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Current gametime:
NE 1138 Shaldine 15 @ 20:00

The Aiel Race

 

WARNING: This page contains information which is

 intended to help you role play your Aiel character, and, 

therefore contains some spoilers, ESPECIALLY if you 

have not read The Shadow Rising, and The Fires

of Heaven yet.

 

The following information is compiled from information within the Wheel of Time books, the World of Robert

Jordan's Wheel of Time, information available on several web sites on the World Wide Web, and role play 

information established by the staff of Mirrorsmud .  You will notice that the history section does not include

the Aiel War, this is by design, as the timeline of Mirrorsmud is prior to the Aiel War.  Any information not

here that you think is pertinent can be forwarded to Loril.

 

I. General Customs

    A.  Equipment

            1. Weapons
                    a. Spears
                    b. Belt-knives
                    c. Staves
                    d. Other Weapons

            2. General Accessories

                    a.  Bucklers
                    b.  Pallets
                    c.  Containers

    B. Clothing

            1. The Cadin'sor

            2. Headgear

            3. Footwear

            4. Accessories

    C. Craftsmen

            1. Craftsmen and Battle

            2. Craftsmen and Ji'e'toh

    D. Battle

           1. The Dance of Spears

           2. Blood Feuds and Warrior Societies

    E. Rhuidean

            1. Wise Ones

            2. Clan Chiefs

II. The Clans

    A. The Twelve Clans

            1. Reyn

            2. Taardad

            3. Shaido

            4. Chareen 

            5. Nakai

            6. Codarra

            7. Daryne

            8. Goshien

            9. Miagoma

            10. Shaarad

            11. Shiande

            12. Tomenelle

    B. The Clan That Is Not

III. Warrior Societies

    A. Far Dareis Mai

    B. Far Aldazar Din

    C. Aethan Dor

    D. Shae'en M'taal

    E. Seia Doon

    F. Rahien Sorei

    G. Sovin Nai

    H. Hama N'dore

    I. Cor Darei

    J. Sha'mad Conde

    K. Duadhe Mahdi'in

    L. Tain Shari

IV. Wise Ones

V. Ji'e'toh

    A. Honor and Obligation

    B. Toh

    C. Gai'shain

VI. History

    A. Before the Breaking

    B. Wandering

    C. The Jenn Call

   

General Customs 

    There are quite a few general rules that surround the Aiel, ranging from what they wear, to what they use to fight with, how they fight, exceptions for their craftsman, and how one becomes a Clan Chief, or Wise One.  Also there is even a custom as to how to gain permission from a Hold roofmistress to enter her hold, a visitor must ask her 'leave to enter your hold' and she may refuse anyone, including the Clan Chief.

Equipment

    The Aiel utilize a lot of equipment that is specialized to the lands they live in, as well as the customs their long history as evolved them into.

Weapons

    The Aiel will not use any weapon that cannot be used for another purpose besides killing.  History led them to utilize primarily a specialized spear.

SPEARS
    The Aiel use a spear that is two feet in shaft length, tipped with a foot long blade of steel.  All aiel warriors carry with them three spears.

BOW
    Most Aiel are also proficient with a bow for long range combat.

BELTKNIVES
    Most Aiel also carry a belt knife, which can be used in battle, but is generally used for cutting meat off animals.

STAVES
    Staves are generally used only in sparring and training, but are considered viable options for an Aiel warrior to use in a fight.  Though it is rare that an Aiel would be without his or her spears.

Accessories

    Besides the above items, an Aiel is often found with a few more items vital to their survival.  

BUCKLERS
    Aiel warriors wear a buckler to help protect them in battle, the bucklers are round and about 18 inches in diameter, and provide ample defense to the agile warriors.

PALLETS
    While an Aielman can certainly sleep nearly anywhere, they enjoy the comfort of a nice wooden pallet when they can.  They seem to rest better, and heal from wounds quicker when they can utilize one.

CONTAINERS
    Some Aiel warriors, when traveling, will use various pouches, sacks and backpacks to carry the necessities of life in the Three-fold Land.  They also generally carry water skins to hold the water that is absolutely necessary in the dry, often extremely hot air.

