Fri
Aug 9 2013 11:00am

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Toll the Hounds, Chapter Twenty-Three

Toll the Hounds Steven Erikson Malazan Book of the Fallen Welcome to the Malazan Reread 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 Twenty-Three of Toll the Hounds (TtH).

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 spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

CHAPTER SUMMARY

SCENE 1

Kruppe shows us the chaos of Darujhistan, and an ox tearing his way through the crowds, wishing for the safety of his mamma. We also see Iskaral Pust and Mogora departing the Temple of Shadow in a frenzy.

SCENE 2

Pallid—one of the white Hounds—heads through the city, followed by Baran intent on vengeance. The two Hounds battle each other, destroying a gaol in the process—which just happens to be the one where Barathol was trapped. As Kruppe remarks, serendipity. Barathol’s legs are pinned under the rubble from a falling ceiling and he cannot get away as Pallid notices him and gathers himself for a charge. As he springs forward, a small figure strikes the Hound—it’s Chaur. Chaur throws Barathol the axe he carries, then faces down Pallid with a rock. The Hound sweeps him across the alley, leaving him motionless. Barathol finally breaks free, tearing his legs. As Pallid turns to face him, Baran breaks into the alley and Pallid flees.

SCENE 3

Barathol sees that Chaur is wounded grievously. The reader is given the news that he is in a protective oblivion but not quite dead yet. Antsy also breaks out of the gaol, bemoaning his loss of weapons, and Barathol asks where there is a healer. As they head off, they hear the sound of hoofs and wheels on cobbles.

SCENE 4

It’s the ox!

SCENE 5

The two Nom cousins stand on the roof and watch the Gadrobi District go up in flames. Torvald wonders why the Hounds are there, and they both stare up at the shattered moon. A lot of the fragments are heading away from them, towards another moon. Torvald wonders if that tiny moon is a world as large as his, and will be experiencing a rain of death soon. Vorcan comes to join them and suggests that she and Rallick head to the High Alchemist. Torvald is amused that his cousin has attracted the most dangerous woman alive.

SCENE 6

Scorch and Leff go hunting Hounds, discussing what they want to do with the body parts once they’ve taken it down. When a Hound of Shadow slinks into view, they get ready to shoot with their crossbows but it flinches back after smelling something and leaves. Leff blames the smell of Scorch.

SCENE 7

Cutter rides through Darujhistan, haunted by his memories of Apsalar.

SCENE 8

Challice climbs out onto the roof of the estate tower, holding onto a globe that seems to hold the moon prisoner, and stares up at the sky.

SCENE 9

Cutter continues through the city, thinking that the Hounds know him and so he has no reason to fear. He suspects that their wilful destruction of Darujhistan is at the command of Shadowthrone, since Cotillion wouldn’t have anything to do with this. He carries the lance he was given and hopes that Shadowthrone appears, so that he can “plant the damned thing” in the Ascendant.

SCENE 10

Back to Challice on the roof, who thinks about the choices that have brought her to this point.

SCENE 11

Cutter thinks about his destination—Challice. He wants to deliver the news about her husband, but knows that he never wants to be in her future because of what it would mean subjecting her to. He knows that this journey through Darujhistan is his last, that he plans to leave the city.

SCENE 12-13

Challice looks once more into the globe and sees the flagstones beyond it far below. Then she jumps.

SCENE 14
Kruppe sorrows as he leaves the Phoenix Inn. He thinks about the death of a god, a pact that has been sealed, and contemplates the honourable man Anomander Rake. He thinks that “Rake is the sort of man who sees no other choice, who accepts no other choice.”

SCENE 15

Barathol and Antsy arrive at the house of Baruk, who tells them that he cannot delay and must leave immediately. Antsy suggests another option and they head on.

SCENE 16

A tiny flash in Chaur’s mind proceeds along a darkened path it has never explored, and then something happens. *shrug*

SCENE 17

Antsy and Barathol continue on to the estate of Coll. Barathol is incredibly upset about Chaur and the fact he didn’t stay on the ship with Spite. Behind the estate is the Finnest House, and they carry Chaur up the path. Antsy knocks on the door and Raest answers. As they chat Raest indicates a steaming pile of earth where a visitor has expired—a T’lan Imass with odd legs (Dev’ad?) Antsy asks if they can leave Chaur in the Azath and Raest agrees once Antsy hands over a dead white cat.

SCENE 18

Chaur’s body hovers in limbo, but his mind continues to explore new pathways.

SCENE 19

Quick poetic look at Dragnipur and the fact that it has drunk deep this night, “caring naught who wields it.”

SCENE 20

Envy and Spite put their feud on hold, knowing that Anomander is currently weakened. Both think that they can kill Anomander together and then contemplate killing their sister with the claimed Dragnipur.

SCENE 21

Samar Dev and Karsa witness as Traveller comes upon the kneeling figure of Anomander Rake, who stands to face him. Traveller wants Hood, but Anomander will not stand aside. Traveller says that Rake has never been his enemy. He doesn’t want to fight Anomander Rake, but the Tiste Andii says: “If you so want Hood, come and get him.” As they fight they are surrounded by a chanting crowd of Dassembrae cultists, and watched by hundreds upon hundreds of Great Ravens. It is an even match, but then Samar Dev watches the death blow, which seems “all wrong.” Rake is actually killed by his own sword, Dragnipur. Dassem Ultor cries out in anguish and then collapses. Rake’s body is surrounded by Ravens and the five Hounds of Shadow, and Samar Dev realises that things are not over.

SCENE 22-23

The moon explodes and fills Darujhistan with light—and the Hounds of Light arrive.

SCENE 24

There are ten Hounds of Light, each a match for the Hounds of Shadow who remain and who number just five. These Hounds of Light have come to claim Dragnipur for their master.

SCENE 25-26

Shorn, in his dragon form, flies above the city and tracks the Hounds of Light.

SCENE 27-30

Mule on mule showdown! Iskaral Pust and Kruppe sharing page space as they battle each other in a truly epic, titanic struggle.

SCENE 31

Samar watches as two women stalk side by side down the street towards Rake. She asks Karsa who they are, but he is too busy watching a rider with a lance also approach.

SCENE 32

Baruk weeps for Anomander Rake—knowing that he has made a necessary sacrifice and understanding why it had to be done, but mourning the loss of a friend.

SCENE 33

Cutter dismounts and walks to Anomander’s body. He asks how it could be and who did it, and Samar Dev tells him it was Dassem Ultor, who was known to them as Traveller. Cutter whispers about the sword that Dassem carried, forged by Anomander Rake himself, and known as either Vengeance or Grief. Karsa tells Samar that he needs Traveller, and that Cutter should ready his spear, as the ten Hounds of Light arrive. Cutter introduces himself to Karsa as Crokus Younghand. As the Hounds of Light charge, Spite and Envy use their combined warrens to destroy the Hounds of Shadow.

