An Ajah is a sub-organization within the Aes Sedai of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. The Black Ajah is a secret society of Aes Sedai who have forsaken the Three Oaths. This Ajah supports the Dark One, and its members are also active members of the other seven Ajahs to keep their anonymity.
The Black Ajah has been secret until quite recently. Their existence was not acknowledged (in fact it was considered almost dangerous to mention the Black Ajah to Aes Sedai) until Liandrin and a group of twelve other Blacks fled the Tower with a number of stolen items of the One Power. The Black Ajah currently has its own set of oaths, of which two have been revealed: it prohibits members of the Ajah from revealing other sisters as Black, the existence of the Ajah at all, or the Ajah’s current plans, and not to betray the Dark One or the ajah until the last hour of her life. As of The Gathering Storm, the Black Ajah remain at large, but are severely weakened following a purge of their numbers by Egwene al'Vere.
It is believed that the Black Ajah was founded by the Forsaken Ishamael, but currently it reports to Mesaana, who is undercover in the White Tower. The Ajah is administered by a supreme council of thirteen, the head of which is Alviarin Freidhen, the only member of the Black Ajah to know the identities of all Black sisters.
The leader of the Black Ajah is given the title Head of the Great Council of Thirteen. The Ajah is organized into a series of units called hearts, which consist of three sisters who know only each other and one other woman from another heart.
An Aes Sedai of the White Ajah (ostensibly), Alviarin Freidhen has a swan neck, and is tall and slim. Not only is Alviarin secretly head of the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, she is made Keeper of the Chronicles when Elaida Sedai is raised to the Amyrlin Seat. She reports only to the Forsaken known as Mesaana, although she schemes even against her. Elaida later discovers that Alviarin has been plotting and strips of her the office of Keeper although she does not know what Alviarin plots or that she is Black Ajah. Alviarin later approaches Egwene al'Vere while Egwene is held captive in the Tower and offers to aid her, but Egwene refuses Alviarin's assistance. Alviarin receives frequent punishments as penance for her disloyalty to Elaida during Egwene's captivitity, but often arrives late to receive them.
After a recent meeting with Mesaana, Alviarin was marked by Shaidar Haran - who was there to reprimand the Forsaken for her failure to answer a summons - as his property and under his protection. What effect this will have on Mesaana's authority over Alviarin remains to be seen.
Eventually Verin, in the hour of her death after taking a lethal dosage of poison, betrays the Black Ajah by giving Egwene a list of most of their names, including Alviarin's. During the Seanchan raid on the White Tower immediately afterwards, Alviarin and most of the other Black Ajah who were stationed there flee.
Originally introduced as Red Ajah, Liandrin is revealed to be Black Ajah. She has dark brown eyes and honey-colored hair, which she wears in a multitude of thin braids. She is pretty, having a doll's face and a rosebud mouth.
Liandrin is from Tarabon and she grew up envious of anyone with power (her father sold fruit from a barrow to feed his family). Despite her less-than-plentiful upbringing, however, she copies the way that nobles speak. However, if she is angry, she will revert to her roots and speak like a commoner.
She learned she could channel a year before enrolling as a Novice, and swore the oaths as a Darkfriend before she even went to the White Tower, and sought out the Black Ajah as soon as she learned she could channel. She does not consider herself a wilder, however, as she loathes all wilders.
Liandrin convinced Nynaeve al'Meara, Egwene al'Vere, Elayne Trakand, and Min Farshaw that Rand al'Thor needed their help, and she led them through the Ways to Toman Head. When they came out, she betrayed them to the Seanchan, to become damane. She then returned to the White Tower and, with the help of twelve other Black sisters, stole several ter'angreal from the Tower storerooms. They fled Tar Valon, killing 21 people, including three Aes Sedai and two Warders.
Liandrin's group travelled to Tear and set up camp in the Stone of Tear, obeying the Forsaken Be'lal. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene, having escaped the clutches of the Sul'dam, followed them, but the Black sisters captured them again. After Rand took the Stone, they fled to Tanchico and Liandrin had Jaichim Carridin seize the Panarch’s Palace for them so that they could locate the male a'dam inside it. However, when riots broke out in the city, Liandrin and the others were once again forced to run.
