D'rek was an Ascendant goddess known as the Worm of Autumn.[1] She was mentioned in Gothos' Folly as the Mistress of Decay and the Mistress of Worms.[2] She sometimes took on the mantle of the Queen of Disease.[3] She was the harbinger of death, which came to all mortals,[4] and the eve of autumn marked the start of the Season of D'rek when it was said she came to earth.[5][6] Although D'rek was usually given female titles, D'rek was worshipped as either male or female.[7]

The cult of the Worm was ancient, existing since the time of the Elder Gods, and had withstood the passage of time.[2] Banaschar called her "the face of inevitable decay"[8] and mentioned that she was coiled around time itself.[9]

D'rek's worship could be found all around the Malazan world, although many of their deadlier practices were suppressed in territories the Malazan Empire controlled.[10] The centre of her worship was Kartool Island where she was the island's patron goddess.[11] Kartool City was the site of her Grand Temple and was presided over by the Demidrek, an archpriest of the cult.[11] Both Jakata and Malaz City were sites of her temples,[12] while a D'rek Monastery stood on the southeastern coast of Malaz Island.[13] Callows was home to the Thousand Sects of D'rek, each with its own religious dogma and icons.[14]

The cult's high holy day was Istral'fennidahn, which marked the eve of the Season of D'rek. Worshippers held fêtes and processions in mass celebrations.[11]

The Restiturge of Pall was a prayer to D'rek.[15]

D'rek's symbol was a single wavy line.[16]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Banaschar, former Demidrek of D'rek,[17] rushed by ship to Kartool City in 1164 BS. He roused the city guard to investigate the Grand Temple of Kartool where the worshippers of D'rek should have been celebrating Istral'fennidahn. Instead, the temple doors were locked and all twenty-two were found dead inside.[18][19]

On Seven Cities, the group of Cutter, Heboric, Scillara, Felisin Younger, and Greyfrog travelled east across the desert from G'danisban. They stopped at a lonely temple of D'rek for supplies only to find everyone inside dead, their bodies seething with worms.[20] Hood sent his Soldier of High House Death to the same location. The Soldier claimed the deaths made D'rek's position "clear as ice."[21]

Banaschar found similar scenes at all the other temples he visited.[22] Under interrogation from Pearl, he revealed that D'rek had slaughtered her worshippers in all her temples for stepping away from the path of righteous worship and choosing the Crippled God over her. In the war among the gods, they had demanded a return to the Elder ways and the power of blood, and D'rek had given it to them.[23] Every priest and acolyte was slain, even in the Grand Temple of Kartool.[24][25][26]

"She heard them. She heard them choose. The Crippled God. And the power they demanded was the power of blood. Well, she decided, if they so lusted for blood... she would give them all they wanted. All they wanted."
―Banaschar to Pearl[src]

Two former former followers and ex-Demidreks of the cult, Banaschar and Tayschrenn, were the only survivors. Banaschar desperately tried to reach the High Mage both for the knowledge in the ancient texts he believed Tayschrenn had stolen from the cult and in hopes his prominence could spark a reformation among the world's priesthoods. What had happened to one god's followers could happen to them all.[27] Tayschrenn later revealed to Shadowthrone that he still belonged to the cult and the goddess had tried to slay him as well. But the High Mage had "talked her out of it."[28]

In Reaper's GaleEdit

Her temple coffers, now in Banaschar's possession, served to pay the salaries of the Bonehunters.

In The Crippled GodEdit

Banaschar and D'rek by Corporal Nobbs

Banaschar and D'rek by Corporal Nobbs

Banaschar was with the Bonehunters because "Holy Mother wants me here. I am her last priest."[29]

Banaschar admitted that the Snake was a manifestation of D'rek: she had been lost due to betrayal and needed to find herself. He told the Adjunct that the Worm would guard Kaminsod even at the cost of her life.

