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Baruk [Bah-rook][1] was a High Alchemist and leader of the T'orrud Cabal[2] in Darujhistan. The Cabal was an organization of nine mages who were the true rulers of the city. Making his home within the city's Estate district,[3] he considered it his duty to assure the city's survival and independence from the Malazan Empire.

Baruk employed many men, women, and familiars in a spy network. Amongst his long standing agents were Kruppe, Murillio, Rallick Nom and Coll.[4] Baruk also made use of the familiars Irp and Rudd and the demon Chillbais.[5][6] His human servant was Roald.[7]

He was described as bulky with plump hands, but still able to move with alacrity despite his girth.[8] Lady Simtal described him as a 'fat old man smelling of sulphur and brimstone'.[9]

Baruk was in the habit of working at night and because of that normally did not drink after sunset.[10] He despised chance operating in his affairs.[11]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

For a year, Baruk had been the recipient of messages from Circle Breaker about secret meetings held by councilman Turban Orr at Despot's Barbican. The spy's reports were sent to him on behalf of the mysterious Eel whose true identity Baruk was unaware of.[7]

In the wake of the Malazan victory over the nearby city of Pale, Orr tried to push a proclamation of Darujhistan's neutrality towards the Malazan Empire through the council. Two days before the vote, he visited Baruk to persuade the alchemist to give his support to the motion. Baruk declined to back Orr and the councilman told him that the proclamation would nevertheless go ahead as a majority support had been reached just that night.[12]

Anomander Rake, aware that Baruk and his fellow Cabal members were the true powers in Darujhistan, contacted the mage through Crone to form an alliance.[13] Upon hearing of two traitorous Pale wizards hiding in the city, he demanded their heads. The alternative being killed by Dragnipur, Baruk promised Rake he would have them.[14]

Kruppe came to Baruk with information about the ongoing assassin war and the situation amongst the thieves. He also told Baruk about Oponn's coin and was charged to protect the coinbearer, however, if it should transpire that the Lord rather than the Lady claimed the coinbearer, Baruk ordered Kruppe to engage Rallick (i.e. to have the coinbearer killed).[15]

When Rake commented that Baruk was addressing him as equal, Baruk replied that there were many paths to Ascendancy implying that he himself might be an Ascendant or on the path to it.[16]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Baruk.

In Deadhouse Gates[]

Baruk and the T'orrud Cabal helped sponsor an expedition of the Trygalle Trade Guild along with Dujek Onearm to provide Fist Coltaine and his Chain of Dogs with food and water after their crossing of the Nenoth Odhan. Additionally, Coltaine was presented with a bottle of smoky glass on a chain which he was instructed to wear at all times.[17]

After Coltaine and his army were massacred and crucified by Korbolo Dom's army of the Apocalypse, Baruk sent his familiars Rudd and Irp to collect the Fist's body. Rudd was able to find the corpse because Baruk had linked the familiar to the ensorcelled bottle. Unfortunately for the Malazan Empire, the bottle which had been designed to save Coltaine's soul had been given away by the Fist to Duiker. So it was ultimately the Imperial Historian's body and soul recovered by Baruk's agents.[18][19]

Significant plot details end here.

In Memories of Ice[]

In the lead up to the Pannion War, Kruppe used Baruk's name to insert himself into the alliance between Caladan Brood, renegade Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, and the city of Darujhistan. When challenged by Councillor Coll, Kruppe admitted that Baruk had never broached the topic of sending him, but they were such close friends that words had been unnecessary. Kruppe also claimed that Baruk supported his recommendation that the armies make use of the Trygalle Trade Guild to maintain their supply lines.[20]

The allies lifted the Pannion Domin's Siege of Capustan and then marched on the Pannion Seer's forces at Coral. During the march, Baruk entrusted Kruppe with a glass ball containing one of his Bhokaral servants. Kruppe broke the ball before Quick Ben and Ganoes Paran releasing the Bhokaral. Speaking in single word exclamations, it declared Baruk's wish to help regarding the Whirlwind rebellion in Seven Cities. It shouted out references to Coltaine, Icarium, Raraku, and the Azath Quick Ben pulled it aside to discuss details in privacy.[21]

The former Imperial Historian Duiker's mostly destroyed and dessicated body was recovered by Baruk's servants and brought to Darujhistan. Using the glass bottle containing Duiker's soul and stretching his talents to the limits, Baruk was able to resurrect him.[22]

