Fri
Mar 23 2012 1:00pm

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: The Bonehunters, Chapter Three

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 Three of The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson (TB).

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 Three

SCENE ONE

Apsalar wonders why if Shadowthrone wanted Mebra dead because of the Nameless Ones or possibly the old Shadow cult. She thinks the last person on her list of targets will be the hardest, tries to convince herself to simply do it, then thinks maybe she’ll talk to someone nearby about how to walk away. Cotillion appears and they discuss Mebra, Telorast and Curdle, Edgewalker, her future, and her upcoming visit.

SCENE TWO

Telorast and Curdle fade at the sunrise, much to their dismay. Apsalar finds the Pardu women and Gral from the night before. Upon her return, Telorast and Curdle tell her someone was in her room, though their description is a bit confusing.

SCENE THREE

Apsalar and the two ghosts return to Mebra’s place. The Pardu women arrive, Apsalar incapacitates them, and learns their employer is Karpolan Demesand of the Trygalle Trade Guild. The Pardu woman says they are returning from Y’Ghatan and they were trying to purchase information from Mebra. Apsalar explains what happened then knocks her out. They find tablets hidden under a pavestone with Mebra’s notes.

SCENE FOUR

Samar Dev and Karsa have gone out to Moraval Keep. Karsa says he’ll go in himself when nobody can say the last time they saw any Malazans in the Keep.

SCENE FIVE/SIX

Karsa breaks open the huge, locked iron doors of the keep, stunning his witnesses.

SCENE SEVEN

Inside, Karsa finds a pit where something massive had been spiked down. He is attacked by a giant short-tailed lizard and they fight.

SCENE EIGHT

Outside, Samar Dev, Captain Inashan and others wonder at the noise within. Samar Dev tells them the Keep is ancient and had been filled with strange mechanisms.

SCENE NINE

Karsa kills the lizard.

SCENE TEN

Karsa appears outside, looking terrible. He tells them he didn’t see any Malazans and leaves.

SCENE ELEVEN

Corabb and Leoman discuss their destination: Y’Ghatan. Leoman corrects Corabb’s mistaken believe that Dassem Ultor died there and tells him Dassem ascended and is Dessembrae, The Lord of Tragedy. He adds he is a “reluctant god” and is in constant flight and/or possibly eternally hunting. He asks Corabb if he will stand beside him no matter what he commands and Corabb says yes.

SCENE TWELVE

Fiddler talks magic with Bottle. They find Nil and Nether engaged in a ritual crossing through Hood’s Gate to look for Sormo E’nath and dead Wickans from the Chain of Dogs. Bottle senses something and jumps in the ritual and finds them being upbraided by their mother. Bult’s ghost appears and tells them “we do not belong here” then leaves.

SCENE THIRTEEN

Quick Ben, Kalam, Stormy and others have gotten lost in the Imperial Warren (or out of it). They’re being followed by something out of Chaos. They wait and see lots of massive things “filling the sky” and Quick says it’s time to go.

 

Amanda’s Reaction to Chapter Three

“Bones in the Wall” - Author Unknown. “And yet I remain, with all my kin...” Deliberate mystery at the start of Chapter Three!

Ha! I can just imagine Curdle taking on a chamber pot as her new body in error. Erikson likes to throw in these little clues: “You want something alive. Really alive, with legs that work. Or wings...”

I find it curious that Apsalar considers Cutter to be naive. I mean, I do as well, but I also think you can level the same charge at Apsalar herself. Sure she has some of the memories of Cotillion, but that doesn’t mean she has any true experience. Certainly when it comes to love and feelings she seems very naive. I can’t help thinking, in fact, that Cutter and Apsalar are incredibly well suited, if only they could realise it.

Hmm, now we find out that Apsalar’s task is to kill a succession of people listed by Shadowthrone and Cotillion, “with the final target the most challenging of all...” And someone she feels no enmity towards. I guess we should start wondering who that person is. Has Erikson already started dropping little clues and I’m just missing them?

I like this: “Still, what made a god decide to kill some lowly mortal? The minor irritation of a stone in a moccasin. The slap of a branch on a wooded trail.” We’ve seen a number of occasions now where a mortal has proved to be much, much more than gods expect them to be.

