Welcome to the Wheel of Time, with.me.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.

In the series’ mythology, a deity known as the Creator made the universe and the Wheel of Time, which governs experience. The Wheel has seven spokes, each representing an ‘age’ or phase of history, and rotates under the influence of the One Power, which flows from the True Source composed of male and female halves (saidin and saidar). Humans who can use this power are called ‘channelers’; the principal organization thereof in the books are the Aes Sedai or ‘Servants of All’.

The Creator having imprisoned its antithesis, Shai’tan (often called ‘the Dark One’), an Aes Sedai experiment mistakenly allowed Shai’tan’s influence into the world. Thereafter he is the world’s principal antagonist, promising power and immortality to those who abet his total freedom (known as ‘Darkfriends’). A century after the initial breach of the Dark One’s prison, open warfare occurs between the forces of the Dark One and those of the Light, until the chieftain Lews Therin Telamon, known as the Dragon, leads a force of channelers and soldiers to reseal the prison; whereupon the Dark One inflicts a malediction that drives male channelers of the One Power insane. Thus affected, the male channelers create earthquakes and tsunamis altering numerous landscapes in an event that comes to be called “The Breaking of the World.”

Lews Therin himself kills his friends and family, and is known afterwards as “Kinslayer.” Given a moment of sanity by Ishamael, chief among the Dark One’s servants, Lews Therin commits suicide. In the aftermath, the women Aes Sedai re-organize society, and nullify male access to the Power. Two subsequent events are important to the novels’ principal story: the Trolloc Wars, in which servants of the Dark One foment a continuous war for several hundred years; and the War of the Hundred Years, a devastating civil war succeeding the fall of a continent-spanning empire ruled by the ‘High King’, Artur Hawkwing. When the novels begin, most people live in a technology and culture roughly comparable to that of Europe’s 1450 to 1600 (with the difference that women are socially equal to men in most societies, and superior in some), in fear of a prophecy that the Dark One will break from his prison and the Dragon will be reborn to face him.

Wheel of Time: With.me