During the Age of Legends, no one knew who or what the Dark One was. His
power, long trapped outside the Pattern by the Creator, had never touched
There were Aes Sedai though that disliked the limitations placed on their
power by the world in which they lived, a world without the One Power. They
longed for more, wanted to feel a source of power beyond the two sides of
the True Source, saidin and saidar.
A group of researchers began to look for ways to reach beyond the Pattern
itself, to the One Power. The One Power was the Holy Grail. It was a source
of power that was not constrained by the limitations of the True Source. It
was not restricted to male or female, it was not limited to the Pattern, it
was a power all of its own.
This small Aes Sedai led research group found a way they hoped to access the
One Power. A place where the Pattern was thin and vulnerable. Using saidar
and saidin, this group of researchers bored a hole into the Pattern.
Their efforts were the beginning of the end. It was not a source of One Power
they had uncovered, but rather, the place outside the Pattern where the Dark
One had been long imprisoned by the Creator. And while the hole bored in the
Pattern was not enough for the Dark One to escape, it now allowed him to touch
a world that had never known evil, never known hatred, or never known war.
The world would learn soon enough the meaning of each.
Men and women of ambition were the quickest to learn of the Dark One. He
embraced those who wanted power. These people, having given their souls for
power, knew their new master by a name never heard before in the world -
Shai'tan. Only the most hardy and devoted can say that name without fear though.
The rest simply call him the Great Lord of the Dark.
The strongest Aes Sedai to join the Dark One became Dreadlords. These fearsome
opponents led the armies of Shai'tan, destroying all in their way. But even
among the Dreadlords, there were those who were stronger, smarter, than the
rest. Those 13 strongest Dreadlords, those Chosen by the the Dark One, were
given immortality, a reward for their eternal service.
Foremost among those Chosen was Ishamael, meaning "Betrayer of Hope." Known by
many other names; Ba'alzamon, Heart of the Dark, and Soul of the Shadow, he was
Shai'tan's highest General. He was the strongest of the 13 Chosen, stronger
than even Lews Therin Telamon, though fools believed otherwise.
Ba'alzamon was the first man to side with the Dark One. His public pronunciations
of the destruction of the old order were many of the Dark One's first real strikes
against the world during the Age of Legends. The chaos that Ba'alzamon created
for the Dark One has never been truly matched.
When the fool Lews Therin tried in vain to seal the Bore, Ba'alzamon narrowly
escaped imprisonment. Since that time, he has been steadily preparing the world
for the return of the Dark One, when the seals on the Bore can be destroyed.
Through his influence, and by the command of the Great Lord of the Dark, we prepare
the world for their return, to a world in chaos.