"The Red Blades were, at this time, pre-eminent among those pro-Malazan organizations that arose in occupied territories. Viewing themselves as progressive in their embrace of the values of imperial unification, this quasi-military cult became infamous with their brutal pragmatism when dealing with dissenting kin..."
Lives of the Conquered, Ilem Trauth[src]

The Red Blades (or Red Swords) were a fanatical company of Seven Cities natives who vowed absolute loyalty to the Malazan Empire.[1] They were newly formed around the time Lostara Yil left the Cult of Rashan. Rumour at the time had it that the Red Blades would become the deliverers of Malazan justice.[2]

Imperial Historian Duiker thought the Red Blades "the most loyal soldiers of the Empire I've ever known."[3] But Seven Cities natives preferred using the derogatory term Mezla'ebdin (Malazan lapdogs) to refer to them.[4]

Red Blades were cavalry soldiers who wore chain armour, sometimes interwoven with Otataral links as proof against sorcery. They also wore chain leggings and helmets with slitted visors and were equipped with swords, bows, and lances.[5]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Anticipating the Whirlwind uprising, the Red Blades conducted a systematic and violent crackdown on anyone they suspected of being followers of Dryjhna. In practice, this led to indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians in places like Ehrlitan.[6]

Commander Baria Setral brought his troops from Dosin Pali to Hissar for this purpose.[7] They later served valiantly under Fist Coltaine in the Chain of Dogs.[8]

Red Blade commander Tene Baralta led a squad in pursuit of the Whirlwind's leader Sha'ik. Using a copy of the Book of Dryjhna stolen from the vaults of Aren as bait, they found and assassinated her in the holy desert Raraku.[9][10]

But the Red Blades were betrayed in Aren by the treacherous Mallick Rel, who managed to convince High Fist Pormqual that they were not to be trusted. Commander Orto Setral and his troops were imprisoned during the subsequent fighting that saw the city nearly fall to the rebellion.[11]

In House of ChainsEdit

When the commander of the Aren Guard, Blistig, was alerted to Rel's treachery, the Red Blades were released to aid in the city's defense against Korbolo Dom's army.

When Adjunct Tavore arrived in Aren, shortly thereafter, the Red Blades were incorporated into her army, though their existing command structure was maintained.

Selected members of the Red Blades Edit

Notes and referencesEdit

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