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An epic poem by Fisher kel Tath about Anomander Rake. A few lines were recited by Tattersail and Calot just before the assault on Moon's Spawn at Pale.[1]


"All that breaks
must be discarded
even as the thunder
of faith returns
ever fading

Second known excerpt[]

These are the lines recited by Tattersail and Calot.

"Caladan Brood, the menhired one,
winter bearing, barrowed, and sorrowless,
in a tomb bereaved of words,
and in his hands that have crushed anvils,
the hammer of his song,
he lives asleep, so give silent warning
to all - wake him not,
Wake him not.

Third known excerpt[]

"The flowering of light from darkness
brought into my sight there on the field
a host of dragons caught
like a crest of wind before the eternal flame.
I saw the ages in their eyes
a worldly map inscribed
in each whirled scale on their hides.
Their sorcery bled from them
like the breathing of stars
and I knew then
that dragons had come among us…

Fourth known excerpt[]

"Mark these three, they are all that give shape,
all that lie beneath the surface of the world,
these three, they are the bones of history.
Sister of Cold Nights! Betrayal greets your dawn!
You chose to trust the knife, even as it found your heart.
Draconus, Blood of Tiam! Darkness was made
to embrace your soul, and these chains that now hold you,
they are of your own fashioning.
K'rul, yours was the path the Sleeping Goddess chose,
a thousand and more years ago, and she sleeps still,
even as you awaken - the time has come, Ancient One,
to once more walk among the mortals,
and make of your grief, the sweetest gift.

Fifth known excerpt[]

"When can he not stand alone
Where in darkness no shadows are cast
Whose most precious selves deny the throne
While nothing held in life will last a moment longer
Than what's carved into the very bones
But this is where you would stand
In his place and see all bleak and bridled
An array of weapons each one forged
For violence

When can he not stand alone
Where darkness bleeds into the abyss so vast
Whose every yearning seeks a new home
While each struggle leaves the meek to the stronger
And the fallen lie scattered like stones
But this is the life you would take in hand
To guide him 'cross the path so broken so riddled
Like the weapon of your will now charged
In cold balance

When can he not stand alone
Where in darkness every shadow is lost
Whose weary selves cut away and will roam
While nothing is left but this shielded stranger
Standing against the wind's eternal moans
But this is your hero who must stand
Guarding your broken desires the ragged flag unfurled
Rising above the bastion to see your spite purged
In his silence
―Anomandaris, Book III, verses 7–10[src]


"Anomander would tell no lie, nor live one,
and would that deafness could
bless him in the days and nights
beyond the black rains of Black Coral.
Alas, this was not to be.

And so we choose to hear nothing
Of the dreaded creak, the slip and snap
Of wooden wheels, the shudder on stone
And the chiding rattle of chains, as if
Upon some other world is where darkness
Beats out from a cursedly ethereal forge
And no sun rises above horizon's rippled
Cant — some other world not ours indeed —
Yes bless us so, Anomander, with this
Sanctimony, this lie and soft comfort,
And the slaves are not us, this weight
But an illusion, these shackles could break
With a thought, and all these cries and
Moans are less than the murmurs
Of a quiescent heart — it's all but a tale,
My friends, this tall denier of worship
And the sword he carries holds nothing,
No memory at all, and if there be a place
In the cosy scheme for lost souls
Pulling onward an uprooted temple
It but resides in an imagination flawed
And unaligned with sober intricacy —
Nothing is as messy as that messy world
And that comfort leaves us abiding
Deaf and blind and senseless in peace
Within our imagined place, this precious order…
―Anomandaris, Book IV[src]

Skull's Lament[]

"Where is the meaning in this stride foot following foot?
Why must the land crawl so beneath us in our journey?
All to take us to the place where we began so long ago
Only to find it strange and unknown and unredeemed
Who has blazed this trail and how weary must I become
Before the rain grows gentle and soft as tears on the brow?
Until the valley unfolds into a river the sweet colour of sand
And trees ribbon the sky overhead with dusty leaves?
How weary must you become as you rattle the chains
And drown in the banners of meaning and rueful portent?
If I make you share my torment foot following foot
Know that this is my curse of the swallowed key
And cruel desire
And when our blood mixes and drains in the grey earth
When the faces blur before our eyes in these last of last days
shall turn about to see the path of years we have made
And wail at the absence of answers and the things left unseen
For this is life's legion of truth so strange so unknown
So unredeemed and we cannot know what we will live
Until the journey is done
My beautiful legion, leave me to rest on the wayside
As onward you march to the circling sun
Where spin shadows tracing the eternal day
Raise stones to signal my passing
Unmarked and mysterious
Saying nothing of me
Saying nothing at all
The legion is faceless and must ever remain so
As faceless as the sky
―Skull's Lament, Anomandaris[src]

Notes and references[]