tells him that Taim has his own agenda. Rand really should have listened...
- Determinator: Resists being Turned to the Shadow through sheer force of will, though it was explicitly noted that he wouldn't be able to last much longer.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Was the last False Dragon to be gentled by the White Tower.
- Almost suffered the fate of being Turned to the Shadow.
- A Father to His Men: Implied. In contrast to Rand who founded the Black Tower and then left it to its own devices, and Taim who is a brutal disciplinarian (and also evil) Logain clearly has the interests of his fellow Asha'man in mind, and they respect him greatly for it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Through much the Last Battle, but his decision to save Camelyn's refugees over taking Demandred's Amplifier Artifact cements it. It could be a sign of madness hitting him, or PTSD.
- Jumped at the Call: Genuinely believed he was the Dragon Reborn and was punished for it.
"This is our war", Mat snapped. "Every one of us".
"I stood forth to fight", Logain said. "And what was my reward? Ask the Red Ajah. They will tell you the reward of a man abused of the Pattern". He barked a laugh. "The Pattern demanded a Dragon! And so I came! Too soon. Just a little too soon".
- Missed the Call: Laments the fact that he was "too early" to be the Dragon Reborn, though acknowledges that he wouldn't want that burden anyway.
- Morality Pet: Gabrelle ends up as his.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When he leads the rescue of the Caemlyn refugees during the Last Battle
- Only Sane Man: Ironic, considering the taint, but up until he gets some allies in the Black Tower and Rand has his epiphany on Dragonmount, Logain is the only one who sees anything wrong with Taim.
- Put on a Bus: Logain was mentioned in passing at the beginning of The Gathering Storm, and is completely absent from Towers of Midnight. Turns out he got abducted by Taim and was being tortured.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Not that any of the characters are attracted to him, except Gabrelle.
- Took a Level in Badass: More accurately, retook one after Nynaeve ungentled him by accident.
- He's Back: In-universe, not that that proves to be much of a problem.
- Took a Level in Cynic: After almost being turned by the 13x13 trick.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Slowly beginning to recognize this especially after his fight with Demandred.
- Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to talk about anything Logain does after book four and especially after book six without spoiling some key plot twists.
- What You Are in the Dark: Near the climax of the Last Battle, he's given two choices. He can keep searching for the nearby Amplifier Artifact he thinks he needs to gain dominance after the war is over. Or he can lead his remaining forces to save hundreds of refugees from being slaughtered. He chooses the latter, and eventually discovers that the love and loyalty of the people are a way to power too.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He gets a serious dressing down from Rand after he and his followers forcibly bond the fifty-one Aes Sedai sent to gentle and hang the Black Tower Asha'man.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: His final scene in the series.
A Dedicated who works with Perrin, Grady is one of the most prominent lower Asha'man in the series.
A Soldier that works with Perrin and previously served as one of Rand's bodyguards.
- Badass Mustache: A very small one he waxes to form points.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Both he and Grady spend most of their time providing gateways for Perrin's army.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: In a sense. He assists Perrin in forging the first power-wrought weapon in over two thousand years by instinctively Aligning the Matrix.
An elderly Asha'man that travels with Rand's party, and one of the first to reach the rank of Asha'man.
- After-Action Healing Drama: See 'The Medic' entry.
- An Arm and a Leg: Type 3. His left arm is burned off in battle in Book 14.
- Badass: One of the first men to join the Black Tower, and one of the first to reach Asha'man rank.
- Badass Grandpa: At the cleansing of the Taint on saidin, he leads a circle and drives away Demandred.
- Retired Badass: Retired from the the Queen's Guard of Andor after forty years of service.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: Chosen for this duty after Dumai's Wells, and later chosen by Rand as one of only three Asha'man he believes he can trust.
- Jumped at the Call: One of the first men to answer, and the first to be tested.
- Last Name Basis: For the most part, Rand refers to the Asha'man impersonally by last names.
- Let's Get Dangerous: At the end of Book 9, upon seeing Flinn while Rand is trying to cleanse saidin, Demandred thinks 'it's just an old guy with a woman, easy meat'. Then Flinn blasts him with fire on sight.
- The Medic: Joined the Black Tower so that he could learn to heal. He's quite good at it, to the point where he saves Rand from a wound caused by the Shadar Logoth dagger (though, like everyone else, he can't heal the scars), and discovers the saidin cure for severing.
A young Arafellin man recruited by Mazrim Taim to join the Black Tower, and becomes a personal bodyguard of Rand.
