History of the Seanchan

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When Luthair Paendrag arrived in Seanchan, he found a land in a constant state of instability due to the natives' hunger for conquest, power and dominance. The people were deceitful by default and any who showed real trust or loyalty was generally considered a fool. Alliances between nations lasted at best only as long as the duration of a war, but in most cases nations would switch their allegiance between different parties throughout the course of a war, depending on where they thought the most gain was to be found. The women that were then known as Aes Sedai in these lands were no different. Openly using the One Power in wars and to gain the upper hand, without any form of restriction as those in the White Tower knew, it caused a great deal of devastation throughout the Seanchan lands.

Luthair carried with him a profound disliking towards all Aes Sedai. This sentiment was born from witnessing his fathers difficulties with the Aes Sedai from the White Tower. Arthur Hawkwing bestowed upon his son a bone-deep distrust in any woman who could channel and seeing how the Seanchan channelers used their power cemented that distrust and turned his dislike into outright hatred.

The two major reasons Luthair was able to unify the Seanchan lands under his control were the unstable nature of the natives and the use of the a'dam which allowed him to force channeling women to serve him. Having the only reliable and loyal army in the entire continent, Luthair's forces grew steadily while his opponents were forced to divide their attention between facing him and keeping a close eye on their 'allies'. Seanchan nations would join with Luthair, but true to their nature, would betray him on the turn-about. Eventually, Luthair no longer trusted any of the native-born, nor did his descendants or the descendants of his soldiers and retainers from the homeland.

Eventually, those who allied themselves with Luthair's descendants did remain loyal as it became clear that Luthair's Dynasty was the great power in Seanchan. The descendants of Luthair's original followers became the first Blood and for many centuries only their direct descendants could be of the Blood, the only ruling body in Seanchan after the Consolidation.

It took over five hundred years to fully quell all resistance and form a unified empire that is now called the Seanchan Empire. With the direct descendants of Luthair himself as the only contestants to the Crystal Throne. Contestants, for unlike in the nations across the Aryth Ocean, succession to the throne is not decided by gender or by being the first born. In Seanchan, the ruling monarchs choose their Heir from among their immediate family. A position much coveted, of course. The candidates for the throne, usually the monarch's own children, will vie for the favor of the monarch by plotting against their competitors. In most cases this takes the form of plotting their assassination. This behavior is expected and even encouraged among the Seanchan, for they believe that to do so successfully requires the skills and wisdom needed in a leader. No doubt, this is one of the many remnants from their cultural nature from Pre-Luthair times.

It is clear that the strength and stability of the Seanchan Empire rests upon the control and use of leashed Aes Sedai, who are no longer called Aes Sedai, but have been renamed as damane, or leashed ones. At first, Luthair had to rely on other Aes Sedai to control the leashed ones, but eventually the discovery was made of the Sul'dam. Women with the ability to learn to channel, but who were not born with the spark. The knowledge that Sul'dam can learn to channel probably died with Luthair himself, for it is certain that this is completely wiped from the Seanchan memory.

As time went by and Luthair continued his Consolidation of the Seanchan countries, the messages from his father no longer reached him. He came to the conclusion that something must have happened and either his father's empire across the ocean would remain intact or it would be divided again. Whichever direction those lands were to take, it was clear to Luthair that at some point his descendants would need to go back and reclaim those lands. Where before his conquest of Seanchan had been to bring those lands under his father's rule, now the new empire needed to be made ready to reclaim what might become lost. This goal has been passed down from generation to generation, from Emperor to Empress, over the centuries, until today, the time has come to set it in motion.

In today's Seanchan, the empire is ruled supreme by the Empress. Who sits on the Crystal Throne and has absolute power over all. All who approach the Crystal Throne fall under a spell, for the throne is a ter'angreal that imprints a sense of awe in all who come near it. Of course, only the reigning monarch is allowed to use it which makes certain that the right person receives the proper loyalty of their subjects.

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