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- For Apsalar, Lady of Thieves, see Apsal'ara
The original name of the young fishergirl who later became known first under the name of Sorry, then as Apsalar, was never revealed. She was born in the Quon Tali province of Itko Kan and lived in a small village by the sea with her fisherman father Rellock, who was missing an arm. Their hut was close to the tidemark with a mooring pole opposite.
Whilst observing a Malazan column of mounted soldiers passing on a gravel track road near her village in Itko Kan, the young fishergirl aged about 12-13, met the wax-witch and Seer Rigga. As the soldiers passed, Rigga had a premonition that foresaw the girl's possession by a God. Seeing the injustice of this, Rigga wove a spell which gave the young girl some measure of protection.
The young fishergirl found her life drastically altered after Cotillion possessed her. She lived the next few years under the alter-ego "Sorry" which he created. She never remembered her real name. The possession was visible in her eyes: despite her young age, she had aged eyes, those that were similar to one who had been withered by famine and death, they were also described as dead and stony.
Sorry's first move was to go to a Malazan recruiting station manned by Staff Sergeant Aragan, and enlist with the Malazan Marines, specifically requesting a post with Dujek Onearm's Host. She ended up being assigned to Sergeant Whiskeyjack's 9th Squad in the Bridgeburners. Sorry was with the new troops arriving from Nathilog and joined the Bridgeburners when they were on a brief attachment to the 5th army in the middle of the Mott Campaign. She made a lasting impression, not a good one, when she mutilated prisoners, ostensibly to get information.
After the battle at Pale, Whiskeyjack and his squad still referred to Sorry as the 'new recruit', to indicate that she was not a fully accepted member of the Bridgeburners even though she'd been with them for two years. Whiskeyjack observed that Quick Ben was scared of her and that Kalam would slip a knife into his hand anytime she was near.
Through her possession Sorry was able to sense the opening of Warrens. Fiddler called her an uncanny bitch referring to her uncanny ability to think things out. Quick Ben referred to her as 'pure evil' and was initially visibly frightened by her.
Since the Itko Kan Massacre, Imperial Intelligence services had been following the trail of Sorry however, it was only just before (less than a week) the battle at Pale, that Topper came to the information of her being with Whiskeyjack's squad in the Bridgeburners. Captain Ganoes Paran who was already on his way to Pale was given the order to assume command of the Bridgeburners and to stay close to the recruit i.e. Sorry. Once in place, he was to wait for further orders. Topper also told Paran that Sorry was being used by a god.
Sorry surprised everyone when she professed to a knowledge of fishing, using her knowledge to help the squad enter Darujhistan disguised as fishing crew. Whiskeyjack divided the squad into two teams for the mission, with one led by Kalam, the other one by the Sergeant himself. Sorry and Quick Ben were to be with Kalam. Kalam and Quick however persuaded the sergeant that they would be better off without Sorry.
In Darujhistan the Malazans were covering their activities by posing as regular road workers and were tearing up the road outside Baruk's house when Kruppe emerged. Sorry pointed him out to Whiskeyjack, saying that he was important. Questioned by he sergeant as to whether the man was maybe a Seer, Sorry paled and was visibly shaken. Upon Whiskeyjack's agreement she then followed Kruppe.
As she began the pursuit, Sorry was besieged by emotions, triggered by the word 'Seer'. Cotillion had to re-establish his hold on her as, for a brief time, Rigga's protection warred against the possession.
Following Kruppe to the Phoenix Inn, Sorry killed the thug Chert when he waylaid her at the door possibly on Kruppe's orders, then tried to seduce her. She then entered the Inn and ordered Gredfalan Ale. She identified Crokus as being Oponn's man and Crokus noticed the blood on her daggers, correctly surmising that this girl killed Chert.
Sorry then went to find Quick and Kalam. Previously she had been unable to sense the mage but due to Quick having just been linked briefly to the Shadow Realm, Sorry located them easily. This confirmed her affinity to Shadow in Quick's mind. Sorry told them she had located a local assassin in the Phoenix Inn.
Sorry now followed Crokus. As she did, she pondered that she had removed obstacles like Paran, the Claw Leader in Pale and others on her path to the Bridgeburners. The possessed girl was still troubled by the Seer's presence in her mind. Arriving at the D'Arle estate, she killed a guard and observed from the shadows as Crokus entered and left Challice D'Arle's room.
Sometime after, Quick Ben called out Cotillion and told him that he knew of his connection to Sorry.
Sorry followed Crokus and his friends by Warren to the Gadrobi Hills outside Darujhistan. She caught up with them just after they had encountered Adjunct Lorn and was about to kill Crokus when Cotillion had to rescind the possession of her as he was recalled by Shadowthrone. The girl that was left behind was totally confused and could not remember the intervening years.
