WoT: Forces In The Field
Despite the deluge of WoT info sites which exist on the Web, I've yet to
find a decent and up to date listing of army strengths in Randland.
So, I've decided to draw up my own.
Warning : Will contain spoilers for those who haven't read aCoS.
Taking the Randland map, I'll start in the North and travel South.
- No real idea, but probably as large as the entire Seanchan
based on the fact that the Portal Stone to Toman Head, showed the
conquering the world, and then being overthrown by the Trollocs.
Of course, you have to factor in Seanchan darkfriends etc.
- Also, huge size is indicated by the fact that Ishy, doesn't seem
mind the losses at Tarwin's Gap. But this could be just bluff.
- Balwer reports to Pedron that he doesn't think that there could
possibly be any more than 15,000 Saldaens in Andor, because to take
more would be to weaken the border defences overmuch.
- There doesn't seem to be any marked difference in Borderland
so I'll assume they are all equal.
So, I recokon that each Borderland has an effective army of 15k, with
maybe, another 5k who are rooted at the border.
- This means that
- Saldaea has an effective force of 6k left to play
- Arafel, and Kandor have the full compliment.
- Shienar; probably somewhat weaker, say around 10-12k, still recovering
from Tarwin's Gap.
- Well we are told straight out that 581 went south with Gawyn, and
there were some left behind, as they were too young to go to Cairhien.
- Now, we are told that Gawyn leads fewer than 200 men back to the
so adding in those who never left...
- I put youngling strength at 200.
Tar Valon Guard (...The TVG ?...)
- Commanded by High Capt. Chubain, but I have no real idea of the
Only that it is growing ie. The keeper wishes it to, so it does.
- Best guess; I reckon 5-10k. I can't see it being less that 5k, because
the tower has so many enemies, and I can't see it being more than 10k,
because TV, at the end of the day, is still just a city state in the
middle of a river, with only a few outlying villages under it's
Tower AS + Warders
- This is tricky. We are told, by Taim, and Egwene for example, that
are fewer than 1k AS in total.
- Also we are told that the tower was
down the middle.
So I'll assume 900AS in total, giving the Tower 450.
- Of course, more sisters might have gone to the tower, or at least
shun the rebels, reasoning along the same lines as Cadsuame ie. the
is the Tower.
- Also we have to factor in Eladia's blunders.
- There were 33 AS involved in the trip to TV after the taking.
12 return to the Tower. 1 captured by Shaido. 3 Stilled.
Which gives a death total of 17.
- Then there's the Black Tower raid involving 50 Sisters + 200
guards. It's unclear if (m)any of them survive.
- So, I'll give the tower a provisional 400 AS.
- With about 300 warders,
taking the Red Ajah into account.
Novices and Accepted;
- Before the split there were approx 40 Novices, and fewer than 50
Accepted. We know that 18 novices left with the SAS, which fits with
general slightly-less-than-half, rule of thumb.
- Also, the relative lack of active recruitment suggests that these
numbers are fairly stagnent.
- So, I'll give the Tower say....23 Novices, and 25 Accepted.
Civil wars, dragonsworn, the losses against the first Seanchan on
Toman Head, all point to a fairly small Domani army.
Have the Seanchan invaded ?
Well there's some slight evidence in the North-East, South-West
which would suggest that they have. Note the use of the passive for
If they have invaded, there are likely to be rebels for a while to
Don't forget that one of the Great Captains resides in Arad
He was mentioned twice in the series, so he'll appear again (?)
Well, first off the
When Rand returns from the wells he is given a quick sketch of the
wetlander forces. He is told that there are more than 10k in the city,
and roughly 10k rebels outside the city.
So, I'll break it down as follows.
- Cairhienien Army; 9k. Started with 10k+, assume +/-1000 of those
the Queen's personal lapdogs, and probably unavailable to Rand, but
again it is Cairhien we are talking about.
- Friendly Rebels; 2,500.
- Unfriendly Rebels; 2,500.
- There were 10k rebels altogether with 2 seperate leaders, one of whom
now loyal to Rand. Assume the Fog destroyed half the total, killing
and causing others to run off permanently, and that leaves each side
Pre the Second Aiel War, the four had 160k+ spears, and the 7 had
320k+ spears, and allowing for losses of 30k+ in the one day battle,
the fight with a small portion of the Shaido around the time of
- That gives Rand's Aiel 450k - and with 200k in Tear/Illian and a
handful patroling Caemlyn, that leaves 250k- in Cairhien.
When Egwene is talking about there being 1000- AS, she
says that there are more WO's maybe many more.
