The Wheel of Time - The Call of the Horn
The Black Tower is the headquarters of the Asha’man, the organization of male channelers started by Rand al’Thor and trained by Mazrim Taim. It originated as a converted farmhouse located less than two leagues south of Caemlyn. The Black Tower’s name derived from Asha’man themselves, who began calling such in contrast to the White Tower of Tar Valon, where female channelers are trained. Taim has his students working on an enclosing wall nearly four square miles around the Black Tower, and has built a large manor house where he himself lives, along with most of the full Asha’man. Most of the Soldiers live in barracks, though the Dedicated have started constructing small houses for themselves. Since Rand surrendered control of Andor, it has been regularly visited by soldiers sent by Elayne Trakand to enforce Andoran law, though this is largely seen as merely a token gesture due to the large size of the Black Tower compound. Leading up to the Last Battle, two factions emerge within the Black Tower, one led by Mazrim Taim, and the other by Logain Ablar. Taim’s faction is larger and appears to be on the Shadow’s side. Those on Logain’s side have become worried at Logain’s continued disappearance and certain worrying developments, whereby some Channelers have been changed in some way so it is no longer them there. The details of this are unknown, but are worrying for the the inevitable confrontation between Rand and Taim.
The Black Tower was called on to fight in the Battle near Shadar Logoth. When the White Tower comes to offer an alliance, some of them are selected to be bonded with Aes Sedai.
Unlike women, men can not sense the ability to channel in another. Mazrim Taim was the first to claim the ability to test and train men for channeling.4 Taim grabs Damer Flinn to be the first tested, saying, “The more power that is used the easier it is to detect the resonance. Too big a resonance can do unpleasant things to your mind, maybe kill you, so I’ll start small.” Taim channeled a tiny flame and commanded Damer to concentrate on the flame. After ten minutes a resonance finally was detected, a tiny echo of the minuscule flow of power pulsing in Taim but seemed to come from Damer. Only time will tell how strong a man will become in the power.
As of late 999 NE, many Black Tower members are married and not much detail is provided on sleeping quarters. The Black Tower has undergone a huge development from the humble origins of a farm.
Soldier – The lowest rank.
Dedicated – Those who have developed some level of skill.
Asha’man – The highest rank.