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The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)
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Group Read - The Bonehunters > BH - Chapter Ninteen - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Discussion thread for chapter nineteen


message 2: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Cutter and Scillara get it on – Though it appears it’s purely a physical outlet which Cutter seems to be conflicted about. Possibly because he’s still in love with Apsalar. Or else he’s just weirded out from drinking breast milk.

They let Cutter sleep, and he did not awaken until midmorning – bolting into a sitting position with a confused, then guilty expression on his face.

‘Don’t hurt him, Scillara.’
‘Fool, don’t you see? I’m doing the opposite.’
‘That’s what I concluded. But what if he falls in love with you?’
‘He won’t. He can’t.’


The sky is still falling apart. And Barathol suggests a reason

Sometimes things fall from our sky. Rocks. Balls of fire. The Fall of the Crippled God was said to be like that. Whole mountains plunging down, obliterating most of a continent and filling half the sky with smoke and ash.’ He glanced across at Scillara, then over at Cutter. ‘I was thinking, maybe, that something hit the moon in the same way.’


Onrack decides he’s not going to just sit back and defend the indefensible. He tells Trull he may have to leave his side to take the initiative, a more aggressive approach to their attackers.

I am done with defending the indefensible. I am done with witnessing the fall of friends. In the battle to come, you shall see in me something terrible.

Banaschar’s efforts to contact Tayschrenn has attracted attention – from two fronts. From whoever is intercepting his messages and from Pearl who was following whoever was following Banaschar

The implication is that there is a secret faction higher up working against the Claw

A Claw, who would be my ally. Why? Because the Claw has ... rivals. A new organization that has deemed it expedient to raise impenetrable walls around the Imperial High Mage.

And we have Mallick Rel and Korbolo Dom within the city – and we know Korbolo is head of the Talon. The fact that both men aren’t in chains or dead suggests the Empress is at least considering their version of events during the Whirlwind rebellion.

The message Banaschar wants to get to Tayschrenn is to inform him that D’rek has been slaughtering her own priests.

‘Banaschar. Are you telling me that D’rek killed them all? Her entire priesthood? They betrayed her! In what way? What did they demand?’

The reason, because her worshippers want to sign up to the crippled god in Drek’s name – and they want to access blood magic in Drek’s name to manipulate her for the CG. And Drek is not happy about it. They want blood – she gives them blood – their own

...those worshippers chose the wrong side!’
‘She heard them,’ Banaschar said, forcing the words out. ‘She heard them choose. The Crippled God. And the power they demanded was the power of blood. Well, she decided, if they so lusted for blood ... she would give them all they wanted.’


Banaschar wants Tayschrenn to use his influence as the former Demidrek to convince the priest and priestesses of D’rek to stop.

‘Will you plead for some kind of reformation, Banaschar? Some revolution among believers? They will laugh in your face.’
Banaschar looked away. ‘In my face, perhaps. But ... Tayschrenn ...’


For that to happen the Empress would have to be convinced to release Tay from his position as High Mage – making him free to take up again his role as DemiDrek.

‘She only comes into play with regard to releasing Tayschrenn from his position as High Mage, in freeing him to act.

Things are getting out of hand – bigger than Empire – the gods are making a grab for influence in the mortal realm

...then it is clear that the pantheonic war has already begun in its myriad manipulations of the mortal realm. She would be wise to heed that threat.’


This brings up another interesting question that Rob raised earlier. If D’rek can take direct action against her own followers for acting in her name in a manner that offends her – then why does Mael put up with Mallick Rel.

We get one answer from Iskarel Pust

’...He doesn’t even want this stupid war, hah! But oh, it is that very ambivalence that so frees his followers to do as they please!’

In other words, Mael’s desire to be just left alone in peace lets his worshippers do as they please to a degree. The other answer is that as much as we may despise Mallick there really isn’t any reason for Mael to pay him any special attention. Mallick worked against the Empire to make his own bid for power – so what? Mael doesn’t care about the malazan internal politics. Mallick was at least partly responsible for the 10000 soldiers crucified Malazans at Aren – so what? The Malazans slaughtered the whole city of Aren – men women and children in a previous rebellion – why should Mael care if arguably a lesser atrocity is committed against themselves in the same city. Some would call that poetic justice.
Mael is not pro Malazan – and Mallick Rel has not shown himself to be pro the Crippled God. All the Crippled god’s influence in the Whirlwind rebellion was through Bidithal alone. My point being, Mael has no particular reason to pay Mallick any special attention. Having no particular desire for worshipper’s, Mael has not created a code of conduct that people have to sign before they can worship him.


