Written by Suana Sedai
This page documents the histories of The Seanchan at the start of the 4th Age. This information is created by the Weaves of the Wheel Storytelling community, for the purpose creating new characters and stories within a new timeline. This information is a creative effort by all community members and serves to provide a richly detailed world within which we play that adheres to the canon created by Robert Jordan. To find out more about Weaves of the Wheel Storytelling, click here
Seanchan is the name of the empire and people from the continent of the same name. The rule of Seanchan is totalitarian and is led by an Empress or Emperor who has absolute power. He or she reigns from the Crystal Throne at the Court of the Nine Moons, located in Seandar; the throne itself is a ter’angreal, inspiring awe and wonder of the person who sits on it. Below the Empress and those of her immediate family is the Blood, the noble class of the Empire.
The Seanchan empire has a rigid class structure. At the highest level are the Blood who trace their lineage back to Artur Hawkwing by way of his son Luthair. Below them are the free men and women. Lower still are slaves. There are a number of sub-classes within these three groups:
Slaves are known as da’covale, or “those who are property.”
Within the da’covale is a subclass of slaves called so’jhin. These are slaves who belong to the Blood and have a position of power among the other slaves. So’jhin are considered to have higher rank than free men and women.
Damane are considered da’covale. However they are considered to rank even below common house slaves, and akin to animals.
The highest tier of Seanchan society is held by those who are of the Blood. Initially, it was only the descendants of Luthair and his armies who were of the Blood, but over time others have been raised to the Blood.
The Blood are divided into two groups, the Low Blood and the High Blood. Members of the Low Blood have their hair cut into a bowl-type cut with a tail in the back and lacquer the last one or two nails on each hand. The High Blood shave the sides of their heads, leaving a long crest running along the top of their heads and lacquer the first one or two nails on each hand, depending on their rank (two is higher than just one). Members of the Imperial Family shave their heads bald and lacquer all of their fingernails.
Seanchan is located on a continent west across the Aryth Ocean. Its nearest shores are over 5,000 miles to the west of the Westlands. It is divided into two landmasses separated by a wide dividing channel, and is longer north-to-south than east-to-west, although it is split by many fissures and fjords. The Morenal Ocean separates Seanchan from Shara to the west.
A thousand years after the Trolloc Wars, Artur Hawkwing sent a vast fleet led by his son, Luthair Paendrag Mondwin, across the Aryth Ocean. Luthair’s fleet failed to return to the continent from which they came, and was presumed lost, when in actuality, the fleet had actually made it across the ocean to arrive in Seanchan.
In a process called the Consolidation, Luthair and his descendants subjugated and unified the continent into the Seanchan Empire. The Consolidation is revealed to have taken nearly eight hundred years. Luthair’s heirs continue to rule the Empire.
Recently, the Seanchan Empire has engaged in a concerted effort to retake the continent from which the Empire’s rulers’ ancestors hailed, known as the Return. During the initial wave of the Return, the Seanchan were successful in taking Tarabon and Amadicia, and continued their advance, taking Ebou Dar and southern Altara. The Seanchan were ready to lay siege into Illian, before the Last battle, and were prevented by doing so when Fortuona agreed to join the Dragon’s Peace, which secured the empire’s current borders (Tarabon, Altara, Amadicia and half of Almoth Plain).
Damane and Sul’dam
A damane (Leashed One) is a woman who can channel who has been leased with an a’dam a special ter’angreal that looks like a silver leash and bracelet. The a’dam creates a link between the two female channellers; the wearer of the collar is completely controlled by the wearer of the bracelet. Damane are women born with the spark or ability to channel.
A woman who can channel and who has not been collared is known as marath’damane (One who must be leashed), and is seen as an abomination. Seanchan consider any Aes Sedai not collared to be marath’damane.
Sul’dam (Leash Holder) are Seanchan women who can control damane. Sul’dam control damane through the use of an a’dam. Using the a’dam, the sul’dam can sense the thoughts and feelings of the damane and also inflict pain or pleasure. Sul’dam are women who could learn to channel but are not born with the spark.
A very high ranking sul’dam, usually ranking in the Low or High Blood, gains the prefix der’, literally meaning “master.” They usually own more than one damane. They also train other sul’dam.
