Author: Manora al'Sara
The Ogier are the only natural, non-human sentient people known. They originally came from another world, via a device or method called the "Book of Translation" which they are considering opening again so that they may leave (KoD, Ch. 19).
They are a race gifted with the ability to aid and enhance growing things. Called tia avende alantin (brother to the trees) in the Old Tongue they are naturally pacifists but when necessary can be a very fierce opponent.
The average male stands approximately ten feet tall with women only a little shorter. They have very snout-like noses almost as wide as the face and pale eyes as big as teacups. Their appearance means they are often mistaken for Trollocs. Ogier speak in an inflected tongue which has been described as sounding like deep-voiced birds singing. It is a very musical language. Most Ogier have a lifespan three of four times that of a human.
The Ogier dress very similarly to humans. Male clothing is plain shirts, baggy trousers and knee length boots. The women wear long, modest dresses which are embroidered with flowery or leafy designs. The embroidery reflects the rank, age and importance of the woman. For example, a girl will have only a flowered trim on a plain garment and an Elder's clothing will be embroidered from neck to ankle. The women do not wear much jewellery although some will wear necklaces or bracelets in vine-like or flowery patterns. Earrings are never worn as the ears are considered a secondary erogenous zone and are always kept covered by the hair. It is considered shocking for a woman to bear her ears.
Marriage is arranged by the particular person's mother, with the consent of the bride-to-be. In most cases the groom-to-be has no say in the matter and the decision is often made without his knowledge.
The Ogier have two great loves. Trees and knowledge. They raise sheep, make cloth, create fine metalwork and jewellery and are avid story tellers. They are also famous for their Treesinging and worked closely with humans and the Nym during the Age of Legends to ensure the optimum growth of crops. Sadly Treesingers are now quite rare and as such sung wood is highly prized. Nowadays Ogier are more likely to be called upon for their amazing building and stone-carving skills. This is a relatively new craft learned by them after the Breaking of the World.
Ogier are entirely independent from the human nations and each stedding governs itself.
Ogier and the Breaking
The Breaking had some very dramatic effects on the Ogier. Those that were out of the stedding at the time were unable to find their way back again because of the geographical changes in the land and many of the stedding were lost. The Ogier were scattered all over the land and began what is now termed 'The Long Wandering' to find their way home. During this time many Ogier developed the Longing and gradually faded and died.
The Ogier also offered sanctuary within the stedding to the male channellers in the hope that being separated from the True Source would prevent them from going mad. However, the men couldn't bear the isolation from the Power and returned to the world. They left the Ogier a parting gift - the Ways. This would enable the Ogier to travel from one stedding to another without having to cross the lands of men. It was a shorter way to travel where time and distance bore no resemblance to the real world. The Ogier also received a ter'angreal which was triggered by certain types of singing and would enable them to grow a new branch of the Ways to each stedding as they were rediscovered.
The Ways are no longer used as they have darkened and are now a danger to all who travel them. The stedding Elders have passed an edict forbidding Ogier to enter them.
Ogier have no particular country or region of their own and live in secluded woodland homes called stedding. The exact properties of stedding are unknown but generally they are made up of trees and groves. There is a restful feeling inside the stedding, the air is different somehow and all seems fresh and more peaceful. The Ogier use the polished stump of one of the Great Trees to hold meetings and gatherings. This is where the phrase 'addressing the Stump' comes from. Actually what happens is one meets with the Elders around the stump of the tree.
The most important thing for all Aes Sedai to remember is that you are unable to channel inside the stedding and are unable to feel the presence of the Power. Another interesting point to note is that Shadowspawn and Darkfriends will not enter a stedding unless in the very greatest need.
Ogier houses are built into the earth and it is possible to look down into them through the windows. The houses are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding woodland and look like small mounds at the base of the trees. The stonework inside is worked in such a way as to seem the product of natural weathering rather than masonry.
Most Ogier keep to the stedding. As a result the exact size of the Ogier population is not known to man. However, it is estimated that there are around 6,000 to each stedding and therefore 250,000 in total. There are forty-one stedding located between the Aryth Ocean and the Aiel Waste. In addition there is also Stedding Sherandu which has been abandoned to the Blight. The exact locations of these stedding have not been disclosed but we do have the following rough guidelines as to where they are sited.
Each stedding is governed by a Council of Elders and the head of this council is most usually a woman. Mothers and wives have much more authority than fathers and husbands and the Ogier society is almost a matriarchal one. Young Ogier are educated by a system of apprenticeship which is designed to teach them working skills and responsibility and to build character.
Location of Steddings
Qichen, Sansten, Handu, Chanti, Lantoine, Yongan, Mashing, Sintiang, Taijing, Kolomon, Daiting and Shangtai are all located in the Spine of the World.
Yontiang is located in Kinslayer's Dagger.
Fendu, Shajin and Fentoine are in the Black Hills.
Shamendar, Taishin, Leitiang and Tsochan are in the forests north of the River Ivo.
Chinden, Tsofan, Yaridar, Madan, Jinsium and Shangloon are in the Mountains of Mist.
Mintai and Nanchen are located in the mountains north of the River Dhagon.
There are also two stedding on the Shadow Coast - Shadoon and Mardoon.
The least isolated and most well known of these is Stedding Tsofu in Cairhien, which is only a full day's ride from the nearest human village.
- Main article: Ogier Character List