Nov 4 2011 1:15pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Midnight Tides, Chapter One

Welcome to the Malazan Re-read of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from readers. In this article, we’ll cover Chapter One of Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson (MT).

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A forum thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

Chapter One


A narrator introduces a tale of “when giants knelt down and became mountains. When they fell scattered on the land like the ballast stone of she sky.” One giant sees the sea for the first time, witnesses its endless motion and in and out tides. He slept and the tides drowned him, minerals seeping into his flesh, water and wind eroding him over time, hiding his shape in the mountain unless one looks in darkness or “askance.” The narrator says this gift of Father Shadow “stands tallest,” to “look away to see.” Trust the gift, the narrator says, and “you will be led into Shadow.”


Trull Sengar runs urgently through the forest to tell his tribe that the Letherii, “the white-skinned peoples from the south,” have come to harvest the Edur seal hunting beds, breaking old agreements. Trull assumes these are rogue Letherii, especially coming so soon before the Great Meeting between Edur and Letherii leaders, but still worries about the impact on peace, especially now that the Edur just ended war amongst themselves, leaving Hannan Mosak, Warlock King of the Hiroth tribe as Edur overlord. In the village he meets his younger brother Binidas and tells him the news, then meets his youngest brother Rhulad (trying to impress Mayen, their older brother Fear’s betrothed). Rhulad joins him and Trull finds his father Tomad to tell him the news. Tomad sends Rhulad to tell Hannan, then tells Trull that the Warlock King has asked that Trull and his brothers be sent on a mission for him.


Trull, walking on the beach, sees a white crow, a sign of evil. He wonders if the Letherii are harvesting to weaken the Edur before the Great Meeting, as the Edur need those seals to head off famine. He assumes the Letherii will argue as always their need for expansion and point to the rewards gained by other tribes that have sworn allegiance to Lether. Fear joins him and tells him Hannan is guided by visions. Trull thinks of how the Dark Times came when the Edur were sundered, Father Shadow disappeared, the Kurald Emurlahn warren was lost (though not the magic), and the warren’s fragments ruled by false gods and kings. Trull thinks Hannan has greater ambition than simply ruling the Edur tribes. Fear notes Trull would rather not fight, though he isn’t questioning his courage (Rhulad appears to however). He recalls when the Edur were masters of the Hounds and of the warren, before being betrayed by the kin of Scabandari Bloodeye and then the Andii. Fear warns Trull others among the Edur may think as Rhulad and asks Trull to stop disdaining Rhulad.


Udinaas recalls his past, how thirteen years ago he was an indentured sailor on a Letherii whaler when the Hiroth had destroyed the ship with shadow wraiths and enslaved the crew. Udinaas finds his life as slave to the Sengar household little different from Letherii indenture. He thinks of how the Letherii value gold and possession above all else — everything is a commodity to be bought and sold. He thinks the Letherii are beginning a great game with the Edur as they have against the other tribes, but the Letherii do not know the Edur are different. He sees the white crow and casts a prayer to “Knuckles,” and the Errant, then runs.


At the council, Trull notes one of the most intimidating aspects of Hannan — his shadow, which stands behind him “huge, hulking . . . deadly swords gripped in both gauntleted hands.” Another is Hannan’s “extra-ordinary mastery of those fragments of Kurald Emurlahn from which power could be drawn.” Trull recalls how Hannan walked unseen into the camp of the largest Edur tribe and the next day the tribe’s leader had surrendered (rumors say the leader no longer had a shadow). Trull tells them what he saw and that he killed a Letherii. Hannan says the Letherii are trying to provoke an Edur attack on the poachers, but they will kill them anyway, though in unexpected fashion, a “full unveiling” by his K’risnan Cadre — his mages, the firstborn sons of the chiefs he conquered. Trull wonders at this, as the art and power have been lost, the last full unveiling done by Scabandari (Father Shadow), “and that sundering had not healed.” He wonders if the Warlock King has found a new, larger Emurlahn fragment.


Feather Witch, Mayen’s slave, is casting the tiles in front of a hundred slaves when Udinaas enters the barn to tell them of the white crow omen. He is in love with Feather Witch, though he knows it is hopeless as he is an Indebted and she will wed a better-born slave whose family held title in Letheras. Feather Witch starts speaking of the rise of the Holds. She interrupts the casting to say something circles above though she cannot see it. Wounds appear on her shoulders and she is lifted into the air. Udinaas climbs to the loft then leaps, landing on the huge scaled body holding her. The invisible winged creature bites his shoulder as he thinks “A Wyval, spawn of Eleint.” He stabs it until it drops Feather Witch. Talons dig into his chest and teeth into his neck. He blacks out.


Hannan holds back the Sengar family after the council. He tells them of a vision of the northern land where a spire of ice rose and now holds a gift for the Warlock King. Their task is to retrieve it. He tells them they can take two others (he saw six in his vision) and that no one must touch it at all; they must wrap in in hides to take it. He adds that the unification of the six tribes was merely the first step toward a larger goal. They are interrupted by news of the barn events.


Udinaas feels shadow wraiths gathering around his soul, hungry but holding back. They scatter at the approach of Feather Witch. She asks what she should do about his love and he says nothing; he knows reality. She tells him he was dying, but Uruth, Trull’s mother, drove away the Wyval with Kurald Emurlahn and is now trying to heal both her and him, though Feather Witch is resisting for now because Uruth’s power is “stained,” as is all the Edur’s though they see it not. She says they will go back now, but they should say nothing of this conversation. As he returns, he hears his heartbeat, and then a second beating in time (not Feather Witch’s) and he is terrified by it.


Udinaas and Feather Witch approach the Sengar family and Hannan. Hannan says he’ll bean the tile castings but Uruth says they have value. Hannan notes the Wyval blood and asks if Udinaas is “infected.” Uruth says she cannot tell and Hannan orders a close watch on him. Hannan asks if Uruth could sense the power of Feather Witch and Uruth says she’s either very weak or strong enough to hide her strength from Uruth, an idea they dismiss as impossible. Hannan leaves and Trull sees the King’s shadow look back before exiting.


Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter One:

Who is the soul within the spear of ice? Ice, of course, indicates Jaghut. Is this reference to the freezing in place and time that Gothos did? Might that soul be Silchas Ruin?

Okay, so now I start to feel the other language of Midnight Tides. Year of the Late Frost. One year before the Letherii Seventh Closure. The Ascension of the Empty Hold. All of these are entirely unknown.

I find “swish” to be an entertainingly clumsy word used by Erikson. His choice of vocabulary is usually superlative, fitting exactly the image he wishes to portray. “Swish” just doesn’t cut it!

I love the dark fairytale imagery of this: “...when giants knelt down and became mountains...” It sounds like something from Grimm!

Hmm, I am sensing a whole different tone in the language of this novel, based on the start of this first chapter. Admittedly it isn’t a lot to base it on, but I will be interested to see if it continues: “Only by day did he elect to open them, for he reasoned in this manner: night defies vision and so, if little can be seen, what value seeking to pierce the gloom?”

“Witness.” A word we’ve heard before. I wonder if it is used intentionally?

