The Wheel of Time - The Call of the Horn
Ogier (pronounced: OH-gehr) are a race of non-human creatures who have an intense love of knowledge and peace. Also known as Alantin, or Tree brothers by the Aiel, they are great architects and stonemasons, responsible for many of the most impressive structures and cities of the world. Ogier stonework is known for its organic nature, often appearing to have been grown like plants. However, it is considered to be a skill they picked up during the Breaking, and unimportant compared to their first love, forestry. They love the trees of their stedding, and grew groves near the cities they built to remind them of their home. Even their written language resembles growing leaves and vines. This encyclopedia contains a List of Ogier mentioned or active in the storyline.
Ogier men stand about ten feet tall (“half again as tall as a man”). The women are only slightly shorter, and softer in feature. They have broad noses, wide mouths, long tufted ears, and eyes the size of teacups. Ogier ears are a secondary erogenous zone, and thus are not talked about in polite company. Ogier are very long lived compared to humans: Loial, the young Ogier scholar who has been traveling with Rand al’Thor, is considered by his elders to be the impetuous and irresponsible equivalent of a human teenager, despite being over ninety years old.
While the Ogier still visit the older cities to maintain their ancient stonework, the more remote areas have relegated them to myth and legend. Ogier-scale beds and rooms, once common, are now rare indeed. Not many now know what they look like. Even in Caemlyn, the capital city of Andor, the sight of an Ogier could result in a riot, and the assault of the Ogier as a Trolloc. Only in Tar Valon, Tear, Cairhien, and Illian is the sight of an Ogier relatively common, due to Ogier stonemasons, and even at those great cities, it is something to be remarked upon. However, to those who know them, they are known as a slow, thoughtful people whom it is very hard to hate. Even the Aiel maintain them as water-friends, and are one of the few who trade with the stedding often.
Ogier from the mainland are a peaceful and reclusive race who rarely leave their stedding; whose society emphasizes rationality and slow, thorough debate; they deplore haste and abhor violence. However, when roused to anger they make unflinching, steadfast warriors; the common saying, “To anger the Ogier and bring mountains down on your head”, suggests the difficulty of provoking an Ogier – and also the danger, though the meaning has changed over the years. The strong martial tradition of the Ogier has faded over the years. During the Age of Legends and the War of the Shadow, they were known to be fierce warriors (and also appear to have acted as a police force), with Lews Therin Telamon elected as their head. During that age, the Ogier used their skill at Treesinging (with the aid of the Da’shain Aiel and the Nym) to help in the growth of crops, leading to them being known as tia avende alentin; in the Old Tongue, “Brother to the Trees”, or simply Treebrother). They also seem to have served as feared warriors during the Trolloc Wars, so fierce they were not considered to be safe, though only warrior Ogier of Seanchan seem to have maintained this reputation. The Ogier refuse to take any part in the wars of humans, and avoided the later War of the Hundred Years. However, they are ‘concerned’ with the Shadow and whenever the Shadow threatens the world the Ogier will march to face it, as they did in the War of the Shadow and the Trolloc Wars and may do again at Tarmon Gai’don.
The Ogier of the lands of the east have been tied to the stedding since the Breaking of the World. Even during the Age of Legends they were tied to the stedding, in ways no longer understood. Due to the chaos of the Breaking, they could no longer could find the stedding nor stay very long in any they could find. The Ogier also live in the Seanchan Empire far across the Aryth Ocean; very little is known of Seanchan society or how the Ogier function within it, except that a division of the Seanchan Empress’s Deathwatch Guards is composed solely of (free) Ogier, known as Gardeners, who carry huge axes and apparently do not have the same reservations against violence as Ogier in the mainland. Seanchan Ogier also do not suffer from the Longing, because the concentration of stedding in Seanchan was much higher than in the land where Artur Hawkwing was born. This allowed them to stave off the Longing, though the effects on their culture and mindset is unknown.
