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Anomander Rake

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"The black, silver-maned dragon emerged from the darkness overhead like a piece of night torn loose..."
―The arrival of Anomander Rake[src]

Anomander Rake [Ahno-man-der] was the Lord of Moon's Spawn, Son of Darkness, Knight of Darkness[5] and the leader of the Tiste Andii. He was said to be "seated on the Throne of Sorrow"; a reflection of the loss and apathy his people had suffered.[4]

He was described by Baruk as having jet-black skin and a mane which flowed silver. Rake's features were sharp as if cut from onyx and his eyes, described as multihued, had a slight upward tilt and large vertical pupills. Baruk perceived them as changing colour from a deep hue of amber to grey and banded - a rainbow of colours. At one point they were green, a short while later black. Rake was nearly seven feet tall and on that occasion was cloaked and wore boots. He carried the enormous two-handed sword Dragnipur on his back.[6]

As a mage he made use of the Elder Warren of Kurald Galain.[7] Baruk could feel the power emanating from Rake and judged him to be more powerful than Tayschrenn.[8]

By the time of Gardens of the Moon, Rake disliked the title "Son of Darkness", saying it was used "by those fools who think me worthy of worship."[9]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

After a long absence, Moon's Spawn had reappeared over Genabackis a few years ago and Tiste Andii legions under Caladan Brood had descended to fight the Malazan Empire. The Lord of Moon's Spawn had remained behind however and instead went to Pale to make a pact with the wizards of the city. About two[10] years ago, Moon's Spawn had appeared in the skies over Pale, effectively bringing the ongoing siege by the Malazans to a standstill.[11]

When the Empire eventually decided to break the stalemate, Rake was forced to fight the Imperial High Mages Tayschrenn, Nightchill, Bellurdan and A'Karonys as well as Tattersail's mage cadre. The ensuing mage battle obliterated entire regiments, a cost of lives which Rake had hoped to avoid by his presence.[12] Despite three of the High Mages being taken out by what looked like an attack from their own side, Moon's Spawn in the end retreated.[13]

Gardens of the moon by slaine69

Anomander Rake outside Darujhistan by Slaine69

Rake then went to Darujhistan, the next target of the Malazans, to form an alliance with the T'orrud Cabal of mages against the Empire. Their leader, the alchemist Baruk, mentioned that two of the Pale wizards were hiding in Darujhistan and Rake demanded their heads. He told Baruk that he had already chased down all the others as the desertion of those mages just prior to the last battle had led to the defenders defeat. When he demanded their heads and told Baruk that he would otherwise use his sword , the alchemist promised he should have them - an action described by Rake as mercy.[14]

Rake was not told all that the Great Raven Crone knew about the coinbearer nor did he know that Brood had arranged for him to be protected by the Crimson Guard against Rake's Tiste Andii mages.[15]

When Quick Ben released the Korvalah demon Pearl to defend himself against attackers, Rake came to the aid the of the Tiste Andii assassins he had sent and killed the demon with Dragnipur. He was not pleased to hear from their commander,Serrat, that the mission had not gone well.[16] That same night during a visit to Baruk, Rake explained that he had started the assassin war in order to prevent the Malazan Empire making contact with the local assassins guild. He also thanked the alchemist for sending him the heads of the two Pale wizards which he had requested.[17]

Hounds v Rake dA

Rake facing the Hounds of Shadow by Corporal Nobbs

Paran and Anomander by slaine69

Rake and Paran by slaine69

Rake came to the aid of Paran when the Captain was about to be attacked by the Hounds of Shadow. When all seven beasts attacked Rake instead, he killed two of them before the others withdrew.[18] A few moments later, Rake confronted Shadowthrone and warned him to not interfere with Darujhistan else he would assail the realm of Shadow. His threat was enough to force Shadowthrone to recall Cotillion from possessing Sorry's body.[19]

Rake told Baruk that he would not entertain the idea of treachery against the Cabal as treachery could only backfire and result in him being on the receiving end of it himself by his four assassin mages, Brood and others, even Silanah. He told Baruk that the fight against the Jaghut Tyrant would diminish the Tiste and that the Cabal would need to take up the slack. Baruk then showed him Mammot who seemed to be in a very deep sleep and Rake surmised that the High Priest's spirit had likely travelled to the Jaghut barrow and might now be trapped, even be in danger of possession by the Tyrant.[20]

Although Baruk voiced some misgivings, Rake insisted that he would attend Lady Simtal's Fete. He felt that it would be better to be on hand with such a convergence of power. A comment by Baruk caused Rake to reminisce upon Icarium having last visited him about eight hundred years ago.[21] Rake attended the fete wearing the mask of a black dragon, with silver-traced highlights and was introduced by his real name but neither Lady Simtal nor Turban Orr recognised it. At the fete he was introduced to Kruppe and the witch and cabal member Derudan. When Rallick Nom called Turban Orr out to a duel, Rake volunteered to act as Nom's second, quoting a dislike for a council debate to settle the issue as reason. [22]