We’ve spoken about the odd relationship between Apsalar and Cotillion before — here there is more to fuel it: “She reached up with one hand and brushed the line of his jaw, the gesture close to a caress. She caught the sudden intake of his breath, the slight widening of his eyes, but he would not look at her.” This seems to have hints of romance about it.

I am glad that Cotillion feels remorse for what he did to Apsalar — it was a grotesque action and he continues to use her (although with her assent), but he clearly have intentions of leaving her in a better position. I feel so sorry for her.

Ooh! Who is it that Apsalar is going to drop in on? I’m sure I’ll find out very soon, but my curiosity is piqued now!

It is interesting that someone is spying on Apsalar and trying to find out about her while she does the same to other people. Obviously she has been noted. A big, black, hairy demon with fangs and claws wearing boots, hmm? No one immediately comes to mind with that description, although my memory could be failing me.

Just as an aside and a possible discussion point, even when given a description of what a person or creature looks like, I generally don’t keep a visual of them in my head. I tend to gloss over the description. I know some people read really visually and can see everything represented down to the last hair and blade of grass, but I struggle to do this. Which kind of reader are you?

Speaking of not being able to picture things, I’m struggling to understand what this shadowy aqueduct thing is and where it has come from! Were I Apsalar (and you can be damn sure I’m glad I’m not!) I would be asking more questions about where it’s come from and who provided it... Certainly Apsalar isn’t able to pin down Telorast or Curdle on it:

“What is this?”

“We don’t know.”

“It is from the Shadow Realm, isn’t it? It has to be. Otherwise I would be unable to see it.”

“Oh yes. We think. Don’t we, Telorast?”

“Absolutely. Or not.”

It sounds like they might be in a different fragment of Kurald Emurlahn (dear God, that is difficult to spell!), especially because they see some Tiste Edur. Oh, and who is the person dead in the canal? And are they dead in the real world or in the shadow realm? Am I reading too much into all of this? Except...mention of “a most delicious throne”... Curious. The Shadow Throne — the real one? Or another throne? (Especially because Telorast says: “You have lost your mind. Naught but pain. Suffering. Affliction...” Hey, if it’s affliction is there finally a warren/throne, etc for the Crippled God? I mean, he is in the deck of dragons now... Maybe he has an associated dragon!)

Telorast and Curdle aren’t very good at keeping up appearances, are they? “Women, like you. Like us, too. I forgot. Yes, we’re all women here...”

Apsalar is badass. Needs to be said. She takes down these two Pardu caravan guards effortlessly, and is utterly ruthless in extracting information. Nasty. And then there is the point where the Pardu guard thinks that Apsalar will kill her after she’s given over her info.

Ooh! The Trygalle Trade Guild make another appearance.

Apsalar is actually referred to here as Shadow Dancer — I guess this is some kind of master assassin?

So the opening poem mentioned Y’Ghatan and now we have links to it through the Trygalle Trade guild, and these mysterious altar stones. Who is building an altar? And to whom?

I think me we know the cousin of Torahaval pretty well: “Torahaval is a bitch, with nothing of the humour of her cousin, nor his deadliness.” One Quick Ben? And some of Apsalar’s targets are of the Cult of Rashan?

Taralack Veed is “the most secret dagger of the Nameless Ones”? And that was the same guy we saw briefly watch the “unleashing of some ancient, terrible demon”? We’re certainly getting drip fed information about him — which usually signifies them being of importance later in the novel!

Oooh, interesting! “Known now as Ghost Hands, and in those hands is the power to destroy us all. This entire world.” The jade statues??

This whole sequence involving Karsa getting into Moraval Keep is a joy to read, from the little Falah’d to the way Karsa insists to Samar Dev that his name is not Toblakai and then the way he breaks into the Keep single-handedly through iron doors. Fantastic. I love him!

But... I don’t love the fight between him and the demon. Occasionally Bill has talked about fights and whatnot that jar him out of the reading — well, this was my moment. The sheer amount of damage? The fact that the creature is so enormously destructive? I know Karsa took down the two Hounds and we know he is some sort of super human but it just seems too much.

There is really dark humour in the line: “He’s probably raping someone!” given what we know of Karsa and his history.

And I do love the scene as Karsa emerges from the keep, and his statement that this massive demon was nothing important.

This is simply stunning and I love the ideas therein: “They could be naught but celestial roads, the paths walked by the dragons of the deep, and Elder Gods and the blacksmiths with suns for eyes who hammered stars into life; and the worlds spinning round those stars were simply dross, cast-offs from the forges, pale and smudged, on which crawled creatures preening with conceit.”