SCENE 34-35

Spinnock holds Kallor at bay, being wounded to death in incremental hits. As he falls, Kallor asks him what the point was. Spinnock felt the death of Anomander Rake, and realises that he has achieved his goal of delaying Kallor. Spinnock offers Kallor compassion and hopes that he will one day find his true self. Kallor rails at Spinnock, and the Tiste Andii flinches, asking if Kallor will curse him now. Kallor says he will offer a clean death as tribute to the fact that Spinnock defended against him for so long. He admits Spinnock could have wounded him, but the Tiste Andii says he wasn’t there to do that and then reveals that Anomander Rake is dead. Kallor sets off up the road to Darujhistan. As he does, two dragons fly over him, one of them heading down to grasp Kallor in its talons, the other landing and sembling near Spinnock. It is Korlat and she gives Spinnock a potion to start him healing. She is astonished by how long he held up the High King.

SCENE 36

As the dragon—Orfantal—carries Kallor, the High King manages to wound him with his sword and they both plunge to the ground. As Kallor watches, Orfantal sembles then falls to the ground. Kallor heads onwards towards Darujhistan despite his wounds.

Amanda’s Reaction

The first thing that really got me in the read of this chapter—apart from the awesome spectacle of the two Hounds destroying the city as they battle each other—was that quiet moment where Barathol pleads with Antsy that there must be a healer somewhere and Antsy says: “Well, there’s Mallet, but he’s—shit, he’s dead. I forgot.” Damn, that’s a very hard moment to read and just thrown into the chapter.

But really, the whole chapter is about that showdown between Iskaral Pust and Kruppe, right? Who hasn’t been waiting books and books and books to see those two on the same page? And it didn’t disappoint—the mules’ charge, the insults flying. It reminded me very much of Xander and Harmony having their bitch fight in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (for those who remember that particular episode)!

Oh, alright, I can’t avoid it anymore. I’ve been trying to. But this chapter is all about Anomander Rake. I. Just. Can’t. Believe. It. I just can’t. I don’t want to. He’s been pretty much up there for me as a fave character since the moment he first walked on-page. Y’all know how much I love him. And now... Damn. I actually cried when I read it. Proper full-on bawling. Especially because of the way that it happened, and who did it, and then the reactions afterwards.

I think Baruk’s hit me hardest. This intelligent man reduced to tears because a good man has fallen. His absence will be hard to bear.

In epic moments, I also love the meeting between Cutter and Karsa and the charge of the Hounds of Light (by the way, who *is* their master? Osserc?) And who else also teared up when Cutter introduced himself as Crokus Younghand? That was something I have been hoping for—that he would be able to start going back to the man he once was. At least I hope that’s what his claiming of his old name means.

And, damn! What about that quick mention of Dev’ad? Is he just dead then? What was the point to his story? I don’t quite understand.

And I’m afraid that is all you’re getting from me today. I need to mourn.

Bill’s Reaction

Erikson does a great job conveying a sense of scope of violence and chaos and randomness in these opening pages and also giving us some humor to break up what has come before and what is yet to come. We then get some nice emotional manipulation in the ensuing scene at the prison: the freeing of a prisoner (we think it’s one of our guys, rise in emotion), realizing it isn’t one of our guys and the prisoner dies (drop in emotion), the freeing of Barathol (rise in emotion), the rescue by Chaur (rise in emotion) and then the dying Chaur (plummet in emotion), Antsy cursing the loss of much of his gear (comic relief), Antsy’s painfully pragmatic diagnosis (drop in emotion), the arrival of the ox, who now thinks the world is right because he’s got a dead body to carry. I also love that wholly realistic moment when Antsy thinks they’ll get Mallet to heal Chaur. Of course he’s going to forget Mallet is dead now and then—that’s what happens with people you’ve been so close to for so long who are no longer around. Great tiny moment and reminder of the emotions at the core of these characters.

I’m less enamored of the Scorch/Leff scene as I don’t need to be brought away from my main characters here at this climax (long climax, but still), nor do I need more comic relief than I’ve already gotten. And it also reminds me that sometimes the relative power of all these creatures/people befuddles me—in that it’s hard for me to imagine the same Hounds we’ve seen in their effect on the walls and guards “flinching” from these two (wounded or not. In fact, the wounding makes me think the Hound would be more likely to attack—to take out its anger/frustration on these two). But as usual, I just note my dissatisfaction and quickly move on.

Our little boy Cutter is growing up! He shows some nice signs of mature insight here as he trots toward the chaos.

I like what happens with Chalice in these scenes, and the back and forth between her and Cutter, but I wish Erikson had let us make the connections with the moon and Challice ourselves rather than have her do so. I do think this character, looking at this moon and this globe, would have these thoughts, but the connections are so nice that I’d rather they weren’t laid out so fully for us.

“Dust of Dreams” Hmm, why does that sound familiar…

A tiny complaint, but I wish Kruppe hadn’t had the references to his waistline and wheelbarrow, which detracted a bit from the depth of what his happening, the sense of sorrow and tragedy he alludes to.

On the other hand, I absolutely love the scene with Raest. I’ll take Jaghut humor anytime. “I shall call it Tufty”—c’mon, one of the greatest ending lines to a scene in this whole series. Beyond the humor, I love what happens with Dev’ad. It’s such a fantastically anti-climactic close to a huge build-up: the buried ages-old creature with thoughts of power and vengeance brought back into the light of the world and setting out to gain just those two things. And now he’s in the garden and replaced quickly in thoughts by a dead cat named Tufty. Love it.

I also like the humor of Envy and Spite heading off to kill Rake and grab the sword even as each is already picking out the spot in the other’s body in which to plunge the dagger.

By now though, we should know that in these moments, these bits of humor are perhaps preparing us for something fraught with sorrow. And still, Kruppe is not yet weeping, despite all that has happened. What is going to come?
And here we have it perhaps—a confrontation between Rake and Traveller. One hundreds of Ravens settle to witness. Why?

Note that tone of Rake’s: “cold.” It seems an odd tone for him to take with Traveller. Unless he chooses that tone purposely.

OK, and minor point, but I feel I am missing something here. Hood is “close”—I get what Rake means and why Traveller senses him; he’s in the sword after all. But did I miss something with regard to Hood’s body? Is the assumption that since the body was a “manifestation,” it disappeared when Rake killed him? (Though so much was made of the god being physically “here” in the world.) Did I miss something happening with it? Because it seems Rake hasn’t moved and so I can’t quite get why Traveller isn’t going all “damn, is that Hood there? And there?”

“Rake’s gaze settle briefly on Dassem’s sword, and it seemed a sad smile showed itself”

“Samar saw the death blow… and somehow, somehow, it was all wrong.”

“[...] a single moment shaping a perfect cruciform”

“Cheated,” he said. “Cheated!!”

“Wrong. It was wrong.”

