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"The Covenant was the Aiel, and the Aiel were the Covenant; to abandone the Way would be to abandon what they were."
   — From the memories of Jonai, ancestor of Rand al'Thor


"Rand's feet moved of their own accord. Forward. And back in time."


When Rand enters the glassforest ter'angreal of Rhuidean he learns the history of the Aiel through his own ancestors' eyes.

Ancestry of Rand al'Thor

Charn ↠ ? ↠ ? ↠ CouminJonaiAdanMarindLewinJeordam ↠ ? ↠ Rhodric ↠ ? ↠ Comran ↠ ? ↠ ? ↠ Mandein ↠ ... ↠ JanduinRand al'Thor

First vision

The Aiel settle in the Aiel Waste

Rand is Mandein, great-grandson of Comran

"Separateness faded; acceptance came. He was Mandein." [1]

Mandein is at the age forty, a young sept chief at the half-built Rhuidean with his wife Sealdre and with other clans who listened to the calling and came. He sees water being brought up by the Jenn Aiel collected into great stone basins and the strange forest of glass around the tallest tree he had ever seen. He thinks about how Jenn are being avoided just as the Lost Ones, who wandered searching for the songs they claimed would bring back lost day. A few dozen Jenn approaches carrying two palanquins. Sealdre tries to convince her husband that he must agree whatever they ask.

"I have talked to my sisters in the dream and we have all dreamed the same dream. The chiefs who do not come, and those who do not agree... Their septs will die, Mandein. Within three generations they will be dust, and their holds and cattle belong to other septs. Their names will be lost."

Mandein moves forward with the other chiefs. Fifty? Maybe a hundred? He stares at the two Aes Sedai with the Jenn, their ageless face and seemingly transparent-white hair. He thinks of their age and memories, and thinks of his own great-grandfather Comran finding an Ogier stedding in the Dragonwall and Comran's grandfather Rhodric who led the Aiel to kill the men in iron shirts who crossed the Dragonwall. He feels under the sharp blue and dark eyes of the Aes Sedai that they see inside his skull, inside his thoughts. This is the first dark pair of eyes he ever sees.

Three Jenn come to talk to them. A man called Dermon and two women called Mordaine and Narisse. They claim to speak for Rhuidean and the Jenn Aiel. Dermon points out that the Aiel do not know their history. Why they do not carry a sword? Why it is forbidden? The Aiel learn that Jenn want them to send their chiefs to Rhuidean to learn where Aiel come from and what are the origins of their traditions.

"Who cannot learn, will not live."

Charendin, another chief asks whether they want to select the One who leads the Aiel, and the dark-eyed Aes Sedai says:

"That one will come later. The stone that never falls will fall to announce his coming. Of the blood, but not raised by the blood, he will come from Rhuidean at dawn, and tie you together with bonds you cannot break. He will take you back, and he will destroy you.[2]"

The chief accuses the Jenn only wanting to gain control over the clans, but the Jenn explain:

"A day will come when the Jenn are no more, and only you will remain to remember the Aiel. You must remain, or all is for nothing, and lost." – "It is our purpose. For long years we searched for this place, and now we prepare it, if not for the purpose we once thought. We do what we must, and keep faith."

Mandein agrees as first of the chiefs stating loudly he will go to the Jenn Aiel. He is asked to go unarmed and he laughs saying:

"Take me to Rhuidean, Aiel. I will match your courage."

Second vision

Time before Aiel came to the Three-fold Land

Rand is Rhodric, grandson of Jeordam

Rhodric is nearly twenty years old, watches the Jenn Aiel struggling with their wagons up to north along the mountains on the east called The Spine of the World. He looks like the Aiel in the Third Age. His clothes, his spears, bullhide buckler and veil. His white haired grandfather Jeordam is with him. He hopes for rain which makes the dried out environment green again like in his memories. He knows snow only from the stories of the old ones. They filled their waterbags crossing a small river – this is the only land where people gave them permission to take water. The Jenn ignore them. The Jenn travel with four Aes Sedai who always look at the Aiel with sad eyes which makes Rhodric feeling nervous.

