Kef Tanar was a strategy board- or table-top game developed and played by the Tiste Andii. It took its inspiration from the succession wars among the First Children of Mother Dark with many of the carved wooden figures representing notable personages amongst the Tiste of the time.[1]

The gameEdit

Tiles which represented aspects of Dark, Light and Shadow, were drawn throughout the game from a container and those tiles were used to create the playing field which thus increased in size with each round. They were called field tiles in general but many had secondary names for example some were known as Keep tiles.[1]

Grand City tiles represented Kharkanas, the First City of Dark although players who were introduced to the game in Seven Cities assumed it to be Black Coral. There were over fifty tiles just for the city alone and players could create more if they wished.[1]

The Gate tile (there seemed to be only one) allowed a player to retreat that way. Another know function was that once the gate was in play, a player could summon any dragons he or she had collected.[1]

It seemed that the player whose turn it was to pick a tile could make overtures to the other players for example to become someone's vassal but had to perform the negotiations before revealing the tile.[1]

There were as many kings or queens in play as there were players. Figures and roles mentioned in the books included those of soldiers, mercenaries, mages, high mages, assassins, spies, cavalry, vassals as well as those of dragons. Of the figures described, one of the king figures bore a slash of silver paint on its mane. Another king was made of bleached bonewood and a queen described as being of white fire and opal-crowned.[1]

Knuckles (dice) were thrown to determine various randomized events, for example the delivery of mercenary’s coins to a player's vault.[2]

It was customary that any players who had retreated from the game before it finished could not partake in the celebration with the victor.[3]

In Toll the HoundsEdit

The game had become very popular in Black Coral and had even spread as far as Darujhistan. One human who had become a very good player was Seerdomin, Spinnock Durav's favourite opponent.[4]

Spinnock Durav likely referred to games of Kef Tanar with Anomander Rake when he thought about never having defeated this man in ten thousand years of tabletop wars.[5]

In AssailEdit

Jethiss said that he intended travelling to Coral to pay his respects at the barrow of a man he had spent many evenings with, playing Kef Tanar.[6]

In Fall of LightEdit

Kef Tanar was a commonly played game among Hish Tulla's Houseblades during the civil war period.[7]


The two kings described are alluded to represent Anomander Rake and Silchas Ruin. As for the queen, it is interesting to note that the female pack leader of the Hounds of Light was described as wearing a collar studded with opals and pearls.

Notes and referencesEdit