Interesting – according to Spite their boat is crewed by Tiste Andii ghosts – not the Bhokarala as Pust had assumed

‘Assert some control?’ Iskaral asked, sitting up with a bewildered look on his face. ‘But they’re crewing this ship!’
‘Don’t be an idiot,’ Spite said. ‘This ship is being crewed by ghosts. Tiste Andii ghosts, specifically. True, it was amusing to think otherwise, but now your little smallbrained worshippers are becoming troublesome.’


Spite is talkig to an entity that Mael claims is someone more powerful than Mael – given the fact that she is on Mael’s turf and he doesn’t seem to be able to do anything about it

Mael,’ Iskaral Pust had said with a manic laugh, ‘he’s resisting, and getting his nose bloodied. Do you sense his fury, Trell? His spitting outrage? Hee. Hee hee. But she’s not afraid of him, oh no, she’s not afraid of anyone!’

I don’t know, but I’m guessing this is Ardata – given her connection to Mappo and Mogora – who has been hiding on the ship

Mappo saw two spiders scuttle past his moccasined feet. You damned witch, I don’t think you’re fooling anyone.


That same entity(I’m guessing) is also giving speed to the Malazan fleet. Something wants them to hurry up.

You fools. Time is the last thing we got. That’s what she’s trying to tell us. With this eerie wind, thrusting like a fist through Mael’s realm – and there’s not a thing he can do about it. Take that, Mael, you crusty barnacle!
Time? Forget it. She’s driving us into the heart of a storm.



The Edur want Icarium to prove his martial prowess against the Edur’s enemies

‘My friend, they must be shown the extent of your ... martial prowess. The enemy with which they have clashed – a number of times, apparently – has proved both resilient and ferocious. The Edur have lost warriors.’

They have only clashed with the Malazans once with no casualties – so it’s not them. They have, on the other hand clashed with the defender’s of the First Throne of the Imass multiple times. Uh Oh.


Mpauli | 245 comments Chapter 19 is a chapter of mysteries. A lot of people talk about a lot of people, without revealing freely who these people are.
That leads to some interesting sentences and speculations.

1) The force behind the wind

As David ended with the force behind the wind that drives the ships, I'm going to start with it, cause I think the text leads towards the Eres'al. Bottle and Fiddler are talking about it here:

Ah, that explains it, then. ‘She’s with us, now. Again, I mean.’
‘She?’
‘You know who.’
‘The one who plays with your—’
‘The one who also healed you, Sergeant.’


This is the most obvious hint and all the others seem to fit as well. There is talk of the wind smelling like a grassland and a connection is made to the Dal Honese homeland, which are plains.
That fits the world the Eres'al is in as well.

2) ???

(view spoiler)

3) Gods and Mortals

With the example of D'rek the theme of the relation between mortals and gods is raised once again:

‘Which is the greater crime, Pearl, a god betraying its followers, or its followers betraying their god? Followers who then choose to commit atrocities in that god’s name. Which, Pearl? Tell me, please.’

It raises the question, if the bond between a god and its followers demands a god's action, when his followers demand it.

4) Motives I

There are two forces in the discussion between Pearl and Banashar that have taken action and the question is why.
I have no real good answers, but I think the motives are important. The first would be Tayshrenn's motive for stealing the pages of Gotho's Folly and leaving the cult. What did he find, that made him steal it and leave?

‘Banaschar ... hold on a moment ... why would D’rek’s followers choose blood, the power of blood? That is an Elder way. What you are saying makes no sense.’
‘The Cult of the Worm is ancient, Pearl. Even we cannot determine just how old. There is mention of a goddess, the Matron of Decay, the Mistress of Worms – a half-dozen titles – in Gothos’s Folly – in the fragments possessed by the temple. Or at least, once in the temple’s possession – those scrolls disappeared—’


The only assumption would be, that he found something in the scrolls. Maybe one of the titles?

That made me think about something Scillara mused about in chapter 9:

‘Wouldn’t surprise me if all the gods are just aspects of one god, and all this fighting is just proof that that one god is insane.’

So, and this is a huge leap, maybe D'rek is just another face or another incarnation of a different god.
If Tayschrenn found out that the goddess he served, was actually somebody else as well, this could be a reason to leave the cult in the first place. And this would actually fit into the whole "betrayel" discussion Banashar and Pearl were having.