Liandrin and the Black sisters travelled to Amador and stayed in the house of a Darkfriend merchant. It was there that Moghedien found them and took command of the group. Liandrin was ordered to search for Nynaeve, though she and her fellow Blacks had little success. When Moghedien was attacked by Nynaeve in Tel'aran'rhiod and was at her weakest, Liandrin seized her chance to try to Compel the Forsaken. Unfortunately for her, Moghedien blocked her attack and decided to punish her severely. She shielded her and tied it off in a knot so complicated, only another Forsaken could unravel it, and Compelled her to live. Moghedien then ordered Temaile to soften her up and then give to Evon to work as a scullery girl. When the Seanchan invaded Amadicia, Liandrin was captured by the High Lady Suroth and made da’covale.
Liandrin with Amico Nagoyin, Asne Zeramene, Berylla Naron, Chesmal Emry, Eldrith Jhondar, Falion Bhoda, Ispan Shefar, Jeaine Caide, Joiya Byir, Marillin Gemalphin, Temaile Kinderode fled the White Tower, exposing themselves as Black Ajah, during the third book of the saga. When they left they killed three Aes Sedai and took several ter'angreal with them. They left the Tower and fled to Tear in a complex plot by Mesaana and Be'lal to kill Rand al'Thor and obtain Callandor. Their plan was to lead Egwene al'Vere and Nynaeve al'Meara to Tear, where they were to be used as bait to draw Rand. The plan worked, and the two women and Elayne Trakand were captured. Matrim Cauthon rescued them while inadvertently aiding Rand al'Thor and the Aiel in taking the Stone of Tear.
Joiya and Amico were caught, but the other remaining black sisters managed to avoid capture and fled to Tanchico, in search of ter'angreal to control Rand. After arriving, they lived in a house that used to belong to a darkfriend merchant. They then gained access to the Panarch's Palace and held the newly invested Amathera captive. Unbeknownst to them, they were followed again by Elayne and Nynaeve, who had been told where they were going by Amico. Elayne and Nynaneve managed to obtain the ter'angreal before the black sisters, free Amathera and leave the palace before it was overrun by an angry mob. Liandrin and the rest escaped and moved to Amador, where Moghedien took over the group that Liandrin had been leading, and sent them to do her bidding.
Galina is an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah; she is also their leader known as "the Highest". She is also second-in-command of the Supreme Council of Black Ajah, knowing who Alviarin is. Galina has long black hair, a plump round face and hard eyes.
She was sent by Elaida a'Roihan, the newly raised Amyrlin Seat, to bring Rand al'Thor back to the White Tower so that they would 'keep him safe' until Tarmon Gai'don, which in reality turns out to be the torture and imprisonment of Rand. In book six, Lord of Chaos, this plan was abandoned when a battle between the Tower Aes Sedai, the Asha'man, Aiel and Perrin Aybara with the Two Rivers men ensued. Galina was observed by Gawyn falling off her horse after the battle and then disappearing.
Thought dead by Mesaana, she was captured by the Shaido Aiel, named da'tsang ("despised one"). Later, she is made to swear to obey Sevanna and the Wise One Therava using a "binder" or Oath Rod and made gai'shain. She is now Lina, a well-trained servant and Therava's personal plaything.
After Faile Bashere and her party are captured by the Shaido, Galina is sent to Heal them. She finds out who Faile is, and uses that to blackmail her into getting the Oath Rod that Therava has so Galina may free herself.
She finally gets her hand on the Oath Rod when Faile announces to her that she has taken it. Galina tells her to meet her in a charred building in Malden in a few days. It is there that she sets a trap to kill Faile and the others so that she may escape. When Perrin attacks and drives the Shaido away, Therava finds her and forces her once again to become gai'shain. She is forced to swear an oath that she will never touch the binder again, or try to run away. She is now completely broken.
