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"Anomander Rake, lord of the black-skinned Tiste Andii, who has looked down on a hundred thousand winters, who has tasted the blood of dragons, who leads the last of his kind, seated in the throne of sorrow and a kingdom tragic and fey— a kingdom with no land to call its own."
―Tattersail, upon seeing Anomander Rake for the first time[src]

Anomander Rake [Ahno-man-der] also known by his titles of the Lord of Moon's Spawn, Son of Darkness and Knight of Darkness[9] was the leader of the Tiste Andii. He was said to be "seated on the Throne of Sorrow"; a reflection of the loss and apathy his people had suffered.[8]

Baruk described Rake as having jet-black skin, a mane which flowed silver and features, sharp as if cut from onyx. The Tiste was nearly seven feet tall and on that occasion was cloaked and wore boots. He carried the enormous two-handed sword Dragnipur on his back.[10] There, it was "surrounded in its own breath of preternatural darkness."[11]

Rake's eyes were described as multihued with a slight upward tilt and large vertical pupils. Baruk perceived them as changing colour from a deep hue of amber to grey and banded, a rainbow of colours changing depending on Rake's mood. Whilst with Baruk, Rake's eye colour was in turn green, dun, grey and black.[12] When Paran encountered Rake, he describe their colour as a deep, cold blue which lightened to sky blue a short while later.[13]

As a mage he made use of the Elder Warren of Kurald Galain.[14] Baruk could feel the power emanating from Rake and judged him to be more powerful than the Malazan High Mage, Tayschrenn.[15]

By the time of Gardens of the Moon, Rake disliked the title "Son of Darkness", saying it was used "by those fools who think me worthy of worship."[16]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

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Gardens of the Moon.

After a long absence, Moon's Spawn had reappeared over Genabackis a few years previously and Tiste Andii legions under Caladan Brood had descended to fight the Malazan Empire. The Lord of Moon's Spawn had remained behind however and instead went to Pale to make a pact with the wizards of the city. About two[17] years ago, Moon's Spawn had come into sight in the skies over Pale, effectively bringing the ongoing siege by the Malazans to a standstill.[18]

When the Empire eventually decided to break the stalemate, Rake was forced to fight the Imperial High Mages Tayschrenn, Nightchill, Bellurdan and A'Karonys as well as Tattersail's mage cadre. The ensuing mage battle obliterated entire regiments, a cost of lives which Rake had hoped to avoid by his presence.[19] Despite three of the High Mages being taken out by what looked like an attack from their own side, Moon's Spawn in the end retreated.[20]

Anomander Rake outside Darujhistan by Slaine69

Rake then went to Darujhistan, the next target of the Malazans, to form an alliance with the T'orrud Cabal of mages against the Empire. Their leader, the alchemist Baruk, mentioned that two of the Pale wizards were hiding in Darujhistan and Rake demanded their heads. He told Baruk that he had already chased down all the others as the desertion of those mages just prior to the last battle had led to the defenders defeat. When he demanded their heads and told Baruk that he would otherwise use his sword, the alchemist promised he should have them - an action described by Rake as mercy.[21]

Rake was not told all that the Great Raven Crone knew about the coinbearer nor did he know that Brood had arranged for him to be protected by the Crimson Guard against Rake's Tiste Andii mages.[22]

When Quick Ben released the Korvalah demon Pearl to defend himself against attackers, Rake came to the aid the of the Tiste Andii assassins he had sent and killed the demon with Dragnipur. He was not pleased to hear from the Tiste commander, Serrat, that the mission had not gone well.[23] That same night during a visit to Baruk, Rake explained that he had started the assassin war in order to prevent the Malazan Empire making contact with the local assassins guild. He also thanked the alchemist for sending him the heads of the two Pale wizards which he had requested.[24]

Rake facing the Hounds of Shadow by Corporal Nobbs

Rake and Paran by slaine69

Rake came to the aid of Paran when the Captain was about to be attacked by the Hounds of Shadow. When all seven beasts attacked Rake instead, he killed two of them before the others withdrew.[25] A few moments later, Rake confronted Shadowthrone and warned him to not interfere with Darujhistan else he would assail the realm of Shadow. His threat was enough to force Shadowthrone to recall Cotillion from possessing Sorry's body.[26]

Rake told Baruk that he would not entertain the idea of treachery against the Cabal as treachery could only backfire and result in him being on the receiving end of it himself by his four assassin mages, Brood and others, even Silanah. He told Baruk that the fight against the Jaghut Tyrant would diminish the Tiste and that the Cabal would need to take up the slack. Baruk then showed him Mammot who seemed to be in a very deep sleep and Rake surmised that the High Priest's spirit had likely travelled to the Jaghut barrow and might now be trapped, even be in danger of possession by the Tyrant.[27]

Although Baruk voiced some misgivings, Rake insisted that he would attend Lady Simtal's Fete. He felt that it would be better to be on hand with such a convergence of power. A comment by Baruk caused Rake to reminisce upon Icarium having last visited him about eight hundred years ago.[28] Rake attended the fete wearing the mask of a black dragon, with silver-traced highlights and was introduced by his real name but neither Lady Simtal nor Turban Orr recognised it. At the fete he was introduced to Kruppe and the witch and cabal member Derudan. When Rallick Nom called Turban Orr out to a duel, Rake volunteered to act as Nom's second, quoting a dislike for a council debate to settle the issue, as his reason. [29]

