Tatham Anselar

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Tatham Anselar
Created by Toby Selwyn
Gender Male
Occupation Asha'man of the Brown Ajah
Affiliation The Grey Tower
Nationality Domani

Tatham Anselar is a Domani Brown Oathsworn Asha'man of the Grey Tower.


Physically, Tatham has the colourings of all Domani - coppery skin, dark brown eyes and glossy black hair. Had he stayed in Arad Doman, he would probably have grown a small moustache as fashion decrees, but he was fortunately saved from that. He's not a tall man, nor is he particularly muscled; his attitude to physical exercise is less than enthusiastic. Overall he's fairly attractive, but a fair way from being the Creator's gift to women.


Crouching in the long, yellowing grass, Tatham used a short and brittle twig to prod the beetle. The creature immediately scuttled away, heading for the safer environs of the low garden wall. Tatham was mesmerised by the scintillating colours on the insect's hard back, the deep blues and dark emerald greens flashing in the sunlight. Scrutinising the leaf of paper by his side, Tatham decided he was satisfied with his afternoon's work; he'd never seen that type of beetle before, and he was pleased to be able to add its portrait to his collection.

By the time the beetle had reached its safe haven Tatham was on his feet, dusting off his trousers. He grimaced at the length of the garment, once more making a mental note to procure some new ones. He made the same observation every day, but somehow he never managed to get to the tailor's. Tatham headed towards the house's back door, and after a few steps his trousers were, once more, forgotten.

The inside of the house was warm and comfortable, but everything appeared old and worn. Two of the table's legs had been replaced, and the newer additions clearly weren't made of oak, as was the rest of the table. The small stove in the corner was free of rust but a permanant dull black, courtesy of the ancient and unremovable soot stains. Like the table, the chair next to the stove had several limbs different to the originals, and its occupant wasn't too different.

Asbad Anselar was only middle-aged, but the pale grey streaking his once shiny black hair and the fine creases at the corners of his eyes spoke of a man twenty years his senior, and betrayed the years of labour which had barely supported him throughout his younger life. His right leg, which ended abruptly at the knee, was a cruel reminder of the accident which had ended his labouring work.

Fortunately for Asbad, the young healer who had cared for him after the accident had fallen in love with the young man, and her feelings were returned. The couple married, and Azra's income was enough to support both of them and, later on, a small family. Brandishing his polished wooden stick at his son, Asbad's voice told of his weariness and mild irritation. "Where have you been, Tatham? You knew your mother is tending to a birthing, and that Esielle is abed with a fever. Why didn't you come back earlier? I've been waiting for my supper for over an hour!"

Tatham's blushed, his cheeks turning a ripe crimson. He had forgotten that it was his duty to cook. "I was out in the garden, father," he said, waving his drawings in the air. "I'm sorry I'm late, I'd forgotten the hour."

Asbad snorted, waving his hand in resignation. "You always forget, son. I swear, you have the memory of a fish! Now, stop staring at your feet and hand me those drawings. I hope your pictures are good; your mother spends enough of her earnings on the paper."

Tatham reluctantly handed the sheets over - he never liked other people to see what he had drawn - and turned his attention to what he was supposed to be doing. As he washed the potatoes in a bucket of water, searching with his eyes for a peeling knife, his father whistled.

"These aren't half bad, my boy," Asbad said, slowly nodding his head as he studied the picture of the beetle. "One day you might make a fine artist. Wouldn't that be grand? You could do portraits for nobles and merchants and the like; you might be rich one day!"

Tatham was delighted - his father wasn't quick to praise his children - and, setting to work on the potatoes, his head was filled with daydreams of the future. He would work for the high nobility, perhaps even royalty. He would be able to take care of his parents in their retirement, and support his elder sister. Maybe he would travel, to Cairhien and Tear, Andor and the Borderlands. His mind far away from reality, Tatham's knife-hand slipped, and he cursed loudly when the sharp blade sliced his finger. With his father laughing in the background, Tatham sighed. For the moment Tatham Anselar was a poor Domani commoner, and he couldn't see that changing any time soon.

This time the object of Tatham's attention was a small songbird. The creature was young, its eyes shiny bright, and Tatham wanted to capture the image of its vitality on paper. The problem was, the bird wasn't complying.

For the fourth or fifth time, Tatham cursed quietly as the bird took flight, and dashed through the tall grass in pursuit. Today he had been liberated from his chores - his elder sister was finally feeling better - and Tatham had taken the opportunity to escape. The countryside surrounding the village of Pefari's Springs was beautiful, blessed with rolling hills and scatterings of woodland and forest. More importantly to Tatham, it was teeming with wildlife - the perfect hunting ground.

His quarry flittered into a fairly large copse of evergreens, and the pained expression on Tatham's face grew; finding the bird would now be very difficult. And he had to find it, as he had already started sketching the creature, and to give up now would be a waste of valuable paper.

So Tatham ran on into the copse, then stopped abruptly. Turning his head slowly, he gazed around, his eyes and ears wide open as he tried to discover his prey's location. There - Tatham whipped his head around at the faint rustling coming from his left, and peered at the place where the sound had come from.

A small shape suddenly burst into action from a bushy green branch, warbling in an almost insolent fashion, and winged away deeper into the trees. Tatham gave chase, desperate to keep the bird in his sights. After a couple of minutes the bird alighted once more on another branch, and Tatham slowed his pace. The pine needles on the ground gave him a soft carpet on which he could walk without making any noise.

Stopping at a distance of about five paces, Tatham raised his sketch pad and immediately continued his work, using his stick of charcoal with care and a great deal of skill.