Verin is an Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, and secretly the Black Ajah. Verin has grayed hair and is considered to be one of the oldest Aes Sedai alive; likely over 200 years old. Like all members of the Brown Ajah, she devotes herself to knowledge and the pursuit of it; as a result, she has a tendency to go on fruitless tangents in dire conversations, and appear lost in thought at inopportune moments. Unlike other Brown sisters, however, she may only appear to be in these reveries to disguise her intentions, as she is at times very sharp and insightful, a trait very uncommon among true Browns. Moiraine Damodred remembers her particularly fondly from her days as a Novice and Accepted as Verin used to have the cooks leave sweets out for her and Siuan Sanche. Verin also told Morgase Trakand that there was no real need for her to remain in the Tower as she would never be able to do much with her limited talent even with teaching. Her rooms in the Brown Ajahs quarters are located next to a tapestry of two Kings who lived before Artur Hawkwing. Her rooms are full of books, scrolls, maps and skulls. There is also a Brown Owl that sits on a skull that is kept to keep the mice down as they chew paper. She elects plain garb, shying away from the finer silks and fabrics the other sisters prefer. She almost always keeps a writing case on her belt in order to jot down notes on certain goings-on when she feels it is important. Her notes take up many cupboards and chests in her room in the Tower. The notebooks are written in a cipher to prevent anyone reading what she is really writing about; at present she is considering writing out the cipher so that her work will not be lost when she dies. Her skills in the Power can be counted as average: her Healing skill is no more than normal, and her skill with Earth is quite feeble; she has, however, discovered a weak form of Compulsion, similar to the form Liandrin of the Black Ajah uses. This was purely an exercise in curiosity at first and was done by piecing together fragments of wilders' tricks to get people to do as they wished. In The Gathering Storm, the reader learns that Verin is actually a member of the Black Ajah; however, she had only joined to prevent her own death. Her warder, Tomas, was also a Darkfriend and promised to help Verin with her study of the Black Ajah as he did not want to be a Darkfriend any longer. She later made the decision to study the Ajah in order to eventually betray them to the Light. Using a loophole in her oaths to the Dark One, not to betray Him or the Ajah until the last hour of her life, Verin poisons herself and then reveals all of her secrets to Egwene al'Vere as she is about to die.
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Merean was the Mistress of Novices during Moiraine Damodred's novicehood. She appeared to be both strict and understanding at the same time, so that novices and Accepted felt both respectfully afraid and trusting of her as their main caretaker and disciplinarian.
Unfortunately that caring personality was but a mask to hide her more nefarious allegiances as Moiraine later discovered. As a member of the secret Black Ajah, Merean had left the Tower some time after the then Amyrlin Seat, Tamra Ospenya, was murdered. She, like other members of the Black Ajah, was tasked with tracking down the Dragon Reborn. In the process, she became involved in the murders of the secret searchers who had been assembled by Tamra, and at the very least had a hand in killing Larelle Tarsi. Also in Chachin, she kills Prince Diryk, believing that he may be the Dragon Reborn, his father Brys and Iselle Arrel. She is eventually killed, seconds too late, by Moiraine who stabs her in the back.
Other known members
- Amico Nagoyin was originally of the Yellow Ajah. She is the youngest of the Black Ajah who left the White Tower with Liandrin, and is slender and pretty with a long neck, pale skin and dark eyes. She was responsible for guarding the cell where Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve were held when they were captured by the Black Ajah in Tear, and was stilled during her capture. She was murdered, along with Joiya Byir, by Isam in the Stone of Tear.
- Asne Zeramene is a Saldaean, with dark, tilted eyes and a bold nose, originally of the Green Ajah. She is one of Liandrin's group. She was a part of the Black Ajah for about a hundred and thirty years. She was killed by lightning hurled by Windfinders while trying to kidnap Elayne.
- Atuan Larisett, Yellow Ajah
- Berylla Naron, originally of the Blue Ajah. She is lean to the point of being scrawny, and is currently with the remaining members of Liandrin's group in Amador.
- Careane Fransi, originally of the Green Ajah. She murdered several people while travelling with Elayne Trakand and the rest of the Kin. Some of the her victims include Adeleas Namelle, Ispan Shefar, and Reanne Corly. She was stabbed in the chest by Adeleas's sister, Vandene Namelle in the novel, Knife of Dreams.
- Chesmal Emry is a Ghealdanin, formerly of the Yellow Ajah. She is stern but handsome with dark hair and eyes. She is one of Liandrin's group. She healed Moghedien after she was wounded by Birgitte and is considered one of the best at Healing in generations. She was captured after the attempt to kidnap Elayne and was held in captivity, along with Lady Shiaine, in the Royal Palace dungeon in Caemlyn. She was killed by Elayne with a blast of fire in the Royal Palace Dungeon.
- Dagdara, Yellow Ajah
- Delana Mosalaine is a stout Shienaran with light blue eyes and very fair hair, who was a sitter in the Hall of the Salidar of the Aes Sedai for the Gray Ajah. She is being manipulated by Halima, Aran'gar in disguise, but fled with Halima Saranov and Miesa (one of Delana's servants) when Jahar Narishma arrived at Salidar and detected someone channeling Saidin. She and Aran'gar were destroyed by balefire created by Rand al'Thor, as explained in the novel Towers of Midnight.
