Fri
Jan 27 2012 1:00pm

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

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 Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover Chapter Eighteen 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 Eighteen

SCENE ONE

The Nerek have survived the Lether sorcery at the Hiroth village due to being on consecrated ground. One of them now dreams, which hasn’t happened since the Letherii conquered them. The tribe accepts the dreams though they fear them. They send the dreamer and his brother to find Hull.

SCENE TWO

Fear takes Trull aside forcibly and tells him to stay quiet about his doubts. Trull says he will kill Letherii for Fear only, and recommends if he can’t accept that to send him back. He shows pity and horror at what is being done to Rhulad, refusing to see it as Rhulad’s power and wants to know who is doing it to him. Fear tells him to voice his doubts only to Fear and Trull agrees.

SCENE THREE

Moroch Nevath, Queen Janall, and Prince Quillas wait at High Fort, confident in their mage cadres and defensive measures. Wraiths, Edur, and Jheck arrive and the Letherii discuss battle strategy sure of victory. Moroch is the only one to feel uneasy.

SCENE FOUR

Trull waits with Ahlrada Ahn, Edur, Jheck, and the demons, realizing he knows nothing about these demons he fights beside. Both the Letherii and K’risnan use their sorcery in deadly fashion, then the battle begins and Trull rushes in.

SCENE FIVE

Moroch is on the battlefield, having lost both the Queen and Prince. He watches Trull kill the last Letherii mage, then seeks a horse for the royals. He slips and tears a tendon ( he thinks) and is surrounded by thousands being killed via sorcery.

SCENE SIX

The Letherii are fleeing. Trull, having just killed one of the Letherii mages, tells the wounded Ahlrada Ahn to get to a healer then re-gather Trull’s troop. Trull heads toward Fear.

SCENE SEVEN

Moroch watches Jheck Soletaken wolves killing the wounded. He witnesses the Prince taken prisoner and wonders at the speed and totality of the Letherii loss. An Edur tells him the Fort surrendered, as has the entire frontier, the Prince and Queen are taken, and the Edur march on Letheras. The Edur are letting the Letherii soldiers leave after giving up their arms. He heads south with them.

SCENE EIGHT

Trull finds a badly wounded demon who tells him in his home he was a fisherman, as were they all. He wonders why he’s been called to this world, this war. Trull goes to get a healer and finds Fear and the K’risnan surrounding a warlock suffering horribly due to the sword’s sorcery being channeled through him. Trull asks one of the Edur women to come as healer to the demon. When she refuses he strikes her. Fear tells him to leave it and orders Trull to ask forgiveness. Trull wanders off looking for another healer. He finds Hanradi Khalag’s sister and brings her to the demon. She tells him their name (Kenyll’rah) and agrees with him they have been “sorely used.” She heals the demon. He wants it released but when she says it won’t be allowed, he says he’ll have it in his charge.

SCENE NINE

Trull tells the demon he’ll hold him out of the fighting, but the demon says that would be cruel to force him to watch his people die but not share the risk. Trull says one of them must live to remember the others. He and the demon (“Lilac”) head to meet Fear, who is with the Prince and Queen and several officers. Fear tells Trull Rhulad will not ransom the prisoners; he wants them himself. Trull criticizes this and Fear withholds his angry response. Trull asks permission to have Lilac assigned to him and Fear agrees.

SCENE TEN

Lilac asks to see the river and tells Trull of his own river and the giant “Whiskered Fish” there (think giant “catfish”) that then crawl on land to shed their skins and live on land. Lilac asks what war this is and when Trull says a “pointless one” Lilac replies, “They are all pointless.” Trull says the Nerek and other tribes are broken, but Lilac wonders if they may not be and Trull agrees he might be right. When Trull also says their situation will not change if the Edur win, Lilac wonders why he fights. Before Trull can answer Fear arrives with a Letherii sword and wonders how such a corrupt people could craft such a thing. Trull answer it is because the Letherii are “forward-looking, and so inherently driven,” while the Edur look backwards. Fear thinks the Edur must thus harness the Letherii for them and Trull wonders what that will do to the Edur. Trull and Fear spar and when Fear turns to strike Trull Lilac stops him. Fear says Trull speaks treason and Trull asks against whom. When Fear says if Binadas were there he’d kill Trull, Trull wonders if that is what will happen to any Edur who dissent. Fear leaves and Trull weeps, comforted by Lilac.