Rake sent Silanah and four Andii Soletaken Eleint to delay the Jaghut Tyrant, Raest.[30]

Rake at Darujhistan's Gedderone Festival, by Artsed

Rake and Baruk had already left the fete when they felt the unfolding of events. Rake advised Baruk to return to his estate and expect the Empire's next move whilst he himself, seeking a high vantage-point would go to K'rul's Belfry. As he was not yet ready to unveil his Warren, he drew Dragnipur, which had the effect of clearing the street.[31]

Rake had behaved oddly upon meeting Mammot,[32] but only when the High Priest died, did Baruk realize that Rake had recognized Mammot as being possessed already.[33]

Rake vs Galayn by Daniel Knoblich

When Adjunct Lorn released a Galayn Demon lord in the streets of the city, Rake refused Silanah's offer of help in fighting him and sent her home. Rake then sensed the Elder God K'rul by his side who told him that due to his limited presence he would not be able to help Rake in the fight. As the approaching demon began to veer into a huge dun-coloured dragon, Rake also veered into his own dragon form and rose high to come upon the demon unawares from above.[34] Rake's unexpected attack crashed and injured the demon, forcing him to semble back to his man-shape. Crokus, who happened to be in the area between the two fighters, was advised by the now also man-shaped Rake that he should get out. Rake also told Crokus that he had been convinced by Brood to spare the Coinbearer i.e. Crokus. The demon told Rake that he thought that there was more of Tiam's than Tiste blood in him. Although the fight was close for a time, Rake eventually slew the demon with Dragnipur.[35]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

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Deadhouse Gates.

Interpretation of Anomander Rake by Slaine69

Iskaral Pust assured Apsalar, Fiddler, and Crokus that Rake's threat still held and Cotillion would not be re-possessing Apsalar.[36]

In Memories of Ice[]

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Memories of Ice.
"Rake was an atmosphere, a heart-thudding, terror-threaded presence no-one could ignore, much less escape. Violence, antiquity, sombre pathos, darkest horror -- the Son of Darkness was a gelid eddy in immortality's current..."
―Rake, as seen by the Mhybe[src]

Tool told Toc the Younger that Rake's sword Dragnipur had been forged by Draconus who had then been slain with that very sword by Rake.[37]

Anomander Rake by Dejan Delic

Rake and Caladan Brood allied their forces with their former enemy, Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, to fight the greater danger of the Pannion Domin in the Pannion War against the Pannion Domin. Rake made Korlat his representative in the camp as he often travelled back and forth to Moon's Spawn to seek Silanah's comfort[38] and to make preparations.

In the early days of the campaign, he settled a confrontation between Kallor, Brood, and Whiskeyjack over the status of the powerful and mysterious Silverfox. Whiskeyjack went so far as to draw his sword against Rake to protect the girl from the Tiste Andii. Rake was impressed by the Bridgeburner as well as intrigued by the cloaked power of the mage, Quick Ben. Ultimately, he agreed that Silverfox was to be safe from harm, and instructed Kallor accordingly.[39][40]

To Korlat's disbelief, Whiskeyjack and the Son of Darkness forged a friendship over the course of several evenings of conversation. At their first meeting, Whiskeyjack shared the story of the founding of the Bridgeburners. In Korlat's memory, it was the only such friendship Rake had kindled since he had bonded with Caladan Brood thousands of years before.[41][42]

In discussions with Brood and Kallor, Rake was often supportive of their Malazan allies. He argued that conquest by the Malazan Empire was generally a positive outcome, bringing peace, order, and the "least oppressive [laws] of any empire I've ever known". He also forgave Dujek's deception regarding the High Fist's renegade status as he knew Dujek had the Empress' dagger at his back.[43] Rake aided Korlat and Whiskeyjack's budding romance, revealing Whiskeyjack's hidden motivations to his Second, allowing them to smooth over their differences. Rake was moved by the love Korlat had found with the Malazan, saying he had never thought to see her heart open and flower again.[44] He also tried and failed to convince Whiskeyjack to consult Brood for magical healing of his injured leg.[45]

After the allies successfully lifted the Siege of Capustan, Whiskeyjack was overseeing the captured cannibal Tenescowri hordes when they swarmed to attack. Rake attempted to take the Tenescowri leader Anaster into custody triggering a sorcerous attack against his Eleint form by the Women of the Dead Seed who guarded him. As they were resistant to his magic, the Son of Darkness was forced to begin slaying the women with his soul-stealing sword. Whiskeyjack intervened out of a sense of compassion for both Rake and the women and single-handedly executed the remaining women by more conventional methods.[46]

Anomander Rake by Yulia Zhuchkova

Rake returned to the hidden Moon's Spawn and remained out of contact as the allied armies made their way to Coral to confront the Pannion Seer. Both Korlat and Crone were disturbed by Rake's silence and feared the Son of Darkness and his skykeep had been destroyed.[47]

During the climax of the Battle of Black Coral, Moon's Spawn burst from hiding in the deep waters of Ortnal's Cut in the city's harbour. The skykeep hovered above, unveiling Kurald Galain to engulf the city. Then Rake sent it crashing onto the Old Palace where the Seer stood on the roof protected by his K'ell Hunters.[48]