- Almighty Janitor: Specifically gets mocked by a couple of full Asha'man for only being a Soldier and yet being appointed to Rand's bodyguard and various missions.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: Chosen after Dumai's Wells, and one of the three to go to protect Rand when he cleanses saidin.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Or his giant pretty eyes do.
- Last Name Basis: For Rand, like all Asha'man except Logain.
- Psychic Link: Bonded by the Aes Sedai Merise as her Warder.
- Underestimating Badassery: Despite the mockery directed at him, he is somehow able to survive the "additions" that had been made to the wards Rand set around Callandor when he was sent to fetch it.note The fact that a line of prophecy in the Karaethon Cycle even implies that his having drawn Callandor gives him a special destiny ("who draws it out shall follow after") also suggests there is more to him than it seems on the surface.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: At least a little wide-eyed and surprised at the thought of Taim poisoning the Asha'man who go insane and full of idealistic optimism about Rand's plan to cleanse saidin.
A Dedicated loyal to Logain at the Black Tower. Despite being incredibly weak in the Power, he has a Talent with Gateways. He reluctantly adopts a leadership position over some of the men loyal to Logain while Logain was away from the Tower.
- Battle Couple: With Pevara during the Last Battle due to their growing affection over the course of Book 14.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When pushed far enough. All those fancy weaves of Fire and Air that the other channelers use? He can open Gateways to not only block projectiles, but send them back. If that doesn't kill the enemy, he can turn the floor into a giant portal and send his foes plummeting hundreds of feet to their deaths. He even gets a One-Hit Kill on a Myrddraal by using a portal as a floating guillotine. And that's just under his own power, give him control of a circle and he'll open several massive gates straight into the heart of a volcano and hose down an army with high pressure magma using a Gateway inside of Dragonmount.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Androl was many, many things before he found a place to belong in the Black Tower.
- Guile Hero: Shows shades of this throughout A Memory of Light, especially in the way he steals the Dark One's Seals from Taim.
- Impersonation Gambit: How he obtains the Dark One's Seals.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: His fellow Asha'man make fun of him because he's only good for gateways (his nickname is 'pageboy' since gateways are frequently used to send messengers). He is one of two in the entire series who can deflect balefire directly in the real world, by redirecting it via mini-gateways. Everyone else either dodges balefire or dies. He also defeated an entire Trolloc army in a matter of minutes, a feat topped only by Rand himself.
- Indy Ploy: How he steals the Dark One's Seals from Taim. He uses a spell to change his face to look like one of Taim's lackeys and quietly infiltrate the group, only to be noticed immediately. Taim decide to send said lackey to infiltrate the good guy's group by changing his face to look like Androl's. Androl humbly obeys Taim's orders, but not before pickpocketing the Seals.
- "Jump Off a Cliff" Rebuttal: Pevara tries to pull one on him. It doesn't work, because Androl has actually jumped off cliffs with the Sea Folk before.
- Let's Get Dangerous: He seems an unlikely hero, until he finally steps up as a leader when he learns Logain has been captured by Taim. He never gives up, even when he and the rest of his group are caught and on verge of being Turned. Once he regains his ability to use Gateways, he promptly wipes out a whole group of Darkfriends and sends Taim running.
- Mundane Utility: He often uses mini-gateways for mundane tasks. He summons a tiny gateway between his fingers that connects directly to his piled stash of tea leaves: the leaves fall through the gateaway and directly into a tea cup. This is as close as the series gets to summoning food via the Power.
- Mysterious Past: Has done a lot of stuff before joining the Black Tower, but doesn't like to talk about it.
- Noodle Incident: Androl tried to play the Game of Houses in the past. And that's all he will say on the subject.
- Psychic Link: In Book 14, he and Pevara bond each other as Warders, resulting in a far closer bond than other Warders, to the point of being able to have telepathic communication.
- Mindlink Mates: They grow to have some degree of love for one another over the course of Book 14.
- Teleporters and Transporters: He has an extreme Talent for creating gateways, and uses them for a small Portal Cut to shear leatherwork alongside many other uses.
- Underestimating Badassery: None of the Darkfriends consider him as a threat because he - as even he himself admits - is the weakest man at the Black Tower. However, he has very creative and deadly uses for his Talent with Gateways.
- Undying Loyalty: To Logain, not to Rand.
- Weak, but Skilled: There is no one deadlier with Gateways than him, but he is the absolute weakest user of saidin in the Black Tower.
- Weaponized Teleportation: Uses his gateways for such methods as Attack Reflector, Tele-Frag, and Lava Adds Awesome. The fact that the portals are lethal weapons in themselves by way of Portal Cut is almost unnecessary, though he does use them this way as well, such as decapitating a Myrddraal in midair.