Clothing

A vital part of the customs of the Aiel people, are the clothing they wear.  From head to toe, their clothing is a combination of colors and types to help blend with the surroundings, and bear the vast temperatures of the Three-fold Land, as well as some customs, and history which help dictate the gear.  Due to the strong customs of the Aiel people, their clothing is vitally important to them as well.  An Aiel who does not wear the cadin'sor as their outer most clothing, a shoufa about their head, and a veil when they are fighting, or preparing to fight, would be outcast by the Aiel people.  Likewise, any non-Aiel wearing this gear is generally considered offensive to the Aiel, and their history, and the Aiel strongly discourage such activity as well.

 

CADIN'SOR

The coat and breeches that every Aiel man, and Far Dareis Mai, wears date back to the clothing original worn by the Da'shain Aiel in the Age of Legends.  Literally, working clothes, they are made of a strong, but light weight material called algode.  They are dyed in drab shades of browns, greys and greens so as to blend in with the terrain of the Three-fold Land, and allow for easier camouflage.  

 

HEADGEAR

About the head, the Aiel wear a shoufa, made of the same algode material used for the cadin'sor, which covers the head and wraps around the neck protecting those areas from the hot sun present in the Three-fold Land's daylight hours.  Attached to the shoufa is a small piece of algode, of the same color as the shoufa, and cadin'sor, or occasionally, black, called a veil.  By custom the veil is only worn over the face, and in fact, is required to wear it, if the Aiel intends to 'dance the spears'.

 

FOOTWEAR

Aiel wear a variety of footwear, most common is a pair of high laced boots, however, on mirrorsmud the Aiel cobblers have discovered that gara skins can be used to make very durable, light, comfortable boots as well, and have been gaining in popularity since.

 

WOMEN

Aiel women, those not of Far Dareis Mai that is, wear different garb.  They wear a variety of blouses, skirts and dresses all in drab colors, similar to those worn by the men.  They are the only Aiel likely to wear jewelry, and in fact many, particularly Wise Ones, adorn themselves with as much jewelry as they possibly can.

 

ACCESSORIES

There are also many accessories that Aiel wear, among which are a variety of belts, gloves, stockings, shirts, small clothes.

 

Craftsmen

The Craftsmen of the Aiel people are highly regarded, particularly the blacksmiths, and are awarded certain exceptions to accepted customs of Aiel men.

Craftsmen and Battle

In battle, all men will take up the spear, save the blacksmiths.  They do not participate in battles, it is, however, generally accepted that should shadow spawn attack, a blacksmith may very well defend himself, and his Clan.

Craftsmen and Ji'e'toh

There are exceptions to some of Ji'e'toh that apply only to the Craftsmen.  Most importantly is the issue of craftsman and gai'shain.  A craftsman who is taken gai'shain must be allowed to work his or her trade one day out of every ten day week.  Furthermore, a Blacksmith cannot be taken gai'shain under any circumstance.

Battle

Aiel are widely respected for their abilities in battle.  Both in one on one combat, and their tactics on a battle field.  To the Aiel, battle is the Dance of Spears.  There are several reasons an Aiel might enter the Dance alone.  But actual widespread battle is generally only used in certain circumstances: fighting shadowspawn, and fighting in a blood feud are the most likely times.

The Dance of Spears

The Dance of Spears is the term used by all Aiel to refer to battle, whether a small scale fight of one warrior against one warrior, up to and including full Blood Feud battles involving entire septs, or even clans, led by the Sept Chief, or Clan Chief.

Blood Feuds and Warrior Societies

Occasionally, clans may reach a point between them that they come to blows.  Similarly to a war between nations, a blood feud is a large scale Dance of the Spears.  Even in a full blown blood feud there are always lines of communication open between the feuding clans.  This is because no Aiel will Dance the Spears with a member of his or her own warrior society.  Also, the Wise Ones will not engage in any battle, allowing them to wander between the feuding clans without being impeded in any way.

Rhuidean

The unfinished city of the Jenn Aiel, Rhuidean, is forbidden to all save those who the Wise Ones have given permission to enter, either to become a Wise One, or to become a Clan Chief.

Wise Ones

Wise Ones visit Rhuidean twice, once when they are to become an apprentice, when they enter the city naked, and enter a ter'angreal of three connected rings and eventually return up to seven days later.  The second time, to become a full Wise One, they go to the Heart of the city and enter the same ter'angreal that potential Clan Chiefs enter on their trip to the city.

Clan Chiefs

Men who are chosen to become Clan Chiefs go to Rhuidean one time, if they return, they will be marked with a tattoo on their right forearm of a golden scaled dragon, marking them a Clan Chief.  According to the Prophecies of Rhuidean, a man will one day come from Rhuidean with dragons on both arms, marking him the Chief of Chiefs, the Car'a'carn, He Who Comes With the Dawn.

