Byron Gaidin

Byron’s tales were riddled with holes and intrigues and misdirection.

Malaika, An Early Evening Run

Alleged Origins

Byron tells various convoluted stories of his past. But there is truth amidst it all, for those who really listen.

An orphan born in Caemlyn, Byron grew up on the streets. As a youth he fell in with a caravan master called Dekan, whom he met after trying to cut the man’s purse and getting caught. Rather than turn Byron into the guard, Master Dekan took him in.

The men who raised him were not family and life with them was cruel. He was one of several children taught to steal and beg for food and money, and in return the men watched out for them or got them medicine when they were sick. He never considered running away. Not that he or any of the others had anywhere to go even if it occurred to them. The guards were the bad guys, and there was no one else to turn to. It was just the way things were.

Dekan was not so simple as he appeared, and young Byron proved to have talents he chose to hone and use. The old caravan master taught Byron many of the skills he employs as a gaidin and Dagger for the White Tower.

“Master Dekan, you see, was not just a simple caravan master. T’was a spy, he was, or perhaps a spy master? I learned accents and manners and all sorts of strange little things under his tutelage. Had plenty of uses for a handsome and smart young lad. I was quite impressionable, became rather loyal of him for a time. Accents and daggers, how to change my mannerisms and appearance, fit in high or low as long as no one payed too close attention to me that is. Poisons too, truth be told. Although I can never quite be sure, I believe he worked for various nobility, providing services for the ever muddled Great Game, whether it be between Houses in the same city, or at least kingdom, else between those of neighbouring lands.”

Byron, An Early Evening Run

Eventually a job went wrong, resulting in the death of most of the band. After Dekan left one of their number to die, a young Domani man called Dergiyn, Byron began to have a change of heart about where his life was going. He realised how easily any of them might be cut loose the moment they became a drain or a liability.

Master Dekan grew in paranoia over the following months, convinced someone was slipping poison into his food. He killed the last two of his own men, and died while young Byron — still only twelve, or there abouts — watched.

Though the truth is, of course, far darker.

Corele Sedai

Afterwards, Byron broke the lock box, gathered his things, and left.

He ended up in Four Kings, where his luck finally seemed to dry up. He was caught pick-pocketing, and left to rot in a cell with a broken and infected arm. Days passed in delirium and fever. Byron does not recall how he recovered, but woke hungry, and was finally sent on his way by the guards.

It is likely he was healed by an Aes Sedai, and gently set on his path towards Tar Valon and the White Tower, but Byron has never discovered the truth of it beyond suspicion.

Most of his dreams had been terrible things, but there had been one. One dream that stood out perfectly after all the years. A long winded chat with a pleasant, patient, enigmatic fatherly fellow, of all sorts of things. Of where he had come from and what he had done, and most importantly where he should go to best use those skills. And voila, the Tower.

Byron, an Early Evening Run

Thus he began his journey to becoming a gaidin of the White Tower.

Good Deeds

Byron had another reason to head towards the Shining City. He delivered a weathered parcel of money, writs and coin to a woman in the city:

“Well, Lady Malaika, I doubt I know him even now. He has a bag of masks as deep as the Tower is tall I think. But he first came in here four years ago. I hired him as an entertainer, and he would play or sing or dance or tumble some nights. More oft then not he was gone for weeks or months, but when he was around he had no end of new stories to tell. Didn’t know he was of the Tower until some men came and dragged him off for penance. Didn’t see him again for two years, and then all he could talk about was cabbages and locusts. As if he hadn’t done a single interesting thing in two whole years. Sometimes though, he does remind me of my departed brother. Dekan always had such a way with words. Ah, I could almost imagine Byron to be his son, for the way he carries himself.”

Tea-Mistress Osilia, An Early Evening Run

Still a child, the wealth was as good as useless to him. Instead he bestowed it upon Dekan’s sister, alongside a letter of final farewell from her departed brother. The letter was a careful forgery of course; Dekan would have happily killed his sister for a few crowns, but it was a side of him she never knew, and Byron maintained the illusion to preserve her happiness and innocence.

Byron often goes out of his way for others, though he nearly always does so in a covert manner that does not draw attention to his involvement.

Gaidin of the White Tower

Byron’s primary identity is that of a goofy, unbonded warder known to play practical jokes and laze around the Tower.

He often tells stories of a two-year penance served tending cabbages, where a swarm of locusts ate his thatched roof. What really happened during this time is anyone’s guess. Byron always has a wealth of unusual stories about his escapades.

Despite his frivolity he has complex emotions surrounding his lack of a bond and the fact that few ever seem to see beyond his masks.

Of his varied associates in the Tower he is particularly close with Accepted Elsae, a girl from Murandy who in the past he has speculated might actually be his daughter. On the surface his relationship with her is jovial and mischievous, but he will always look out for her. She views him as a friend and mentor.

When the Seanchan became so bold as to infiltrate Murandy, Byron Gaidin was instrumental in ushering refugees towards Tar Valon, whilst the Green Aes Sedai Lythia Krean plunged fearlessly into the city in an attempt to thwart the plot. During the flight north, he finally had the opportunity to poke at the memories housing his suspicions. Unfortunately, Elsae’s mother became a casualty during the escape, and her twin sister Elseen was captured. Upon testing by the Seanchan, she was taken to become a sul’dam. It is likely she is still in the city of Lugard.