Rhodric and Jeordam meet with Garam, son of the chief of the town nearby, who gave them the permission to take water, not without interest, thought, they will have all wells the Aiel dig after they move away. Garam thinks the other side of the mountains on the east might be the end of the world and there might not be any path through the mountains. He asks about whether the Aiel and the Jenn are the same people, and Rhodric says:

"They are the Jenn Aiel; we, the Aiel. We are the same, yet not. I cannot explain it further, Garam."
– He did not really understand it himself.

Garam indicates that Aes Sedai destroyed the world once, it might be better to kill them before they do it again. The Aiel say he must do as he thinks best. Garam also shares that his father has an Aes Sedai advisor and Aes Sedai plan to have a city built by Ogier. He thinks they mean to rule the world again. The advisor told his father to leave the hills and move east.

Garam tells them the other name of The Spine of the World. Some call it Dragonwall. Jeordam says it's a fitting name and Rhodric thinks about the secret name of Aiel which is told to no one and only spoken aloud when one receives their spears: The People of Dragon. He thinks:

"In the whole world there were only Aiel, Jenn and enemies. Only that. Aiel, Jenn and Enemies.[1]"

Third vision

The birth of the Far Dareis Mai

Rand is Jeordam, son of Lewin

Jeordam is eighteen years old, was born in a tent, never knew anything but snow and cold except old people telling stories about how seasons were once changing, the earth shaking, and mountains raising and sinking rapidly. His duty is to protect. He has a long spear, a bow slung across his back, quiver at his waist and a veil. He wears a gray-brown coat and breeches. Hi is proud of his sept – being the largest with its nearly two hundred people, amongst the ten camps scattered north of the wagons. It irritates him that Jenn are so many more than Aiel.

Jenn came seeking help. Three men, two women. Jeordam calls them Jenn but they think he mocks them with that name, though it is true, they are the 'only true Aiel' because Jeordam's people gave up the Way. Jeordam calls that a lie, saying he never held a sword.

He takes the Jenn to his father, Lewin. Jenn trade with town-people but being unarmed, peaceful people, often get attacked later, having all what was traded stolen back and with more. People die, women and children get kidnapped. Jenn think the Way of the Leaf protects them but they are seen as easy prey. It is also told how Jenn carry Chora-trees with them planted in barrels.

Lewin promises help to free the stolen relatives and offers the Jenn to stay with them if they wish. Deciding so they have to take the spear and use against men, defending not just themselves but the rest of the clan too and they can never go back to the wagons. One man runs away, and one of the women, called Morin, who's five-year-old daughter Kirin was carried away, takes a spear what Lewin accepts quickly.

"There is a first time for all things. For all things. So be it."

Morin is pretty, wearing a bulky dress not so efficient with the spear, so Jeordam tells her to dress like him and chops off a pace from the spear shaft, leaving four feet length with the steel altogether to make it fitting for a woman's height. He teaches her how to use it and discovers how powerful weapon is the shortened spear, being quick and agile. As he works out the way of fight, he imagines Aiel with their short-hafted spears defeating all the men with swords.

It seems there is an interest between Morin and Jeordam towards each other, and Morin admits that she saw his face in the dream.

When Jeordam asks Morin about her husband, she hefts the shortened spear, saying:

"This is my husband now."

Fourth vision

The Aiel split from the Jenn Aiel

Rand is Lewin, grandson of Adan

The weather is hot, dry and dusty. Aiel are very short on food and water. Lewin remembers the time when they had food and the weather was also better. Now he has to cover his face with a dustveil. Lewin is with four other Da'shain Aiel, Luca, Gearan, Charlin, and Alijha, whose sister Colline is kidnapped with Maigran, Lewin's sister. They are about to steal the girls back. They are very clumsy sneaking into the camp where the girls are kept, and the four men wake up to the noise. Maigran is shocked, cannot run away and out of self-defence Lewin kills one of the men with a spear. The others manage to kill the other three men, although Charlin dies from a knife driven into his belly.

