Author: Alghar Khan
This article is a stub. A longer, more in depth article will be added at a later time.
The Forsaken was the name given to Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow in the War of the Shadow at the end of the Age of Legends (Tor Question of the Week, week 12 2004). Although they preferred to call themselves "The Chosen". They went to Shayol Ghul to give their oaths to the Dark One. Their reasons for pledging allegiance with the Shadow were individual, but certainly the promise of immortality was a major factor. Originally there were many more Forsaken then just the thirteen. Some were killed by the DO because he* suspected they weren't thrustworthy enough. Others were killed by competing Forsaken. The DO actually encouraged them to kill each other off, since he only wanted the strongest and most skillfull to serve him. Only one was promised to become Nae'blis - and that one would be granted to rule the world from a position only one step below the Great Lord himself. Turnover in the upper ranks was high, but several of the 13 that were trapped at Shayol Ghul were always among the ones at the top. Many of the original Forsaken were much weaker in the One Power. Today they would probably have been considered Dreadlords, but at that time they were all titled Forsaken/Chosen.
After their oaths were given they received a mark by the Dark One that gives them a measure of control over Shadowspawn (all except to some extent the Gholam). This mark is different to the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran. Her mark gives her away as protected by the Dark Lord to all Shadowspawn, but she is not able to control them. The male Forsaken were provided with a filter that sheathed them from the taint. After the Strike at Shayol Ghul and the sealing of the Bore, the Forsaken left behind were no longer protected by the Great Lord. The men went mad from the taint and the females perished because of the Breaking of the world.
Some of the Forsaken were given the ability to channel the True Power, which emanates from the DO himself. The True Power, in contrast to the One Power, can be drawn by males and females alike. Apperantly only 29 of the Forsaken has been granted the ability to use the TP (ACoS:25) during the last 3 000 years or so. After Moridin was named Nae'blis, only he continued to have access to the TP. It should be noted that this comes with a very high price. The Power that comes from The Lord of the Grave makes the wielder go crazy eventually. Moridin's eyes fills with Saa, visible to those around him.
Among the thirteen, Ishamael was free to roam the world in cycles. Whilst back in his prison, he was still aware of what was going on in the world. As were Aginor and Balthamel (Tor Question of the Week, week 14 2004). Those who spent those 3 000 years in dreamless sleep woke up to a world where Common Tongue was spoken, as opposed to the Old Tongue that was spoken when they were trapped. Adapting to these changes was easier than it may seem, because the Common Tongue is actually derived from the more sophisticated Old Tongue.
The title "Lord of the Grave" has proven to be an accurate one. Though several of the thirteen has perished since they were freed from their prison, a number of them were recycled into new bodies. They were also given new names - by their master himself this time. However, his ability to master death is restricted when it comes to Balefire. That is because Balefire burns the souls away from the Great Pattern even before they were balefired. And there's a time-limit that even the Lord of the Grave cannot bridge (Tor Question of the Week, week 3 2004). He has to catch the souls of the deceased within a limited timeframe. And Robert Jordan has also confirmed that Sammael won't be resurrected (CNN chat transcript, 12 December 2000):..."Mashadar killed Sammael. Sammael is toast!". That makes sense, because Mashadar is the evil fog that feeds on souls. Apparently the DO cannot make Mashadar throw up what has been chewed down!
- "he" is here representing the DO, but it is not supposed to be representing any gender as such.
Ishamael = Ba'alzamon = Moridin Alive and at large. The most powerful among the Forsaken. He was only partially trapped by the seal on the Bore. Thus, he was thrown out of his prison and drawn back again on a regular cycle. He is a frequent user of the TP and he is believed to be more than half mad. As Ba'alzamon he was killed by Rand in Tear (TDR:55). He has been given a body of a young man, and now calls himself Moridin (which means "death"). He has been named Nae'blis by the DO.