The Clans

The Aiel people are spread among the Three-fold Land, organized by clans.  A child is a member of the Clan that his or her mother belongs to.  The Clans are further split into a number of Septs.  When a sept becomes too large for its hold, and sept splits in half, with one half leaving to start a new Sept in a new Hold.

The Twelve Clans

The twelve clans are spread along the Three-fold Land, each inhabiting different areas of the land.  Currently, the only clan open for Aiel to join on mirrorsmud is the Reyn.  Others will follow as we have enough land for another clan, and have a Hold, or at the least a small stand, for them to call home.

Reyn

The Reyn Aiel inhabit the lands west along the Dragonwall, from just north of the mouth of Jangai Pass, north to the southern lands of the Shaido, whose lands extend to the Mountains of Dhoom.  They continue east about one third of the way to the Cliffs of Dawn.

On the 20th of Taisham, 956 NE, Turan left from Whispering Springs Hold, where his wife, and the Hold's roofmistress, Jerinha had seen him become Sept Chief a few years earlier, to go with the Wise Ones to Rhuidean.  They had decided that he would go to become the next Clan Chief of the Reyn Aiel, after Sireac had died in a battle with the Codarra Aiel only 3 weeks earlier.

Turan returned on the 14th of Saban as Clan Chief, and four days later led the spears against the Shaido, who had begun raiding the northern lands, thinking Turan a weak Chief.  With him, Ianna led Far Dareis Mai, but returned early, when it was discovered she was pregnant with Turan's child.  On the 14th of Aine, Ianna and Jerinha decided that Ianna would wed Turan, and they would become sister-wives.  Upon Jerinha's death due to a mysterious illness, Ianna became the roofmistress of Whispering Springs Hold two years later.

Currently, Janduin, new clan chief of the Taardad Aiel has been spotted moving around the northern lands of the Taardad Aiel, raiding into the southern lands of the Reyn Aiel.  The two clans are now near Blood Feud, though Janduin moves often, and hides well.

Taardad

Shaido

Chareen 

Nakai

Codarra

Daryne

Goshien

Miagoma

Shaarad

Shiande

Tomenelle

 

The Clan That is Not

The Aiel often refer to the Clan that is not, also called the Jenn Aiel, or Truly Dedicated, who built the unfinished city of Rhuidean.  The Jenn Aiel were originally called the Da'shain Aiel, who date back to before the Dark One was freed from his prison.

The Warrior Societies

Aiel warriors are also members of twelve warrior societies.  Each Clan has members of all twelve societies, eleven for men, and one society for the aiel women who choose the warrior path.  Each society is capable of doing many things, but each has one specialty, a purpose that they excel in beyond what most Aiel warriors are capable of.

Far Dareis Mai

Far Dareis Mai are the Maidens of the Spear.  They have wed the spear in truth and cannot wed another.  If a Maiden wishes to marry a man she must give up the spear and break her three spears, freeing her of the oath and Far Dareis Mai.  Maidens are often used as scouts so they developed an intricate hand code to allow them to communicate without sound.  

A Maiden is forbidden to carry the spear while she carries a child.  When a Maiden has a child it is given to an Aiel women in such a manner that none know to whom the child belonged.  Far Dareis Mai is very strict about not letting men under their roof; only members and the gai’shain are allowed inside.  

Like all people Maidens enjoy games.  Some of their favorites are cat’s cradle, stones, and Thousand Flowers.  They also have invented their own game called Maidens’ Kiss.  This game can be played with any number of Maidens and the one (lucky or unlucky) man.  The Maidens gather around the man who has decided to play the game and they each press a spear to his neck.  They take a turn giving him a kiss; if the Maiden enjoys it she eases off of with her spear if she doesn’t like the kiss she presses harder.  

Far Dareis Mai, like all other warrior societies protect the hold and fight where they are needed.  Killing shadowspawn has always been a favorite pastime.  

by Zalevia, Far Dareis Mai of the Reyn Aiel

Far Aldazar Din

The Brothers to the Eagle are scouts, much like Far Dareis Mai, except that they excel at scouting areas that are more rigid.  Often they are used to scout areas along the Dragonwall, and other mountainous regions in the Three-fold Land.