However we have to consider the relative lack of channeling ability
of some of these WOs eg. Sorelia's flickering flame.
So, best guestimate....1k WOs.
Excluding the 200-250 that belong to the Shaido, that leaves 750-800
channeling WOs loyal to Rand.
The Queen's Guards
- They have taken a bit of a tumble lately, what with
Rhavin dismissing some of the more loyal ones, or sending them off to
fight in Cairhien.
- Also, his personal forces are probably disbanded at this stage.
- Also, many of the Queen's men wouldn't exactly rush to Rand's banner.
- On the other hand, now that they have a Steward to flock behind,
of them have probably fallen into line.
- So, conisdering the relative size of Andor, and all the above
I'd put it's effective army at approx. 15-20k, but that's speculation
Now, for Rand's forces....
Saldaen Light Horse;
9k. This is a firm figure given by Bashere himself.
Legion of the Dragon:
- 15k+ and increasing.
- Bashere tells us of 15K trained men, with more arriving daily, due
Taim's sweeping method of collecting Dragonsworn.
Black Tower Asha'man;
- Alviarian's agent reports enough food for more than 400 hundred
people, going to the Black Tower, at the start of aCoS.
- However, given
residence of women and children this is probably exaggerated.
- OTOH, 400, seems right when you consider that Al's info. is a little
of date, and also the continuing recruitment drive.
Probably not too many in the city, despite the presence of a clan
chief. Say about 1k+/-.
Of No Fixed Abode
The following few groups either don't belong anwyhere, are on the
move constantly, or are spread around several countries. As such I'll
group them together here.
Salidar Aes Sedai: (SAS..hehehe)
- As discussed above with the Tower AS, the split probably favoured
tower forces slightly.
- So, I'll give the SAS 350 Sisters, with 400- warders, taking
lack of reds into account.
Novices and Accepted
- As discussed with the TAS, the split was relatively even.
active searches conducted by the SAS probably lead to a much higher
Byrne's Army; 20k
The Band; 10k
These calculations are somewhat interdependant so I'll discuss
- When Mat arrives in Salidar the band contains 6k.
- And his chief
Vanin, reports that the SAS army is approx. twice as big.
- Both armies have been ingathering on their travels. Byrne has the
advantage of being Byrne, and having the bigger force, but the
disadvantage, that very few southerners actually like AS.
- Also, The
has the advantage of their reputation for luck.
- So I'll assume an
rate of ingathering. Although Byrne gathters more men because he has
to start with.
- When asked about his contact with the Band, he tells the Sisters
they number 10k. So, an equal recruitment rate : initial size, would
him twice what the Band has ie. 20k.
- We know that there were a total of 40k spears at Dumani's Wells.
sustained heavy losses, at the hands of the Younglings, the Tower AS,
wolves, Perrin's sundry forces, and of course the Asha'man.
- However when you factor in the return of the blocking force sent
south to Cairhien, you can probably bump the Shaido back up to 40k.
- Sammael's fool boxes leave them scattered, and
- The Asha'man, report
contaact with approx. 9-10k Shaido Aiel altoghether. However judging
the Moshaine Shaido who totaled fewer than 6000 Aiel, and we know that
only 1k Moshaine + 200 Mera'din could be counted as spears.
Given the likelihood that the Asha'man probably can't tell one Shaido
another, this 9-10k, probably only accounts for 1,800 or so spears.
- So, all told, there are approx. 35-40k Shaido Spears scattered about,
the improtant caveat that the more powerful Wise Ones are grouped
I'm not too sure on this one, but I think I remember a segment just
Perrin joins the battle at Dumani's Wells, where an AS looks down over
ridge and says that there are 2-300 women channeling down there. Which
would give us 200-250 Channeling Shaido Wise Ones.
- I really have no idea how many there are, but maybe around 10k.
- However these will either turn, or be dealt with, once the High
in Cairhien becomes King of Tear.
Forces form Tear and Cairhien;
- We don't know the exact ratio of T : C troops, but there are
more Taireans, as it's their home turf, and the commander of the joint
forces is from Tear.
- Numbers are probably around the 40k mark, we know this because on
of Rands visits down we learn that there are 200k Aiel, either there
about to arive and that the Aiel outnumber the wetlanders 5:1.
We are told that there are under 200k there, with a few more yet
arrive, so by the time of the actual invasion 200k seems accurate.
- Probably quite a large army, given that they have been building
defences for a couple of books now.
- Also, the indication that all the
in Illian was required to feed the army gives us some idea of it's
- At a guess I'd say that they have about 20k+, or to put it another
way... slightly more than the full fighting force of Saldaea.