They gather everything what they find useful around the camp, the cookpot, knives, metals. Alijha starts gathering the swords as well when Lewin says:

"No, Alijha. That is a weapon, made to kill people. It has no other use. A spear can put food in the pots, Alijha. A sword cannot. It is forbidden by the Way."

They go back to the wagons carrying Charlin's body. Their parents come to meet them and when they learn about the killing Lewin's grandfather Adan and his mother Saralin disown him.

Adan roars, shaking with rage:

"You... killed? Killed men? What of the Covenant? We harm no one. No one! There is no reason good enough to justify killing another human being. None! [...] We must accept what comes. Our sufferings are sent to test our faithfulness. We accept and endure! We do not murder! You have not strayed from the Way, you have abandoned it. You are Da'shain no longer. You are corrupt, and I will not have the Aiel corrupted by you. Leave us, strangers. Killers! You are not welcome in the wagons of the Aiel."


"I am still Aiel,"
– Lewin shouts. He veils his face as the wind rises, picking up the dust.

Fifth vision

The Tuatha'ans split from Da'shain Aiel

Rand is Adan, son of Jonai

The Da'shain Aiel led by Adan is attacked again by barbaric people. Many of the Aiel are killed. The attackers take their horses, throw down the Aes Sedai objects the Aiel carry and fill the wagons with women and daughters. Adan holds his grandson and granddaughter safe in a sandy hollow, crying. He has lost his wife and his last son. Only left with his grandchildren. His last daughter, Rhea, is shoved up into one of the wagons like an animal. Adan thinks about how he lost Elwin who starved to death at the age of ten, Sorelle, who was taken by a fever at the age of twenty after she dreamed about it coming, Jaren, who threw himself off a cliff a year ago at the age of nineteen when he found he could channel, and Marind this morning. He thinks of trying to save Rhea but they will just kill him and take his grandchildren too. Or kill them. So he stays.

After the attackers leave he goes to the dead body of his wife, red-gold haired Siedre, looking like she is only sleeping. He remembers waking up each morning and see her sleeping next to him.

A Da'shain Aiel called Sulwin comes leading a group of frightened men asking to tell them what Adan wants to do now. Sulwin and some of the Aiel let their hair grow long as if to hide being Aiel. But it made no difference to the raiders. Adan replies: they bury their dead and go on. When Sulwin points out that without horses and wagons the can't just go on, also questioning the value of the objects of Aes Sedai, who will never come to take them back but they supposed to give their lives to protect them, Adan shouts:

"We can! We will! We have legs; we have backs. We will drag the wagons, if need be. We will be faithful to our duty!"

Sulwin disagrees, saying they supposed to find a place of safety. He talks about the stories he heard from his grandfather when Aiel lived in safety and people came to hear them sing. "We mean to find a place where we can be safe, and sing again."

Adan argues not to give up their duty to the Aes Sedai to chase after wondrous songs lost forever.

Sulwin and his followers unload some of the wagons they were left with, throwing down the Aes Sedai object. Adan sees a large flat crate falling, half breaking open to reveal a polished doorframe of dark red stone.

He says to Sulwin that he is no longer Aiel, as he betrays everything and he is lost, but Sulwin reminds him:

"We keep the Way of the Leaf as well as you, Adan."

Adan looks the objects and the wounded laying around and sadly thinks about how could he save everything and everybody. He sees Saralin, the wife of his son, mother of Maigran and Lewin and he is glad that she is alive. He tells to himself that he would save the Aiel, whatever it takes.