5) Motives II

I agree with David on the assumption that the force isolating Tayshrenn is most likely the organization led by Mallick Rel/Korbolo Dom.

Now the interesting question would be, why are they after Banashar?
If Banashar gets through to Tayshrenn, wouldn't he try to remove Tayshrenn from the empress to deal with the D'rek thing? And wouldn't removing the High Mage actually benefit whoever seeks to accumulate power within the empire?
So why kill him? Would the combination of what Banashar knows (D'rek killing her own followers) + what Tayshrenn knows (whatever he found in Gotho's Folly) lead to something that could threaten the new organisation's interest?

The only very, very hypothetical theory I have, would be this one:
If Mallick Rel/Korbolo Dom are behind this, would Mallick want to increase his influence through Mael in the empire?
And would that influence of one elder force may be threatened by a potential cleansed new cult of D'rek led by Tays and Banashar?
This is the only idea I can come up with at the moment.

6) Matchmaker Pust

As we spoke about motives, what might be Pust's motive in speaking about his desire for Spite:

Besides, she wants me. I can tell. After all, I had a wife, didn’t I? Not like Mappo there, with his bestial no doubt burgeoning traits, no, he has no-one! Indeed, am I not experienced? Am I not capable of delicious, enticing subtlety? Am I not favoured by my idiotic, endlessly miscalculating god?’

For me, it seems that Pust is trying to be Mappo's wingman here. By so obviously throwing himself at Spite -and he perfectly knows that this won't happen- and very subtely pointing out that Mappo would be a good and available match, is he actually suggesting that those two should be getting it on?
Would there be a gain for Shadow in the union of Mappo and Spite?

7) Crazy sibling babbling

Okay, you thought I made giant leaps so far, let's do another one shall we?
Remember me pointing out how odd Erikson structured a sentence back in chapter 7? Here it is again, something Pearl said:

„I have of late been tempted to shatter that psyche with the truth about her sister, just out of spite.“

Now let's look at something Corporal Tarr says in this chapter:

Tarr laughed. ‘Subtle and understated, that modest tiny finger bone, dangling just so – the ladies swooned with envy.’

From Spite, we also learn this chapter that she assumes that there will be a clash between her and Envy at some point in the future, the final one.

Now I'm doing the crazy thing...until now, I only focused on what was said. Now let's look again at who said what.
The "Sister Spite" sentence comes from Pearl. The "Lady Envy" sentence comes from Tarr, one of the Adjunct's soldiers.

Now let's remember something Cotillion said to Lostara Yil:

‘You will have to choose, Lostara Yil, between your loyalty to the Adjunct ... and all that Pearl represents.

So, in your world that might be nothing, in my crazy world Erikson just told us on which sides Envy and Spite will end up.

8) Fragments

Just another observation that stands as a beacon of Erikson's genius in crazy world.
Let's quote a sentence again from the motive's discussion, but now for another reason:

‘The Cult of the Worm is ancient, Pearl. Even we cannot determine just how old. There is mention of a goddess, the Matron of Decay, the Mistress of Worms – a half-dozen titles – in Gothos’s Folly – in the fragments possessed by the temple. Or at least, once in the temple’s possession – those scrolls disappeared—’

"Fragments" is tied to "Gothos", "Gothos" is the father of "Icarium", so again Erikson ties the word "Fragments" to "Icarium".

Damn, I think the practicals found me again, gotta run!
So, hide yourselves between crates, try to figure out the motives of your god and don't do too many crazy conspiracy theories in one day!
See you next chapter!


Lori Nono 7 isn't crazy at all, I caught that - it's nice to pay attention to things like this 2nd time around knowing the major information I can get deeper into the minor but important characters. Also after FoD I'm really enjoying Envy and Spite. I don't trust Spite at all, she's the antithesis of humanity, more like the FA. And Karsa too who wants to sweep the whole thing away. Even tho Karsa won't be controlled, he is still representing absolute black and whites.

I forgot 2 spoiler, ha thanks for reminding me!


message 5: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Mpauli wrote: "As David ended with the force behind the wind that drives the ships, I'm going to start with it, cause I think the text leads towards the Eres'al. "

Of course!

Great summary again Mpauli.


Linette | 152 comments They have only clashed with the Malazans once with no casualties – so it’s not them. They have, on the other hand clashed with the defender’s of the First Throne of the Imass multiple times. Uh Oh.

