Fri
Oct 4 2013 3:30pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Stonewielder, Chapter Three (Part One)

Malazan Book of the Fallen Ian C Esslemont Stonewielder 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 the first half of chapter three of Stonewielder.

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 ONE

In the capital of the “once sovereign” Kingdom of Rool—the Fortress Paliss, Yeull ‘ul Taith, once a commander of the Malazan Sixth Army, now sits as Overlord of Fist. He meets with his mage Ussu, and with Borun, spokesperson of the Black Moranth. Borun, who was shipwrecked on Fist 15 years ago, has since become Yeull’s second, leader of the “Black Hands.” As he faces Yeull, Ussu, who now seeks power by “other, darker means,” recalls how they’ve gotten to this point: first the ouster of Greymane, then killing the governor, then killing Fist Udara, and now Yeull. Ussu tells Yeull that their prisoner is calling for the Overlord and refusing to speak to anyone else. Yeull clearly dreads this, but eventually agrees.

SCENE TWO

They walk through many locked doors and deep passages. On their way, Ussu notes how old they’re all getting, and wonders who will carry on once the original Malazan officers pass on. He considers the new generation of non-Malazans a “pampered aristocracy.” Korel, it appears, has decided to just accept that the Malazans now control Rook, and plans to simply wait them out until they fade away. Recalling that it had been Kellanved himself who had tasked Ussu with dominating this region in the first invasion, he feels a pit of anger and frustration at his failure. He remembers the Emperor telling him that is had nothing to do with resources, but it was “about recasting the deck entirely . . . To create true fundamental change you must force a complete reshuffling and recasting of all hands.”

He unlocks a door deep, deep down, thinking of the “immense crater lake” of the island. He remembers how they’d found this prisoner down here when they’d taken power from the Roolian dynasty. They reach a sarcophagus, remove long metal spikes driven into it, then speak to the prisoner, called Cherghem. The prisoner tells the terrified Yeull, “They are coming for you... Your superiors,” adding they are coming from the East and are led by Stonewielder, whose sword he senses. Yeull, Ussu, and the Moranth exit, with Borun saying he and his thousand-plus Black Moranth are pledged to obey Yeull. Ussu says he’ll let Mare know another invasion fleet is coming, and maybe Mare will wipe this one out as they had the other.

SCENE THREE

We are introduced to Tal, First of the Chase, commander of a Jhek war party; her second in command, Hemtl; and a third, older one named Ruk. They are chasing a group of trespassers on their land, but so far the foreigners have managed to escape each attempted ambush. Ruk says the land senses Tellann and when Hemtl says that’s impossible, Tal replied “The Elders still walk the land. Logros, Kron, Ifayle. The path is still open—we have just lost the way.” Hemtl says the Broken God offers another way, but Ruk scorns him as “not of the land.” Tal decides to take Ruk and try to speak to the invaders.

SCENE FOUR

Tal and Ruk catch up to the four trespassers—three men and one woman—who admit they owe compensation for the caribou they’d killed (they’d thought the land empty). The four introduce themselves as Blues, Fingers, Lazar, and Shell of the Crimson Guard, whom Tal recalls ruled Stratem in her grandfather’s time. Hemtl appears with the war party surrounding the Guardfolk and when Tal says she and Ruk hadn’t planned this betrayal, Blues says he believes her. She tries to rein in Hemtl, but he stabs her.

SCENE FIVE

Tal eventually comes to being dragged on a travois by her people. Ruk tells her he killed Hemtl and that the foreigners had healed her, then left to rescue a friend.

SCENE SIX

Kiska and Jheval find themselves in the realm of Shadow (the “Kingdom of the Deceiver” to Jheval). As they walk, Kiska asks if she and he are enemies and he says no, though once perhaps, saying he recognizes her as a Claw. She’s impressed when he says he’d been stalked by many, but he says his friend killed most of them; he (Jhevel) is better at living than killing. Kiska admits she’d trained as a Claw and had been offered a Hand, but she refused to serve as a bodyguard. They come across the apparent corpse of a K’Chain Che’Malle Kell hunter, though it turns out not to be fully dead and it manages to knock Kiska out before Jheval drags her away. She tells them they have to get out of there before the Hounds of Shadow return, saying they’d killed the Kell Hunter (she saw a massive paw print).

