Korbolo Dom was a half-Napan[1][2] Fist in the Malazan Army, stationed in Halaf. Like other Napans, he had blue skin. His hands were pudgy and he had thick lips.[3] He had an expression of cool disdain.[4]

Kalam Mekhar remembered Dom as a superb tactician who had replaced Whiskeyjack after Raraku and in turn was replaced by Dujek Onearm. Empress Laseen had considered him too bloodthirsty for the position and relegated him to garrison duty in Halaf.[5] When the Malazan 7th Army required new leadership she passed over Dom in favour of Coltaine ensuring he would advance no further in the Imperial command.[6]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

After marrying the daughter of Halaf's last Holy Protector, Dom turned renegade during the Whirlwind Uprising. According to Captain Keneb, in the process Korbolo Dom had to execute half his own legion who refused to desert the Malazan Army. The other half joined the rebellion as the Whirlwind Legion[7] with Korbolo Dom the Commander of the Odhan army.[8] It was this army which attacked Orbal and remnants of which hit the civilians and soldiers who escaped, Keneb and his family amongst them.

Dom showed no mercy to his enemies. While heading south from Raraku to Aren, Kalam came across Dom's army encampment. It was surrounded by three rows of crucifixes bearing the nude bodies of thirteen hundred Malazan children.[9]

High Mage Kamist Reloe's failure to destroy Coltaine's Chain of Dogs in a series of battles between Hissar and Ubaryd created an opening for Dom. He took over command of the entire Whirlwind Army joining Reloe's force to his own then chasing Coltaine's lead forces to the River Vathar. Although he could have crushed the small group of Wickan cavalry, he chose to make the battle personal, and waited for the arrival of the man who had superseded him.[10]

At the Battle of Vathar Crossing he used treachery to slaughter twenty thousand refugees and decimate the 7th Army. Afterwards he relentlessly pursued the disintegrating 7th Army to the gates of Aren where he slew Coltaine and his soldiers in view of the city's gates.[11] Dom's fellow traitor Mallick Rel then used trickery to deliver High Fist Pormqual and the ten thousand soldiers protecting Aren into Dom's arms. Dom crucified his prisoners along the entirety of Aren Way, a distance of three leagues.[12]

Despite his successes he failed to take the city and was ordered to move his forces to the Holy Desert by Sha'ik Reborn in anticipation of the Malazan punitive army expected to land in Aren.[13]

In House of ChainsEdit

Korbolo's army was renamed the Dogslayers after they destroyed the Chain of Dogs, and he claimed the title of "Master of the Talon". He was abducted from his camp by Kalam Mekhar and Quick Ben, and claimed his plan was to deliver Sha'ik to Empress Laseen. Pearl and Lostara Yil delivered him bound and unconscious to the Adjunct after her confrontation with Sha'ik.

In The BonehuntersEdit

Korbolo was returned to the Empress and promoted to the rank of High Fist. She also granted him the title of First Sword of Empire, giving him complete control of the Malazan Armies.

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

Back in Quon Tali, Korbolo saw himself and Mallick Rel as the behind the scenes rulers of the Malazan Empire while Laseen ruled in name only. He sought to destablise her rule through encouraging riot and dissent.[14]

Empress Laseen gathered her Imperial Council after the rebel Talian League quickly took possession of Quon Tali province and moved against Li Heng. With less than twenty thousand regulars to defend the continent, High Fist Anand recommended that Malazan forces be consolidated at Unta and then used to expand control outwards. Korbolo instead argued for an immediate attack.[15] Later, in confidence with Mallick Rel, he proposed sending the capital's eight thousand regulars to Gris or Bloor before either city could declare allegiance with the Talians.[16]

Korbolo was away from Unta when it was invaded by the Crimson Guard, but returned in time to join the Empress and the Malaz 4th Army on the journey to Li Heng to confront the Talian League and the Crimson Guard.[17]

As First Sword, his battle dress was layered iron-banded armour and iron-scaled sleeves and hose. His black jupon displayed the silver Imperial scepter while his mount was bedecked with black and silver trappings so long they brushed the ground.[18]

On the first day of the Battle of the Plains, Korbolo fought the League leading the van on horseback at the center of the Malazan lines.[19] Although initially successful, Korbolo's troops were the first to break for the rear followed shortly by Fist D'Ebbin on the right flank. Only Braven Tooth's battlegroup on the Malazan left flank held its place and prevented defeat.[20] After the Malazan victory, Korbolo approached the captive Urko Crust to brag about his victory over his fellow Napan. He also sought to torture Crust by informing him that he had ordered Crust's men left to the mercy of the man-jackal Ryllandaras. Laseen ultimately overruled his order to bring Urko and his troops over to the Malazan side.[21]

The following day Korbolo led the fruitless negotiations with Skinner of the Crimson Guard, demanding they disarm and depart or face crucifixion. In the subsequent battle, Korbolo once again led the Malazan center, this time on foot.[22] Korbolo's troops performed no better against the Guard and were soon broken. Korbolo himself made his way to the protected eastern redoubt where many of his troops had found refuge. He ordered them to attack the Guard's western flank while he remained behind.[23]

After the Guard had been defeated and the battle ended, he was betrayed by Mallick Rel. Mallick noted that Korbolo had retreated to the rear when his phalanx broke against the League. Korbolo countered that he had withdrawn to the rear to lead another unit into battle. The Emperor, however, interpreted this action as the capitulation of the entire Imperial force: once the First Sword was committed to the field, he did not retreat. Korbolo was imprisoned and led away, not to be seen again.[24]


"I have always found it convenient to keep someone around upon whom everything can be blamed."
―Mallick Rel explaining why Korbolo still lived[src]

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