We’re being led to a pretty clear conclusion about what happened here in this fight. And of course, we also know there’s long been a plot underfoot, a “pact” as Kruppe has just reminded us of. And it seems pretty clear where this part at least is meant to lead—after all, we know what happens to those killed by Dragnipur…

We don’t get long to linger on this incredibly massive moment in this series though, for as Samar Dev says, this isn’t over. And as Kruppe makes clear, the universe spins on with little regard to such things. And so we’re quickly off—to an explanation of what happened to the moon—which offers us a bit of clarity (a bit) with regard to one mystery, even as it introduces another: who has sent the Hounds of Light to claim Dragnipur?

And then, another cryptic line: “Tulas Shorn [felt] a kind of blessing, alighting with faint, lilting notes of wonder. Tulas Shorn had never known that Hood, Lord of the Slain, could prove so generous. Or perhaps, it was nothing more than a Jaghut’s talent for anticipating the worst.” What sort of blessing did Hood give? Why to Shorn? What did Hood anticipate? (I think this also would seem to imply that Hood allowed himself to be killed and also knew Rake’s death would ensue)

Wasn’t this a Tennyson poem—the Charge of the Mules? Indeed, “When can their glory fade? O, the wild charge they mad! All the world wondered…” Oh, to see this noble spectacle, this fleet-footed attack… I know we get details like punches (albeit inadvertent) and jabbings of thumbs, and the like, but in my mind, I picture this as one of those slapfights with neither participant looking and neither wanting to get too close or too physical. It’s a great twisted reflection of the sword fight just witnessed between Rake and Traveller and the one we’re about to see the end of between Spinnock and Kallor.

And a nice pause to catch our breath after Rake’s death (Rake is dead. Holy shit. Rake is dead.) and before the convergence of powers continues, as we start to draw up the sides: Envy and Spite (and who saw those two on the same side) vs. the Hounds of Shadow; Cutter (or is it Crokus now?), Karsa, and Samar (and her bear?) vs. the Hounds of Light. But before we get to those confrontations and others, I’m glad Erikson doesn’t whisk us to far/quickly/wholly afield from Rake (Rake is dead. Holy shit. Rake is dead.) and gives us this moment with Baruk to show us true grief. Yes, this whole take is a grieving moment, but give us one in-the-moment concrete reaction before the rest of the stuff hits the fan.

And with Rake dead (Rake is dead. Holy shit, Rake is dead.), can you feel confident at this point as a first-time reader that any of these people are invulnerable?

And then it’s another epic battle (one also somewhat rigged, one also with a hidden agenda and a combatant who holds back) and further complication of the Kallor character. Does Spinnock see true into Kallor? Does Kallor claim otherwise out of anger and grief and having been at least momentarily revealed? Or is Kallor right and Spinnock sees what he wants to see?

After all this death and mayhem (Rake is, well, you know), it’s nice to see Spinnock healed. But we’re not done (I also like the thought of him leaving his sword). But just as we the audience are like “ahh, a moment’s happiness” wham! There goes Orfantal (though I’ve got to say, what the hell was he thinking just carrying Kallor around like that?). So much for the new and soft Kallor.

And we’re still not done (I’m going to hold off really discussing Rake till the end)…


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.

67 comments
Garak
1. Garak
I've been waiting for the re-read to reach this chapter since the start. I got into the MBotF out of order - I started with Toll the Hounds (it was the only one on the shelf and I was in desperate need of something new to read). It made for a very confusing read but this chapter had me in tears (first book to ever do that). The fact that Erikson could make me feel such grief over a character I just got to know right before he died .... that is some powerfull writing.

And it's not over yet. Oh gods, it's not.
Garak
2. Eoin8472
Powerful chapter. Powerful chapter. But....as Bill said...and its not by any means a small point, why exactly
does Traveller have to attack Rake seeing that Hood's body should still be lying right there. His motivation makes no sense. Even after 6ish rereads I still do not understand Traveller's motivation.

So it becomes one of these possible motivations:

1: Traveller attacks Rake to win so that he kills the guy who killed Hood out of thwarted vengence. But Rake said Hood was close and that he was blocking the way. Therefore Traveller thinks Hood still alive, but hang on, Hoods body is right there too? This explanation fails any sense. Unless someone just moved the body?

2: Traveller attacks Rake to win so that he can get to Hood, thinking that Hood is still alive. But again, even if Hood's body was moved, why did Traveller collapse and start sobbing after "winning" the fight. Should he not have started looking for Hood right away? This explanation does not add up either.

3: Traveller attcks Rake in order to LOSE so that he can get inside Dragnipur and maybe strangle Hood's soul with the Dragnipur chains. Thats a silly explanation but not one that fails any logic test.

Where did the body go? Why did Travller not say "Hey Rake did my job for me, lets have a beer together?"
Brian R
3. Mayhem
I think the key with Scorch and Leff is it is *never* about them. They just don't ever know it.

I have a strong suspicion that on the other side of the wall is some seriously Bad News that the Hound sniffed out and didn't want to get involved with. So naturally, the boys blame each other for smelling bad.
I doubt there will be any trouble – the Mistress has reawakened her wards

The only thing I'll say about the fight is two things.
One, the sad little smile as Anomander recognises his old sword.
and two
‘No. Only a fool would step between these two.’
And the Toblakai sounded . . . shaken.
And THAT is a statement and a half. Karsa has just had a big dollop of "yes, there are people better than me out there" delivered in an unmistakeable way. And then it gets stolen out from under him by what appears a betrayal of what it means to fight. No wonder he isn't happy.

And this night, it isn't yet done.
Garak
4. Eoin8472
Maybe its a Split personality thing. The Dassembrae god part of Traveller was fighting the Dassem Ultor part of Traveller. The god wanted the vengence transferred from Hood to Rake, reasoning that Rake stole the vengence destined for Hood, and Dassem the man wanted to walk away. That would track with the concept of Traveller being dragged by chains to the conflict which was symbolised in the previous chapter.

But Rake said Hood was "close" and that implied (to me anyway) that Hood was standing physically able to be killed if Traveller overcame Hood. So that doesn't correlate with what I just said! Argh.
Steven Halter
5. stevenhalter
‘I shall call it Tufty,’ said Raest.
is a great line. It is also cool in that it was a minor quest and an excellent example of Jaghut humor. It contrasts nicely with what is going on in the rest of the chapter.
The way I take the fall of Rake is that Travellor is not at all looking behind Rake for a body on the ground. The thought never entered Travellor's mind. His attention was focused on Rake and Dragnipur--as would anyone's attention. Certain tragic aspects of Traveller had not a little to do with this also in my estimation.
Rake knew exactly what he was doing. He controlled the entire meeting and the outcome of the fight.
Rake has always been a favorite of mine also and this came as quite the blow upon reading it. As Bill says, events are not over and more is yet to come.
Philip Thomann
6. normalphil
And once again, here is Crokus on scene giving another person the mistaken impression that he knows what is going on and what he is doing.
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
The Battle of the Mules is another great part of the chapter. I really like:
‘Misapprehensions abound, but wait, does this slavering fool even understand?’
‘What? I wasn’t supposed to hear that? But I did! I did, you fat idiot!’
where Kruppe turns Pust's quirk against him.
Kenneth La Rocque
8. kjtherock
To all who witnessed – the cultists, Samar Dev, Karsa Orlong, even unto the five Hounds of Shadow and the Great Ravens hunched on every ledge – that first clash of weapons was too fast to register. Sparks slanted , the night air rang with savage parries, counter-blows, the biting crunch of edges against cross-hilts. Even their bodies were but a blur. And then both warriors staggered back, opening up the distance between them once more. ‘Faces in the Rock,’ hissed Karsa Orlong.
‘Karsa—’‘No. Only a fool would step between these two.’ And the Toblakai sounded… shaken.

