The Wheel of Time weaves the Pattern of the Ages, and the threads it uses are lives. It is not fixed, the Pattern, not always. If a man tries to change the direction of his life and the Pattern has room for it, the Wheel just weaves on and takes it in. There is always room for small changes, but sometimes the Pattern simply won't accept a big change, no matter how hard you try….And sometimes the Wheel bends a life-thread, or several threads, in such a way that all the surrounding threads are forced to swirl around it, and those force other threads, and those still others, and on and on. That first bending to make the Web, that is ta'veren, and there is nothing you can do to change it, not until the Pattern itself changes. The Web - ta'maral'ailen, it's called - can last for weeks, or for years. It can take in a town, or even the whole Pattern.

— Loial to Rand Al'Thor

A ta'veren is a central focal point for a Web of Destiny in the Pattern. These people are spun out and used by the Wheel to correct itself when the weave begins to drift from the intended Pattern. Since the purpose of ta'veren is to influence life threads to create change, the destinies of ta'veren themselves are more strictly controlled by the Wheel of Time itself than those of an average person. These Webs of Destiny (or ta'maral'ailen in the Old Tongue) are almost always arduous for those that live through that Age but are an unfortunate necessity for the Wheel. The more change required, the more ta'veren that are born.

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