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Kallor

Interpretation of Kallor, Illustration by Simon Underwood

Kallor by Fiddler

Interpretation of Kallor, Illustration by Fiddler

Kallor, full name Kallor Eidermann Tes'thesula,[3] was second-in-command of Caladan Brood's forces during the Malazan campaign in Genabackis.[4] The self-declared High King claimed to have lived for millennia, and declared he had once ruled an empire that he himself had ultimately destroyed.[5] While on campaign, he traveled everywhere with an ornate, ironwood throne.[6][7]

He was tall and gaunt, and looked exceptionally old. His narrow face was dark and lined, ravaged by age, and his long grey hair hung about his back and shoulders.[8][5][9] He had dull, lifeless eyes, a gravelly voice,[10] pallid skin,[11] and usually carried a sneering look of disdain on his face.

Kallor wore an ancient, oft-mended,[11] full-length chain surcoat and a dull grey helmet.[5] His weapon of choice was a plain hand and a half sword,[8] also known as a bastard sword, which he wore strapped to his back.[12]

His tactical genius was legendary, and he possessed "an instinctive mastery of the sweep and shift of vast campaigns", and he claimed not to have faced defeat in a hundred thousand years. But he could barely disguise his own disinterest in such contests, earning him grudging respect from his troops, but not their loyalty.[11][13] He had a hatred for sorcery, preferring to rely on the natural arcana of alchemy.[6]

He saw himself as a hunter who lay in wait for decades or centuries of interminable boredom while the children around him grew blind to his danger. Then, when the moment was right, he would act explosively and with certainty.[6] The long lived High King no longer dreamed, each night reminding him of his fears of oblivion.[7]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

Kallor served Brood uneasily during the fighting against the Malazans at Blackdog Forest where he was dismissive of the military success of Crimson Guard officer Jorrick Sharplance. He also counseled Brood to destroy Anomander Rake rather than ally with him, but his advice went unheeded. Brood left Kallor in charge when he left to confer with Crimson Guard commander K'azz D'Avore. After Brood departed Kallor swore Brood would rue dismissing his advice.[14]

When the allied city of Pale fell to the Malazan siege, Brood left the Crimson Guard behind to hold the north while the rest of his troops moved south to respond. High Fist Dujek Onearm was forced to parley with Brood and Kallor outside Pale in order to extricate his forces.[15]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

While passing through the Imperial Warren, Kalam spied the collapsed dome of a fallen palace or temple bearing the deeply carved sigil of a crown. He recognized it as the symbol from Kallor's standard from when the Malazan Empire clashed with the High King and Caladan Brood at Blackdog Forest. Fiddler noted that legend held Kallor to be tens of thousands of years old and Kallor himself claimed to have once ruled empires, each one making the Malazan Empire seem no larger than a province. Kallor boasted he had destroyed them all and made worlds lifeless.[16]

In Memories of Ice Edit

Kallor by artsed-d8upomn

Interpretation of Kallor by Artsed

Kallor continued in his role as Brood's second when the warlord allied himself with their former enemy, High Fist Dujek Onearm, against the Pannion Domin. The High King was shown to resent Brood's authority over him, but was wary of the warlord's power and thus never directly challenged him. He was openly hostile to Silverfox, a reincarnation of sorts of Nightchill, and demanded she be slain as an abomination. When Whiskeyjack stood in Silverfox's defence, Kallor laughed in contempt. In response, the Bridgeburner struck him across the face with the back of his gauntled hand, something no one had done in centuries. Kallor would remember.[17][18]

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

Approached by Gethol, Kallor allied himself with the Crippled God, accepting the position of High King in the new High House Chains in return for being provided with an opportunity to kill Silverfox.[19] He repeatedly advised Brood to turn on their Malazan allies after it was revealed that Dujek maintained his own secret goals and ambitions from the warlord.[20]

After the alliance successfully lifted the Pannion Siege of Capustan, Brood called for a parley of the victorious commanders and representatives of the city. There, Kallor recognised Keruli as his old enemy, K'rul, and revealed his identity to the others.[7] The alliance decided to next confront the Pannion Seer and his armies at Coral.