Rake sent Silanah and four Andii soletaken Eleint to delay the Jaghut Tyrant, Raest.[23]

Anomander rake by artsed-d8joaqa

Rake at the Gedderone Festival in Darujhistan, Interpretation by Artsed

Rake and Baruk had already left the fete when they felt the unfolding of events. Rake advised Baruk to return to his estate and expect the Empire's next move whilst he himself, seeking a high vantage-point would go to K'rul's Belfry. As he was not yet ready to unveil his Warren, he drew Dragnipur, which had the effect of clearing the street.[24]

Rake had behaved oddly upon meeting Mammot,[25] but only when the High Priest died, did Baruk realize that Rake had recognized Mammot as being possessed already.[26]

When Adjunct Lorn released a Galayn Demon lord in the streets of the city, Rake refused Silanah's offer of help in fighting him and sent her home. Rake then sensed the Elder God K'rul by his side who told him that due to his limited presence he would not be able to help Rake in the fight. As the approaching demon began to veer into a huge dun-coloured dragon, Rake also veered into his own dragon form and rose high to come upon the demon unawares from above.[27] Rake's unexpected attack crashed and injured the demon, forcing him to semble back to his man-shape. Crokus, who happened to be in the area between the two fighters, was advised by the now also man-shaped Rake that he should get out. Rake also told Crokus that he had been convinced by Brood to spare the Coinbearer i.e. Crokus. The demon told Rake that he thought that there was more of Tiam's than Tiste blood in him. Although the fight was close for a time, Rake eventually slew the demon with Dragnipur.[28]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Iskaral Pust assured Apsalar, Fiddler, and Crokus that Rake's threat still held and Cotillion would not be re-possessing Apsalar.[29]

In Memories of IceEdit

Anomander rake by dejan delic

Interpretation of Anomander Rake by dejan-delic

Tool told Toc the Younger that Rake's sword Dragnipur had been forged by Draconus who had then been slain with that very sword by Rake.[30]

Anomander and his Tiste Andii followers participated in the Pannion War against the Pannion Domin. During the final battle, Anomander took most of the Tiste Andii with him in Moon's Spawn and hid it underneath the harbor of Coral in Ortnal's Cut, a very deep chasm. There they waited until the attack of Caladan Brood and his allied army began, and then unveiled Kurald Galain and engulfed the entire city. The city came to be known as Black Coral where the remaining Tiste Andii settled, after Moons Spawn was destroyed.

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Anomander Rake.

In Toll the HoundsEdit

Anomander Rake by Keezy Young

Interpretation of Rake by Keezy Young

Anomander Rake

'Attend' - Interpretation of Anomander Rake by Paradanmellow

Anomander Rake and Spinnock by Autumn Tavern

Interpretation of Anomander Rake and Spinnock Durav by Autumn Tavern

Anomander Rake was killed during a duel with Traveller in Darujhistan. As Rake blocked Traveller's sword, he let Dragnipur split his own skull.[31] Once inside Dragnipur, he sacrificed himself to bring Mother Dark and the Gate of Darkness back to the Tiste Andii in Black Coral. The sacrifice dispersed Rake's soul into Kurald Galain, and earned Draconus's forgiveness and respect.[32]

After the duel, Caladan Brood arrived in Darujhistan and carried Anomander's body to a barrow outside the city prepared by Burn. Every Daru citizen followed Brood out to the barrow to honor the Tiste Andii Lord who had twice saved them from destruction. Brood sealed Rake's barrow with a Barghast glyph that means "Grief." Nimander Golit took Rake's place as Lord of the Tiste Andii in Black Coral.

Significant plot details end here.
Anomander sketch by slaine69

Interpretation of Anomander Rake by Slaine69

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

The Crimson Guardsman Kyle dreamed of a meeting between Anomandaris and Liossercal in Kurald Emurlahn. Liossercal had discovered a strange crystalline structure growing from the ground and was dismantling it in "research". Anomandaris questioned his methods as he labeled the entity a Shadow House and called it a child, something new and unformed. It was his "interpretation that this house is of Emurlahn and Emurlahn exists as proof of the accord between our Realms. Threaten one and you threaten all." Liossercal took his words to heart, and Anomandaris lightened the mood by discussing Resuthenal, a woman they both knew.[33]

In Assail Edit

There is speculation that Jethiss, the Tiste Andii who traveled with Fisher Kel Tath on the continent of Assail, was Anomander Rake. However, a stronger candidate for Jethiss' true identity was Spinnock Durav. This could be inferred from the vague memories that Jethiss had of his previous life.

For more information see Who was Jethiss?

