From Tar Valon Library
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
Mesaana is one of the Forsaken, thirteen of the most powerful Aes Sedai who joined the Shadow during the Age of Legends. (TEotW, Glossary) During that Age she was known as Saine Tarasind, her job as a lecturer was not important enough for her to gain the third name. (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6) When the Forsaken were all publicly known to have turned to the Shadow, the people gave them new names. (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5) Saine became Mesaana, though we do not yet know what that means in the Old Tongue. However, we can assume that it relates to her character as others do (TEotW, Prologue).
During the Age of Legends, Mesaana was a lecturer to students at the Collam Daan. However, this was not what she wanted to be; she had wanted to be a researcher in the One Power since childhood. She worked hard to try to achieve her dream but the board at the Collam Daan did not think that she would be suitable. They gave her a job as a lecturer but Mesaana didn't like teaching the students about other people's research (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
Mesaana turned to the Shadow because she wanted revenge on the board at the Collam Daan for refusing her a research post. She was an average general but excelled at being a Governor. She had order in her regions, as much as there could be, and corrupted all children and teenagers in her territories. (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6) Her schools taught the children the glories of the Dark One and those who didn't learn quickly were killed. (LoC, Ch. 2) The children were encouraged to spy, lie and kill; mobs of children destroyed anything that reflected badly on the Dark One and killed people who opposed them. Courts were formed where all the members of the jury were children and they tried those who didn't support the Shadow. Those found guilty, as they all were, were executed by children (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
After Mesaana escaped from her prison, she established herself in the White Tower (LoC, Ch. 6). From here she uses the Black Ajah to help her create chaos. Most of all, she uses Alviarin, Keeper of the Chronicles to Elaida, to twist Elaida's orders to suit the Shadow's purpose. (ACoS, Prologue) However, it is not sure who Mesaana is impersonating in the Tower, though several suggestions have been made. One theory is that Mesaana is disguised as Danelle, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Her Ajah suits Mesaana as she was a lecturer and wanted to be a researcher; the fact that she has no friends would make it very easy for Mesaana to impersonate Danelle as there would be far less people to convince. (ACoS, Prologue) Danelle is one of the sisters to overthrow Siuan, (TSR, Ch. 47), yet she is ignored after this. Some sisters might object but Mesaana wouldn't be interested in the image of power that she might be given; her hold on Alviarin and Elaida gives her true power. However, this idea is only a theory, as are the suggestions that Mesaana is masquerading as Zaida din Parede Blackwing, Verin Mathwin, or Theodrin Dabei.
Mesaana is described as being of average height and appearance (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). However, she only appears to Alviarin cloaked in darkness created by the One Power. She is tall and has a voice that sounds like crystal chimes yet that is all that Alviarin can tell. This is why Alviarin believes that she is in the Tower, either a servant or Aes Sedai (ACoS, Prologue). The illusion is broken when touched and Alviarin sees the hem of a bronze dress with black scrollwork (TPoD, Ch. 25). It has been argued that a sister would wear the colour of her Ajah; Danelle would therefore be wearing brown. However, when Shaidar Haran visits Mesaana the weave of Illusion fails and Alviarin sees a woman with blue eyes who looks very familiar to her, though she doesn't have the ageless face of an Aes Sedai (CoT, Ch. 21). Some people have argued that this rules out Danelle but it should be remembered that Danelle has blue eyes and that Illusion works at it's best when the change is slight, thus Mesaana would look familiar but would not be recognised (TSR, Ch. 47; LoC, Ch. 52)
- Age of Legends: Mesaana was refused a job at the Collam Daan as a researcher; instead she was given the post of teacher (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
- Age of Legends: Mesaana turns to the Shadow and sets up schools in her territories to teach children about the Dark One (LoC, Ch. 2).
- Age of Legends: Mesaana is bound with the other Forsaken when Lews Therin and his companions seal the Bore (TDR, Ch. 36)
- 1000 NE: Mesaana receives a report from Alviarin on Elaida's plans and orders Alviarin to make as much chaos as she can within Elaida's orders (ACoS, Prologue).
- 1000NE: Mesaana doesn't go to Shadar Logoth even though she was told to stop Rand al'Thor and Nynaeve al'Meara from using the Choedan Kal (CoT, Ch. 21).
- 1000NE: Shaidar Haran teaches Mesaana a lesson because she refused her summons for Shadar Logoth. (CoT, Ch. 21).
- Mesaana attends a meeting of the Forsaken called by Moridin. She still is being punished for failing to go to Shadar Logoth when Rand cleansed the taint (KoD, Ch. 3).
- When Semirhage is captured, Mesaana and Demandred aks for a meeting with Moridin and they ask him to help them free her. He refuses (TGS, Prologue).
