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Malazan Wiki

Bidithal [Bid-ih-thal][1]was a High Mage[2] with the Raraku Apocalypse,[3][4] the eldest of the three High Mages in the Army of the Whirlwind. He was described as ancient and withered, with filmy eyes.[5] He was known for stealing young girls and forcibly circumcising them.[6]

He mistakenly thought himself subtle.[7]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

When Felisin Paran journeyed to Raraku's heart to become the Sha'ik Reborn, she was met by her three high mages, Bidithal, Febryl, and L'oric. Felisin saw in Sha'ik's memories that Bidithal had forcibly circumcised the seer when she was a young girl. His intent was ostensibly to ensure the child would not be distracted by men or children of her own. Like the other high mages, he was forced to kneel before the Sha'ik Reborn.[8]

He journeyed with the army of the Apocalypse to Balahn to visit Korbolo Dom near the site of his victory over the Malaz 7th Army. Like the other high mages he was appalled by the scope of the horror.[9]

In House of Chains[]

Cast out from the Cult of Rashan, Bidithal sought vengeance against Shadowthrone and Cotillion, the foreign pretenders to the Throne of Shadow.[10] He hoped to transform the Whirlwind fragment of Kurald Emurlahn into a full Warren under the Whirlwind Goddess to cleanse Shadow and become its new High Priest. Sha'ik was only a tool to be used to eliminate the hated Malazan Empire.[11][12]

Within his version of the Whirlwind cult, there was no place for female pleasure in the mortal world. As a result, he preyed on the Raraku oasis' vulnerable girls, forcibly circumcising them and making them his servants and spies.[13] It was unclear how aware Sha'ik Reborn was of his activities, but she needed his backing against Febryl and any who might conspire against her rule. Bidithal and his Shadow wraiths were given the task of rooting out the identities of the conspirators.[14]

Despite threats from Heboric, Bidithal seized Felisin Younger, Sha'ik's adopted daughter, and mutilated her when her protectors were away.[15] The High Priest's plotting bore fruit when Scillara, his spy in Korbolo Dom's bed, was witness to meetings between Dom, Febryl, and Kamist Reloe.[16]

Bidithal ultimately realised he had been guided in his actions by the Crippled God. As archpriest of all that was broken and suffering, he would usurp the Whirlwind warren so that it would become the new heart of High House Chains, and the Deragoth would be summoned to the god's service.[17]

Kalam Mekhar, with Cotillion's aid, attempted to stop Bidithal in his temple on the eve of the confrontation between Sha'ik Reborn and Adjunct Tavore. But the High Priest escaped while they were occupied with his shadow wraiths.[18] Instead, Bidithal was killed by Karsa Orlong in revenge of Felisin Younger. As fitting punishment, the Teblor ripped off Bidithal's penis and testicles and stuffed them down the high mage's throat.[19]

In The Bonehunters[]

Scillara thought that Bidithal's cult succeeded in Raraku because it reached the dispossessed—those who had been harmed by the world's injustice. The world was divided into hierarchies in which only the bastards seemed to win. Heboric claimed Bidithal's ideas came from the Crippled God, a broken creature, much like a street beggar or an abandoned urchin. The god's cult promised a paradise beyond death in which there would be no more suffering—a central tenet that was unproveable.[20] Bidithal sought numbness in the mortal world by removing the capacity for pleasure or by instilling pain.[21][22]

After Felisin Younger was installed as the new Sha'ik Reborn by the Crippled God, she came to believe Bidithal had been mistaken about their faith. The cult was not a faith of abstinence, but of excess and gluttony. Humanity's soul was a bottomless cauldron.[23]


Bidithal had formerly been known as "Rashan'ais", the archpriest of the cult of Rashan before Kellanved and Cotillion's ascension. According to Heboric, the cult had not taken well to this and torn itself apart, and only those who acknowledged this change on the throne of Shadow remained. The rest had been banished, Bidithal being one of them.[24]

According to Lostara Yil, Ben Adaephon Delat came to visit their temple in Ehrlitan (the temple of Rashan where Bidithal was the High Priest). In order to entertain him, a Shadow Dance was arranged, in which Lostara took part. Later that night after the dance, the cult members were assassinated by Delat and an accomplice, with only Lostara being left alive, as far as she knew. She only found out years later that Bidithal had also been spared by Delat.[25]

He was related by blood to Bridthok, who used others' knowledge of the bloodline in an attempt to rise in the ranks of the Rashan cult.[26]


A poem titled Sha'ik:

"When the sands
Danced blind,
She emerged from the face
Of a raging goddess

Closing Chant[]

Bidithal: "My children."
Girls: "Father."
Bidithal: "Do you remember?"
Girls: "We remember."
Bidithal: "Do you remember the dark?"
Girls: "We remember the dark. Father."
Bidithal: "Ask it and close this moment, children."
Girls: "Do you remember the dark?"
Bidithal: "I remember."
―Bidithal and his girls[src]

Notes and references[]