The Ogier aided the male Aes Sedai during the Breaking, by allowing them refuge in the stedding, though all eventually left due to the agony of disconnection from the Power. This may have prolonged the Breaking, or allowed the vestiges of civilization to survive it; scholars are divided on this issue. The grateful male Aes Sedai, calling upon their knowledge of other worlds and the Portal Stone, grew a strange network of portals called the Ways. They left the Ogier with a ter’angreal called the Talisman of Growing, which could build new Waygates for the network and repair damaged Waygates. Waygates stand just outside every stedding, and every Ogier grove in any Ogier-designed city, and allow rapid transit to other Waygates, shortening journeys that would normally take months to mere days. However, in recent centuries, around the time of the War of the Hundred Years, Machin Shin, the Black Wind, appeared within the Ways; this hungry, irrational presence devours anyone or anything it encounters. It may be a result of the taint on saidin, or a remnant of the War of Power; or it may be something more sinister. Furthermore, the Ways themselves are deteriorating: well-maintained stone paths and beautiful gardens which soothed Ogier minds, which once spiralled majestically into warmth and light of sorts; they now crumble into bottomless darkness and pitted, bare stone. Finally, as some of the northern stedding have been consumed by the Great Blight, the Shadow’s forces now have access to the Ways, and they are sometimes used to quickly move troops across vast distances, although the presence of Machin Shin and various traps laid by the male Aes Sedai makes this a risky maneuver.
As events in the world march toward Tarmon Gai’don, the Ogier have convened a Great Stump to consider what to do; some have suggested opening the “Book of Translation”, which may be a ter’angreal or other device that will bodily transport the Ogier race to another, more peaceful world; this must happen, they say, in order for the Fourth Age to commence properly. At the same time, the Great Stump must consider the timing – they must help win Tarmon Gai’don, or else they are doomed regardless of how far they flee. According to this new evidence, the Ogier may then be originally from another planet or reality.
Book of Translation
The Book of Translation is an artifact in the possession of the Ogier. Its full capabilities and origin are unknown at this time. However, it is known that the Book possesses the power to move or transport the Ogier race between worlds. Whether this is between different planets or different reflections of this world (such as the portal stone dimensions) is unclear.
The Ogier used the Book of Translation to come to this world some immeasurable time before the War of the Shadow, during or before the Age of Legends, and according to prophecy or history they believe they will one day use the Book to depart this world. According to the Ogier, there are some Ages of the Wheel of Time in which they are not present in the world, and during these times they exist somewhere else. When the appropriate Age comes again, they will return via the Book of Translation.
The Ogier have always had the option of using the Book of Translation to flee should they ever be imperiled as a species, yet chose not to exercise this option during the War of the Shadow, nor even during the Breaking of the World that followed it. They also chose not to flee during the Trolloc Wars. In each case they stood and fought the Shadow alongside their human allies. However, in 999 and 1000 NE the Ogier Great Stump began meeting to discuss opening the Book of Translation and fleeing ahead of the Last Battle, which, it was becoming increasingly clear, was imminent. The Ogier fell into two camps during the argument, one favouring this move and the other opposing it, on the grounds that should the Dark One win the Last Battle, then any other world they fled to may be in danger as well. There was also the matter of Longing, which may result in the Ogier dying if they are moved from the proximity of the stedding for more than a few years. This debate remains ongoing. Covril of Stedding Shangtai is in favour of opening the book, but Elder Haman and Covril’s son Loial take the opposing view.
The term Elder is used by both the Ogier and the Kin. Elders among the Ogier are the leaders of their society. They may be male or female and are generally old by even Ogier standards. The highest and oldest of the Elders is known as the Eldest. Eldest is not a singular title, and presumably every stedding has an Eldest. Elders among the Kin are the thirteen oldest Kinswomen in Ebou Dar and comprise their Knitting Circle. That group is lead by the oldest of them and is known as the Eldest.
A Great Stump is a meeting of Ogier elders from every stedding. The Great Stump often will drag on for a long time, as is the way of Ogier. No decisions are reached without thorough, rational discussions. It is called for during times of great change and when important decisions must be made that will affect all of the Ogier. A Great Stump has recently been called for the first time in a thousand years. Various stedding take turns hosting the meeting; this time it is taking place at Shangtai. The Great Stump gathers to debate the opening of the Book of Translation, and the possible departure of the Ogier from the world. Loial plans to speak at the Great Stump to argue against the opening of the Book of Translation. He wants to convince the Ogier to take up arms alongside humans once more to fight the shadow at Tarmon Gai’don.