Loved this part. Karsa probably just learned something new.
Kenneth La Rocque
9. kjtherock
I will wait to comment on Traveller and Rake until it isn't a spoiler.
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
Karsa being startled/humbled is another fantastic aspect of the chapter.
Garak
11. Joe99994321
(Dassem) "Please help me, Rake, help me to understand ...why?
(Rake) "I'm not here to help you, Dassem Ultor....if you so want Hood,' he said 'come and get him'

that seems pretty clear, no? Rake "got in his way" -- remember Cotillion's advice to Karsa -- "don't get in his way". Part of it is the curse of the sword Vengeance. it becomes all consuming. Even in the presence of desire to do different, there is no choice. Remember Nimander called it “Grief” and how he behaved.

I think it is also interesting that Kallor also has no choice. He is what he is.
Philipp Frank
12. KillTheMule
Yeah, I too am still buggered by the question why Traveller assaulted Rake after all. Looking forward to a good explanation :)

Kruppe vs Pust is one of my favourite scenes. Makes me laugh, thinking about it.

I totally missed the part about the TImass remnants at the Azath. This reread rocks \m/
Darren Kuik
13. djk1978
First of all, I hope Amanda will return to give us more of her thoughts after she has time to put them all together... :)

As for the Rake/Traveller showdown I've always assumed that at this point Traveller is looking to follow Hood. I think he was hoping to enter Dragnipur to find Hood there. I don't see how he could have missed Hood's body lying there and I don't think at all he believes Hood to be anywhere that he can reach him. Remember that unheard conversation Traveller had with Cotillion.

Everything is pushing Traveller into a confrontation with Rake. And Rake himself goads him into the battle. The question is, why? But that's maybe better left for the end of book.

I loved Karsa's realization of Rake and Traveller's skill. When one contemplates that there are others who might play on that level, you'd think he might re-evaluate that plan of his.

Pust vs Kruppe: Ok, I know I'm in the minority but... Pust has some moments for me, but mostly his scenes annoy me.

Kallor vs Spinnock: Loved it. If there was a path to redemption for Kallor I wouldn't hate it. I don't mind his character actually. And Spinnock is terrific.

Which leads to another gripe. Really Orfantal? That's all you've got? He was set up as one of the most powerful Soletaken left with Rake. He really goes out with a whimper. Disappointing ending there. I mean, I understand that path of vengeance by him and Korlat was doomed to failure, but still...

Finally, haha Devad. I'm with Bill, that was kind of funny. Another quick ending for someone full of certainty. I think that was the point.
Nadine L.
14. travyl
Great summary, especially of scene 4 (It’s the ox!) ;)
I agree with most above: I don't really understand why Traveller fights Rake (supposedly because he doesn't know at the start of the fight, that Hood is dead inside Dragnipur). And why did Rake force him anyway?
If Rake wanted to end up in Dragnipur, couldn't he have killed himself with Dragnipur (and spare Traveller some anguish) - is there some suicide protection?

Loved the "truly epic, titanic struggle" between Pust and Kruppe and I very much enjoyed that the emlava-legged T'lan Imass, who set out which such a high opinion of himself gets disposed of off screen, without Raest realizing the irony of it.

And just as an aside: let me "repeat" my comment from some threads ago: there are really a lot of Jaghut in this book (Gothos, the Mott Jaghut and his wife, Hood and Raest...).
Garak
15. worrywort
@djk: Exactly. Traveller wants in. It's a battle in which Traveller is attempting to guide Dragnipur towards his own body and Rake is refusing him. They're going too fast to tell, but it's why that final blow looks so wrong to Samar. As far as Rake committing obvious suicide, that would be the ultimate betrayal of everything he is trying to do for the Tiste Andii. How would that look to a whole society made up of near-Challices? He has no choice but subterfuge, and he has few better choices than Dassem to make it seem plausible.
- -
16. hex
@13 - I'm with you on Orfantal. He seems to seriously underestimate a guy he's been hunting for some time now. Why not quickly fly straight up, and drop him? Or just step on him? Magic breath? Garlic breath? Anything would have been smarter.

I've been waiting for this chapter to finally ask: just what makes Kallor so potent? As far as I can tell he's just a "normal", if not exceedingly stubborn, human. He isn't magicked up (says he hates magic while he huffs life extending alchemical candles in MoI), and he doesn’t seem to be a physical force like so many others in the world of Wu.
Rajesh Vaidya
17. Buddhacat
@15: Additionally, once Rake is gone, I think the expectation was that Traveller would then help protect Dragnipur from all the other "things" now hunting it. Easy-peasy, except that Traveller fell apart, and the sword was almost lost to the sisters or HoL (it was touch and go until the dude with the "beastial eyes" shows up.)
Tricia Irish
18. Tektonica
(Rake is dead. Holy shit, Rake is dead.) So. Sad. Damn.

I think worrywort@15 has the jist of it. Dassem wanted in, Rake wasn't letting him, and found a way to take his own life, while not appearing to be a suicide.

Loved Pust and Kruppe. And I really loved Karsa being dumbfounded by the skill of Dassem and Rake. Epic.

Bye Challice. Hello Crocus! I hope.
Garak
19. worrywort
I think Orfantal was holding on to Kallor until Korlat could catch back up after tending to Spinnock, but it just didn't happen that way because Kallor was indeed, at least in that fateful moment of seeming triumph, underestimated. Orfy probably just felt it was ultimately Korlat's justice to mete out, and was biding time (maaaaaaaaaybe there was a little crowing/showing off too, not sure), and Kallor just said NOPE.
Nancy Hills
20. Grieve
Damn, Tektonica, you started your post the way I was going to start mine.

Rake dying was one of the most riveting reading experiences I have had. I felt bereft and the series suddenly felt empty. That changed, but it took awhile. I was genuingly grieving after that, which is the ulitmate compliment to a writer. It takes a strong storyteller to kill such an emotionally important character. Makes you wonder "What the hell can DoD and TCG be about?'

As for Traveller and Rake, I believed when I read it that Traveller knew what he was supposed to do. I thought Cotillion had told him and that is why Traveller resisted, what it was he didn't want to do. To pull that off, you would have to have two swordsmen of that kind of skill. Traveller would also have the skill to pull back when he saw what was about to happen if he wasn't in the know.

Further (I'm going to try the spoiler comment trick here) a conversation between Cotillion and Shadowthorne in the Epilogue kind of supports that.

