Shadar Logoth, (Old Tongue: Place Where the Shadow Waits, or simply The Shadow's Waiting, pronounced: SHAH-dahr LOH-goth), was once Aridhol, a great city which destroyed itself during the Trolloc Wars by becoming as dark and evil as the Shadow against which it fought. Now Mashadar, a shapeless evil which manifests as a pale white fog, haunts the city. Shadowspawn will only enter at great compulsion, as Mashadar is drawn to things of the Shadow like the attraction between opposite poles of a magnet. The city is lethal to all who enter, however; any who take even a pebble will be tainted by that evil, and will eventually spread it like an illness. It is said Shadar Logoth is dangerous under daylight, but deadly at night.
Shadar Logoth is located a fairly short ride away from the town of Baerlon in western Andor. It is located north and east of the town across hilly country, on the southern banks of the River Arinelle. Despite its relative proximity to an inhabited settlement, Shadar Logoth is avoided by everyone bar only river traders sailing the Arinelle from Saldaea to Illian, and even they try to avoid mooring near the ruins unless the need is great.
The creation of Mashadar
Aridhol was the capital of the nation of the same name during the Trolloc Wars. The city and the nation fought valiantly against the forces of the Shadow but the king at the time, Balwen Mayel, was doubtful of the Light's hopes of victory and fell into despair. A mysterious man named Mordeth came to the city at some point during the war and won the king's favour, becoming his most trusted counselor. Mordeth advised that the city withdraw in on itself and that they had to become harder, become as cruel and merciless as their enemies. Corrupted by Mordeth's influence and the King's will, the people changed their battlecry to, "The victory of the Light is all," reflecting the zeal they devoted to the fight against the Shadow to the exclusion of all else, and they uttered it more frequently as their deeds became worse and worse. It soon came to be that the people had become so dark and feared that many would prefer to see the arrival of Trollocs than soldiers from Aridhol.
This descent into darkness continued, and their zeal led to people becoming mistrusting of one another, with families and friends turning on one another for unfounded suspicions. Eventually every man, woman, and child of Aridhol slew each other in a single night. In their demise, they left the vileness of their deeds behind in the very foundations of the city and Mashadar was born, an evil almost as great as the Shadow itself.
In the latter days of the Trolloc Wars, a Shadow army - Trollocs, Dreadlords, Darkfriends, and Myrddraal - camped in the ruins of Aridhol. The next day, they did not come out. Men were sent to find out what had occurred. They found pieces of weaponry and armor, and walls streaked with blood and pleas to the Dark One to save them written in blood in the Trolloc tongue. When they later returned, they found nothing. All the walls had been scoured clean, and the weapons and armor were gone.
After the revealing of Mashadar, men named the city Shadar Logoth, the "Place where the Shadow Waits."
Recent history and events
After the fall of Aridhol, the city fell into ruin and by recent times most of the once-magnificent buildings were derelict and decayed, albeit still retaining a degree of their former grandeur. It was a place that was avoided by merchants and travelers whenever possible. Any who entered in the daylight felt unseen eyes on them, and at night Mashadar emerged, killing most people who were still there. In addition, the advisor Mordeth had survived the fall of Aridhol somehow, and he wandered the streets waiting for people to come to him. When they did, he would try and lure them into accompanying him to the borders of the city so he could devour their soul and walk the earth once more in their body. He succeeded in a way in 998 NE when he fused with Padan Fain, although Fain's soul was too corrupted for him to destroy completely, and what resulted was a twisted fusion of both men that was completely and utterly insane and extremely dangerous.
Rand al'Thor and others camped in Shadar Logoth in 998 NE to avoid a Trolloc force pursuing them, an ill-fated series of events which led to the group being split up and Mat Cauthon being poisoned by a dagger he had unwittingly taken from a treasure room in the city. It was their presence that compelled Padan Fain to enter the city and thus led to his combining with Mordeth.
In 1000 NE, Rand al'Thor used Shadar Logoth to cleanse saidin, by siphoning the taint into the city with a weave of saidar, causing Mashadar and the taint to annihilate each other. The enormous amount of the One Power that was needed to do this acted as a beacon for every channeler in the Westlands, attracting many unwanted eyes and causing a battle between Rand's allies and the Forsaken. The city was completely destroyed by this and all that now remains of Shadar Logoth is a great hole in the ground in a perfect hemispherical shape, which may become a lake in the future.
A fan made soundtrack of the escape from Shadar Logoth has been made. It features the heroes' entrance of the abandoned city as well as their escape from it. Follow the link to listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7ExGmUV8gk