Brendon Nolaisen

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Brendon Nolaisen
Brendon Nolaisen
Created by Elan
Portrayed by Shaun Evans
Gender Male
Occupation Asha'man
Affiliation The Black Tower (former)
Nationality Cairhienin
OP Strength 7.0
Affinities Air/Water, Fire/Spirit, Earth

Brendon Nolaisen is a Cairhienin Asha'man, formerly of the Black Tower.


On first glance, Brendon appears perfectly average and mostly harmless. Standing at 5’8’’ and lithe of build, he's not physically impressive in any way, and the rest of him supports the impression. Softly curling light brown hair frames a pale face whose features are clean and sophisticated though falling short of handsome or beautiful. The grey eyes are perhaps unusually expressive for a Cairhienin, though the emotions reflected are mostly on the bleak side.

He has an unassuming presence, and the ability to fade into the background in almost any company. His voice is quiet and soft, but when he wants to be heard, he tends to have no particular trouble catching people’s attention. His accent — which is faint but gets more pronounced when he’s annoyed or otherwise stressed — marks him as Cairhienin upper class, and he has a way of sounding authoritative when he wishes to, though more often his speech is marked by apathy.

His smile is perhaps his most remarkable feature, though it is melancholy even when there’s real humour in it.

In social situations he’s often reserved, even withdrawn. He can fake sociability passably well when he must, but it’s not his natural state and he finds it exhausting. Alcohol makes it a little more bearable, and once he’s had a few drinks he can be a generally pleasant person if one doesn’t mind the occasional bit of morbid humour or depressive tendencies.


Born the second son of a minor Cairhienin noble House, Brendon’s childhood was defined by privilege and luxury and vicious politics. He and his brother were only a year apart and they were tutored together, Brendon being held to the same high standards as the older Armand. Their mother died when Brendon was eight years old, leaving the job of raising the brothers mostly to servants, with their father supervising their education and setting increasingly high goals.

Throughout their teen years their father kept pitting the brothers against each other, making them compete for favour, recognition, praise — all of which were lavished upon the one who succeeded better at any given task while the other went ignored. There was not much love in the family, and as the brothers got older, even servants dared not show much affection towards them lest they anger their father.

Armand was the first person Brendon ever killed, at the age of sixteen. It was mostly an accident; they were hunting in the family’s country estate, Armand kept mocking him for being a terrible shot, for being too soft to actually kill a wild animal, for not being able to stand the sight of blood… until something snapped. Brendon shoved him. Armand fell, rolled down the hill, hit his head. He was dead by the time Brendon got to him.

The death was never questioned. Officially, everybody accepted that Armand had tripped and fallen on his own. Brendon became his father’s sole heir.

Not that this made his life better in any way.

When he was eighteen, things began to happen that nobody could explain. Wind suddenly picking up, clouds gathering unexpectedly on a sunny day. It wasn’t until there was an incident with lightning, shortly before Brendon’s nineteenth nameday, that anybody thought of the possibility he might be a channeller. His father was furious, but as they were in the capital at the time and Asha’man and Aes Sedai were readily available, it was out of his hands; Brendon was carted off to the Black Tower.

He seemed to fit right in. Channelling at will came easily to him, and with his prior education he should have made it to Dedicated quickly, but the Sword pin was kept from him for nearly two years on some pretext. Eventually, an Asha’man called Alastair Trenvael intervened.

As a Dedicated, Brendon discovered a Talent for Healing, and with Alastair’s encouragement he cultivated that Talent. Few Asha’man in the Black Tower focused primarily on Healing; though Healing was acknowledged as a useful skill, more destructive skills were valued higher, and those whose main Talent lay in Healing were regarded as largely insignificant. Brendon was no exception. The upside of this was that he was left in peace most of the time; he wasn’t considered important enough.

He continued to associate with Alastair and some other misfits the older Asha’man mentored, patching them up when required, sometimes using his status as basically invisible in the eyes of the leadership to acquire information and carry messages. He’d routinely cover up for several of Alastair’s more brash protegees, and though he liked to pretend that he could cut ties with Alastair and his followers any time things got too serious, as years went by he began to realise he was lying to himself. For better or for worse, Alastair inspired loyalty in those around him, and Brendon was no exception.

Altogether this went on for several decades. As a Cairhienin, Brendon had learnt deception practically from the cradle, and working with Alastair made every bit of that skill of vital importance in a Black Tower where a very delicate balance of powers kept everything from devolving into open conflict between Alastair and the M’Hael.

Alastair’s death changed everything. Brendon never found out who betrayed them, but Alastair and several of his followers were rounded up in the dead of the night. Many had no chance to fight back, but those who did, raised hell. Brendon escaped the fighting to warn those he knew to be out of the Tower at the time, among those Mael Akashi.

He returned to a changed Black Tower. Alastair Trenvael was declared Darkfriend and his surviving followers were given the choice of swearing fealty to the M’Hael or being tried as Darkfriends. Brendon expected to be arrested as well, but again it seemed as though nobody had quite figured out his involvement in the events, and he was left to his own devices, much like before.

Of course, nothing was really like before. Where before he’d had something resembling a purpose… Now, he had nothing. He’d survived the purge, but what for?

Career History

  • Asha'man of the Black Tower (20 November 2017)