FANDOM


The Battle of Raraku was the first major clash between the Army of the Apocalypse and the Malazan Empire after the disastrous Malazan defeat at Aren. After the loss of Fist Coltaine's Malaz 7th Army and High Fist Pormqual's garrison at Aren, Empress Laseen sent her new and still untested Adjunct, Tavore Paran, to Seven Cities with the newly formed Malaz 14th Army. The mission of the Adjunct's raw recruits was to defeat Sha'ik Reborn's veteran army and reconquer Seven Cities.

Adjunct Paran led the 14th Army from Aren along the trail of the Chain of Dogs, but in reverse.[1] Sha'ik did not contest the Malazan advance, preferring to hold her army within her Raraku sanctuary protected by the Whirlwind Goddess.[2] The 14th Army faced only scattered skirmishes with local desert tribes on the march to Vathar Crossing.[3] They faced more significant resistance from Sha'ik's lieutenant, Leoman, and 1,500 of his horsemen as they neared Raraku. But Leoman's actions were on his own initiative and not sanctioned by the Whirlwind's Chosen One.[4]

The BattlefieldEdit

Map Raraku

The Heart of Raraku

The Pan'arak Oasis was the site of an ancient city which had once sat on the shore of a great inland sea. South of the city was the bed of a dried up harbour which had baked over the centuries into a flat basin of hard-packed, crackled clay.[5][6] The basin was not large enough for massed cavalry charges and left little room for manoeuvre.[7]

Several fans of silt led from the area of the city down into the basin. They had been hardened by the sun into seven broad, solid ramps. The oasis' eastern flank was protected by an escarpment that dropped eighty arm-lengths to the salt flat below. On the western flank were deep, soft sand dunes rife with sink-pits.[8] Sha'ik established her forward post to observe the battle on the hilltop to the west of the Dogslayers' positions.[9]

Four thousand paces south of the ramps, on the other side of the basin, was a vast arc of what had once been coral islands. The sand that had once covered these coral reef remnants had been stripped away by the Whirlwind making their footing treacherous.[10] Although flat-topped, their flanks were ragged and pitted. The low channels between them were narrow, twisting, and full of sharp rubble.[11]

Korbolo Dom placed the Dogslayers Heavy infantry at the tops of the steep ramps where trenches had been dug and Mathok's horse archers formed on their flanks.[12][13] The ramps had been smoothed and cobbled to make them as difficult to climb as possible, especially when slick with blood. Likely, Korbolo Dom hoped to keep the Malazans crowded and struggling to climb the ramps while an endless hail of missiles and sorcery rained from above.[14] Any Malazans who made it to the top would face his elite soldiers.[15] Meanwhile, mounted lancers and horse warriors remained behind the Apocalypse lines waiting to sweep down on the Malazans if they tried to pull back.[16]

The Malazans occupied the coral reefs on the other side of the basin in units of a hundred and quickly began digging in. Although not ideal places to assemble troops, they proved to be as defensible as mountain fortresses once occupied. The troops constructed barriers and low walls from the coral rubble as well as ramps on the islands' south sides.[17] The Malazan cavalry remained south of the islands while a road was constructed leading to the basin.[18]

The Adjunct placed the 8th Legion off the battlefield at the south-westernmost islands guarding a passage off the basin through which might flee any broken Whirlwind troops. Veteran soldiers, such as the 8th Legion's Fist Gamet, were concerned by the placing as it meant nearly a third of the already outnumbered army was not expected to participate in the main battle. Gamet also feared that the Adjunct's cavalry would be kept idle to the south to be ready to cover a Malazan retreat.[19]

Opposing ForcesEdit

AttackersEdit

Note: These numbers are approximations based on information given in the text. They largely do not account for attrition of soldiers due to skirmishing on the road between Aren and Raraku.

Malaz 14th ArmyEdit


DefendersEdit

Note: The numbers for the Army of the Apocalypse were less specific, but were said to amount to "tens of thousands of warriors."[28]

Army of the ApocalypseEdit

  • Desert tribes - 9,000+[30] (Count does not include Mathok's tribe)


The BattleEdit

EveningEdit

Although Sha'ik's army far outmatched the Malazans in numbers of troops and strength of sorcery, her camp was seething with dissent and conspiracy.[31][32] Already suspect of Korbolo Dom's loyalty, Sha'ik learned the renegade Malazan had been keeping her isolated by slaying the loyal Leoman's messengers. She sent L'oric to fetch Korbolo Dom in order that he be replaced by Leoman as head of her army.[33]

Dom reacted to L'oric's news by having him knifed in the back and seemingly killed. Then he set his plans into motion to betray Sha'ik and deliver her to Adjunct Paran in an attempt to save his own skin. He sent his assassins into the camp to eliminate his rivals, sent Fayelle and a company of Dogslayers to kill Leoman, and sent a messenger to the Malazans to convey his intentions.[34][35]

At the same time, Karsa Orlong returned to Sha'ik's camp and began wreaking havoc on his own enemies. He slew High Mages Bidithal and Febryl as well as two Deragoth drawn to the conflict.[36]

The Bridgeburner assassin, Kalam Mekhar, stalked the camp as well, looking for Korbolo Dom. He was assisted in entering Dom's camp by Bridgeburner ghosts, including Ash. Kalam summoned Quick Ben to his aid, and the pair killed High Mage Kamist Reloe before taking Korbolo Dom prisoner. Another Claw, Pearl, killed Henaras before taking the unconscious Korbolo Dom off Kalam's hands.[37][38]

At the Malazan camp, Fist Gamet awoke and rode out onto the basin where the battle would take place the next day. There he found the mages, Nil and Nether, as well as the boy, Grub. Foot soldiers and cavalry were massing in the basin and Grubb indicated he should join them. The main group of soldiers wearing antique and esoteric armour made up the force's centre, while Wickan cavalry and Malazan infantry formed on the flanks.[39]

