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Cowl was a High Mage in the Crimson Guard.[1] He was described as "hatchet-faced, bearing blue curled tattoos at his chin and a thatching of pearly knife-scars at his neck".[2]

He was able to access the warrens of Hood, Ruse,[3] Chaos, Meanas, Tellann, and Thyr.[4]

In Gardens of the Moon Edit

Cowl was amongst the members of the Crimson Guard who were in Darujhistan, protecting the Coinbearer, Crokus Younghand, on the orders of K'azz D'Avore and Caladan Brood. He was covering Crokus from the rooftops as the young man was trying to get to Baruk's Estate after Lady Simtal's fete. Cowl's previous interference with her plans to take out Crokus had apparently infuriated the Tiste Andii night hunter Serrat.[5]

In Return of the Crimson Guard Edit

He was one of the Avowed and the Master of Assassins, or 'Veils', in the Guard as well as the company's most feared mage.[6] He was with the Guard when they besieged the warlock Shen's fortress atop the Spur in Bael where he used his magic against the winged fends summoned by Shen.[7] After Shen was killed by Greymane, Cowl seemingly killed "Father Wind", the Ascendant from whom Shen leeched his power, with a surprise attack from behind.[8]

With the end of the Diaspora Cowl returned to Fortress Haven on Stratem with the rest of the Guard. There Skinner secretly betrayed the Guard, and Cowl remained loyal to him. The pair murdered fellow Guard Stoop when he questioned their indifference to locating their missing leader K'azz D'Avore, and blamed it on Kyle, the new recruit who had witnessed the attack.[9] The Guard, now reunited under Skinner's leadership, made haste towards the Malazan imperial capital at Unta. Cowl's attempt to manipulate Ruse to speed their sea voyage resulted in a temporary stay at Mael's Shoals of the Forgotten.[10]

Once the Guard escaped Mael's prison and invaded Unta, Cowl located and challenged Tayschrenn in his quarters. Instead of offering battle, the Malazan High Mage, surrounded by protective wards, offered questions of philosophy. He also stated that he would not interfere with the Guard's attack on the capital. Thinking that his rival's mind had been claimed by "the twisted Gnostic innards of theurgy", Cowl left in disgust. The Guard then retreated from Unta, finding nothing of importance that would strike a decisive blow to the Empire.[11]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Cowl.
Topper vs Cowl by Shadaan

'Topper vs Cowl' Interpretation by Shadaan

Cowl then accompanied the Guard to Quon Tali, where an upcoming battle would decide who would rule the Malazan Empire. As the Guard engaged the Malazans in the Battle of the Plains, Cowl and the Guard assassins, the Veils, hunted for high priority targets within the Malazan army.[12] Cowl attempted to assassinate Laseen, first stunning a magically hidden Possum, before he attacked the Empress herself. Using Otataral powder to counter his magery, Laseen then proved to be more than a match for his physical prowess. Cowl was then ambushed by his old-time rival, Topper,[13] and the two engaged in a desperate fight across the warrens, ending up in Malaz City near the Deadhouse. There, Cowl knowingly jumped in the backyard of the Deadhouse and was captured by the Azath House, since he preferred capture by Azath to defeat at the hands of Topper.[14]

In Blood and Bone Edit

Cowl escaped from the Deadhouse and returned to K'azz D'Avore on Jacuruku.[15]

Significant plot details end here.

In AssailEdit

Cowl travelled to Assail as part of Shimmer's expedition to find Cal-Brinn and the lost Fourth Company. He delighted in tormenting Shimmer with the notion that he understood the terrible secret behind the Avowed that she did not.[16]

Notes and referencesEdit

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