Since the end of the Third Age when the Dragon Reborn and his followers somehow sealed the Dark One away from the pattern once more, the Blight has been in recession, giving up lands back to nature as it retreats to the cold north. As it retreated, any Shadowspawn found was hunted and killed.
While there are still Trollocs and Fades in what remains of the Blight, they make themselves scarce as much as possible while they watch and wait for the opportunity to join their master, or even a new master, once more biding their time until their
Dark Prophecies herald the coming of 'the hand reborn'.
Bred from a mix of human and animal stock during the Age of Legends, the Second Age, these are the foot soldiers of the Dark One. Taller and stronger than most men, they fight with scythe-like swords and sometimes use bows with arrow shafts as big as small spears. Trollocs will eat anything as long as it is meat, even one of their own.
Carefully designed by Aginor so that his first creation would be able to naturally procreate and constantly breed, Trollocs are far from extinct. Since the dawn of the Fourth Age, the Trollocs have become one of the more uncontrollable beasts in the Blight. There are still Trolloc clans, which stay as close to Shayol Ghul as possible, and they fight amongst themselves as much as the humans that try to hunt the last of them. There have been some reports of Trollocs in northern Seanchan, but this has not been confirmed.
The traits initially bred into them (speed, the love of the kill, ferocity, animalistic lust, lack of discipline, crude intelligence, etc.) still remain to this day, though the sudden reclusive nature of the Myrddraal means the Trollocs have no one to lead them and have problems coordinating attacks. Occasionally small pockets of Trollocs are known to attack outlying villages but these attacks are rare nowadays.
Though it is not heard of, some Trollocs will deal with various Darkfriends. Even so, there is still a risk of the Trollocs turning against the Darkfriends. Trollocs are untrustworthy and revel in killing any human they find. Even when cowed by Darkfriends with the One Power, they will try to reassert themselves once in a while, spelling doom for the unwary Darkfriend.
Those who can channel can sense Trollocs if they are nearby.
Trollocs can be bonded somehow to Myrddraal. But if the Myrddraal that bonded them is killed, the Trollocs suffer something akin to what a Warder bonded by the Third Age bond feels when his Aes Sedai is killed and the bond is severed - though in Trollocs the effects are much more severe.
Throwbacks to the human stock, Myrddraal are born from Trollocs. These sinuous creatures are born with pale wormy skin and without eyes. The look of the eyeless is fear – a saying in the borderlands and true as well as somehow the Myrddraal have the ability to bring out fear in to those they gaze at. Other abilities of the Myrddraal is its inhuman strength, speed, endurance, ability to link with several Trollocs – up to an entire fist – to be able to control them, as well as the ability to seemingly travel through shadows. Myrddraal take a long time in dying, often up to several hours even when their body parts have been severed.
Eyeless they may be, they can see better than humans, some even say better than Wolfbrothers or Ogier. Their choice of weapon are Thakan'dar forged blades, midnight black blades whose wounds – even scratches - are lethal. They wear cloaks that do not stir even in the most violent of winds, and they can move around in almost complete silence.
In the Fourth Age, they are even more reclusive than Trollocs. Sometimes, Myrddraal need to use ordinary swords even as their black blades fail after a time and the forgers of Thakan'dar are not as plentiful as they used to be. More crumble into useless dust as each decade passes and the power of the dark one recedes in them.
Myrddraal hold contempt for all human life. Females, when captured, are often made sport of by Myrddraal, and it is said that when a Myrddraal gets its hand on a female, it is better for that female to die than be rescued. Myrddraal only took orders directly from the Forsaken. They blame all Darkfriends for their loss in the Third Age, and do not take orders from any Darkfriends any longer unless coerced through use of the One Power. Even then, the hold on them is rather tentative.
Myrddraal have spent most of the Fourth Age, thus far, on some quest of their own, an effort to fulfill one of their dark prophecies regarding something called ‘the resurrected hand’. According to them, this ‘hand’ will herald the return of the Dark One before his time comes again.