Sorry was helped back to Darujhistan by Crokus. Having lost her memory, she asked Crokus for a Daru name. He originally suggested "Challice" but then decided that since it was someone else's name he should choose another. He then dubbed her "Apsalar", the name of his matron goddess, the Lady of Thieves but again changed his mind as it was the name of a goddess. The former Sorry disagreed and chose to remain Apsalar.
Although no longer possessed, the experience left Apsalar with residual effects. Amongst them an ability to speak other languages, see in virtual darkness and recall some of Cotillion's memories.
Crokus chose to try and protect Apsalar and decided to accompany her back to her village after his family was killed.
When Captain Paran assumed command of the Bridgeburners, Kalam and Fiddler declared they would follow him but that they must first help Apsalar back to her home on Itko Kan.
Kalam and Fiddler planned to take Apsalar and Crokus to Itko Kan by way of Seven Cities. When they arrived in Ehrlitan, Kalam saw an opportunity to weaken Laseen by sparking a rebellion. So he split from the group and the other three continued on in disguise.
Apsalar continued to recall more and more of Sorry's deadly skill, knowledge, and instinct as time went on, and became very talented with her thick-bladed kethra knives. She also experienced memories from the life of the god who had possessed her as well as the old woman who had protected her. From her account, the three managed to work out Shadowthrone and Cotillion's true identities. Meanwhile, Fiddler revealed to Crokus that the true purpose of their return to Quon Tali had been to assassinate Empress Laseen in revenge for her destruction of the Bridgeburners. Apsalar's returning abilities had been a factor Kalam considered as a potential Shaved Knuckle in the Hole.
After the awakening of the Whirlwind, the travelling companions were attacked first by a tribe of Gral and then found themselves caught up in a battle between Soletaken and D'ivers following the Path of Hands. They were saved by the appearance of Icarium and Mappo who drove off the D'ivers, Gryllen.
Icarium and Mappo escorted them back to Tesem, a temple of Shadow inhabited by Iskaral Pust. Pust also revealed Fiddler's true destination, Tremorlor, the Azath House in the desert which Quick Ben believed held a gate which could take them to the Deadhouse in Malaz City. He also reassured the group that Anomander Rake's bane held and Cotillion would not possess Apsalar again.
It was revealed that Iskaral Pust's servant was actually a disguised Rellock, Apsalar's father. He had been placed in the temple by Shadowthrone and his arm healed the day Sorry had been taken by Cotillion. Pust attempted to use their relationship to manipulate Apsalar into becoming the Sha'ik Reborn. The High Priest sent Rellock to Tremorlor and Apsalar, suspicious of his true identity, followed after. Fiddler, Crokus, Icarium, and Mappo pursued Apsalar in turn.
Along with Pust and the Hounds of Shadow, the group fought their way through the maze surrounding the house. Then they entered Tremorlor and passed into the Azath warren. Pust, Icarium, and Mappo soon disappeared. Fiddler, Apsalar, Crokus, and Rellock found themselves in the Deadhouse where they met Gothos, its guardian. Exiting the house into Malaz City they were reunited with Kalam by the shadow demon Apt. To Fiddler's surprise Kalam informed him that he had spoken with the Empress and their feud was over.
Apsalar successfully petitioned Shadowthrone to return her, Crokus, and Rellock to their old home in Itko Kan and sever all association between them and the god.
Having travelled to her destroyed village and witnessed the death of her father, Crokus and Apsalar continued to travel alone across the continent of Quon Tali. In a bid to gain money and try to get closer to Apsalar, Crokus learned how to help her perform assassinations, and eventually become a skilled killer in his own right. He took the new name of "Cutter", which had the unintended affect of pushing Apsalar further away due to her revulsion at her own abilities.
Cutter was encouraged by Cotillion to secretly take Apsalar to Drift Avalii in order to protect the Throne of Shadow from an unnamed threat. Quickly realizing the deception, Apsalar was yet further pushed away from Cutter. The two travelled by boat to Drift Avalii, where the floating island destroyed their vessel, leaving Apsalar on land, and Cutter sucked into one of the vortices leading to the center of the island.Believing Cutter to be dead, Apsalar travelled inland only to find survivors of the Malazan Navy who had been marooned on the island after a brief confrontation with Tiste Edur naval units. Together, they journeyed to the ruins of the castle protecting the Throne. There, Apsalar was reunited with Cutter and met the Tiste Andii, Andarist and plans were made to prevent the Edur from regaining the Throne. The ensuing battle left only Traveller, Cutter and Apsalar alive.
In exchange for their help, Cotillion eased their return to Seven Cities and the long journey to Darujhistan. Having returned to the monastery in Seven Cities inhabited by Iskaral Pust, Apsalar no longer felt she could safely travel with Cutter and decided she had to leave him in order to prevent him being further corrupted by her influence. 