Murandy and Altara:
- No armies to speak of, but probably full of lesser lords and
with maybe 1k groups or smaller.
- However, they can at times act together. eg. The capture of the
Dragon. Same could happen again with the Seanchan, but I doubt it.
We are given an exact number of 1,783, but it's unclear how many of
these can be gathered in before the Seanchan arrive en masse.
The Queen's Army;
- The Queen's Army probably isn't that large, given that we are
with a smallish Southern state.
- We know of a couple of battles with the Dragonsworn. One of which
concerned an army of 2k defeated by the Prophet's mobs.
- Given the Queen's respect for the Prophet, I can't see her army
anything more than say 5-7k.
The Prophet's Dragonsworn Army;
We know of one mob, of 10k, which defeated the army sent against
But it's probably grown since then, on the march into Amadicia.
During the gateway sequence we get a fairly detailed description
this small force.
- Command: Perrin+Faile (..also Aram...) and Berelain.
- Archers: Fewer than 300 Two Rivers Bowmen.
- Cavalry: Bertain Gallenne leading 900+ Winged Guards.
- Foot: Approx 28 Aiel (...Gaul + Maidens...),
+ approx. 25 in Selende's Society
- Aes Sedai --- Masuri ( Brown + 1 warder ), Seonid ( Green
- Asha'man --- Grady ( Dedicated ), and Neald ( Soldier )
- Wise Ones --- Edarra + 5 others.
Ailron's Army; (...Ailron's army, is here to staaaaay,
Ailron's army, are on their waaaaay!...)
These are peobably fairly small, say about 5k. This is evidenced
the fact that the Children dominate them, and by the fact that they
unable to turn back to Prophet's mobs.
Children of the Light;
I don't think that we ever get a precise number, but there are a few
along the way.
- The loss of Bornhold's legion is more than frowned upon, but it
doesn't exactly shake the children to their knees or anything.
- There were 2,000 Children stationed on the western border
(.....Guardians of the Southern Gate! hehehe....)
- Niall's initial offer to Morgase gave her 'command' of 5k
with 1k to be stationed permantely in Caemlyn.
- Niall's successor, was able to bring a legion, under his personal
command into the fortress to boost his claims.
- The rise and rise of Rand al'Thor, the latest in a long line of False Dragons is also
likely to bring fresh recruits to Amador.
- So, at a very unsatisfactory guess, I'd say the Whitecloaks number
- Of course some were captured in the battle for the Fortress of
but most of them were up north at the time, fighting the Dragonsworn.
We know that the EVA have not entirely destroyed resistence, but
Suroth doesn't seem too worried about the remaining rebels, so let's
them at no more than 2k.
Hard to be exact, but given the countries losses on Toman Head
the seanchan, on Almoth Plain, against the Domani, against the
Dragonsworn, and in their own civil war, and losses during the return
the seanchan, I'd say that these forces number no more than 2-3k.
They are likely to be a significant military force in the future,
evidenced by the Jendai Prophecy as quoted to Rand in Cairhien, ie. that
the Coramoor would make the Sea Folk the masters of all the seas of the
They are among the strongest of Sea Folk channelers. Although the Sea
Folk send some girls to the Tower to avoid suspicion, they never send
people of great strength.
Not every ship has a channeler.
Windfinder's training appears to be fairly limited. Witness the
captivity of so many Sea Folk ships at the hands of Damane equiped
And Last but not Least.....
I don't have an exact figure for this, but OTOH.....
- When Bayle sails to Falme he estimates 200+ ships.
- Of course some of these were destroyed in the battle at falme, some
sailed back home, but we are told that Suroth has command of almost
the ships involved in the return. So let's just say 200+/-.
- I have no idea how many men you could fit per ship, but they were
carrying horses, grolm, flying things, and s'redit (sp.)
- I don't know the number of damane they have, only that they had
'scores', lined up to fight Bornhold's Whitecloaks, and that some
in the debacle at Falme.
- However, they probably aren't as awesome as some people think - given
fact that , according to the Jendai Prophecy, they are going to be
back a second time.
- Deathwatch Ogier. I have no idea how many there are, or even if they'll ever
make an appearance in the books, but here's hoping.
Well, that's it - except to mention the civil war in Shara, and the
The Guide to the Wheel Of Time also has some nice army related information.
Giving the type of composition of the standard Randland army, as well as a
numerical listing of strength at the end of the Aiel War for most of the members
of the Grand Coalition. It's certainly worth a look.
The figures I've given above do not take a/c of information in the
Comments, suggestions, and improvements are of course welcome.
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Page last updated 2nd April, '98.