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Draconus was an Elder God,[1] and the one who forged the sword Dragnipur.[2][3]

In his first appearances he was described as a big man dressed in rags with his face veiled by a cowl.[4][5] He had a deep voice and his gaze was unhuman and cold.[5] His hands were covered in calluses.[6]

According to Nightchill, the cruelty of Draconus was legendary, and his wisdom immeasurable.[7]

Draconus had been slain and imprisoned within his own sword by Anomander Rake.[2][7]

He had two daughters, Envy and Spite.[2]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

When Ganoes Paran was drawn into Dragnipur, he was immediately confronted by an entrapped Hound of Shadow. The beast, confused by his scent, released him impressing one of the nearby prisoners, a big man dressed in rags with his face hidden by a cowl. Like the other prisoners, the man was chained to a massive Wagon that they pulled across an endless featureless plain. The man struck up a conversation with Paran explaining that they were prisoners of the Sword. He himself had been slain by Anomander Rake, but he refused to give his name. The man cursed the incessant howling of the imprisoned Hounds, but laughed when Paran stated his intentions to break the chains of their bondage.[8]

In Memories of Ice[]

Draconus by Dejan Delic

Draconus, K'rul, and the Sister of Cold Nights gathered for the first time in millennia at the ruins of Jacuruku 119,736 years before Burn's Sleep. They met to liberate the people of Jacuruku from their cruel tyrant Kallor after the destruction wrought by the fall of the Crippled God. But Kallor had prepared for their arrival by spitefully incinerating the continent and killing his seven million citizens. The shocked Elder Gods cursed the High King to live forever and never Ascend, and yet still suffer the ravages of time. At the same time, Kallor used the power of his subjects' deaths to curse each of his accusers in turn. Kallor's curse upon Draconus was that "what you create will be turned upon you".[9]

Afterwards, Draconus spoke of a sword he was forging. He said he had been working on the weapon since the time of All Darkness and that his effort was finally nearing completion. He noted that the sword was invested with a power that possessed "a finality". A surprised K'rul counseled him to "make alterations in the final shaping" in light of Kallor's curse, and Draconus promised to think on it. K'rul then created a new Warren into which the three gods swept the ruins of the High King's empire.[10]

In 1164 BS, Ganoes Paran became Master of the Deck. Nightchill spoke to him in his mind arguing that Draconus should be freed from his prison and that Paran's travel there had presented an unexpected moment of oppurtunity. The Elder God had sought to outwit his curse, but never thought he would spend so much time trapped within his prison. In that eternity, his legendary cruelty had been blunted and wisdom earned. To free Draconus would require the sword's shattering and the release of all of its prisoners. Nightchill thought Draconus capable of determining how to achieve the former without causing the latter.[11]

Later, Paran unexpectedly returned to the Warren within Dragnipur while seeking Anomander Rake. He sought out Draconus and the pair discussed the young captain's newly received role as Master of the Deck. The Elder God warned Paran that Rake was too merciful in his hesitance to use the sword. The souls pulling the wagon were becoming too weak and the storm of Chaos that pursued them grew closer to the Gate to Kurald Galain within. Powerful new souls were needed to maintain their pace.[12]

Draconus explained that he had once sought to aid Mother Dark in the eternal war between Darkness and Chaos. Darkness was forever retreating before Chaos and Mother Dark had diminished her powers by relenting to the Coming of the Light and to the Birth of Shadow. The imbalance between the two forces grew in Chaos' favour until it approached the Gate to Kurald Galain itself and Mother Dark withdrew deep into her own realm. Thinking Mother Dark incapable of helping herself, he bound the Gate of Darkness to Dragnipur to protect it. He later learned he had misunderstood the nature of the Gate and now sought to destroy Dragnipur to release the Gate once more. Additionally, Darkness was not the only force for Order. The Houses of the Azath and the Deck of Dragons were also evidence of Order altering its own nature to its own advantage.[13]

Before Paran departed, the pair stumbled upon the collapsed form of the demonic Byrys. Draconus carried the demon to the Wagon as it repeatedly asked who had summoned it to once battle the Elder God. Draconus did not know.[14]

