The Ally, or the One Who Waits, is the main antagonist of the Raven's Shadow series. Who it was or what is is remains a mystery until Queen of Fire. What is known is that it is some spirit or being of power and malice, who hates the land now known as the Unified Realm. Centuries ago, he destroyed the original civilization that occupied the realm. At some point in the past he became The Ally of the Volarian Empire, granting its highest nobility immortally; however, it is implied that through this means he is more the master than an ally.
It has the ability to grant and take away gifts, such as extending life well beyond a normal lifespan. It can also imprison the soul of those who are in the void.
However, it's most potent ability is to possess the body of the living through his three servants. The person they enthrall must have the Gift of power, be near to death, and have some seed of malice. Although they can control the person possessed, their control doesn't seem to be total. The three sibling creatures of The Ally are; the Witch's Bastard, the older sister who calls herself Elverah who was Frentis' wife, and the younger and weakest sister who possessed Davoka's sister Kiral. Some of the people enthralled include:
- One Eye, the leader of the Vaerinshold criminal fraternity, who kidnaps Frentis.
- Sister Henna, the sister of the Fifth Order who tries to kill Vaelin during the Aspect massacre.
- Hentes Mustor, the fanatical usurper who kills his father the Fief Lord and starts a war.
- Carpenter, the servant from Linesh who burns down Ahm-Lin's workshop.
- Barkus Jeshua
At various times in Vaelin's life people have tried to kill him. Each of their final words hint at some wider malevolent scheme; for instance One Eye says to Frentis "The one who waits will destroy your precious Order, boy". When King Janus plans his war against the Alpirans, Vaelin seeks the Aspect guidance. Arlyn reveals that prophecy has foretold that the King's war is their only chance to expose the One Who Waits, and prevent the destruction of the Realm.
Despite the fact that Brother Barkus was exposed as a minion of the One Who Waits in the Alpiran war, it has other plans well advanced. The Volarian Empire has allied itself with the One Who Waits, and they invade the Unified Realm in massive numbers; clearly a plan laid many years before. Although, the conquest of the Realm proves crushing, until they reach the Cumbraelin city of Alltor. Stout defending and an army assembled by Vaelin Al Sorna eventually leads to a decisive victory for the Unified Realm.
Queen of Fire
The Ally's past is revealed in this book. Many years ago, three travelers came from overseas to the land now known as the Unified Realm; Lionen, his sister Essara, and her unnamed husband. They knew many things, the working of metal and the reckoning of the stars. The three built the beautiful city known as the Fallen City, and a civilisation of great enlightenment and peace. They also crafted / uncovered the Memory Stones scatter around the realm, and a mysterious black stone; the black stone if touched granted Gifts, but if touched a second time consumed the person. Although the three brought civilisation, they also brought disease which began decimating the population. Essara dedicated herself to healing the people, and she succeeded, though it cost her her life. After her death, Lionen took her body far into the Pack Ice. In his absence, her husband in his grief looked on the civilisation that he had help built, and saw only the imperfections; the corruption of humans. He went back overseas and returned with an army that destroyed the civilisation. When Lionen returned and discovered this, he killed him, but The Ally remained in the Beyond intent of destroying all humans. The Ally is eventually destroyed when he possesses Erlin's body and is forced to touch the mysterious black stone for a second time, which consumes him. The black stone is then destroyed by Vaelin Al Sorna and scattered into the sea.