"When Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions resealed the Dark One's prison, the counterstroke tainted saidin. Eventually every male Aes Sedai went horribly insane. In their madness these men, who could wield the One Power to a degree now unknown, changed the face of the earth. They caused great earthquakes, leveled mountain ranges, raised new mountains, lifted dry land where seas had been, made the ocean rush in where dry land had been. Many parts of the world were completely depopulated, and the survivors were scattered like dust on the wind. This destruction is remembered in stories, legends and history as the Breaking of the World."

Also called the Time of Madness, the Breaking lasted roughly a hundred years from sealing of the Bore to the death of the last male Aes Sedai.

References (Possible Spoilers)#

  1. In The Eye of the World
    1. TEotW,Ch1 - The Sand Hills were the shore of a great ocean before the Breaking.
    2. TEotW,Ch3 - Many people fear Aes Sedai, associating them with the Breaking. Some stories say that the Dragon will be reborn to save the world and Break it again.
    3. TEotW,Ch12 - The purpose of the Red Ajah is to prevent another Breaking by hunting down and gentling men who can channel.
    4. TEotW,Ch13 - The men who destroyed the world in the Breaking were insane, not evil.
    5. TEotW,Ch13 - The Stone of Tear was the first fortress built after the Breaking and it still stands.
    6. TEotW,Ch19 - Aridhol was one of the Ten Nations of the Second Covenant that stood against the ShaiTan from the first days after the Breaking.
    7. TEotW,Ch24 - There are many relics in the world dating from the Breaking and before.
    8. TEotW,Ch25 - The TuathaAn seek the Song that was lost during the Breaking.
    9. TEotW,Ch43 - During the Breaking many Ogier were driven from the stedding and began to suffer the Longing. The few Ogier who remained in stedding gave sanctuary to male Aes Sedai who had not yet gone insane, though they all eventually left. In gratitude, the male Aes Sedai created the Ways and gave the Ogier the Talisman of Growing so they could extend them. The Red Ajah holds that this prolonged and worsened the Breaking while other Ajahs believe that this lessened the impact.
    10. TEotW,Ch50 - The Eye of the World was made in the first days of the Breaking.
  2. In The Great Hunt
    1. TGH,Ch5 - The making of Cuendillar was lost during the Breaking.
  3. In The Dragon Reborn
    1. TDR,Ch56 - During the Breaking, the seven Seals on the ShaiTans prison were scattered and hidden for safety.
  4. In The Shadow Rising
    1. TSR,Ch1 - The windows of the Aes Sedai's study in the White Tower are framed with iridescent stone salvaged from a city sunk beneath the Sea of Storms during the Breaking.
    2. TSR,Ch19 - At the Breaking, the ancestors of the Sea Folk fled to the sea. It is said they knew nothing of the ships they took to flee, but they still survived. They did not see the land again until all was still once more.
    3. TSR,Ch25, TSR,Ch26 - When the Breaking began, the Aes Sedai sent the Da'shain Aiel away with chora trees and objects of the One Power to find a place of safety. During their travels the Aiel split into three groups: the TuathaAn who kept to the TuathaAn but broke their covenant with the Aes Sedai, the Aiel who renounced the TuathaAn, and the Jenn who kept the covenant and brought the relics into the Aiel Waste where they built the city of Rhuidean before they all perished.
    4. TSR,Ch34 - During the Breaking, the only people who offered aid to the Aiel were the Country of Cairhien.
  5. In Lord of Chaos
    1. LoC,Ch20 - The land truly changed in the Breaking of the World. Dry land became sea and sea dry land, but the land folded as well. Sometimes what was far apart became close together, and what was close, far.
  6. In Winters Heart
    1. WH,Ch23 - The guardian Angreal in Far Madding was made during the Breaking to protect against insane male Aes Sedai.
    2. WH,Ch35 - During the Breaking, Aes Sedai crafted Angreal that would detect a man channeling.
  7. In Knife of Dreams
    1. KoD,Ch22 - Shortly after the Breaking, the Amayar requested protection from the Sea Folk. The Sea Folk see this as a sacred obligation.
    2. KoD,Ch25 - The Damona Mountains were formed during the Breaking so they are still jagged with no easy passes.
  8. In The Gathering Storm
    1. TGS,Ch5 - In the Time of Madness, it took decades for everyone to accept that all of the male Aes Sedai were doomed to go mad.

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