 

Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter Eighteen:

The Hold of the Empty Throne — since we were discussing the newly-created Hold of Death so very recently, might this be the Hold referred to here? Are we going to see someone take the Throne?

The Letherii conquered the Nerek, and now it seems as though they have been freed by the Edur, thanks to the consecration of ground and the blessing given by Mayen. Maybe this convoluted idea of people slaved by people shows that no one people are ever truly free of another?

It sounds as though the Nerek are preparing to make a bargain with somebody/something/some people: “Their fear holds them back,” he said, “and yet it is that very fear that will force them to accept.”

And this reawakening of the Nerek has also awakened their particular magic — and their gods as well?

So we see Trull being increasingly isolated by his doubts, suspicions and questions. He is being threatened death. We are coming to see the Trull that we first met in House of Chains, for sure. And... I have a LOT of sympathy for him. Yes, the new emperor is a tyrant and seems as though he is all-powerful, but why aren’t more of the Edur asking the same questions as Trull? If enough of them asked, then they would achieve something! Instead, they allow Trull to become more isolated, even though I’m sure he’s asking publically what everyone is actually thinking.

Janall and Quillas just seem an utter joke, truly, what with Janall wearing the fancy-pants armour that always seems to be worn by a person not taking a war seriously, and Quillas making daft pronouncements like: “They see the doom awaiting them [...] and are silenced by terror.” Lucky they have Moroch with them, who seems to have more sense than the pair of them! You know in books and movies where you have characters and you’re just dying for them to meet their comeuppance? Janall and Quillas are two such.

Hmm, if I were embroiled in a war, then something like this might worry me a tad: “It occurred to Trull that he knew almost nothing of the huge, armoured demons bound to this war by the K’risnan.” I wonder if the K’risnan know any more?

You cannot deny that Erikson writes a damn fine battle scene — and something has struck me. In other series I have often found myself skipping battle scenes through boredom, or finding them repetitive. I eagerly await the battles that Erikson writes because they always bring the epic. I mean, those pillars of sorcery, the demons staggering while shot with multiple bolts, the Edur disappearing under a swathe of magic, the wraiths moving eerily across the battlefield. They do evoke a real sense of wonder.

How much does this magic wielded by the Edur damage them? I mean their souls, their morality, rather than their physical bodies. “What had the bastards unleashed?” And what did they do to ensure they could unleash it...?

I know that the Letherii are already facing demons and wraiths (and are remarkably sanguine about it, actually) but it must be pretty damn frightening to suddenly face men who become wolves as well!

I find it upsetting that Moroch is mostly bitter about the unfair element of the Edur having better magic this time around: “He and his people had been on the delivering end, time and again, until it seemed inherently just and righteous. Something went wrong. There was treachery. The proper course of the world had been...upended. The words repeating in his head were growing increasingly bitter. It is not for us to be humbled. Ever. Failure drives us to succeed tenfold.”

Oh, this is unutterably sad, as we find out more about the demons dragged into the war. In fact, it’s made me properly angry towards the Edur: “What war is this? Why have I been killed? Why will I never see the river again? My mate, my children. Did we win?” Heartbreaking.

Of course, it does lead to another act by Trull that is unforgiveable to the rest of his people, as he hits an Arapay woman. I don’t find it much cop either, I have to say. I can understand why Trull is upset, but this is not the way to get your way....

And now Trull is going to adopt this Healed Kenyll’rah — can’t see that ending well, either.

Lilac? *snickers*

Have to say, were I in Janall and Quillas’ shoes right now, I would be petrified at the idea of being requested by an emperor who cannot die....

And it seems there is no going back for Trull: “The world felt broken now, irreparably broken.”

Quoted for truth:

“What war is this?”
“A pointless one.”
“They are all pointless, Denier.”

Hmm, I’d say those who think the Nerek and the Tarthenal are crushed and their spirits broken have a nasty surprise coming....

This encounter at the end of the chapter between Trull and Fear shows how far Trull has truly stepped away from his people. It’s so sad. In fact, much of this chapter has been sad and upsetting. Bill was right last time out when he suggested our little comic interlude was simply a preface for darkness and sorrow. Poor Trull.

