Beneth was the spiritual leader of the Jourilan Army of Reform. Previously he had been called a "heretic mystic of the mountains" and had been hunted for many years. He was an old, blind man with a bald gleaming head, and a cloth wrapped round his eyes.[1]

While unable to see in the traditional sense, he saw visions of the past, present, and likely future.[2][3]

In Stonewielder Edit

From a young age Beneth represented a challenge to the authority of the Lady, patron goddess of Jourilan and the Lands of Fist.

"I am old, as you see. Very old. I was born long before the Malazans came to our shores with their foreign ways and foreign gods. I was also born different. All my life I could see things other people could not. Shadows of other things. These shadows spoke to me, showed me strange visions. When I spoke of these things to my parents, I was beaten and told never to entertain such evil again. For such is how all those born different are treated here among the Korelri and Roolians – all those you Thel name invaders.

Foolishly though, or stubbornly, I persisted in indulging my gifts, for they were my solace, my company, the only thing I had left after I had been named touched. And so one day representatives of the priesthood, the Lady’s examiners, came for me. Since you persist in your evil visions, they said, we will put a permanent end to your perverted ways. And they heated irons and put out my eyes. I was but fourteen years of age at the time.
―Beneth telling his story to Ivanr[src]

Left to die in Stygg, he discovered his visions now showed him a shadow version of the land. He saw images of the past and present which made him aware of the Lady's twisted and evil grip on Fist and made him determined to root her out and cleanse it.[4]

Beneth escaped to the mountains where he lived for decades. Fifty years before the march of the Reform Army he had sworn a vow of non-violence, and instead cultivated legions of free-thinkers, pilgrims, agents, and missionaries to lay the groundwork for a society-wide revolution. During this time he saved the life of the former Malazan officer Martal. All the while, he resisted the will of the Lady.[5] Then the Priestess arrived sparking uprisings and insurrections followed by a second Malazan invasion and Benneth knew it was time to come down from the mountain.[6]

Martal led Beneth's Reform Army of peasants as its Black Queen and Beneth recruited the ex-Grand Champion Ivanr as its Deliverer. Beneth ultimately succumbed to the overwhelming will of the Lady despite the efforts of the Synod of Stygg's Sister Nebras to fortify him. Before he passed he named Ivanr as his replacement.[7] The Reform Army went on to victory outside the walls of Ring.[8]

Notes and referencesEdit

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