The armies divided to separately liberate Setta and Lest before rejoining at Maurik to march on Coral together. Dujek devised a plan to secretly send the bulk of the Malazan army ahead to Coral without alerting their allies. Whiskeyjack was left behind to break the news at Maurik, earning Brood and Kallor's scorn. Korlat and her Tiste Andii joined Whiskeyjack's small army in their attempt to force march to Coral where Dujek was already engaged in the Battle of Black Coral. But Brood heeded Kallor's advice to allow his own soldiers to linger behind. The High King's scathing disrespect for Korlat, Whiskeyjack's lover, led her brother, Orfantal, to promise Kallor that "when all this is done... I will come for you."[21]

Kallor separately travelled to Coral and made his move on Silverfox during the battle. He struck down and gravely wounded Korlat and would likely have succeeded in slaying the young Bonecaster as well had not Whiskeyjack stepped between him and Silverfox. This resulted in Whiskeyjack's death by Kallor's hand when the Bridgeburner's injured leg failed during their duel.[22] Kallor was himself seriously wounded by Whiskeyjack's bodyguards and the sorcery of Artanthos before crying out for help and disappearing into the Warren of the Crippled God.[23]

After the battle, Korlat and Orfantal set off in pursuit of Kallor, with Anomander Rake requesting they bring him back alive to face Dragnipur's justice.[24]

Significant plot details end here.

In Toll the Hounds Edit

Kallor v orfantal finalsmall

'Kallor versus Orfantal'
Interpretation by Corporal Nobbs

Kallor having landed upon the coast of Genabackis, proceeded to walk hundreds of leagues northward across the Lamatath Plain towards Darujhistan, while musing about his past.[25][26]

The 'High King' eventually encountered Nimander Golit and his band of close kin and he decided to accompany the Tiste Andii on their journey to Bastion - where Kallor would be able to pick up the track through the Cinnamon Wastes which led to Darujhistan, his goal. Along the way, Kallor and the others discovered the Jaghut, Gothos, in a ruined tower that, at one time, had been an Azath House.[27][28]

Once the group entered Bastion, Kallor left the others - who were heading for the city center - to go off on his own down a side street to examine the ruins of an "enormous mechanism" which seemingly had fallen from the sky. The 'High King' thought that the original makers of this wreck had been K'Chain Che'Malle.[29]

Kallor, having left Bastion on his own, continued on his way to Darujhistan, where he sensed an important convergence was in the process of developing. The 'High King' felt a driving need to be there in time so as to be in a position to achieve his ultimate goal of taking over the 'Broken Throne' from the Crippled God.[30]

Waking up out of sleep to the smell of death, Kallor found himself staring up at Tulas Shorn, an undead Soletaken dragon, with whom he then had a wide-ranging conversation, including the history of the ancient Jaghut war against Death itself - of which the dragon had been a part.[31]

The 'High King' eventually reached the vicinity of Darujhistan.[32] As night fell and he neared the city, he came to a crossroad, lit by four burning torches, where Kallor encountered Spinnock Durav. The Tiste Andii was determined to prevent Kallor from getting any closer to Darujhistan that night. Thus, the two great swordsmen fought the whole night through.[33]

As dawn approached, Kallor finally defeated Spinnock, but the 'High King' stayed his hand and did not deliver a killing blow. Kallor realized that Spinnock had kept him from Darujhistan just long enough so that Kallor was now too late to take advantage of the convergence. Still, the 'High King' continued on his way, leaving Spinnock grievously wounded but alive.[34]

However, even as Kallor again proceeded towards to city, the Tiste Andii Soletaken Eleints, Korlat and her brother Orfantal, finally caught up with the 'High King' - who they had been hunting for some time. Korlat stopped to save Spinnock's life, but Orfantal, tackling Kallor alone, was outmatched and was killed by the 'High King'.[35]

Kallor, finally reaching the eastern outskirts of Darujhistan, decided to go no further than an empty tavern that he had found. There he helped himself to bad ale while listening to the overwhelming sound of all of the many bells of Darujhistan tolling together - thinking to himself, "Death, ruin, grief... They're playing [my] song".[36]

In Return of the Crimson Guard Edit

Kallor killed Ereko, the last of the Thel Akai, at the Dolmens of Tien, fulfilling a vow he made ages past to destroy that ancient race for their support of the people of Jacuruku against his tyranny. He then sneeringly fought Ereko's friend Traveller and was astonished to be bested by him. Before Traveller could finish him off, Kallor called out to his patron for aid and retreated to the Crippled God's Warren.[37][38]

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

In Blood and Bone Edit

Kallor was known as the Warleader (or the Grey Ghost)[39] throughout the majority of the book, where he took the part of a mercenary commander. With his second in command Scarza he lead the Tribes of the Adwami in their invasion of the Thaumaturg lands, also bargaining help from the Shaduwam mages without consulting the Adwami.

