Ishamael (ih-SHAH-may-EHL) (Originally known as Elan Morin Tedronai) is one of the primary antagonists of the Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan. He is one of the Forsaken. In fact, he is considered the most powerful of the thirteen Forsaken, holding the position of Nae'blis among the Forsaken, a position counted as second only to the Great Lord of the Dark.
Elan Morin Tedronai was originally a philosopher and theologian during the Age of Legends. He was in the prime of maturity: good looking with fine cut clothes and dark, penetrating eyes and a commanding presence; his voice had the air of both reason and command. He was often too esoteric for popular appeal. He wrote many books including Analysis of Perceived Meaning, Reality and the Absence of Meaning, and Disassembly of Reason. When the hole was made in the Dark One's prison, he looked at events critically, rather than despairingly. Being a theoretician, he came to believe that the struggle between the Creator and the Dark One was not new to this world; it had, in fact, existed since the dawn of time in a cycle, using human pawns as champions. He believed that the Dark One would eventually be the winner and unmake the Wheel of Time, and so became one of the first Chosen by convincing himself of the logic of such a move. He is a master of the board game sha'rah.
He became the Dark One's champion, being almost equal in the One Power to Lews Therin Telamon. He declared his allegiance to the Shadow at a conference of Aes Sedai, arguing that the Light was the losing side. Given his stature as a figure and power, his proclamation sparked massive riots. It was the masses who gave him his new name: Ishamael, Betrayer of Hope. Also called "Soul of the Shadow", he was the Dark One's leading general, despite the fact that during the War of Power he did not hold any field commands. However, he was defeated by Lews Therin at the gates of Paaren Disen.
Many people theorize that, unlike the other Forsaken, Ishamael was only partially sealed inside the Dark One's prison at Shayol Ghul (in contrast to Aginor and Balthamel who were merely sealed too close to the edge, and thus susceptible to the passage of time), and that Ishamael's soul was released into the world from time to time. Aran, son of Malan, an Ogier historian, had a theory of Ishamael being "spun out" and touching the world for specific periods of time. Evidence suggests that he was free to roam the world for periods of approximately 40 years every millennium since the end of the Age of Legends.
Read more about Ishamael at Wikipedia ...
Official Site: Robert Jordan
Links: Wikipedia Wheel of Time Wiki Wheel of Time Encyclopedia