In Forge of DarknessEdit

Anomander Rake was part of House Purake at a time when his father Nimander (his son would be named after his father) had recently passed away. Mother Dark gave Anomander and his two brothers the title of Sons of Darkness with Anomander being named 'First Son of Darkness'.[34][35]

In anticipation of his brother Andarist's wedding to Enesdia, Anomander commissioned a traditional Azathanai hearthstone for their new home. But unlike other such stones, he commissioned the work to be done by Azathanai High Mason, Caladan Brood. Upon the laying of the stone Brood asked Anomander to seal his loyalty to his brother with a blood pact, in return Anomander asked the mason to do the same. Begrudgingly, Brood did so connecting the two men for both their lives.[36]

Anomander was present when the Azathanai, T'riss, arrived in Kharkanas to speak with Mother Dark and sanctify the temple with Vitr. Mother Dark's expanded power transformed Anomander, turning his pale gold skin black and his hair silver.[37][38]

Anomander also commissioned one of the legendary Hust swords from Hust Henarald. Uniquely, he requested that sword share its voice only with its bearer.[39] Upon delivery, Mother Dark refused to bless the sword, which angered Anomander.[40] When Andarist's betrothed was murdered shortly before their wedding Anomander was inspired by the crime to name his sword Vengeance. Andarist pleaded with him to instead name the sword Grief. Anomander's refusal created a rift between the brothers.[41]

Rake and the SegulehEdit

Blacksword Visits by Shadaan and Tinyshiloh

'Blacksword visits' Interpretation of Anomander Rake amongst the Seguleh
by Shadaan and Tinyshiloh

At some point before the creation of the Malazan Empire, Anomander visited the home island of the Seguleh. Rake's arrogant nature was perceived as a challenge by the non-verbal Seguleh, sparking duels with many of the inhabitants. By the time Anomander's incomprehension and frustration led him to leave the island, he had already advanced to the position of Seguleh Seventh.[3]

Other namesEdit

Anomander Rake bore a number of pseudonyms and titles.

  • Anomandaris Dragnipurake
  • Anomandaris Irake
  • Black-Winged Lord
  • Blacksword
  • First Son of Darkness[42]
  • Knight of Darkness[5]
  • Knight of High House Dark
  • Lord of Moon's Spawn[5]
  • The Mane of Chaos[43]
  • The Rake
  • Son of Darkness[5]


Anomander was Soletaken, able to assume the form of a huge black dragon.

He was said to be one of the three chosen sons of Mother Dark, and her most favoured. His brothers were Silchas Ruin and Andarist.

His sword was called Dragnipur, which he had taken from its creator, the Elder God Draconus, before turning it upon him.

T'riss was a one-time companion,[44] as were Lady Envy and Caladan Brood.[4]

Quotes Edit

"There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail — should we fall — we will know that we have lived."
―Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness[src]
"Anomander Rake, lord of the black-skinned Tiste Andii, who has looked down on a hundred thousand winters, who has tasted the blood of dragons, who leads the last of his kind, seated in the throne of sorrow and a kingdom tragic and fey— a kingdom with no land to call its own."
―Tattersail, upon seeing Anomander Rake for the first time[src]
"All that he has ever asked of us, of me, and Spinnock Durav, and so many others, he has given us in return. Each and every time. This . . . this is his secret. Don't you understand, High Priestess? We served the one who served us."
―Endest Silan to the High Priestess of Darkness[src]
K'rul: "I am lost. In this world. In this time."
Anomander Rake: "You are not alone with those sentiments, Eldering One."
K'rul: "Do I follow in your steps, Lord? Do I seek out new battles, new games to play in the company of Ascendants? Are you rewarded in spirit for your efforts?"
Anomander Rake: "Sometimes. But mostly, no, I am not."
K'rul: "Then why?"
Anomander Rake: "I know no other way of living."
―K'rul and Anomander Rake[src]
Anomander Rake: "My friend is here in the name of love, captain. In the absence of anything else, is that not a worthy cause? No, let us take his side."
Kellaras: "Milord, the highborn will not be so sentimental—"
Anomander Rake: "Sentimental, am I? Is love so paltry a thing, to be plucked and dropped to the ground at the first breath of contempt? Man or woman, disparaging love is a crime of the soul, for which the future will turn away its face."
Kellaras: "I doubt they fear such a fate, milord."
Anomander Rake: "They will learn to, captain. This I swear."
―An exchange between Kellaras and Lord Anomander[src]

Fan art galleryEdit

Notes and references Edit

  1. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB, p.189
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.609
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xv
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-212
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 17, US HC p.365
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.61/62
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.74-77
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-214
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.337-339
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.422-424,427-429
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.437-440
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.470-472
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.474/483
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 17, UK MMPB p.518-522
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.575-577
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.631
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.650/651
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.579
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.669
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.668/669,671-674,680
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.682-685
  29. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.347
  30. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.65
  31. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, UK HB p.856/857
  32. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 24
  33. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 3, US HC p.356-358
  34. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2, UK HC p.40/44
  35. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.78
  36. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2, UK HC p.47-50
  37. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2
  38. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 9, UK HC p.271
  39. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 6, UK HC p.151
  40. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 15, UK HC p.457
  41. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 15, UK HC p.481
  42. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.78
  43. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, US HC p.68
  44. Blood and Bone, Chapter 5, UK MMPB, p.300
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