 

Bill’s Reaction to Chapter Eighteen:

This whole section with the Nerek is somewhat ambiguous, beyond the simple plot details that they have been saved by the consecrated ground and that they can now travel by magic—the “old paths.” They are following it seems a dream (of what we’re not told), the Elders are fearful (of what the dream reveals, of the outside world, of magic being awakened—not totally clear), the Elder who speaks is angry (at them? At the dream message? At sending them away? At Hull?), and the two Nerek have a mission to find Hull, for what reason we do not know (to thank him for his effort on their behalf, to save him from some foretelling of the dream, to pry him from the Edur, to hold him accountable for what his action brought to the Nerek, to use him as a tool?). The language is a bit ominous throughout I’d say: ashes, sludge, the river described as a snake, cinders, bloated bodies of dead animals, waiting sharks, harsh, knife-brother, gritty ash. The sentences are mostly short and harsh. All of this making that last line, “It would not take long” a bit foreboding I’d say.

This is an interesting turn for Trull. We see him at the start with nothing but anger and disdain and frustration for Rhulad. How much more effective, then, his sense of pity and horror and what is happening to his younger brother:

Our brother is doomed to die countless deaths. Die, rise, and die again. Our brother, Fear, the youngest among us . . . Are his deaths without pain? Without horror? Is he not scarred? How long, Fear, can his sanity hold on . . . He knows he will be killed again and again . . . Who is doing this to him?

Note the emphasis on “brother,” on Rhulad’s youth, on his “pain” and “horror,” on that sense of implacable inevitability, and of being victimized.

Like that image of the deer on the “killing field”—the incongruity of nature and warfare, of innocence and its opposite about to unfold.

Nice characterization of the Letherii military—how they’ve “taught” (supposedly) the Edur to use the weak as “fodder.”

I’d say assuming your opposing commander is a “fool” is poor preparation for battle, whether he/she be one or not.

I’d also say when the sole actual soldier with you is a bit uneasy, might be good to pay attention. I’d love to see the (I assume) eye roll from Moroch when the Prince says the Edur are “silenced by terror.”

Yes, the battle is “epic” in a different way and just a little disturbing in its objects and manner of death. I’d say as well it’s important to note that we should recall that many of those first ones we see killed are there against their will—the demon Trull hears “squeal,” and the hundreds of Andii wraiths wiped out by the Letherii sorcery. We’ll see again and again in this series, and have seen already, how the deaths due to sorcery are often described in stomach-churning manner, sickening not only to the reader but also to many characters who view the results—whether the victims be the enemy or their own.

That’s a lovely quietly sad moment when Trull looks at the end of his sword. I like how Erikson lets the reader pay attention to that or not. For me, it’s a moving line despite lacking “emotive language.”

Yep, must be awful when your sense of inevitable superiority is wiped away, and somewhat disdainfully as well. I think of the French at Agincourt, Cornwallis at Yorktown, the Spanish Armada, the fall of Saigon—times when the world seemed truly turned upside down for the losers.

And I’d say Moroch’s thought/wish that “We cannot be denied our destiny” is pretty clearly answered by the next line: “It began to rain.”

That scene with Lilac is indeed wrenching. Beginning with his face “twisted with pain,” then the description of his voice as “strangely child-like.” Talk about a heart-tugger description. Then his description of himself as a fisherman—something that often has such a tranquil, peaceful connotation to it. Made more so by the poetic manner in which he describes it, using “A caster of nets” rather than the more harsh “a fisherman.” And then his poetic setting: “Warm shoals, a yellow sky.” And the plaintive, unanswerable questions Amanda points out. The way we learn he is a husband. A father. That somewhere a lover, children wait and wonder what happened to him.

All is not well in Edur-land, despite the “victory” of the day. The description of the battle, the scene with the demon, the description of what the CG’s magic does to the Edur sorcerers, the sudden violence of Trull, the division amongst the Edur, Fear’s lack of “triumph,” Fear’s counsel that Trull lie,—none of this bodes well for if the Edur keep “winning.”

And then we get a mother who cannot find her sons. Another joyful moment of celebration.

And perhaps the Kenyll’rah name is stacking the deck a bit: “To sleep peacefully” Not to mention the individual name: “Lilac.”

Erikson seems to like that image of rain streaking down someone’s face. I think this is at least the third or fourth time he’s used it.

Rhulad’s claiming of the prisoners is yet another example in this very short chapter of how the Edur are being changed, and not for the better.

Another nice little unembroidered line/image—Trull putting his bloodstained hand in the river. I’m glad Erikson didn’t see the need to highlight the idea of cleansing, etc.

