The Deragoth were large canine-like creatures. The name was short for "Dera'tin'jeragoth", meaning Hounds of Darkness in the Tiste Andii language. Osric claimed that he originated the name, stating that the creatures were probably not related to Mother Dark, but that he merely thought the name appropriate based on their characteristics and that they likely had no connection to the pantheonic Darkness. According to Osric, the creatures gave their name to Seven Cities although this was forgotten history and only the number survived, even the cities were not the original ones anymore.
They were described as midnight-black, the size of antlered cattle or a bull Bhederin, and they moved with a casual arrogance. They had strangely humped shoulders, thick, long necks, and broad flattened heads. Their eyes burned empty of light. They were the size of steppe horses, but bulkier by far, and reminded the onlooker of a hyena as well as a plains bear or something halfway between a wolf and a bear. They had massive canines and bellowing roars.
The Deragoth were the first enslavers of humanity and their relationship with the race was ancient. They hunted with mankind's ancestors, the Eres'al, and seemed to be the dominating half of the partnership.
Onrack and Trull Sengar came across seven huge statues in the Nascent, two of which to Onrack's senses were alive. The dog-like edifices were over twenty times the height of a man and made of a smooth black stone. Onrack and Trull pondered if there might be a connection between Dessimbelackis and the Hounds of Darkness. Onrack then attacked one of the statues, freeing the two which were alive, thinking he could best them. As it was, they mauled and shook him to the point that he was sundered from the Vow of Tellann, then disappeared.
L'oric traveled through memory-warrens and encountered the seven Deragoth in the past. He observed how they and the semi-human creatures who ran with them killed two K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters. The Hounds then turned on L'oric who was plucked away at the last moment by his father, Osric. Osric explained that Dessimbelackis had once made a pact with the seven beasts, much to the Nameless One's dismay, and their number gave name to the Seven Cities subcontinent. Osric further noted that their presence in this place, Raraku's memory, was likely due to the collapse of the First Empire.
Kalam Mekhar saw a host of ghosts outside Sha'ik's camp in Raraku, amongst them two who in their conversation made allusion to 'seven protectors' who seemed to be connected to Dessimbelackis. The ghosts mentioned that five of the seven were no more, a sixth would not recover and the black beast itself had been banished from the realm according to the Nameless Ones. Kalam then spoke to the spirit of Tanno, the last Seneschal of Yaraghatan, who said he had been banished by the First Emperor for his treasonous alliance with the Nameless Ones and who alluded that there was far more to the Seven Protectors than people realised.
Soon after, Kalam Mekhar observed a group of Pardu who did not seem to be part of the Whirlwind Army. The shaman amongst them conducted a ritual which resulted in two Deragoth appearing who promptly killed those who had called them. One of them then turned on Kalam who was only able to flee after he had called five Azalan demons to save him.
When the T'rolbarahl Dejim Nebrahl was freed from its prison, it recalled that it had been captured and imprisoned some time after the fall of the human First Empire with the help of the Deragoth, who at the time obeyed an unnamed 'clever master'.
Ganoes Paran became aware of Dejim Nebrahl's release and was determined to stop its endless hunt for blood. He recruited Hedge's ghost, the Jaghut Ganath, and a Trygalle Trade Guild carriage led by Karpolan Demesand to cross the primordial Jaghut underworld, Verdith'anath, into the Nascent. There they found the five intact and two shattered statues of the Deragoth. According to Paran, the two Hounds of Shadow (Doan and Ganrod) which he had released from Dragnipur had reunited and conjoined with their counterparts in the statues before they were shattered freed. Hedge then recounted what he knew of the subsequent demise of the two Deragoth at the Battle of Raraku. Ganath added that Dessimbelackis had hoped to achieve immortality by dividing his soul into the seven Deragoth, which was all that had remained of the once more numerous beasts.
Close-up, Paran observed that the dull black stone of the statues, which depicted the Hounds sat on their haunches, was appallingly lifelike in its depiction of hide and muscle. At the base of one, they found a temple erected by worshippers of the Hounds whose tracks indicated people with very wide feet. Inside were the remains of Sedora Orr and Darpareth Vayd, two missing members of the Trygalle, who had been butchered in what looked like a ritual spilling of blood. Ganath and Paran suspected that a Shaman had been involved and that the Hounds, once freed might well pursuit that person.
Paran used the Deck of Dragons to summon Shadowthrone, warning him he was about to awake the five remaining Deragoth whom he needed to hunt Dejim Nebrahl. As they would likely first hunt their shadows, the remaining five Hounds of Shadow, Paran advised the ascendant to send these to Seven Cities to avoid the Deragoth tearing up his realm. Both Ganath and Shadowthrone thought freeing the Deragoth was a dangerous and stupid idea, but Shadowthrone reluctantly agreed to help. Hedge then destroyed the statues with Moranth munitions which released the Deragoth. The Trygalle carriage with Paran and the others just made it out via Warren as one released Hound began a sprint to attack them. The Deragoth left the place soon after, observed by Hedge who had remained behind.
The Hounds of Shadow found the T'rolbarahl west of Y'Ghatan as it hunted Masan Gilani. They herded the T'rolbarahl into the path of the arriving Deragoth, who quickly slew four of its remaining forms. The Hound, Baran, snatched up Dejim's last remaining body in his mouth and the Hounds raced into the desert with the Deragoth in pursuit.
The Hounds brought the terrified Dejim to G'danisban, racing through the camp of Dujek's Host with the Deragoth at their heels. Inside the city's Grand Temple of Poliel, Baran dropped the T'robarahl at the feet of the Goddess herself, who had been impaled in place by Paran with a shard of Otataral. As soon as the Hounds departed, the arriving Deragoth, bristling with rage and hunger, tore both Dejim and Poliel to shreds and caused the temple to collapse. The pursuit of the Hounds of Shadow seemed to be at an end.
The Hounds of Shadow were aware of creatures pursuing them, presumably the Deragoth, but found "exquisite pleasure" in being hunted and chose to not turn on their hunters.
Cotillion stated that the Deragoth were originally wild beasts of past ages of which seven were left whom the First Emperor choose as the repositories of his divided soul.
It was stated by Mappo Runt that a species of Plains Bear was utilized in the breeding of the Deragoth, and that the Ay were used in breeding the Hounds of Shadow. Though whether or not this was true and how Mappo would have known this was yet unknown.
- The Hounds of Shadow, Doan and Ganrod, who traveled into the Gate of Darkness within Dragnipur, traveled across the Jaghut Bridge of Death towards the statues wherein resided the Deragoth. There is speculation that the arrival of these two Hounds of Shadow had some significance towards the awakening of the two Deragoth who first attacked Onrack then Sha'ik's camp.
- The Jaghut, Ganath, asserted that the seven Deragoth were the seven "surviving" Deragoth, implying there were once many more.
Notes and references
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.818/819
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.814
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.543
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.961
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.545
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.628
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.814/818/819
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.818
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.544
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.441-447
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.814-820
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.793-795
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.796-798
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.933
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.961-964
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Prologue, UK MMPB p.32/33
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.434-436
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.560/561
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.562-571
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.562-571/574
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.538-545
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.621-630
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.705
- ↑ Toll the Hounds, Chapter 18, UK HB p.654
- ↑ Toll the Hounds, Chapter 18, UK HB p.656
- ↑ Dust of Dreams, Chapter 16, UK HB p.551