Aethan Dor

The Red Shields serve as the Aiel Clan's peace keepers.  It is their job to ensure the safety of all the Aiel under their charge.  They also investigate claims of crime against any Aiel under their charge, whether it be within their clan or sept hold, or in a raiding party. 

Shae'en M'taal

The Stone Dogs represent the Aiel rear guards.  They are well known for their refusal to retreat even while being overwhelmed by greater numbers.  They ensure that their clan mates are protected as they pull out of a Dance.

Seia Doon

The Black Eyes are specialists in fighting during the twilight hours, and are excellent at finding their way in little to no light.  They often know the land better my how the ground feels under their feet, and how small amounts of light shine off surrounding landmarks, than by more visual sights.

Rahien Sorei

The Dawn Runners are often used by Sept and Clan Chiefs as the first to attack, or many times are most able to change the 'front' of the battle into an area seen as more favorable to their Chief.

Sovin Nai

The Knife Hands are often considered the best hand to hand combatants of the Aiel, it is said that one of the most interesting spars found among the Aiel are two Sovin Nai fighting with only hands and feet.  Some have even been known to prefer fighting in this manner, and leaving spears as a last resort in the Dance.

Hama N'dore

The Mountain Dancers excel at combat that occurs in mountainous regions, they are most capable of using the mountainous terrain as an advantage, rather than its typical disadvantage.  Often times, they are envolved in hunting along the Dragonwall, or even assaulting a flank near a mountainous region. 

Cor Darei

The Night Spears are generally used as night guards on encampments, and on holds.  While it is true that all Aiel guard in turn, the Night Spears often excel at such duties, and thrive on the opportunity to do so, to a point they will occasionally insist on protecting holds and encampments. 

Sha'mad Conde

The Thunder Walkers are generally used by Chiefs as reinforcements wherever they may be needed.  Often they will be put into spots of apparent weakness in the flanks to defend, or added power to opposing flanks that appear to be on the verge of falling.

Duadhe Mahdi'in

The Water Seekers are adept at locating hard to find water in the Three-fold land, and are best at getting meat from dead animals and using that meat to create palatable meals from them.  They also are well trained in discerning the difference between dangerous plants, and edible ones.

Tain Shari

The True Bloods are very secretive about what their specific purpose is.  They do, however, excel at many things, they will scout, they Dance well, but many, particularly the newer members seem to have a need to prove themselves to the other warrior societies, as good warriors.  This is assumed to be due to the obscurity of the specific purpose the True Bloods serve to the Clan Chiefs.

Wise Ones

“We often guide but do not tell”

Among the Aiel, Wise Ones are women chosen by other Wise Ones and trained in many things, among these, healing, herbs, and channeling. Wise Ones are required to go to the unfinished city of Rhuidean twice. The first time they go before beginning their training to be a Wise One. On the second journey to Rhuidean these women must face the glass columns, which reveal the history of the Aiel. 

While not all Wise Ones can channel the One Power, all Aiel women who can channel eventually become Wise Ones.  In the wetlands some women who are born with the spark must teach themselves to channel or die trying, while the Aiel Wise Ones find each and every Aiel woman who can channel. Their methods of teaching are different from Aes Sedai, but Aiel channelers are better at some things than Aes Sedai, including dreamwalking.

The Wise Ones, as a whole, often make Aes Sedai seem malleable and weak. But the Wise Ones are firm in their duty to the Aiel people. They make every effort possible to ensure that as many of the Aiel as possible survive the coming of the Car’a’carn.

by Elyvia, Wise One Apprentice

Ji'e'toh

The Aiel follow a complex code of honor (ji) and obligation (toh).  

Honor and Obligation

here are numerous paths to honor. In battle, for example, the smallest is gained by killing your opponent, while the greatest lies in touching a live, armed enemy without harming them. In ji'e'toh, honor is valued above all.  Opposing honor in ji'e'toh is shame. Shame is worse to an Aiel than injury or death.

On mirrorsmud, Aiel are expected to comply with ji'e'toh.  Shame can be gained by wearing clothing and equipment that do not fall within the guidelines of proper Aiel RP.  This includes, but is not limited to, Swords (this is the single most shaming offense known to Aiel), jewelry (save an occasional single piece a Maiden may have, or the Wise Ones, and general female population who can wear as much as they wish), wetlander cloaks, coats, and armor.