A slug? With roe? *feels nauseous*

Teehee — we’ve already discussed the possible identity now of Dassem Ultor, and here we’re having a little re-emphasis of the matter:

“No, my friend, the First Sword did not die, and he lives still.”

“Then where is he?”

“Where doesn’t matter. You should ask: Who is he? Ask that, Corabb Bhilan Thenu’alas, and I will give you answer.”

How does Leoman know? And what does he know about Dassem Ultor’s ascension?

Smiles is really prejudiced against the Seti, isn’t she? It’s a little foul to read since it smacks of racism.

There are lots of little hints about Bottle starting - the fact he knows Leoman is heading for Y’Ghatan, possibly those lizards? Aha, yes, the lizards are used for spying. I remember from Memories of Ice.

So Bottle has the potential to draw on more warrens than Quick Ben? Is this because of the Eres’al? And where did Quick Ben get his power from? Dear Lord, it does get frustrating when we get back to the points where I am asking more questions during the reading than answering.

Another hint that the warrens are pretty unbalanced: “By warren? They shouldn’t be doing that, you know. Not now. Not here...”

Yep, those warrens are pretty messed up! Nice little cliffhanger there featuring Quick Ben and Kalam en route to Y’Ghatan — where are they now? And what chaos is in store for them. Oh, and I totally laughed at:

“The Fourteenth’s motto,” Stormy said, with a loud sigh.

“Which?” Gesler asked. “And then we leave or No heroic stands?”

“Take your pick.”

 

Bill’s Reaction to Chapter Three

Clearly the poem is clueing us in that Y’Ghatan is going to be of some importance and by the end of the chapter it seems the final battle between Leoman’s army and the Fourteenth will take place there. The sense of the buried past, the past that lives, is a constant theme in this series, so no surprise we see it mentioned here, but perhaps also not a coincidence that “bones” play such a role as well in this poem, considering our book’s title.

And from the tragic dignity of the poem to our resident comic relief — this cracks me up every time this discussion over the urn. And coming after our earlier introduction to these two, where we learned they were familiar with Starvald Demelain and where Telorast hissed in “reptilian fashion,” we should perhaps as Amanda says note Telorast’s desire for a body with wings.

A nice transition echo from the poem that opens to Apsalar’s view of the city: “crouched on the sun-baked clay . . . the city . . . like something dead in the night.”

I find her musings over Cutter’s naivety sad and a bit moving. Her use of his original name — Crokus — for one. The fact that he had been naïve and no longer is for another. And the way it also calls up the image of a naïve young girl on a road near her fishing town who is now a reluctant assassin who thinks herself unworthy of love. And then a few paragraphs later, equally sad is her attempt to force herself to be that assassin, uncaring and unthinking because it is what she is. And her dream of walking away into a new life.

I like the two mystery folks we get teased with in her thoughts: the final target and the one she might ask about walking away (we have met him before if you can recall someone near this city who had in fact made himself a new life by disappearing)

“You are so unsuited to be a god, Cotillion.” That has to be one of the nicest things anyone has said about him. And I think it is a great way to sum him up.

Okay, the Apsalar near-caress. Let’s have at it....

Have I mentioned before how much I love this character — Cotillion? His humanity, his compassion, his empathy. The sad way he reacts to that touch. His heavy remorse over what he has done to her. The way he can smile at the thought of her visiting an old friend.

“The east horizon was in flames with the rising of the sun.”

I also like how Apsalar is taking the initiative to find out what was going on with Mebra because Cotillion had been “shaken” by the news.

And again, you have to laugh at Telorast and Curdle’s response to the sun: “By the Abyss, there’s a sun in this world? Have they gone mad?”

I think you’re okay with where Apsalar is in the canal city. I think it’s another example of how Shadows overlay Shadows, how the warren is layered, almost like parallel dimensions sharing the same space-time.

Ruthless is right in the description of Apsalar, which is an interesting and somewhat jarring to the reader depiction coming after seeing her so sad and depressed and then so soft with Cotillion. Keeps us on our toes and reminds us these characters are multi-faceted.

Karpolan is one of the original founders of the Guild and therefore pretty high up, and, as we’ve seen in Deadhouse Gates, pretty good at what he does (he delivers the box of munitions to Fiddler at the end amidst all that madness).