I agree with Bill's assesssment of Dev'ad, though at the time I was WTF?! After that, I was expecting something huge from the cat in the future.

I've never been the Pust fan that many here are, but the confrontation between him and Kruppe was great and well written. Good tension breaker that has much bigger implications and reflects the "bigger" tensions going on.

Ya, I felt that Orfantal was rather dismissively dealt with. I have a question about Kallor. He once said that he was around when the T'lan Imass were children. Isn't he human? How could that be if humans were descended from T'lan Imass? Wasn't that why the Whirlwind Goddess (who was T'lan Imass) hated humans - they were the descendant of her husband and another woman? Is Kallor something else entirely and has just taken human form? I think I missed something big with this guy.

And, of course, Challice's end. Hmmmm. And, yes, kind of heavy handed in forcing the imagery but I think that is because he missed with Challice as a character so he had to resort to that. She was never a complete person to the reader, just a device to bring about some events.
Sydo Zandstra
21. Fiddler
Bill:

Is the assumption that since the body was a “manifestation,” it
disappeared when Rake killed him? (Though so much was made of the god being physically “here” in the world.) Did I miss something happening with it?

Apparently Hood needed to have some level of physical manifestation here in Darujhistan. I'm assuming this manifestation (body) was connected to the Warren of Death. Since Hood's connection to that Warren died along with Hood himself, the manifestation *poof*ed away.

Hood's real body is somewhere else, but I'm not sure if this is spoiler territory here. I just finished rereading DoD (the last half)
and tCG...
Brian R
22. Mayhem
@13,16,19
Orfantal was never going to kill Kallor, the irony of the situation is that their task was to capture him in order that he committed to Dragnipur. And they finally catch up to him just after that punishment is no longer an option. I doubt they are even consciously aware of what has happened to Rake ... yet.
Scooping him up after he's exhausted from a night-long fight sounds
like a quick easy option, they simply underestimated his resilience.
And left him holding his sword.

From MoI
She replied tonelessly, ‘Orfantal makes ready, Lord. We will hunt Kallor down, my brother and I.’
Rake nodded. ‘When you do, leave him alive. He has earned Dragnipur.’
‘We shall, Lord.’
Brian R
23. Mayhem
@Fiddler
Not a spoiler - we figured out the body back in RG as Hedge approaches the Refugium. As per usual, it makes more sense in hindsight.
I like the explanation of the body disappearing.

The upthrust spar was in fact a throne of ice, and on it sat the frozen corpse of a male Jaghut. Mummified by cold and desiccating winds, it nevertheless presented an imposing if ghastly figure, a figure of domination, the head tilted slightly downward, as if surveying a ring of permanently supine subjects.
‘Death observing death,’ Hedge muttered. ‘How damned appropriate. He collected the bodies, then sat down and just died with them. Gave up. No thoughts of vengeance, no dreams of resurrection. Here’s your dread enemy, Emroth.’
‘More than you realize,’ the T’lan Imass replied.

...

‘Emroth!’
The head creaked round.
‘That damned thing back there’s not still alive, is it?’
‘No. The spirit left.’
‘Just . . . left?’
‘Yes.’
‘Isn’t that, uh, unusual?’
‘The Throne of Ice was dying. Is dying still. There was – is – nothing left to rule, ghost. Would you have him sit there for ever?’
Anthony
24. andagil
As for Traveller's motivation in fighting Rake, I've tended to lean towards Joe99994321's explanation of the sword Vengeance and its curse being a significant factor. Recall how Traveller began acting morose and distant, even somewhat out of character as he was nearing Darujistan; how Karsa and Samar were confounded by his actions. I interpreted this as Traveller not really wanting to continue on, but the sword was compelling him to seek his vengeance.
That could also explain why he breaks down immediately after killing Rake. The sword compelled him to fight, but after killing Rake, the compulsion faded, Traveller's free will is restored, and he is able to express his anguish and self-loathing at the tragedy of the situation.
Compare that scene to one in RotCG when Traveller refuses to take vengeance on a group of people who wronged him. I don't recall the specific circumstances, but in the aftermath, Traveller is sailing away with Kyle and the brothers from Assail, and Traveller is overcome with grief, weeping and wailing, for some unexplained reason (This is from Kyle's POV). He eventually recovers and nothing is mentioned of it later, IIRC. I took this as a symptom of the sword's curse, a punishment for Traveller refusing to fulfill the sword's function- at least the function that Traveller had initially accepted upon receiving the sword.
I know that there's a lot of speculation in that theory, but it answers the question of Traveller's bizarre behavior in both books; something I haven't really encountered in any other theories that I've read. I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on the matter though.

I also feel that- as stevenhalter suggested- from a broader perspective, Dassem's aspect as the Lord of Tragedy was a contributing factor. Regardless of the specific distinction between the mortal Dassem and the god Dessembrae (a subject about which I'm still somewhat bewildered even after having finished the series), the fact remains that he is an Ascendant whose primary aspect is tragedy. Something tells me that this plays a rather crucial role in just about any events in which he is involved.

And I just want to add to the chorus of others whose favorite part of the Rake/ Traveller fight was Karsa's reaction to it. As if the scene wasn't impactful enough, Karsa being shaken by what he witnesses makes the whole thing beyond epic.

ETA: Thinking about it further, I wonder if Erikson threw in a subtle clue for us about Vengeance's curse. Rake sees the sword in Dassem's hand and smiles sadly. We the readers take the smile as an ironic recognition of the sword that he forged himself so long ago. What if he's smiling because he knows that the sword will compel Dassem to fight, helping Rake in achieving the outcome of the fight that fits his plans? (ie. Rake's death by Dragnipur) The smile is sad because he knows the toll that such an outcome will take on Dassem. Looney theory, maybe; but damn, that fits perfectly.
Nancy Hills
25. Grieve
@24 andagil - I didn't have the impression that the sword compelled the vengence so much as the sword's "magic" or special properties only worked if the wielder's will was strong enough. The wielder compelled the sword rather than the other way around. It's other name is Grief, so vengence isn't its only function. However, I haven't read the ICE novels that might have expanded it.
Nisheeth Pandey
26. Nisheeth
I am always surprised at how Erikson manages to hint at so many things so far back. I found this in Midnight Tides:
"The Knight strides his own doomed path, soon to cross blades with his own vengeance"
— A reading by Feather Witch.

Didn't find Tufty as funny as most others did, but really enjoyed the Charge of the Mules.

And Kallor, I really liked that despite Spinnock had taken away Kallor's chance for the throne, he couldn't bring himself to actually curse him to the same fate as himself. I see that as a droplet of compassion from him.

@25, Grieve: I agree, I never felt that the sword compelled the user either. ICE doesn't expand upon the sword in his books though. You will find more about it in The Kharkhanas trilogy.
Bill Capossere
27. Billcap
I wanted to hold off on this in detail in comments so as to give breathing room to comments (like to see how many there are!).