At the barrow, where the Bonehunter marines and heavies made their stand, she protected the soldiers from the sorcery of the Forkrul Assail and later from the Otataral Dragon's power.

As the last surviving priest of the Worm, Banaschar assumed the role of Demidrek.

In Orb Sceptre Throne Edit

Kiska and Tayschrenn visited the island of Kartool, that had a cave which served as a temple to D'rek. The two proceeded into the cave's processional way, Tayschrenn calling this visit to Kartool a long delayed reunion. D'rek had tried several times to capture and kill Tayschrenn, but Tayschrenn simply put it behind him as something in the past.

They reached a roughly circular cavern at the centre of which was a black jagged hole. Kiska screamed as Tayschrenn leaped into it, which brought out an old woman who stated that D'rek was down there. She described D'rek as the worm of Earth, worm of Energy; Fire and flame, molten rock and boiling metal.

Tayschrenn returned later, and confirmed that he had had a 'talk' with D'rek, though that "was not how we really communicated."[30]

In Blood and Bone Edit

The Worm of Autumn attacked Spite from the sky, gobbling her up. However, Spite blasted her way through D'rek by her magery, only to be informed by Citravaghra that she was only 'the smallest of them'.[31]

In Dancer's LamentEdit

In the period before the formation of the Malazan Empire, the primary religious festival of Li Heng on Quon Tali was a procession honoring the city's patron goddess, Burn. The procession was comprised of heavy platforms mainly carrying effigies of the sleeping Burn, but also including icons and shrines dedicated to other entities. These deities shared with Burn aspects related to "fate, futurity and the struggle of life and death", and included: D'rek; Mowri; the Queen of Dreams; and Poliel.[32]

In Deadhouse LandingEdit

Before the foundation of the Malazan Empire, D'rek was the patron deity of Kartool Island and was dominate over the entire island and all of its inhabitants. At this period, the received dogma regarding D'rek - within the cult of the Worm of Autumn - was that out of death came life: "death, decay, and renewal"; "Rebirth and Return". Thus, D'rek wore double faces: "Destruction and Creation" - the male of destruction and the female of fecundity.[33]

D'rek was described by Tayschrenn - a highly-ranked priest of the Kartool cult of D'rek - as two giant snake-like entities, each as large in scale as the tower of a fortress. One bore the upper portions and features of a human male, the other those of a human female. It appeared that the two entities might, in fact, be the opposite ends of a single entity. D'rek spoke to Tayschrenn and warned him that elements within the D'rek priesthood had begun advocating new directions for the cult, which mightily displeased and angered D'rek. Tayschrenn was then sent back to Kartool with instructions that he was to warn the cult of their displeasure. Experiencing great "dislocation", Tayschrenn passed through an Elder Realm of great power, vastness and depth, which evidently belonged to the Worm of Autumn. Although D'rek realized that change was inevitable, both the male and female aspects of D'rek agreed that they were not going to just step aside.[34]

Known Priests and Priestesses of D'rekEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.705
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.758
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary
  4. The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.982
  5. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.870
  6. The Bonehunters, Prologue, US SFBC p.21
  7. The Bonehunters, Glossary
  8. The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.93
  9. The Crippled God, Chapter 7, UK HB p.182
  10. The Bonehunters, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.23-24
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The Bonehunters, Prologue, US SFBC p.23
  12. The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.681
  13. Night of Knives, Map of Malaz Isle
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, US HC p.265
  15. The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.93
  16. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.154
  17. The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.754
  18. The Bonehunters, Prologue, US SFBC p.21-27
  19. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.200
  20. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.154-157
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.161
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.860
  23. The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.757-758
  24. The Bonehunters, Prologue
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4
  26. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6
  27. The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.754-759
  28. The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.982
  29. The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.109
  30. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 13
  31. Blood and Bone, Chapter 9
  32. Dancer's Lament, Chapter 11, US HC p.206-207
  33. Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 2, US TPB p.27/29-33
  34. Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 16, US TPB p.321-323
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