Name: Duram Laddel Cham
Chosen Name: Be`lal
Age: 3387 (Eldest Chosen)
Physical Appearance: A tall, athletic man with close-cropped silver hair. As a practitioner of the duelling sports, he keeps rather fit and has a solid presence. Neat, meticulous, his attention to detail is made obvious in his careful appearance.
Character History Edit
Born in a farming community near M’Jinn, Duram spent his early years as a rather lazy if extremely bright student. Finding the sciences distasteful, his aptitude was revealed in his approach to more artistic studies. Soon after he managed to gain admission to a centre of learning in Paaren Disen. Originally gaining admission into law, he also picked up studies in history and society. Becoming an aide for an Advocate, he spent several years learning in the Regional Court of M’Jinn. After years spent as an Aide, he was soon raised to the rank of Advocate.
During his time, the lack of dispute left little work for Advocates though they were still seen as necessary to deal with the few issues that did arise. Seeking more challenging cases, Duram managed to work his way into the Criminal Court where he came into contact with the crimes of passion that were for the most part the only form of violent crime committed. Still, work was not common for Advocates and Duram sought to fill in his time with other forms of study to keep his mind active.
Spending his time indulging his pursuit of history, Duram slowly began to work his way through the history of their people. In particular, the history of the Restoration appealed to him as it dealt with the founding of the society that existed in the current day. The idea of conflict, genuine conflict, it puzzled Duram, having had little contact with it. His research and writing on the topic as well as an Advocate on the law soon earned him distinction with his third name during his one hundred and sixty-third year.
Duram did not stop there, indeed he expanded his interests. He had taken to duelling as a sport during his childhood but now Duram began to pay more attention to it, attempting to get into the mind of those people long gone, how it might have been for them. Likewise, his existing interest in Sho-wings and the race Jo-cars from M’Jinn increased. Becoming quite a fair pilot, he could be found at M`Jinn’s Festival of Winds every year. Certainly not the best, but he could hold his own in the races and the obstacle courses.
By the time he had reached his three hundredth year, Duram was elevated to the position of Chief Justice, yet that in turn was little challenge to him and his ability. Yet the winds of change were approaching….
The drilling of the Bore by the researchers Mierin Eronaile and Janar Beidemon allowed the Great Lord of the Dark to not only touch the world, but to bring with it a wave of disorder that washed across the world. As Chief Justice, Duram’s role soon became far more important, and he was amongst those at the forefront of trying to grapple with the new world, or rather, the death rattle of the old.
A staggering increase of bindings occured during the early years, and where they had assured safety for all concerned the nature of bindings became crueler. Where it had made sense to bind the few in a peaceful society, society was no longer peaceful and those who were bound were soon victims themselves as they could no longer defend themselves with their bindings forbidding violence.
To Duram and others lay the responsibility of the discarding the practice of binding violent criminals in favour of using prisons to segregate criminals from the rest of society. For his part in this, Duram was recognised by being elevated to the position of Lord of Twilight.
The years were a toll on Duram, and they also served to ask questions of him. While the uglier side of human nature had become more apparent, so too did the more noble. One man might kill another he was jealous of, yet another man who saw a mugging who was a complete stranger might race in to save the victim. And what of a thief who stole, yet did so to satisfy their hunger or that of their family because it was the only alternative left to them?
In light of such heroism, Duram was lost as he posed himself a complex problem. Is it possible for great good to exist without great evil? This in turn led him to question what they had before. Their society had been peaceful, and it had been safe, yet were they the standard to which society should judge themselves? Or was it the triumph over true adversity? Was it struggle and conflict that truly defined what humanity was?
It was these questions and self doubt that Duram possessed when he joined the Shadow and was named Be`lal, the Netweaver. The precise reasons as to why remain unknown, though if he were asked he would say it was because he had lost faith in what had gone before, and that a new order was needed.
Keeping his new affiliation secret, he was amongst the first of the Chosen. Rankling under the leadership of a Nae`blis, Be`lal joined forces with two other powerful Chosen, Ishamael and Aginor, and together they slew the Nae`blis and ruled as a triumvirate with their own responsibilities. To Aginor fell the creation of Nightmare, to Ishamael the gathering of new converts, and to Be`lal the speeding of the Collapse.
Using his position and his connections, Be`lal took the head of the pacifist faction in the World Council and did everything to delay and restrain any and all action taken to fight the Collapse. During these years, a romance between himself and a leader of the war faction, Jelana Astor Katel.
