This soul is a story of destiny being shaped by the life you are born into. That circumstances of one’s birth and the events that unfold are more powerful than independent will. It’s unknown if his is a soul that is filled with a core of darkness or one of light. Every age in which he is spun lends to great ambiguity as to what sort of creature emerges. In one turning of the Wheel, a man is born named Asristin Kyrineas. Later in life he would earn the third name, Somneus.
Regardless of allegiance and masters served, the soul’s personality is largely unchanged with each spinning. He focuses intently on a goal and will sacrifice morals to achieve it. He is selfish and manipulative, but not so merciless as to be without the capacity for empathy. As a result, his cunning yields effective results. Perhaps in compensation of a soul powerless to achieve its independent will, he craves power and attention. A workaholic, he does not tie himself to other people and finds the thinnest relationships distracting. This is not to say he will not serve a master, and in fact can be very loyal when he chooses.
As a thread, he usually is born with the spark to channel. Sometimes he is quite powerful a channeler and others less so, but in all threads he is a dreamwalker. It is that talent that is his defining trait and attracts the attention of rulers, gods, kings, masters and in the 2nd and 3rd Ages, the Dark One himself.
Asristin Kyrineas Somneus
Asristin Sedai was the World Governor of the Ninth Domain at the beginning of the hundred year Collapse of the Age of Legends. As a Governor, Asristin commanded an entire domain of earth, likely ruling millions of people. When the War of Power erupted, the Governorships were transitioned to military leaders. Asristin was particularly honored, named one of highest of the Seventeen Generals of Dawn’s Gate. He was quite loyal to Lews Therin Telamon throughout this time.
Asristin quickly distinguished his strategic mind for military prowess. Being hand-selected as one of the Light’s greatest Generals, this service alone would have accredited him with enormous standing in their false-piety-honoring society. However, he was already honored with the third name for an altogether different skill set. His influence, power, and military presence alone would have made him a target of the Shadow, but the Dark One coveted Asristin’s allegiance for an even mightier reason.
Asristin distinguished himself not through use of the One Power, politicking, or leadership, although these things were notable, but instead as one the greatest Dreamwalkers of the Age. Although he himself would argue he was the greatest. His conflicts among the other masters of tel’aran’rhiod never escalated to outright violence. He was too strategic and level-headed for such a thing, and what he coveted most was recognition and praise. He had that in spades.
In addition to being a masterful Explorer of the Dream, Surveyor of the Gap, and Speaker of the Unseen Souls, he was renown as the Architect of tel’aran’rhiod. Asristin himself had the ability to reshape and mold the pattern of the World of Dreams much as a channeler may disturb the Pattern of the waking world. He could create bridges and passageways to other portions of the Dream generally unreachable to the regular walkers. None were aware, but it was using this talent that he created places along the perimeter of the Gap of Infinity known as the Crevice that would become the future Lair of Morpheus. In every rebirth he rediscovers this location until the Wheel resets. The Lair is hidden for the simple reason that he alone knew how to cross the bridge into the Crevice.
While he could design bridges to unreachable places in the dream, he could also close off places of the dream from being accessed. One skill of an Architect is the ability to create pockets, or folds, in the pattern of the dream. Folding the Dream Pattern requires the combined wills of two powerful Architects, and in collaboration with another, he created many such places.
In the 3rd Age, Arikan recognized an Architect by a different title: a Vortex. Arikan searched the waking and sleeping world for another Vortex so he could activate this latent ability. He believed he found such a person in a girl that he encountered under strange circumstances. In what he assumed was an untapped layer of tel’aran’rhiod, an Accepted named Elsae summoned him into the Dream World in a way he did not understand. Using the Power of the ter’angreal known for administering the test of the Three Arches, Elsae’s subconscious transported him into the strange dimension of the dream against his will. For this reason, he desperately searched for her in order to tap into this ability.
A dormant remnant of the Architect ability enabled the Dreadlord Arikan to traverse shadowspawn safely through the dreamworld using one of the last remaining Pockets from the Age of Legends. Due to lacking a companion Vortex to help him create another, when the pocket was destroyed by Corele Sedai, he was unable to rally his primary offense. He lost the battle of Tar Valon as a direct result.
The War of Power
And then a wash of cold flooded his body, and fear followed on endless waves. Everything tensed inside his skin, but from within the blinders wrapping his vision black, Asristin shuddered to imagine the source of it. He could hear the whispers though. Whispers of footsteps too light to come from men. They settled all over, too many to count, too many to explain. The cold came from them. He knew it. They focused their malicious intent straight to his heart so fierce he thought it might stop beating altogether. Then they approached. Rounding and coming closer. He could feel their breath, taste the ash on the air, and he could barely take a breath knowing something was about to reach out any moment.
It was in that moment the One Power rushed all around him. Blindness grew darker and darker. It seeped into his very soul until the light died.Asristin
It came to pass that Asristin was captured. The Aes Sedai Elon Izban, who turned to the Shadow early in the war, had made it his personal vendetta to claim the glory of such a prized prisoner. It was Elon’s ter’angreal and the Dark One’s True Power that turned Asristin to the Shadow, not only against his will, but with a binding that would last throughout every age in which he was reborn.
Afterward, it was primarily on the battlefield of the world of dreams that he served the Shadow. Many of the pockets that were created during more peaceful years were decimated. Those that remained were used to horde the Dark One’s treasures, secrets, and armies. More, he was a walking nightmare. An infiltrator and destroyer of sanity. Vast numbers of the servants of the light fell to his nightly haunts.
Asristin was destroyed defending Shayol Ghul in the battle with the Hundred Companions against men who were once his friends. They killed him never knowing that his betrayal was coerced.
The events of this life made it such that when Asristin was reborn in the 3rd Age, he was born a darkfriend. The Shadow located him early as a youth, and he was thirteen when he formally swore their oaths.