The Long Exile is the name given to the period when the Ogier lost track of the stedding and began to succumb to the sickness of the Longing. This period spans much of the Breaking of the World and some of the succeeding generations before the Ogier found the stedding again. Despite the 3,500 years that have passed since the Exile, the Ogier still suffer from the Longing if they spend more than a few years outside the stedding without returning. The Ogier of Seanchan did not suffer from the Exile, as they never lost track of the stedding, which were more numerous on their landmass.
The Longing is a phenomenon experienced by the Ogier. During the Breaking of the World, many Ogier stedding were lost or destroyed; the Ogier wandered for a long time searching for them. This period of time apparently sensitized the Ogier to separation from the stedding; a present-day Ogier who leaves the stedding for a long time becomes increasingly ill, among other effects. The Longing, as well as Ogier distaste for the hasty, warlike habits of humanity, is a key reason for the Ogier tendency to stay safely within the stedding.
The Ogier sing this song. The name of the song, if it has any, is unknown.
Clear the field, smooth it low.
Let no weed or stubble stand.
Here we labor, here we toil,
here the towering trees will grow.
Ogier groves are groups of trees that were planted after the Breaking of the World. They are located near places Ogier live or worked, particularly stedding and Ogier built cities such as Caemlyn, Tar Valon, and Manetheren. They were grown to add beauty to the world. Ogier sometimes use the ones in their stedding as public meeting places. Many waygates are located near places where groves onces stood. The Ogier Groves are said to contain every type of tree the Ogier could coax to grow there.
Treesinging is an ability mostly unique to the Ogier in the modern day. It allows them to stimulate the growth of plants, usually trees, through the use of special songs. It also allows them to use different songs to control the growth and to communicate, in a fashion, with the plant; Treesingers are known to produce extremely distinctive, valuable wooden crafts. They are able to make these wooden crafts without in any way harming the tree, “pulling” the shaped wooden artifact out of the tree without hurting it. The ability seems to have dwindled in recent times; Loial is one of the most talented Treesingers in a very long time.
The Ogier People
Gardeners are Ogier that serve in the Seanchan Deathwatch Guard. They wear the same red and dark green armor as the human Guard and carry long-hafted, black-tasseled axes. In contrast to the Guard, Gardeners are not da’covale to the Empress. A rank of the Gardeners is First Gardener, held by Hartha.
First Gardener is the Seanchan title given to the leader of the Gardeners, the Ogier branch of the Deathwatch Guard.
Alar is an Ogier Elder of Stedding Tsofu. She is the Eldest of the Elders. She is very old. She is the grandmother of Erith and mother of Iva. She lets Rand al’Thor and his group use the Waygate outside Stedding Tsofu, although very reluctantly.
Arent son of Halan is an Ogier Elder of Stedding Shangtai and father of Loial. Elder Arent learned that his son, Loial, has a Talent for Treesinging. Arent demands that his son learn this ability to the fullest extent. Like many of the other Elders of the Ogier, he often speaks of his visit with the Green Man.
Covril daughter of Ella daughter of Soong is Loial’s mother. She is a famous Speaker, from Stedding Shangtai. She is strong-faced. She is apparently known outside the Stedding as Cadsuane mentions she is not one to be kept waiting. Loial has been consistently afraid since he met Rand that his mother will find him and marry him off. She “persuades” Elder Haman to leave their stedding and go with her in the search for Loial. She also brings Erith, who she intends to marry Loial. They stop in Caemlyn where Rand al’Thor tells them that he is now in the Two Rivers. After helping Rand find all the Waygates on a map, she goes with him to Shadar Logoth. He then takes them via a Gateway to just outside Emond’s Field. This fear was eventually realised when Covril, Erith and Elder Haman finally find Loial at Lord Algarin’s manor. Loial is married to Erith then and there, albeit not entirely unwillingly. She is for speaking at the Great Stump and opening the Book of Translation. Loial disagrees and argues that Ogier must stand beside human at Tarmon Gai’don. Erith finally decides the issue by agreeing with Loial speaking at the Great Stump. She has now taken over pushing around Loial where Covril has left off.
