Nether was a Wickan warlock[1] (or witch)[2] and twin sister to Nil. She had dark skin and eyes "like black liquid". She wore "her hair cut bristly short".[3]

Nether was one of the Wickan warlocks reborn and possessed power far stronger than her age would indicate. She had knowledge empowered by lifetimes.[4]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Nether was around nine or ten years old[5] when she served in Sormo E'nath's cadre of mages. She traveled to Hissar on Seven Cities to support Coltaine, the newly appointed Wickan Fist of the Malaz 7th Army. When the Whirlwind rebellion drove the Fist out of Hissar, she became one of Coltaine's Chain of Dogs.

After the Battle of Sekala Crossing Nether, Nil, and Sormo unleashed the spirits of the land to destroy the Semk tribal god.[6] At the Battle of Gelor Ridge she and Nil performed a ritual on the horses of the Foolish Dog Clan which allowed them to charge uphill at an unnaturally high speed and strike Kamist Reloe's elite infantry legions.[7] Afterwards, the twins' skin was pale and their hands were stained black and they were confined to bed for days.[8]

Nether accompanied Duiker and the Foolish Dog Clan on a mission to secure the crossing over the River Vathar. While waiting for Coltaine and the rest of the army to arrive she admitted to Duiker that the Wickans followed the Fist out of awe. When the Fist bloodied the near-Ascendant Gesler's nose both she and Nil gasped in recognition that Coltaine himself was on the path to Ascendency.[9]

Sormo was killed at the Battle of Vathar Crossing leaving Nether and Nil the army's sole remaining warlocks.[10] After the Battle of Sanimon, Coltaine sent the twins and the refugees ahead of the army along with Duiker and an escort of Wickan youths. Nether and Duiker successfully negotiated with Kherahn Dhobri tribe for safe passage and arrived at the gates of Aren without major incident.[11]

Nether and Nil stood safely on the walls of Aren as Coltaine and the last of his soldiers were cut down on the plain below. Duiker had to restrain the warlock as she clawed blood from her scalp in grief.[12]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

An older and more seasoned teen Nether returned home to the Wickan Plains with Nil to lead their people during the Malazan civil war. Rising tensions between Wickans and Malazan settlers led to murder and violence. Over seventy Wickan elders and children took shelter at the Malazan border fort commanded by Lieutenant Rillish Jal Keth before a settler mob surrounded and besieged it. Rillish refused to turn the Wickans over to the mob, and after several weeks the fort fell. Only a suicidal ritual conducted by the Wickan elders to open a magic gateway allowed the soldiers and children to escape.[13]

The Wickan children led the soldiers to the sacred Golden Hills where they were found by Nil and Nether. They revealed that one of the rescued children was Coltaine reborn, and they were determined to take advantage of the chaos Malazan civil war to invade Unta province and force a renegotiation of the Wickan treaties. A moved Rillish joined them as their military adviser.[14] Rillish also began a romantic relationship with Corporal Talia that resulted in a pregnancy.[15][16]

While sacking D'Avig, Nether and Rillish chased the sorcerer Dol D'Avig through the warrens ultimately arriving in the Imperial Warren. Rillish faced Ragman, who quickly departed, apparently sensing Nether and saying, "Not who I was expecting. No, not yet, I think."[17]

After taking Fortress Jurda, Nil and Nether decided they instead needed to make a more notable and lasting effort to strengthen their bargaining position.[18] The sorcerers, Rillish, and a force of one thousand Wickans travelled by warren to Li Heng where they proved to be the decisive factor in the Empire's victory over the Crimson Guard at the Battle of the Plains.[19]

When the mad mage Yathengar opened a Chaos rent upon the field, Nil and Nether joined the Crimson Guard and Malazan forces that attempted to close it. They only succeeded in getting wounded and were dragged out of harm's way by the disapproving Wickan mage Su, the elder cousin of their grandmother.[20][21] Su, with Nil and Nether in tow, later confronted new Emperor Mallick Rel and appeared to gain Imperial concessions regarding the Wickan lands.[22]


Nil: "The locals believe Coltaine ascended, Nether. The new Patron of Crows—"
Nether: "Fools. Wickans do not ascend. We just… reiterate."
―Nether and Nil[src]

Notes and referencesEdit