Afterwards, Rake descended to the ground where he apologised to Picker and the other Bridgeburners who had been inside the Seer's keep when Moon's Spawn had crashed down. He argued briefly with Lady Envy, who warned that Draconus sought to escape from within Dragnipur before banning her from the city. Then he walked with the Bridgeburners to pay his respects at the hill where Whiskeyjack had perished at the hands of the treacherous Kallor. Rake ordered Korlat and her brother Orfantal to return with the escaped Kallor to face Dragnipur's justice.[49]

Rake offered the crippled Moon's Spawn as a worthy sarcophagus for Whiskeyjack and the fallen Bridgeburners, and prepared their interment in his former throne room himself.[50] The failing skykeep was then sent out over the Rust Ocean where it was presumed to have crashed into the sea.[51]

The city came to be known as Black Coral after Moon's Spawn's destruction forced the remaining Tiste Andii to settle there.[52]

In House of Chains[]

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House of Chains.

Sent to Drift Avalii by Cotillion, Cutter and Apsalar discovered the island was protected by Andarist, Rake's younger brother. The Tiste Andii was bitter at having been left to guard the Throne of Shadow by Rake and then forgotten. Unlike Rake, Andarist appeared ancient, and he railed at Rake for taking on draconian blood.[53] He claimed his sword had been made by Rake, who had called it Vengeance. The sword came into Andarist's possession when Rake found Dragnipur more suiting to his nature. Andarist then renamed the sword Grief. [54] Cutter later discovered that Rake had used his sorcery to bind the Throne to the island so it could not be moved.[55] Rake's descendants, Aranatha, Desra, Kedeviss, Nenanda, Nimander, Phaed, and Skintick, guarded the island as well.[56]

The Queen of Dreams told L'oric that Rake had once spent almost two centuries in the guise of a human serving as a royal guard.[57]

In Midnight Tides[]

Shortly after the sundering of Kurald Emurlahn, the Malazan world was invaded through a violent rent by the combined armies of Silchas Ruin's Tiste Andii and Scabandari Bloodeye's Tiste Edur. After the invaders defeated an army of K'Chain Che'Malle, Scabandari betrayed his fellow commander and noted that Silchas Ruin was brother to Anomandaris Irake and Andarist. Scabandari claimed that Anomander had broken with his mother and kind before vanishing forever. The Tiste Edur was unaware that Rake already resided in the Malazan world with an earlier group of Andii settlers.[58]

The Elder Gods, Mael and Kilmandaros, moved against Scabandari and his army with Gothos' assent. But the Jaghut warned them to be quick about it as Rake was growing aware of Scabandari's presence. Mael brushed his concerns aside saying Osserc moved to stand in Rake's path.[59] Later, Menandore and Sukul Ankhadu encountered a battered and burned Osserc who claimed to have delayed Rake long enough for Scabandari to escape.[60]

In modern times, Udinaas and Feather Witch accidentally travelled to the Refugium where they met the Imass, Ulshun Pral, and the boy, Rud Elalle. Ulshan Pral spoke of a Hold the two Letherii had never heard of called Starvald Demelain, home of the pure dragons. He noted that a group of mixed bloods, which included Rake, had closed the road to the Hold long ago.[61]

The people of Bluerose, who resembled very dark-skinned Tiste Edur, were said to worship someone called the Black-Winged Lord.[62]

In The Bonehunters[]

Anomander Rake by Harkalé Linai

Edgewalker followed Cotillion to a stone circle in the Shadow Realm where the three Eleint, Ampelas, Eloth, and Kalse, were chained. The Eleint revealed that they had long ago attempted to seize the Throne of Shadow, but were stopped by the vengeance of Anomandaris and his Tiste Andii. Their attackers were thorough in their destruction of Kurald Emurlahn, insisting the throne remain unclaimed, and resulting in the imprisonment of the three Eleint.[63]

The Tiste Andii of Bluerose possessed an ancient tapestry depicting Mother Dark and the three brothers born in Darkness who were her most cherished children: Andarist, Anomandaris Purake, and Silchas Ruin. But all three had eventually been cast out by her. Andarist was the first, after Mother Dark made an accusation of betrayal that all knew to be mistaken. Filled with unbearable grief, he accepted his banishment by Mother Dark, but vowed to continue his guardianship of her from exile. Anomander and Silchas saw Mother Dark's turning away from her son as a crime and Anomander confronted her. Afterwards, he too walked away, denying the Darkness in his blood and seeking out the Chaos that ever warred in his veins. Silchas Ruin's indecision and failed efforts to forge reconciliation led to the greatest betrayal of all—an alliance with Shadow.[64]

War had broken out amongst the Tiste and Ruin allied with Scabandari to flee through the gates to the Malazan world. After Scabandari's betrayal, Ruin's surviving Andii fled and found sanctuary in the caves deep below the Bluerose Mountains where they founded the Bluerose Kingdom. The Bluerose venerated Rake and the High King of Bluerose was known as the Supreme Servant of the Black Winged Lord.[64] The Bluerose spy, Ahlrada Ahn, was surprised to hear Anomander's name spoken by Taralack Veed, a captive of the Edur. The Bluerose believed that the Black Winged Lord dwelt at the Gates of Darkness. Ahlrada Ahn was astonished to hear Veed explain that Rake actually lived in the floating fortress, Moon's Spawn, and had been defeated in a sorcerous contest with the Malazans on a distant continent above a city called Pale.[65]