"Kneeling, he gathered Siedre in his arms. 'We are still faithful,' Aes Sedai,' –he whispered. 'How long must we be faithful?' Putting his head down on his wife's breast, he wept.[3]"

Sixth vision

Wandering through the Breaking

Rand is Jonai, son of Coumin

Through Jonai's memories Rand learns about the rapid change of the surface of the earth during the Breaking. How lost people have felt. Where there was a lowland a year before, now a mountain is towering into the sky. Endless water covers where once cities stood. Jonai misses his wife, Alnora, who died because no Aes Sedai was around to Heal her. Alnora's death took the life out of him. Without her dreams he feels lost and old. He leads a handful of thousands of Da'shain Aiel, where there had been tens. They have too many people for the number of wagons, only children too small to walk are allowed to ride on them.

His son, Adan is a tall young man with blue eyes. He still waits for his older son Willim to appear, though he has been sent away years ago when he began to channel and couldn't stop doing it. Esole died in a quick sickness at a very young age. Just as with Alnora, there was no Aes Sedai to Heal her.

Ogier came to their wagons, around fifty of them, men and women, hollow-cheeked, sad-eyed, tufted ears dropping. The surface of the world they knew changed so much, they can't find their stedding anymore. They are slowly dying. Jonai is shocked by his own quick anger seeing the Ogier eating their food. He thinks of how many of his people could eat on what fifty Ogier consumes. Aiel are short on food themselves. "To share is the Way. to give freely."

The last Aes Sedai he has seen just after Alnora died took some of the objects from the wagons and told them that one of the Forsaken was only partly trapped, or maybe not at all; Ishamael sill touched the world. Jonai thought she might be mad too as the remaining male Aes Sedai. She laughed at them bitterly when he asked her where there was a place of safety.

The Ogier asks about their Chora cuttings and he says that the die but the old folk keep new cuttings before they do." Jonai learns from the Ogier that they cannot go north, the Blighted Lands grow southward and there are Myrddraals and Trollocs. They cannot go south either, The Sea of Jeren lay ten days south. Or did. Jonai feels tired. The Ogier asks about east, where they are coming from, and Jonai tells about people who took third of their horses. He thinks of the abandoned wagons with pain. "The things the Aes Sedai had placed in Aiel charge, abandoned." Almost everyone they meet takes things, whatever they want. People stealing, people with faces like animals, people who does not recognise Da'shain or know them. Jonai thinks of the Ogier; lost, the Aiel; lost, everything lost, and he dies of a broken heart. With his last words he tells to his son, Adan:

"Take—the people—south. Take them— south. Take—the Aiel—to safety. Keep—the Covenant. Guard—what the Aes Sedai—gave us—until they—come for it. The Way—of the Leaf. You must—"

His last thoughts are that he tried, and Solinda Sedai must understand that. He had tried.

"Alnora."

Seventh vision

Departure from Paaran Disen — Promises to the Aes Sedai

Rand is Jonai, son of Coumin

Jonai is sixty-three years old, in the prime of life, not yet old enough for gray hairs. He hurries down an empty streets of Paaran Disen passing the dead chora trees and shattered buildings. The ground is still rumbling beneath his feet. He wears cadin'sor, his work clothes. He enters the Hall of Servants, the entrance is not guarded anymore. People are running around carrying papers, boxes, eyes anxious, in a panic. Everything is without cleaning. He slips into a room where half a dozen Aes Sedai – all women – stand around a long table covered with the the Dragon banner of Lews Therin Kinslayer and a crystal sword on top. His heart clenches thinking why those things are not destroyed with the memory of that cursed man as well. He hears Oselle Sedai almost shouting with Deindre Sedai why she cannot tell the exact time of her Foretelling as the worlds rests on it, the future, the Wheel itself. Solinda Sedai tries to clam them and her streith shows that she is composed. Jonai recognises that her waist long sun-red hair is nearly the color of his own hair. He thinks about how his grandfather had served Solinda Sedai as a young man, but the Aes Sedai looks younger than himself.