The Shaduwam Agon worshipped the Demon-King, Kell-Vor - implied to be Kallor.[40]

During the battle of the Thaumaturg capital Anditi Pura he killed the Adwami princess Andanii as she attacked him, having discovered his identity.[41] The other major Adwami Warband leader Jatal attempted to avenge this act with Scarza's help.[42] After the Thaumaturg Circle's second attempt to destroy Kallor using a meteor from the "Green Banner" - the Crippled God's followers, the original being the Crippled God himself - failed, he survived. Jatal and Scarza caught up with him and Jatal asked Kallor to kill him so that he could be with Andanii. Kallor obliged, killing Jatal with a single thrust. He asked Scarza to accompany him in his new endeavor, finding and killing Draconus, but Scarza declined.

Significant plot details end here.

SpeculationsEdit

It is unknown whether the High King referred to in the Kharkanas Trilogy is Kallor.

In Forge of DarknessEdit

The rogue Azathanai, Errastas, spoke of fleeing over the ocean from Kurald Galain to the High Kingdom, whose borders were closed to his kind. He said the High King was a "perfect liege" "so beloved among his people."[43] The Azathanai, Old Man, stunned Draconus with the displeasing words that "the High King has built a ship."[44]

HistoryEdit

Kallor by GenKael

Interpretation of Kallor by GenKael

Kallor once conquered an entire continent over a period of fifty years. His Kallorian Empire was approximately contemporaneous - being 119,739 years before Burn's Sleep - to the Human First Empire. Kallor's despotic rule as 'High King' over his empire on the continent of Jacuruku led a group of eight "mighty wizards" to look for a power source strong enough to successfully oppose him. The eight wizards managed to ensnare a being from a distant, unknown realm. This being, later known as the Crippled God, was torn into pieces and, in the process of falling to earth, these pieces shattered the continents of Korel and Jacuruku. The fallen being, however, somehow remained alive.[45][46]

A few years later, Kallor, having delivered one insult too many, three Elder Gods, K'rul, Draconus, and the Sister of Cold Nights - who later became known as Nightchill - joined together to free the twelve million people who were slaving under the High King's despotic rule. Kallor vowed that he would never allow the Gods to take from him what he could not have, and to forestall them, he burned the entire continent and all its inhabitants to ash and bone. Since the devastation had already occurred by the time they faced Kallor on his throne - the only object left unburned, the trio of Elder Gods decided to retaliate by each of them casting a curse upon Kallor. They cursed Kallor to live forever, while suffering physically and mentally like a mortal. Also, he would never ascend.[47][48]

My Game, My Rules by Corporal Nobbs

Kallor by Corporal Nobbs

The actual words of the curses were:

K'rul: "Know this: you, Kallor Eiderann Tes'thesula, shall know mortal life unending. Mortal, in the ravages of age, in the pain of wounds and the anguish of despair. In dreams brought to ruin. In love withered. In the shadow of Death's spectre, ever a threat to end what you will not relinquish."
Draconus: "Kallor Eiderann Tes'thesula, you shall never ascend."
Sister of Cold Nights: "Kallor Eiderann Tes'thesula, each time you rise, you shall then fall. All that you achieve shall turn to dust in your hands. As you have wilfully done here, so it shall be in turn visited upon all that you do. Three voices curse you. It is done."
―K'rul, Draconus, and the Sister of Cold Nights cursing Kallor[src]

Kallor, in turn, used the power of the millions of deaths caused by his destruction of his empire to curse K'rul, Draconus, and the Sister of Cold Nights. He cursed K'rul to "fade from public eye", Draconus to imprisonment in a creation of his own making (Dragnipur), and the Sister of Cold Nights to be torn apart on a field of battle.[49][50]

Kallor 1

Kallor by Corporal Nobbs

The actual words of the curses Kallor spoke were:

"I shall break you. Each of you. I swear this upon the bones of seven million sacrifices. K'rul, you shall fade from the world, you shall be forgotten. Draconus, what you create shall be turned upon you. And as for you, woman, unhuman hands shall tear your body into pieces, upon a field of battle, yet you shall know no respite -– thus, my curse upon you, Sister of Cold Nights. Kallor Eiderann Tes'thesula, one voice, has spoken three curses. Thus."
―Kallor cursing K'rul, Draconus, and the Sister of Cold Nights[src]

Kallor's destroyed empire was preserved by K'rul as a Warren so that the land would be able to heal. The Sister of Cold Nights remarked that the act of fashioning a Warren for the remains of the empire would break K'rul. The Elder God replied that there was no other way. And indeed, in the aftermath of the cursing, when the remains of the collapsed empire were pulled into the Warren, K'rul felt that the wounds and scars just cast upon him would never heal.[51]

