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Traveller - From the edge by Shadaan

'Traveller and Ereko' Interpretation by Shadaan

Ereko [Ehre-ko] was an ancient Thel Akai from Jacuruku, and probably the last of his kind.[1][2] He was described as fully two man-heights tall with startling golden eyes and tusk-like teeth.[3][4][5] In conjunction with his height, he possessed enormous strength. He was armed with a spear that was even taller than himself, and wore a cloak of layered pelts over human smithed mail.[6] Around his neck he wore a leather thong threaded through a smooth amber-like stone.[7]

Ereko aged very slowly, but was still vulnerable to physical injury. He could extend his awareness out from his body and sense the presence of others outside of visual sight.[8]

Having lived as long as he did (he appeared to have first hand memories of the start of the Jaghut Wars) he tended to feel despair for what he saw as the world's never ending cycles of violence and revenge.[9]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

Ereko spent years on the Stormwall as a prisoner, but his skill was such that the Stormriders no longer attacked him because so many had died at his hands.[10] After being told by his goddess that a fellow prisoner, the Malazan Traveller, was his destiny, he escaped and took the man with him.[11]

Working their way south to Stratem, Ereko showed his merciful side when he simply stunned a youthful bandit who had ambushed them and forbade Traveller from killing him.[12] They began to build a boat at the coastal village of Canton's Landing when they were called to defend the villagers from the "grey raiders", two ships of Tiste Edur warriors. The Edur's young witch Sorrow forbade the raiders from slaying Ereko, saying the "Ancient One" was sacrosanct, but broke down when she recognized Traveller. She addressed Traveller as the "Revealed One" and claimed his presence proved all the ancient lies of her people would be cast down. Ereko was awestruck by the "faintest hint" of what his mysterious companion might bring forth on the world.[13]

Later, Ereko was visited by the spectres of long dead Crimson Guardsmen, who sensed the end of the Diaspora. When he counseled them against old feuds, their standard bearer, Surat, warned that Death waited for the old Thel Akai, "He" was close now, and Traveller would lead Ereko to "Him". Ereko dismissed Surat saying, "That meeting was foretold before humans walked these lands."[14]

Traveller and Ereko by PLUGO

Ereko and Traveller by PLUGO

Once the boat was completed it was nearly stolen by the Crimson Guard deserters Kyle, Badlands, Stalker, and Coots. The six reached an agreement to travel together when Kyle stated that they were headed for the Dolmens of Tien on Jacuruku, a location that left Ereko feeling gut-punched and filled with emotion.[15] Arriving on Jacuruku, they were attacked by the Thaumaturg Jhest Golanjar, who attempted to trap Traveller within a prison of D'riss beneath the sand. However, Ereko, a child of the Earth, was able to counter the magery and retrieve Traveller alive.[16]

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

At the Dolmans of Tien, Ereko faced off against the age old enemy of his people, Kallor. Ages past, the High King had vowed to destroy the Thel Akai race for their support of the people of Jacuruku against his tyranny. Long anticipating the meeting, Ereko faced Kallor without any weapons and forbade Traveller from intervening or seeking vengeance. Kallor easily defeated Ereko and then was driven away by Traveller as the Thel Akai lay dying. Saying he was ready "to join my people. I have been a long time from them", Ereko crumbled into dust, and returned to the Earth. Kyle, who had struck up a friendship with the Thel Akai, was devastated and took Ereko's amulet from his body as a token.[17]

Significant plot details end here.

In Assail Edit

Kyle was present when the Jaghut awakened the Forkrul Assail on the Salt Peaks. The Forkrul were intrigued by the amulet he had received from his friend Ereko, the Thel Akai, and it helped sway them to reforge a new peace among the four races.[18]

QuotesEdit

"This one shall bring your deliverance."
―Queen of Dreams to Ereko regarding Traveller[src]
Kyle: "Won't you rest?"
Ereko: "No, lad. I am so old now that sleeping and waking have melded together into one and I know not which I inhabit."
Kyle: "Truly? So old? As old as the mountains?"
Ereko: "Goodness, no. Not that old. Only half so old, I should think."
―Kyle and Ereko[src]
"How similar the ages remain despite the passage of aeons. How disheartening!"
―Ereko[src]
Ereko: "You and your cabal have erred, Jhest. You should not have chosen D'riss. Any Warren but that. For you seem to have forgotten who, in truth, I am."
Jhest Golanjar: "You are Thel Akai, yes. An ancient race of this land -- a useless remnant of a sad past."
Ereko: "And who were we before we named ourselves, before any other sentient kind arose? Our forebears were children of the earth!"
―Ereko and Jhest Golanjar[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

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