Falah'd was a title given to some rulers on the continent of Seven Cities. As there were seven of them,[1] it is assumed that they presided over the seven Holy Cities. They were often given the honorific Holy as in Holy Falah'd or Holy Falah'dan although the latter spelling may have signified mostly the plural form.[2] They were sometimes addressed simply as Holy One.[3] A Falah'd would introduce himself without the honorific.[4]

It is unclear if simply Falah'd was also a (lower) rank of ruler for cities other than the Holy Cities. Neither the list of Falah'd nor that of the Holy Cities is known for sure and there seem to be discrepancies between the two. See also: Holy Cities.

The title was also often used in conjunction with Holy Protector.[5]

When Seven Cities was conquered by the Malazan Empire, the Holy Falah'd of the subjugated cities mostly fled or were killed.[6] The office of the Falah'd itself was preserved under Malazan rule with some incumbents allying themselves with the Empire.[7] Falah'd were in charge after the retreat of the Malazans.[8]

Some or all of the Falah'd were (or used to be) priest-mages.[7]

Cities known to have been ruled by a Falah'dEdit


The city’s ruling families and the Holy Protector and Falah’dan who were killed by the T'lan Imass during their assault on Aren were buried in mass graves, forming hills, close to the city.[9]

Enezgura was named as the Falah'd of Aren who had been responsible for the genocide of the Mekhar tribe.[10]


An early Falah'd of the city began an extensive and ambitious building project on the flat top of Jen'rahb which collapsed only three years after its completion in an earthquake, on a day marking an anniversary of the rule of the Falah'd. Over thirty-thousand people died in the disaster, including the Falah'd himself.[11]

The Keep which housed the Malazan Fist had once been the home of the city's Holy Falah'd.[12]


An old Falah'd palace was situated in the heart of Hissar.[13] The last occupant may have been the one whose bones were mentioned to be resting in Hissar Bay.[14]

Hayrith told Barathol Mekhar that she had followed the Holy Army of the Falah'd of Hissar.[15]


Messengers sent to Lothal by Leoman of the Flails in Y'Ghatan brought back greetings from the Falah'd of Lothal.[16]


Temper recalled how the Holy Falah'd of Ubaryd at the time of the conquest of the city by the Malazan Empire was tortured by the Claw and put out of her misery by Dassem Ultor. She was described as having long, curly black hair.[17]

"Temper knew the Seven City campaigns; he’d been there when they took Ubaryd. They’d reached the Palace at night. The marble halls had been deserted but for the corpses of functionaries and guards too slow to flee the Emperor’s smashing of the Falah’d’s power. Upstairs they found the private chambers and the Holy One herself tied by silk ropes to a chair. Three Claws stood about her, knives out. Blood gleamed wetly on the blades and dripped from the moist bonds at the Falah’d’s wrists and ankles, pooled on the coral marble. He and Point had held back, unsure, but Dassem surged ahead and thrust aside the Claw standing before the woman. Her head snapped up, long curls flying back, and though her eyes had been gouged out and her mouth hung open, tongueless, blood streaming down her chin, she seemed to address Dassem directly. The Claws, two men and a woman, eyed each other. One backed away, raised his bloodied knife at what he saw in Dassem’s gaze. The Falah’d’s lips moved silently, mouthing some message or a plea. The female Claw’s eyes widened in sudden understanding and she opened her own mouth to shout, but too late. It happened so quickly it was as if Dassem had merely shrugged. The Falah’d’s head spun away. Blood jetted from her torso. The head toppled to the marble flagging. Its long black curls tangled in blood as it rolled."
―Temper remembering the death of the Holy Falah'd of Ubaryd[src]


Krithasanan had been the Holy Falah'd of Ugarat sometime in the period before Ugarat had first been conquered by the Malazan Empire. He had particularly "liked torturing people" and had worked closely with a favorite official torturer of his, the Avower.[18]

Enqura was the Holy Falah'd of Ugarat at the time of the invasion by the Malazan Empire. The city had been enjoying a renaissance of learning and to avoid satisfying the invaders thirst for knowledge, he ordered the sorcerer Iltara to shut down the eleven schools and confiscate all scrolls and artifacts as well as apprehend the scholars and teachers. By Enqura's decree, all the material was then publicly burned and destroyed and those scholars and teachers who had not already committed suicide out of despair were crucified.[19]

When Karsa Orlong visited the area at the time of the Seven Cities rebellion, the then Holy Falah'd of Ugarat was informed.[8] The Falah'd and his guards waited outside Moraval Keep as Karsa went to investigate if any Malazan soldiers remained inside.[20]


Vedor was the Falah'd of Y'Ghatan when it was approached by Leoman.[21] Leoman killed Vedor and was pronounced Falah'd of Y'Ghatan by those present.[22]

Martial forces of the Falah'danEdit

Falah'dan's Dagger/assassinsEdit

Kalam Mekhar was known to have been a Falah'dan's Dagger, the term likely signifying an elite group of armed individuals in the service of the Falah'd.[23] When Kalam told Whiskeyjack that he had been bodyguard to the Holy Falah['d] of Aren, Whiskeyjack commented that what that really meant was 'his private assassin'.[24]

Five of Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers used to be personal assassins to Holy Falah'dan before the arrival of the Malazan Empire during which time they had been rewarded with gifts of alchemy and sorcery which maintained their youthful appearance and vigour.[25]

Falah'd company of wizardsEdit

The group of wizards who were pursued by a company of Malazan soldiers through Raraku, an endeavour which led to the forming of the Bridgeburners, were described as such. It is unclear if the term was generally used for the mage cadres of the Falah'd.[26]

Hairlock had been a sorcerer fighting the Malazans before changing sides and likely had been in the employ of the Falah'd.[8]


Each of the seven Holy Cities/Holy Falah'd used to have a champion, all of whom were slain by Dassem Ultor. The fact that Y'Ghatan also had one, to Temper's mind proved its claim to being the eighth and oldest Holy City.[7]

Other references to Falah'dEdit

  • Touching the forehead in a ritual gesture of gratitude to a Falah'd was mentioned as now being outlawed. Context seems to indicate that the gesture was specific to addressing a Falah'd.[27]
  • Captain Kindly was rumoured to have once dangled a Falah'd over the edge of the Falah'd palace's tower balcony.[7]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.60
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.60
  3. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.157
  4. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.218
  5. House of Chains, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.805 - example
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.69
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.728
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.71
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.831
  10. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.686
  11. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.84/85
  12. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.98
  13. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65
  14. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.69
  15. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.605
  16. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.276
  17. Night of Knives, Chapter 1, UK HB p.18/19
  18. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US HC p.155
  19. House of Chains, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.804-806
  20. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.147/148/157/158/160
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.164/165
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.220
  23. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.63
  24. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.358
  25. House of Chains, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.723
  26. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.93
  27. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.68/69
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