SCENE SEVEN

At the Isle of Skytower, in the middle of the Tower Sea, Marshall Colberant—the commander of the most isolated fortress of the Korelri Chosen—is called in after several bodies are discovered. A young chosen named Javus shows him about a dozen bodes, all strangely desiccated. Javus tells him his homeland—near the Fist Sea—sees similar “things,” but Colberant says these people are simply drowned fishermen and Javus is to keep quiet about it.

SCENE EIGHT

As he heads back, Colberant thinks he has to notify Hiam immediately and the “supply launch” readied, thinking how Skytower protects, “the Order’s holiest of relics, including . . . the gift responsible for the founding of our Order, given from the hand of the Blessed Lady herself.”

SCENES NINE—TEN

Ivanr makes camp with the boy, who asks if he (the boy) is evil, saying his father told him he and his brothers and sisters were in “the sight of the Lady and had to die for it.” Ivanr tells him his father was led astray. They are interrupted by scouts from an approaching army, who tell Ivanr he’s been pressed into service in the Army of Reform. He responds he’s a pacifist and the scout leader laughs at the idea of a Thel pacifist.

SCENES ELEVEN—TWELVE

As they’re escorted to the army’s leader, a man named Beneth, Ivanr wonders if it’s the same old heretic mystic he’d heard tales of for many years. He worries about the rise of an army of religious fanatics. He’s separated from the boy, who is taken to the other refugees, then brought to Beneth’s tent. Inside is Beneth, a Jourilan aristocrat and former army officer (now cavalry commander) named Hegil, and a woman—Martal of Katakan and the army’s commander. Hegil describes Ivanr to the blind Beneth, who guesses his identity immediately, saying he had been forewarned by the Priestess that Ivanr might come to them. Beneth somewhat scarily guesses Ivanr’s exact plan to head off and lose himself and tries to convince him to stay, saying they’ve all been “drawn” here for some unknown reason. Ivanr refutes that idea, and Beneth asks him to at least listen to his story so he might have a sense of what they’re trying to accomplish. He tells Ivanr he was born long before the Malazans came and ever since birth he’d had visions: “Shadows of other things. These things spoke to me, showed me strange visions.” Though his parents tried to beat them out of him, he persisted in using them, and eventually the Lady’s examiners came and blinded him with hot irons when he was fourteen. He was left to die, but he survived with anew kind of vision, “of a land like this but subtly different—a kind of shadow version... I was shown that these lands are in the grip of a great evil, a monstrous deformation of life... that must be rooted out and cleansed.” Ivanr thinks he needs to stop this, talk to the Priestess, before these refugees get slaughtered by the Jourilian army. Beneth tells him they aren’t fighting the Jourilian army/Emperor, adding he believes it is no coincidence Ivanr found his way to them. Ivanr heads off to sleep.

SCENE THIRTEEN

Hegil, Martal, and Beneth discuss that which he left out: that there is a pacifist cult of Ivanr and it is growing. And that hundreds if not more have been imprisoned/tortured/killed in his name for refusing service. Beneth says he thought to spare Ivanr that burden for as long as he can.

 

Amanda’s Reaction

Oh man! Talk about a signpost… “Who was to know that he, Ussu, once a mage of little note within the Empire, now pursued power by other, darker, means?” That line could have come directly from a fantasy parody novel. It’s just way too much!

Having said that, it does prompt me into thinking about what those darker means are, so maybe highlighting it so strongly does achieve what it needs to?

Poor Yeull—our introduction to him isn’t too promising. That list of people who have filled the role and then left for various reasons… well, it reads a little bit like the drummers from Spinal Tap.

And then Yeull definitely doesn’t seem completely in his right mind, does he? Lots of wandering from thought to thought, and only really sharpening up when insisting that he’s referred to as Overlord.

Esslemont writes well about this grim and lonely prospect of the Malazan soldiers fading to nothing, soldier by soldier, dying out and leaving behind their sons and daughters as pampered aristocracy.

Hmm, I wonder if Kellanved has taken his ascribed method of conquering into ascendancy, in terms of the long endgame he and Dancer are currently working towards: “Everywhere, for every region—for every person—hands are dealt from the Dragons deck. To create true fundamental change you must force a complete reshuffling and recasting of all hands.” Is Kellanved doing that as Shadowthrone? (eep, only just read Bill’s commentary and realised he picked out the same thought! This makes me wonder… With Erikson, Bill and I often comment on different things, ideas and quotes in each chapter. In Esslemont we are often taking the same things from chapter—is that an indication of a simpler, more linear story?)

So Cherghem is instantly mysterious, with his manner of speaking that is done in italics and not within speech marks… Is he talking mind to mind?