Apsalar took on Cutter's burden and was assigned a list of targets she had to assassinate for Cotillion.
Travelling within a fragment of Kurald Emurlahn, she encountered two undead, skeletal lizards: Curdle and Telorast. Curious, the two lizards convinced Apsalar to free them from their bonds and chose to accompany her.
She came across two Pardu women who were shareholders of the Trygalle Guild under Karpolan Demesand. Gleaning information from them, she also discovered tablets containing information on the Nameless Ones written by Mebra.
Trying to cross to Kansu, she decided to travel by Kurald Emurlahn, and somehow came across a carrack and came out in the Malazan world on the ship Ganoes Paran was travelling on. The two discussed several aspects of the war taking place between gods, and exchanged several pieces of information.
Apsalar disembarked from the carrack along with Paran at Kansu and went westwards into Seven Cities coming across villages destroyed by plague until she met up with the surviving Bonehunters trying to catch up to the main army having dug their way underneath Y'Ghatan after the siege.
Apsalar was present when the Hounds of Shadow attacked Poliel's temple at G'danisban. Since Shadowthrone had double dealt Quick Ben, throwing him in the way of the Hounds, Quick Ben who was busy rescuing his sister and in close proximity to Otataral could do nothing to defend himself. Apsalar created a massive distraction by Shadow-dancing and slicing up the hounds preventing them from attacking Quick Ben, allowing him time to escape, alongside Brokeface. She then returned to where the squads were, and earned the wrath of Kalam, who assumed the blood on her knives belonged to Quick Ben. Quick Ben arrived in time to save her from being killed, stating that she didn't try to defend herself and wanted to die.
The Adjunct decided to allow her to accompany the army to their ships, where they were ordered to return to Quon Tali.
She further received bad news from Cotillion when he lost touch with Cutter after the T'lan Imass ambush on his group. Believing him dead, she lost all hope and gave up on everything.
Apsalar was finally reunited with Crokus in her father's fishing village.
- "You’re Dancer's daughter. You must be, although I see no facial similarities – your mother must have been beautiful. It's in your walk, and how you stand there. You're his beget, and he was selfish enough to teach you, his own child, the ways of assassination. I can see how that troubles you. It's there in your eyes. The legacy haunts you – you're feeling trapped, caged in. There's already blood on your hands, isn't there? Is he proud of that? I should've drowned him then and there. Had I been drunk, I would have."
- ―Urko Crust, on Apsalar and her relation with Cotillion
|Officers||Ganoes Paran • Ash|
|7th Squad||Antsy • Picker • Blend • Spindle • Detoran|
|9th Squad||Whiskeyjack • Kalam • Quick Ben • Sorry • Fiddler • Hedge • Trotts • Mallet|
|Others||Mulch (11th squad) • Bucklund (12th squad) • Tormin • Aimless • Runter • Bluepearl • Shank • Toes • Cage • Story • Liss • Dasalle • Corinn • Monkrat|
- The Itko Kan massacre
- The young fishergirl found herself out and about because her father needed materials for new nets - his last one was taken by 'something' in deep waters, and the catch, too. This meant that unless he made a catch the following day, Rellock would be in trouble with the money lender. Did Cotillion engineer the loss of the nets to put the girl on the road (to buy twine for new nets) where there would be few witnesses and to put her father in a precarious financial situation, making him more open to whatever Cotillion intended to suggest to him?
- The dialogue between Cotillion and Ammanas seemed to indicate that until Ammanas gave away Cotillion's name, the plan to possess the girl might not have been definite yet.
- The killing of the Itko Kanese cavalary unit by the Hounds may have been planned by Shadowthrone only, without Cotillion's prior knowledge.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.13
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.24
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.12/16
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.31 age estimated by recruitment Sergeant
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.12
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.14
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.19
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.18
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.493
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.32
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.83
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.31
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p. xii
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.159
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.104
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.160
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.133
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.402
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.133
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.58
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.82
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.94/95
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.96
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.124
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.159
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.259
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.258
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon,Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.363
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.361/362
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.3371/372
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.374
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.376
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.377/378
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.401/402
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.417/418
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.418/422
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.463
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.467/468/474
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.483-485
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.490-494
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.484
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.566
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.589
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.590
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.644
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.127
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.129-130
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.438
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.92-93
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6, US HC p.166-169
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.192-196
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.222-224
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.295-296
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23, US HC p.583-584
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 6
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 9
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 9
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 9
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 12
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 23
- ↑ 63.0 63.1 63.2 The Bonehunters, Chapter 1
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 3
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 5
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 6
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 23
- ↑ The Crippled God, Epilogue II
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.13/19
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17