- "When you've got nothing, bluff."
- ―Quick Ben
Quick Ben was dark skinned and tall with a lean face and fine ascetic features. He had a row of neat, smallish, white teeth. His hands were long, almost feminine, also described as thin and spidery. He was wearing leather leggings in Pale.
Quick Ben spoke Malazan with a harsh, Seven Cities accent.
Quick Ben was stationed with his fellow Bridgeburners digging tunnels beneath the city of Pale. During the final battle, these tunnels collapsed and only due to one of Fiddler's 'bad' feelings, Quick Ben and some of the others escaped.
Just prior to the battle, on an errand for High Fist Dujek Onearm the Malaz 2nd Army mage, Hairlock had used the opportunity to strike a deal with Whiskeyjack and Quick Ben to ensure his survival in the upcoming assault on Moon's Spawn and its guardian, Anomander Rake. Quick Ben, Whiskeyjack, Kalam and Sorry found the dying mage after the battle and Quick Ben performed a Soulshifting, transferring Hairlock's soul to the body of a puppet. He then handed over responsibility of the puppet to Tattersail, who had come across the scene, and departed with the rest of his squad for the city.
On the day Quick Ben and the rest of the squad were due to leave for a covert mission to Darujhistan, Tattersail hosted a meeting with him, Whiskeyjack, Kalam and Fiddler which was interrupted when Fiddler had one of his 'bad' feelings. During this meeting, Quick Ben stated that it was the intention of the Bridgeburners to cut away Tayschrenn's support and cause his fall from grace. He again used a Warren which Tattersail did not recognize.
Quick Ben, Kalam and Mallet took the injured Captain Paran in secret to Tattersail's lodging. Quick Ben, who was linked to Hairlock had summoned the puppet to come by Warren and join them, however lost contact when Hairlock went beyond the Gates of the Shadow Realm. When Quick next felt the presence of the puppet, Hairlock was being followed by Hounds of Shadow. Quick told Tattersail that it would be some time before Hairlock would be able to shake off the hounds. He and and his squad mates then left Tattersail to depart for Darujhistan.
Prior to the squad crossing Lake Azur, Quick Ben performed a ritual of summoning and met Hairlock in the Warren of Chaos. He realised that the puppet was insane and dangerous, so decided that Hairlock had to be stopped. Quick Ben travelled in disguise to the Warren of Shadow where he was confronted by the Hounds. Greeting each one by name he was herded by the beasts to Shadowkeep for an audience with Shadowthrone. There he intrigued the new god with his knowledge of the Path of Shadow. Calling himself a former acolyte he bargained for the removal of the Rope's death sentence for leaving the faith in return for leading the Hounds to Hairlock. Once Shadowthrone agreed, Quick Ben revealed his true identity leaving an outraged Shadowthrone screaming, "Delat! You shape-shifting bastard!", in his wake.
Whiskeyjack had divided the squad into two teams with Kalam leading one which included Quick Ben and Sorry. Kalam and Quick however persuaded the sergeant that they would be better off without Sorry.
They were to make contact with the city's Assassins' Guild. The plan was to offer the Guild a contract to eliminate the city's true rulers, the mages of the T'orrud Cabal, thereby making the city an easier conquest. They found it difficult to make contact because Anomander Rake suspected the Empire's intentions and sent his night hunters to kill any assassins they could find. Thinking the Empire was behind the attacks, the Guild ordered assassin Rallick Nom to lead Quick Ben and Kalam into a Guild trap, only for both parties to be attacked by the Tiste Andii.
Quick Ben eventually discovered Hairlock's location on the Rhivi Plain. He fulfilled his bargain by alerting Cotillion, and then severing the puppet's strings to prevent him from escaping by Warren. The puppet was soon ripped to pieces by the Hounds.
On the night of Lady Simtal's Gedderone Fête, Quick Ben served as one of the party's hired guards along with the other Bridgeburners. The party was interrupted by the Jaghut Tyrant Raest, who possessed the body of the Cabal mage Mammot and began unleashing a sorcerous attack on the partygoers. Quick Ben responded by opening seven Warrens of his own. Although he saved the life of the Cabal witch Derudan, his efforts alone were not enough. Hedge further weakened the Tyrant with a blast from a Moranth munition before the Finnest House was able to imprison Raest.