I wonder how many of you live by the sea and can appreciate the idea of being utterly fascinated by watching it. I live very close to the sea and understand that sentiment intimately.

Father Shadow? Someone drowning? Mael’s hand in this?

Again, absolutely stunning imagery from Erikson, as he describes this silent frozen night where the raptor hunts. And we meet Trull Sengar! I am interested in seeing whether his story will make me warm to him. Not only that, but a young Trull.

Another quick mention of Father Shadow. I feel I should know who this is.

Huh. It is interesting to get this first picture of the Tiste Edur society. They battle each other in war that has rules of engagement and yields something like points, in the form of status marks, but their war with the Letherii is ungoverned. It seems as though the Tiste Edur have a rather exhausting situation. “Of course, battles against the five other tribes of the Edur were strictly bound in rules and prohibitions, and even vast, protracted battles had yielded only a handful of actual deaths.”

Intriguing that we learn immediately that Trull is a Tiste Edur who questions the validity of his life, but would not shout about it to others. What is a shame, as well, is that Trull remembers a more idyllic life, when war was not so prevalent and hunger was not part of his life.

I have to say, these Tiste Edur are a curious lot. How did they move from the agricultural, peace-loving race, who are possibly the most traditional fantasy race Erikson has tackled, to the feral warlike people we’ve seen?

If the Letherii have been enslaved by the Tiste Edur, then I do sort of understand the rebellious nature of their relationship right now!

I like the fact that Erikson is emphasising just how important and all-pervasive Kurald Emurlahn is within the society of the Tiste Edur — another huge difference in what we’ve seen previously.

I am loving all the complex relationships — the immediate tensions evident between Trull and his brothers, the possible problems caused by Fear’s betrothed and the others’ attitude to her.

Father Shadow’s disappearance — a leader of the Tiste Edur. Am I being terribly slow in finally making the connection to our friend Scabandari Bloodeye?

“Indurative” — once again Erikson challenges me to improve my language and discover what new words mean. Hands up people who knew this without recourse to a dictionary?

A white crow? How very sinister....

Mayen? I don’t like her. I really don’t. That flashing of her ankles at a man who isn’t her betrothed? Not cool.

I really like the way that we’re shown Udinaas’ reaction to the white crow, and the way that it is both similar and different to Trull’s reaction. Both consider it to be a bad omen, which ably demonstrates that there is little real difference between the Tiste Edur and the Letherii, but Udinaas is truly shaken by seeing it, which emphasises what differences there are.

Funny, but, as an accountant, I see benefits in a life that is lived according to gold! However, it seems to me that the grasping nature of the Letherii is not supposed to be a pleasant one, and we aren’t meant to warm to them. Having said that, the fact that the Tiste Edur enslave them (even to a decent standard of living) means that we really shouldn’t be warming to the Tiste Edur (especially as well noting the way we’ve seen them behave in previous books, and considering their misrepresentation of the Tiste Andii “betrayal.”) Seems like this will be an odd book, with no clear race to cheer for.

The Tiste Edur have incredibly delineated roles in society, don’t they? I find it interesting to see that wedded and widowed women seem to have a lesser status than those who are maidens or betrothed. Usually it would be the other way round.

A shadow wraith bodyguard! How cool! And I shudder at the idea that Hannan Mosag might have stolen Hanradi’s shadow. There is something particularly awful about shadow stealing. I find myself uncomfortable whenever it comes up in fantasy novels. That might just be me, however!

I love these lines: “Deep-etched frowns. Undisguised confusion. Hannan Mosag had led them into the unfamiliar territory of complexity.” It makes me giggle, the idea that these warriors shouting for vengeance have had another way suggested to them and simply can’t cope with the idea of maybe, y’know, not fighting.

A full unveiling of Kurald Emurlahn... We’ve seen the Tiste Andii produce a full unveiling of Galain. I can see why Trull would shiver at the idea. And the last unveiling of Kurald Emurlahn was done by Scabandari Bloodeye? Well, there is another reason to shiver.

I can’t say much about the reading of the Holds, except that I really enjoy all of these type things within Erikson’s work — like the Deck of Dragons as well. I love the fact that it can be used for major foreshadowing and that you have to recall tiny snippets from each reading to take forward into further novels. And, I have to say, that shadowy Wyval that snatches Feather Witch is terribly creepy — we really are seeing the worst side of Shadow in this novel so far (up until now, it’s been most clearly represented by Cotillion and we can all agree that he is a fine character with many good qualities).

Ahh, Feather Witch now gives an indication that the nature of Kurald Emurlahn has changed, and is tainted (I agree with Bill, that word with regards to magic only reminds me of Mr Jordan’s work!) That surely won’t make a full unveiling the most sensible thing to do?

This was an interesting first chapter, giving a lot of background to the two races which are looking to be the main part of Midnight Tides. We’ve met a great deal of characters as well, but all of it has been done incredibly smoothly by Erikson. No info-dumps, just a neat presentation of the start of this story. Onwards!


Bill’s Reaction to Chapter One:

Clearly the spear of ice from the intro to Chapter One is a reference to Hannan’s vision which we see in a few pages (and which we’ll really see later on). But the end line, “He who grasps that spear will know death. Again and again, he shall know death” — might call up an earlier reference, one of our “files” from Memories of Ice, when Paran stops off at the Throne of Shadow:

The Edur have sworn to destroy Mother Dark. You must warn him! Poisoned souls, led by the one who has been slain a hundred times, oh, ware this new Emperor of the Edur, this Tyrant of Pain, this Deliverer of Midnight Tides! [The speakers are shadows around the Throne]

“Here, then, is the tale” is a reminder I’m assuming that we ended our previous book with Trull about to tell his story.

A lot of ideas/images in this wonderful fairy-tale like opening:

  • Looking aslant to “truly” see.
  • The way time wears down all eventually.
  • The cycle of the tide.
  • The sea (remember who the god is).
  • The dangers of obsession (“A fascination that became a singular obsession through the course of that fated day”).
  • The danger of ignorance (of, say, high tide) or a the danger perhaps of lacking curiosity or being arrogantly complacent (“night defies vision and so, if little can be seen, what value seeking to pierce the gloom?”)

That’s a pretty pointed opening to introduce young (or at least, younger) Trull. Who is the predator (owl) and who the prey (mouse)? And are the roles static?

You probably know to file away names as they come: in this case, the daughters of Father Shadow (whom we learn later is Scabandari Bloodeye): Sheltatha Lore (aka Daughter Dusk, most cherished of the Three Daughters), and Sukul Ankahdu (aka Daughter of Deceit, Dapple)

An easy detail to overlook amidst so much information (the Letherii poaching, Trull’s fear that any new treaty is doomed and war is likely, the just-ended Edur civil war), but note that the war amongst the Edur does not typically end in death: that of Trull’s twenty-one acknowledgements of “coup,” only seven represent actual killings; and that “even vast, protracted battles had yielded only a handful of actual deaths.”

An early foreshadowing (and an early marking of how Trull will eventually change) when Trull thinks that he will keep his thoughts “decrying the killing to come” to himself rather than voice them aloud. What Trull will and will not say out loud and to whom will be a major plot point throughout his storyline.