The surviving Andii from Drift Avalli made their way to Malaz City where Master Sergeant Braven Tooth encountered them in Coop's Hanged Man Inn. He learned that one of them, Nimander Golit, was the first son of Rake. Also among them was Phaed, Nimander's daughter (and Rake's granddaughter). She told Braven Tooth her mother was Lady Envy, who had gotten her revenge on Rake by taking his son as a lover.[66]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Shortly after the death of Scabandari Bloodeye, Anomandaris Purake waited for Kilmandaros in front of the rent that opened to the dying Kurald Emurlahn. Kilmandaros, who had opted to defend the Elder Warren of Shadow as it broke into fragments in the midst of civil war, told Purake that he was not welcomed into the realm. She asked him why he did not avenge his recently betrayed brother, Silchas Ruin, now a prisoner of the Azath. He told her that the cost for the betrayal of Ruin proved too high for Scabandari, and concerning his brother, he almost envied his new-found isolation from all that would afflict his people in the millennia to come. Kilmandaros warned that Ruin would not be inclined to forgive him when he finally was eventually freed. Rake offered the suspicious Goddess his assistance in protecting Shadow since Edgewalker was committed elsewhere. When she asked if Osserc was even then seeking him out, Rake laughed at the idea of the "idiot" searching for him in the Malazan world. Finally they agreed that the Throne of Shadow must stay unoccupied and made a pact to drive all the pretenders and 'scavengers' from the realm before passing through the rent together.[67]

In modern times, Bruthen Trana found Kilmandaros inhabiting an Azath House at the bottom of the ocean with her son, Knuckles. The Elder Goddess complained that Rake had betrayed her and trapped her inside an Azath House. But Knuckles reminded her she had betrayed Rake first, jumping him from behind. Kilmandaros countered that she had only attacked Rake in anticipation of his own imminent betrayal. She boasted that the Azath had not been able to hold her forever.[68]

Anomander Rake by Rukuarimo

The Tiste Andii Onyx Wizards sent Clip to escort the group of Silchas Ruin, Fear Sengar, Seren Pedac, Udinaas, Kettle, and Wither back to Andara, their secret monastery in the Bluerose Mountains. The Andii of Andara worshipped Rake as the Black-Winged Lord. He had resided with them for a time after Ruin's imprisonment in the Azath and had spoken to them of his brother.[69] Clip claimed to be the Mortal Sword of Anomander Rake[70] and used this title to escort Ruin's group through Kurald Galain to reach Scabandari's Finnest in the Refugium.[71][72] An expeditionary force guided by Orbyn Truthfinder and Factor Letur Anict later slew all the Andii of Andara while in search of Fear and Udinaas.[73]

Nimander Golit, Phaed, and the other descendants of Rake travelled to Second Maiden Fort with Adjunct Tavore. Among the Malazan vessels Nimander recognised the Silanda, which had once been used by their uncles, fathers, and mothers of Drift Avalii to search for Rake. They had not been able to find him and plead for his help before they met their fate.[74] After leaving Ruin's company, Clip appeared before Nimander claiming to be the Herald of High House Dark. He told Nimander to gather his kin so they could finally be brought before Rake. Nimander could not believe their exile was finally over and argued that Rake did not want them. Clip said it only mattered what Mother Dark wanted. When Nimander went to collect the others, Clip's thoughts revealed that most of what he had told him had been a lie. In fact, Clip vowed they would find Rake and show him there were consequences for a god who walked away and betrayed his people.[75]

In Toll the Hounds[]

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Toll the Hounds.

Interpretation of Anomander Rake and Spinnock Durav by Autumn Tavern

"His Forearms sheathed in black glistening scales, his bared chest made a thing of natural armour. The blood of Tiam ran riot through him, fired to life by the conflation of chaotic sorcery, and his eyes glowed with ferocious will."
―Rake, as seen by Endest Silann[src]

Trapped within Dragnipur, Ditch, a former wizard of Pale, recollected that Anomander Rake had not been interested that they had acted out of desperation before he killed them with his sword. He questioned why Rake did not kill more dragons as it was becoming more and more impossible to keep the wagon within the sword moving.[76]

Anomander Rake gave Baruk a copy of Dillat's Dark and Light from his personal library. The archaic book described an incident in which Rake and Osseric had been allied against the evil tyrant Draconus, Slayer of Eleint. Rake had struck Draconus unconscious and left Osseric to guard him. But when Rake returned, he found Osseric bloodied and Draconus freed by Sister Spite's hand. Anomander vowed his alliance with Osseric would one day end and he would wage war on him and his kin. Spite and her sister, Envy, secretly watched this result of their manipulations and were pleased. Rake set out in pursuit of Draconus, while Osseric sought vengeance against Spite. Crone found the account inaccurate, providing an explanation more favourable to her master. She said that Rake and Osseric's alliance fell apart because of a growing mutual dislike in which Draconus was merely the death-blow. She said Rake found the book's description of Rake's so-called vow against Osserc amusing. And she scolded Osserc for falling for Spite's womanly wiles, whereas Rake's affair with the Lady Envy had been in Rake's control.[77]