The threat to Darujhistan resolved, Quick Ben joined Whiskeyjack and the other Bridgeburners who cut themselves loose from the Empire. On the shores of Lake Azur, he wondered if it was time to launch his own secret plans. He decided to give the "old man a chance to rest" for now, but thought, "Whiskeyjack's going to howl when he hears this one."
Kalam and Fiddler traveled to Seven Cities ostensibly to return Sorry (now named Apsalar) to her village. In reality, they planned to put Kalam and Quick Ben's plan into play. The pair sought out the Azath House Tremorlor hoping to use its gate to travel instantaneously and undetected to the Deadhouse in Malaz City. From there it was a short trip to Unta where they hoped to assassinate Empress Laseen in revenge for attacks on the Bridgeburners. Quick Ben would serve as their Shaved Knuckle in the Hole through an ensorcelled rock that Kalam could use to summon the mage once they were in the halls of the palace. The company of a formerly possessed fishergirl with the skills of an immortal assassin would only improve their chances. After the Empress' death, Quick Ben and Kalam "had someone in mind" to succeed her. The Jhag Icarium was skeptical that a squad mage could possess such arcane knowledge regarding the workings of the Azath.
Things did not go as planned and Kalam and Fiddler became separated. Kalam was forced to call upon Quick Ben early in an attempt to help him escape the trap of a Mockra mage. Quick Ben also informed the assassin that things were not going well in the fight against the Pannion Domin.
Later, Dujek sponsored an expedition of the Trygalle Trade Guild to provide Fist Coltaine and his Chain of Dogs with desperately needed food and water during their trek across the Nenoth Odhan. Additionally, Coltaine was presented with an ensorcelled bottle of smoky glass on a chain which he was instructed to wear at all times because "the Empress must not lose you". The bottle was created by Quick Ben and was intended to capture Coltaine's soul in case of his death. The Guild made a second stop at Tremorlor to deliver Fiddler a shipment of munitions from Quick Ben.
After the events of the Gedderone Fête at Darujhistan, the Bridgeburners rejoined High Fist Dujek's now "renegade" army at Pale. Quick Ben was placed on Whiskeyjack's staff where he took on a mix of sorcerous, bureaucratic, and financial duties. In one instance, he followed one of his magic tracker pebbles into an unknown Warren where he had an inadvertent audience with the Crippled God. The unfamiliar god tried to bargain for the mage's services, then attempted to imprison him before Quick Ben was rescued by one of Burn's giant servants. The giant informed Quick Ben that the Crippled God was poisoning Burn's flesh, and she had only "tens of years" before it was too late. Quick Ben swore to aid her. He confirmed that the goddess was fevered by infection after consulting the Witch of Tennes.
Quick Ben was sent by Whiskeyjack to trap the Pannion Seer. Joining forces with the Bonecaster Talamandas, he recovered from the poisoning of the Warrens and gained access to them, but during their jaunt he was warned by Hood to dissuade Ganoes Paran from blessing High House Chains as part of the Deck. When he chose mercy as the Master of the Deck, the wizard saved the Seer's sister from the Rift.
When Tayschrenn turned up in the camp of the Bonehunters he was obviously peeved at being called a colleague by Quick Ben and pointed out that it had been a field promotion. Quick told Tayschrenn that far from being a High Mage for the first time, he had been the true identity of Kribalah Rule, also known as Rule the Rude, a High Mage in the Blackdog Campaign under the old Emperor. In that guise he had saved Tayschrenn from Tiste-assassin mages before apparently dying in a horrible conflagration. Tayschrenn pondered that he had lost an object containing a demon lord at the time - the very same demon that was later killed by the sword of Anomander Rake.Quick Ben saved his sister, Torahaval, from becoming a victim of Poliel.
When the fleet of the 14th was attacked by the fleet of the Tiste Edur, Quick Ben with help from the Bottle and then the Eres'al managed to fight off the sorcery of nearly a hundred Edur warlocks.
During the battle of Malaz Island, the wizard stayed in a his cabin on the Froth Wolf, planning to come to the aid of Kalam at Kalam's request. However, before Quick Ben could join Kalam, he was taken by Shadowthrone to assist Trull Sengar at the First Throne. Whilst there, Quick was faced with Icarium and although initially withstanding the onslaught was eventually beaten back. He and the others were saved by the appearance of the Eres'al who subdued Icarium with a simple touch.