I really like how Erikson gives us a capsule view of the Edur as Trull jogs past them, almost like a cinematic informative pan of background scenery that tells you so much. Add up the details that literally zip by and you get a surprisingly full sense of the Edur cultures:

  • tanneries
  • fields
  • slaves
  • gendered division of labor
  • hunting/lumber parties
  • sea harvesting
  • palisade around the village
  • forges
  • food storage buildings
  • craft buildings: weavers, potters, carvers, scribes (literate), etc.
  • shrines to Father Shadow and Sheltatha Lore
  • shadow wraiths
  • a chief building that is both temple and palace (theocracy)
  • raiding longboats
  • the village separated into shops/residential/aristocracy (linked to Hannan by blood)
  • shadow and “gloom” everywhere
  • lots of sorcery
  • the conservative nature of the Edur in how they keep the name “village” rather than “city”: “A village it had been at birth, thus a village it would always be, no matter that almost twenty thousand Edur and thrice that number of Letherii now resided within it.”

I’m also not so sure a “shroud” is all that optimistic a word to use when describing the Avenue of the Warlock.

Along with this shorthand version of ethnography, we also get some quick capsule intros to his two brothers. Fear we know is courageous, a great fighter, a stern taskmaster, soon to be married to Mayen. Binidas is also courageous and a skilled fighter, but a bit odd and somewhat a loner, preferring to be off by himself in the wild. Rhulad is young, prideful, a show-off, and is a bit too interested in impressing Mayen for Trull’s liking.

Trull’s entry into his home shows us a bit more about the Edur, including that they have lost some arts/skills; they are a somewhat diminished people in some ways.

I have no idea if it has any connection at all, but the family swords in the trees reminds me of the Norse myth/Wagner tale with Sigmund pulling out the sword that Odin had stuck into a tree.

I like the little cultural detail of body language — Trull’s hand placed on the sword pommel means something very specific. It also tells us something about Tomad, if not the Edur, that despite what that body language means (urgent danger), he calmly puts away the game pieces.

More predator prey in the white crow and the mussel.

We see Trull’s insight as he worries that Hannan has more in mind than simply unifying the Edur, a suspicion Hannan himself confirms by the end of the chapter.

We also see how Trull is already being presented as at odds with his people (remember his Shorning to come): his father, Rhulad, Fear, those who might think as Rhulad does about Trull’s lack of eagerness to fight. We know where he ends up; in these early pages we can see how that might not come as a big surprise.

So, if one takes the prologue as actuality, presented as it is in third person omniscient, we can see the Edur seem to have a basic error in their belief system — thinking as they do that the Edur were betrayed by the Andii.

While the Edur culture is presented via background detail, our introduction to Letherii culture is much more direct, coming via the interior monologue of Udinaas, who sees it as a culture predicated on ownership, on buying and selling, on debt: “debt bound the entire kingdom, defining every relationship, the motivation casting the shadow of every act, every decision.” Considering what’s going on in our own world now, this might spark some interesting discussion as we see this in action.

Interesting that both an Edur and a Letherii would see a white crow as an ill omen. More on that to come. I will say we’ve seen a white flying creature already.

And note that prayer to the Errant. Talk about a big player....

I absolutely love that image/concept of Hannan’s shadow. Once again, something I would love to see in CGI on the big screen.

One has to wonder if the K’risnan are in any way a metaphor for what Hannan has in store for the Edur: taken by force, robbed of the own identities, bound to be loyal. One would think they, perhaps even more than the shadow, might give some concern.

We can see in his response that Hannan is no brute chieftain. He knows the raiders are a planned provocation and has in mind his own response. Crafty. Visions. The shadow. And seemingly a power of Shadow that none have seen amongst the Edur in literally ages. Certainly a mystery, this king.

The casting of tiles and the rise of the Holds. Another file moment, this one from Deadhouse Gates:

“Deck of Dragons and its houses are predated by Holds. Another word to file away” or to go directly to the source [Chapter 11]: “If it is indeed a Deck, it’s an Elder version. Not Houses but Holds, the forces more elemental, more raw and primitive.”

Or another file moment, this from Memories of Ice:

“Before the Houses, there were Holds. Before Holds, there was wandering.”

I’m going to give a summary/quoting here of Feather Witch’s reading with little discussion as it offers up some ripe commentary potential as well as some of it perhaps needing to be wary of spoilers. But have at it in the comments if you want! We should also recall point of view here — this is not necessarily “truth” — it is a belief system after all.

We can see the “elemental” aspect as we begin with Fire. Then to Dolmen, “aimless in the void.” Then we get our mysterious Errant, “bearer of its own unknowable laws.” Note how he “forges the Holds,” similar perhaps to K’rul forming the warrens? The Holds listed are:

  • Ice
  • Eleint
  • Azath
  • Beast
  • The Empty Hold (the “final” hold)

And then into these “emerge the remaining Fulcra”:

  • Axe (we have had a focus on axes in the last book)
  • Knuckles (one of the two Udinaas offered a prayer to)
  • Blade
  • The Pack
  • Shapefinder
  • White Crow (ahh, thus the consternation)

The Empty Hold is described as:

  • “heart of Letherii worship”
  • “Home to the Throne that knew no King”
  • “home to the Wanderer Knight”
  • “To the Mistress who waited still, alone in her bed of dreams”
  • “To the Watcher, who witnessed all”
  • “And the Walker, who patrolled borders not even he could see”
  • “To the Saviour, whose outstretched hand was never grasped”
  • “to the Betrayer, who loving embrace destroyed all it touched”

Feather Witch stands upon Dolmen and sees life struggling in “eternal wars.”
Sees Blade and Knuckles.

“We are among the Beasts. I can see the Bone Perch . . . I see the Elder, still faceless, still blind. And Crone, who measures the cost in the scrawling passage of behemoths. Seer, who speaks to the indifferent. I see Shaman, seeking truths among the undead. And Hunter, who lives in the moment and thinks nothing of the consequences of slaughter. And Tracker, who sees the signs of the unknown, and walks the endless paths of tragedy . . . There is no one upon Bone Perch. Chaos hones every weapon, and the killing goes on and on. And from the maelstrom powerful creatures arise, and the slaying reaches beyond measure. Such powers must be answered. The errant returns, and cast the seed into blood-soaked earth. Thus rises the Hold of the Azath. Deadly shelter for the tyrants . . . And so balance is achieved . . .

But the tread of time is itself a prison. We hare shackled with progression. And so the Errant comes once more, and the Ice Hold rises, with its attendant servants who journey through the realms to war against time. Walker, Huntress, Shaper, Bearer, Child, and Seed. And upon the Throne of Ice sits Death, cowled and frostrimmed . . . to shatter the anxious shackles of mortal life. It is a gift, but a cold one. [Lots of hints in this.]

Then to achieve balance once more is born the Eleint, and chaos is given flesh . . .Ruled by the Queen, who must be slain again and again by every child she bears. And her consort, who loves none but himself. Then Liege, servant and guardian and doomed to eternal failure. Knight — the very sword of chaos itself . . . and Gate, that which is the Breath. Wyval, spawn of the dragons, and the Lady, the Sister, Blood-drinker and Path-shaper. The Fell Dragons.