The book also described war among the dragons when all the First Born (but one) had bowed their necks to K'rul. The children of the dragons, bereft of their inheritance, rose in battle to reject the First Born. Osseric and Rake had already tasted the blood of T'iam and others came to do the same. War raged upon all the Realms as long as the Gates of Starvald Demelain remained open. Under Osseric, Kurald Liosan was the first Realm to seal the portal between itself and the Realm of the dragons. He cleansed the world of all rivals--the Soletaken and the feral purebloods--and drove out the D'ivers. Osseric and Rake battled until Kilmandaros drove them apart.[77]

Rake vs Traveller by Shadaan

It was revealed that prior to the conflict with the Malazan Empire, he was involved in a conflict in Jacuruku.[78]

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Anomander Rake was killed during a duel with Traveller in Darujhistan. As Rake blocked Traveller's sword, he let Dragnipur split his own skull.[79] Once inside Dragnipur, he sacrificed himself to bring Mother Dark and the Gate of Darkness back to the Tiste Andii in Black Coral. The sacrifice dispersed Rake's soul into Kurald Galain, and earned Draconus's forgiveness and respect.[80]

After the duel, Caladan Brood arrived in Darujhistan and carried Anomander's body to a barrow outside the city prepared by Burn. Every Daru citizen followed Brood out to the barrow to honor the Tiste Andii Lord who had twice saved them from destruction. Brood sealed Rake's barrow with a Barghast glyph that means "Grief." Nimander Golit took Rake's place as Lord of the Tiste Andii in Black Coral.

In Dust of Dreams[]

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In The Crippled God[]

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In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

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Return of the Crimson Guard.

Attend - Interpretation of Anomander Rake by Paradanmellow

The Crimson Guardsman Kyle dreamed of a meeting between Anomandaris and Liossercal in Kurald Emurlahn. Liossercal had discovered a strange crystalline structure growing from the ground and was dismantling it in "research". Anomandaris questioned his methods as he labeled the entity a Shadow House and called it a child, something new and unformed. It was his "interpretation that this house is of Emurlahn and Emurlahn exists as proof of the accord between our Realms. Threaten one and you threaten all." Liossercal took his words to heart, and Anomandaris lightened the mood by discussing Resuthenal, a woman they both knew.[81]

In Stonewielder[]

During her time as one of Tayschrenn's bodyguards, Kiska stated that she had once met an ambassador sent from Anomander Rake himself.[82]

In Orb Sceptre Throne[]

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In Blood and Bone[]

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In Assail[]

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See also: Who was Jethiss?

There is speculation that Jethiss, the Tiste Andii who traveled with Fisher Kel Tath on the continent of Assail, was Anomander Rake. However, a stronger candidate for Jethiss' true identity was Spinnock Durav. This could be inferred from the vague memories that Jethiss had of his previous life.

In Dancer's Lament[]

The subject of the Son of Darkness came up in a conversation between Shalmanat, the Protectress of Li Heng, and Sister Night — who happened to be in Li Heng. Shalmanat was very concerned that Anomander might make an appearance at Li Heng. Because of her role in the war between Light and Dark over Kurald Emurlahn, the Protectress was afraid that Rake and his Keep would come to destroy her and Li Heng. Sister Night reassured Shalmanat, telling her that since the hostilities occurred "a long time ago", and because the current guardian of Emurlahn was not Anomander but another individual, the Protectress need not fear that Rake would personally concern himself in any way with her presence at Li Heng.[83]

In Forge of Darkness[]

Anomander Rake was part of House Purake at a time when his father Nimander (his son would be named after his father) had recently passed away. Mother Dark gave Anomander and his two brothers the title of Sons of Darkness with Anomander being named 'First Son of Darkness'.[84][85]

In anticipation of his brother Andarist's wedding to Enesdia, Anomander commissioned a traditional Azathanai hearthstone for their new home. But unlike other such stones, he commissioned the work to be done by Azathanai High Mason, Caladan Brood. Upon the laying of the stone Brood asked Anomander to seal his loyalty to his brother with a blood pact, in return Anomander asked the mason to do the same. Begrudgingly, Brood did so connecting the two men for both their lives.[86]

Anomander was present when the Azathanai, T'riss, arrived in Kharkanas to speak with Mother Dark and sanctify the temple with Vitr. Mother Dark's expanded power transformed Anomander, turning his pale gold skin black and his hair silver.[87][88]

Anomander also commissioned one of the legendary Hust swords from Hust Henarald. Uniquely, he requested that sword share its voice only with its bearer.[89] Upon delivery, Mother Dark refused to bless the sword, which angered Anomander.[90] When Andarist's betrothed was murdered shortly before their wedding Anomander was inspired by the crime to name his sword Vengeance. Andarist pleaded with him to instead name the sword Grief. Anomander's refusal created a rift between the brothers.[91]

In Fall of Light[]

"If not in the name of love, then what cause suffices?"
―Anomander Rake, First Son of Darkness[src]

Before they had left Andarist's house, Endest Silann had witnessed an exchange between Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake, where Rake insisted that he would hold Brood to his promise of peace. Brood had asked whether Anomander would have the strength to bear all the burdens he would ultimately place on him, the first being the name Rake, the Azathanai word for Strength. Anomander had answered that he would.[92]

The two headed north, to the burned forest where they came upon a group of Deniers led by Glyph who left it up to Yedan Narad to give or refuse them welcome. Feeling guilt at the mention of Rake's name, Narad was momentarily unable to do either, then welcomed Brood but not Rake, saying the time for their welcome had not yet come. He promised Anomander that when he and the Deniers would be needed, they would answer his call. Anomander argued that Kharkanas's civil war didn't belong to the Deniers, they had suffered enough already. Narad agreed, but said he was talking about another battle, a battle when the fires would take the sea, a battle upon the shoreline, and on that day, they would answer Anomander's call. Asked by Brood in whose name the Deniers would stand, Narad twice answered with Hers, causing Anomander and the by then outraged Deniers to believe it to mean Mother Dark. Brood grabbed hold of Anomander and dragged him away from the camp.