"That's a nice piece of work, young man." Tatham's heart leaped to his throat and he dropped his pad and charcoal to the ground, whirling around. There was no one there. Had he imagined that deep, rumbling voice? It had seemed to come from less than a pace behind him, as if the watcher had been looking over Tatham's shoulder.

"Over here, kid."

The second voice was different to the first; higher, more precise. It was also coming from a different direction. Tatham didn't turn around to search for the second man. He knew he probably wouldn't be able to see him, and besides, he thought his knees would probably give away.

"Who's there? Leave me alone, whoever you are. I've got no arguments with you!" Tatham's voice rose in pitch with every word, and his nervousness was obvious.

"We're right here." The first voice again, and it was right in front of Tatham. Before the young man could voice his astonishment, a figure suddenly appeared in front of him. This time Tatham's knees did give away - the man had come from nowhere! - but before he touched the ground, something suddenly held him tightly. The realisation of what the invisible force must be hit Tatham hard, and the last thing he saw was the tall, beared fellow in front of him grinning, before the world faded into black.

Tatham awoke to the sound of voices in heated discussion, and he immediately recognised one of them as that of the man who...Light, the One Power!

His eyes flicking open, Tatham began to crawl away from the voices even before he saw his surroundings. At least, he tried to.

"I wouldn't waste your breath, lad. You're not going to get anywhere." Tatham stopped his struggles, and turned his widely-opened eyes to the speaker. It was the same man as earlier, the one with the black beard and hair, and pale skin. As he looked at the man, the stranger smiled.

"I'm Yarin Asakwa, Asha'man of the Green Ajah. This," Yarin said as he gestured to his companion, "is Mayelle Dasro, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. We come from the Grey Tower."

For the first time Tatham noticed the woman sitting beside his captor. Mayelle Sedai was a pretty woman, with light brown hair and liquid brown eyes. As she was introduced, she also smiled.

"The third member of our group," Yarin said, "is Pedwin al'Daer, Mayelle Sedai's Warder."

"W...where is he now?" Tatham said in a quiet voice. He wanted to know exactly where his kidnappers were at all times.

Mayelle smiled, then spoke for the first time. "He's around." Her answer was short, but Tatham didn't think he would get any more out of her.

Tatham tried desperately to scratch his chin, which was itching furiously, but couldn't move because of his invisible restraints. Instead, he settled for glaring at Yarin and Mayelle. "Why do you want me? I haven't done anything."

"No, but you might have stumbled on our camp, and we don't want any locals to know we're here. So we thought we would take you."

"Take me?" Tatham's voice was filled with indignance. "Take me where?"

Yarin looked at Mayelle, and for a moment their gazes locked. Both of their faces were completely unreadable. Eventually Mayelle sighed, and broke the contact. "We are going to take you to the Grey Tower."

"To the Grey Tower?!" Tatham exploded, forgetting his fear. "I can't go anywhere with you! Let alone to a place where..." Tatham trailed off, his face turning crimson.

"Where men channel?" Yarin's smiled slightly. "I think you'd find Pedwin's suggestion considerably worse, boy."

Tatham flinched. He didn't want to dwell on what the Warder had wanted to do with him. Instead, he resigned himself to his fate. "But what about my family? I can't just leave them. And when can I return?"

"Mayelle Sedai and Pedwin will return to the main camp tomorrow. Once their business is finished, Mayelle will make sure that your family knows where you have gone. We will leave for the Tower in the morning. As for when you can return . . . perhaps you won't want to."

Tatham blinked, confused, then noticed the twinkle in Yarin's eyes. "Are you implying that I can channel?"

Yarin shrugged. "That, I don't know. I can't tell until I've tested you." He smiled. "And test you I will. The Tower is always hunting for new recruits. You could be wearing the Ajah cord in ten years, maybe less if you learn fast."

Tatham's head was reeling. This was all too much to take in at once. "But . . . but . . . "

Yarin shook his head, silencing Tatham. "You should get some rest. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. But first, we need to know your name."

"Tatham Anselar," Tatham muttered.

"And how old are you, Tatham?"

"My next nameday will be my eighteenth."

Yarin nodded, almost as if he had been expecting the answer. "Now, try to get some rest."

Tatham felt the bonds made with the One Power relax a little, giving him room to get comfortable. Lying down, his back to the Aes Sedai and Asha'man, he tried to sleep, but the day's events were too much and he lay there for hours before exhaustion finally let him rest.

Tatham and Yarin travelled South-East for a few weeks before eventually reaching the Grey Tower, high up in the Mountains of Mist. Yarin tested Tatham at the first opportunity, and the young Domani was almost scared by the result. It seemed that he would have channeled some day whether Yarin and Mayelle had found him or not; he'd been born with the spark. The Green Asha'man informed him that he would probably have touched saidin no more than a year or two after the time they met.

In a way, Tatham was glad he had been found. He would probably have died otherwise, and even if he hadn't . . . well, a man who could channel wasn't a popular man, and Tatham would have lived his life as an outcast. On the other hand, he wished so desperately that he could have said goodbye to his family, that he could have seen his village one last time before leaving Arad Doman.

However, Tatham settled into his new life as a Soldier with ease, and soon began to make new friends. His forgetful nature was sometimes a problem, but that's a part of his personality that will never change.

Career History

  • Soldier
  • Dedicated
  • Asha'man of the Brown Ajah
  • Master of Soldiers (first term)
  • Master of Soldiers (second term)
  • Keeper of the Chronicles