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Onos T'oolan, also known as "Tool", was a clanless, or unbound, T'lan Imass warrior,[2] though he had originally been part of the Tarad clan.[3] All the others of his clan had perished in the 28th Jaghut War.[4] He was over three hundred thousand years old, having been born in the autumn of the Bleak Year, the ninth son of his clan whetted as warrior in the Sixth Jaghut War.[5]

Onos was a massive, squat man with robust bones. Like other Imass, his leathery skin was a shiny nut brown, and his thinned flesh had the consistency of oak roots. His muscles had torn patches and at least one of his hands looked skeletal. Onos had a heavy chinless jawbone, high cheeks, a pronounced brow ridge, and his eyesockets were dark holes. His head creaked when he moved it. He dressed in rotting furs and wore the skull-cap of a horned beast as a helmet, one horn broken off at its base.[6]

His voice was described as being born of stones and dust.[7]

He bore a flint sword in his skeletal arms.[8] It had been invested with magic to prevent it from being broken or chipped, could cut through wards effortlessly and no Warren could resist it.[9] The T'lan Imass Warren being Elder, Tool was impervious to the effects of Otataral.[10]

In the language of the Imass, "Onos" meant "clanless man" and "T'oolan" meant "flawed flint".[11]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

Tool by Jeanfverreault

Interpretation of Tool by jeanfverreault

Onos T'oolan was first encountered on the Rhivi Plain when he burst from the ground during an attack by Ilgres Barghast on the party of Adjunct Lorn and killed one of the attackers by impaling him on his sword. Although with the help of Toc the Younger, Onos had saved the Adjunct's life, Lorn was angry with him. The T'lan Imass who was an integral part to Lorn's mission in the area was supposed to have made contact with her days earlier and the Barghast had likely been in the area in response to his presence. After having introduced himself, Onos contemplate the barrow nearby whilst Toc administered first aid to the Adjunct's injured arm. Onos told Lorn that the barrow had 'yielded truth' and that they were on the right path. Lorn explained to Toc that Onos would make his own way to Pale.[12]

Tool

Interpretation of Onos T'oolan by Yapattack

When Onos rejoined the Adjunct in Pale, she called him 'Tool', a name he said he would accept given that it was suitable to his situation of a new beginning. He then told Lorn more about the history of his people than she knew to be in the Empire Annals. Amongst other things, he told her that he was the only one of his clan to have survived the twenty-eighth Jaghut war and the only one unbound to Logros. She supposed that it might be because of this that he was more loquacious than the other Imass she had met. Upon questioning, Tool also confirmed that he had indeed met the Emperor but that he was unable to tell her about the First Throne due to a binding imposed on all Logros T'lan Imass as well as Kron T'lan Imass after the Emperor's death.[13]

Onos had joined the Adjunct to release a Jaghut Tyrant from his barrow in the Gadrobi Hills in Darujhistan. As they journeyed there, he created a barrier around them for protection. At one point they witnessed a massive conflagration in the distance which Tool stated to be within that barrier and which involved the opening of a multitude of Warrens, amongst which he recognised Elder Warrens. Tool sensed that although the source had been destroyed, something had been born within.[14] He also sensed some of the attacks Hairlock was directing at Crone and when Lorn disregarded the possibility of a threat, taught her a lesson about being too complacent.[15]

Lorn voiced misgivings about their mission to free a Jaghut Tyrant from his barrow-- amongst them, doubts as to how they might find the barrow. Tool told her that he would be able to locate it as Tellann and Omtose Phellack were of 'the same flavour'. He also explained more about why he was chosen for the mission, boiling down to him being thought expandable, and shared some of his knowledge of Anomander Rake with her.[16]

The first sword by artsed-d8t88mp

Interpretation of 'The First Sword' by Artsed

Once they had found the barrow,[17] Tool squatted for a long time seemingly unmoving before the standing stone marking it.[18][19] He eventually rejoined Lorn and after binding a wound of hers, told her that it was time to open the tomb. He led her inside, past the residue of numerous wards dispersed by Tool’s Tellann power. Seeing the wards of his people, Tool told Lorn that he thought he now knew the name of the tyrant and that he shared her misgivings about freeing it but, like her, was compelled to do so. He also informed her that once their task was completed, due to the residual power of the Jaghut, he would be free of his vows. He would go in search of answers and he told her that she would be welcome to accompany him. Lorn, however, avoided giving a response to the offer.[20] Once in the tomb, they located the Jaghut's Finnest and Tool warned the Adjunct not to hold on to it for too long.[21]