The King’s vision obviously has been foreshadowed by the opening to the chapter and it’s pretty straightforward here as a mission. What I just want to point to is the phrasing “something dark waited in its heart.” Just a tad ominous.

Anybody taking bets on no one touching that sword? Anyone?

Speaking of foreshadowing — just what is the taint (shades of Jordan!) that Feather Witch senses in the Edur magic?

And I’m not sure one can call it foreshadowing when it seems so clear: two heartbeats followed by Hannan asking if the wyval has “infected” Udinaas.

For all of Hannan’s power, note he is fooled by Feather Witch.

Who is the King’s shadow looking at?

Amanda Rutter contributes reviews and a regular World Wide Wednesday post to, as well as reviews for her own site (covering more genres than just speculative), Vector Reviews and Hub magazine.

Bill Capossere writes short stories and essays, plays ultimate frisbee, teaches as an adjunct English instructor at several local colleges, and writes SF/F reviews for

Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
In addition to all the cool things Bill & Amanda mentioned in this first chapter, I was struck at the introduction of the Edur as a tribal society vs. the Teblor (of Karsa) in House of Chains.
Both people seem to have fallen into a somewhat more primitive state with not entirely accurate (one mught say mythic) memories of what their ancestors were like and what their ancestors did.
Both have very nice portrails of the intricate cultural modes that have been established in order to deal with inter and intra tribal conflict. This reflects very well on SE's background.
The Edur seem poised at a time of change--the Warlock King has forced a unification. They are also quite a bit more numerous than the Teblor and don't seem to have quite the same sort of decay.
Chris Hawks
2. SaltManZ
I feel kind of silly for not previously recognizing the story about the giant as Trull starting to tell his story to Onrack and co. That's what it is, right?
David Thomson
3. ZetaStriker
This opening section of chapter one certainly carries a lot more weight on a re-read; I thought it was about Karsa the first time. And in some ways, maybe it is, given the word choice of "witness", but overall there's a different message here. We’re given a theme for the entire novel – the giant who refuses to see shadows, until his willful blindness kills him, and the people who only see shadows, where "all truths hide". A perfect sentence that – “Where all truths hide.” It could be taken two ways, and the Edur obviously believe that it means that seeing shadow will give them access to those truths. Trull’s meaning seems clear to me though, given what we know about him and how he fell away from his people – truths hide in shadow, meaning they aren’t to be found there. If one must look away to see, they are seeing a lie. Ignorance killed the giant – the Edur’s representation - and a different sort of ignorance is killing his legacy.

The tides here remind me of the Letherii themselves in this parable, and possibly as well a more general concept of mortal empires. We’ll come to see more of them in the future, but I think a few lines here deserve to be quoted with their relation in mind.
“He could see how the waves moved, up and down along the entire shore, a ceaseless motion that ever threatened to engulf all the land, yet ever failed to do so. He watches the sea . . . and sometimes it did indeed reach far, but always it would sullenly retreat once more.”
Of equal import, the lines that follow:
The tides came and drowned him as he slept. And the water seeped minerals into his flesh, until he became as a rock, a gnarled ridge on the strand. Then, each night for thousands of years, the tides came to wear away at his form. Stealing his shape.
In either case, we should definitely revisit this a couple books down the line.
Maggie K
4. SneakyVerin
Dang-it's amazing the things we can miss...I didn't think to compare this story to Karsa and his people, but it now seems so much more obvious...
Tricia Irish
5. Tektonica
Ummmm.....the last unveiling of Kurald Emerlahn was by S. Bloodeye? And it hasn't healed? Could that be the rent at Morn? The rent that is held closed by a child? It is a door to another world, yes? Was it the door through which the Edur and Andii came?

Thanks Bill, for the connection of Paran's conversation to the description of the sword. I'd forgotten about that.

Debt. It is a defining motivation in the Letherii society and very well could be in ours as well. It's hard to rule your own destiny when someone else "owns" (you)r debt. As I remember there are many such transferrable observations by SE in this book ,and I think it was RG as well. Maybe DoD?

I was wondering about the K'risnan....they are the first born sons of the conquered tribes, right? How is it that all the first born sons happen to be mages? Were they trained/converted/altered in some way? For Hannan Mosag's purposes, or for someone elses, or for loyalty sake?

"Not Houses but Holds, the forces more elemental, more raw and primitive.”

Perhaps that spells out exactly my feelings on the Edur compared to the societies we have previously encountered....elemental, raw, primitive.
karl oswald
6. Toster
the edur are a raw, elemental people, and that lends them an almost a poetic mystique, that is only enhanced by SE's descriptions of their culture and lives. of course, most mystiques hide things less admirable, and this one is no different.

we will soon contrast that with the letherii way of life in their capital of letheras. the tone difference is huge, i feel, and makes letheras feel very modern. these two tones - and cultures - in conflict, make this book a wonderful study of the divide between fast-paced, cosmopolitan letherii, and the provincial, almost rustic edur. even better, we get to see what happens when they collide.
Rajesh Vaidya
7. Buddhacat
@Tektonika: No it has nothing to do with the rent at Morn. If you recall the prologue recap on Wednesday, Scabandari talks about an enclave of KC on a far continent at Morn. This implies there was no Rent at the time. Yet, Scabandari and Co came to this world fleeing the sundering of KE. Ergo, the full "unveiling" that caused the sundering was elsewhere and earlier than the prologue action.
Sydo Zandstra
8. Fiddler
Hannan says the Letherii are trying to provoke an Edur attack on the
poachers, but they will kill them anyway, though in unexpected fashion, a “full unveiling” by his K’risnan Cadre — his mages, the firstborn sons of the chiefs he conquered.

Tek @5:

I was wondering about the K'risnan....they are the first born sons of
the conquered tribes, right? How is it that all the first born sons
happen to be mages? Were they trained/converted/altered in some way? For Hannan Mosag's purposes, or for someone elses, or for loyalty sake?

What I am wondering about is, why isn't Tomad Sengar's oldest son (Fear) among them?
9. djk1978
@Fiddler: Why would Fear be a K'risnan? The Sengars are part of Hannan Mosag's tribe already. The K'risnan were originally hostages that Hannan Mosag took to ensure the other tribal chieftains would be subservient? He then twisted them to his purpose.

The nature of magic in MBotF is obscure and complex. It may be that the K'risnan were mages, or they may have just been changed. We learn more about the nature of their magic in the future.

In any case, Fear is already loyal to Hannan, as is Tomad. No need for K'risnaning him.
Sydo Zandstra
10. Fiddler
Ah, I thought Tomad was a Tribe leader himself. But it's been a while since I read MT.

I guess I will have to make room for rereading once more. :)
Iris Creemers
11. SamarDev
@ djk1978: 'No need for K'risnaning him'. Lol, got inspired by Ranal?

I forgot how well described the culture of the Edur is in this first chapter. By all the small gestures, rules, hierarchical relationships and - already now - Trull's doubts it is easy to see that he might not fit in that well, ending in the Nascent.