- Eldrith Jhondar, a round-faced and plump Aes Sedai formerly of the Brown Ajah. She has a Warder named Kennit. She is one of Liandrin's group. She was captured after the attempt to kidnap Elayne and held in captivity, along with Lady Shiaine, in the Royal Palace dungeon in Caemlyn. She was killed by Doilin Mellar slitting her throat in the Royal Palace Dungeon whilst Elayne used her as a shield.
- Elza Penfell is an Andoran originally of the Green Ajah but has defected to the Black Ajah. She is handsome and has brown eyes. Her warder, Fearil, is also a Darkfriend. Elza's allegiance to the Dark One was complicated when she was forced to swear fealty to Rand by Verin with Compulsion. During this time she killed the Forsaken Osang'ar with fire when he tried to assassinate Rand. She is killed by balefire created by Rand al'Thor's use of the True Power.
- Falion Bhoda, a cold, long-faced Kandori with dark, glossy hair, originally of the White Ajah. She is one of Liandrin's group. As a punishment for failing to retrieve a stash of angreal in Ebou Dar, she was given to Lady Shiaine by Moridin to punish and do with what she will.
- Fera, White Ajah
- Ispan Shefar, a Taraboner of the Blue Ajah. She is one of Liandrin's group. Captured by Nynaeve al'Meara, she is later murdered by unknown person(s). It is found out in Knife of Dreams, that she was murdered by Careane Fransi.
- Jeaine Caide, a slim Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah from Arad Doman, with coppery skin typical to that of the Domani. She was originally present to bring Moiraine and Siuan Sanche to the ceremony where they were raised to the shawl. She is currently with the remaining members of Liandrin's group in Amador.
- Joiya Byir was originally of the Gray Ajah. She has a friendly face with dark hair and gray eyes and is described as being "old enough to be Egwene's grandmother". She is one of Liandrin's group. She was murdered, along with Amico Nagoyin, by Isam in the Stone of Tear.
- Karale Sanghir, Gray Ajah
- Katerine Alruddin is a dark haired, hard-eyed Aes Sedai originally of the Red Ajah. She is one of the Aes Sedai who kidnapped Rand al'Thor. She was present in the White Tower and was present during Egwene's capture. She was killed by Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod whilst posing as Mesaana.
- Marillin Gemalphin is skinny, with dreamy blue eyes, lifeless pale brown hair and thin lips. She is one of Liandrin's group. She loves cats and was captured after the attempt to kidnap Elayne and is currently in captivity, along with Lady Shiaine, in the Royal Palace dungeon in Caemlyn.
- Marris Thornhill, Brown Ajah
- Miyasi, White Ajah
- Rianna Andomeran is an Aes Sedai of the White Ajah, but also secretly of the Black Ajah. She is from Kandor, and is black haired with a white streak above her left ear. She is one of Liandrin's group. Rianna accepted the instructions of Moghedien stolidly.
- Sheriam Bayanar, Blue Ajah. She is Saldean and described as slightly plump with high cheekbones, tilted green eyes, and has fiery red hair. Mistress of Novices under Siuan Sanche, she later becomes Keeper of the Chronicles in the rebel Hall of the Sitters. Min Farshaw has a viewing of Sheriam: rays of silver and blue flashed about her and a soft golden light. Min could not say what it meant. She was executed by Egwene's order after being exposed as Black.
- Talene Minly is formerly of the Green Ajah and is a Sitter. She was exposed as Black Ajah when she refused to reswear her Oaths in front of Doesine, Pevara, Saerin, Seaine and Yukiri. She has since been forced to reswear her Oaths and reveal several other Black Ajah members within the White Tower.
- Temaile Kinderode was originally of the Gray Ajah. She is diminutive and fox-faced with large blue eyes. She is from Cairhien and is described as being sadistic and enjoys causing pain. She is one of Liandrin's group. She was tormenting Amathera, the Panarch of Tarabon, before Elayne rescued her. She was captured after the attempt to kidnap Elayne and was held in captivity, along with Lady Shiaine, in the Royal Palace dungeon in Caemlyn. She was knocked unconscious by Elayne in the Royal Palace Dungeon, before Doilin Mellar killed her by stabbing her in the chest.
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