He traveled with the Bonehunters across the Letherii continent into the Wastelands. When the Bonehunters were confronted by an army of K'Chain Nah'ruk, he destroyed an entire phalanx of the Nah'ruk before disappearing into a massive crater created by the Nah'ruk's lightning.
Quick Ben visited the Spar of Andii where he recovered two items, one of which was the Sceptre of Night with which he summoned a horse from a handful of horse hair. Whilst doing so, he addressed an unseen 'Mother', possibly Mother Dark. Once Quick departed, the tapping of a cane upon rock was heard. Quick Ben joined forces with Kalam in helping the Paran siblings fight the Pure Blood Forkrul Assail in the north of Kolanse, using their skills to assassinate the Pure Bloods on and off the battlefield. The two united with Fiddler and Hedge at the Marine/Heavy detachment guarding the Crippled God's body in the final battle with the Assail.
As a result of soulshifting, Quick Ben had absorbed the souls of eleven members of a mage cabal which gave him access to at least twelve separate warrens, although he could manage only a maximum of seven at any one time.
- Denul - The Path of Healing- one of his souls was that of Ullan, a Soletaken priestess of Shedenul/Soliel
- D'riss - The Path of Stone - from cabal member Keluger
- Hood's Path - The Path of Death
- Fener's Warren - bordering Chaos itself - from cabal member Narkal
- Imperial Warren
- Meanas - The Path of Shadow and Illusion - from cabal member Renisha
- Rashan - The Path of Darkness (spelled Rasham in Glossary of Memories of Ice) - also from cabal member Etra
- Ruse - The Path of the Sea
- Serc - The Path of the Sky - from cabal member Birith'erah
- Telas - The Path of Fire - Child of Tellann
- Tennes - The Path of the Land - from cabal member Gellid
- Thyr - The Path of Light
When Quick Ben shifted the soul of Hairlock into a puppet, it was described as magic which hadn't been done in a thousand years. He used a Warren which Tattersail didn't even recognize. She judged him to be her superior in the lore.
Whilst on the trail of Hairlock, Quick Ben's body was hovering cross-legged a few inches above the floor.
At the age of four, Quick Ben woke up screaming from a bad dream in which "he had died, yet walked the world still, for he had forgotten something. Forgotten, and no matter what he did, no recollection was possible. And so his corpse wandered, everywhere, with ever the same question on his lips, a question delivered to every single person cursed to cross his path. What? What have I forgotten?"
At the age of ten, living in Aren, Quick Ben played a prank on his entire extended family of 42 members including four-month old Minarala. This included the use of the old art of making figures which incorporated some part of a person like a hair or nail clipping to then be used in a magic ritual. His older sister Torahaval chased him across the city and eventually caught up with him in the Prelid Quarter where Quick played another trick on her. After that, Torahaval decided to hate him forever. She completed rituals to sever her ties to her brother but he made certain that not all threads between them were cut.
At one time, possibly prior to his joining the Malazan Army, Quick Ben had been, or posed, as a High Priest of Rashan in Seven Cities. On the night the cult was annihilated at the Rashan Temple at Ehrlitan, he had watched Lostara Yil perform the Shadow dance, having arrived at the temple under a different name. Quick Ben had not been alone, there had been another assassin as well. After the dance, during the night, the assassinations had begun. Cotillion told Lostara years later that on that night, the attraction between her and Quick had been mutual as far as he knew. He told Lostara that he, unbeknown to her, had also watched her dance. Apart from Lostara, Quick Ben also let Bidithal go, an act which brought him the wrath of Shadowthrone.
- For a discussion about where this event fits into the overall timeline see the Malazan Empire Forum thread on the topic.
After defecting from the cult of Rashan and burning the robes of his vestment, he became a mage primarily utilizing the Meanas Warren. He then became one of twelve members of the Holy Falah'd's Mage cabal.
