Causes of dissent
After the Dragon Reborn declared himself in Tear, word reached the White Tower and he was acknowledged in the Hall of the Tower. Nevertheless, schemes were already moving concerning the actions of the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche.
Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, a Sitter for the Red Ajah, had been conspiring with Alviarin Freidhen (among others) about the suitability of Siuan as Amyrlin Seat and some of her questionable actions concerning a man who could channel, never mind the Dragon Reborn.
Once she had gauged her support adequate, Elaida convened a meeting of selected women in the Hall of the Tower. She argued forcefully and persuasively for deposing Siuan Sanche and for herself as Amyrlin. By unanimous vote, her arguments were "legally" carried through the Hall.
The deposing of the formerly Blue Ajah Amyrlin was only the beginning, however. While Elaida did adhere to the law, some saw it as an underhand maneuver and refused to support Elaida as Amyrlin. The motivations for this were both political and personal. Some members of the Blue Ajah (and perhaps others) attempted to free Siuan by force, which led to the outbreak of violence.
Several sisters were killed, as per Min Farshaw's viewing earlier on, and even more Warders. Elaida's side had been bolstered significantly by the presence of mercenary soldiers that she brought in secretly using the Brown Ajah sister, Danelle. Gawyn Trakand, possibly due to his loyalty to Elaida alone, and the Younglings also took part in the fighting against other Warders. It was a bloody start to Elaida's term of office that would taint her position and give many a reason to hate her.
Disasters of the White Tower
The White Tower under Elaida has made a series of mistakes, for a number of reasons. A list of some of the mistakes/disasters are listed below:
- Battle of Dumai's Wells
- Attack on the Black Tower
- Proclamation that no one can contact the Dragon Reborn save through the White Tower
- Banning the Blue Ajah
- Creating strife between the Ajahs
- Punishing Sitters with manual labor
- Trying to force sisters to make the names of the Ajah Heads known to the Amyrlin
- Creating her own personal palace
- Isolating herself at the top of the Tower
One thing that should not be forgotten is the influence Padan Fain may or may not have had on Elaida's attitude and style of governance. In Fain's words:
—Lord of Chaos, Chapter 28
His other main victim is Pedron Niall, who certainly had hatched his own plots for world domination. Elaida's outlook was certainly more paranoid shortly after she became Amyrlin and her actions before never seemed to be outright evil, dislikable though she may be.
Alviarin Freidhen was initially Elaida's Keeper of the Chronicles, but she was also Black Ajah and used her position to advance the aims of the Shadow while Elaida remained oblivious. The Black knew every order before Elaida made it. Alviarin also kept back vital information from Elaida and used knowledge of the Ajah Heads to spread chaos and disunity in the Tower. It is also said that Alviarin had more influence than any Keeper had in history, not least with the Hall of the Tower - non-Black sisters as well as Black ones.
Later on, however, Alviarin used the knowledge of the disasters at Dumai's Wells and the Black Tower to blackmail Elaida into signing anything that she proposed Elaida sign and even had Elaida recite a catechism that Elaida should only speak and act as Alviarin decided. This hold proved to be only temporary, however, as Elaida had the Hall removed Alviarin from her position as Keeper and replaced her with Tarna Feir after the Hall learned of Dumai's Wells and blamed Galina Casban for the disaster.
Elaida's competence in general has been brought into question because of her disastrous term in office and the circumstances under which she became Amyrlin. She is forceful and bossy, though it has been noted that other Amyrlins have been worse and still remained successful. Nevertheless, aside from the influences of Fain and the Shadow, Elaida was the one in charge and let things slide. Her stubbornness is not something that is useful in times where change is being thrust upon the aging institutions of the Westlands. She also let her own pride trap her into succumbing to Alviarin's blackmail and did as Alviarin bid her, knowing the disruption that it would cause. This may be Elaida's greatest failing.
Sisters loyal to Elaida's White Tower
All Blues left the White Tower, while all Reds continued supporting it under the leadership of Elaida. Min suggested that most Greens left the Tower as well, but not all of them joined the rebels, in fact many remained Unaligned sisters like Cadsuane or Merise. The same for the remaining four Ajah, with roughly one third of each supporting Elaida, one third supporting the rebels and one third unaligned.
Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan- Amyrlin Seat
- Tsutama Rath - Highest, former Sitter
- Tarna Feir - Keeper
- Pevara Tazanovni - Sitter
- Javindhra Doraille - Sitter
- Duhara Basaheen - Sitter
- Silviana Brehon - Mistress of Novices
- Galina Casban - Former Highest
- Teslyn Baradon - Former Sitter
- Toveine Gazal - Former Sitter
- Lirene Doirellin - Former Sitter
- Covarla Baldene
- Sashalle Anderly
- Katerine Alruddin
- Vayelle Kamsa
- Chisaine Nurbaya
- Innina Darenhold
- Janine Pavlara
- Joline Maza - Former Sitter
- Jala Bandevin
- Irgain Fatamed
- Beldeine Nyram
- Erian Boroleos
- Elza Penfell
- Nesune Bihara
- Bennae Nalsad
- Doraise Mesianos
- Elin Warrel
- Marris Thornhill
- Felaana Bevaine
- Norine Dovarna
- Alviarin Freidhen - Former Keeper
- Ayako Norsoni
- Sarene Nemdahl