When they parted company outside, Tool told Lorn that he would observe the Jaghut but would not interfere, however, should she change her mind and wish to come with him still, he would be in the area for another ten days.[22]

Tool later appeared before the newborn Darujhistan Azath House, protecting it alongside Captain Ganoes Paran from the Tyrant's now animated Finnest. The pair weakened the source of Raest's power long enough for the House to imprison the Finnest within its grounds.[23]

In Memories of IceEdit

Onos T'oolan by Jeanfverreault

Interpretation of Tool looking at the Rent at Morn by Jeanfverreault

Upon being freed of the Warren of Chaos, Toc the Younger found himself at Morn. There he discovered Tool, who said he was waiting for Lady Envy, newly arrived after having been gone many years and now studying the Rent. Tool updated Toc on the fate of Lorn and the results of her mission in Darujhistan. The two men then joined Lady Envy's party, with Tool suggesting Envy could learn more about the Rent somewhere to the north.[24]

On their journey, Tool found himself constantly at odds with Envy's ensorcelled Seguleh companions. Each saw Tool as a challenge that must be tested. Tool defeated both Senu and Thurule with the flat of his blade, but Envy put the more accomplished Mok to sleep any time he threatened to draw swords with the T'lan Imass.[25][26][27]

Tool was befriended by Toc the Younger while travelling with Lady Envy's entourage. He was so touched by Toc's friendship that he came to think of the young man as a brother and named him Aral Fayle.[28][29] While in camp, Tool told Toc of how he had once been First Sword of the Logros T'lan Imass, but with the death of his brothers and his sister Kilava's refusal to attend the First Gathering, he abandoned the Logros. As someone who now walked alone he was committing the greatest crime of his people, but he sought to return to them at the Second Gathering. Encountering his sister he invited her to accompany him, but she angrily refused while also hinting that Tool's actions were manipulated by some higher power.[30] It was later revealed that Tool had spoken against the Ritual of Tellann at the First Gathering, but had acquiesced to the will of his people.[31]

Arriving at the Pannion Domin city of Bastion, Envy's party was ambushed by Anaster and his hordes of Tenescowri. During the chaos, Toc took his leave of his frighteningly powerful companions, but was later captured by the Pannion Seer and imprisoned at his fortress at Outlook.[32][33] Tool rode to Toc's rescue at Outlook atop the back of Garath, but the Seer escaped to Coral (city) with Toc in tow.[34]

Toc and Tool

'Toc and Tool' Interpretation by Junalesca

Tool followed the Seer to Coral, arriving amidst the Malazan siege of the city. He fought his way to the keep past the Seer's K'ell Hunters, attracting Picker and her squad to the safety of his wake.[35] Inside the keep, he found a physically broken Toc. Naming the young man his kin and brother, he gathered him into his arms and made to depart.[36]

Tool vs Mok 2

Interpretation of Tool vs Mok by Enaglio

But their escape was interrupted by the arrival of Mok, separated from Lady Envy in the fighting and no longer under her control. The Seguleh Third finally had the opportunity for the duel he had long desired. Mok managed to strike Tool's sword from his hands, but before he could land the killing blow was ambushed and knocked unconscious by Tool's sister Kilava in her Soletaken panther form. Outraged that a mortal had defeated the First Sword of the Logros, only Tool's intervention stopped her from killing the Seguleh. Tool argued that it was a sign that their people's time had passed.[37]

Tool turned to gather Toc only to discover the man had died during the fighting. He and Kilava were soon joined by Lanas Tog, and Tool once again invited his sister to come to the Second Gathering with him. But Kilava angrily declined saying she sought the Seer. Tool requested she seek him out after she had found her redemption.[38]

Tool appeared before Silverfox within the Mhybe's dream-world and successfully convinced the Bonecaster to free the T'lan Ay of their curse. Then he dropped his sword at her feet and asked to be freed of his own.[39]

