The Battle of Malden was fought in early 1000 NE, in and around the town of Malden in central-western Altara[1][2]. It was a major conflict involving tens of thousands of troops from nine different nations fighting against the Shaido Aiel who were massing in the region, posing a significant danger to both the inhabitants and the Seanchan, who had taken most of the territory to the south. It is highly significant as the first major engagement where the Seanchan had to fight alongside native Westland forces against a common foe, and where damane were employed alongside non-leashed channelers, including Aiel Wise Ones, Aes Sedai and Asha'man, a state of affairs that previously would have been considered unthinkable.


After being defeated at the Battle of Dumai's Wells, the Shaido retreated into Kinslayer's Dagger. Sevanna, acting for the clan chief, accepted aid from two local nobles (in reality the Forsaken Graendal and Sammael) in the form of ter'angreal called "Traveling Boxes," which would supposedly carry the Shaido to new, rich lands to conquer. In reality, the devices did nothing; Sammael used saidin to create gateways which scattered the Shaido across much of the south and west of the continent, some bands ending up as far west as Tarabon or as far south as Illian.

Sevanna's group, which included all 400-odd of the clan's Wise Ones, found itself in northern Amadicia. Sevanna had perverted much of ji'e'toh and now found herself with a taste for taking wetlanders as gai'shain in defiance of all tradition. With the Seanchan invasion troops advancing from Amador in the south and with the forces of the Dragonsworn under the Prophet of the Dragon to the north, plus the Children of the Light also in the area, Sevanna elected to withdraw across the River Eldar into Altara. After some days or weeks of travel, the Shaido found and took the small city of Malden. With fresh water being brought into the city by an aqueduct and food plentiful in the region, Sevanna elected to wait out the rest of winter in Malden and gather as many other Shaido septs to her as possible.

By the time spring arrived, the Shaido had amassed over 100,000 people in and around Malden, presenting a significant threat to the Seanchan who had seized Ebou Dar to the south and were now attempting to secure the rest of Altara. The senior Seanchan officers in Ebou Dar - presumably either High Lady Suroth Sabelle Meldarath or Captain General Lunal Galgan - ordered Banner-General Tylee Khirgan to locate and destroy the Shaido forces at any cost.

At the same time, Perrin Aybara had been sent to Ghealdan by Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, to neutralize the Prophet of the Dragon, Masema Dagar. Perrin tracked Masema to the Amadician town of Abila, but whilst negotiating with him there the Shaido swept past Perrin's camp and took his wife Faile prisoner. Perrin pursued the Shaido across the Eldar and into Altara, but found Malden far too heavily defended for his small force to have a chance of winning the battle, forcing a rethink of strategy.

Battle plans

With both Perrin and the Seanchan seeking the destruction of the Shaido, he decided to put aside misgivings and suggest an alliance with Tylee's forces. Although the prospect of working alongside marath'damane was highly troubling to the Seanchan, the opportunity presented to destroy the Shaido and take their Wise Ones as damane was deemed worth the danger. The deal struck between the two sides was that the Seanchan would be able to take any and all Shaido Wise Ones as damane and destroy their algai'd'siswai who refused to surrender, while their gai'shain prisoners would be released. Channelers among the gai'shain would be allowed to go free, and the Seanchan would also promise not to leash the channelers with Perrin's forces.

The Battle of Malden

The Seanchan poured large quantities of forkroot, a drug that inhibited channeling, into the aqueduct at Malden. This incapacitated most of the Shaido Wise Ones. A wall of fog was created to cover Perrin's forces on the ridge above Malden, and his troops drew the Shaido spear-carriers out of the city. The Shaido also sent a flanking force to try and surround Perrin's troops. Using sustained missile fire from their bowmen, Perrin's forces inflicted terrible damage upon the Shaido, whilst his channelers were able to affect even more destruction on the Shaido ranks. The Seanchan then took the Shaido flanking force in the rear and side, and enveloped their forces, destroying some of them and forcing them to surrender. Perrin led a personal sortie into Malden and was able to rescue his wife and several other prisoners.

Shaido forces

  • 100,000 Shaido led by Sevanna of the Jumai sept.
  • 400+ Wise Ones capable of channeling, led by Therava.
  • 25-30,000 other Aiel forces (presumed to be Shaido) to the west of Malden.
  • 40,000 other Aiel forces (presumed to be Shaido) to the east of Malden.

Allied forces


  • 400 Shaido Wise Ones taken as damane.
  • Other Shaido casualties unknown but likely tens of thousands killed or captured.
  • Approximately 19,800 Dragonsworn killed.
  • Total casualties among the other Allies: approximately 100 killed.
Perrin's axe

Perrin throws away his axe in disgust, after cutting off the hand of a Shaido prisoner.


Approximately 15-20 of the Shaido Wise Ones and an unknown number of other combatants (likely several hundred) and non-combatants escaped the battle. Unified under the command of Therava, these Shaido decided to return to the Aiel Waste as soon as possible. They freed their remaining gai'shain with the sole exception of Galina Casban, whom Therava chose to make her personal slave for life following her botched escape attempt.

Tylee Khirgan was commended on her initiative in the field and raised to the rank of Lieutenant-General and to the Low Blood.


  1. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 29
  2. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 30
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