Map Genabackis from Memories of Ice


Blackdog Forest, or Swamp, was a large boreal forest surrounded by swamp[1] located on the shield bedrock of the continent of Genabackis. It was the site of major battles between the Malaz 5th Army and the allied armies of Caladan Brood and the Crimson Guard during the First Campaigns.[2]

The 5th Army spent at least four years there, battling Brood and the Guard.[3]

Timber wolves lived within the forest.[4]

Blackdog CampaignEdit

Blackdog Campaign Map by Erikson

Blackdog campaign map by Steven Erikson

While the events of the Blackdog campaign were complete by the beginning of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, members of the Bridgeburners often referred to events that occurred there.

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

  • The Ilgres Barghast were amongst those who had joined the Crimson Guard at Blackdog Forest.[5]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

  • Kalam recalled a war as much against mosquitos, leeches, poisonous snakes, and blood-sucking lizards as against an organised enemy. At a time when the enemy had cut their supply lines and the Moranth were pulling back, Kalam had seen a select company of Brood's soldiers under the ragged banner of Kallor.[6]

In Memories of IceEdit

  • After a Cusser had taken out a half-dozen Tiste Andii early in the campaign, a squad of Malazan regulars began looting their bodies. They were angered to find nothing of value before Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners drove them off. Whiskeyjack recovered a knotted strip of coloured cloth and a stream-polished stone from the bodies before ordering them buried.[7]
  • Black Moranth commander Twist "shook hands with a Rhivi spirit" in Blackdog Forest resulting in his permanently withered hand.[8] The necromantic injury began to spread and was expected to slowly kill him over time.[9]
  • Picker and Blend remembered a night retreat that had brought them stumbling into a Rhivi Burn Ground. The pair had been surrounded by malign spirits rising from the ashes before they were spotted and pulled to safety by a wing of Black Moranth on their Quorls.[9]

In House of ChainsEdit

  • Kalam used the pseudonym "Ulfas", the name of a Barghast war chief killed at Blackdog Forest, when confronting the renegade Malazan officer, Irriz.[10]

In The BonehuntersEdit

  • For a time, Quick Ben had masqueraded in Blackdog as a High Mage named Kribalah Rule. In this guise he had rescued Tayschrenn from assassins before apparently perishing in a horrible conflagration. It was also at this time that he pilfered a vial from Tayschrenn containing the demon Pearl that the Bridgeburner mage later sent after Anomander Rake in Darujhistan.[11]
  • Kalam recalled a nightmare war fought in black spruce stands, vast swamps, mud, lagoons, and bogs against the Mott Irregulars, Crimson Guard, and Nathii First Army. The Bridgeburners had been hollowed out and numbed by the experience. Weeks of slogging through the swamps left their skin hanging in discoloured strips.[12]

In Toll the HoundsEdit

  • The man who would later be known as Monkrat had deserted at Blackdog Forest in 1159 BS. He was thought dead and his name was listed with the fallen there.[13] He recalled how the red dragon Silanah had wreaked devastation there from the air.[14]

In Dust of DreamsEdit

  • Trotts recalled burying the Bridgeburner, Cage, in Blackdog. But they never did find his head.[15]

In Blood and BoneEdit

  • Remembering the Blackdog campaign, Murken Warrow winced at what a mess it had been. The memory of what he had seen as fresh young mage still made uncomfortable.[16]


  • The Blackdog campaign was one of many events developed by authors Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont in role-playing sessions before any of the Malazan novels were written. Erikson served as referee and Esslemont as player controlling the members of the Malazan army.[17]
  • Before the publication of Gardens of the Moon, Erikson and Esslemont first tried to bring their creation to life in two screenplays. One screenplay, called Blackdog Blues, covered the events of the Blackdog campaign.[18]

Notes and referencesEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.