David, I didn't figure this when I read it.. uh oh is right :(

QB hiding between the cargo, and Kalam moving in with him there made me laugh. Big bad mage and assassin, hiding from Bottle. And his friendly friend. She is kinda scary.


message 7: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Linette wrote: "David, I didn't figure this when I read it.. uh oh is right :("

And if this is the case, then Tomad Sengar is about to unwittingly throw Icarium at his long lost son Trull Sengar. Double uh oh.


message 8: by Rob, Quick Ben (last edited Sep 06, 2013 04:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
This is a short one.

I also laughed as Quick Ben is hiding from Tavore when Kalam finds him and gives him crap, only to end up joining him in the hiding.

Of course Apsalar gives him up to Tavore, but later wonders if he doesn't maybe have the right idea.

I'm not happy with the idea that Edur want to set Icarium lose on Trull and co. I definitely missed that as well. Lets hope Mappo gets there quickly!

Or Maybe Karsa will stop him? I still think they are going to fight again..


message 9: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
David Sven wrote: "This brings up another interesting question that Rob raised earlier. If D’rek can take direct action against her own followers for acting in her name in a manner that offends her – then why does Mael put up with Mallick Rel.

We get one answer from Iskarel Pust

’...He doesn’t even want this stupid war, hah! But oh, it is that very ambivalence that so frees his followers to do as they please!’

In other words, Mael’s desire to be just left alone in peace lets his worshippers do as they please to a degree. The other answer is that as much as we may despise Mallick there really isn’t any reason for Mael to pay him any special attention. "


That's an interesting theory. You might be right, but I still want Mael to take him out. Maybe he'll try to mess Tehol. We've all seen what happens when someone tries that...


Duffy Pratt | 354 comments The details here are all very interesting, but the big pull away for me in this chapter is that Rhulad has been using his mages to wipe out the populations of entire islands. And it's in doubt, even among the Malazan soldiers, how Laseen will react to this tidbit. It's possible that she will just ignore it.

Also, I loved the discussion between Fid and Bottle about the use of elder magic for mass destruction. They are both against it, but it seems for very different reasons. Fiddler leans on his notions of honor as a soldier, while Bottle has more cosmic concerns. Both of them, ultimately, are going with their guts, and their guts get them to the same conclusion, but by very different means.

I also subscribe to the idea that the Eresal is pushing the boats along, and not Ardata (unless there is some connection between them).

Another question I have is why Mael is resisting the efforts of Eresal (if it is Eresal pushing the boats). Last we saw Bugg, he was going to beat the crap out of the Crippled God. If we assume he's opposed to team CG, and Eresal is as well, why are they fighting against each other?

Same questions arise for the alliances of several of the major players: Mallick Rel's affiliation with CG is in doubt. But I think so is Laseen's. Things haven't quite come to a crux yet, and I think that lots of people may be positioning themselves in such a way that they can take advantage after the cataclysm.

On that point, I really liked Scillara's words about mortals being the ones to pick up the pieces after the gods have wrecked everything.


message 11: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori I'm not sure Mallick is with TCG, I think he's taking advantage of all the confusion to gain the throne of the Malazan Empire.

And yeah, your reasons is why I'm not quite sure who is pushing the board. Unless Mael doesn't know what she is after, and he's pissed that someone's dominating his domain? Can't wait to find out, I can't remember!


message 12: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Duffy wrote: "Another question I have is why Mael is resisting the efforts of Eresal (if it is Eresal pushing the boats).

I think there are two levels here. Firstly, Eresal, an entity more associated with plains is trespassing in Mael's realm. She is influencing mortal affairs on the high seas. While this rather rude I'm not sure this is the main reason.

I think we need to look at where Mael and Eresal are headquartered at ie Lether. The Bonehunters are on their way back to report to Laseen - so why would Mael care about that? And why would Eresal care about that? I don't think either of them do. However, the Edur have just wiped out a settlement under Malazan ruled - an act of war. So we can guess where these two story arcs are going to converge. I think Eresal wants that convergence happening as soon as possible - while Mael wants to stop or maybe at least slow things down as much as possible. Mael has learned from Tehol that there are other ways of taking down an Empire than brute force. If we remember back from the Prologue from MT - it was Mael who asks Gothos not to simply wipe the continent of Lether clean in response to the conflict there and the sorceries unleashed - instead asking that the continent be quarantined from the rest of the world and take any potential toys off them (like access to the magic of the warren system).