The Aes Sedai talk about the arrival of Jaric and Haindar by the next day so they can't afford mistakes. Jonai stops listening and leaves the room. While waiting outside of the room he tries to talk to Someshta the Nym, who is having memory issues from a wound on his forehead and can't recognise him. Jonai sadly reminds him that he was his friend and how the Nym rode him on his shoulder when Jonai was a child. Someshta asks about the Singing and identifies Jonai as a Child of the Dragon. Jonai winces and thinks of how "that name caused trouble, no less for not being true. But how many citizens now believed the Da'shain Aiel had once served the Dragon and no other Aes Sedai?"

Solinda calls for Jonai asking whether they are ready to leave. Jonai asks permission for some to stay and serve, but Solinda reminds him to what happened at Tzora, where a male Aes Sedai Jaric Mondoran mad by the taint of saidin killed ten thousand Da'shain Aiel who tried to make him remember. All died, then he destroyed the whole city with Balefire. Jonai thinks the Da'shains' sacrifice earned time the citizen of Tzorai to flee. "We are not afraid." — Solinda says that according to Deindre's Fortelling the Da'shain yet have a part to play but in any case she wants to have the Aiel safe. Jonai assures her that they will care for what they were given into their charge until Aes Sedai want them again. She asks Jonai to keep moving, always moving until they find a place of safety, where no one can harm them. Also carry the things to safety. To keep the Covenant as the most important thing.

She asks about Coumin, Jonai's father who is hiding somewhere in the city. He tried to talk Jonai and some others into ... resistance. Jonai mentions that Coumin has found a shocklance, and... – and he sees tears in Solinda Sedai's eyes.

"If the Da'shain lose everything else, see they keep the Way of the Leaf. Promise me."
— she asks. Jonai is shocked.
"The Covenant was the Aiel, and the Aiel were the Covenant; to abandon the Way would be to abandon what they were."
Coumin was an aberration, he had been strange since he was a boy, hardly Aiel at all, no one knew why.

Solinda wants the Da'shain to be far from Paaran Disen by the next day, and her last words to Jonai are about keep moving and keep the Aiel safe.

Jonai leaves and hears Oselle asking Solinda whether they can trust Kodam and his fellows, and Solinda replying that they must. The male Aes Sedai are young and inexperienced but barely touched by the taint and they have no choice. He overhears how they decide that the sword can wait and call Somestha saying they have a task for the last of the Nym, if he agrees to do it. Jonai thinks he will never see them again.

Jonai runs all the way out of the city to the thousands of wagons of the Aiel, standing in ten lines stretching nearly two leagues. Wagons, loaded with the crated things of Aes Sedai. Angreal, sa'angreal, ter'angreal, all the things that had to be kept from the hands of men going mad while wielded the One Power. Since all modern tools of transportation such as jo-cars, jumpers, hoverflies and sho-wings were destroyed or lost, they could only use wagons pulled by horses. He thinks the Aiel among the wagons maybe all the Aiel left alive in the world.

A group come to ask him whether they got the permission to stay, but he replies:

"No. We must obey. We are Da'shain Aiel, and we obey the Aes Sedai."

He runs to his own wagon, finding the fifteen years old Willim with the reins, the ten years old Adan beside him and Esole playing with a doll on top of the canvas. He looks at the dozen chora cuttings in clay pots, "something from a time long gone; symbol of a better time to come. People needed hope and symbols.". Alnora waits there too, worried, but he tells her that all will be well. He call her the wife of his heart and asks whether she dreamed, but she say "of no time soon". She repeats his words that all will be well and tells him: "with you I know it will be so, husband of my heart."

Jonai gives the signal and the wagons slowly begin to move. The Aiel leaving Paaran Disen.

