Seanchan (Nation)

From Tar Valon Library
Jump to: navigation, search


The Seanchan Empire occupies the continent of Seanchan and the islands around it. It was ruled by an Empress, who is a descendant of Luthair Paendrag. The Society is highly rigid and though the armies of Luthair eventually conquered the land, it can also be considered that the land conquered them as they adopted the customs and practices of Seanchan instead of retaining their own. After the murder of the Empress and Royal Family by Semirhage, the land fell into chaos with many factions competing for the throne (TGS, Prologue).


Main article: Seanchan (History)

Before Artur Hawkwing's fleet arrived in Seanchan, borders were constantly shifting and the lands were mostly ruled by Aes Sedai. This changed when Luthair Paendrag and his troops infiltrated the land and began to bring everything under their control, establishing the Empire.

Soon, the native Aes Sedai were collared by the means of the a'dam, a ter'angreal made to control channelers, and brought to heel. With their help, Luthair and his descendants conquered the entire continent, which took several hundred years.

Politics and Government

Main article: Seanchan (Government)

The Empire of Seanchan is ruled by the Empress. The military under her command uses damane to successfully crush any rebellious acts that might occur. The chain of command follows a strict order, which effectively ensures the safety of the Empire.

  • The Blood: Nobility in Seanchan. In the first hundred years, only the direct descendants of Luthair Paendrag were referred to as the Blood. Now that one can be raised to the Blood – most commonly as reward for a noble deed that serves the good of the Empire – the descendants are called the High Blood.
  • So'jhin: Servants of the Blood. They are born da'covale, property, but carry considerable authority and are often quite powerful in their own right. Even the Blood are wary around so'jhin of higher-ups.
  • Da'covale: Property, slaves. Da'covale can rise to positions of authority and people with authoritative positions can be reduced to da'covale.

Foreign Affairs

Being an independent country, Seanchan does not have to trade with foreigners. In fact, the Sea Folk, being the only ones able to because of their seafaring nature, don't dare to cross the Aryth Ocean.

The Seanchan are of the opinion that they, being the descendants of Artur Hawkwing, have a right to rule the Westlands. They make the people of the conquered nations swear the Oath of Return, which basically means serving them, and try to conform the lands to their ruling system.

The Return

Main article: Corenne

Luthair's descendants planned to return to the Westlands almost as soon as they heard of the fall of Hawkwing's empire, to "take back what was once theirs." Recently, the Seanchan have arrived on the main continent and begun to "retake" the lands. They were intially forced back at Falme by the Dragon Reborn and the Heores of the Horn, but later returned to the south, to conquer Tarabon, Altara and Amadicia, though their incursion into Illian was halted.


Main article: Seanchan (Culture)

The Seanchan Empire has a rigid social structure in which every person is aware of their place. The concept of honor is important and affects much of the way people live. They also are influenced by omens with the belief that the Pattern guides them by sending hints of what has to come. They have however, lost much knowledge from the Westlands including the reality of Shadowspawn and ta'veren.


Main article: Seanchan Character List

As can be expected from a large continent, people look different in every part of it.

Everyone has their place in society and can only rise above their station by being raised to the Blood due to outstanding acts or by being made da'covale of the Blood. The latter means giving up freedom for oneself and the generations to come.

Military and Security

Main article: Seanchan (Military)

The main army in Seanchan is the Ever Victorious Army. As their name might suggest, they have never lost a war.

  • Armies of the Night: The exotic beasts of Seanchan are the offspring of the creatures that were imported from mirror worlds via Portal Stones to kill off the Shadowspawn on the continent in the first thousand years after the Breaking. Luthair Paendrag's army mistook them for creatures of the Shadows, giving them the name "Armies of the Night."
  • Deathwatch Guard: An elite military formation consisting of both human and Ogier, they are sworn to protect the Imperial family. All human members are personal da'covale to the Empress, either born as such or chosen at a very young age. The Ogier in the Deathwatch Guard are called Gardeners.
  • Seekers for Truth/Listeners: Spy organizations. Listeners gather information without revealing themselves, while the Seekers also serve as a kind of police. They have the authority to question anyone they think are a threat to the Empire and root out Darkfriends.
  • Sul'dam and damane: Both damane and sul'dam are women who can channel, although the majority does not know this of the latter. Damane have the spark inborn and are thus considered dangerous and must be leashed by the means of an a'dam, a ter'angreal that allows one channeler to control another. Sul'dam are the ones to hold that leash and train the damane as well as use them in battle.

Prophecies, Viewings and Dreams

Main article: Seanchan (Prophecies)

The Seanchan have their own version of the Prophecies of the Dragon, rewritten by Luthair Paendrag, and are also mentioned in the original Karaethon Cycle. People have had Foretellings, viewings and dreams concerning the Seanchan, too. They also have their own unique set of propheceies not known in the Westlands, the Essanik Cycle.

Old Tongue Terms

The Seanchan use a number of Old Tongue terms

  • a'dam: Leash
  • Atha'an Shadar: darkfriend
  • damane: Leashed one
  • Marath'damane: Those who must be leashed
  • sul'dam: Leash holder
  • da'covale: One who is owned
  • da’concion: “the Chosen Ones” (The Forsaken)
  • se'cair: Golden Eyes
  • sei'moseiv: lowered eyes (one who has lost honor)
  • sei'tair: Level eyes
  • soe'feia': Truth speaker
  • so'jhin: Height among lowness