And this seems to suggest that the Malazan force we saw Greymane take command of is intended to take back control of this part of Rool (rival to Korelri)? It also seems that we may get a chance to see the Moranth in battle, which will be interesting considering that they are deemed so formidable.

Nice little switch of pace to the scene with Tal, Hemtl and Ruk—with a lot of tidbits to pick up, such as Tellann being sensed, the fact that they are possibly tracking Forkrul, and this: “the Broken God beckons.”

So fantastic, this scene where Ruk and Tal catch up with the four strangers crossing their land and discover them to be Crimson Guard. Blues, especially, comes across very well, with his gentle tones but his implacable “You’d better” that had Tal rushing to try and prevent Hemtl from causing more problems. It was a little shock to see Tal almost killed. Looks like these Crimson Guard are going to try and rescue Iron Bars from the Stormwall!

“We are in the Shadow Realm.”

“The Kingdom of the Deceiver.” See, I wonder about this. Who, in the Shadow Realm, would class as the Deceiver? I mean, we’ve seen a number of folks associated with Shadow now, so wondering which of them it might be? Shadowthrone? Edgewalker? Some other?

I like the interplay between Kiska and Leoman—sorry, Jhevel. For me, it’ll be interesting to see these two characters, who I’ve ended up not so fond of in the past. So far, I’m reluctantly liking them.

D’you know something? I would give an awful lot to see a K’Chain Che’Malle Kell Hunter on screen! They sound amazing. And I love this scene where the two of them are hovering over this one as it awakes.

These desiccated people? Are they in that state because of something the Lady has done? I wasn’t quite clear on this part of the chapter.

And then a cool section with Ivanr to round off the chapter. He’s emerging as a character that I enjoy reading about, and I think his story—of being a pacifist Grand Champion—still has a great distance to run...

 

Bill’s Reaction

I always like when we see some Moranth. I’m glad we learn about them in bits and drabs and don’t ever find out too much—I like they stay somewhat mysterious.

On the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of Ussu’s “Who was to know that he... now pursued power by other, darker, means” line. Feels a bit clumsy to me, and forced, with some organ da-da-duh music behind it.

Nice image of Yeull as a man barely hanging on for dear life to that plank amidst a storm.

And you get a pretty quick sense of that, with the shadows, the “I’m so cold” despite the roaring fire, the paranoia (justified it seems based on what happened to the prior fists ’round here), the drinking.

I like the parallel we have between the Stormguard chosen and this renegade 6th army—growing older, fewer soldiers, empty rooms and halls, that sense of kids these days—so entitled, so pampered, and finally that sense of an impending ending: “until they faded away. As surely they would, soldier by soldier, until nothing was left but for mouldering armour and dusty pennants.”

“To create true fundamental change you must force a complete reshuffling and recasting of all hands.” Sure, Kellanved was talking about Korel, but should we perhaps assume this is still his strategy, albeit on a far larger scale, involving gods and more than one or two lands? And if so, what is he planning (along with Cotillion)? How is he going to “reshuffle things”?

This is a nice visual scene, the visit to the prisoner—I like picturing the long walk through emptier and emptier halls, through one locked door after another, always heading downward, then away from lanterns and finished walls into rough rock tunnels lit by sputtering torches, past the torture instruments to end at this sarcophagus with the spikes impaling the prisoner within. Great horror visuals (including the “thick black fluid, blood of a kind, dripp [ing] from their needle tips.” And I also like the mystery of this Cherghem—we’ll have to see if he reappears later, but for now I enjoy not knowing much about him/her/it.

So here, if one can trust Cherghem, comes at least one motive for the coming invasion by Rel—to chastise this renegade army who is now serving itself. Certainly, if you’re an empire, you can’t let this sort of thing slide. This seems to be a bit of a theme in the series—this renegade army (even if it’s only pretend, as with Dujek’s Host way, way, way back).

Interesting that Cherghem can sense Greymane’s sword.

That last line of Ussu’s about how maybe Mare will wipe out the Malazan fleet like before, doesn’t seem to bode well for Greymane. But it does perhaps bode well for any reader who might enjoy a naval battle or two (remember that cool word from the prior chapter!)

Well, the end of this scene—what Hemtl does—is set up pretty early, as Tal imagines his “boyish sulk” the very first time he is introduced. Then we see his defensiveness and ambition just a few lines later as Tal thinks “You are second, Hemtl. Ruk did not seek the position. No need to remind anyone—except yourself.” Nice bit of characterization and foreshadowing there.