Eighth vision

Seed Singing — The sealing of the Bore

Rand is Coumin, great-grandson of Charn

Coumin is sixteen years old, just have been chosen by the women for Singing as his voice was finally deep enough. He is on his knees around a field with other Da'shain Aiel and Ogiers, wearing his work-clothes, plain brownish gray coat and breeches with soft laced boots. Soldiers guard them atop armored jo-cars. A hoverfly is buzzing over their head, patroling. He feels fascianted by the soldiers who killed. He knows a world where people live under constant protection of soldiers. He remembers that his father's greatfather Charn claimed that once there had been no soldiers, no Nightriders or Trollocs, Myrddraals or Forsaken, no any Shadowwrought. The Dark Lord of the Grave had been bound away and no one knew his name or the word "war". He can't imagine that, the war had been old when he was born. Charn claimed he served one of the Forsaken once, Lanfear but Coumin thinks Charn makes up stories. People does not like when Charm says Lanfear had not always been evil. He thinks gratefully of Lews Therin the great leader, the Dragon.

Someshta the Nym approaches and the Ogier stands and starts the Singing. Townspeople murmurs excitedly. Coumin thinks about asking Someshta whether Charn's stories were true, as the Nym was old enough to know that. Some said Nym never died, not so long as plants grew. They sing and the Nym dances the threads of their songs into the soil and the seeds in it. Coumin hears the singing form the surrounding fields nearby. He enjoys the singing, thinking this was what he had been born for, and suddenly remembers how the Aes Sedai passed him over at the age of ten, saying he lacked the spark, but now he feels no regret. He thinks to have been trained as Aes Sedai would have been wondorous, but surely not more so than this moment.

As the singing ended women were coming, laughing, contragulate the men and women alternated between kissing him on the lips and ruffling his short red hair.

Tomada the Ogier asks one of the soldier with a helmet like an insect's head about news and the soldier tells them about an unconfirmed report of Lews Therin, who led the Companions on a strike at Shayol Ghul that morning and the report says that the Bore has been sealed with most of the Forsaken on the other side. Maybe all of them. Tomada is happy but he says they have to visit three more towns to have their circuit done before they start celebrating in the evening.

People are celebrating in towns, bells are ringing. Coumin decides to visit Charn in the inn where he decided to stay. On the way he gets struck on the face badly by a townsman called Toma, who spits on him saying: "Lanfear will not protect you anymore. We will root out all of you who served the Forsaken while pretending to be on our side, and treat the lot of you as we treated that crazy old man." Coumin runs, feeling the blood oozing down his chin. He finds Charn's white haired-body hung from a rope pulled over the ridgepool, one foot bare where he had kicked one of his red dress boot off, the fingers of one hand caught at his neck where he had tried to pull the rope free.

"Why?" Coumin said. "We are Da'shain. Why?" There was no one to answer. Cluthing the boot to his chest, he knelt there, staring up at Charn, as the noise of revelry washed over him."

Ninth vision

The drilling of the Bore

Rand is Charn. Da'shain Aiel, servant of Mierin Sedai who becomes Lanfear.

Charn is twenty-five years old (having his 25th nameday on that particular day) walking on his way down in the city of V'saine. The street is crowded beneath the spreading chora trees in the shadows of silvery buildings touching the sky. Jo-cars humming, great white sho-wings flies across the sky, carrying citizens. He seldom uses them, if there is a need and Aes Sedai Travels with him. He decided to travel to M'jinn and accept Nalla's latest offer of marriage. He will then serve Zorelle Sedai whom Nalla served, but Mierin Sedai had already given her blessing.

As he walks in a hurry he crashes a dark skinned man called Jom and falls, hitting his head. When the man and his female company realizes he is a Da'shain, they get overly polite, helping and kind. That's when suddenly the ground ripples under their feet and the air too in spreading waves. He looks up and sees a tiny chip of white leaving from the Sharom above the Collam Daan. He remembers how Mierin explained that today was the day when they try to tap the newly discovered Source of Power which could be used by both male and female channelers together. Houndred gouts spurt everywhere and the huge white sphere broke apart like an egg blackening the sky, swallowing the sun as if the light of those flames was blackness. People screaming everywhere.

Charn runs toward the Collam Daan but knows that he is late. He was sworn to serve Aes Sedai, and he was too late.

"Tears rolled down his face as he ran."

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Shadow Rising, Chapter 25
  2. The Prophecy of Rhuidean
  3. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 26
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