Amanda, you wondered if the widows and matrons are less in status then the unwedded and betrothed, maybe based on the unblooded-wedded-unwedded-warriors order in the Kings Meet? I don't think 'closer to the center' does neccessarily means higher in status for everybody. The unblooded are standing back in the room, then the wedded women are 'sitting on backed benches' (so: higher status). Before them the maidens are sitting on the ground on hides (= less comfortable than backed benches). The warriors are sitting in the inner circle (= both central as comfortable = highest in status).

Etiquette-like, you don't let young women stand between young men, you put their mothers in between :-). (remember school trips where teachers slept in the rooms between the girls and boys wings?). Besides, it isn't practical to let those girls sit on the ground behind people sitting on chairs. So I guess this is both just a practical solution, as another sign about the gender-division / caution in Edur society.

Btw, another sign matrons/mothers/older women are lower in status then men, but can be respected in their own way, is:
'And that is, wife of Tomad?'
'A failing that plagues us all, Uruth,' the Warlock King said, granting her great honour by using her true name.
Iris Creemers
12. SamarDev
I wondered, how does Udinaas know - immediately - that the invisible thing attacking Feather Witch is a Wyval, spawn of Eleint. Are those so commonly known / seen then?
That higher educated people (especially in sorcery) like Uruth and Hannan Mosag recognize the gold blood after all the chaos is over seems different to me than a relatively simple indebted / slave recognizing something he just feels (leathery wings etc) but cannot see, while being torn apart at the same moment.
karl oswald
13. Toster
i assume he just connected the dots. as we'll see, udinaas is a very intelligent man. and by connect the dots i mean: feather witch is casting the tiles, and speaks of a flying thing circling. it attacks her. he jumps on it's back, which is scaly. in the hold of the eleint, there is wyval. the creature is too small to itself be eleint, therefore, wyval.
Iris Creemers
14. SamarDev
@ Toster 13. I guess you're right. I missed the Wyal-reference in the reading, so didn't realise it is a creature that is in active memory in this culture, in stead of just some old far away fairytale.
15. Jordanes
Hannan Mosag is a really fascinating character. A man who has united a warrior society, but without being a warrior himself. I love that description of the power of his resonant voice (it always makes me imagine him being voiced by Patrick Stewart!). And what is his purpose? Certainly not anything anyone else imagines it might be? But can he achieve it? Well....

I find his character arc pretty tragic, despite the fact that he brings much of it on himself.

And the Sengars! Udinaas! I do love all of them :) This novel really does have more memorable characters, ones that stick with you long after you've finished reading, than all the other books in my opinion.

And the close of that opening scene provides the route into understanding the entire novel - "look away to see." Nothing is as it seems on the surface. Don't accept what's been shown or told to you at face value. Look away to see.
16. Jordanes
And what about that Casting? I always forget what an absolutely huge hint is given during the Ice Hold bit.

And then:

Then to achieve balance once more is born the Eleint, and chaos is given flesh . . .Ruled by the Queen, who must be slain again and again by every child she bears. And her consort, who loves none but himself. Then Liege, servant and guardian and doomed to eternal failure. Knight — the very sword of chaos itself . . . and Gate, that which is the Breath. Wyval, spawn of the dragons, and the Lady, the Sister, Blood-drinker and Path-shaper. The Fell Dragons.

Is it too spoilery to go through the characters this refers to ;) I think even someone reading through for the first time can work out who Knight is....
Robin Lemley
17. Robin55077
Re: In the description of the Empty Hold we learn:
"Home to the Throne that knew no King, home to... the Walker, who patrolled borders not even he could see."
Did anyone else think instantly of Edgewalker upon reading this?

Hugh Arai
18. HArai
shalter@1: The Tiste Liosan have also fallen, also not quite in the same way, from losing track of Osserc. Which brings up the question, is it good or bad that the Tiste Andii (at least some of them) haven't lost Anomander Rake?
Iris Creemers
19. SamarDev
@ Jordanes 16
Oh, I'd love to see it! I'm not that sharp in making connections between those (and other) castings and 'reality' in the books. Maybe we could do that in the spoiler-thread, in stead of trying to hide everything here in white? Then we can use that thread, which was made by the mods so nicely, once more :-). I would say: give it a shot!

@ Robin 17. Actually, today I did. Before (and before, and ...): nope...
Tricia Irish
20. Tektonica
Jordanes@16: I'd love to see your connections. I get a few, but a list would be great! Here in white, or on the spoiler thread either one.

Robin@16: I definitely thought of Edgewalker....he even has "walker" in his name!

Although I'm not enamored of most of the Edur, this section really illuminates Trull, and I like him a lot! The reasons for his shorning becomes obvious right away, in the different way he thinks....out of the Edur "box". The first time through, even at the end of HoC, I didn't have much of a sense of Trull....I was too busy connecting dots. This section gives him much more dimension ;-) which is really only obvious on reread. My god, these books are complex!
Robin Lemley
21. Robin55077
@ Amanda
"And I shudder at the idea that Hannan Mosag might have stolen Hanradi’s shadow. There is something particularly awful about shadow stealing."
And perhaps even more "particularly awful" when you steal the shadow of an Edur, whose entire life and belief system centers around Shadow?

Mieneke van der Salm
22. Mieneke
Well, this is a totally different beginning again. I like that Erikson took yet a different approach with MT, but hopefully it won't take me the whole first book to get used to it! Though so far i'm having less trouble with this one than I had with Karsa's introduction.

What surprised me was the autonomy the Edur women had. The fact that Uruth just decides to banish the wyval and heal the slaves without (seemingly) consulting anyone, was something I hadn't expected. Maybe because of the fact that the Edur are described as a rather conservative, traditional tribal culture, perhaps because for some reason that's the impression I got from the Teblor tribes as well. Anyone else have that reaction as well, or is it just me?

I liked the reading of the tiles and the characters of Feather Witch and Udinaas. Though for a moment there I thought Erikson had done it again, introduce a cool character only to kill him off in the same chapter!
Iris Creemers
23. SamarDev
Uruth shrugged. 'Or she hid it well, despite her wounds. And if that is the case, then her power surpasses mine.'
Impossible. She is a Letherii. A slave and still a virgin.
Anybody buying this? Looks like Feather Witch has just gotten a warning-powerfull-girl-flag on her head.
Iris Creemers
24. SamarDev
'You have run for three days and two nights, then.'
This gives us a fine example of the endurance Trull has (or, more in common, Tiste Edur have). He has run for a long, very long time, and is winded, but he is still able to speak quite normally when he reaches his village. Remember his 'trip' with the T'lan Imass in HoC?
Onrack could hear Trull Sengar’s harsh breathing and sensed his companion’s weariness. But no entreaties to rest came from the Tiste Edur, even as he increasingly used his spear as a staff as they trudged onward.
I didn't have the idea that he was dramatizing at that moment, but in hindsight we see that that seemingly short trip through the warren was quite a challenge, even for him. But hey, anybody would pale in contrast, when compared with walking corpses...
Robin Lemley
25. Robin55077
@ 24. SamarDev
"But hey, anybody would pale in contrast, when compared with walking corpses..."
And expecially when you consider that he just spent a few years chained to a wall without benefit of food and/or water. I would think that probably sliced into his capability for long-distance running a bit.

