Korbal Broach was a necromancer and the silent partner of Bauchelain.[2] The duo were known as the Nehemoth. He was a eunuch[3] and a Soletaken, able to shapeshift into the form of a crow.[4] Emancipor Reese acted as manservant to both.

Broach was a large, pale, bald man "as big as a half-blooded Trell" with an oversized round face and thick lips.[5][6] His face was both childlike and ineffably monstrous, his eyes buried in puffed flesh and his lips slightly downturned at the corners. Despite his imposing stature, he moved with a fluid grace.[7] He usually remained silent in the company of others, but when he did speak, his voice was unexpectedly high and reedy and he had a disturbing tendency to giggle to himself.[8] He wore full-length chain armor under a thick black cloak,[9] and wielded a hand-and-a-half sword.[10]

Possibly due to the fact that he was a eunuch, he was obsessed with "procreating", in his own way. He hunted at night and collected various organs and souls from his victims, piecing them together to form a patchwork "child", which he kept for the most part in a locked chest.

Broach was a personal enemy of Hood, the god of death, who Bauchelain claimed was "easily irritated."[11] His first solution to any problem was to kill all opponents and witnesses. Bauchelain was usually able to curb his more extreme instincts. The Bonecaster Pran Chole described him as insane, but a lesser threat than Bauchelain. He said Broach "plies the chaos on the edge of Hood's realm".[12]

He was immensely strong, able to carry heavy weights, and break iron in his bare hands.[13] He also possessed a sweet tooth.[14] He was said to heal quickly.[15]

In Blood FollowsEdit

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach travelled on the Mist Rider from Korel to Lamentable Moll. Broach then stalked the streets of Moll killing residents for the body parts and souls he needed to complete his "child" while Bauchelain engaged in his own research. Broach's methods were particularly gruesome and left behind traces of necromantic sorcery that brought him to the attention of Watch sergeant Guld and court magus Stul Ophan. At Fishmonger's Round, Broach was run to ground by Guld as he attempted to slay Princess Sharn. Only the intervention of the supernatural rat-hunters, Birklas Punth and Blather Roe, halted his killing spree. Both necromancers and manservant Reese left the city on the Suncurl.[16]

In The Lees of Laughter's EndEdit

Korbal Broach spent his time on the Suncurl flying as a crow in the ship's wake.[17] Interested in attaining shark cartilage for his experiments, he severed the ear of crewman Gust Hubb for use as bait on a fishing line.[18] When he learned of the lich rampaging on board the ship he released his patchwork homunculus from its warded trunk to flush the lich out.[19] Broach interrupted his search for the lich to investigate the six demonic statues in the ship's storeroom. The statues nearly beat him to a pulp before the timely intervention of Bauchelain and a god-thing from the sea resulted in the statues' removal.[20] Finally tracking the lich down, Broach killed it by tearing off its head.[21] By this time the Suncurl was severely damaged and its crew decimated. Broach used his homonculus as bait to hook a Dhenrabi so that it would tow the ship behind it.[22]

In The Wurms of BlearmouthEdit

Shortly after departing Laughter's End, the Suncurl was attacked by the Unreasoning Vengeance. Her crew of Chanters sought vengeance against Captain Sater for stealing the Toll's City treasury. Bauchelain and Broach helped defend the ship, but the Suncurl was ultimately wrecked on a reef off the coast of Spendrugle.[23] Broach flew to safety in crow form while Bauchelain dragged Reese from the surf.[24] On shore, Broach collected the drowned corpses of two of the Suncurl's three Brivs and dragged them up the road to town.[25]

Broach was confronted by Spendrugle's armed golem Grimled but Broach quickly destroyed him. Constable Hordilo Stinq came perilously close to death when he tried to arrest Broach before Bauchelain arrived and smoothed things over.[26] Stinq escorted the necromancers to Wurms Keep where an impatient Broach tore the handle off the keep's door and destroyed its guardian golem, Gorebelly. Nevertheless Fangatooth invited the pair of sorcerors to dinner and Broach set the now reanimated and sewn together Briv corpses as the door's new guardian.[27] During dinner conversation, Bauchelain chided their host for poisoning their food with yellow paralt. To show there were no hard feelings the necromancer offered to make cookies in the keep's kitchen.[28] Fangatooth attempted to flaunt his own poison resistance by accepting Bauchelain's offer, but the lord was not prepared for the demon that exploded out of his stomach. Broach was excited to get his own bowl of tasty cookie icing. He used his magic to heal the sailor Gust Hubb using various body parts he had on hand and afterwards accidentally destroyed the keep's last golem, Grinbone.[29] Broach then prepared a massive, black-lacquered carriage pulled by six black horses for their departure from Spendrugle.[30]

