Before the Conjunction of the Spheres, the Aen Elle controlled one or more such Gates, which they used to leave the Continent and conquer other worlds. Unfortunately for them, they lost control over the Gates after the cataclysm, which forced them to begin the Elder Blood genetic program - according to Ithlinne's Prophecy, its result, the Swallow or her child, would be destined to open the "Forbidden Doors". Convinced that Ciri was the Swallow, Avallac'h planned for her to bear a child for Auberon Muircetach. However, Auberon died from overdosing on medication and Ciri escaped with the help of unicorns, who were convinced that the Gates should not return to Aen Elle hands.
One Ard Gaeth activated itself in 1268 after White Rayla's men murdered five Vrihedd elves at the altar in a forgotten elven temple. Aderill, an Aen Elle, came there to investigate and prepare a plan to fuel the Gate with the blood of nearby human refugees but was killed by Toruviel who was not eager to allow people who tended to her wounds to be killed.