Re Hood's body. I wanted to raise the question because I do think that moment is ambiguous. But I think there are some possible answers, some akin to some of the ones mentioned
1) the body vanished. It does make a kind of sense based on this being a “manifestation” of the god and based on things to come.
2) We’re at a different spot. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason to believe Traveller comes across Rake at the same place Rake killed Hood. Rake “straightens,” but is that the same as rising from one’s knees? I wouldn’t say so. There is a gate in both places, but the city is full of them. Ravens land to witness Traveller and Rake’s battle, but they’d also landed to see Hood’s death—did they leave afterward, or is this an indication that we’re in a different spot?
3) The body was carried away by the Hounds. When Traveller meets Cotillion, a Hound is chewing on a “headless torso.”
4) Traveller simply doesn’t see the body. This is one I just can’t accept because I find it near impossible to believe that such a consummate swordsman/soldier such as Traveller can be so oblivious to two objects lying near his opponent on the ground (where he’d have to be careful not to be hindered by them or where he might try to work his opponent into being tangled up with them)
5) He sees the body but dismisses it as unimportant. Again, I find this hard to believe, that Rake standing over the body of a Jaghut (and let’s not forget Traveller had interactions with Hood) would be so dismissed

I’m fine with 1,2, or 3, and think any make perfect sense in the writing, but I find it unfortunate that this little bit of ambiguity arises in such a pivotal moment. It could be a vanished body, but I’d rather we had that mentioned. It could be a different spot, but I’d rather that was made more clear via description or action. It could be Hood’s body was grabbed by the Hound, but it’s hard to imagine it’d be the only headless corpse around tonight, so it would have been nice to have a tiny little bit more info to make that connection more clear.

Re Traveller’s motivation and/or knowledge. That’s a tough one as well.
1) I don’t think Traveller knows Hood is dead or in Dragnipur. His language seems to imply otherwise to me. Why ask “where is he,” if he knows he’s in the sword? Having Traveller say, he’s “close” seems too contrived an ambiguity if Traveller knows. And telling Rake to stand aside doesn’t make much sense either in that context since Rake would stand aside still holding Dragnipur.
2) Based on the above, I don’t think vengeance on Rake can be a motive, since I’m assuming Traveller doesn’t know Rake killed Hood.
3) I don’t like the sword manipulating Traveller as I’m not a fan of having characters not acting out of free will. My one nod to this, however, is that his cult is there and chanting away and seeking the Lord of Tragedy and we do know that worshipers affect the god, so more than the sword, I’d accept the worshipers driving him forward into tragic action.
4) My own take is he is simply obsessed. He knows Rake is no enemy of his, he knows Rake may be hurt or killed if the two fight, but he just can’t help himself. He set himself on this path by choosing “Vengeance” rather than “Grief.” He fights not because of his sword but because of his choice to still seek vengeance. It now consumes him. It drives him against his own desires.
5) I think we see this with Cotillion and that inhuman cry Traveller gives out in response to something Cotillion tells him. Cotillion tells him Rake will stand in his way (remember that line is associated with Traveller earlier) and will not yield, which is basically the same as telling Traveller he’ll have to kill Rake (or be killed by him). It is this, I’m guessing, that evoks that cry. But there as well, Traveller could have chosen to not seek vengeance (though what Rake, ST, and Cotillion would have done then I’m not sure in terms of offing Rake)
6) I think his breakdown comes because of two possibilities (which are not mutually incompatible)
a. The death of Rake shocks him out of vengeance mode and into self-perception mode
b. He is good enough to know Rake manipulated him into killing him, which makes him not just the guy who killed Rake but a pawn in a larger game—one played he must guess not simply by Rake but also by Cotillion, whom he once trusted, and Shadowthrone (whom he did not).
Bill Capossere
28. Billcap
Oh, on Orfantal,
I know he hadn't planned on killing Kallor, but it still seemed just a little silly. And I"m not sure how anyone underestimates someone like Kallor--so old and so hated
Steven Halter
29. stevenhalter
Hood's body not being there at all works equally well for me.
Garak
30. worrywort
@Mayhem, good memory!

Re: Dassem. If he's not aware of Hood's death by Dragnipur, then I agree with Bill's point #3. The Cult of Dessembrae is a bigger force, IMO, than the sword. Their activities/preparations -- off screen -- may very well be what is changing Traveller as he approaches the city. And it weaves yet another thread into the relationship between gods and worshippers that permeates the book. I'm not saying he's being controlled, because I also agree with point #4, but he's definitely as far away from Dassem Ultor as he can be during this duel.
Sydo Zandstra
31. Fiddler
Thanks, Mayhem!

Bill @27:

b. He is good enough to know Rake manipulated him into killing him, which makes him not just the guy who killed Rake but a pawn in a larger game—one played he must guess not simply by Rake but also by Cotillion, whom he once trusted, and Shadowthrone (whom he did not).

I always read that scene as Traveler knowing. I also think that he saw it coming, but couldn't avoid it. Note that I often approach a duel between Blademasters as a game of chess, with a random factor added sometimes.

Speaking of random factors, Oponn really shine here in being absent. Could this be connected to the Dessembrae cultists that are present? Are they blocking Oponn from interfering here? I'm not ruling this one out...
Darren Kuik
32. djk1978
While it remains to be seen why, it seems clear enough that Rake intended to get killed and enter Dragnipur. It was an elaborate set up.

I guess Rake felt he couldn't just paper cut himself on Dragnipur because it would be too obious and leave his people, already in the midst of ennui, even more rudderless. I'm not sure that's valid though. I think equally as important was to surround Dragnipur with enough forces to defend it when he was gone. A lot of people/things want that sword. Again it seems there could be easier ways. But those are just niggles that would ruin great scene writing so I have no complaint about that.

If one goes to malazanempire.com one can find this whole scenario debated ad nauseum. :)
George A
33. Kulp
I was a little disappointed in the meeting between Pust and Kruppe. I think they each come across betterwhen they engage with a straight man, but I didn't think they played off each other very well.

Great discussions on Rake and Traveller's motivations. Not sure where I stand on them, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused about Hood's body.

There is a conversation in DoD that sheds some light on why Envy and Spite are constantly trying to betray each other, but we can discuss that when we get there.
Garak
34. kjtherock
With regards to Rakes sad smile when he sees his sword in Travellers hands: Since Andorist was the last person to have had it when he sees it in anothers hand it will tell Rake his brother is dead or confirm it.
Garak
35. Wilbur
@16 - Hex, the reason for Kallor's puissant ability is great grandpa strength.
Nancy Hills
36. Grieve
Well, just reread the Traveller/Rake scene and it reminds me not to post like I did based on memory from a few months ago.

Here is a question that occured to me. What about the ravens flying near and around Anomander's corpse? Given what we know about ravens and taking the dead's soul, could they have done that? Or did the Hound prevent it? Or did Dragnipur? Were they trying to take it?