Elora daughter of Amar daughter of Coura was an Ogier author that lived in the early days of Artur Hawkwing’s reign. Elora was the author of the book Men of Fire and Women of Air, which concerns Aes Sedai dealing with men who can channel. Loial tells Perrin Aybara of Elora and Ledar’s works in relation to what Aes Sedai might do in regards to Rand al’Thor.
Erith daughter of Iva daughter of Alar is an Ogier from Stedding Tsofu. She is small for an Ogier, with a straight mouth and a short and well rounded nose. Her eyes are the color of a silverbell’s ripe seedpod. She has glossy dark hair down to her back. Her ears are curving and plump tipped with fine tufts.
Erith first met Rand al’Thor and Loial as they were pursuing Padan Fain and the Horn of Valere. There was apparently a mutual attraction between Loial and Erith; before Rand’s party left the stedding Erith gave Loial a flower, which he pressed inside one of his books.
She later joined Elder Haman and Loial’s mother on a journey to find Loial, who, in their opinion, had been away from Stedding Shangtai too long; his mother had plans to marry him off to Erith. The three Ogier followed Rand to Shadar Logoth so Rand could seal the Waygate there, but then journeyed on to the Two Rivers and Emond’s Field, where Rand last knew Loial to be located. Erith initially quailed at the thought of entering Shadar Logoth, but concern over Loial compelled her to go along with it. They finally catch up with Loial at Lord Algarin’s manor house in Tear, where Erith and Loial are wed by Elder Haman. Then they set off with Loial’s mother for Stedding Shangtai, where Loial is to address the Great Stump.
Halan is an Ogier from Stedding Shangtai. He is the father of Arent and grandfather of Loial. It is unknown if Halan still lives. His only mention is in Loial’s full name: “Loial son of Arent son of Halan.”
Haman son of Dal son of Morel is the Elder of Stedding Shangtai. He is well over three hundred years old. He is tall and white-haired with drooping white mustaches and a long narrow beard. He walks from his stedding when he is “persuaded” by Covril to go with her in the search for Loial. They stop in Caemlyn where Rand al’Thor tells them that he is now in the Two Rivers. After helping Rand find all the Waygates on a map, goes with him to Shadar Logoth in which he helps Rand find the Waygate there. Rand then takes them via a Gateway to just outside Emond’s Field. He finally found Loial at Algarin Pendaloan’s mansion in Tear. There he wed Loial and Erith in a private ceremony. Immediately after the wedding, there was an attack by Trollocs, and it is implied that he might have participated in the battle. He then sets off and leaves Loial to talk at the Great Stump, while he sets off to seal all the other Waygates Rand al’Thor hasn’t managed to do yet.
is the leader of the Seanchan Ogier who came to the Westlands during the Corenne. He is second in command to Empress Tuon Paendrag’s bodyguard, and is a loyal friend to Furyk Karede. He is weathered and grizzled, with long gray mustaches and eyes like black stones. He is almost as tall as a man in a saddle and very wide. He joins up with Karede and Captain Musenge on the hunt to track down Tuon. He enters Gamel Loune’s camp with Karede, looking for information on the army causing havoc on the Seanchan forces, which may have Tuon captive. When the camp where Tuon is held is found, he goes with Karede to meet with the leader of it. Karede takes Tuon back to Ebou Dar leaving Hartha with Matrim Cauthon. Mat’s Band of the Red Hand engages a rogue Seanchan force looking to kill Tuon for a reward. The Band wipe the Seanchan force out, and Hartha retrieves Zaired Elbar’s head, where it is taken Back to Ebou Dar.
Juin son of Lacel son of Laud is an Ogier. He has a narrow beard. He stops the fight between the Maidens of the Spear and the Shienar warriors from fighting each other while they are in his home of Stedding Tsofu. He leads Rand al’Thor and his group to the Elders.
Laefar is an Ogier from Stedding Shangtai. Loial says that he met Laefar in Tear. Laefar was in Tear to “negotiate repairs on some Ogier stonework in one of the palaces.” He told Loial that the Elders had named him a runaway, and that his mother promised to have him married and settled. Loial does not doubt that Laefar will inform the Elders that he is in Tear.