There’s that city Y’Ghatan again.

And yes, those Guild rides are “hairy” indeed.

The Shadow Dance is part of the Shadow cult and yes, is connected to assassination. Think of Cotillion known as “Dancer.” Recall as well that Lostara is a Shadow Dancer.

You’re right on all points regarding Veed, Amanda.

And Heboric.

Loved Karsa getting into the Keep. Loved the reactions outside though. Loved the exit scene. Not so much the fight itself, like Amanda, though I did enjoy one aspect of it — the very “Huge Barbarian”/Conan/Tarzan aspect of it. But let’s not go away without filing “short tail” reptile.

It’s rare I think that Erikson waxes so poetical as that description of the stars — wouldn’t mind if we had more of that throughout. This is just a beautiful passage.

Leoman’s knowledge of Dassem is certainly intriguing. It’s a bit slapsticky, but I did like the humor in Corabb’s ignorantly ironic “Blessed Dessembrae . . .” And the little throwaway “he wanders . . .” I have to admit I don’t recall if we know why or learn why Leoman knows this. Anyone?

Leoman is pretty ominous in his words I’d say. What does he have planned that makes him wonder if Corabb will follow his orders? What about those orders will seem like “madness”? What will make the Malazans “curse” the name of Y’Ghatan “for all time”? Why are his plans a “burden”? Why does he care if it is “past cursing season” with the olives?

  • Leoman “the gaze seemingly fixed on the licking flames”
  • Leoman “slowly nodded, eyes once more on the flames.”
  • “The trail of fire.”
  • “Our trail of fire.”

Another one of those nice Erikson transitions, from the fire of Leoman and Corabb to Koryk blowing on a fire, “inhaling a cloud of ashes.”

Neffarias Bred, if you recall, was an infantry “heavy” whose exploits were the thing of legend mentioned in House of Chains: “I heard he killed eighteen raiders all in one night . . . Killed fifty raiders they say . . .”

Yes, Bottle is being raised up in importance for us. His abilities aren’t wholly related to the Eres ‘al. As for Quick Ben’s power. Oh, the mysteries of that character are legion....

Love the humor in the Nil and Nether scene — the mother lich, the motherly nagging on getting married and having children, followed by Bult’s nagging on the same. Too funny. Though Bult’s words “We do not belong here” are a nice tease to the reader.

Love as well the humorous byplay amongst Quick, Kalam, Stormy et. al in the warren. And that is just a great, great ending to a chapter. What might they be looking at — a bunch of things that are “massive, towering, black” and move through the sky? That should sound a little familiar....


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.

33 comments
Darren Kuik
1. djk1978
First off, let it be said that this is the 3rd time I've read Bonehunters, and the 4th time I've read this chapter and I've only now just realized that the keep has "strange mechanisms" and that Karsa just fought a K'Chain Nah-Ruk. Wow. I actually buy into his killing this thing more than I do the Deragoth.

Second I'm going to offer my opinion on Apsalar-Cotillion and say that a) this is one of my favourite scenes in the book and b) it is not romantic.

First of all, I'm utterly convinced that Apsalar still loves Crokus (not necessarily Cutter). So I don't think that her intentions are romantic. Besides she shares his memories, it would just be weird. So what of Cotillion's response. Again I strongly don't see it as romantic. But he's a god now and here this mortal has very poignantly reminded him about humanity. Do we not think that Cotillion is lonely? He and Ammanas are not really accepted among the gods yet, but they've left mortals behind. Yet here Apsalar treats him like a human and not like a god. It ties in with her statement that he is unsuited to be a god.

That is my opinion. It can't be shaken. I just don't buy into a romance between them.
Vanye
2. Vanye
I don't think that there is any romantic connection between Apsalar and Cotillion. There's a lot of intimacy there, but not of the romantic kind.
Remember, she used to *be* him. She remembers his thoughts, his memories, who and what he used to be, and is, however dimly. They're as close as two people can be without actually sharing thoughts (anymore).
Vanye
3. Kadere
Y'GHATAN!!!!!!

Seriously, my favorite thing in the entire series. Can't wait to get there!

That is all.
Sydo Zandstra
4. Fiddler
Although The Bonehunters is my favourite book in the series, there is one thing that always bugged me, and it's in this chapter.

