Name: Claire al'Windischan
Origin: Born and orphaned in Caemlyn, adopted by a farmer from western Andor.
Physical Description: Dark-blonde hair nearing light brown. It is usually swept up into a double knot behind her head with various wisps escaping. She receives many compliments on it when she lets it down, as it reaches far below her waist. As she has aged, more grey has crept into her hair. Her eyes are the color of the sea after a heavy storm. Many a person has been cowed by those eyes when they turn icy. She has fair skin with a sprinkle of freckles across her cheekbones and nose. Tiny lines at the corners of her eyes crinkle when she smiles.
Personality: Independent to a fault. Will speak passionately about a personal view she holds close, regardless if it is an unpopular view. Enjoys teaching and lecturing. Dislikes reptiles and insects. Like most Browns, she gives the appearance of being scatterbrained, but she has a quick wit and a sharp mind beneath it all.
Claire’s life started out in the worst possible way. Her mother gave birth in a stable behind the inn in Caemlyn where she worked as a barmaid. The labor was quick and she soon had a set of twins in her arms. Unfortunately, Carrina Havaryn suffered massive blood loss after bearing the twin girls into the world. She managed to whisper the names of the girls to the quiet stable boy who had found her there.
“Arden…” she said, pushing the first girl gently into Nevin’s arms.
“Claire…” she whispered, holding the second girl out to him only to collapse moments later.
After Carrina died, the stable boy rushed the two mewling girls to Elsinda Marcher, the proprietor of the Rose Crown inn. The innkeep cared for the twins during their first month, all the while looking for a suitable family to adopt them.
Finally a home was found for the babes with Hans al’Windischan. He was a distant cousin of Elsinda and stopped to visit her on his way back to his farm south of Baerlon. He had no other children or even a wife, but Elsinda knew the girls would bring joy to his life.
As Claire grew, she and her twin began to dream of their mother. She would sing to them, hold them and talk to them. When they turned 16, Claire and Arden dreamt of their mother telling them to journey to Tar Valon. Claire heeded her mother’s instructions, and travelled to the city of Aes Sedai. Arden chose instead to stay with their father.
Claire was raised Aes Sedai at the age of 37. She petitioned to and was accepted by the Brown Ajah. She spent much of her years studying ter’angreal and other objects of the power. At one point in her career, she left the Tower, chasing rumors of ter’angreal being found in far off lands. When she returned, she had several new ter’angreal (and several new Novices) in tow.
After returning from this trip, Claire assumed a chair in the Hall of the Tower as a Sitter for the Brown. She held this chair for 80 years, frequently going her own way in decisions and votes. She managed to dodge being called down too harshly for it until the raising of Lanfir as Amyrlin. In an epic decision, Claire attempted to call down the young Blue Sitter Espara for attempting to place herself at the Amyrlin’s right hand. This was during a major rift between the Ajahs, and Claire saw through Espara’s attempt to gain undue influence for the Blues (whom were in a bad light at the time).
Standing against all tradition and even her own Ajah’s view, Claire stood and spoke passionately in support of creating a council of sisters from all Ajahs to approach and advise the new Amyrlin. In her view, all the Ajahs must be united with the threat of the Last Battle on the horizon. Unfortunately, the other Ajahs were too engrossed in their petty differences for Claire’s voice to be heeded. Discouraged, Claire resigned her seat in the Hall and immersed herself in her studies.
After the Namandar expedition (and disaster), Claire and Kit Sedai of the Brown had many ter’angreal to study. It was at this time Claire began her study of cuendillar and its creation. She feels she is on the verge of a breakthrough, although she has not found the key to its making yet. She began to compile a volume on her research with these objects: Ter'angreal: Objects Lost in Time.
At the age of 150, Claire left the Tower once again at the insistence of a letter from Arden. Also a channeler, Arden had not joined the Tower instead choosing to stay at home. Claire did not approve of course, but she still loved her sister, wilder or not. Fearing her sister was in trouble, she traveled to Arad Doman where her Arden had been living since their father died.
What Claire found was certainly not what she expected. Hearing screams from the interior of the house, Claire masked her ability and snuck up to a window on the lower floor. She peered into a scene of carnage where Arden’s family and children had been killed. Gore covered the floor and walls, and Arden herself was tied to a chair, surrounded by female dreadlords. There were 13 of the women, and 13 Fades. As Claire watched with horror, her sister was turned to serve the Dark. She heard the voice, so like her own, speak the oaths pledging herself to the Dark One forever. Claire fled, knowing that she would be turned as well if they caught her outside the house.
Upon her return, Claire was brought into the search for Black Ajah in the Tower by Lanfir and Sirayn. Claire was rabid in her search for the pestilence in the Tower. The searchers called by Lanfir did not know the identities of the others, and Claire continued her search alone in secret even after Lanfir was killed. She began to compose another book in secret; this one was entitled The Dark One Within. It focused on the potential for evil within us all, and the philosophy of what makes one evil.
At the age of 200, Claire decided to take a Warder. She had lived without one so far in life, but she felt the need keenly after the turning of her twin and the deaths of sisters within the Tower. She approached Cyriel Ramazael, who had been Bonded to Shannadin, a sister murdered in her very quarters. Before she could Bond him, Claire was pushed down a flight of stairs in the Tower by unseen hands and had to spend a few weeks in recovery from a broken leg. When she was able to leave the infirmary again, Cyriel had left the Tower and was never seen again.
For the last 70 years, Claire has been focusing on her ter’angreal research publicly, while continuing to seek the Black Ajah privately. She knows the rot is present in all Ajahs, and she prays something can be done before it goes too deep. She has not taken a chair in the Hall again, although she is starting to feel more pressure to do so from her Ajah. Before she can in good faith accept a Chair, there is one more mission out of the Tower she must complete: to find her sister and bring her back to the Light.