After rereading, I agree with many of Bill's points. I have to agree Traveller thinks Hood is somewhere beyond Rake. It doesn't sound like he knows Hood is in Dragnipur - or perhaps he is trying to confirm his suspicions. I believe his own sense of vengence and strength of will is driving him, echoed by the cult, and both of Bill's "not mutually exclusive" a & b consequences happened in the end.

I think, perhaps, Hood's body is irrelevant to Traveller. Hood is a god and a very wiley one at that. A wiley god that is a Jaghut. Traveller may know or feel that where Hood is could have nothing to do with his "body", especially if he can still sense the Jaghut.

On the other hand, I think the Hound chewing on a headless corpse might be the answer, otherwise why would the fact it was headless be pointed out? Erikson loves subtle hints.

I do hate it that all discussions of this important event come down to "where's Hood's body?" It simply shouldn't be a "Where's Waldo" moment.
Brian R
37. Mayhem
@Grieve

I agree, I think the Hound ate what remained of Hood's manifested body. It makes too much sense for it to be explicitly stated.

As for the rest, well, there are ravens, and there are Ravens.
The ones that took Coltaine's soul are ordinary ravens, part of the shamanistic rituals of the Wickans. The ones watching the fight are Great Ravens, Crone's kin, born of the flesh of the Crippled God.
Even at this point, Rake is keeping them close, so he can keep an eye on them.
From MoI
You have seen Crone and her kin – they devour sorcery, it is their true
sustenance. To attack a Great Raven with magic serves only to make the creature stronger, to bolster its immunity. Crone is the First Born. Rake believes the potential within her is . . . appalling, and so he keeps her and ilk close.

More interesting is that Crone and 20 of her kin were sent on a mission from Black Coral to support Spinnock in his need.
‘Darujhistan, yes. I’d have liked to. To honour, to witness. To remember, and to weep. But our Lord . . . well, he had thoughts of you.’
I feel they were sent to find Korlat & Orfantal, and guide them in to the scene, and to protect Spinnock if they arrived in time.

Random thought ..
Spinnock and Crone and the haggle of Crone’s kin.
Ravens are normally a conspiracy, a tower or a parliament.
A Haggle is such an ... underwhelming collective noun.
Nadine L.
38. travyl
Great Ravens, Crone's kin, born of the flesh of the Crippled God. - (Mayhem @37)
Is this something I forgot, or is it a detail we'll learn in the books to come?
Emiel R
39. Capetown
@Fiddler
Maybe they hadn't recovered from their butt kicking by Obo in Bonehunters yet. :-)

@Mayhem
Coltaine's 'ravens' were crows, right? :-)

@Travyl
IIRC this is first mentioned in the prologue of MOI by Krull.
Brian R
40. Mayhem
@Capetown
Doh!

Yep, crows it was.
Cursed black-winged birds, they all blur!

Next thing you know it'll be some kind of super evil cormorants
Nancy Hills
41. Grieve
Crows are for mortals, no matter how awesome that mortal may be. Ravens are for Ascendents and gods. I just wonder if it gives Erikson a sneaky way to resurrect Anomander some day if he wanted to. "Remember the Ravens that flew around...."

I am more and more inclined to feel that the headless torso the Hound was chewing is meant to be Hood's body. That it was there when Traveller and Cotillion meet is too pointed. Further, it would cetainly appeal to Shadowthrone's sense of humor to give Hood's body to one of his dogs as a chewie toy. Since I'm smiling, it apparently appeals to mine, too. lol. Shame on me.
Emiel R
42. Capetown
@Grief Re the Great Ravens: TCG should give you an answer to that question.
- -
43. hex
@35 - We probably need a few extra "great"s in there :) Seriously though- I know he is cursed to something like immortality (never ascending) but does that make him unkillable? It seems he possessed quite a bit of mojo even before he was cursed, and somehow survived the falling of the Crippled God where the rest of the continent did not. "Tough" is something of an understatement...
Darren Kuik
44. djk1978
Re: Kallor - I think his curse does make him largely unkillable. From Rake's words apparently that apparently did not mean unDragnipurable though. :) However, I do think curses can be escaped so it's possible a lot of his unkillable-ness is down to reputation. MoI hints that WJ might have defeated him and both Rake and Brood seem confident that they can too. Kallor also acknowledges that Spinnock could have wounded him several times.

I do find his character more interesting now that he's been fleshed out and we've seen some of his thoughts. But not enough to like him considering he's a mega mass genodical killer of entire continents.
Nisheeth Pandey
45. Nisheeth
For me, reading through this book, Kallor didn't become more likeable, but a little bit less unlikeable. At least, I didn't absolutely loathe him after this.

I think that he definately can be killed, just that it is very hard to do, and that he is quite skilled by himself. If he couldn't be killed, why would Brood (or Rake) be enough to keep him in check. Or, a better example from tCG (whited out):
He went to the Liosan court to tell the ruler about the death of his grand-mother. He went there wanting to die, but they didn't try to kill him.
Kathie La Rocque
46. WhereIsRake?
Geez ... I so want to comment on Rake it's not funny, but it would be a spoiler and I don't know how to white it out. Could one of you please tell me how? Please. *bats eyelashes and simpers*
This is my first ever post and this obsession with a body/lack of a body has made me giggle. (hmmm, if there is no body, does that mean Hood may not be dead? Do we have to wait seven years before he's declared to be dead?) These discussions sure do ... Umm ... Dig out and at the tiny, niggly bits, do they not?
Steven Halter
47. stevenhalter
WhereIsRake@46:
Write your text.
Press preview comment.
Select the text you want to white out and pick the white color from the text color box.
white out:
This has been whited out.
end white out
Kathie La Rocque
49. WhereIsRake?
Thank you very much. I posted it on the spoiler thread. But that's good to know.
Kathie La Rocque
50. WhereIsRake?
Spoilers:

... Regarding Rake being dead and gone ... Unless he went into the Chaos (off stage, as it were) he HAS to be 'alive' and around somewhere. After all, after the destruction of Dragnipur, Hood and Draconus are out and about. As are the Bridgeburners. It stands to reason, since I'm sure we all agree Rake is at the least on a par with those guys, that he too got out when Dragnipur was broken. Whether he joined Mother Dark or had some other task remains to be seen, but I wouldn't count him out just yet. Even if we had seen a body. *grins*

Spoiler ends.
Garak
51. Journeyman
I have 3 questions, can anyone enlighten me?

1) "Samar Dev saw the the death blow. She saw it clear. She saw its undeniable truth and somehow, somehow it was all wrong".- what truth did she saw? What was all wrong?
2) "Broken. Broken. They are all broken. Oh gods forgive them, they are broken " - who are they?
3) "Karsa Orlong spat on to the street. "Cheated", he said. "Cheated!" - what did he meant by "Cheated!"?

thanks
Dustin Freshly
52. Fresh0130
@51 Journeyman:

The answer to questions 1 and 3 are the same, Rake took the death blow on purpose. He let himself be Dagnipur'ed for some reason, Samar sees that the fight shouldn't have ended the way it did and Karsa sees that Rake let himself be killed.