Thanks for pointing that out. I meant to post about it and I forgot to do so. Glad that you got it on here.

Steven Halter
26. stevenhalter
Harai@18:The difference Rake makes will get mulled over from both sides--people who have had him and people who haven't.
27. BDG91
@22 I believe the Edur were based of many different Native American cultures rather than Eurasain which had different gender rules and plainly speaking in a lot of smaller the 'traditional tribal cultures', while not perfect, did not suffer from a 'woman are lesser than man' mindset just different gender roles i.e. men fight and hunt while women farm and gather. Both important and both (mostly) equal. Sorry if this sounds like a rant, it isn't haha.

The Edur are one of more interesting cultures in the books because they mix both elements of tribal ('mid-stratification'), cheifdoms ('low-stratification' ) and state level societies ('high-stratification'). I think this may be because they are a 'fallen people' who once had a state level society but are now adopting that society to one that is less 'civilized' (hate that word, it's so loaded with bs).
28. Jordanes
Ok, here we go with my Eleint Tiles interpretation, whited below:
As it is the Hold of the Eleint, that is, dragons, all the individuals describes must have something to do with dragons. Thus:

Queen is Tiam, who dies every time she births another dragon; Consort is the Otataral Dragon whom Pearl and Lostara Yil saw, which must have been created by Tiam (as all dragons) and yet is fundamentally in opposition; Liege is Draconus, whose creation Dragnipur is doomed to failure; Knight is the easiest one - sword of chaos can't be anyone other than Anomander Rake; Gate you can't figure out from this reading, but from Feather Witch's second reading later in the book it could well be Menandore, Sister Dawn; Wyval is either the Wyval we see or just refers to them generally; Lady is Lady Envy, and Sister is her sister Spite, who we'll meet in the next book; Blood-drinker is Silchas Ruin, because he was said to have drunk deepest from Tiam's draconic blood; and Path-Shaper is K'rul, the maker of the Warrens, for which he needed the cooperation of dragons.

Feather Witch's second reading is a lot more prophetic and relevant than this one, which serves to introduce us to the Tiles system.
29. Jordanes
Hmm, why did that not white out? Sorry, I don't think there's any horrible spoiler in there really. I can't even seem to edit or delete the comment though - if necessary, could a mod do it?
30. djk1978
Your white out didn't work. However, I don't think some of them are quite right and even if they all are I don't think it really spoils anything.
31. Jordanes
Incidentally, I remember there being a poll on the Malazan forums about which story line readers preferred/cheered for between the Edur and the Letherii. I think most people voted that they sat on the fence, but in a straight shoot-out between the two storylines, most people went for the somewhat more light-hearted Letherii storyline than the constantly-grim Edur one.
32. Jordanes
@ 30 Yeah, it is personal opinion, so if you can think of something that fits better, go right ahead!

It's of course also possible that SE wasn't always thinking of anyone specific when he wrote it.
Tricia Irish
33. Tektonica

Thanks for posting that...even if it is opinion.

My experience is that whiteing out only works after you post, and then go to Edit, and re-white out, and post again.

Which you CAN'T DO, unless you're registered and "go black". Nothing happens if you register, boat loads of emails and random sales info, and you don't have to post much personal info on your page, so there's little to lose. I highly recommend it, if just for editing purposes.
34. djk1978
I don't think I've ever had a problem with whiting out text.

Let's try it now just for fun. I'm pretty sure I've done it before though.

I'm sure I've done it before and I'm not registered obviously.
35. djk1978
Looks like I'm wrong. I was convinced I'd done it before though. Oh well.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
36. tnh
Registration is a good thing generally. It's my belief that it also makes one's comments less prone to get stuck in the "unpublished" queue.

You can also flag comments to bring them to my attention. If there's no other obvious problem, I'll assume it's a spoiler -- I'm still catching up on Malazan.

One issue that frequently comes up in the Song of Ice and Fire reading is having commenters say "Oooh, just wait and see what happens with that!" They think that because they haven't said anything specific, it isn't a spoiler. They are mistaken.

Let me tell you a story. Back in 1979, I caught a cold and was unable to go with a group of my friends and housemates to the very first showing of the restored version of The Wicker Man. When my housemates got back from seeing it, they were still buzzed. One of them did a nudge-nudge-wink-wink routine at me, and said I wouldn't believe how it ended.

"They put the guy into a giant wicker figure of a man and set fire to it," I said. My friend was gobsmacked, and asked how I'd known. One possible answer would have been "Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico." There's one famous wicker man in literature, and that's what happens to it. But the real answer is that if you tell someone that there's a particularly outrageous surprise ending to a film called The Wicker Man, that's pretty much bound to be it.

Some months later, a bunch of us were waiting in line to see The Empire Strikes Back, which had just opened. One member of our group -- the same guy, in fact -- had already been to see an earlier showing. He gave us a brief non-spoilerish overall description of the film, which he finished by archly saying, "Oh, and there's a really big surprise at the end."

I thought about it for a few seconds, and said "Darth Vader turns out to be Luke Skywalker's father." His jaw dropped, just as it had on the previous occasion. (Slow learner.)

How had I known? It helped that I'd read Joseph Campbell; but once again, the real answer was that at that point in the Star Wars narrative, there aren't a lot of huge story-reframing revelations that could be thrown in, and most of them are stupid. Of the small number of potential non-stupid revelations, that one was the obvious choice.

Not all inappropriate-hint-dropping spoilers are that dramatic, but they all diminish the reading experience. One of the pleasures of fiction is the slow unfolding of revelation. If the pace and order in which you learn things didn't matter, novels would consist of summary lists of events. Real life is like that too. The first conversations where you get to know the person you wind up marrying are not the conversations you'd have if you knew that about them from the start.

And while we're on the subject, there's another way you can damage someone's reading experience by prematurely calling attention to stuff. Let's say you drop hints about some particularly striking event that takes place during a meal in a fantasy series with a lot of meals in it. The reader who hears that will thereafter be distracted whenever there's a meal, because they'll be wondering whether this is the one with the memorable event. Result: they'll miss what's actually going on.

Dropping hints about what's going to happen is the author's job. If you loved a book the first time you read it, that's a sign that the author did it right. Let other readers enjoy the same experience that you did.
Robin Lemley
37. Robin55077
@ 36. tnh

I understand what you are saying and I believe this Malazan re-read is by far better than any other I have viewed as far as keeping out the major spoilers.

That having been said, this is a RE-READ not an initial read. Every effort is made to preserve the experience for the first-time readers and all of us will continue to do so. However, it seems to me that at least 90% of the posters on this forum are re-readers. By choice, we re-readers are already very limited in what we can post and what we can discuss because we try so hard to preserve the experience for the first time readers.

Personally, I feel that if any more restrictions are placed on what we can or cannot say/discuss, there will be no reason for a re-reader to even remain in here.

