Humbrall Taur was the warchief of the Senan Clan of the White Face Barghast and rose to be the supreme chief of all the White Face. He was father to ten,[1] including Hetan, Cafal, and Netok.[2]

Captain Paran described him as a huge warrior, "bestial, bedecked in the withered, hair-matted skins of deboned human heads [… wearing a] hauberk of overlapping coins". He had small, flat eyes and used a spiked mace as his weapon of choice and also as a symbol of his rank.[1]

Cafal claimed his father could crush a man's chest with his embrace, wield hook-swords in both hands, and slay ten warriors in seconds. He also said his father was most feared for his intelligence, which had been inherited by Hetan.[3]

In Memories of IceEdit

Humbrall Taur sought to unite the White Face clans under his leadership. He sent his children, Hetan, Cafal, and Netok, to Capustan to demand the return of the bones of their ancestors. The barrows of the Founding Families, whose spirits were now worshipped by the Barghast, had been destroyed by the city's founders. Whoever freed the mortal remains of the Barghast spirit-gods could potentially unite the fractious clans under one rule. Facing certain extinction at the hands of the Pannion Domin, the Mask Council finally relented.[4]

At the same time, he called for a gathering of the White Face tribes. The Barghast Bridgeburner, Trotts, called for recognition of his noble lineage and faced Taur's unnamed youngest son in single combat. Trotts defended his claim by killing the boy, but nearly died himself in the process. Quick Ben helped calm the heated emotions of the Barghast throngs by bringing Barghast Elder Spirits to the camp. Their presence was revealed to the Barghast shouldermen and confirmed the imprisonment of the Barghast gods at Capustan. Taur's primary position among the White Face was secured and he agreed to join the Malazan alliance against the Pannion Domin.[5]

Taur coordinated the efforts of his 70,000 Barghast to lift the Pannion Siege of Capustan.[6][7] By then the city had largely been destroyed and the Barghast negotiated deals with the Mask Council to provide food to the survivors.[8] Taur's people reclaimed the bodies of their ancestors from the Thrall. Through his son Cafal, Taur asked Ganoes Paran to officially bless the Barghast Gods in his role as Master of the Deck. Paran promised to think on it.[9]

Taur attended a parley of the alliance commanders and chose to follow them to fight the Pannion Seer at Coral.[10] When the alliance split in two to cover more ground, Taur chose to travel with the familiar Malazans and Whiskeyjack whose sense of humour he enjoyed.[11] He was amused when Hetan took Kruppe as her lover and suggested her subsequent seasickness while rafting down the Maurik River was a sign of pregnancy.[12]

After the Battle of Black Coral was won, Humbrall and his children turned for home with their clan. Along the way they encountered Kilava Onass and her brother, Onos T'oolan. Hetan turned her attentions to the newly mortal Imass, who responded with obvious interest.[13]

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

In Dust of DreamsEdit

After Hetan married Onos T'oolan, Taur died in an accident while traveling to Lether from Genabackis. His death led to the installation of his son-in-law as the new head of the White Face Barghast.[14]

In The Crippled GodEdit

Ralata told Draconus that Humbrall Taur drowned during the landing upon the shores of the original homeland of the Barghast.[15]

Significant plot details end here.


Humbrall Taur: "Hetan is very much my wife's child, you see."
Whiskeyjack: "And where is your wife?"
Humbrall Taur: "Almost far enough away back in the White Face Range to leave me breathing easily. Almost. Perhaps, by Coral..."
―Humbrall Taur, on his wife[src]

Notes and references Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.387/393
  2. Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.374
  4. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10
  5. Memories of Ice, Chapter 11
  6. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.356
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.704
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.644-648
  10. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.702
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.718
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.836-839
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.995-996
  14. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 4
  15. The Crippled God, Chapter 2

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