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Malazan Wiki

Cafal was a hulking[1] White Face Barghast, first son of Humbrall Taur and brother of Hetan and Netok.[2] In Dust of Dreams, Setoc described him as not yet thirty. He was also a healer and shaman.[3]

Cafal's face was smeared with white paint, giving it a skull-like appearance. His shoulder length hair was braided, stained red with ochre, and knotted with bone fetishes.[4] He had heavy brows and filed teeth.[5][6] He wore a hauberk and gauntlets threaded with holed copper and silver coins of unfamiliar mintage. He and his brother and sister carried a mix of weapons, including lances, throwing axes, fighting axes, hook-bladed swords, and assorted knives and daggers. Gruntle found him and Netok miserable, taciturn creatures who seemed singularly thick.[7]

In Memories of Ice[]

Cafal, Hetan, and Netok traveled to the Vision Plain to investigate rumours of demons stalking the wildlands. On the trader road between Saltoan and Capustan they met Gruntle, Stonny Menackis, and Harllo as they escorted the merchant Keruli. The trio joined the caravan.[8]

Before the caravan reached Capustan, the demons struck. In actuality, they were six undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters. Cafal, Hetan, and Netok roped themselves together with a cord festooned with fetishes. As the hunters attacked, the trio invoked the sorcery granted by the Barghast bone circle.[9] Cafal and Hetan survived the attack, but Netok did not.[10]

Once at Capustan, Cafal and Hetan revealed the primary reason their father had sent them out of the mountains. They petitioned the Mask Council to demand the return of the bones of their ancestors. The barrows of the Founding Families, whose spirits were now worshiped by the Barghast, had been destroyed by the city's founders. Whoever freed the mortal remains of the Barghast spirit-gods could potentially unite the fractious clans under one rule, a role sought by their father. Facing certain extinction at the hands of the Pannion Domin, the Mask Council finally relented and revealed the bodies were buried under the Council chamber.[11]

During the Pannion Domin's Siege of Capustan, Rath'K'rul worked through Cafal to protect the Council and the Thrall. Rath'K'rul put Cafal into a magical sleep which surrounded the Thrall in a glowing shield.[12] After the siege was lifted, Cafal awoke and the shield disappeared.

Bridgeburner captain, Ganoes Paran, found Cafal in the Council chamber amidst the war canoes of his ancestors' opened tomb. Cafal revealed that the superior craftsmanship of the vessels and the swords stored among them were representative of knowledge lost and the Barghast decline. But the weapons would be given to children to begin the process of relearning their use and the canoes studied and rebuilt to reopen the seas to his people. On his father's behalf, he asked Paran in his role as Master of the Deck to bless the Barghast gods. Paran promised to think on it.[13]

After the alliance of Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, Caladan Brood, and Humbrall Taur lifted the siege, Cafal and Hetan attended the parley of leaders to decide on their next steps.[14] Cafal, Hetan, and Humbrall accompanied Dujek's forces south towards Maurik. The Barghast stayed with Whiskeyjack when he delivered the news to Brood that Dujek and the bulk of the Malazan army had gone ahead on their own to battle the Pannion Seer at Coral. While an angered Brood and his troops lingered behind, Cafal continued on with Whiskeyjack to Coral.[15][16]

After the Battle of Black Coral was won, Humbrall and his children turned for home with their clan. Along the way they encountered Kilava Onass and her newly mortal brother, Onos T'oolan.[17]

In Dust of Dreams[]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Cafal.

When he heard of Onos T'oolan's death, he tried to go back to rescue his sister but was killed by Akrynnai scouts.

Significant plot details end here.

Notes and references[]