Admiral Nok [pronounced as in 'nocking' an arrow] was the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Malaz Navy. His flagship was the Star of Unta.[1] Nok was known for his legendary taciturnity,[2] and was thought of as being 'cold iron'.[3] Hawl was his wife.[4]

Nok was a quite old but well preserved man with skin darkened by sun and wind to the hue of ironwood. He had a shock of pale long white hair, snowy brows, and a white moustache and goatee. He was very tall and thin.[5][6][7]

Nok had famously sworn a vow never to set foot on dry land again,[8] although it was unclear when this vow was made. He did set foot on land during the course of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.[9]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Shortly before the start of the Whirlwind uprising in Seven Cities, Nok's Sahul Fleet was recalled from Hissar to Aren by High Fist Pormqual. This left Fist Coltaine's 7th Army isolated and unsupported.[10] When he arrived at the site of the Empire's High Command he was placed under arrest by the High Fist to guarantee his fleet would remain in Aren's harbour.[11]

In House of ChainsEdit

Dujek Onearm and Nok were now the last of the commanders from Kellanved's old family, Nok being the only admiral who didn't drown. With the sudden deaths of Urko and Cartheron Crust, Nok had been given overall command of the imperial fleets. When rumours of rebellion in Seven Cities were at their height, Laseen had sent Nok with a hundred and seven of his ships to Seven Cities, however, the actions of the High Fist of Aren had effectively impounded the fleet in the harbour, otherwise, Coltaine's Chain of Dogs might not have happened.[12]

Nok appeared before Adjunct Tavore Paran in Aren as she readied her Malaz 14th Army to march against the Whirlwind rebels at Raraku. His assignment was the reconquest of the subcontinent's port cities to provide supplies to the army as it moved.[13] By the time the army reached Vathar Crossing, Nok had retaken the city of Ubaryd.[14]

As the army neared Raraku, Nok was in contact with a Malazan collaborator in Ehrlitan, who had issued a secret invitation to the fleet.[15] As Nok's ships rounded the Otataral Sea, they were joined by Dujek and eleven transports carrying the survivors of Onearm's Host.[15] They reached Ehrlitan a week before the Battle of Raraku, but were too late to affect the outcome.[16]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

Korbolo Dom questioned why Nok did not come to the aid of the Empire during the Malazan civil war. Empress Laseen replied that she had placed Nok in charge of the maintenance of the Empire's overseas holdings, and he was "fully committed with the logistics of supply, troop transport, relief and reinforcement." League member Ullen Khadeve claimed that Nok was busy with the pacification of Seven Cities and he was "wise enough to keep to one war at a time."[17]

In StonewielderEdit

Nok was the commander of the naval forces of the Malazan Expeditionary Force to the Lands of Fist. Their charge was to bring the renegade Malazan 6th Army to heel. Nok and Blue Moranth Admiral Swirl led a fleet of ships to break the Mare blockade and successfully transported tens of thousands of troops to Fist. He helped coordinate the marine assault on the fortifications of Aamil where he disembarked High Fist Greymane's armies before pushing through the Black Water Strait to Banith.[18] At Banith, he successfully bluffed his way into an occupation of the city while waiting for Greymane to arrive.[19]

Once the army and the navy were reunited, Nok brought them to Korelri, where he argued against Greymane's planned location for an amphibious assault. Overruled, he landed the troops amidst brutal opposition with the aide of High Mage Devaleth.[20] When Greymane shattered the Stormwall sending a wall of water towards the fleet, Nok withdrew them to safety in the Crack Strait. Even so, only Devaleth's skill with the Ruse warren allowed the fleet to survive.[21]


Nok was originally the first mate to a corsair that worked the sea lanes around the Napan Isles around the time the islands were annexed by the Kingdom of Unta. Also serving on that ship were Ameron and Hawl who were the only ones to escape being imprisoned by Mock upon docking in Malaz City. All three were recruited soon after by Kellanved and Dancer after a young lad named Dujek discovered their hiding place. Because of his stay in the Malaz Deadhouse, Nok had been gifted with long life and resilience to disease and illness.[4]

Long before he had been an admiral, Nok commanded six dromons. He made landfall at the Napan Isles at the Koolibor River to draw fresh water before proceeding on to battle the Kartool fleet. But Nok's ships had the misfortune of filling their water barrels just as the annual migration of Paralt snakes was underway. At least one sailor died as every barrel collected was revealed to be filled with venomous snakes. Nok had been forced to wait until the next year to shatter Kartool's navy.[22]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Stonewielder, Glossary
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.237
  3. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.597
  4. 4.0 4.1 House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.296
  5. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, US HC p.190
  6. Stonewielder, Chapter 5, US HC p.219
  7. Stonewielder, Chapter 8, US HC p.404-405
  8. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.485
  9. House of Chains, Chapter 5, see Nok's appearance in the city if Aren, for example
  10. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.60
  11. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 15, US HC p.390/393-394
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.278
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.228
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.547-548
  15. 15.0 15.1 House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.228
  16. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.793
  17. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4
  18. Stonewielder, Chapter 4
  19. Stonewielder, Chapter 8, US HC p.402-406
  20. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.538-540
  21. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.601
  22. House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC 319-320
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