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Keruli was a trader.[1] He was described as a short man who wore a shimmering black silk cloak with a grey belt and "a strange, close-fitting cap covered his hairless pate, its style reminiscent of that worn by figures found among Darujhistan's oldest sculptures and in equally ancient tapestries".[2] His unmemorable round face was strangely unlined and portrayed an expression of calm equanimity. His voice commanded respect, and though it was soft, was perfectly modulated. His eyes were described sometimes as dark and uncanny,[2] and other times pale.[3]

Keruli claimed to possess the skills to slip past the cordon of a besieging army. Gruntle alternately thought him to be a mage or priest.[2] He seemed to have an endless supply of coin while being unfamiliar with the price of goods and services, such as hiring caravan guards.[4][2]

In Memories of IceEdit

Keruli hired Gruntle, Harllo, and Stonny Menackis to accompany him as guards along the trader route from Darujhistan to Capustan. Gruntle soon suspected that Keruli was not just the simple merchant he claimed to be.[5] While on the road, Gruntle was approached by the necromancers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, to accompany them on a side trek to the site of the Jaghut Tyrant Raest's former prison. Keruli recommended Gruntle take up the offer and asked him to report back on the necromancers' activities. Both Gruntle and Bauchelain sensed Keruli observing their journey from afar.[6]

When they arrived in Saltoan, Keruli informed Gruntle that he had arranged a meeting with the true rulers of the city, the hold-masters and mistresses. These local crime lords had asked for help against the growing influence of the Pannion Seer. At the meeting Keruli told them to expel proselytizing Pannion Priests by means of rumours and counter-intelligence.[7]

When they met Hetan, Cafal, and Netok on the road, Keruli invited the three White Face Barghast to accompany them to Capustan. He assured Gruntle that they would arrive well before the start of the siege but that in the case of the siege having already started, he had the means to take himself through the cordon into the city unaided.[8]

Keruli advised on a temporary alliance with Bauchelain and Korbal Broach when the groups were threatened by unknown enemies in the area. They eventually came under attack by the creatures, who turned out to be undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters.[9] The K'Chain were defeated with the unexpected help of T'lan Ay. Itkovian, with his Grey Swords and T'lan Imass allies, arrived and found the necromancers alive and well, and most of the others in an unnatural protective sleep. When Gruntle came to his senses in Capustan, Stonny told him that Harllo and Netok died in the attack and Gruntle, upon seing Keruli, severed their association with him.[10] Stonny later told Gruntle that it had in fact been Keruli who had saved their lives by putting them into a dream state causing the K'Chain to think them dead.[11]

Just before the Pannion Siege of Capustan, Keruli took over a home that had been left abandoned after its previous owners committed suicide. Keruli converted the home into a temple and cleansed the dead family's souls, allowing them to live forever in a peaceful dream-world. Gruntle was brought before Keruli by Stonny to apologise. The merchant priest gave Gruntle a potion that would enable the caravan guard Buke to become a Soletaken and assume the form of a bird thus helping him to thwart the murderous activities of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach.[12]

During the siege, Keruli forced his way into the Thrall putting its Gidrath guards into a deep sleep. He appeared before the Mask Council to claim the title of Rath'K'rul, the representative of the Elder God K'rul.[13] He also warned that there was one among them who would betray them. Then he helped Hetan and Cafal ward the Thrall with a protective magic shield that kept the Council safe during the fighting.[14]

After the siege was lifted by the allied forces of Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, Caladan Brood, and Humbrall Taur, Rath'Krul attended a parley of the allied leaders and city representatives. There Kallor, K'rul's old enemy, recognised Keruli as the God himself and Keruli conceded that he was a 'limited manifestation' of the Elder God. He apologised to Gruntle for not having been able to save Harllo due to those limitations.[15]

At the same parley, Itkovian spied Keruli and Quick Ben sharing a mysterious nonverbal communication. The Bridgeburner mage shrugged in response to K'rul's intent stare causing the Elder God to audibly sigh.[16]

Notes and referencesEdit

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