Narad told Glyph that they had misunderstood and that if Anomander too had misunderstood him, the Azathanai had not, making Glyph think that Brood had purposely deceived the Son of Darkness. He also explained that Anomander probably wouldn't have to call, since he feared they would already be there. He then asked Glyph whether he had a name for shoreline in his old language, to which the hunter nodded and answered Emurlahn.[93]

Brood and Rake came upon the seemingly unconscious figure of Wreneck and made him comfortable. As they conversed, Wreneck listened to their exchange, which led to Vatha Urusander and the civil war. Rake wondered whether his sole service to Mother Dark consisted of standing between two self serving sides since in his opinion both sides were hypocrites, and whether it was enough of a reason to raise his army against Urusander's. He also wondered whether dividing the Tiste into the Andii and the Liosan, and thereby weakening them, had been something T'riss the Azathanai had done intentionally. And if so, with what purpose.

Brood told him to look at Draconus for an answer, since he had brought Dark to the Tiste. Anomander argued that T'riss had already done her damage before Draconus had brought the Terondai. Brood explained that the Gate, which he named Kurald Galain, was an iteration of control over a force in opposition to Chaos. When asked why Chaos and not Light, Caladan replied that Light was an absolution of Chaos. That in its purity it found order, with substance and hue, a reflection of how Chaos sought its own obliteration. He explained that by gifting Mother Dark with Elemental Dark, Draconus had imposed an impossible imbalance in the world, which in turn had made it impossible for T'riss to do anything but what she had done. He asked Anomander whether anyone could blame Draconus for something he did out of love. Anomander answered this by stating that Draconus was his friend, and that he would seek to withhold judgment, even if he felt disappointed by his absence.

When Wreneck finally awakened fully, he revealed to them his story and that he was seeking vengeance upon the Legion soldiers who had burned down House Drukorlat, and had hurt Jinia. That afterward, he would go back, find Jinia and marry her. And even though she could not have children it did not matter to him, since he would protect her forever. Upon hearing this, and about the boy's past experiences, Anomander told Caladan that he had finally found a worthy reason; a future of love.[94]

As they journeyed toward Dracons Keep, Caladan insisted that Anomander had strayed too far from his path to find his brother, in effect counseling him to return to Kharkanas to take up his duties. Anomander feeling bitter countered by asking whether Mother Dark had taken up her responsibilities. He noted that he felt blinded by Mother Dark's indecision, to which Caladan countered that the blindness he spoke of was his own doing. He then asked Anomander what he would have Mother Dark do, to which the First Son asked whether that was not self evident. He further made it plain that he disliked the very notion of rule, since power does not confer wisdom or rightful authority. But if Mother Dark wanted them to worship her as their goddess, then she needed to rule.[95]

When they arrived at Dracons Keep, they were met by Ivis, Captain of Lord Draconus's Houseblades. In a private conversation with the captain, Anomander revealed his doubts regarding the name he gave his sword, which had ultimately led to the estrangement between him and his brother. Ivis, seeking to comfort him, told him that even so he had struck out to find his brother, and to make it right between them. Still skeptical, Anomander asked even if he found his brother what word would be shared between them? At last Anomander decided to abandon his query and to return to Kharkanas.[96]

Ivis then asked Anomander to have Caladan look into the matter of the daughters of Draconus. Caladan warned Anomander that if he unleashed his power, not many would survive the night. What followed was a sorcerous conflagration that blew up half of Dracons Keep and set fire to the rest, leaving Anomander helpless and frustrated at his inability to match any of it himself.[97] Anomander then let Lord Draconus's Houseblades accompany him to Kharkanas.

On the journey to Kharkanas, Gripp Galas finally caught up with them. Speaking privately with Anomander, he reported on the events in Kharkanas and the choices of his brother Silchas Ruin -- to which Anomander said he was well aware -- and of the whereabouts of Andarist.

Gripp informed Anomander that he was needed unless he would see Urusander occupy Kharkanas uncontested. Anomander told him that it was Mother Dark's wish that he not unsheathe his sword. Yet if he did not, his friend, and Mother Dark's Consort, would be deposed, or even outlawed.[98]

In The God is Not Willing[]

(Information needed)

Rake and the Seguleh[]

'Blacksword visits' Interpretation of Anomander Rake amongst the Seguleh
by Shadaan and Tinyshiloh

Centuries before the creation of the Malazan Empire, Anomander visited the home island of the Seguleh. Ignorant of their customs, he took human form, donned a mask, and walked down the centre of their city's main thoroughfare. Rake's arrogant nature was perceived as a challenge by the non-verbal Seguleh, sparking duels with more than a score of the inhabitants who soon joined the other prisoners of Dragnipur. By the time Anomander's incomprehension and frustration led him to leave the island, he had already advanced to the position of Seguleh Seventh. Rake's visit was well remembered and his well-earned mask awaited his return.[4]

Other names[]

Anomander Rake bore a number of pseudonyms and titles.