Where did that Short Tail Lizard come from? Even if the Keep was very old and there were 'mechanisms' in it, I never saw that explained to my satisfaction, if explained at all. Unless this is a special kind of Keep that we will see more of later on, but the descriptions don't match...

I guess answers to that should either be whited out or clouded by hints. In case of hints, I'll pick them up :)
Tricia Irish
5. Tektonica
Y’Ghatan. Y'Ghatan.

I couldn't read slow enough and finished the book the other night. Again.
Oh my.

Amanda, Smiles is pretty much at odds with everything ;-)

Bottle really comes into his own in this book too...as you say Amanda, drip by drip. We do get the story of QB and how he came by his powers at some point....didn't we get that already? I thought we did???

Apsalar/Cotillion: I agree....not romantic, but a kind of love, or respect, or appreciation. Certainly they are as close as two separate beings could ever be. That human touch probably felt very foreign to Cotillion, and was a poignant reminder of what he has given up/lost. And remember, Apsalar has lost much as well....her father, Crokus, her original life. She's about as alone as human could be, as well. The connection between these two is precious for both of them, in a twisted and unique way.
Darren Kuik
6. djk1978
I don't think it is explained. Possible spoilers below.

But it wouldn't be the first thing we've encountered that's been imprisoned for a long time. One might surmise that it was pinned on the spikes and ensorcelled to remain alive and the Malazans explorations in the keep unwittingly released it.

There's nothing definite that I can think of to say one way or another. Seems to me though that Moraval Keep is a sky keep, or part of one. Other sky keeps are found that have things alive in them still. And other things are found alive but trapped even for long times e.g. Calm and the Otataral dragon.

Just guessing though.
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
@Amanda:
Apsalar is actually referred to here as Shadow Dancer — I guess this is some kind of master assassin?
As Bill said, there is a connectedness, but there will be a reveal later, so that's a RAFO.

We got the story of how the Bridgeburners got their name by pursuing QB and Kalam through the desert. QB & K started with a number of companion mages and by the end only QB & K remained. In that story is part of the explanation of QB's control of the warrens.
Tai Tastigon
9. Taitastigon
Amanda: We’ve spoken about the odd relationship between Apsalar and Cotillion before...

Aaah - romance or not...I had raised this back in the HoC-reread. That was a nice discussion, and still is here. I still believe: It is highly ambiguous, and SE must be busting his guts out about this one.
Perfect question for the coming Q&A session, where Steven - of course - will answer: Their relationship is anything you want it to be...*ggg*
Tricia Irish
10. Tektonica
djk@6:

A very resonable assumption. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense.
Tai Tastigon
11. Taitastigon
Amanda:

Oh, and I totally laughed at:
“The Fourteenth’s motto,” Stormy said, with a loud sigh.
“Which?” Gesler asked. “And then we leave or No heroic stands?”
“Take your pick.”
That one is gold.
There will be another one just as good, but with a curious angle:

Bridgeburner´s motto: First in, last out.

14th motto: Last in, looking around.

Interesting to see how DG and MoI set up two legends: Chain of Dogs and Bridgeburners...- and how the 14th will have to learn how to measure up to those legends.

As yet, obviously frustrating...but we are barely halfway through the cycle...
Sanctume Spiritstone
12. Sanctume
When AD&D/RPG gamer in me can't help but think this side quest was levelling up Karsa for extra experience points. No loot, just exp!

But the side quest was also a good way to clue-dump:

flat top mesa = mountain?
sheer walls and fortifications, center keep
underground beehive style not-a-tomb

spikes to hold something that failed
reptile, bigger than Karsa, short thich stunted tail
nimble as a bhor-aral, arms oversized and overlong

ancient structure, with old mechanism beyond understanding
Tai Tastigon
13. Taitastigon
For something completely different:

Darn, I just realized - the *chapter* that everyone knows which it is...I never noticed that thing is almost 100 pages long.