Note that description of Lilac’s world: lots of huge “whiskered fish” that can swallow a person whole and that crawl on land to shed their skins and then live on the land. And if fishing in such a place is as dangerous as hunting spiders, what does that imply about the spiders? I give you this reminder from the prologue to House of Chains:

“Verge of the Nascent
. . . The sea had been born of a river on another realm . . . the murky depths home to huge catfish and wagon-wheeled-sized spiders . . . Trull Sengar was dragged along [the shoreline].”

And this from later in the same book:

“[Onrack] arrived among the catfish . . . skin split, sleek four-limbed bodies tore their way free.”

And this:

“[Karsa] saw a . . . toothless mouth, gaping wide, sweeping up and around the corpse, swallowing it whole. A small grey eye behind a spiny whisker flashed into sight as the huge fish swept past . . . Torvald Nom was at the gunnel . . . ‘These catfish are bigger than sharks.”

“Why do you fight?” Good question Lilac. We know where this ends, it’s just a question of how soon.

We’ve had lots of intimations from several characters that winning this war may still mean the Edur lose. And now we get a more direct, concrete explanation of that as we see Fear talking about enslaving the Letherii and using their “natural drive to foment change,” something that seems utterly unnatural to the Edur. As Trull tries to warn, “I am not convinced theirs is the right way to live.”

And then it all comes back to certainty again. Remember how Seren, insightful as always, said she’d run as far from certainty as possible.

A nice metaphor—that river rushing on, “slave to relentless laws,” as we the reader know exactly where this current is taking Trull.

And just a great close to this chapter:

“[Karsa] saw a . . . toothless mouth, gaping wide, sweeping up and around the corpse, swallowing it whole. A small grey eye behind a spiny whisker flashed into sight as the huge fish swept past . . . Torvald Nom was at the gunnel . . . ‘These catfish are bigger than sharks.”

“Why do you fight?” Good question Lilac. We know where this ends, it’s just a question of how soon.

We’ve had lots of intimations from several characters that winning this war may still mean the Edur lose. And now we get a more direct, concrete explanation of that as we see Fear talking about enslaving the Letherii and using their “natural drive to foment change,” something that seems utterly unnatural to the Edur. As Trull tries to warn, “I am not convinced theirs is the right way to live.”

And then it all comes back to certainty again. Remember how Seren, insightful as always, said she’d run as far from certainty as possible.

A nice metaphor—that river rushing on, “slave to relentless laws,” as we the reader know exactly where this current is taking Trull.

And just a great close to this chapter.


Amanda Rutter is the editor of Strange Chemistry books, sister imprint to Angry Robot.

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 fantasyliterature.com.

22 comments
djk1978
1. djk1978
I like how Erikson names his demons. We saw Pearl in GotM and we see Lilac here. Such innocent sounding names to really reinforce how they are enslaved against their wills and torn from worlds where although they aren't human, they aren't bloodthirsty monsters either. It really is a non-standard interpretation of the word "demon".

It's interesting to remember that the Kenryllah world is not the Nascent itself. The water in the Nascent comes from another realm. We'll hear more about how this happened in this book.
David Thomson
2. ZetaStriker
Bill, you repeated the Karsa quote instead of the chapter's closing in your final quotation.
Chris Hawks
3. SaltManZ
@2: In fact, the last 6 paragraphs get repeated, starting with the HoC excerpt.

@Amanda: "You know in books and movies where you have characters and you’re just dying for them to meet their comeuppance? Janall and Quillas are two such."

Be careful what you wish for, Amanda. :/
Chris Hawks
4. SaltManZ
Also, I totally forgotten about the spiders getting mentioned in HoC! Great detail.
Steven Halter
5. stevenhalter
I agree with Amanda that SE writes great battle scenes. They all all different and magnificently horrifying. The use of magic at these grand scales really isn't done in such a fashion by anyone else at such consistent resolves.
djk1978
6. djk1978
Magic in battle is really battlefield nuclear isn't it? If both sides have it in abundance it either negates it completely or wreaks huge damage on both sides. Or if only one side has it, or has more powerful the results are really devastating to the other side. Nothing pretty about Erikson's battle magic. No fancy light shows. Even illusions are designed to obliterate.

The common soldier must be horrified by such scenes. So while I agree that Erikson writes battles better than others I wouldn't call them epic. They are terrible, which is probably just what he intended.

