Anaster, also known as the "Glorious First"[2] and the "First Child of the Dead Seed",[1] was the young leader of the Tenescowri. His mother was the first Woman of the Dead Seed who followed him everywhere, always stroking his hair or touching his shoulder. She was the only one allowed to approach him and was trailed by her own retinue of women who followed her example.[3]

Anaster was about 14 years old[1] and described as pale and gangly with long, thin arms, lank, black hair, and an inhumanly beautiful alabaster-hued face. His pupils were a murky, slate grey surrounded by whites the colour of honey. His lips were full and strangely red and he spoke with a raspy voice. Unlike most of those he commanded, he and his lieutenants were well enough fed. [2][1]

He rode an aged roan draught horse with a bowed spine and a neck covered in botfly sores.[2]

Early HistoryEdit

The Pannion faith began when the Pannion Seer returned from the Mountain to Bastion speaking the Words of Truth. Accepting the first Embrasure, the citizens murdered the entirety of a caravan from Elingarth that was encamped outside the city walls. Amidst the massacre, Anaster was conceived and nine months later the first of the Children of the Dead Seed was born.[1]

In Memories of IceEdit

Lady Envy, Toc the Younger, and the others of their party first encountered Anaster and his mother in Bastion. Under his command, a second Embrasure had occurred and he was gathering the faithful to lead to war in Capustan. The cannibal hordes attacked Lady Envy's party, and Toc lost himself among the Tenescowri in a plan to make his way back to the Malazan army.[1]

By the time Anaster's growing army arrived at the Seer's fastness at Outlook, Toc had become one of Anaster's lieutenants. The First Child feared his army would be too late to feast on the citizens of Capustan, but was promised the unfaithful of Coral in their stead. Upon the Seer's command, he turned Toc over to the Seer's Urdomen.[2]

Anaster and a horde of over three hundred thousand Tenescowri did reach Capustan in time to join the siege.[4] While on the plain to the city's east, he attracted the notice of the infamous necromancers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. Despite their rain of lethal magic and summoned Demons, they were repelled by Anaster's guardians.[5]

Once the Pannion Domin army broke through the city's defences, Anaster and his Tenescowri siezed Prince Jelarkan's Palace. They skinned the prince before cooking and partially eating him and his court. The Shield Anvil Itkovian and the surviving Grey Swords stormed the palace to confront the prince's killers. Itkovian sent terror into the First Child by promising to deliver him from his despair and shame. The shrieking Anaster fled with his mother and Tenescowri while his Seerdomin guards remained behind to be slaughtered.[6]

The siege was ultimately lifted by the alliance of the renegade Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, Caladan Brood, and Humbrall Taur. The Tenescowri fled to the city's west where they were rounded up and remained listless under guard. But when approached by Whiskeyjack, Anaster's bodyguard of women spurred the horde to attack. Anomander Rake intervened, landing his Soletaken Eleint form among them and grabbing Anaster in his talons. But the youth was poison to the touch, forcing Rake to fling him clear. The Son of Darkness returned to his Tiste Andii form and began slaying the Women of the Dead Seed with his soul stealing sword, Dragnipur. Out of mercy, Whiskeyjack stopped Rake and proceeded to execute the remaining women, including Anaster's mother, with the more final method of his natural blade.[7]

The captured Anaster, now missing an eye, did not mourn the death of the mother he described as insane. He asked that he be killed, fearing Itkovian meant to take his soul. Korlat intuited that the boy was filled with shame and self-loathing, and could not bear the loss and desperation of his Tenescowri, and so sought to lead them to their deaths to end their suffering. For himself, he saw only eternal damnation.[8]

Ganoes Paran turned over Anaster to the Grey Swords' new Shield Anvil, Norul, with his blessing. She took Anaster's pain and grief upon herself. As this was the only thing Anaster had left, he became an empty shell who rode alongside her.[9][10]

After the Battle of Black Coral, Toc the Younger's body was broken beyond repair. For Toc's sacrifice, Togg helped to place Toc's soul within Anaster's now empty vessel of a body, granting him a second chance at life. Toc-Anaster then became the Mortal Sword of the Grey Swords, who attracted crowds of former Tenescowri with the possibility of redemption.[11]

See also: Toc the Younger for the further life of Toc Anaster

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.344-346
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.415-417
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.416
  4. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.481/490
  5. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.489-491
  6. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.549-554
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.680-684
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.685-686
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.921
  10. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.794
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.1102/1109-1111/1129/1145/1167/1168
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