Fandom

Malazan Wiki

Warrens

4,551pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk8 Share

See also: Magic and Holds

"The Warrens of Magic dwelt in the beyond. Find the gate and nudge it open a crack. What leaks out is yours to shape. Open yourself to the Warren that comes to you - that finds you. Draw forth its power - as much as your body and soul are capable of containing - but remember, when the body fails, the gate closes."
Tattersail[src]
Warrens diagram

A diagram of how the major warrens and holds relate to each other.

The most commonly understood definition of Warren was a realm from which mages, priests, shamans, and the like, who might use magic, drew their power. "Warren" could refer to either the physical other-world that could be travelled to and to the form of magic which could be shaped by someone who could channel a Warren.

Structurally these Warrens were divided into two classes, the Elder Warrens, which were associated with a particular race and the Paths, which were those Warrens most commonly accessed by humans and which were derived from K'rul's blood. Although not all realms described as Warrens fit that description, The Abyss was named a Warren but seemed to be used only as a means of travel rather than a source of power. It is also possible that there was a difference on how some Warrens like the Abyss were created.

Human magic needed no rituals, motions, or words to be cast. All that was required was access to a Warren. Most mages were born with a natural affinity towards a specific Warren, although some were able to draw on more than one. Extremely rare was a mage who could call on every Warren as Beak was able to do.

When a mage wished to use magical power, he or she opened themselves to a Warren (most could only access one or two) by willing into being a portal through which the magical energy flowed. Initially it was a case of opening themselves to the Warren that would come, that would find them. Drawing as much power as body and soul could contain, the wielder had to remember that the gate would close should the body fail.[1] The skills to access the Warrens could be taught, but it was much more common for someone to just be born with the Talent.[2]

Sorcery had a magical signature and adepts were able to discern different users.[3]

Types of WarrensEdit

The PathsEdit

The Paths were those Warrens which were most easily accessible to human mages and priests and used as a source of power.

  • Aral Gamelain — The Path of Demons
  • Denul — The Path of Healing
  • D'riss — The Path of Stone
  • Hood's Path — The Path of Death
  • Meanas — The Path of Shadow and Illusion
  • Mockra — the Path of the Mind
  • Rashan — The Path of Darkness
  • Ruse — The Path of the Sea
  • Serc — The Path of the Sky
  • Telas — The Path of Fire
  • Tennes — The Path of the Land
  • Thyr — The Path of Light

Additionally there was Fener's Warren, which could be channelled like the other Paths and was said to border Chaos itself.

Elder WarrensEdit

Realms which were mostly used by some of the older races. Some of these Warrens were also described as Holds.

Other WarrensEdit

TerminologyEdit

  • Adept - mostly used to specifically describe those able to interpret the Deck of Dragons, not all magic users were Adepts in that sense.[6][7] The term was however also used to describe someone good at using magic in a more general way.[8]
  • Gate - term used to describe openings in and out of a Warren
  • High Ward - stronger form of protective spell[9]
  • Talent - someone capable of accessing magic
  • Touched - the common slang for anyone who knew the Warrens
  • Ward - a spell of protective magic

Effects of Warren usageEdit

Effects of Warren usage on the userEdit

Initially, opening up to a Warren and feeling the power might sweep away a user's fatigue or fear,[10] however, using Warrens was physically tiring. After the last battle at Pale, Tattersail felt as if she had been beaten with clubs for the last two hours.[11]

When the Hound, Gear, attacked Tattersail's High Wards, she could feel the cracks streak outwards and the fissures reaching through her arms and chest with a snapping sound instantly replaced by spurting blood.[12] The attack weakened her[13] and left her with a fever.[14]

Effects on mages of expose to other WarrensEdit

When a Warren bristling with extreme power was being unveiled, a practitioner might experience a warning, like a bitter taste on the tongue for example. These instances, where power would arrive groaning and deadly, always indicated the arrival of a god on mortal soil.[15]

Users might also be sensitive to the use of less powerful magic by others and experience sensory reactions.