Amanda/Bill - you may have to split that chapter in two...
Darren Kuik
15. djk1978
It sort of naturally divides into two parts I think. But we can cross that bridge when we get to it. Lots of interesting stuff before that.
Robin Lemley
16. Robin55077
Re: Apsalar's caress

I too believe it is not indicative of romance and see it basically as stated in the previous posts. The relationship between Apsalar and Cotillion is extremely unusual and extremely close. She was feeling very lonely and very vulnerable when she climbed out onto that roof and he appeard beside her. He had just informed her that Cutter was okay so they were both thinking about that. I alwasys felt that she sensed that he was troubled and, in a very human action, reached out to touch him. He was startled by the "human-ness" of it. When she apologizes for it and he says that he understands, I saw that as his understanding the complexity and difficulty of her feelings for Cutter and at that point is also probably feeling a bit guilty for her being in this current state of heartbreak. Not a romance, but a kind of love all the same.

:-)
Robin Lemley
17. Robin55077
@ Amanda

In speaking of Karsa earlier today you wrote, "Fantastic. I love him!" Do you remember when you first met him and you did not care for him at all and could not understand why we re-readers kept saying we liked him so much? lol We kept saying that he would grow on you and apparently he has.

Definitely a good example of SE's skill as a writer to take a character like Karsa Orlong, whom most readers did not care for at all upon first meeting, and then to grow that character over the course of a couple of books into a character that most readers truly do enjoy.

I figured that you would change your mind about him!

:-)
Vanye
18. Jordanes
Speaking of Quick Ben, one thing which occurred to me now which never did before...

So Quick Ben is one body, seven separate souls (or is it a dozen? Can't remember), right?

Dejim Nebrahl....the same.

DUN DUN DUN!!!!!
Robin Lemley
19. Robin55077
Re: The short-tailed reptile that Karsa killed in the keep.

It is not unusual at all in this series for a powerful being to be trapped under a rock alive. This seems to have been the best choice when dealing with any powerful entity that was very difficult to kill. I suspect that the Malazans were, as Karsa thought when he first saw the pit, digging a drainage tunnel, etc., and unknowingly broke through the rock that was keeping the thing pinned down there, thus releasing it.

:-)
Robin Lemley
20. Robin55077
Re: Bottle

If you are at this point and don't think Bottle is someone to keep your eye on, then Fiddler's statement:
"Quick's got more warrens to draw on than any mage I've ever heard about. Except, ...except maybe you."
should make you rethink that. :-)

I absolutely love Bottle!

:-)
Robin Lemley
21. Robin55077
@ Amanda
"Smiles is really prejudiced against the Seti, isn’t she? It’s a little foul to read since it smacks of racism."
I never thought about that being how some readers would percieve her antagonistic attitude with Koryk. Once you pointed it out, I can see how it might be interpreted that way.


I always saw it more as she was kind of sweet on Koryk in that, "I like you but am going to be mean to you so you don't know it" kind of way that people sometimes do in their youth. Also, I have always felt that Smiles would rather die than allow anyone to think that she is a "helpless female" and that is the reason that she is also so "mean" when talking to her squad mates. Kind of that, "you can't hurt me if I don't let you close to me" mentality.

:-)
Robin Lemley
22. Robin55077
One more thing I meant to point out about Bottle....during his conversation with Fiddler, Bottle states:
"Well. Holds. They're holds. Or they were. Before warrens. It's old magic, that's what my grandmother taught me. Real old."
Bottle knows about/can use Holds magic. One of those things to put in the file cabinet.

:-)
shirley thistlewood
23. twoodmom
@ #18 I think Dejim Nebrahl is one soul with seven bodies the opposite of QB.
Paul Boyd
24. GoodOldSatan
Tek @ #5,

I, too, thought that the tale of QB's warrens was a part of the original BB origin story. Am I missing more (either previously explained or yet to come)?

As for short-tailed lizards, I remembered their introduction in Chap. 4, but completely missed it here. (Or maybe the issue of short tails was repeated in that chapter, giving sufficient reason to take note.) Either way, that one alone was badass. Perhaps the brutality of that scene serves a future purpose?
Vanye
25. Jordanes
@23

Nope, read the prologue again - the seven surviving T'rolbarahl all placed their souls into the pregnant Mhybe woman - Dejim is seven separate souls in one body - it's stated outright that they're independent yet together.
Bill Capossere
26. Billcap
My point re the mysteries of Quick Ben wasn't a reference to his souls (though there is still a little mystery there); it in reference to, well, other things (How's that for vague?). In general, I think he's perhaps the most engigmatic character, at least from my pov.

Re Apsalar and Cotillion, I'm in the non-romantic camp. Respect, care, love, tenderness, protectiveness, but not love.