Myrddraal can use ravens, crows, and rats as their eyes and scouts.
Myrddraal can sense the One Power being channeled; they sense it like an itch.
There are rumors of Myrddraal that can channel. Those, and those that are somehow bonded by Aes Sedai Warder bonds, can sense other Myrddraal if they are nearby, as well as sense them fading away.
Twisted souls of wolves, these beasts now roam the blight masterless and wild, taking no orders whatsoever from Myrddraal or Darkfriend. In the Fourth Age, they are no more than beasts, albeit hard to kill beasts. They leave footprints in stone but not in clay or soil, and often a sulfurous scent accompanies them.
These creatures are men and women who have given their souls up to the Dark One in exchange for the ability to be near undetectable and immortal. Since the Third Age the number of Gray Men have been severely reduced.
It has been assumed that the
Gray Men have been hidden by Darkfriends over the years and are waiting for
orders, or are waiting in some undisclosed location far away from the Pit of
Doom. Gray Men will only answer to those truly committed to the Dark Lord, and
apparently they have some sort of ability to sense this commitment. Therefore,
their assassin services (the only real use they have) are only given to Darkfriends that are high enough in Darkfriend circles to be able to keep them around unnoticed.
Gray Men often appear so ordinary that the eyes seem to slip past them. They usually only need to carry knives on any mission. Most people will not notice Gray Men until it is too late.
The taint in Gray Men is not strong enough to sense even by channelers, though wolves and Wolfbrothers will notice a decidedly foul odor when they are in the vicinity of one.
These giant bat like creatures have the ability to hypnotize anyone with their crooning. Even those that can channel become helpless once entranced by their song, and only outside interference can save them. When a person is ‘kissed’ by the Draghkar it is said that that person loses his/her soul.
The Draghkar, once one of the most fearsome creatures of the dark, now run wild in the Blight. Darkfriends, even those who can channel, may try to order them to do various tasks if the can find one, but more often than not Draghkar will kill the first thing it sees, even the one that gives it its orders.
Jumara (aka worms)
Created by Aginor long before the Dragon was reborn, the jumara are a denizen of the Blight. They are so dangerous that other creatures of the Blight flee from them, including Trollocs and Myrddraal. Worms feel nothing but hunger and must be cut to pieces to be killed.
The forgers of Thakan'dar
Stone creatures brought to life by the power of Shayol Ghul, which have only one purpose: to forge the black swords of the Myrddraal. Taken from the slopes of Shayol Ghul they become useless rock again.
Since the Fourth Age, the forgers have been dying out one at a time, limiting the number of black swords available to the Myrddraal.
Only six of these creatures were made in the Age of Legends, three male and three female. Their abilities include immunity to the One Power, bonelessness, unearthly strength, and the ability to sense saidin and saidar being channeled over great distances. Gholam are have been known to even stalk Forsaken.
In the Third Age there was only one mention of the Gholam recorded. The creature was eventually killed by General Matrim Cauthon of the Band of the Red Hand, though how the great general killed it is not known. There are rumors of a book written by an Ogier that contains secrets not recorded by any other scholar of that age, one of which may be how the gholam was killed. It might even detail the secret to locking, and unlocking, the Dark One’s prison.
A very rare type of Shadowspawn. It has the ability to exist in Tel’aran’rhiod as well as the real world, shifting between both realities seemingly at will. It seems it takes two men to create one of these creatures, one to live in the World of Dreams and one to live in the waking world. Only one has Slayer has been documented, but more than one person claims to have seen it in the Fourth Age. Whether these rumors are true or not, no one knows, but one thing is certain…if the Dark One ever gets free again, more of these creatures may be created.
Other creatures of the Blight
Most other creatures of the Blight, even those inanimate objects that have gained some sort of consciousness, have devolved into some of the most dangerous beasts in the world. Thankfully, however, they seem to be specific to the Blight only and rarely venture south. Still, they are both wild and dangerous, and only Borderlanders - and those experienced in battle – stand a chance against the denizens of the Blight.