Not a bad idea as well to give us a reminder of the Forkul—seems likes it’s been a while and we don’t want to forget about them, now do we?

That’s an interesting connection there—that Ruk sense Tellann with regard to the Crimson Guard (they do share a deathless vow of vengeance after all)

I do like the portrayal of the Guard here—the way they don’t turn on the Jhek when they easily could have wiped them out, their willingness to compensate them for their accidental harm to the tribe, their belief in Tal that she hadn’t meant to deceive/trap them (Blues “gentle” belief), how they even then are letting her try to prevent violence, and of course their willingness to heal. Also, I think we can all perhaps guess just who they might be trying to rescue...

“in the name of all the buggering Faladah.” Love that opening line.

A few more hints re Jhevel—he was a “bodyguard” or something akin, he’s been hunted by Claws, he had a more powerful friend who killed a lot of Claws, and he survives.

So who is right about the Hounds of Shadow killing the K’Chain Che’Malle—Jhevel who says it couldn’t have been the Hounds or Kiska who says it was?

This is an excellent bit of theater/structure here with these desiccated bodies—a quick little in and out interruption of main storylines to give us a mystery (what happened to these bodies, how does Colberant recognize them, is this some sort of attack on that chest the Lady gave up early on, and if so, what will happen to the Wall if this attack succeeds? A nice bit of teasing suspense.

Well, that’s a little grim, huh? That whole “Am I evil . . . My father . . . said we were evil in the sight of the Lady and had to die for it.” Will this child be a cast-off kind of character, or will we see him again once he’s taken from Ivanr? And if we do, will he be healed or not?

Anyone else want to know what “fearsome blow” did that to Martal’s nose?

It’s a bit interesting, and perhaps doesn’t bode well for his whole “I don’t want anything to do with war” mindset that Ivanr’s first thought at the introductions is a tactical one with regard to chain of command when he learns Martal is in charge of organizing the forces and Hegil commands the cavalry.

I do get what Ivanr means with the “10 spearmen who knew what they were doing” could stop him from leaving camp, and that the hit squad sent to get him weren’t really supposed to know what they were doing, but it does seem that perhaps one wouldn’t want to mention this so soon after the usual one-guy-takes-one-a-large-number scene (I’m always so skeptical of those anyway, Thel or no Thel).

Boy, we’re really not feeling a lot of the good with regard to the Lady, are we?

I really like how Esslemont gives us this from Ivanr about the Priestess—“this refugee rubble marching to be mowed down... Mass murder. All in her name. Someone had to make her see the her responsibility for all these death”—to this from Beneth about Ivanr—How many more have been imprisoned or tortured to death? All in his name... No, I would spare him that burden.” This is just a great writerly move and it’s one I’m not sure the Night of Knives Esslemont would have made and is one of the reasons I considered this his best book when it came out.


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.

12 comments
Wilbur
2. Wilbur
OK, so now that the re-read has reached this point, I have questions about this book, specifically in three subjects / characters that this chapter introduces.

1. Cherghem - I don't recall him or it appearing ever again. Is this really true, and if so, why this ominous introduction for a one-scene character?

2. The desiccated bodies in Scene 7 - I don't recall that any reason for these is ever given, nor are they referred to further.

3. The wierd command structure / tense relationship between Beneth, Martal and Hegel - This is set up as an important point, but it never seems to develop into anything.

Any insights to help me better understand these three conundrums?
Paul Boyd
3. GoodOldSatan
Cherghem instantly reminded me of the somewhat more ominous Skolsoi in Greg Keyes' Kingdom of Thorn and Bone series.

I, too, have a couple of questions about events we have (or have not) witnessed prior to this story line:

1) We last saw these Crimson Guard in RotCG when Kyle took off with Traveller? They were headed north, over the mountains? Did we know why they did that in RotCG?

2) Have we seen this particular Kell hunter (and its run-in with the Hounds) previously?

I am also somewhat chagrinned by the Kiska-Leoman storyline . Leoman's actions in BH seem completely at odds with the character we see here.

Also, I find myself, at least here in the early going, to be heavily reliant on the map (difficult on the Kindle).