Later, the beast god, Togg, transferred Toc's soul to the empty body of Anaster as a reward for his service. The new Toc Anaster was approached by a man he did not recognise. He described him as "covered in scars - more scars of battle than Toc had ever seen on a single person before. Despite this, there was a comfort, there in his face - a gentleman's face, no more than twenty years of age, the features pronounced, heavy-boned, framed in long black hair devoid of any fetishes or braids. His eyes were a soft brown." The man confirmed that Toc was doing well before leaving with a smile on his face.[40]

The now mortal Tool returned to Kilava after his visit with Toc. Together they began traveling to the Barghast Range to seek a quarry to replace his discarded flint sword. Along the way they encountered Hetan, who turned her attentions to the seemingly young Imass. Tool responded to her advances with obvious interest.[41]

In Reaper's GaleEdit

It transpired that Onos had helped to negotiate the original treaty between the Malazan Empire and the Moranth.[42]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Onos T'oolan.

In Dust of DreamsEdit

War Council by Shadaan

Fictitious 'War Council' by Shadaan From left:Brys Beddict - Dassem Ultor - Krughava - Onos T'oolan - Fear Sengar - Gruntle

Onos T'oolan married Hetan, the daughter of Humbrall Taur, Warleader of the Senan clan of the White Face Barghast.[43] Taur died in an accident while traveling to Lether from Genabackis,[44] and Onos T'oolan was unanimously chosen as Warleader.[45] He and Hetan had a son called Absi.[46] Onos T'oolan was also stepfather to her twins Storii and Stavi, whose father was Kruppe of Darujhistan.[47]

Because of his aversion to unjust battle, Onos T'oolan was considered cowardly by the the Barghast, who constantly schemed to depose him.[48][49] Although Onos was an Imass, he sacrificed his life to save his Barghast clan from attack by his strongest rival.[50] His family was torn apart as a result.[51] Olar Ethil forced Toc Anaster to block Tool from reaching Hood's gate where he could have embarked upon his afterlife.[52] He eventually met other T'lan Imass who had participated in the Second Ritual of Tellann. Onos led them to slaughter the Barghast he held responsible for the murder of his family.[53]

In The Crippled GodEdit

Toolan family by Dejan Delic

Onos Toolan and his family by Dejan Delic

Three days after the slaughter, Onos led the remaining three thousand towards the convergence surrounding the Crippled God withstanding the powers of Olar Ethil in doing so.[54] He lead his force to take part in the Battle for the Spire as allies to the elder races of the K'Chain Che'Malle and the Jaghut, as well as supporting the Letherii and some Tarthenal.

In the battle the blood of the war god Fener rained down upon Tool and the T'lan Imass warriors making them along with the Jaghut they fought alongside mortal again. After the battle T'oolan was reunited with his wife and children, and left to live with the newly rejuvenated Imass race.

Significant plot details end here.

QuotesEdit

Adjunct Lorn: "Tell me Tool, what dominates your thoughts?"
Onos T'oolan: "I think of futility, Adjunct."
Adjunct Lorn: "Do all Imass think about futility?"
Onos T'oolan: "No. Few think at all."
Adjunct Lorn: "Why is that?"
Onos T'oolan: "Because, Adjunct, it is futile."
―Adjunct Lorn and First Sword Onos T'oolan[src]

Fan art galleryEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.419
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xv
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.263
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.230
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.202
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.202, UK MMPB p.273-275
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.275
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.202
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.180
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.277
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.311
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.273-278
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.318-321
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.332/333
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.344-348
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.445-449
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.453/454
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.464
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.486
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.486-490
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.554/555
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.564
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, US HC p.455-456
  24. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.50-58
  25. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.56-57
  26. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.158-161
  27. Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.326-327
  28. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.263
  29. Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.324
  30. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.263-264/268-272
  31. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.786-787
  32. Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.343-346
  33. Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.413-424
  34. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.556-559
  35. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.892
  36. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.913
  37. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.931/938-939
  38. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.938-939
  39. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.958-959
  40. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.993-994
  41. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.994-996
  42. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 17, UK MMPB, p.752
  43. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 4
  44. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 4
  45. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 4
  46. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 10
  47. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 4
  48. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 10
  49. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 12
  50. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 12
  51. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 15
  52. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 12
  53. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 24, UK HB p.868
  54. The Crippled God, Chapter 6, UK HB p.142-147
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article

See alsoEdit

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