Pale, Capustan, Coral, Chain of Dogs, Raraku and now High Fort. They've all been ugly (I've probably missed a few too).
Tricia Irish
7. Tektonica
What makes the battle scenes so epic for me are the characters.... The back and forth between major, spectacular, battlefield conflict, and then the personal encounters, the participants thoughts and pain. It makes it all so real and emotional.

Trull asks such good questions, is such a good man....it's just so sad that the new conquerers are becoming just like the old conquerers....and have forgotten what they feared and hated so much in the Letherii.

And yes Amanda, the queen and prince are so fatuous, it's easy to wish them Ill, .but beware of what you wish.

Things are certainly rolling now!

Btw....Do we know what book are we doing next? I'm packing for a trip and want to bring the right tome.
djk1978
8. djk1978
I would think we'd do The Bonehunters next Tek, it follows logically. Return of the Crimson Guard works after either Bonehunters or Midnight Tides but I would much rather do Bonehunters first.
Bill Capossere
9. Billcap
sorry about the repeated quotes guys--must have accidentally hit the paste and completely blanked on seeing it.

re the Queen and Prince--much as I dislike them, I'm with the comments so far on the future with them


As for order, below is our authors' directly stated preference for how we go through the series. I'll ask about Orb, Sceptre, Throne (which just came in the mail today and is going to be picked up in about five minutes!)

The Bonehunters
The Return of the Crimson Guard
Reaper's Gale
Toll the Hounds
Dust of Dreams
Stonewielder
The Crippled God
Tricia Irish
10. Tektonica
Thanks Bill....The Bonehunters it is! Yippee!

I got stalled about half way through the RotCG, so the reread impetus to finish it will be good. ;-)
djk1978
11. Jordanes
@9 Haha, I know that's the authors' stated book order preference, but I would still have to disagree! :D

Return of the Crimson Guard should come after Reaper's Gale, as there's (minor) spoilers in RG for RotCG; Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God are (according to SE himself) one giant novel, so should be read together, which means Stonewielder should be before Dust of Dreams. SW is actually quite hard to place in a good spot, it might even go before TtH.

And Night of Knives should have been after Midnight Tides :D

Amanda said:
"You know in books and movies where you have characters and you’re just dying for them to meet their comeuppance? Janall and Quillas are two such."

Well, as others have already said, be careful what you wish for....

Regarding this chapter itself, I think, from start to finish, this is one of my favourite chapters in the entire series. It has small, painfully emotional and personal moments and the great epic battle scenes.

And how strange to think that, despite all Trull's reservations, he played a major part in winning the battle for the Edur by taking out that mage.

The relationship between Trull and Fear really reaches its lowest point here, Fear going so far as to almost kill Trull. You have to feel a bit sorry for Fear though - this guy constantly complaining and nagging in his ear ;) But what can Fear do really, he out of all the Edur, as Weapons Master, has to set a correct example.

And Lilac is awesome - and that final scene is perfect, and cinematically ideal. Trull and Lilac, all alone at the river, we can only see their backs. Trull down on his knees in the pouring rain, his shoulder visibly shuddering with his grief, and then slowly, gently, Lilac lays that giant hand on his shoulder. Makes me get a little something in my throat each and every time.
Chris Hawks
12. SaltManZ
Jordanes @11: What's the RotCG spoiler in RG? (PM me.) And yeah, I would definitely read DoD/TCG back-to-back, and I'm fairly certain SW precedes TtH, chronologically. (Then again, OST follows on from TtH, but I haven't read it yet and don't know how it links to SW, though apparently it implies major timeline headaches with other books.)

I like your visual of the final scene; however, I picture a cut from their backs to a frontal closeup of Trull's head in his hands, and then Lilac's hand drops onto his shoulder from offscreen.
karl oswald
13. Toster
much like the toc/seerdomin scene from MoI, this final scene of Trull and Lilac in the rain is an example of one of SE's greatest strengths. his ability to create these quiet moments of compassion between his characters is what makes his writing so heart-wrenchingly poignant, and each one in the series has made my heart catch in my throat.
Iris Creemers
14. SamarDev
Amanda, you're wondering if the Empty Hold and the Hold of Death are one and the same. They're not. The Letherii worship the Empty Hold, the Hold of Death just came into existence.

Again we see Trull's compassion. Very unselfish and heartwrenching to read (that hand!), but maybe it would be wise to be a bit careful for himself too?

