From Tar Valon Library
Author: Leora Oldessroth
Rhuidean was built deep within the Aiel Waste, in the valley beneath a mountain named Chaendaer, by Aes Sedai who survived the Breaking. The design of the city was probably inspired by their memories of cities before the Breaking. It has tall buildings of many-colored shining glass reaching into the sky, exquisite statues and wide avenues. The last surviving chora tree, Avendesora, was planted in the central square (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 20).
Rhuidean lies in the land of the Jenn Aiel; until recently, only women seeking to be Wise Ones and men seeking to be clan chiefs were allowed into the city (TGH, Ch. 28). Women may only enter twice, men only once and only those of Aiel blood (TSR, Ch. 23).
Aiel do not speak of Rhuidean to outsiders. No blood may be shed of one traveling to or from Rhuidean (TSR, Ch. 22).
City Layout and Buildings
The “slopes of Chaendaer” sit above Rhuidean (TSR, Ch. 12). From Chaendar, all you can see is a fog-shrouded valley (TSR, Ch. 23). The fog makes a dome around the city, hiding the view of the outside world (TSR, Ch. 24).
Buildings flank the streets. Some are flat-sided palaces of marble, crystal and cut glass, ascending hundreds of feet in steps or sheer walls. There are no small buildings, only immense palaces, with gleaming columns fifty feet thick climbing a hundred paces high in red, white or blue. There are grand towers that are fluted and spiraled (TSR, Ch. 24).
The city remains unfinished. Many structures end in the saw-teeth of abandoned construction. Some windows are fitted with colored glass, while others are empty. No water comes from the fountains and the smooth stone roads are coated in dust (TSR, Ch. 24).
The city now sits above a newly formed lake, fed by an underground ocean of fresh water (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30) After Rand and Asmodean’s battle in Rhuidean, the dome of fog disappeared (TSR, Ch. 58) A quarter of the buildings are destroyed and lie in ruins (TFoH, Ch. 2).