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Kyle

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Kyle was a scout in the Ninth Blade of the Crimson Guard, and part of the Third Induction (recruitment). He was described as having long dark hair and a moustache and physically resembling a Wickan, only squatter with longer limbs.

Kyle, son of Tulo, hailed from the People of the Wind,[1] a plains tribe of the Bael subcontinent who worshipped a god known as "Father Wind". His tribe often raided the neighboring lands of the Nabrajans. One such failed raid resulted in Kyle's capture and enslavement.[2]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

Kyle was purchased by the Crimson Guard around the 1164th year of Burn's Sleep from a Nabrajan slave column to help guide the Guard across the steppes of Bael.[3] He was sworn in by Stoop[4] and joined the siege of the warlock Shen's fortress atop the Spur. He served in the rearguard of Greymane's squad which broke into the Spur's central staircase and confronted Shen directly.[5]

During a lull in the fighting the mage Smoky enchanted Kyle's tulwar with an etched symbol of Wind.[6] When Greymane finally dispatched Shen, the warlock's death freed an Ascendant of Serc which Kyle recognized as his tribe's Blessed Ancestor "Father Wind." Kyle refused to allow the Guard's assassins to kill his god. In the attempt to interfere with Cowl's attack, Kyle was struck in his sword by a blast of lightning and the god was gone.[7] Stoop mollified Cowl by telling him Kyle had been exuberantly trying to claim the honor of killing the god for himself.[8] Kyle was hardened by the incident and vowed a response to the people who had killed his god.[9][10]

After the lightning strike, Kyle noted that his tulwar was now covered in etchings depicting swirls of wind along both sides. He named the sword Tcharka, Gift of Wind.[11]

Kyle was trained to swim by the Guard outside Kurzan, then participated in a waterborne raid to seize several ships needed to transport the Guard off Bael. During the fighting he surprised himself when he used Tcharka to sever the hand of a demon, who stated, "I was not forewarned one of your stature awaited."[12]

With the end of the Crimson Guard Diaspora the Guard's disparate groups began returning to Fortress Haven on Stratem. During Second Company's ocean crossing Greymane apologized to Kyle for the death of the Wind God, saying it had not been his intent. He also opened up about the decisions that had made him a renegade.[13] Kyle felt his hatred for the man weakening.[14]

Waiting for the arrival of the rest of the Guard's scattered forces, Kyle witnessed Skinner and Cowl murder Stoop when Stoop questioned their lack of interest in finding their leader, the missing Duke K'azz D'Avore.[15] Falsely charged with Stoop's murder, Kyle ran west. Three days later, Stoop visited Kyle in a dream to warn him that his Guard pursuers were closing in. Kyle was cornered by the Guard mage Mara before being rescued by fellow deserters the Lost brothers--Stalker, Badlands, and Coots.[16]

The deserters were caught in the act of stealing a boat owned by Traveller and Ereko at Canton's Landing. The six agreed to travel together when Kyle stated that they were headed for the Dolmens of Tien on Jacuruku, a location he had heard mentioned by Skinner as the location of Duke K'azz, and which Ereko reacted strongly to.[17] Over the course of the trip to Jacuruku, Kyle struck up a friendship with Ereko, who concluded that Kyle was the Soldier of Light.[18][19]

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

In Jacuruku, Kyle and the Lost brothers helped fend off the Yakshaka warriors of the Thaumaturgs as they tried to imprison Traveller.[20] But at the Dolmens of Tien he was disappointed to find only a withered corpse where he presumed K'azz D'Avore's prison to be. Even worse, he was unable to prevent Ereko's murder at the hands of the legendary High King Kallor. Kyle took Ereko's amulet from his body as a token.[21] Before departing for Quon Tali they were joined by an old fisherman named Jan.

Their ship was swept by a storm into the Shadow Realm where Kyle accompanied Traveller to a meeting with Shadowthrone and Cotillion. There Kyle discovered that "Father Wind" was actually Osserc, who had taken refuge in Tcharka. Osserc's emergence destroyed the weapon so he replaced Kyle's sword with one of his own (later known as Whiteblade). Traveller accepted an offer from Shadowthrone leaving the rest of the group to travel on alone.[22] Jan revealed himself to be the missing K'azz D'Avore just before they stepped out of Shadow onto the Li Heng battlefield where the Crimson Guard fought the Malazans.[23]

Kyle and the Lost brothers rejoined the Avowed in the Battle of the Plains with Kyle using Osserc's sword to great effect. They helped a small contingent of the Guard bottleneck the pilgrim bridge south of the battlefield and kept twenty-nine thousand Kanese soldiers from assisting the Malazans.[24] Afterwards, Kyle accepted K'azz's gratitude but declined his offer to remain with the Guard. Instead he and the Lost brothers, now joined by Stoop as one of the Brethren, were taken to a recuperating Greymane. The group promised to help Greymane, now a former Guardsman himself and still wanted by the Malazans, escape from the encircling Imperial forces.[25]

In StonewielderEdit

Kyle and the others travelled to Delanss. Greymane set up an unsuccessful fighting school, the Lost brothers left and took a ship west, and Stoop faded away after a few months. Osserc's sword was stolen from Kyle's room and he found himself in the employ of Best, a local extortionist, who promised to recover it. When four Stormguards came hunting for Greymane, the Malazan renegade decided it was time to move on. The two left by ship after Greymane liberated Osserc's sword from Best.[26]

