Ryllandaras' Soletaken form was two times a man's height when on all fours, and three when fully standing. He was covered with sandy-yellow fur which became creamy white towards his throat and chest. Dark streaks of grey and dirty yellow ran down his back. He had heavy arms, and muscle-knotted wiry, unnaturally long limbs which ended in fingers having amber claws the length of fighting knives. His blackened muzzle was long and black, his lips twisted by his enormous canine teeth. His eyes were a dark carmine. Ryllandaras could speak a growled, distorted form of Talian and showed high intelligence even if he was in other animalistic forms.
The man-jackal was preternaturally strong, capable of casually tossing enormous stone blocks, and could run faster than a horse. His victims were often torn apart. Those who actually survived their initial wounds then faced the deep virulent infections his claws and bite inflicted. Seti folklore said he only came out to hunt at night.
In his D'ivers form, he numbered at least six wolves furred in tones of dun, grey, and speckled white. They stood taller at the shoulder than the wolves of the Laederon Plateau. The wolves communicated telepathically in the Malazan language. They were less bestial and less powerful than Ryllandaras' Soletaken form, and were capable of recognising and withdrawing from challenges of more capable opponents.
Mappo and Icarium met him in an uneasy encounter in the Holy Desert. Ryllandaras appeared as a group of six desert wolves with bright blue eyes, while he hunted for the demon of Shadow Apt. Mappo called him the brother of Treach and spoke of a chasm between the brothers said to have occurred in Dal Hon or Li Heng. The Trell remembered Ryllandaras taking the shape of a D’ivers jackals at the time. Whether this referred to blood brotherhood or a form of friendship was not made clear. Violence was avoided when Ryllandaras recognized Mappo's traveling companion.
Treach recalled the First Empire Soletaken ritual that had unravelled and driven them mad. The most powerful Soletaken had been splintered into pieces, birthing the D'ivers. He, Ryllandaras, and Messremb were among the few to survive the T'lan Imass slaughter.
Karsa Orlong met the D'ivers form of Ryllandaras in the mountains west of Raraku as a score of wolves, indicating he had grown in power since the events before. The D'ivers pursued Karsa for three days and four nights, running at a stretch but decided not to attack him, instead delivering a warning regarding two men (Icarium and Mappo) that he would meet later on in his travels if he continued on the same path. He asked Karsa to avoid a fight, since the world would come to regret it if one of the two men should fight in earnest.
One of the D'ivers forms of Ryllandaras, the one in Li Heng, was released outside the walls by its Malazan defenders, hoping to break the besiegement of the city by the Talian League. During the ensuing massacre, League commander Choss ordered the gate to the city's Inner Round destroyed unleashing the man-jackal on the city's defenders as well. Ryllandaras was ultimately driven away from the city by city champion Rell and the use of Moranth munitions. He escaped back to the Seti plains where he continued killing travellers and poorly defended military companies.
Ultimately, he was once again captured, this time by a group consisting of some of the Malazan Old Guard, including Urko Crust and Amaron and others such as Rell, Hurl, Temper, Braven Tooth and Liss. Liss used her Dawn Dance magic to compel Ryllandaras to appear and remain near a blazing fire while the others tried to kill him. Both Amaron and Rell fell during the battle, but not before Rell severely wounded Ryllandaras, forcing the creature through a magical gate created by Liss.
Ryllandaras was originally a First Hero of the Human First Empire. He was also considered the eternal enemy of Li Heng though he was never able to breach its walls. He normally took the form of white jackals but on occasion took other forms, such as ay'tog, agkor, or desert wolves.
One of the D'ivers forms of Ryllandaras (the man-jackal) was imprisoned by the Emperor and Dancer in Li Heng under the City Temple during the Malazan Empire's expansion. In that battle, Treach knocked Ryllandaras into a chasm before Kellanved drove Treach off. The man-jackal form of Ryllandaras was imprisoned inside the warded chasm by Emperor Kellanved, Dancer, and Tayschrenn. The wards included doors of cooper, silver, and iron as well as a chain mechanism with iron links as thick as a person's forearm. The links were jammed in place by The Protectress' own blades.
Other forms of Ryllandaras were seen while the man-jackal was imprisoned under Li Heng, leading to the theory that his mastery of shapeshifting allowed him to isolate the insanity of the First Empire's Soletaken and D'ivers (as seen in many other former First Heroes) into a single form that was then severed from the rest of Ryl's forms. This isolated form developed into the crazed man-jackal, while the rest of Ryllandaras maintained a powerful, sane, and communicative existance as D'ivers.
- "Those who free me,
be my enemies.
Those who enslave me,
kneel to me.
When the end of all things comes,
as surely it does,
on which scale stand you?
In the final balance
And the accounting?"
- ―Ryllandaras upon his release from Kellanved's prison
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 14
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.502-503
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.17
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 3, US HC p.137
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3, Chapter 5
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5, US HC p.450
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, US HC p.419
- ↑ Dancer's Lament, Chapter 8
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 5, US HC p.680
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5, US HC p.450-451/453
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.502
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.47
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.500-503/508
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, US HC p.419
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5, US HC p.449-452
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 3, UK PB p.137
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, US HC p.371/417
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, US HC p.578
- ↑ Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 4, US HC p.373