Baudin [bō-din] was a companion to Felisin Paran and Heboric after The Cull. He was described as huge and bestial, "with all the makings of a common criminal", and possessed small, narrow-set eyes. Shortly after his first appearance he had his right ear torn off and he later grew a beard.
Although seemingly a mere thug, Baudin often showed himself surprisingly knowledgeable regarding the history and workings of the Malazan Empire. He was a man of few words, and possessed astonishing self-control and endurance.
In Deadhouse Gates
Baudin became acquainted with Felisin and Heboric during Unta's Cull, when all three were among those arrested by Empress Laseen and ordered sent to the Skullcup mining camp on Seven Cities. On the way to the slave ships the parade of prisoners was attacked by screaming mobs. Baudin protected Felisin, losing his ear in the process. He sacrificed fellow slave Lady Gaesen to the mob to save their lives.
At the camp, Baudin became one of the crime lord Beneth's men and spent his time searching for a way to escape the prison. During the Whirlwind uprising he was able to lead Felisin and Heboric to freedom through an old mining tunnel under Sinker Lake. He also strangled Beneth for keeping Felisin as his drug-addled plaything.
After their escape, Baudin was revealed to be a remnant of the Talon, Dancer's elite assassins, sent by Felisin's sister Tavore to protect her and rescue her from the camp. Felisin searched his pack and found thief's tools and assassin's weapons along with the talon of a large cat.
The trio were rescued from the shores of Otataral Island by the crew of the Ripath. During the ship's unplanned journey through the warrens, Baudin received a lighter exposure to the magic that put Captain Gesler and his marines on the path to Ascendancy. The exposure left him bald, his body heavier and more solid, and his skin gilded as if tempered. Despite his mission, Felisin claimed to be repelled by him and drove him away.
Baudin continued to secretly follow Felisin and was mortally wounded by Gryllen, a Rat D'ivers, while protecting Felisin, Heboric, and Kulp. He sought to use immolating fire, erroneously believing that the strange metallic cast to his skin meant that he was immune. Unfortunately, his use of fire combined with the vicious assault of the rats caused his death. He died in the repentant Felisin's embrace.
In Memories of Ice
During the Siege of Capustan, Itkovian noted an apparent Gidrath among the survivors of the defence of the Prince's Chamber in Jelarkan's Palace. Itkovian described him as a bull of a man who had ceased to sleep but continually paced. At one point he was observed kneeling before the priest, Rath'Hood.
After the allied armies of Dujek Onearm and Caladan Brood broke the siege, Murillio and Coll brought the Mhybe to Capustan to seek a priest to ease her misery. They were attacked in the street by Korbal Broach, but the Gidrath appeared, dressed in remnants of dark Gidrath armour and bearing a longsword in each hand. In a raspy voice he warned Korbal to leave the city or face the wrath of his lord. Korbal named the Gidrath 'Knight of High House Death', stating "You should be dead. I can feel the coldness of you. I can sense the fist of Hood, coiled there in your lifeless chest. He's kept you here. Wandering." The Knight drove the necromancer off.
The Knight brought Coll, Murillio, and the Mhybe to the Temple of Hood which had been readied for her arrival. Though the Knight could not remember who he once was, he informed Coll he was not a Gidrath but from another continent. He was incapable of sleep and could not remove the swords from his hands, and thought he might be dead. His only memory was that of fire, and failing to protect a child. By his features and colouration, Coll thought him to be Malazan.
They were soon joined by K'rul who assured her guardians that he had come for her salvation and announced it was time for her "dream for real". Her daughter, Silverfox, had made a deal with Hood to keep the Mhybe in an eternal sleeping stasis. Her living body was interred in a sarcophagus where it was to be eternally warded and protected by Hood. K'rul explained to Coll and Murillio that she slept to dream, and within her dream an entire world lived.
In House of Chains
Fist Gamet recalled the events on the day of Felisin Paran's arrest. A man calling himself Kollen, who had recently been hired as a guard admitted to Gamet that he was there on Tavore's behest. He told the Fist that Kollen was not his real name and that Felisin's arrest was inevitable but that it was his (Kollen's) mission to be Felisin's guardian in the otataral mines. This and the Fist's recollection of Kollen's appearance confirm Kollen to have been Baudin.
While on a mission for Adjunct Tavore, Pearl and Lostara Yil came across Baudin's body in the Pan'potsun hills, which had been reduced to a bare shell. Upon being punched, it simply collapsed. Pearl deduced that Hood himself had come personally to take not just Baudin's soul, but his flesh too. He further deduced that there had been a change in Hood's house, the High House Death.
Cotillion told Cutter how Baudin's sad death while attempting to protect Felisin had drawn Hood's attention. After looking into the mortal's soul, the god had made him his Knight of Death. Cotillion asked Cutter to take on a similar burden and protect Felisin Younger.
In The Bonehunters
Heboric lamented the loss of Baudin, Kulp, and Felisin, feeling they had died for nothing because he had been too inadequate to save them. He thought Baudin would have been better equipped to lead Cutter, Scillara, and Felisin Younger to safety.
On the night Adjunct Tavore Paran's 14th Army returned to Malaz City, Fiddler, Gesler, and Stormy made their way to Braven Tooth's room in the Mouse Quarter. Fiddler played a sorrow-filled song for fallen friends and comrades. He included Baudin among them.
In Toll the Hounds
In Dancer's Lament
In the time before the rise of the Malazan Empire, the mage Wu organised a gang of street urchins in Li Heng. The name of one of the boys in the gang was Baudin, and the boy stated that he was named for his father and his grandfather. If the boy continued this tradition with his own descendants, it suggested that he might be an ancestor of Baudin the Talon.
Baudin often hinted at a background at odds with his simple appearance. He claimed to have been born into the Talon, a position inherited from his father, Baudin Elder, who had been in Malaz City on the night of the Shadow Moon. He was aware of the details of Emperor Kellanved and Dancer's assassination. His father had later been assassinated by the Claw in Quon Tali during the Empress' purge of the Talon.
Baudin was likely much older than he appeared. He mentioned he had served in a prison gang twenty years previous, scuttling Republic ships in Quon harbour after they were defeated by the Malazan Empire. The marine Stormy was suspicious of this claim as it seemingly meant the Talon had been ten or fifteen at the time. Baudin claimed he was "something like that" and the reasons for his imprisonment were no one's business.
Baudin had enough experience dealing with the T'lan Imass that he was unawed by them. "T'lan Imass were never nothing but trouble. Always two sides to whatever they did, maybe more than two. Maybe hundreds," he claimed.
Notes and references
- Ten Very Big Books podcast As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 01:17:50
- Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.17
- Deadhouse Gates, Prologue, UK MMPB p.27/36
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6, US HC p.143/148
- Deadhouse Gates, Prologue, UK MMPB p.31 example
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.85
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.205
- Deadhouse Gates, Prologue
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.202
- Deadhouse Gates Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.448/449
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.183
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.284-285/288
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.584
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.758-760
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.760
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.901
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.762
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.903-904
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.950
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.960
- House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.287-290
- House of Chains, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.667/668
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.848-849
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.479
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.894-895/920
- Toll the Hounds, Chapter 22, US MMPB p.1151
- Dancer's Lament, Chapter 16, US HC p.287
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.288
- House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.239-240
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.213
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 9, US HC p.246