Canon notes to obey in Storytelling
The interactions of members of different classes are extremely regimented. For instance, it is forbidden to look someone of a higher class directly in the eye. Also, someone of high rank will generally not speak to someone of significantly lower rank; instead they will communicate with the inferior by using a slave (called a Voice) to relay their message.
Weaves of the Wheel Histories
1 – 7 ALB – The land of Seanchan is in Civil War following the death of the Empress, Radhanan. This is a gradual process over the next few years and is influenced by a number of factors. For one, Fortuona is named Empress, but remains in the Westlands for a period of time to secure lands claimed, leaving many to dispute her right to a Throne she has yet to sit upon. For another, word spreads that Sul’dam are women who could learn to channel. Given the high status of Sul’dam in the Seanchan class system, the knowledge shakes the foundations of the Seanchan civilization to its very core.
2 ALB – The Seanchan discover a horde of male a’dam in Tarabon. The male collar requires two female channelers to operate and hold. The Seanchan set out to capture male channelers for the leash. The numbers are relatively low, due to the fact that male channelers are not as easily detectable as female channelers. It requires a great deal of trial and error on Sul’dam’s part. That the Seanchan have an a’dam for capturing males is unbeknown to the Black Tower at this time.
2 ALB – Fortuona and Knoti announced the safe arrival of their first child. A son called Jain Artur Paendrag.
3 ALB – A Seanchan base is established in southern Altara, and a member of the High Blood (House Mitosbar) is awarded governing power of the Seanchan held lands.
4 ALB – Fortuona and Knoti announce the birth of a second child, a daughter called Melovi Bodewhin Paendrag.
6 ALB – A third child, a daughter called Mena Athaem Tanra Paendrag
7 ALB – The Empress Fortuona eventually returns to Seanchan to claim the Crystal Throne and attempt to end the Civil War (Matrim Cauthon remains in the Westlands with all but the youngest child, who stays with Fortuona). 60% of Seanchan army and resources (Sul’dam and Damane) that currently hold the Westlands are called home, to regain order and the Throne for Fortuona. Discussions to push borders and claim more lands in the Westlands take place, but do not extend beyond this stage. Limited resources and the honor of the Empress and Knoti see that the Seanchan hold to the agreement of the Dragon’s Peace.
9 ALB – The status of Sul’dam has fallen in Seanchan. Many have been targeted by the free people and it has resulted in many deaths. Sul’dam are now heavily guarded and recruitment numbers stagnate.
10 ALB – Fortuona succeeds in claiming the Crystal Throne. It ends the unrest in Sandar, but not in the rest of the country of Seanchan.
12 ALB – Fortuona and Knoti announce the birth of a 4th child and 2nd son, Adar Therin Sur Paendrag. There are those who question the legitimate paternity, although not openly.
16 ALB – The 2nd son is murdered by the first born.
19 ALB – Mat Cauthon disappears and is not heard from again. Rumours that he fled his marriage to the Empress for a “pretty serving girl” are spoken in hushed tones, however his disappearance is never fully confirmed. Many suspect the Empress had him murdered as he no longer served her purpose.
21 ALB – What had been a closely guarded secret is finally revealed. The Empress Fortuona is trained as a Sul’dam. The civil war escalates.
25 ALB – The Seanchan have experimented with collaring male channelers since the Last Battle. However, due to limited numbers of Sul’dam, the Seanchan pass law that states male channelers will no longer be collared, but instead killed if captured. The Black Tower view this law as a breach of The Dragon’s Peace, and they demand retribution, stating that the governing bodies of the Westlands should unite the armies to launch an invasion into Seanchan held territories, and push them out of the Westlands.
27 ALB – After much debate, the White Tower advises all lands to respect the laws of Seanchan territories as the Dragon’s Peace clearly states the Seanchan have not broken any agreement, due to Seanchan only following their own upheld laws within their own territories.
32ALB – The 1st daughter of Fortuona is murdered in an attempt on the Empress’ life.
38 ALB – A mercenary army forms, led by the Black Tower, in an attempt to push back the Seanchan borders.
42 ALB – Border raids and skirmishes become a daily occurrence, over the course of several years, the borders move back and forth, between Seanchan victories and Westland Mercenary army victories.