Interesting to see Lilacs description of a rather peaceful life (though not neccessarily safe with those catfish as targets) as caster of nets. Again we see that demons are just 'foreign' and not kind of 'devilish', as we are used to see it.

And bit by bit we learn about the origin of the Nascent. For me it was difficult to grasp those parts on my first (and second) way round, but meanwhile I've enough grip on it to understand all those snips of info.

djk @ 6
Magic in battle is really battlefield nuclear isn't it? If both sideshave it in abundance it either negates it completely or wreaks huge damage on both sides. Or if only one side has it, or has more powerful the results are really devastating to the other side. Nothing pretty about Erikson's battle magic. No fancy light shows. Even illusions are designed to obliterate.
I think you describe the effect of scorcery in Malazan fighting very well.
Iris Creemers
15. SamarDev
About the reading-order, I'll just go with the flow. But: I think to read DoD and TCG right after each other would be very nice, because they're so connected and together give the final tale.

As SE states himself in a Author's Note at the beginning of DoD:
While I am, of course, not known for writing door-stopper tomes, the conclusion of 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' was, to my mind, always going to demand something more than modern book-binding technology could accomodate. To date, I have avoided writing cliffhangers, principally because as a reader I always hated having to wait to find out what happens. Alas, Dust of Dreams is the first half of a two-volume novel, to be concluded with The Crippled God. Accordingly, if you're looking for resolutions to various story-threads, you won't find them. Also, do note that there is no Epilogue and, structurally, Dust of Dreams does not follow the traditional arc for a novel. To this, all I can ask of you is, please be patient. I know you can do it: after all you have waited this long, haven't you?
So, to me this still reads as DoD-TCG being one book split in half due to technological reasons. I'm thinking why SW would need to be in between them, but I can't think of an obvious reason. Well, still time to go (Bonehunters next, yay!), so maybe it can be decided later?
djk1978
16. Jordanes
@12 Salt-Man:

Haha, sorry, I meant to say that there's spoilers for RG in RotCG, not the other way round - which is why RG should be read first.
Mieneke van der Salm
17. Mieneke
The only thing that puzzles me about this chapter is Moroch's sprained/torn tendon, where did that come from? Was it due to one of the Edur bone blasts? For some reason I get the feeling that there's something off about his injury. Way off base, or should I be suspicious?

Orher than that this was anotherone of Erikson's killer battle scenes. Still, Lilac? Really?
Chris Hawks
18. SaltManZ
The way I read Mororch's injury: during the confusion of the battle when he gets hurt, you're supposed to think he's been stabbed or caught by sorcery or something exciting, only to find out later that it was just a mundane injury, caused by an unlucky stumble or whatever. Just SE turning over expectations again.
Brian R
19. Mayhem
Interesting to see Lilacs description of a rather peaceful life (though
not neccessarily safe with those catfish as targets) as caster of nets.
Again we see that demons are just 'foreign' and not kind of 'devilish',
as we are used to see it.

Indeed, but when we think back to the catfish he would catch, and considering the armor that the Kenyll'rah Demons came equipped with, things aren't necessarily as they seem. A fact that comes back to bite Trull soon, like so many others do.

"In the river where I live, there are n'purel, the Whiskered Fish"
The demon lives in a river of those catfish? Especially following from the comment on its strange breathing habits earlier...
djk1978
20. djk1978
@Mayhem: I think you've misunderstood at least one thing regarding Lilac there. This chapter clearly states that the Merude tribe of the Edur forged the weapons for the demons. Equally likely they forged their armor too I would surmise.

Also I don't read Lilac's line there to mean that he or any other Kenyll'rah live in the actual river, but rather that they live near the river. Lilac also says they don't venture ONTO the deeps rather than they don't venture INTO the deeps. Although it does appear that it might breath through gills instead of or in addition to lungs.

I could be wrong about the latter, but I don't think I am about the weapons and armor the Kenyll'rah have.
karl oswald
21. Toster
the river in question, i don't think it is a spoiler to say, is later said to be vast and wide, continent spanning. a river of such size could easily have sheltered coves suitable for building a village rising out of and thus in the river.

the breathing i think may indicate a more complex breathing apparatus, rather than gills. one that could allow the kenyll'rah to go on land and under the river with equal ease, holding their breath for long periods of time.
karl oswald
22. Toster
Also, hell of a chapter coming up.

"I got a reputation of making bad enemies, that's why"

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