Thanks all!
Kenneth La Rocque
4. kjtherock
If I recall correctly, we will see Cherghem at least one more time. Since Kellanved metioned the reshuffling of the deck a master of the deck has shown up so I think we can assume he has had some success with his reshuffle.
Sydo Zandstra
5. Fiddler
Amanda:
And this seems to suggest that the Malazan force we saw Greymane take command of is intended to take back control of this part of Rool (rival to Korelri)? It also seems that we may get a chance to see the Moranth in battle, which will be interesting considering that they are deemed so formidable.

Bill:
So here, if one can trust Cherghem, comes at least one motive for the coming invasion by Rel—to chastise this renegade army who is now serving itself. Certainly, if you’re an empire, you can’t let this sort of thing slide. This seems to be a bit of a theme in the series—this renegade army (even if it’s only pretend, as with Dujek’s Host way, way, way back).

I had a few discussions about this with Tektonica. Because this is where Rel proves he is a better Emperor than Laseen was an Empress. Laseen let this renegade army slide, but Rel doesn't, and is certainly out to set an example.

Rel may be a snake, but maybe that's a good requirement for being a good Emperor...


Amanda:
D’you know something? I would give an awful lot to see a K’Chain Che’Malle Kell Hunter on screen! They sound amazing. And I love this scene where the two of them are hovering over this one as it awakes.

Your wishes will be fulfilled. There is a colony of KCCM around, remember the Redmask storyline in RG. There are also these KCNR skykeeps that were investigated by QB, Kalam and Stormy back in tBH...


Bill:
That’s an interesting connection there—that Ruk sense Tellann with regard to the Crimson Guard (they do share a deathless vow of vengeance after all)

That vow by the Crimson Guard happened to be taken on the same site where the original T'lann Imass Ritual took place...
Sydo Zandstra
6. Fiddler
GoS @ 3:

I am also somewhat chagrinned by the Kiska-Leoman storyline . Leoman's actions in BH seem completely at odds with the character we see here.

I always considered Leoman as a loner, who didn't want to be put in charge of an army of religious fanatics but was pressed into service anyway. He gave that army what they wanted back in tBH (dying as martyrs), but wasn't prepared to share their (wanted) fate, which is why he made his deal with the QoD. His dialogues with Corabb in that book made that pretty much clear to me.

Remember that Leoman did send the innocent citizens away from Y'Ghatan before turning the city into one giant napalm bomb.
Pirmin Schanne
7. Torvald Nom
Fiddler@5: About the Vow - I must have missed that. Do you by any chance remember where it said that?
karl oswald
8. Toster
a key detail about cherghem is that he senses stonewielder coming. he senses greymane and his sword. greymane got the sword from the riders, and cherghem was put in a torture device in a sacred site of the lady. the lady and the riders are eternal enemies. it all adds up to one thing for me.

as to the CG and where the swore their vow, i think this detail is alluded to in shimmers memories in RotCG. k'azz brings the guard to an ancient sacred site in the mountains north of d'avore. iirc, shimmer even remembers seeing a short figure watching them from afar.

@2 i don't see the tri-command structure as being the source of the tension in the scene where beneth meets ivanr. i see it more as the stress of holding so much back from ivanr while at the same time knowing how much they intend to ask of him.
Bill Capossere
9. Billcap
Per Wilbur's questions (all good and pertinenet ones), I purposely left that a bit ambiguous so as to keep some suspense about them (mostly the first two)--I leave it to folks here to decide how much they want to answer them.

Fiddler
Much as I can't stand the snake, I'm in agreement with you that we are already seeing signs that he is a better Emperor than Laseen, an excellent "discuss amongst yourselves" question to think of as we move forward

Did we already know that about the Vow? I'd been thinking it was in a later Esslemont and so didn't mention it, but as I've said before, sometimes what we know when all blurs for me.

I agree that the Leoman we saw earlier has a different attitude toward his context, but his actions/attitude in this novel will be a good one to talk about going forward (also glad we can now dispense with the "who is this Jheval character? façade)
Wilbur
10. Razan
Hi everyone! I am another that has finally caught up with the reread. I discovered this back in July, when I was recommending this series to a co-worker. I first read this series when RG was the latest book, then waited for the rest to come out, and then reread 1-8 right before DoD was about to come out. This was technically my third reread of 1-8, but I have only read DoD and TCG once, and this is the first time I have read through the whole series straight through.

I was hoping to catch up by the time you reached DoD and TCG, thank goodness for SW giving me a little extra time. (I am still only halfway through TtH). You guys are all great - reading along here as I went really brought into focus how amazing this world is. I loved it already, but realized how many subtle connections and hints I had missed even reading through twice.

