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"At her side her lifelong companion, Bellurdan, skull-crusher, a Thelomen giant who would test his prodigious strength against the Moon's portal, should it come to that."
―Nightchill and Bellurdan[src]

Bellurdan [Bell-ur-dan], also known as "Bellurdan Skullcrusher",[1] was a giant-sized scholar and High Mage to Malazan Empress Laseen.[2]

In the books, Bellurdan was identified as one of the Thelomen race, although Steven Erikson called him a Thel Akai in an interview. Thel Akai were even bigger than, and technically the ancestors of, Thelomen.[3] Bellurdan claimed his Thelomen blood made him a descendant of the Jaghut.[4]

Bellurdan was so tall that, even when kneeling, his head came near to Tattersail's full height.[5]

He was the lifemate of fellow High Mage Nightchill.[6] According to Ganoes Paran, theirs was an unequal relationship with Bellurdan following Nightchill's direction, but the big sorcerer served as the hard-edged Nightchill's balance.[7][8]


Bellurdan had come down from Fenn on the Quon Tali mainland with Nightchill during the Unification Wars. After Kellanved's death, they were both assigned to Nathilog where they sat idle for six or seven years, their last campaign having been Seven Cities.[9]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Bellurdan and Nightchill by Shadaan

Prior to the end of the Siege of Pale, High Mage Tayschrenn sent Bellurdan to the city of Genabaris to research new scrolls of Gothos' Folly which had been discovered in the mountains beyond Blackdog Forest.[10] From his research he was able to deduce the location of the prison of a Jaghut Tyrant east of Darujhistan.[11]

Afterwards, Bellurdan travelled to Pale with Nightchill, joining Tayschrenn's assault on Moon's Spawn and Anomander Rake. During the attack, a Kenryll'ah demon spawned and ripped Nightchill apart. Bellurdan was so infuriated that he rushed the demon, ignoring its attacks, and crushed its skull with his bare hands.[12] As a result of the attack, Bellurdan's neck and face were burned and most of his hair was gone.[13]

Following a request by soldiers who were getting sick patrolling the area, Tattersail found Bellurdan in a Pale alleyway five days after the battle. He was protecting a large burlap sack containing the remains of Nightchill. With Bellurdan's permission, Tattersail cast a sealing spell on the remains. During the encounter, Tattersail mentioned her suspicions that Tayschrenn had betrayed the other mages. But Bellurdan dismissed her concerns.[14]

Bellurdan sought out a burial place for Nightchill, but was soon sent after the fugitive Tattersail by Tayschrenn to stop her from going to Darujhistan. Bellurdan confronted the desperate Tattersail, who knowingly opened up her Warren fully, causing a conflagration in which both she and Bellurdan were incinerated.[15]

Their souls then shifted to the body of Nightchill where all three souls were preserved. Part of his soul later made up the newly created Silverfox.[3]

In Memories of Ice[]

With his newly found powers as Master of the Deck, Ganoes Paran could sense the entwined souls of Tattersail, Nightchill, and Bellurdan within the girl Silverfox. He sought to bring Tattersail to the forefront of the girl's consciousness and keep the dangerous and self-interested High Mages at bay.[16]

During the Pannion War, High Fist Dujek Onearm explained to Whiskeyjack the true story behind the events at Pale. Nightchill had been no mere mortal sorcerer and had ambitions of her own beyond those of the Malazan Empire. She used Bellurdan as her researcher and had sought to take Anomander Rake's sword, Dragnipur. At Pale, she killed the suspicious A'Karonys and Tayschrenn killed her in turn. Meanwhile Tayschrenn had been grooming Tattersail to take on the role of Master of the Deck before her death. Dujek called Bellurdan's bungled attempt to capture Tattersail the worst foul-up in Malazan history with the debacle at Pale a close second.[17]

By the end of the Pannion War, Silverfox had reconciled the various souls within her and made peace with the T'lan Imass.[18]

In House of Chains[]

Kalam Mekhar was in a G'danisban market sorting through weapons lost from the Chain of Dogs. He discovered an exceptional Long-knife that had been invested with Elder magic by someone likely of Fenn or Thelomen Toblakai ancestry, and who had left their mark on the blade. Kalam recognised the mark and it was implied it was Bellurdan's. The weapon had apparently been invested as a gift to an unknown Wickan. Kalam purchased the weapon for his own.[19]

In Toll the Hounds[]

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Toll the Hounds.
Nimander discovered that Bellurdan ascended to become the Dying God.[20]

In Night of Knives[]

Temper recollected the night of the Siege of Y'Ghatan and thought of some of the mages, amongst them the giant Bedurian [Bed-ur-ian].[21] From that description and the mention of Nightchill in the same context, it is generally assumed that Bedurian is synonymous with Bellurdan.

Notes and references[]

  1. Memories of Ice, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.520
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xiii
  3. 3.0 3.1 In a Q&A on the TOR Website Steven Erikson stated that Bellurdan was Thel Akai. Quote: In my mind Bellurdan's essence always played a role in Silverfox. The nature of the Tellann sorcery kicked out by Tool essentially locked Hood's Gate for any soul leaving mortal flesh within range of its influence. Bellurdan was one such character. But he's a Thel Akai, and that makes his soul a very powerful thing indeed. To answer you, Silverfox got a small part of him, but the rest of him went elsewhere...
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.237
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.100
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.144
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.724
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.73
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.71
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.237-238
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.77
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.101
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.100-103
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.237-238/244
  16. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.144
  17. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.771-772
  18. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.911/951/972
  19. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.345-346
  20. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 12
  21. Night of Knives, Chapter 4, UK HB p.150
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