  • Anomandaris Irake[1]
  • Anomandaris Purake[2]
  • Anomander Dragnipurake[3]
  • Black-Winged Lord
  • Blacksword[4]
  • First Son of Darkness[99]
  • Knight of Darkness[9]
  • Knight of High House Dark
  • Lord of Moon's Spawn[9]
  • The Mane of Chaos[100]
  • The Rake
  • Son of Darkness[9]


Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Fall of Light and Toll the Hounds.

Anomander Purake, later named Anomander Rake by Caladan Brood, was given the title of the First Son of Darkness by Mother Dark, queen of Kharkanas and goddess of the Tiste Andii. He was a Soletaken — able to assume the form of a huge black dragon, larger even than Silanah (a true Eleint) — and a very powerful Ascendant, occupying the place of the Knight of High House Dark in the Deck of Dragons. He was also the wielder of (the sword) Vengeance/Grief, and of the dangerous and powerful Dragnipur, which was forged by his friend Draconus — on whom he ultimately turned his own creation[101], thereby fulfilling Kallor's curse.

He was widely recognised — by many Ascendants, gods and Elder Gods — as one of the most powerful, unpredictable and ruthless figures in the World, especially since he was the wielder of the sword that enslaved souls.[102][103][104][105][106]

In his early years — during the events of the Kharkanas Trilogy — he seemed somewhat arrogant and rash, but in his later years — during the events of the Book of the Fallen — he was portrayed as more compassionate and wise.[107][108] Rake was a man of solitude, possessing a spirit of almost pathological independence. He could be indifferent to others' need for regular reassurance or comfirmation, trusting that his word, once given, was bond enough. What Rake said he would do, he did.[109] His thought processes were often a mystery to his own people, perhaps because of his draconic blood, but still they trusted and loved him without question.[110]

He was the son of Nimander Purake — who in his younger years was granted, by K'rul, the Azathanai honorific Purake, which came from "Pur Rakess Calas ne A’nom", roughly translated to "Strength in Standing Still" — and had two brothers, Silchas Ruin and Andarist, both given the titles the Second Son of Darkness and the Third Son of Darkness, respectively. T'riss was a one-time companion,[111] as were Lady Envy and Caladan Brood.[112][113]

To ensure the return of Mother Dark and the Gate of Darkness, and the re-awaking of hope and purpose for his people, he sacrificed himself, first by causing his own death by Traveller's hand, and then by dispersing his own soul, with the help of the power of a newly born god, in the Gate so that it could finally be freed from the realm of Dragnipur and manifest in Black Coral.

The glyphs forming the word Grief were inscribed by Caladan Brood on his tomb, outside the city of Darujhistan; a city he defended in Gardens of the Moon.

Significant plot details end here.


Anomander Rake by Crochet Me Curios

  • In his first attempt at writing Gardens of the Moon, Erikson presented the story from Anomander Rake's point of view. After writing three pages, he abandoned the draft as he came to the conclusion that his twenty-something self could not authentically convey the thoughts of a character who was several hundred thousand years old. He later found that avoiding Rake's POV gave the character a sense of presence and power that would have been difficult to duplicate with his own POV.[114]
  • Anomander Rake was the first character Erikson ever rolled up and played in the role-playing games that served as the foundations of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Erikson played the character through game after game and "lived and breathed the guy".[114]
  • Erikson thinks Keanu Reeves would make an apt movie casting for Anomander Rake --"Oddly enough, I always thought of him for Anomander Rake..."[115]
  • Erikson never expected Rake to be a favourite of readers since "his appearance in Gardens of the Moon is pretty minimal." But the author says he paid attention to readers' reactions and "Rake becomes much more important later on in the series." If readers had not latched on to Rake or had hated the character, Erikson "probably would have steered [later books] in a different direction as a series."[116] One of the things that Erikson believes draws readers to Rake is that he is powerful and frightening and readers "don't know enough about him."[117]
  • Rake was not inspired by Michael Moorcock's character, Elric. Erikson is frustrated by people who point out similarities as he says he has never read any of the Elric books.[118] Co-author Ian C. Esslemont says Dragnipur was his own homage in the pair's role-playing games to Elric's sword, Stormbringer.[119]
  • Erikson "really liked the naming constructions of Sanskrit" and used them as the underlying basis for several Tiste names, including Anomander.[120]