Dagger of the White Tower

For many years, Byron has been deployed as the White Tower’s Dagger, using his unique skillset to take on secretive and difficult missions that the Tower could not be seen to be involved in. He does not know that these instructions came from Corele Taravin, the then Keeper of the Chronicles, who was the Sister to discover young Byron after it was her pocket he picked in Four Kings despite the watchful eye of her nearby warder. She was impressed but also pitied the young man, sensing his behavior and skill were on the path to becoming a Darkfriend, if he wasn’t one already. Therefore, she recruited him to work for the Tower and sent him covert missions to carry out the Tower’s will.

After Corele was presumed dead, the missions ceased and Byron grew restless as he did not know who it was that sent him in the first place. It was this restlessness that Lythia stirred in order to convince him to come work for her as Arikan’s interrogator.

The Many Faces of Byron Calanail

It would take some time for Byron to change from the unassuming farmer’s garb into that of an Inquisitor. It wasn’t some simple matter of changing clothes after all, other efforts had to be made. From within the chest came various items, ranging from a small mirror with stand as well as other odds and ends lifted from the Questioner’s tent.

By the light of a lamp, Byron’s hair was carefully thinned with a pair of tweezers, then liberally oiled and washed and oiled again. He would look as though his hair was thinning naturally, and would be a darker shade thanks to the oil. Time was spent for painstaking grooming; Inquisitors had a tendency of being very self-important individuals, and the Children were always overly interested in their own appearance.

Byron, Mists

Byron uses many identities and aliases, from benign to sinister. He is impeccably skilled at disguises and accents and moves between them with ease. When playing a role, he will put in a great amount of work and research.

Notably, at the behest of Lythia Sedai but without the White Tower’s sanction, he impersonated the Hand of the Light known as Inquisitor Jeorune in order to exact information from the captured General Dreadlord Arikan. His sadistic ability to torture was unparalleled. Yet on the inside, Byron only felt curiosity at his own depravity and the resilience of the human body.

Following Arikan’s escape and Lythia’s forced Turning, Byron has disappeared.

The pale flesh of the Whitecloak melted away, and a sicker man was revealed beneath.  Arikan quickly realized confronting his torturer was a mistake. 

The garb was dropped. Piece by stained piece. The cloak cast aside, the shepherd’s crook folded for storage, to be reused again surely. Chainmail became a discarded mound and none of it trashed.  The man would don such attire again.  Someday.

But it was the relief in the man’s voice that froze his blood. The burden of maintaining his facade was eased.  Now, he was free to plunge the full breadth of his focus into one. disturbing. task. 

Definitely a mistake.

Arikan, Mists


Byron is personable and makes connections wherever he goes. He’s well travelled with a particular fondness for the Tuatha’an, but says he will never cross the ocean due to a hatred of ships. Around Tar Valon he is a well-known and well-liked face, from his influence in matchmaking Osilia and Domal, to his regular jaunts playing dice in the taverns and nurturing friendships with the Tower guard. Skilled with instruments, he is also sometimes found playing in various inns, and in one such instance was overheard by Jai Kojima singing the Ballad of an Asha’man.

  • Lythia Krean; An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who recruited Byron to impersonate a Hand of the Light and torture Arikan for information. It was only after Lythia slept with him that she came to understand there was more to him than met the eye.
  • Elsae; An Accepted of the Tower with whom he shares a mischievous friendship
  • Malaika Niele; A quiet Brown sister who first mistook Byron for a gleeman when she encountered him in Tar Valon. He gave her a tour of the city’s people.
  • Osilia and Domal (Tea-mistress and blacksmith in Tar Valon)
  • Arikan; dreadlord general who Byron tortured for information concerning the Shadow

Alleged Origins, Part 2

“Never really knew my mother. If what the men who raised me said is true, she did giving birth to me, just two alleys from where we lived. I’d like to think she was a wonderful woman, and had quite the bright and sunny image of her built in my mind as a child. Over the years I’ve long since realized the truth of what she must have been, but all the same…those childhood memories, as fake as they may be, are what I will carry with me to the grave.” 

Byron, An Early Evening Run

Byron believes himself the son of a whore, and remembers the mother he never knew with fondness, perhaps because he also believes her dead. He is at least half right. In fact he was conceived by the Dreadlord Arikan, then at the height of his power, and the Forsaken Merihem, newly released from the Bore and in hiding. Afraid of discovery, Lilis played the part expected before she fled. Yet still unaccustomed to the limited tech of the new Age, she was caught off guard to later find a child resulted from the union. Perhaps surprisingly, she never considered methods that might have rid herself of the problem. Yet neither did she raise the child.

To be the progeny of one of the Chosen would be both a boon and a curse to lay upon a child, and she had no intention of raising her son to an entitled legacy. He would need to earn it, and more, he would need to learn to survive it. For the other Chosen would never take kindly to a threat to their own authority and standing.

The boy was left to be raised on the streets of Caemlyn, somewhere Lilis had decided was a safer environment than other cities and nations. She wanted him strong, not dead. Though she watched over him she never interfered in the cruelties inflicted upon him by the men who took him in. The warmth of pride in her chest was something she long dwelt over as the years rolled on and he exacted his revenge for himself, but she never revealed herself to him. For though Lilis waited to see evidence of his channeling nature, the proof never materialised, until she was forced to acknowledge that her son was entirely mortal and she would long outlive him.

After Lythia’s protections lapsed, Lilis shields her son’s dreams from the expected retaliation now that Arikan is loose, just as she shields Elsae.

Byron is unaware of his parentage. Nor that he nearly tortured his own father to death. Arikan himself remains ignorant he has a son at all, let alone his identity, yet has a strange fascination with a woman he believes to be an Aes Sedai — his granddaughter, Elsae.



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