Gamet accompanied the cavalry charge of Raraku's ghosts up the Dogslayers' central ramp. Spirits of the Crow, Foolish Dog, and Weasel clans from the Chain of Dogs accompanied by yellow butterflies stormed up the east ramp. Ghosts of the 7th Army dead and Pormqual's soldiers took the west ramp.[40][41] As the 14th Army had made its way along Coltaine's path, they had unknowingly gathered the spirits of the fallen as well as the legions of Raraku's memory. All were energised by the Tanno Spiritwalker song of the ascended Bridgeburners. It was a one-sided battle and the Dogslayers died in their trenches.[42][43]

Attacked in his tent by Korbolo Dom's assassins and sensing that the battle was already lost, Mathok gathered his tribe and prepared to depart. Sha'ik had placed him in charge of the Book of Dryjhna and it was his duty to keep it safe. He left the gathered tribes in Leoman's hands while he and his horse warriors fled with the book for Y'Ghatan. Leoman made haste for Sha'ik's tent.[44]

DayEdit

At dawn, the area of the Dogslayers' trenches was unnaturally quiet, and Leoman soon discovered they all were dead. He was still optimistic about their chances against the Malazans, but not on the current battlefield. He attempted to convince Sha'ik to order a withdrawal, but arrived at her tent too late to stop her from descending into the basin alone, fully armed and armoured.[45]

Within the warren of the Whirlwind Goddess, Korbolo Dom's assassins struck. The goddess fell to their blades even as she killed them all in turn. L'oric, who had attempted to intervene with the goddess on Felisin Paran's behalf, was left dying of a knife wound as well.[46]

Captain Keneb approached the Adjunct to report that Gamet had died during the night in his bed.[47] Then Adjunct Paran answered Sha'ik's obvious challenge, and the soldiers of both sides lined their positions quietly observing her approach Sha'ik in the basin. Felisin felt the Whirlwind Goddess die just before Tavore arrived. Their single combat was perfunctory, with Tavore easily knocking Felisin's blade aside before delivering a fatal blow to the chest. No Malazan cheers accompanied Felisin's death. Tavore pushed Felisin off her blade with her boot, completely unaware of whom she had truly slain.[48]

Leoman immediately ordered his warriors to scatter and flee for Y'Ghatan.[49] Pearl and Lostara Yil approached the Adjunct carrying the unconscious Korbolo Dom. Tavore ordered scouts to check the Dogslayer ramps, but Nil reported that they had all been slain.[50]

AftermathEdit

Pearl spirited away Sha'ik's body to spare the Adjunct knowledge of her true identity and to prevent Fist Tene Baralta from using her corpse as a trophy. The Claw buried Felisin on a desert hilltop.[51] Amidst the destruction of the Dogslayer camp were discovered Kindly and Pores of the Ashok Regiment. They had been prisoners of the Dogslayers until released during the night by ghosts of the Bridgeburners.[52] Keneb was promoted to Fist to replace Gamet.[53] Karsa approached Tavore and her gathered officers and bodyguards to publicly renounce his vow against the Malazan Empire, much to the Malazans' confusion. Then the Toblakai departed.[54]

Leoman's surviving desert warriors encountered elements of the Malazan army as they fled the area. Almost seven bells after Sha'ik's fall, Lieutenant Ranal led his squads from the 8th Legion in pursuit of a rearguard of twenty horse riders led by Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas. Corabb turned on his pursuers amidst a sandstorm that concealed their ambush. The Malazan pursuit ended when Ranal was killed as Fiddler's entire bag of Moranth munitions went off by mistake in the confusion.[55]

Elsewhere in the desert, Sinn and the last sixteen survivors of the Ashok Regiment ambushed Fayelle and thirteen Dogslayers. All of the soldiers of the Apocalypse were killed just before a wall of water came rushing across the desert.[56]

Water soon covered the Raraku oasis and its basin, but the Malazan army remained safe atop their fortified islands of coral.[57] Sha'ik and Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers had been defeated, but Leoman and the desert tribes remained unfinished business. Once the army could be extricated from the new inland sea, Adjunct Tavore meant to follow, corner, and destroy the desert tribes no matter where they fled.[58]

CasualtiesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. House of Chains, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.412
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.480
  3. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.527
  4. House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.479-481
  5. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592
  6. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.753
  7. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.752
  8. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592-593
  9. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.818
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592
  11. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.751
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592-593
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.800
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.751-752
  15. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592
  16. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.593
  17. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.751/762
  18. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.752
  19. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.752/756
  20. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.235-236
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.311
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.237
  23. House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.343
  24. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.530
  25. This number derived from 500 riders in Aren less 300 killed in Leoman's ambush
  26. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.236
  27. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.622
  28. House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.281
  29. House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.692
  30. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.804
  31. House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.282
  32. House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.692
  33. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.769
  34. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.769-772
  35. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.776
  36. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.795-797/813
  37. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.796
  38. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.814
  39. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.798-800
  40. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.800-802
  41. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.832-833
  42. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.832-833
  43. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.801
  44. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.779/803-805
  45. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.816-820
  46. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.823-826
  47. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.822
  48. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.826-828
  49. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.829
  50. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.829-832
  51. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.831
  52. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.833
  53. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.834
  54. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.834-835
  55. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.835-837/840-842
  56. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.842-844
  57. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.844-845
  58. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.834
  59. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.795-796
  60. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.843
  61. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.797
  62. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.822
  63. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.796
  64. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.792
  65. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.841
  66. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.828
  67. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.785
  68. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.826
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article