- After Egwene takes the Tower, all the Aes Sedai re-swear the three oaths and state the are not Black Ajah. Mesaana avoids capture (TGS, Epilogue).
- Egwene dreams Mesaana is still in the Tower and poses a great danger. She sets sisters to research her (ToM, Ch. 5).
- She uses the Black Ajah to attack Egwene in tel'aran'rhiod
- When Perrin brings the Dreamspike to Tar Valon she is trapped there and has to alter her plans (ToM, Ch. 37)
- She captures Egwene with an a'dam but Egwene refuses to accept it as real. In a battle of wills between the two of them, Mesaana's mind is broken (ToM, Ch. 38).
Strengths and Talents
As one of the Forsaken, Mesaana has obviously great strength in the One Power, (TEotW Glossary), though she is not the strongest of the female Forsaken, who is Lanfear (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). However, when Alviarin sees her she cannot sense the ability to channel in Mesaana, nor can she see the weaves she has made (ACoS, Prologue). Mesaana is forbidden from touching the True Power since Moridin became Nae'blis (WH, Ch. 13).
Since Mesaana was alive in the Age of Legends and worked at the Collam Daan, she obviously has great knowledge in the One Power (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). She is able to Travel, Mask the Glow and weave Illusion (ACoS, Prologue) If she is masquerading as an Aes Sedai, she knows how to partially Mask the Glow so that other channelers can sense that she can channel but do not know her real strength. Mesaana has found a ter'angreal somewhere and Alviarin uses it to summon Mesaana at great need (CoT, Ch. 21) Mesaana is similar in the One Power with Semirhage though she knows where she is stronger and weaker than the other woman (LoC, Prologue).
None of the Forsaken are on particularly good terms with each other and this is partially true for Mesaana (TFoH, Ch. 3). Mesaana is not comfortable with being around Semirhage and is not particularly fond of Graendal (LoC, Prologue). However, she, Demandred and Semirhage have worked together since the War of Power and have an agreement that they will not turn on each other until the other Forsaken have been killed off (LoC, Ch. 6; WH, Ch. 13).
Alviarin is Head of the Black Ajah in the White Tower and Mesaana uses her to spy on Elaida (ACoS, Prologue) However, she doesn't seem too worried when Alviarin is forced out of her position of Keeper and refuses to help her. She uses Alviarin for many of her errands even though there are other sisters that could help (CoT, Ch. 21).
- Mesaana was roughly three hundred years old when the Bore was sealed (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
- Mesaana has never been interested in the appearance of power; she only wants true power (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
- Bands of brigands during the Breaking were known as Mesaana's Children because they destroyed everything and anything in their path, like Mesaana had taught the children in her territories to do (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
- Mesaana believes that using the One Power whilst doing things that only require concentration defeats the purpose (LoC, Prologue)
- Relying on luck is not something that Mesaana likes; she doesn't like gambling everything to achieve something else (LoC, Prologue).
- Mesaana, in a fit of rage, lets slip to Graendal that she is in the White Tower (LoC, Ch. 6).
- Mesaana claimed that she would have Rand under White Tower control, (LoC, Prologue); however, her hopes rested on Galina and her fellow sisters who failed (LoC, Ch. 6).
- Mesaana visits Shayol Ghul twice but she can't hear the Dark One and Shaidar Haran is silent (LoC, Prologue)
- Even Mesaana who learned a lot about the One Power while she worked at the Collam Daan doesn't understand vacuoles (ACoS, Ch. 25).
- Mesaana teaches Alviarin some things to do with the One Power- for example Travelling, (ACoS, Prologue) - but she also refuses to teach her more than is necessary (CoT, Ch. 21).
- Mesaana is furious at Aran'gar for letting Egwene be captured and Aran'gar reasons she must be in the White Tower (KoD, Ch. 3).
- Amlren Marsin, Elandria Bornhad and Lannis all wrote about her (ToM, Ch. 15).
"I always thought you should be a teacher. Oh. I am sorry. I forgot"- Graendal to Mesaana (Lord of Chaos, Prologue)
"Those three had worked together since before the War of Power. On the surface, at least. She was sure they had plotted against one another as assiduously as any of the Chosen, but whether Mesaana undercut Semirhage or Semirhage Demandred, she had never found a crack between them into which a wedge could be driven"- Graendal about Mesaana, Semirhage and Demandred (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 6).
"Mesaana hid herself because she might be recognised. She must reside in the Tower itself. On the face of it, that seemed impossible but nothing else fit"- Alviarin about Mesaana (A Crown of Swords, Prologue).
"Mesaana was the real source of her annoyance. The Chosen taught what she wished and nothing more, hinted at wonders and then withheld them. And Mesaana used her like an errand girl"- Alviarin about Mesaana (Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 21)