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Bedusk Pall Kovuss Agape (who referred to himself as a 'Jaghut Anap') lived in a tower situated just outside the coastal village of 'Reach of Woe'. Bedusk Pall Kovuss Agape’s wife (also a Jaghut) had lived in the tower with her husband, but he had buried her in the yard of the tower nine years before.[1][2] This stone tower of Bedusk Agape was shaped into a roundish square (either intentionally or as a result of many centuries of severe wind erosion) with a recessed, shadowy entrance that was topped by a moss-covered lintel. Originally built to be further from the cliff edge, the tower was now located almost at the very lip of the flat top of the very tall, sheer cliff that it shared with 'Reach of Woe' (which had always been further inland), because of significant subsidence into the sea far below, of the ground on which the tower stood – it having lost the yard (where Bedusk Agape’s wife had been buried), and which had (until recently) previously separated the tower, itself, from the cliff's edge.[3]

Bedusk Agape was 'Provost' of 'Reach of Woe' – the village's only elected official. The Jaghut was extremely tall with red-rimmed eyes and skin of a deeper shade of blue than even that of the natives of the Napan Isles in the Malazan Empire. He also had massive, silver-tipped tusks which protruded on both sides of his lower jaw and which curled like a ram's horns on either side of his rather bony face.[4][5]

As it happened, Bedusk Agape had buried his wife in the tower's yard, not because she was dead – which she had not been – but because the Provost had lost an argument with her.[6] No longer 'having' a wife and having been elected Provost by the villagers, Bedusk Agape had taken to socializing more with the villagers of 'Reach of Woe' – which proved to have been a bad idea, as he fell in love with one of the young maidens, who spurned his advances, sending him into a great rage. This rage of the magically powerful Jaghut led him to cast (some four years previously) a terrible, ancient curse upon all the young maidens of the village – transforming any childless women who were (or who subsequently became) of age, into mindless, vampire-like 'demons' known as Tralka Vonan (aka 'Blood Feeders') – producing twelve of them in all, who 'slept' in a crypt beneath Bedusk Agape's tower, but who would 'awaken' when outsiders came to the village, who they would then hunt. Because of this curse, any other childless women who came to stay in the village would have only a day or so before they, too, were turned into Tralka Vonan (unless they promptly left). Bedusk Agape refusing to reverse the curse, the inhabitants of 'Reach of Woe' took to sending any pre-puberty female children they had (or had subsequently) away to other villages further along the coast, while these children were still very young girls.[7][8]

In Toll the Hounds[]

As it turned out, Bedusk Agape's wife (a Jaghut sorceress), who everyone had assumed to now be actually dead – as her grave had been consumed by the sea – resurfaced from the waves at the base of the cliff, her eyes red-rimmed, and made her way with deadly purposefulness to the top of the cliff via a tunnel in the cliff face that opened from above sea level and then rose steeply up to the village.[9] Having made it to the village, she was determined to wipe out all of the inhabitants of 'Reach of Woe' – who were, one and all, wreckers, who preyed mercilessly on any passing ships that they could lure to destruction upon their "wreckers' coast". Bedusk Agape, catching sight of his - not surprisingly vengeful - wife approaching, a tall ragged figure, from a window in his tower, knew that he was "in trouble now".[10]

As might have been expected with such severe marital discord involving two powerful magic users, the fighting between Bedusk Agape and his wife escalated and soon they not only had destroyed the village and villagers of 'Reach of Woe', but they also were well on the way to destroying all the other villages on the rest of the island – and perhaps each other – as well.[11]

Notes and references[]

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