Their voyage was interrupted by a fleet of Malazan ships sent by Emperor Mallick Rel to offer Greymane command of the Malazan Expeditionary Force to Korel. His assignment was to bring his old command, the renegade Malazan 6th Army to heel. A disbelieving Kyle accompanied his friend as Greymane's Adjunct.[27]

The mysterious and brooding plainsman was soon a common sight among the soldiers of the Malaz 4th Army during the fleet's crossing. He began to earn their respect when the fleet challenged the Mare blockade of Fist. As the Marese vessels attempted to grapple and sink his transport ship, Kyle used the Osserc-gifted Whiteblade to cleave through the massive iron chains. Then at the amphibious assault on Aamil, Kyle led the 17th Squad on an attack against a temple of the Lady. The priests were astonished when their powers had no effect on Kyle or anyone standing near him.[28]

While the rest of the army completed mopping up operations at Aamil, Greymane sent Kyle and Divisional Fist Rillish Jal Keth into Rool with an advance force of three thousand soldiers. Rillish soon came to think of Kyle as a natural leader who was treated by his troops with deference much like Greymane was. When the army arrived at a key river crossing below the fortress at Three Sisters, Kyle volunteered to accompany the squads assigned to seize it. Kyle took command when the infiltration effort was discovered prematurely. His resistance to the Lady's magic allowed him to stand against Abbot Nerra and his fellow priests.[29]

Kyle later led a reconnaissance operation with Suth, Loi, Newhorse, and Tolat to observe the movement of their Black Moranth opponents. Unfortunately his presence drew the attention of the Lady who said she smelled the stink of the Queen of Dreams upon him. She sent a pack of monstrous dogs against the team. Kyle was severely wounded in the process and his life was saved by Brother Carfin of the Synod of Stygg.[30]

When the Expeditionary Force occupied Banith, Greymane left Kyle and Rillish to manage the garrison there while the rest of the army pursued Overlord Yeull 'ul Taith to Korelri. Both men were hurt by Greymane's seeming lack of confidence in them and Kyle took to spending his time with the soldiers camped outside of the city.[31]

Rillish was persuaded by the priest Ipshank to lead a mission to seize and destroy a fragment of the Lady from a temple near Thol. Kyle was instrumental in battling the fanatical Stormguard and once again confounded the magic of her priests who demanded to know why the earth protected him. He realized his protection likely came from his friend Ereko, a child of the earth.[32][33]

The mission was successful, but word soon came that Greymane had fallen destroying the Stormwall and defeating the Overlord. Kyle came to the realization that Greymane had left him behind so that he would not share his fate. The plainsman was tired of war and decided to go back home to the plains. He found a place on a ship headed for Assail where he hoped to look up his old friends Stalker, Coots, and Badlands.[34]

In AssailEdit

It was revealed that Kyle's given name was Kylarral-ten and that, like most natives of the Assail regions, he was of distant Jaghut descent. Desperate to get far away from Korel after the events of Stonewielder, Kyle joined the crew of the Lady's Luck on an expedition to the gold fields of Assail.[35] The ship barely made sight of land before the crew, which included many ex-Stormguard, recognized him and forced him overboard.[36] Working his way northeast, Kyle had to fight his way through the territory of the Silent People. Along the way, he was joined by follower travelers, Lyan the shieldmaiden and Dorrin, her royal charge.[37]

After a disastrous fight near the shores of the Dread Sea the group was separated. Kyle tried to rejoin them at Mantle but was once again driven away by people who recognized him as the Whiteblade.[38] Pursued, he found refuge with the Lost brothers, Fisher, Jethiss, and the remnants of the Crimson Guard Fourth Company in the Iceblood lands.[39] Kyle was present when the Jaghut awakened the Forkrul Assail on the Salt Peaks. The Forkrul were intrigued by the amulet he had received from his friend Ereko, the Thel Akai, and it may have helped sway them to reforge a new peace among the four races.[40] After Jethiss received the Blade of Bone, he, Kyle, and Fisher travelled to Coral.[41]

Significant plot details end here.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Assail (novel), Chapter 2
  2. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p. 8/10
  3. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p. 8
  4. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.21
  5. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.15
  6. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.17
  7. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.24
  8. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.26
  9. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.28
  10. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4, UK PB p.89
  11. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 1, UK PB p.28
  12. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 2, UK PB p.56
  13. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 4, UK PB p.147
  14. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4, UK PB p.89
  15. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4, UK PB p.191-192
  16. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4, UK PB p.193
  17. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2, Chapter 1, UK PB p.280
  18. Return of the Crimson Guard, Glossary
  19. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 3, UK PB p.317
  20. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2, Chapter 4, UK PB p.380-387
  21. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2, Chapter 5, UK PB p.433-441
  22. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2, Chapter 5
  23. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3, Chapter 2, UK PB p.604
  24. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 3, UK PB p.625-628
  25. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 4, UK PB p.672-674
  26. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, UK TPB p.61-71
  27. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.126-130
  28. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.236-237/260-261
  29. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.307/327-330
  30. Stonewielder, Chapter 9, US HC p.409-425
  31. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.486/516
  32. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.611
  33. Stonewielder, Epilogue, US HC p.630
  34. Stonewielder, Epilogue, US HC p.630
  35. Assail (novel), Chapter 1
  36. Assail (novel), Chapter 3
  37. Assail (novel), Chapter 5
  38. Assail (novel), Chapter 10
  39. Assail (novel), Chapter 12
  40. Assail (novel), Chapter 15
  41. Assail (novel), Epilogue
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article

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