The Forging of the BridgeburnersEdit
Whiskeyjack and his 7th Company were tasked with hunting down Quick Ben and his cabal during the Malazan Empire's conquest of Seven Cities. They chased him across the Pan'potsun Waste and into the Holy Desert, Raraku led by a local guide called Kalam Mekhar. This chase became the event which forged Whiskeyjack's recruits into the elite Bridgeburner company, so called because the holy desert was said to have burned the bridges to their pasts.
During the pursuit, one by one the eleven mages in the cabal died and shifted their souls into Quick Ben and in the end only he remained. Among these souls were:
- Birith'erah, mage of the Serc Warren
- Etra, a mistress of Rashan
- Gellid, witch of Tennes
- Kebharla, more a scholar than a mage
- Keluger, a Septime Priest of D'riss
- Narkal, the warrior-mage sworn to Fener and aspirant to the god's Mortal Sword
- Renisha, a sorceror of High Meanas
- Set'alahd Crool, a Jhag half-blood
- Ullan, the Soletaken priestess of Soliel
Once Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners caught up with Quick Ben, Kalam was revealed to have been the mages' accomplice. However, a mutual respect had blossomed between the men and Quick Ben as well as Kalam joined the Bridgeburners at the end of this fraught pursuit.
It was also indicated by Cotillion that the event which occurred at the Temple of Rashan involving Bidithal and Lostara Yil had taken place after the forging of the Bridgeburners, when Quick Ben had been posing under a different name.
- Quick Ben: "I admit it, High Fist, I really trust no one."
- Ganoes Paran: "No one at all?"
- Quick Ben: "The trust I have… for some people… comes down to how well I know them, and then it’s a matter of my trusting them to do what I think they’re going to do."
- ―Quick Ben and Ganoes Paran[src]
- "... but still, what's life without a few thousand regrets?"
- ―Quick Ben
Quick Ben (Ben Adaephon Delat) might be the author Adaephon who wrote the poem Azath.
It was hinted that Quick Ben might have been a Soletaken. Shadowthrone called him a shape-shifting bastard, and Tattersail once saw Quick Ben emerge from a strange, spicy scented cloud--often a characteristic of a veering soletaken. One of his twelve souls was itself a Soletaken.
It is not totally clear if Cotillions' comments to Lostara Yil indicated the presence of Shadowthrone on the night in Ehrlitan - it seems more likely that Delat was there representing him, as Shadowthrone would otherwise have prevented Delat's decision to let Bidithal go. Cotillion said: "But there were three of us [i.e. Delat, Lostara and Cotillion] that night [i.e. during the dance], so very long ago in Ehrlitan."
"Delat, who had a different name for that mission and was my partner’s responsibility besides — Delat let Bidithal go. I suppose it seemed a…a betrayal, yes? It certainly did to my partner. Certainly to this day Shadowthrone — who was not Shadowthrone then, simply a particularly adept and ambitious practitioner of Rashan’s sister warren, Meanas — to this day, I was saying, Shadowthrone stokes eternal fires of vengeance". Cotillion certainly confirmed to her that he was there as an assassin.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.125
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, US HC p.298
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p. xii
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.55
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79
- ↑ Dust of Dreams, Chapter 11, UK HB p.376
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.155
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.130/131
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.134
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65/81
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79-82
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.126-135
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.128
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.135
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.146/151-156
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.155/156
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.260-263
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p. 279-281
- ↑ 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 13, US HC p. 288-294/307
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, US HC p.326-330
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Epilogue, US HC p.486
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.225
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, US HC p.46
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.301
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.93
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.300
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.225
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.493-494
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.507
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.518
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 2
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 4
- ↑ The Bonehunters,Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.124/125
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.758-766
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 18
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 24
- ↑ The Crippled God, Chapter 2
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.355-362
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 2
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79 - It seemed to Tattersail that he used a twisted version of Denul
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.389
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.80
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.135
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.146
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.152
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.736
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.732
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.731
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.731-733
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.752
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.389
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.391 - Please see 'Speculations' for more
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.388-394
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.401
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.423
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, US HC p.45
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.131
- ↑ 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 61.4 61.5 61.6 61.7 61.8 Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.359
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.356
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 8
"Did you know Delat—or, rather, the man I would eventually learn was Delat—would have taken you for his own? Not just the one night. You would have joined him as a Bridgeburner, and that would well have pleased him."
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p. 280
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, US HC p. 116
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.392
|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|