As it is, it seems rare enough that I actually get the opportunity to ask and/or discuss in any depth a specific question I may have because, as a re-reader, my questions generally deal with a bigger arc than just the specific chapter or book that we are currently dealing with. I don't currently mind that overmuch because I feel that the benefit to the first-time readers outweighs any drawback to me personally. I think that we have worked very hard and reached a very nice middle ground in here between the first-timers and the re-readers.

Personally, I do not feel that any further restrictions should be made. Unless, of course, the intent is to turn this into a total "initial" read and chase all of us re-readers out of here.

Just food for thought.

karl oswald
38. Toster
Yeah, I agree with Robin. Spoilers have been hashed and re-hashed plenty of times on this reread, and don't need to be brought up again. i really don't feel like what jordanes posted was even very spoilerific.

part of the fun of the reread for me (and for other rereaders) is the vicarious experience of a first time read we get from amanda and the other first-timers, so we've kind of got a vested interest in letting them experience it as purely as possible.
Robin Lemley
39. Robin55077
@ 28. Jordanes

I agree with your list except for the consort position. I think your choice for that position is difficult for two reasons:

1. the OD is anathama to Tiam so just doesn't feel right to fill the Consort position; and

2. the OD is female and since Tiam is female, doesn't feel right to me as Consort either.

I think the Consort position is more likely filled by Scabandari. If not Scabandari, then maybe Osric.

It feels a little odd to me that Osric is not in here somewhere, but that is probably just me. Just a thought but perhaps Gate is Osric because in her next reading FW states that the Gate "burns with wild fire" or something like that and that could possibly be a reference to the fires of Kurald Thyrllan?

Robin Lemley
40. Robin55077
@ 33. Tektonica

THANK YOU for explaining the need to actually post and then go back in and edit to get it to properly white out the text! I have tried over and over to white out and never been able to get it to work. After reading your post, I realized that I had probably never actually posted it and then went back in to white it out. I had tried it on "preview comment" but now that I actually posted the comment and then went back in and edited it, it worked!

I "heart" Tektonica!

41. amphibian
@36, tnh,

There's a few "obvious" things in this series that new readers can guess, but Erikson really does a good job of delivering unexpected bits paired with the expected ones. The writing created a "I'm going to let go of my brain's reins and let Erikson take me where he wills" attitude in me.

I'm also rather pleased and surprised by how respectful the re-readers are here about avoiding the tainting of the fresh reader's experience. Part of that may be the structure here, with Amanda going first and her ability to convey the newness of what she's experiencing. It inspires a bit of a protective urge in me regarding her enjoyment of the series and I like how just about every member of the community has independently come to the same rationale: comment intelligently and without spoiling anything huge.

Good job, peeps.
42. amphibian
As for the Feather Witch casting, I'll white out my own suspicions below:

The Consort of Tiam is indeed the otataral dragon. The second reading's "writing on a tree" part confirms it. There was a gender change somewhere in the series. This is maybe the third such gender change in the books (Grub and Orfantal being the others). I don't know why Erikson decided to change this particular gender, but it makes much more sense for the otataral dragon to be male.

Gate to me is likely Menadore, but Clip sort of works as well. The usage of "Breath" is a bit clumsy to me here, as I think it refers to the breath of Chaos and not a separate position. The person who holds the position of Gate is also an agent of chaos as well - knowingly or not.

Okay. That's that then.
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
Question regarding Dragons:

Does anyone see a position for Andarist? Shouldn't he be represented in here somewhere, as one of MD's offspring?
Tricia Irish
44. Tektonica
Ummmmm.....I just whited out, above, by ONLY whiting in preview...not in the original text box. Try this peeps and see if it works for you.

Robin@40: Happy to be of help! I *heart* you too!
Steven Halter
45. stevenhalter
@tnh:We've developed a basically no major spoilers, but allusions are ok policy here. Amanda has said she doesn't mind being spoilered but we (as a community) like her reaction to the "cool bits" and try to keep in mind that there are other new people reading--although they tend to blow by the work in progress and then loop back around.
Iris Creemers
46. SamarDev
@ Tektonica 43
iirc the person you mention isn't a soletaken dragon so I guess he shouldn't be in the Hold of Dragons. But, as we know, getting a position in a reading doesn't mean someone actually holds (no pun intended) that position in the Deck or Tiles.
Btw, I don't think his name needed to be spoilerized, because we already know who he is, but I didn't mention his name to be sure.
Or, I better check your white-out-advise... We're talking about Andarist.
Iris Creemers
47. SamarDev
Hey, that worked! Kind of 'double minus' when whiting out in original and in preview? (white + white = black)?
Never mind, it worked now.

edit: and to make the test complete I just whited out above text in original. It seemed in preview to be whited out correctly, but after posting it was black again.
So, my tentative conclusion is that Tektonica's suggesting of just whiting out in preview-mode might work best... test
karl oswald
48. Toster
Re: FW's reading

and specificaly, regarding the otataral dragon as consort, i don't think that gender is necessarily relevant. consort is a role proscribed by the tiles, and is meant to serve a divinatory function. it describes the relationship between powerful entities in terms humans can understand somewhat. the otataral dragon and t'iam are dragons. they don't have to conform to human expectations of how a queen and consort act, they're just given labels so that their actions and intentions can be tracked and prepared for.
Iris Creemers
49. SamarDev
For the Mods, I accidently clicked 'flag' at Toster 40, in stead of on the words below to unwhite his comment... Sorry for the inconvenience (and of course sorry to Toster as well, who whited out so neatly... :-))
(Maybe you can delete this useless post too?)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
50. tnh
SamarDev @49: Not a problem! I came to check out Toster's flagged comment, puzzled over it momentarily, then saw your explanation. Unflagging his comment was the work of a moment.

All flagged comments should be that easy to deal with.
Sydo Zandstra
51. Fiddler

I'd like to add my voice to what shalter said @45.

We're being really nice in here, and this the best reread on TOR.

(And believe it or not, that includes me ;-) )

Also, read on and feel free to enter the discussion. I'd love to see you commenting on the story... :-)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
52. tnh
Robin @37:
Personally, I feel that if any more restrictions are placed on what we can or cannot say/discuss, there will be no reason for a re-reader to even remain in here.
Robin, the last thing I want to do is make the conversations feel more restricted. You guys are indeed good about spoilers. I get very few flags on comments in the Malazan threads. The other day I got my first one in a while, so I was making some general remarks by way of explaining why I sometimes white stuff out.

I'm not going to fix what isn't broken.
As it is, it seems rare enough that I actually get the opportunity to ask and/or discuss in any depth a specific question I may have because, as a re-reader, my questions generally deal with a bigger arc than just the specific chapter or book that we are currently dealing with.
I believe I can fix that for you right now. See the black stripe across the top of the page, right under the big logo? One of its menu options is FORUMS. That's the new annex out back.

It's standard forum software, so all you need to do is register and log in. After that, you can start a thread on any topic you want, as long as it isn't obviously spam, or doesn't obviously belong in an existing topic.

Let me check something: test, test, test.

Yes! You can link back and forth from comments there to comments here.