After the Battle of Black Coral, several Bridgeburners retired to Darujhistan and converted the reputedly haunted K'rul's Temple into K'rul's Bar. The only locals who attended the opening were Baruk, Coll, Murillio, and Kruppe. Baruk interrupted Kruppe before the oily thief could retell the story of how he and the bar's namesake had together fashioned a new world. Then Duiker captured the group's attention with his narration of the tale of the Chain of Dogs and Coltaine.[23]

In House of Chains[]

Cutter used Baruk's name when inventing a plausible excuse for his appearance on Drift Avalii. The young thief told the island's guardian, Darist, that he had been sent by Baruk, a mage and scholar from Darujhistan. Baruk had learned that the island was in danger and sought to determine the nature of the threat. Darist quickly saw through Cutter's lie.[24]

In The Bonehunters[]

The Seguleh Second met Cutter in a monastery in Seven Cities. Recognising the thief as a Daru, the Second asked if the Tyrant's children still ruled Darujhistan. When a confused Cutter stated that the city was ruled by a Noble Council, their conversation soon turned to the T'orrud Cabal. The Second described them as undying, secretive, paranoid mages steeling themselves for the Tyrant's inevitable return. He named them as Barukanal, Derudanith, Travalegrah, and Mammoltenan. Cutter got the sense that he should return home as soon as possible.[25]

In Toll the Hounds[]

Crone met with Baruk as envoy for Anomander Rake and brought him a text by Dillat as a gift from her master for the Alchemist's collection.[26] The two discussed the potential for an event happening and Rake's offer of help should it be needed. Chillbais who, for several months, had been watching the Azath House in Darujhistan for Baruk,[27] appeared towards the end of their meeting with news of a change there. Baruk then told Crone that 'it (the event)' had begun.[28]

In Orb Sceptre Throne[]

Baruk tried to protect himself from being forcefully summoned by the Legate (the last Darujhistani Tyrant), however he failed. He was forcefully dragged away from his estate and transformed into a clawed creature, now called Barukanal, who was under the control of the Tyrant, a constant punishment for the mage.[29]

He was forced to serve as a servant of the Tyrant, and approached Caladan Brood outside Darujhistan warning him to keep away from the Tyrant's activities in Genabackis. Unfazed, Caladan Brood in turn, threatened to destroy the entire city should the Tyrant become too brazen. Baruk then left without having accomplished anything.[30]

Baruk with Hinter, Aman and Taya attacked the residents of "K'rul's Bar". Whilst attacking, he was at the same time trying to avoid hurting them as much as his controlled mind would allow. K'rul appeared and ended the fight. Baruk tried to convey a hint about how to attack the Tyrant before also being told to leave by K'rul.[31]

Baruk interrupted Rallick Nom's attempt to assassinate the Tyrant. Pretending he did not know Nom's purpose, Baruk instead made another attempt to give a message on how to thwart the Tyrant.[32]

Baruk along with Aman, were the two mages who were instrumental in overseeing the re-creation of the ancient Orb of the Tyrants. The "Orb" was a huge, protective dome which - when formed - covered the entire Majesty Hill of Darujhistan.[33][34]

In the process of finishing the construction of the Circle (of stones) which anchored the "Orb", Baruk slashed Barathol Mekhar's wrist so that some of the blacksmith's blood would strengthen it. Baruk told him to be grateful that it was Baruk who did this, given that had Aman been in his place, Aman would have slashed Barathol's throat instead.[35]

After the fall of the Tyrant, a battered Baruk returned to his estate where he was greeted by Chillbais.[36]


He was the creator of an antidote to the deadly white paralt poison used by assassins. He also created the pendant originally meant for Coltaine but given to Duiker which allowed him to resurrect the historian after he was crucified on Aren Way.

Baruk used a simple cantrip to make a note disappear which then joined others in a safe place.[10]

Notes and references[]

  1. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - As pronounced by Erikson at 18:40
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xiv
  3. Map of Darujhistan as published in Gardens of the Moon
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.251
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.594
  6. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, UK HB p.36
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.197
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.197/198
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.202
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.252
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.203-205
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.210-214
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.213/214
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.248-252
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.439
  17. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.507
  18. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.594-595
  19. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.510
  20. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.172/176-177
  21. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.776-777
  22. Memories of Ice, Epilogue, US SFBC p.999
  23. Memories of Ice, Epilogue, US SFBC p.999-1000
  24. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.367
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.161
  26. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, UK HB p.34
  27. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, UK HB p.18
  28. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, UK HB p.36
  29. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 3
  30. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 6
  31. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 11, UK PB p.452-455
  32. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 13, UK PB p.527/528
  33. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 8, US TPB p.257-258
  34. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 9, US TPB p.283-284
  35. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 13, US TPB p.384-386
  36. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 21, UK PB p.822/821
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