Also to thank y'all for is the books of ICE. I had RotCG for awhile, and started it years ago, and then kind of set it aside in indifference after the first third. In keeping with the reread order, I dug it up and found that it got exponentially better after the first third. I had not read any other ICE books - am now into SW and greatly enjoying it.

Now, onto SW - I was immediately heartened to see a big, detailed map of Korel/Fist. One of my problems with RotCG, at least at the beginning, was the characters travelling around areas(Bael, Stratem) I had no reference point for and no maps.

Ah, Leoman. Not the most secret of secret identies, has anyone else in the Malazan world ever even picked up a morning star? One of the things I love about this series is the complexity of the characters. I find Leoman's actions in Y'Ghatan horrific, yet can't help but still kind of like him. I had a similar feeling in RotCG about Mallick Rel. Hated him as much as anyone until that book, when a bit of grudging...respect? crept in. Maybe respect isn't the right word. Let's call it a "lessening of hatred".
Wilbur
11. Tufty
@Wilbur(2):
1. Cherghem - I don't recall him or it appearing ever again. Is this really true, and if so, why this ominous introduction for a one-scene character?

I'd say it's just general world-building and adding some between-the-lines connections, like the super-Short-Tail Karsa fought in tBH or the Khalibaral in MT. In this case, it adds some mystery to Rool's history, and also gives you one possible idea for what Ussu's research sources are for the old and obscure arts he's supposedly experimenting with.


2. The desiccated bodies in Scene 7 - I don't recall that any reason for these is ever given, nor are they referred to further.

I've got a couple of plausible ideas, but they're all pretty spoilery. Ask again at the end?


3. The wierd command structure / tense relationship between Beneth, Martal and Hegel - This is set up as an important point, but it never seems to develop into anything.

There's one little mini reveal about one of the 3 commanders later on that I guess this could be foreshadowing.


@GoodOldSatan(3):

1) We last saw these Crimson Guard in RotCG when Kyle took off with Traveller? They were headed north, over the mountains? Did we know why they did that in RotCG?

AFAIR, there were no Crimson Guard in RotCG headed over the Stratem mountains into the Korel sub-continent. The Veils were chasing Kyle, Stalker, Badlands and Coots westward across Stratem because of the death of Stoop, but after Kyle and co. escaped those Veils returned to the main gathering at Haven. That whole group (almost all of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Companies, it seems) then left by boat to battle on Quon Tali at the finale. This group crossing the mountains to Korel is Blues, Fingers, Lazar and Shell. Lazar and Shell were both among the Crimson Guard at Haven and then fighting on Quon, I think even part of Shimmer's close associates. Blues and Fingers were in The Pit and showed up late with Ho, Yath, Su, Devaneth and the other mages.


Leoman's actions in BH seem completely at odds with the character we see here.

In HoC and tBH, though, we saw that he didn't really have faith in Sha'ik or the cause of Dryjhna after Sha'ik's rebirth, but took the command of his men fairly seriously. In the end, he setup the huge Malazan-obliterating sacrifice his soldiers wanted and disappeared himself. Now we're seeing him without a cause to be sworn to, and without the responsibilities of his men. Maybe this is closer to the real Leoman than the one who was forcing himself to be what the Whirlwind wanted him to be? Regardless, I think his attitude and demeanour are pretty similar to how he acted when alone with Corabb or Karsa, but not how he acted in the command tent or while commanding his men.


@Fiddler(5):

That's a whole ton of colossal spoilers there Fiddler! No such information was revealed in RG with Redmask, his trio's origins were not explained at all and I really wouldn't assume everyone has come to the conclusion you are saying (i'm being obtuse in case someone edits your post for spoilers). And the Vow thing comes from Blood & Bone, still 4 books away (nor is it really confirmed at all, just a suspicion).


@Razan(10):

Yeah, it's fantastic to finally have a map for Korel from this one. I especially love how there seem to be a lot of craters and other impact marks in the landscape since this is where the CG was pulled down.
Steven Halter
12. stevenhalter
The hints that start to form here that Rel might work out as an Emperor was a bit galling at first as I really haven't liked him. However, being a nice guy and an effective emperor are not connected things.
Sydo Zandstra
13. Fiddler
Tufty,
I concluded the KCCM existance of a colony while reading RG, when that was the latest book. There are living specimen of the race in that book, and the mention that nobody got back alive from that region. Simple conclusion :)

Bill
I thought the Vow thing was in RotCG. But come to think of it may have been in B&B. Too many books! ;)

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