  • Calot's eyes watered[16]
  • Gear's hackles would stiffen[17]
  • Tattersail would get a migraine headache[16]
  • Tiste Andii mages could sniff the opening of a small rent through which Oponn's coin dropped at the feet of Crokus[18]
  • Baruk's head was pounding with blood, lancing him with pain and he felt an enormous pressure upon the arrival by Warren of Anomander Rake.[19] He also had a headache when Oponn resisted his Warren and destroyed the wax imprint of the coin. Baruk used healing tea to combat headaches.[20]

Reactions might be worse when the Warrens in question were anathema to each other.[16]

Visual perceptionsEdit

Tattersail perceived Quick Ben's sorcery as bleeding a strange, swirling flavor.[21] On another occasion he emerged from a swirling cloud which held a strange spicy scent.[22]

When Hairlock attacked Gear, a wave of grey light struck the Hound and a miasma churned into Tattersail like pestilence. The chaotic Warren radiated from Hairlock in visible pulses of grainy grey shot through with black.[23]

When Crone approached Darujhistan, the emanation of sorcery she detected among the estates was described as aquamarine.[24]

Uses of Warren magicEdit

Travelling by WarrenEdit

Warrens were frequently used by characters for travelling.[25] When the Hound Gear exited a Warren, it was described as a savage parting of the fabric and his arrival heralded by two muted thunderclaps.[26] When Gear left, the opening of the Warren was again described with a fabric analogy, the term used being 'a dark rift opened around him with the sound of tearing burlap'.[27]

Once within the Warren, the mage visualized specific details of the intended destination and as they physically traveled they were brought closer to their goal. The farther a destination in the real world, the longer the trip required within the Warren.[28] Additionally, the "primordial elements asserted an intractable consistency across all Warrens. Land to land, air to air, water to water." For example, if one entered a Warren by ship, then one journeyed through the Warren by sea. Entered by foot or on horseback, then travel would be by land.[29]

It was possible to travel to a moving ship, although few were able to manage this difficult task.[30]

The Warrens of Chaos were the miasmic paths between the Warrens[31] A mage travelling through Chaos would weaken the other Warrens allowing the mage to break in and out of them at will, as shown by Hairlock.[32]

Protection and preservationEdit

Warrens were used to set protective wards, both for people[33] as well as property.[34] A Warren could be used to set a sealing spell.[35]

Day to day usageEdit

Warrens might be used for mundane tasks such as opening windows.[36]

Warrens and Hold magicEdit

"Unlike the sorcery that prevailed on this continent until recently, Preda, magic everywhere else exists in a more formalized state.  The power, so raw here, is elsewhere refined, aspected, organized into something like themes, and these themes are what we call warrens.  Many are accessible to mortals and gods alike; others are –"  and he glanced at Bugg – "Elder.  Some are virtually extinct, or inaccessible due to ignorance or deliberate rituals of sealing.  Some, in addition, are claimed and ruled over by elements either native to those warrens, or so fundamentally related to them as to make the distinction meaningless." ―Quick Ben • DoD

OriginsEdit

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Warrens.
"... when we draw upon the power of the warrens, we draw your very blood."
―Lady Envy[src]

It transpired the Warrens ran through K'rul's flesh. Any mage traveling through the Warrens was traveling through the arteries and veins of K'rul.[37] The power of Warrens was his blood.[38] The twin chambers of the heart were Kurald Galain and Starvald Demelain.[39] Only a handful of entities knew the truth about the Warrens, amongst them Anomander Rake, Draconus, Osric and Envy.[40]

Each Warren was aspected to an Eleint by K'rul when he created the Warrens.

K'rul was unlikely to have had any hand in the creation of the Elder Warrens. For instance Draconus gifted the Tiste Andii their darkness.

Significant plot details end here.

TriviaEdit

  • Authors Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont devised the Warren-based magic system during their days fleshing out the Malazan world in role-playing games. When asked how the pair got the idea for how magic worked, Erikson stated, "We learned early on to keep it mysterious and mysterious it shall remain."[42]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.78
  2. Night of Knives, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.74 statement by Temper
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.194
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.707
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Glossary, UK MMPB p.938
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.110
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.295
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, US HC p.265
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.165
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.164/165
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.78
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.165
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.168
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.279/280
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.78/79
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.63
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.187
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.209
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.250-252
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.135
  22. Gardens of the Moon,Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.146
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.166
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.194
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.31
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.160/161
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.167
  28. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 12, US HC p.332
  29. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.280
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.94
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.709
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.127
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.165
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198
  35. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.103
  36. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198 - example
  37. Memories of Ice‎, Chapter 7
  38. Memories of Ice‎, Chapter 7
  39. Memories of Ice‎, Chapter 7
  40. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, UK MMPB P.327
  41. Blood and Bone, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.518
  42. Steven Erikson Reddit AMA 2015.
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.