It was to be a romance that would be victim of the times. Brutally murdered inside her own apartment, the investigation in which he took part eventually brought the truth of it to light. Members of her own war faction had sought to use her murder as an impetus to push their own agenda, and they had seen her not only as a necessary sacrifice, but also a way to remove Be`lal’s opposition in the Council by incapacitating him with grief.
The doubts that Be`lal had entertained of what he did died that day. He had known that what he did, despite the reasons he did it, were still wrong acts. The self righteous justifications that the murderers gave for what they did, the belief they used to deny their bloodlust to themselves… Right and wrong ceased to exist, the Shadow was capable of monstrous acts, but no less monstrous than those carried out by those who served the Light. If both were capable of equally terrible acts, then all that remained was to pick a side.
With no doubts in what he did, no moral qualms to hold him back, Be`lal resumed his efforts with a renewed vigour. When the Shadow declared itself with Ishamael at its forefront, Be`lal kept his identity hidden. Soon rising to become one of Lews Therin’s trusted generals, simultaneously he directed armies of the Shadow in battle from afar. It wasn’t all that uncommon for him to orchestrate both sides of a battle.
It was when placed in control of the Lusenn Province that Be`lal made his loyalties public. Using his position, he left the Province’s defences weak and armies of the Shadow swept them aside to occupy the Capitol of Lusenn, M`jinn, before his treachery was made known. It is from this that the Light followers branded him a traitor for jealousy of the Dragon as Lews Therin had become known, accused of having coveted the position so much that he had turned to the Shadow to prove himself better. How little the Light knew.
The War of Power did see people swap sides for their own reasons. Barid Bel Medar would become Demandred, and Tel Janin Aellinsar would become Sammael. These two were of particular import in Be`lal’s tale, as they were instrumental in Be`lal’s overthrow.
While Be`lal still ruled as part of a triumvirate, he had been at the forefront during the war because he was the highest of the Shadow’s commanders. While Ishamael had cared little, for he was more concerned with fighting the battle for men’s hearts, Aginor had felt he was not accorded his due. Demandred had also discovered that they were half brothers by blood to the same father, and between their blood tie and grievances, Demandred won the Triumvir over.
The overthrow came with little warning, Be`lal barely managed to escape M`jinn as the province of Lusenn was overrun with forces that he had granted command of to Demandred and Sammael, further bolstered greatly by Aginor’s supply of Shadowspawn.
Managing to survive the coup by gathering his remaining forces, he had the strength to defend himself yet he didn’t have it to reclaim his position. While Demandred was made Nae`blis, and both Aginor and Sammael made his favoured lieutenants, Be`lal bided his time as he continued to fight the war. He would not forget Demandred’s betrayal of his trust.
When victory seemed in reach, the Strike on Shayol Ghul against all odds occurred, and Be`lal was one of the thirteen sealed away. When he was returned to the world, he found that the traitor Demandred had somehow managed to evade the sealing, and had led the Shadow for the past three thousand years.
Hiding himself in Cairhien he gathered his strength and sought to learn of the new world. The people of the Age bemoaned what had been lost, the fabled tranquility and happiness that was long gone. Little did they realise the treasure they had, the struggle and conflict of their times, the people of the new age were defined by it from the moment they were born.
It was from these that Be`lal resurrected the Shadarshan, the Shadowlords that had served him in an Age past reformed once more to follow his command. It wasn’t so long after that a strange woman, an innocent in many ways by the name of Eden came into his service. Finding feelings that he had thought gone after three thousand years returning to him, it was a romance that had its own complications.
These complications came in the form of Moghedien. Through her misfortunes, she had ended up trapped inside the body of Eden, and she had later lost control. From these unusual circumstances had in turn come an unlikely alliance. With the Spider at his side, Be`lal was in a much better position to challenge Demandred when the day came.
This opportunity came as Demandred watched over the Dragon during Dumai Wells. Engineering the fall of Chachin, with the aid of Moghedien and Zio Curselight he confronted and slew Demandred. Losing most of his followers during the battle, he lacked the power to claim the position of Nae`blis, and the Shadow is more than ever divided by faction without a Nae`blis to create a semblance of unity.
Needing time to replenish the lost ranks of his followers, and needing to establish a new base of power, he has moved to Tarabon with Moghedien to gather his strength once more.
When V'alduri is reborn, the alliance is ordered to keep meddling in the mainland, and to weaken it through playing it out against Seanchan and otherwise create havoc.