So if the Malazans decide to respond to the Edur - there will be a lot of slaughter and a holocaust in term off sorcery unleashed. Everything Mael is opposed to. Eresal - not so much. She has Nerek worshippers who have been oppressed and dispossessed by both the Letherii and the Edur for thousands of years...


message 13: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori *applause*


Sumant I don’t know, but I’m guessing this is Ardata – given her connection to Mappo and Mogora – who has been hiding on the ship


Ya it was obviously Ersal who was throwing in the wind to speed things up.


Now I'm doing the crazy thing...until now, I only focused on what was said. Now let's look again at who said what.
The "Sister Spite" sentence comes from Pearl. The "Lady Envy" sentence comes from Tarr, one of the Adjunct's soldiers.

Now let's remember something Cotillion said to Lostara Yil:

‘You will have to choose, Lostara Yil, between your loyalty to the Adjunct ... and all that Pearl represents.

So, in your world that might be nothing, in my crazy world Erikson just told us on which sides Envy and Spite will end up.


It's like erikson is telling you everything from shadows.


message 15: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments The thing with the moon, Barathol says how things have crashed down onto them from the moon (whole mountains, how TCG crashed down) and it can work both ways. I wonder Fener crashed to the moon when he was pulled from his realm and that's causing the haze and whatnot.


message 16: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Fener was pulled from a warren - while the Crippled god and the jade statues fell from portals in space from a parallel universe - I think


message 17: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Ah right. It would have been cool if I was right though! :-)


message 18: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
anything is possible :)


message 19: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
And you shouldn't assume I'm always right :)


message 20: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments That is true! If only one of my wild theories are correct I'll be happy!


Mpauli | 245 comments Wild theories...someone said wild theories...I'm pretty sure...wild theories are the common theories in Malazan, so wild is normal. Normal theories tend out to be true somewhere...there's a warren for almost everything...EVERYTHING...you know. So, by default all wild theories must be true somewhere...so you're always right Dara, but so is David...but he says he isn't, so that's not possible...or is it?
I need to talk to Kruppe and Pust about it. They live in my head now and are always right...at least in thoery...wildy.
Glad to be helpful. :P


message 22: by David Sven, Mortal Sword..Meow (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 2042 comments Mod
Somebody stop that drive by vacuum cleaner!


message 23: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments That was very Kruppe of you, Mpauli!


message 24: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
I have missed you Mpauli


message 25: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
MPauli's still alive? I assumed he was sucked into a warren of video games never to be seen again.


message 26: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments I want to go to that warren.


message 27: by Mpauli (last edited Mar 27, 2014 07:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mpauli | 245 comments Dara wrote: "I want to go to that warren."

For me that warren is Steam.^^ I've got so many interesting games there and now it has the feature that you can share your library with friends, so that added just more titles to choose from.
And as a strategy fan, the upcoming weeks are insane. A new Crusader Kings II Addon, A new campaign for Rome 2, Warlock 2 pre-ordered and thus already access and on Monday Age of Wonders 3 gets released. Oh and this week Dr. Strange comes as a playable character on Marvel Heroes.
So, it seemed to be a great decision to reactivate my interest in League of Legends, so I have yet another game to play at the moment.
It's amazing that I still get some reading done.


message 28: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 210 comments Wow that's a lot of gaming! I play PS3 so I don't think I can do Steam. I've been playing this indie puzzle game called Closure.

This thread has really gotten off track. My apologies!


message 29: by Rob, Quick Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 1054 comments Mod
I just got the Diablo III expansion.


message 30: by Lee, High Priest of Shadow (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (kiwifirst) | 1508 comments Mod
Just to give you more excuses to spend time on Steam; Humble Bundle have amazing deals. I picked up all of the Civilisation games, truck and rail simulators and you only pay what you want. What ever you want to pay. You can also choose where the money goes, ie you can split what you paid to Humble Bundle/Charity/software dev


message 31: by Mike (last edited Aug 15, 2014 08:12AM) (new) - added it

Mike | 7 comments @Mpauli: 1) The force behind the wind

As David ended with the force behind the wind that drives the ships, I'm going to start with it, cause I think the text leads towards the Eres'al.

I thought so, too. What made it even more seemingly obvious was the Eres'al's assistance to Quick Ben when he backed down the Edur warlocks.

Yet, if it were the Eres'al generating that wind, I would expect Bottle to know about it: "... trying to nail down this sense of unease... Something...in this wind...something..." (p.613).

We get something else a couple of paragraphs later: "The wind itself was brown-tinged, as if it had skirled out from some desert." The Raraku entity, which had helped the Malazans before?


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