K'rul: "I am lost. In this world. In this time."
Anomander Rake: "You are not alone with those sentiments, Eldering One."
K'rul: "Do I follow in your steps, Lord? Do I seek out new battles, new games to play in the company of Ascendants? Are you rewarded in spirit for your efforts?"
Anomander Rake: "Sometimes. But mostly, no, I am not."
K'rul: "Then why?"
Anomander Rake: "I know no other way of living."
―K'rul and Anomander Rake[src]
Anomander Rake: "It seems you stand alone."
Kallor: "It was ever thus."
Anomander Rake: "I am not unfamiliar with that position, High King."
―Anomander Rake and Kallor[src]
"The black, silver-maned dragon emerged from the darkness overhead like a piece of night torn loose..."
―The arrival of Anomander Rake[src]
"He chose wisely. Each time, he chose wisely. Tell him, that of all whom I ever met, there is but one who has earned my respect and he is that one."
―Gothos to Desra regarding Anomander[src]
"There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail — should we fall — we will know that we have lived."
―Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness[src]
"All that he has ever asked of us, of me, and Spinnock Durav, and so many others, he has given us in return. Each and every time. This . . . this is his secret. Don't you understand, High Priestess? We served the one who served us."
―Endest Silan to the High Priestess of Darkness[src]
Anomander Rake: "And so I now raise my standard, Azathanai, to a deserved future, and a conscience scrubbed clean. If not in the name of love, then what cause suffices?"
Caladan Brood: "Draconus would stand with you, First Son, beneath such a standard. And thus the nobles are lost."
Anomander Rake: "Are we then past the age of shame, Caladan? No sting should I ridicule my fellow highborn?"
Caladan Brood: "Its power has diminished. Shame, my friend, is but a ghost now, haunting every city, every town and village. It has less substance than woodsmoke, and but rubs the throat with little more than an itch."
Anomander Rake: "I shall make it a wildfire."
―Lord Anomander Rake and High Mason Caladan Brood[src]
Anomander Rake: "My friend is here in the name of love, captain. In the absence of anything else, is that not a worthy cause? No, let us take his side."
Kellaras: "Milord, the highborn will not be so sentimental—"
Anomander Rake: "Sentimental, am I? Is love so paltry a thing, to be plucked and dropped to the ground at the first breath of contempt? Man or woman, disparaging love is a crime of the soul, for which the future will turn away its face."
Kellaras: "I doubt they fear such a fate, milord."
Anomander Rake: "They will learn to, captain. This I swear."
―An exchange between Kellaras and Lord Anomander[src]

Fan art gallery[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Midnight Tides, Prologue
  2. 2.0 2.1 Toll the Hounds, Chapter 13
  3. 3.0 3.1 Toll the Hounds, Chapter 2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB, p.189
  5. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 6, US TPB p.153
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.609
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xv
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-212
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.633
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-213
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB 474/475
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 17, US HC p.365
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.61/62
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.212
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.74-77
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-214
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.337-339
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.422-424,427-429
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.437-440
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.470-472
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.474-483
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 17, UK MMPB p.518-522
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.575-577
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.631
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.650/651
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.579
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.669
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.668/669,671-674,680
  35. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.682-685
  36. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.347
  37. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.65
  38. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.308
  39. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.186-187/206
  40. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.306-307
  41. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.300-308
  42. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.790
  43. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.623-624
  44. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.617/625/630
  45. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.629
  46. Memories of Ice, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.680-690
  47. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.839-840/850-851
  48. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.935-937/945
  49. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.974-979/994-995
  50. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.1155
  51. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.982/985-986
  52. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.970
  53. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.363/367
  54. House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.433
  55. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.650
  56. House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.439
  57. House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.489
  58. Midnight Tides, Prologue, US SFBC p.19-23
  59. Midnight Tides, Prologue, US SFBC p.24-25
  60. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.230
  61. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.485
  62. Midnight Tides, Chapter 19, US TPB p.463
  63. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.76
  64. 64.0 64.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.683-684
  65. The Bonehunters, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.734-736
  66. The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.825-826
  67. Reaper's Gale, Prologue, US HC p.23-24
  68. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.589
  69. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 6, US HC p.153-155
  70. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 8, US HC p.203
  71. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 16, US HC p.462-463
  72. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 19, US HC p.559-564
  73. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 16, US HC p.459
  74. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.602
  75. Reaper's Gale, Epilogue, US HC p.824-825
  76. Toll the Hounds, Prologue, UK HB p.4/5
  77. 77.0 77.1 Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.51-54
  78. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 2
  79. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, UK HB p.856/857
  80. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 24
  81. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 3, US HC p.356-358
  82. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US TPB p.78
  83. Dancer's Lament, Chapter 14, US HC p.266-267
  84. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2, UK HC p.40-44
  85. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.78
  86. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2, UK HC p.47-50
  87. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 2
  88. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 9, UK HC p.271
  89. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 6, UK HC p.151
  90. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 15, UK HC p.457
  91. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 15, UK HC p.481
  92. Fall of Light, Chapter 2
  93. Fall of Light, Chapter 4
  94. Fall of Light, Chapter 9
  95. Fall of Light, Chapter 9
  96. Fall of Light, Chapter 16
  97. Fall of Light, Chapter 16
  98. Fall of Light, Chapter 20
  99. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.78
  100. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, US HC p.68
  101. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1
  102. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 19
  103. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US MMPB p.300
  104. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3
  105. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4
  106. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
  107. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
  108. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8
  109. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.851
  110. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.625
  111. Blood and Bone, Chapter 5, UK MMPB, p.300
  112. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, UM MMPB, p.71
  113. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
  114. 114.0 114.1
  115. Steven Erikson Facebook post 14 June 2019
  116. Books with Brittany - see 19:50
  117. Books with Brittany - see 27:45
  118. Steven Erikson Talks Building Malazan, Facebook Post, & More - see 23:05
  119. Chat with Ian C Esslemont about Malazan - A Critical Dragon - See 7:00
  120. A Conversation with Steven Erikson - Malazan Mid-Series Reflection - Green Team of the Legendarium - See 39:30
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