Aginor = Osan'gar Believed dead (vaporised by Elza at the end of Winter's Heart). Is his death final this time? AKA: the Asha'man Corlan Dashiva. He was the second most powerful of the male Forsaken. During the AoL he created the Shadowspawn. At the closing of the Bore he was caught just benaeatch the surface. Because of this, he was one of the first to awaken. He was killed by drawing too much of the One Power (TEotW:51). After that the DO gave him a new body and renamed him "Osan'gar".
Balthamel = Aran'gar Alive and at large. AKA: Halima - the woman who wields saidin! Despite being quite strong in the OP, he didn't manage to earn his third name. Killed by the last of the Nym at the Eye of the World (TeotW:50). He was recycled into the body of an attractive woman, and the DO gave him the name Aran'gar. Was pretending to be Delana's secretary (Halima). Also acted as Egwene's masseuse, but may in fact have been responsible for causing Egwene's headaches. Both Aran'gar and Delana fled the camp of the rebel AS after being exposed.
Sammael Dead and gone. AKA: Lord Brend of Illian. During his time in Illian, he got hold of a stasis box that contained some useful stuff. Killed by Mashadar in Shadar Logoth at the end of ACoS.
Rahvin Dead and gone. AKA: Lord Gaebril. He is known to have controlled Queen Morgase by using Compulsion. Rahvin died at the end of TFoH, killed by Rand with Balefire.
Be'lal Dead and gone. AKA: High Lord Samon of Tear. Moiraine used Balefire to kill him in the Stone of Tear (TDR:55).
Demandred Alive and at large. Current location unknown, though somehow he seem to be involved with the Black Tower.
Asmodean Dead and gone. AKA Jasin Natael (Bard of the Dragon Reborn). Probably was the weakest among the Forsaken. He was shielded by Lanfear at Rhuidean (TSR:58). He was killed by an unknown culprit (TFoH:56), but afterwords no body was found. There is much debate as to who the perpetrator is.The DO has stated Asmodean as one of those that will not be given a second chance:... "WHO BETRAYS ME SHALL DIE THE FINAL DEATH. ASMODEAN, TWISTED BY HIS WEAKNESS. RAHVIN, DEAD IN HIS PRIDE." (LoC:Prologue).
Lanfear = Cyndane Alive but trapped in a Cour'souvra. AKA: Selene, Keille and Silvie. She is also known to have taken the appearance of Else Grinwell (in TDR). Thus it's highly likely that she knows the weave required to make herself appear weaker in the OP than she actually is. The existance of such a weave has been confirmed by RJ. She was by far the most powerful of the female Forsaken, and according to Moiraine she was the second strongest Forsaken altogether. She has a great Talent for Dreamwalking, second only to Moghedien (among the Forsaken, at least). Tackled by Moiraine (TFoH:52), and they both toppled through the Eelfinn Ter'angreal. She was given a new body, and now she goes by the name Cyndane. For some unknown reason, she's somewhat weaker in the OP than she was as Lanfear (WH:35). Even so she's still stronger than Graendal.
Graendal Alive and at large. AKA: Lady Basene. During the AoL she was a psychiatrist and an ascetic. After turning to the Shadow she changed her manners completely, almost to a degree that might raise the question if she was turned evil in a circle? She uses Compulsion on a regular basis. Some believe she might have been the one that killed Asmodean.
Semirhage Alive. Caught by Rand and company (KoD:27). AKA: Anath. She was a brilliant healer of the body during the AoL. She hates Lanfear passionately, and wears black as opposed to white (which is Lanfears style). She is as tall as most men.
Mesaana Alive and at large. Has successfully infiltrated the Tower. Possible identities: Tsutama Rath, Yukiri...[insert your suspect here]... Tsutama is a Red (has no Warder), she has been exiled from the tower for the last 15 years, she's acting jumpy and she has just been promoted Highest of the Red Ajah.
Moghedien Alive but trapped in a Cour'souvra. She is the most talented of all Forsaken within the realm of Tel'aran'rhiod. But she is not especially strong in the OP (about the same strength as Nynaeve).