On the short tail, I always wondered if it were staked down and purposely left alive to be used somehow
Steven Halter
27. stevenhalter
Bill@26:I agree--Quick Ben is chock full of mystery. Even after the Bridgeburner origin story, we don't know all of the souls traits. We also don't know how QB got in that position and anumber of other details that at this point we don't even know we don't know.
Paul Boyd
28. GoodOldSatan
@26, 27; I agree that we don't know as much about QB as I would like (co-opting you both). I find, for example, his close relationships with Fid & the other BBs to be at odds with his "bring it on" 'tude re: the CG in MOI -- much more moxie there than a "mere" squad mage would be comfortable with.

BTW, are he and Fid (& the Darujhistan BBs) "pre" Ascendants (given Ganoes' declaration at he end of MOI)?
Mieneke van der Salm
29. Mieneke
"SCENE NINE

Karsa kills the lizard."

This just had me laughing so hard! I mean it's a perfectly succinct summation of what happens, but it's also a bit of an understatement, no?

On the Karsa/lizard fight, I'm with Amanda and Bill, it wasn't my favourite. Both because of the absurd amounts of damage done and received and because it just goes on and on. I didn't notice it so much while reading the scene itself, but I did notice being glad we went on to Leoman and Corabb. I did love the little inserts with Samar Dev, Captain Inasharan and the Falahd. Though the latter is a little pest, isn't he?

Corabb and Leoman have me thoroughly confused regarding Dassem now. Didn't we see him in HoC on Drift Avalii? Isn't he the one who comes to guard the Throne? Or did I get that completely wrong?

And no, no Cotillion/Apsalar romance, that would just be squicky!
Brian R
30. Mayhem
@29
Yes, we saw Dassem on Drift Avalii in his guise as Traveller. But
Dassem is also Dessembrae, and then again he isn't - that isn't all he is, or all people want him to be ... more on this come RotCG, as Dassem and the Sword are ICE characters.
For now, lets just say he is a particularly reluctant Ascendant.

@16 et al
I read the Cotillion/Apsalar scene more as her making a somewhat unconscious gesture that has deep meaning to him, one that noone else would know. And as people above said, one that reminds him of his humanity at a time when those feelings have grown more distant.

As for who Apsalar is off to see - well, lets just say it was someone who Kellanved and Dancer were well acquainted with, and we met him before near the start of HoC.

@23,25
With regards the Trol'Barahl, Dejim Nebrahl is a definite oddity - he has seven souls within him, but at the same time is also a D'ivers.
I read it as the seven hid inside the woman, but when spawned, they separated out into their constituent parts, but still share a common identity as it were.
QB is an example of many souls into one body. D'ivers are one soul into many bodies. Dejim Nebrahl is ... SE messing with our heads!
karl oswald
31. Toster
Dejim Nebrahl, as you've all noted, is a pretty strange creature. i'd say he's a unique creation. he has seven souls, but he is not limited to seven bodies. he has the d'ivers trait of being able to spawn more of himself as he grows in power (remember gryllen in DG?), but those seven souls are still independent. though at this point i'd imagine that they're all of one mind.

on dassem: his story and his aspects are an interesting insight into the world of gods and worship. dassem is dessembrae and also traveller, but the face the worshippers of dessembrae pray to is not that of traveller. and it doesn't even end there...
Stefan Sczuka
32. moeb1us
Just wanted to add that I thought the BB/QB/Raraku story had it pretty clear that QB holds 12 souls in him, since "Delat and eleven other mages made up the Protector’s cadre" as WJ puts it in MoI. Then they fled and as we are told QB takes one soul after the other in him...

And I liked the fight between Karsa and the Shorttail. He just handles the damage in another way, since he relies on his self-healing capabilities I think. I mean he didn't even used his sword. He wanted to do it with his bare hands, like a true barbarian/duel/hunter kind of thing.

Re the ending: loved it. "ok let's wait and see what follows us" combined with the funny question how many entities of whatever are expected to show up and then BAM its a bunch of sky keeps (I think it is okay to say that here, non? It's pretty clear?). Plain greatness :)
Steven Halter
33. stevenhalter
Quote:
I’ll do anything you ask, until you’re dead. Then I’ll dance on your stinking, bloated corpse, because that’s what you would want me to do, isn’t it? I would if I was you and you were dead and I lingered long enough to dance on you, which I would do.

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