#2 I couldn't tell you what the quote refers to off the top of my head without the book in hand, it kind of sounds like it could be refering to Daseem's cultists, but that's just a guess on my part.
Renzo Spadon
53. Renz
Hi guys, first post on here but have been a long-time lurker. Just finished my second read through. I love keeping up with Amanda and Bill's comments, keep up the good work.
Journeyman @ 51 :
1) Samar Dev was reflecting on the mechanics of the duel and from what she saw she perceived that there was something abnormal (wrong) in these movements at the moment of the death blow. As we come to see this occurs because Anomander wants to set himself up to receive the death blow.
2) Broken...in my version of the book it's not "They are all broken" but "They are broken" in which case it could be referring to Traveller and Dassem as two seperate entities with them being psychologically broken for two different reasons. I'm probably way of the mark with this.
3) Like Samar Dev Karsa also spots the actions that Anomander takes to set himself up to receive the death blow, as a warrior and a proud duelist he's basically saying that Traveller was denied a "fair" fight.
George A
54. Kulp
@53
Regarding the broken comment, I think you're partially right. After all the things Traveller has been through, I think he is broken. He's been pursuing Hood for years and he's gone through a lot of terrible things. I think the conversation with Cotillion "breaks" Traveller. We've already discussed possible theories about what that conversation entails, so I won't comment on it further. However, I don't see how Rake is broken. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he intended to go into Dragnipur. He's been setting this up for a long time, so I don't see why she would call Rake broken. Maybe she's referring to the cultists, like @52 mentioned.
Tabby Alleman
55. Tabbyfl55
I recall having the impression, at the time of reading, that Traveller didn't know that Hood had been killed, and just knew in which direction to walk to get to him, and that Rake was in the way saying, "if you want Hood, you'll have to get past me."

I never did have a theory about why he made Traveller cut him with his own sword instead of just saying "You're too late" and doing it himself...
Brian R
56. Mayhem
@WhereisRake
Spoiler fuelled reply on the spoiler thread for you. It might help, or it might make things worse :)

Re the broken comments:
1) Renz nailed it - the whole action was engineered by Rake as a form of suicide by cop as it were. His whole posture would have screamed out as being wrong to anyone watching, and Karsa recognises both the skill and the intent which ran contrary to any idea of it being a fair fight.
2) Broken - partly by the actions of the fight, partly I expect by the sudden descent of a storm of Great Ravens into the street which shattered their concentration and chant. If the chanting was powering Traveller up, the sudden disruption of it - and remember that Great Ravens devour sorcery - would certainly have had an impact - think of all the times someone reacts when a ward is forcibly broken.

Spoiler for next chapter - there is a blink and miss it moment when Traveller looks up at Samar and says
‘Not my choice! Do not blame me, woman! Do you hear? Do not!’
But he too has no idea of what is going on - he has deliberately kept himself outside the conspiracy of gods in the background.
Darren Kuik
57. djk1978
Still hoping to hear more from Amanda...
Nancy Hills
58. Grieve
Perhaps she has read the next chapter and will just combine her comments.

I, too, would like to hear more, but I do thnk that her last statement "And I’m afraid that is all you’re getting from me today. I need to mourn." is probably the most profoundly expressive comment I have ever seen from a reviewer. How could she say more than that?
Darren Kuik
59. djk1978
Oh I agree, that one comment summed it all up ever so well. Just thought maybe that the mourning period would be one of reflection since there was a lot else that happened that was only briefly touched on or not at all.

I do think though that as a first time reader you get to Rake's death and the rest of the chapter glosses over. It becomes more alive on re-read. In truth I now find Spinnock's scenes every bit as touching as Rake's now that I've read TtH 3 times.
Darren Kuik
60. djk1978
Sorry, one other thing. Bill commented on the blessing Tulas Shorn felt he got from Hood. I think he's just realized what Hood and Rake are up to and what Hood is about to ask of the rest of the dead. In allowing Tulas to escape his realm he's not demanded that choice from Tulas, to battle against chaos. But then he also thinks of the long game, and clearly wonders if Hood's foresight allowed him out for some other purpose.
Nisheeth Pandey
61. Nisheeth
Another line that I found more funny than Tufty:
At one point three white Hounds tramped across the street not twenty paces distant. A trio of immensely ugly heads swung to regard mule and rider. And to show that it meant business, the mule propped up its ears. Clump clump (pause) clump clump clump.

The Hounds moved on.

It does no good to molest a mule.
Garak
62. Journeyman
Thanks to Fresh0130, Renz and Mayhem for answering my questions 1 and 3. With regards to the question on "broken", my impression was that the words were said by Traveller when he sagged against the wall after killing Rake. If Traveller said those words "gods foregive them, they are broken", then it is unlikely that "They" were referring to Traveller and Dassem. Could it be possible that traveller felt that the tiste andii are broken after the death of Rake?
Nisheeth Pandey
63. Nisheeth
I believe it was Samar Dev who thought Broken. I think it was Daseems and the cultins she was referring to.
Nadine L.
64. travyl
Broken. Broken. They are broken.
Oh, gods forgive them, they are broken.
It's italic and not in "quotation marks", so it's not said out loud, which means Nisheeth is right, Samar Dev is thinking it, not Dassem (who is mentioned in the section above, but not the POV character).

Unfortunately I have no clue what it could mean, other than the explanation already offered.
Tai Tastigon
65. Taitastigon
OK, re the *broken* thoughts by Samar: For some reason, I always had Traveller and Rake in mind here...
Garak
66. Journeyman
Thanks Nisheeth and Travyl. You are right. The. Italic words meant that it was Samar's unspoken thought. In that case I agree with Taiitastigon that she most likely was referring to Rake and Dassem.
Garak
67. Upwood
Here is the explanation from SE about the corpse from Hood:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/08/malazan-toll-the-hounds-steven-erikson-questions

Hang on, Dassem walks up to face off with Anomander who seems intent on fighting him. At what point in this meeting does Dassem take off his sun-glasses, tilt his head to one side, and stare down at a headless corpse some distance behind Anomander – one being worked over by a Hound – and then, with a squint up at the Miami sky, ask, ‘And … would that … headless corpse behind you … would that be … oh, I don’t know … would that be Hood, the God of Death?’ Cue music and titles and The Who singing Who Are You (if that’s the song they sing). Whenever Hood appears/has appeared in the novels, he has been … hooded, cowled, shrouded, face hidden in shadows. His identity was deliberately kept from everyone – character and reader alike (though the reader could, ultimately, put it together). You’ve got a headless corpse. How exactly does that offer up positive identification? More to the point, is Dassem – in the grip of the sword’s need, and shaken by whatever conversation preceded this moment – in any shape to set aside the Tiste Andii Lord standing in his face? Two such forces in imminent collision see nothing else, no-one but the one they face. Trust me on this – it’s what happens to boxers, or fencers on the piste – the world beyond the target/foe vanishes, utterly. Those are small, modest examples. Dassem and Rake are anything but.

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