He is portrayed as having knobby shoulders and a narrow, pinched face with a disapproving mouth. He is small and nervous, often described as a "dried-up stick of a man." He has a scratchy voice, and dry-washes his hands when he feels insulted.
With the Whitecloaks
Despite not seeming to share their politics, Balwer worked diligently under Niall and the Whitecloaks from their base of operations, the Fortress of the Light. He was one of the few men Niall trusted, yet despite his role as spymaster, he was not the only source of information to Niall, a fact that irritated Balwer to some degree.
Escape from the Seanchan
Following Niall's murder and Valda's subsequent mistreatment of the captive Queen Morgase, the Seanchan invasion of Amador gives Balwer the opportunity to escape the Fortress, taking Morgase and the rest of her party with him. When the party are accosted by Dragonsworn, they have the good fortune to be rescued by Perrin Aybara and his forces. Balwer offers service to Perrin as secretary to him and his wife; the rest of the party contrive to conceal Morgase's identity and also offer service.
Service with Perrin
Balwer's skills aid Perrin a number of times; he provides and interprets information on the Seanchan and the Whitecloaks, uncovering news of King Ailron's defeat to the Seanchan at Jeramel, and of Valda and the Whitecloaks' escape and flight east. Balwer proves useful in Perrin's dealings with the Prophet Masema, when Perrin leads a delegation to meet with and pass on instructions to the Prophet from Rand al'Thor.
During his time with Perrin, Balwer develops an increasing depth of loyalty to Faile. When she and the others of Perrin's party are kidnapped by the Shaido he disappears briefly, but works tirelessly to discover any and all information that may aid Perrin in her retrieval. He forms Faile's Cairheinin followers into a more organized spying network, keeping tabs on Masema's possible dealings with the Whitecloaks and Seanchan.
Re-organizing Cha Faile
When Balwer, with Perrin, reaches So Habor he leaves the party claiming a meeting with an acquaintance, taking Latian and Medore Damara with him. They stay behind in the town when the acquaintance doesn't arrive, and return to Perrin's camp four days later, bringing Martyn Tallanvor with them.
It is Balwer who first reports to Perrin that Aram is spending more and more time with Masema, foreshadowing Aram's subsequent behavior. He is also instrumental in the preparations for Perrin's assault on the Shaido camp, having scouted Almizar with Medore prior to the use of the Malden aqueduct to deliver forkroot-dosed water to the Aiel. He is present at the meeting with Perrin and Tylee Khirgan, who is informing Perrin on a rebellious group of Whitecloaks moving north not too far from camp, when the Pattern ripples. He seems to hold Galad Damodred in high regard. Balwer remains in Perrin's camp with Berelain during the battle itself.
After the battle, Balwer is sent to question the captive Aiel. He manages to find out how the Aiel were tricked by one of the Forsaken and scattered across the continent. He expresses disappointment that he didn't get a chance to question any of the Shaido Wise Ones, and asks Perrin to either give him access to one of them, or to send word to Tylee to ask his questions of them, but Perrin denies these requests.
After leaving Malden he attends a meeting with Perrin to decide where the army should now go. He decides to accompany a scouting force that is sent to Cairhien where he will investigate the School there. He then returns to Perrin with his findings, that Rand has tried to make peace with the Seanchan and that a number of low-lives are carrying pictures of him and Mat.
Under new management
- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 9
- A Crown of Swords, Prologue
- Breane, Lini, Basel Gill, Lamgwin and Tallanvor
- A Crown of Swords, Chapter 26
- The Path of Daggers, Chapter 7
- The Path of Daggers, Chapter 8
- The Path of Daggers, Chapter 9
- Winter's Heart, Chapter 1
- Perrin, Neald, Grady, Balwer, Aram, Elyas, Wise One Edarra, the three Aes Sedai Carelle, Masuri and Seonid and their Warders.
- The Path of Daggers, Chapter 30
- Winter's Heart, Chapter 2
- Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 5
- Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 26
- Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 27
- Knife of Dreams, Chapter 4
- Knife of Dreams, Chapter 12
- Knife of Dreams, Chapter 29