In Memories of Ice Edit

Three years after leaving Lamentable Moll,[31] Korbal Broach, Bauchelain, and Reese traveled for the first time to Darujhistan on Genabackis. Arriving shortly after the events of Gardens of the Moon, the necromancers heard tales for the first time of the Malazan Empire and the skykeep, Moon's Spawn.[32] For two weeks, the pair engaged in their usual activities, visiting arcane places such as the new Finnest House and leaving a ghastly trail of murders in their wake.[33][34]

As city leaders searched for the mysterious killer, the necromancers departed on the caravan road towards Saltoan. Along the way, they sought to investigate the tomb where the Jaghut Tyrant Raest had been imprisoned before being freed by the Malazans. Bauchelain sent Reese to bring them the well-respected caravan guard Gruntle to serve as their escort. Gruntle was encouraged to assist by his own employer, Keruli, but demurred entering the tomb upon meeting the disquieting Broach. Bauchelain and Broach observed Moon's Spawn as it passed on the horizon wary of attracting Anomander Rake's attention. Then Broach asked his partner's permission to kill Gruntle, but Bauchelain apologised for his partner's "simple notions" and permitted Gruntle to make a hasty retreat. The necromancers then descended into the tomb.[35]

Bauchelain continued to look for a caravan guard to hire as they traveled eastward. This proved to be a difficult task as his eerie manner and choice of companion in Korbal Broach scared off any would-be employees, save the suicidal Buke. Gruntle tried to warn off Buke only to learn his friend had taken the job because he was convinced Korbal Broach was responsible for the murders in Darujhistan, and he sought justice.[36] Similar murders later occurred in Saltoan during their stay there.[37]

Necromancers at work by Dejan Delic

Necromancers at work by Dejan Delic

Continuing on the road to Capustan, the necromancers broke into a Barghast barrow and enslaved the Rhivi spirit they found there. Then they were attacked by an undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunter, who destroyed another of Korbal Broach's "children", as well as a trunk of arcanely inscribed slates, before breaking off the attack. A later attack by six more Hunters was only defeated by the combined efforts of the necromancers, Gruntle's caravan, and an army of T'lan Imass and T'lan Ay.[38][39]

Of the two caravans, only the necromancers escaped without severe injury. A fascinated Broach approached the undead T'lan Imass and was knocked off his feet by the Bonecaster, Pran Chole, for his poor manners. Broach was able to use his powers to make quick repairs to their devastated carriage using the bones and skin of the slain Hunters.[40]

On the eve of the Siege of Capustan, Bauchelain and Broach took possession of an abandoned estate within the city and continued their predations.[41] Broach slept during the day and hunted at night.[42] During the siege, the pair defended their mansion using combined forces sorcery, undead, and Sirinth demons.[43][44] While running errands for his employers, Buke secretly organised the locals to keep watch on the estate. The guard was also given a potion by Keruli that allowed him to spy on the pair as a Soletaken sparrowhawk. Amidst the chaos of the siege, Broach's hunts began to turn up empty. But Bauchelain was aware of Buke's activities and gave him a stern warning to stop interfering before reassigning him to serve as captain of the estate's undead guards animated by Broach. The two also violently repelled Rath'Shadowthrone's attempts to contact them through his servant, Marble.[45]

The necromancers took an interest in Anaster, leader of the hordes of cannibal Tenescowri assaulting the city. Approaching him on the battlefield in their Soletaken forms, their own sorcery and summoned demons were repelled by the powerful magic protecting him.[46]

Later, they were visited by Quick Ben, who wanted to take the necromancers' measure. He bypassed the estate's wards and guardians to appear in the house's main chamber before Bauchelain. Over a drink of wine, the Bridgeburner mage warned about the threat the Crippled God posed. Korbal Broach attempted to kill the Malazan mage with a surprise attack, but he was blasted into the next room by Quick Ben's use of six Warrens in precise conjunction. Bauchelain fared no better at his own attack on the mage. As Quick Ben departed the unconscious necromancers, Reese rebuked him for not finally killing off his employers.[47]

Once the siege was over, the necromancers readied to depart. They approached Bridgeburner Corporal Picker for directions to someone who could provide them supplies. Picker did not care for Bauchelain's haughty manner and knocked him unconscious with a gauntleted fist to the face. Blend assisted by dropping Broach with a sword pommel to the skull.[48]