Ledar son of Shandin son of Koimal was an Ogier author who lived in the early days of Artur Hawkwing’s reign. Ledar was the author if the book A Study of Men, Women and One Power Amoung Humans, which concerns Aes Sedai dealing with men who can channel. Loial tells Perrin Aybara of Ledar and Elora’s works in relation to what Aes Sedai might do in regards to Rand al’Thor. When Loial and Karldin Manfor are Traveling around the Westlands closing waygates, Loial uses the name of Ledar as an alias
Loial son of Arent son of Halen (pronounced: LOY-ahl) is an Ogier born and raised in Stedding Shangtai. He stands tall, almost ten feet, and like all Ogier his face has a broad, almost snout-like nose, and eyebrows that hang down like tails framing pale eyes as big as teacups. His ears poke up to tufted points through shaggy black hair, and twitch when his emotions are running high. His voice is as deep as a drum. A smile that splits his face in two, and shows teeth as broad as chisels. His fingers are broad enough for three, on hands big enough for hams. He is considered young amongst Ogier, at about ninety years old. He has just recently tried to grow a mustache and beard. He has fine hair on his top lip, with a patch of hair on his chin. Hot-headed for an Ogier, he is said to act an hour before he thinks. He loves books and reading, never being anywhere without a book. The fastest runner in Stedding Shangtai, he once outran a horse. As his name suggests, he is loyal to his friends. He believes firmly in life, and the preservation of it, especially trees. He is one of the most gifted treesingers in many years.
Leaving the stedding before he was of an age to do so, he traveled to the great cities to view the Ogier groves, but found them all destroyed. In Caemlyn he met Rand while in the Queen’s Blessing inn. Knowing the Ways, and able to read them, he joined the group taking them to Fal Dara. When the Green Man died, he sang to the oak, making sure the Blight would not overcome it. He travelled with Ingtar Shinowa, following Padan Fain to Falme. He then followed Rand to Tear with Moiraine, Lan and Perrin. From there he assisted Perrin through the Ways to the Two Rivers and helped him purge the district of Trollocs. While in the Two Rivers, he closed and locked the Waygate at Manetheren permanently. During his adventures with Rand, Mat and Perrin, he decided to write a book about what was occurring. Often during confrontations and battles, he will be feverishly writing in his notes. Always fearful of being married off, he continually worries about his mother, Covril, finding him. Even though he finds Erith of Stedding Tsofu very attractive, he doesn’t like to admit it too loudly, in case his mother hears him.
After returning from the Two Rivers he stops at a stedding to recuperate and then meets Perrin again in Caemlyn. When the friction starts appearing between Faile and Perrin, Loial is right in the middle and due to his sensitivity to emotions is very down about the whole thing even telling Perrin that Faile is a very jealous woman. When he finds out Rand has been kidnapped by the White Tower he becomes furious and leaves with Perrin to find him. He is right in the thick of it in the Battle of Dumai’s Wells.
Later he started Travelling with Karldin Manfor, an Asha’man to all the stedding to warn the Elders that Shadowspawn are using the Ways. He arrives back in Cairhien with Karldin looking for Rand. They arrive on the scene just after Dobraine Taborwin is stabbed and nearly murdered in his chambers. He finds a note indicating the assailants were looking for something. He then Travels with Davram Bashere and Logain Ablar to find Rand in Tear. He reports to Rand that the Borderlands steddings ignored him as well as the Shadow Coast steddings but every one else are now guarding the Waygates. Rand sends Loial, Bashere and Logain to arrange a meeting with him and the Seanchan. Loial’s mother Covril finally finds him at Algarin Pendaloan’s mansion in Tear. There she makes sure Elder Haman marries Loial and Erith. After the Trollocs attack the mansion, Loial convinces his mother that he needs to speak to the Great Stump about Ogier joining forces with the humans for Tarmon Gai’don, rather than fleeing this world. Elder Haman, who is Loial’s mentor, backs him up and believes Loial has the makings of a great scholar
Voniel daughter of Ella daughter of Soong is an Ogier. She is sister to Covril and Elder Haman’s wife. When Covril and Haman leave Stedding Shangtai, Voniel tells Haman to do his duty to help find Loial.