To counteract at least part of the curse, Kallor subsequently used alchemy, not only to extend his lifespan, but also to rejuvenate himself. He did this by periodically burning Century Candles at night - which each time gained him another one hundred healthy years in a single night.[52]

Legend had it that hundreds of years before the foundation of the Malazan Empire in the 1058th year of Burn's Sleep, Kallor – as warlord - had terrorized all of southern Genabackis in a series of ferociously cataclysmic wars which had led to the formation of the famous "martial orders of Elingarth", such as the 'Grey Swords'. Kallor’s fortified capital and headquarters had been built on what came to be known as Seven Ruins Island. Seven Ruins was located just off the southern coast of Genabackis – probably more or less due south of the city of Elingarth - and had received its name because of the ruined remains of Kallor’s fortress stronghold and cenotaph which could still be found hundreds of years later in the highlands of the island. Because of this history and these ruins, Seven Ruins Island had the reputation of being haunted by the ancient warlord, whose actual name, by this time, had been forgotten by the locals.[53]

QuotesEdit

Kallor: "More directly, however, you seem to forget my...experience. For all that I seem to grate upon all of you, I have walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I have commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I have spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?"
Caladan Brood: "Yes. You never learn, Kallor."
―Kallor explaining the value of his tactical analysis to Caladan Brood.[src]
"Too much weight was given to history... One's own history; that of peoples, cultures, landscapes. What value peering at past errors in judgement, at mischance and carelessness, when the only reward after all that effort was regret? [Kallor] had lived out his every ambition...living each one out until colour was drained away, leaving a bleached, wan knowledge that there wasn't much in life worth the effort to achieve it. That the rewards proved ephemeral; nay, worthless."
―Kallor reflecting on his past.[src]
"How many women had there been? [Kallor] had lost count...watching those [women] lose all their beauty, surrendering their youth, until there was no choice but...to discard them, to lock them away, one by one... Too bad he'd had to kill every child he begat. No doubt that left most of his wives and lovers somewhat disaffected... Attachments...they were indeed a waste of time...a weakness. To rule an empire -- to rule a hundred empires -- one needed a certain objectivity. All was to be used, to be remade howsoever he pleased."
―Kallor's views on personal relationships.[src]
"There were times, Kallor reflected, when he despised his own company... Despising himself was, oddly enough, a comforting sensation, for he knew he was not alone in his hate."
―Kallor's thoughts when travelling alone through the desert.[src]

TriviaEdit

Kallor had one, particularly memorable, war horse, Vaderon, which had given up its life to save that of the High King.[54]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
  2. Memories of Ice, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.591
  3. Memories of Ice, Prologue
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.852
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.437-438
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.716-717
  8. 8.0 8.1 Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.112
  10. Gardens of the Moon Chapter 10, US HC p.243
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.94
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.844
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.853
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.242-243
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24, US HC p.480
  16. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 13, US HC p.362
  17. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.104-106
  18. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.166
  19. Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.439-440
  20. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.623
  21. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.841-847
  22. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.1058
  23. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.1058
  24. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.979
  25. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 4, US TPB p.116/118
  26. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 6, US TPB p.184
  27. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 6, US TPB p.186-187
  28. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 8, US TPB p.240-242/258-265/270-271/274
  29. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 10, US TPB p.335-336/339-340
  30. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 12, US TPB p.408-409
  31. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 16, US TPB p.515-518/535
  32. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 20, US TPB p.668-669
  33. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 22, US TPB p.727-729
  34. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, US TPB p.776-778
  35. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, US TPB p.778-780
  36. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 24, US TPB p.815
  37. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 3, UK PB p.319-320
  38. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5, UK PB p.437-440
  39. Blood and Bone, Prologue
  40. Blood and Bone, Chapter 1, UK MMPB, p.87
  41. Blood and Bone, Chapter 11, UK MMPB, p.623
  42. Blood and Bone, Chapter 11, UK MMPB, p.627
  43. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.502
  44. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 11, UK HC p.318
  45. Memories of Ice, Prologue, US TPB p.24-29
  46. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US TPB p.338
  47. Memories of Ice, Prologue, US TPB p.24-29
  48. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US TPB p.338
  49. Memories of Ice, Prologue, US TPB p.24-29
  50. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US TPB p.338
  51. Memories of Ice, Prologue, US TPB p.28
  52. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US TPB p.338
  53. Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 7, US TPB p.145-146
  54. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 18, US TPB p.592
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