48 ALB – Empress Fortuona dies in her sleep. Many suspect assassination, though it is never confirmed.
51 ALB – As the Civil War in Seanchan reaches critical conclusion, more of Seanchans military forces are called home, leaving Seanchan held territories vulnerable.
54 ALB – The Civil War in Seanchan ends, but battles still rage, and the land remains unstable. Fortuona and Knoti’s remaining children fight for the Crystal Throne.
56 ALB – The New Empress takes the Crystal Throne, and the name Domina Athaem Tanra Paendrag. Seeks to increase the size of the Empire, although military numbers are heavily depleted.
68 ALB – Empress Domina is assassinated. Her children fight for the Crystal Throne.
72 ALB – Emperor Khonyesh Adol Paendrag succeeds in taking the Crystal Throne.
88 ALB – Negotiations for a new Dragon’s Peace agreement begin. The Seanchan make plans to reclaim more lands in the West. Their eyes set on negotiating terms to take Tear and Ilian in the new agreement, without the need for bloodshed. While they are aware they do not currently have the numbers for another war, the fact remains that even against the militaries of the Westlands, their Damane and Mat’s Dragons, mean the Seanchan would still hold the advantage, however small, in the outcome of war.
94 ALB -The Seanchan in the Westlands call for more military strength from the homelands and begin preparations for an invasion.
96 ALB – With the original peace agreement meeting its end, the Seanchan army is increasing in numbers, they secure the borders to their lands and attempt to secure all of Altara as theirs.
99 ALB – The Aiel are distracted by invasion from the forces of Shara. All but very small groups return to the Waste, leaving the already weakened borders in the wetlands even weaker. The Seanchan secure the border of Altara, with all of it claimed under Seanchan territory. Westland armies move to hold the borders so that the Seanchan do not push into Murandy or Ghealdan. The Seanchan view this as an act of war.
100 ALB – Forces arrive from Seanchan. With the Peace ended, the Seanchan declare war in the Westlands.
102 ALB – Seanchan military forces consolidated. Elite Peacekeepers left behind in the homeland to avoid rebellion. Approximately 90% of forces now in Westlands. “Standoff” at the current borders between Ever Victorious Army and Westland military forces.
106 ALB – Login personally leads a raid into Seanchan territory. Frees a number of captives, both Channelers and soldiers. He is captured while fleeing. (see: Black Tower)
107 ALB – Logain Ablar is executed. Asha’man scatter. Some break into vigilante groups and attack the Seanchan.
116 ALB – Powderkeg explodes. Skirmishes begin on the Illian/Altara border. Large number of Seanchan casualties in a single battle, taken by surprise. Causes Seanchan troop movement toward Illian.
118 ALB – The Siege of Illian begins.
124 ALB – The Death of the Emperor Khonyesh.
124 ALB – The Empress Larahien takes the Crystal Throne.
129 ALB – Altara to become contested territory as Westland Forces push from Illian and Murandy.
131 ALB – Doomseer speaks before the Empress and declares that to keep her Empire, she must lose her brother. “If you kill your elder brother today, your empire will continue to grow. If you kill him in five year’s time, your borders will become stable. Wait ten years, and lose your Empire in the West. That you will kill him is certain. The question is when? This I have seen.” Empress orders Doomerseers execution.
136 ALB – Seanchan lose half of Altara, retreating back to the south. Forces/Resources depleted. Due to constant loss and loss of honor, and remembering the Doomseer’s warning, The Empress chooses to have elder brother removed from his position and executed. Names younger brother Praesidii Invictus to the position of Captain General of the Ever Victorious Army.
137 ALB – Praesidii Invictus begins a defensive campaign for the first time in Seanchan military history.
141 ALB – Emissaries from the Empress are sent to all reigning monarchs to begin negotiations for borders and peace.
144 ALB – The Seanchan agree terms that Tower trained channelers can travel freely in Seanchan occupied territories in the Westlands, providing they have necessary documentation to show they have received Tower training. Both Towers are granted yearly recruitment visits within the lands, and in exchange, the Seanchan may do the same in the Westlands.