Raen

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Author: Val a'Shain

General

Raen is the Mahdi (Seeker) of a group of Traveling People. They are a group of people who move around in wagons and follow a very strict pacifist philosophy known as the Way of the Leaf.

Raen is a short, wiry man with grey hair. He wears brightly colored clothes in the most unlikely combinations. Raen is married to Ila, who is quite a bit taller than he is and has a grandson, Aram (TEotW, Ch. 25).

Raen is a man whose faith in the Way of the Leaf is unquestionable even though he pays a very high personal price for his believes. The Way of the Leaf influences Perrin a great deal.

Timeline

  • Raen explains the Way of the Leaf to Egwene and Perrin. Elyas doesn't like this. Perrin is just confused by it (TEotW, Ch. 25).
  • Raen tells Perrin and Elyas a story he heard from other Tinkers. They found a dying Maiden of the Spear in the Aiel Waste. Before she died the Maiden claimed the Dark One was going to try to blind the Eye of the World and slay the Great Serpent. She also said 'He Who Comes with the Dawn' was coming. None of them can figure out the meaning though (TEotW, Ch. 25).
  • Raen says goodbye to Perrin, Elyas and Egwene. All of them feel something they can't really describe. Raen decides to take his wagons east (TEotW, Ch. 27).
  • Raen meets Perrin again when he leads a group of Two Rivers men in their fight against the Trollocs. Perrin's group has just been ambushed and they have a lot of wounded men, Perrin included, among them. Raen offers them help. Perrin and his group move on to Emond's Field the next day. Perrin tries in vain to get the Tinkers to join him. They insist safety lies in moving (TSR, Ch. 41).
  • A few days later a badly battered group of Tinkers arrives in Emond's Field. After a little speech by Perrin the people take them in. Raen is badly shook up by the violence done by the Trollocs. Aram loses his faith in the Way of the Leaf and picks up a sword. Raen and Ila consider him Lost (TSR, Ch. 45). They don't speak to him anymore (TSR, Ch. 53).
  • Raen survives the battle at Emond's Field (TSR, Ch. 56).

Relationships

Raen has met Elyas before and knows about the wolves. Despite their different worldviews the two are friends (TEotW, Ch. 25; Ch. 27).

Perrin is attracted to the Way of the Leaf, he still hopes to lay down his axe for good some day.

Miscellaneous

Quotes

"I would not, but violence harms the one who does it as much as the one who receives it." Perrin looked doubtful. "You could cut down a tree with your axe," Raen said. "The axe does violence to the tree, and escapes unharmed. Is that how you see it? Wood is soft compared to steel, but the sharp steel is dulled as it chops, and the sap of the tree will rust and pit it. The mighty axe does violence to the helpless tree, and is harmed by it. So it is with men, though the harm is in the spirit." (Raen explaining the Way of the Leaf to Perrin and Egwene; The Eye of the World, Chapter 25).

"Aram is a troubled young man," Raen added sadly. "He is a good boy, but sometimes I think he finds the Way of the Leaf a hard way. Some do, I fear. Please. My fire is yours. Please?" (Raen about Aram; The Eye of the World, Chapter 25).

"From trophies the Aiel carried, it was obvious they were coming back from the Blight. The Trollocs had followed, but by the tracks only a few lived to return after killing the Aiel. As for the girl, she would not let anyone touch her, even to tend her wounds. But she seized the Seeker of that band by his coat, and this is what she said, word for word. 'Leafblighter means to blind the Eye of the World, Lost One. He means to slay the Great Serpent. Warn the People, Lost One. Sightburner comes. Tell them to stand ready for He Who Comes With the Dawn. Tell them ...' And then she died. (Raen telling Elyas and Perrin a story he heard from other Aiel; The Eye of the World, Chapter 25).

"Truly, my old friend, you must take great care. This day ... There is wickedness loose in the world, I fear, and whatever you pretend, you are not so wicked that it will not gobble you up." (Raen warning Elyas before they say goodbye; The Eye of the World, Chapter 27).

"Even if I wished to, the people would not want it, Perrin. We try not to camp very close to even the smallest village, and not only because the villagers may falsely accuse us of stealing whatever they have lost or of trying to convince their children to find the Way. Where men have built ten houses together, there is the potential for violence. Since the Breaking the Tuatha'an have known this. Safety lies in our wagons, and in always moving, always seeking the song." A plaintive expression came over his face. "Everywhere we hear news of violence, Perrin. Not just here in your Two Rivers. There is a feel in the world of change, of destruction. Surely we must find the song soon. Else I do not believe it will ever be." (Raen after Perrin tries to convince him to go with them to Emond's Field; The Shadow Rising, Chapter 41).

"I am not going to abandon the Way, Ila. It is my path, and it is right for me. Perhaps … perhaps I will not think quite so poorly of those who follow another path. If we live through these times, we will do so at the bequest of those who died on this battlefield, whether we wish to accept their sacrifice or not" (A Memory of Light, Chapter 37)