 

Toh

 Toh, or obligation, must be met in full if it is incurred. Aiel will accept even shame to fulfill a debt.  No Aiel would tell another that he/she owes him/her toh, toh is one's own to acknowledge, accept, and repay.  How toh is incurred, and how it is repaid is not a simple thing to understand.  Speaking with a Wise One while veiled could incur toh, repaying that toh is largely up to the offender, but someone who chooses a repayment that is too much, will be accused of being too proud, too little, and he/she could be accused of not recognizing his/her own worth.

Gai'shain

One of the most well known ways to repay toh is to become gai'shain to the person you offend.  Gai'shain wear distinctive white robes, and serve one year and one day.  They cannot fight in battle, and do not speak of what they were before becoming gai'shain.  They are gai'shain, when their time is up, only then will they be anything but gai'shain.  There are those who cannot be taken gai'shain, those include: Blacksmiths, Wise Ones, a child, a woman who has a child under the age of ten, and a woman who is with child.

History

The Aiel history goes back to well before the Breaking, to the Age of Legends, before Lews Therin sealed the bore, and even before the Aes Sedai created the Bore, when they were known as the Da'shain Aiel.

Before the Breaking

The Da'shain Aiel (which means something like dedicated to peace) where, in fact a peaceful people, but then, prior to the Bore being drilled, the world knew nothing of war at all.  The Da'shain Aiel served the Aes Sedai, back then male and female Sedai. It appears that the Aiel sang a song during battle.  

Wandering

One male Aes Sedai, after going insane listened to the Aiel sing as he killed them off, and listened for several hours to the last Aiel with him before finally striking him down with the Power.  Knowing that defeat was upon them, the Aes Sedai gathered up items of the Power and entrusted them to the Da'shain Aiel to watch over and protect until they found a new home.

This began the years of wandering as the world broke around them.  The Da'shain Aiel wandered, finding no help from others as they searched for a new home.  In fact, the peaceful Aiel were often victimized, children wear stolen, valuables were stolen, and no Aiel ever fought back, as they were docile people.

During this wandering, some of the Da'shain Aiel decided that protecting the Aes Sedai treasures was not a worthy task and left, those, the Da'shain called the Lost Ones.  Those are the only descendants of the Da'shain Aiel who still follow the Way of the Leaf.

Eventually, some of the younger men were fed up that the Da'shain were being taken advantage of, and decided to try to stop this.  They intended only to take back what had been stolen from them, but one of them picked up a spear, and, in defending himself, killed a man.  This is the root of the Aiel people's use of the spear as a weapon.  When he returned to the Da'shain, seeking support from his family he was told "hide your face, I had a son, once, with a face like that.  I do not wish to see it on a stranger."  This began the custom of Aiel veiling their faces before killing.

These cast out Aiel continued to follow the Da'shain, protecting them, though the Da'shain ignored them completely.  Eventually, a woman, whose child had been kidnapped, went to the cast out Aiel, and asked to join them.  The men broke off a spear short for her and gave it to her.  This is the root of Far Dareis Mai, and the shortened spear that all algai'siswai carry in battle.

As the Da'shain dwindled in number, due to nature's hazards, and those cast out to the other Aiel, they came along the Spine of the World to lands that would someday become Cairhein.  The Aiel approached the leader of a town, asking permission to access their water.  The leader agreed, provided the Aiel dig the wells themselves.  This act was later remembered by the Aiel, and is known as the Water Gift, causing the Aiel to give the Cairheinin a sapling of the Tree of Life, and granted it's merchants access to the Silk Path to Shara.

 

The Jenn Call

Eventually, the Da'shain Aiel found a home across the Spine of the World, or Dragonwall, as the Aiel call it, to the Three-fold Land, so called because  they believe it is: first a shaping stone to make them; second, a testing ground to prove their worth; and third, a punishment for their sin.  They were then called the Jenn Aiel, or True Aiel, by the rest of the Aiel.  As the Aiel spread across the Three-fold Land, and began to form clans, the Jenn began building a city, Rhuidean.

As the last of the Jenn Aiel began to die, they called the leaders of the Aiel clans, warning that any who do not come, will result in their clans destruction.  The Jenn told the Clan leaders of their long forgotten history, and sent them out, their leaders and Wise Ones to return to Rhuidean when chosen new, and learn of the prophecies of He Who Comes With the Dawn, or the Car'a'carn.  This is why all men and women must trek to Rhuidean to become Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones.


Last update: 2002 Feb 27 Suggestions, comments, errors? Contact mirrors@mirrorsmud.net