Does that help?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
53. tnh
Damn. That link was working before. Why is it not working now?
Steven Halter
54. stevenhalter
tnh@53:The link worked for me.
Thanks, cool I hadn't even thought of directly linking to the forum--the spam filter usually kicks in, so that's nifty.
Tai Tastigon
55. Taitastigon
Well, besides this being a reread, I wouldn´t even have problems with the white-out stuff appearing accidentally. Unless you spoil stuff like major deaths, it becomes increasingly complex to remeber what the spoiler is referring to, let alone understand what it actually means, unless you have read the cycle thru. If I look at the stuff we whited out in this thread, most of the noobs won´t understand one single iota what is being talked about...(no insult intended) goes almost into the SE erudite...

...and BTW, if anybody wonders about SE´s silence: The man has been busy finishing The Forge Of Darkness.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
56. tnh
Fiddler (and everyone else): Yes. You guys do play nice, and this is a great re-read. Also, I have a nearly religious regard for community-evolved conventions like "references are okay; outright spoilers are not."

I posted that long comment of mine because I have this recurrent compulsion to explain why I do what I do. Moderating without explanations makes me feel like I'm silently passing overhead in a hot air balloon, from which I occasionally (and silently) drop a brick on someone's head. While that may be an effective way to get them to stop doing whatever they were doing at that moment, it's not so good for telling them or anyone else why it happened.

Anyway, it's obvious that I over-explained, for which I apologize to all and sundry. I didn't mean to alarm you. I'll try to be more gnomic in the future.
Tricia Irish
57. Tektonica
tnh@various: We're glad to have you here.....join the discussion more often! I love your analogy to floating over us in a balloon, but come on down more often and play, too. We do play nicely here.

And the link is great! maybe the Forum will get used more, and spoilers will be discussed more with the link. Lord knows, I have enough questions!

That said.....HOW DO YOU LINK???? I'm completely clueless on this!
karl oswald
58. Toster
There's a little globe with a link of chain (wonderfully pertinent to this re-read that), click on it with your text highlighted paste your url, and BAM, linked you over to the introduce yourself page
Robin Lemley
59. Robin55077
@ tnh

Thanks and no problem. It's just that this "spoiler" issue has been hashed out before and I really feel that we have reached a nice middle ground in this Malazan re-read.

It is actually quite funny in a way that we in this "re-read" are much more protective of our newbies than in any of the "initial read" forums I have visited.

Gerd K
60. Kah-thurak
Possible Spoilers regarding the Tile Casting:
I am not convinced that the Otataral Dragon is the Consort. Isnt Draconus sometimes called the Consort of Darkness? I cannot say where, it is stated, but I am quite sure of this.
Tai Tastigon
61. Taitastigon
Kah @60

I am with you on that. I am convinced this was mentioned somewhere in the last 3 volumes and not just once.
Brian R
62. Mayhem
@60 & 61
Agreed on the consort. Draconus is specifically stated to be Consort of Darkness, and from memory he's the only male ever to be described as a consort of anything.

Just to put a spanner in the works, here's a link to the Draconic Family Tree, from Bonehunters, but which doesn't spoil anything much yet.

Two things to bear in mind. Firstly, Baruk is officially considered an unreliable source. Secondly, what is noticeable about the named people on the list is that almost all of them are soletaken, not pureblood.
Iris Creemers
63. SamarDev
@ 60/61. You are right. With a little help of our friends at the Malaz Encyclopedia I can tell you it is mentioned several times in DoD, and in RotCG as well: see spoilered link below (because the name is in the link).
Tricia Irish
64. Tektonica
This is a test. For the next 30 not that test...I'm trying to work out linking. ;-) Sorry for the interuption.!?p=2186&viewfull=1#post2186
Tricia Irish
65. Tektonica it worked, but why can some of you post a funny word instead of the whole huge url.? I think I'm still missing something.

Thanks Toster!
Tricia Irish
66. Tektonica
SamarDev@63: That is a great link! I've never seen the Encyclopediamazalica before! Very useful. Thanks!
Tai Tastigon
67. Taitastigon
From like...@50 thru @ 63: This is one of those spoilers that you could rub into people´s faces and nobody would really understand what the implications are if you are only up to the beginning of MT.

"Spoiler sounds weighty, but flavored by that *OK, so what ?* feeling..." *gg*
Chris Hawks
68. SaltManZ
Tek @65: There are a couple of ways to do what you want. The first (and perhaps simplest) is to type the text you want displayed, highlight it, click the "Link" button, and then type (or copy-paste) the link into the pop-up box.

The second way goes like this: [url=link goes here]text goes here[/url]
Chris Hawks
69. SaltManZ
And yes, whenever I read "Consort" I immediately think of _______. Of course, the title of Consort and the position of Consort within the Tiles of the Holds aren't necessarily at all related.
Iris Creemers
70. SamarDev
Quoting time...

Tehol found himself standing beside the bed. He wasn’t sure how he got there, but it felt right.

‘Aquitor, you might as well know, and so understand me clearly. I mean to shatter that gathering. I mean to incite the Edur into war with Letheras. … With that knowledge,’ he said, ‘do as you will.’

Looking for solid grounding? Bugg’s Construction is your answer.
Until the flood sweeps the entire world away, that is.
Iris Creemers
71. SamarDev
@ Tek. You're welcome!
For those who don't know the Encyclopedia Malazica yet:
easiest way to reach it (at least to remember without bookmarking it in your browser) is going to the frontpage of the malazan Forum (, where you'll find a link to the encyclopedia.

You can find a lot of stuff there (like a world-map, collected info about specific characters, races, differences between soletaken and d'ivers etc), often provided by way of quotes from the books. But of course you'll have the risk to be spoilered, even about major events, if you haven't finished the series yet...

The Forum itself is divided for the books, so you should be able to look around in the HoC-forum now without being spoilered further (unless there are spoilerwarnings in the threads, of course).
Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica
Sorry...practicing again. If I dont' try to do this now, by the time I want to link something, I'll have forgotten.

So....word of the day is Bugg out.
Tricia Irish
73. Tektonica
Ha!! It worked! Thanks SaltMan! I'm becoming blog savvy! (Haha).
karl oswald
74. Toster
@ Tek: Not a problem!

Now that we're all in the know - what about quote game??? (to be read in the voice of dr. zoidberg)

"Servants shouldn't presume. Handsome. Young and meaty. Are you sure they were women?"

"Five wings will buy you a grovel."
Amir Noam
75. Amir
Regarding "Consort":
There doesn't have to be direct correspondence between a person's position in the deck to that person being represended by a card/tile in a particular reading. Remember Kalam being represented as the Assassin of Shadow / The Rope in DG, despite this position being filled by Cotillion.

Given this, I'd like to point out that there is a very "explicit" consort in this very novel - he is even listed as such in the Dramatis Personae at the beginning of the book. And, like in the reading, he loves none but himself.

(whited out for a very theoretical minor spoiler)
Gerd K
76. Kah-thurak
The person you are referring to has its own position in the holds. And I cant see it beeing in the Hold of Dragons.
Amir Noam
77. Amir
Oh, I agree it doesn't seem to fit with this specific reading. But, still, the word "consort" itself is not often used in this series, and here we have a person explicity titled so.

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