On his final hunt before leaving the city, Broach stalked the dying Mhybe as she was brought into Capustan by Coll and Murillio. Broach knocked Murillio unconscious and the two Daru were saved only by the appearance of the Knight of Death, a servant of Hood. The Knight demanded Broach release his undead guards and depart the city than questioned whether the necromancers knew the fate Hood planned for them. Broach giggled that the god would have to catch them first before veering into his crow form and fleeing.[49]

The necromancers followed the allied army to Coral pulling two wagons full of corpses and loot. They were stopped by Gruntle who was suspicious at his friend Buke's absence. Reese confirmed that Buke had walked away from the job and Bauchelain asked Gruntle to let Buke know he was fired. Itkovian informed the necromancer that Reese was in pain from a broken tooth, so Bauchelain requested Broach make use of his surgical skills despite Reese's tearful pleading.[50]

After the Battle of Black Coral, the necromancers sought to make their new home in the corpse-strewn city that was now darkened by Kurald Galain. But Gruntle warned the pair that the Malazan and Tiste Andii occupiers would not tolerate Broach's hobbies. Bauchelain then asked for etiquette advice regarding an invitation to a visit from Jib Bole and the Bole brothers. Keeping the knowledge of the brothers' lethal hatred of necromancers to himself, the caravan guard recommended Bauchelain wear his best.[51]

In The Healthy DeadEdit

Four years after leaving Lamentable Moll, Bauchelain, Korbal Broach, and Reese arrived on the outskirts of Quaint.[52] They were one step ahead of an army pursuing them after they burned down half of the last town they had visited.[53] Determined to keep a low profile they were nevertheless persuaded by Imid Factallo and Elas Sil to bring down the tyrannical health-based regime of King Macrotus for a large chest of gold and silver coins.[54]

Bauchelain and Broach raised the spirit of dead King Necrotus, and convinced him to join their uprising against his brother Macrotus.[55] Then Broach used the blood of Well Knight Storkul Purge to raise the city's dead en masse from their graves.[56] Bauchelain entered the now burning city and unmasked the Lady of Beneficence as the true villain behind the king's tyranny.[57]

In Crack'd Pot Trail Edit

Bauchelain, Broach, and Reese travelled the Cracked Pot Trail to reach Farrog, home of the Indifferent God. The two necromancers, deciding that the god had "reneged on the most precious covenant of all", had determined that its life was forfeit. As they made the final ferry crossing to the city they witnessed a peculiar accident as a carriage, in its haste to make the ferry, fell over three hundred feet to the river from the nearby cliffs.[58]

In StonewielderEdit

Hiam, Lord Protector of the Stormwall, and Wall Marshal Learthol discussed the unusual circumstance of a mage being allowed to practice his craft in the realm of Our Lady the Blessed Saviour. Learthol recalled stories of a pair of travelling sorcerers who had once received similar dispensation. Hiam dismissed the pair as "merely passing through" and "of no consequence."[59]

In Orb Sceptre ThroneEdit

Korbal Broach, along with Bauchelain, was seen in the remnants of the fallen Moon's Spawn Islands. They were seeking the Throne of Night, which was thought to be destroyed.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1
  2. Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
  3. Memories of Ice‎, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.333
  4. Blood Follows, Section 19
  5. Blood Follows, Section 8
  6. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 30
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1
  8. Blood Follows, Section 8
  9. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 30
  10. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.235
  11. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 20
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.281
  13. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Sections 5 and 12
  14. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 27
  15. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
  16. Blood Follows, Section 20
  17. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 1
  18. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 4 and 6
  19. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 21
  20. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 40-41
  21. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 42
  22. The Lees of Laughter's End, Section 44
  23. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Sections 3 and 11
  24. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 3
  25. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 5
  26. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 6
  27. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Sections 12 and 39
  28. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 20
  29. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 40
  30. The Wurms of Blearmouth, Section 48
  31. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.228
  32. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.44
  33. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.44
  34. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.122
  35. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.41-46
  36. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.121-122
  37. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.214
  38. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6
  39. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
  40. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.280-281
  41. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.350
  42. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.460
  43. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.535
  44. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.636
  45. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.451/460/486-489
  46. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.488-492
  47. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.634-641/648-652
  48. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.707
  49. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.757-762
  50. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.793-796
  51. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.988-989
  52. The Healthy Dead, Section 11
  53. The Healthy Dead, Section 5
  54. The Healthy Dead, Section 5
  55. The Healthy Dead, Section 8
  56. The Healthy Dead, Section 19
  57. The Healthy Dead, Section 36
  58. Crack'd Pot Trail, Chapter 6
  59. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, UK TPB p.569
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