The Forsaken are an evil cult of channelers that remained serviant to the Shadow, a form of evil in the world and an actual manifestation of the Dark One. They are the major antagonistic group in The Wheel of Time epic fantasy book series. The Forsaken were labeled as "Those Chosen To Rule The World Forever", or simply the "The Chosen" by others who followed this concept of chaos. At the beginning of the series, the 13 Forsaken are Ishamael, Demandred, Rahvin, Aginor, Sammael, Bel'al, Balthamel, Asmodean Lanfear, Moghedien, Semirhage, Graendal, Mesaana. The title of "Chosen," however, can be bestowed by the Dark One.
In the Age of Legends, those who could channel the One Power afforded the most status and honor as Aes Sedai, living up to the literal translation "servants of all." They employed their various Talents in ways that served the good of society. If a channeler used the Power in a way that was harmful or deceitful, which was relatively rare, he or she would be bound as a criminal by a binder that prevented a repeat offense. Although some such individuals existed who were immoral, there existed little or no opportunities to prosper through corrupt means. This changed when the Dark One's touch entered the world. It began when research at the Collam Daan led to an energy source, seemingly outside the Pattern, which could be tapped by both men and women equally, without the restrictions associated in the gender split of the True Source. Led by researcher Mierin Eronaile, later known as Lanfear, a bore was drilled where the Pattern was thin, into the energy source so tantalizing - and straight through into the Dark One's prison. The Bore had been created, and the effects the Dark One had on the world would affect society at its basest level, and cause the Collapse. The worst side of human emotions were released, violence and corruption blossomed where once there had been a near Utopia. In addition, there were now rewards for evil acts. The Dark One encouraged those discontent with their lot with an option for power. Average people who swore allegiance to the Shadow called themselves Friends of the Dark and were promised immortality. Those who dedicated themselves to the Dark One and could channel were given the highest status and became the "Chosen" by swearing oaths at Shayol Ghul.
The War of Power and the True Power
The War of the Shadow was largely led by Forsaken. They held positions of power and leadership, commanding armies that ravaged mercilessly against defenders of the Light and innocent civilians alike, and governing territories for the Dark with rule marked by terror. They worked behind the scenes fomenting discord, spreading propaganda, and orchestrating disastrous "accidents." They perpetrated countless atrocities against humanity in the name of science, knowledge, or with no "cause" whatsoever. Acting as Dreadlords, each of the Forsaken was marked in a manner such that no Shadowspawn could disobey them. The mark also enabled the Dark One to find them at any time, such that they cannot hide from their master.Once there were many Forsaken, at least thirty of high rank, but they schemed against each other as often as against the forces of the Light. Twenty-nine of the Forsaken were given special permission from the Dark One to touch the True Power. This was the unified source of energy originally sought by Lanfear's research, equally accessible to males and females, but only with the access granted personally by the Dark One.
By the last days of the War of Power, none approaching the strength of those now known as the Forsaken still lived, though none had died through the efforts of the Light. The Forsaken schemed and plotted against one another, each vying for the highest honor bestowed by the Dark One, which was to be named Nae'blis: the one who would stand greater than all other Forsaken, to stand higher than all humanity, second only to the "Great Lord" himself. The Dark One encouraged such activity among his servants, as he only wished the strongest to serve him. The Dark One himself had a considerable number of Forsaken killed due to his own suspicions, according to Demandred. The Forsaken all joined the Dark One for selfish reasons - power, glory, immortality, revenge, freedom from societal restrictions, etc. This selfishness has lead Verin to make the statement that, for all their power, the Forsaken are actually fairly predictable.After the Bore was sealed, the active members of those who were called Forsaken turned their armies against each other. It is assured that none managed to survive the Breaking.
The lead thirteen however, managed to survive, though trapped. They had been summoned to Shayol Ghul and all thirteen were gathered deep within the mountain when Lews Therin Telamon arrived with the Hundred Companions. The Strike sealed the Bore to the Dark One's prison using the cuendillar Seals, imprisoning the Dark One and the 13 Forsaken members.
- Demandred, Rahvin
- Aginor, Asmodean, Ishamael, Lanfear, Semirhage
- Mesaana, Balthamel
- Be'lal, Moghedien
- Sammael, Graendal<null>
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