Later, Lady Envy warned Anomander Rake that her blood whispered that Draconus plotted to escape the chains within the sword. She was astonished by his lack of concern and reminded him how difficult it had been to slay her father the first time. She had merely stood by and not intervened, but Rake declared Draconus had known better than to ask for her help.[15]

In Midnight Tides[]

In a vision, Udinaas witnessed Menandore and Sukul Ankhadu carrying the unconscious body of Sheltatha Lore. Sukul Ankhadu claimed that Sheltatha had taken Draconus as a lover and birthed "two horrid little children" named Envy and Spite. The two sisters planned to bury Envy's mother in the same Azath Tower that held Silchas Ruin, although Osseric warned against it.[16]

Later, Udinaas and Feather Witch accidentally travelled to the Refugium where they met the Imass, Ulshun Pral, and the boy, Rud Elalle. Ulshan Pral spoke of a Hold the two Letherii had never heard of called Starvald Demelain, home of the pure dragons. He noted that a group of mixed bloods, which included Draconus, had closed the road to the Hold long ago.[17]

In The Bonehunters[]

The imprisoned Eleint, Ampelas, Eloth, and Kalse, discussed the rivalry between their kind and the Soletaken Eleint with Cotillion. When Cotillion brought up the mysterious Draconus, who had been gone for a long time, Eloth shrieked that Draconus was the most reviled Soletaken Eleint of them all.[18]

In Reaper's Gale[]

In considering Mael's involvement with the capture of the Demon spirit-god in Letheras, the Errant was startled by the Elder God's actions. Mael was notoriously uninvolved in the affairs of the world, unlike Draconus, K'rul, or Kilmandaros.[19] Later, the Errant thought of Draconus' fate, wondering if the Elder God had welcomed his own annihilation. Draconus had perished beneath the sword made by his own hands while his most cherished daughter merely stood by as witness. The Errant thought if Draconus had lived, even he would have wearied of his own tyranny.[20]

When Bruthen Trana found Kilmandaros and Knuckles residing in an Azath House at the bottom of the sea, the Elder Goddess bitterly recalled the betrayal of Anomander Rake that had once left her imprisoned there. Knuckles assured her that if she had not first attacked Rack in anticipation of his eventual betrayal, she would not have faced Rake's wrath. He argued the same was true of Osserc. When Kilmandaros asked, "What of Draconus?", Knuckles replied, "What of him, Mother?"[21]

In Toll the Hounds[]

(Information needed)

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

In Dust of Dreams[]

Draconus returning by Shadaan

At the death of Anomander Rake and the destruction of Dragnipur, Draconus was released in Lether, resulting in the decimation of the Barghast and Akrynnai armies.

Silchas Ruin pondered the question: "Was Draconus a true Eleint? Or was he something else? All I can say is, he wore the skin of a Tiste Andii for a time, perhaps as a sour joke, mocking our self-importance— who can know?"[22]

Draconus returned to the land of the living and travelled with Ublala Pung and the Skincut Barghast Ralata.

In The Crippled God[]

Draconus did not assume the form of a dragon but rather winged darkness. He was enormous in size, appearing alike a black dragon, described as having wings like "flames of night", with argent reptillian eyes.[23]

Draconus carried his sword in a scabbard of midnight wood. He was walking into the east with Ublala Pung and Ralata. After leaving them, he sought out Kilmandaros and Sechul Lath seeking revenge upon them for unleashing Korabas.

Significant plot details end here.

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

Interpretation of Draconus in Soletaken form by Enaglio

In the Elder Age, Child of Earth Denuth found an injured Liossercal at the site of a violent explosion. He was soon horrified to realize that Liossercal had obtained his wounds in the act of destroying an Azath House. He considered taking advantage of the Soletaken Eleint's weakness to finish him, but Liossercal sensed his intentions. Liossercal warned Denuth that "Draconus is a fool. His conclusions flawed. Rigidity is not the answer." Destroying the Azath house was "exploring alternatives." Denuth hurried Liossercal on his way by noting that Draconus was approaching and he "brings his answer with him."

Afterwards, Denuth was approached by Draconus, in pursuit of Liossercal and seemingly bearing an unfinished Dragnipur in the form of an "alarming darkness." When Denuth greeted him using the titles "Consort of Dark" and "Suzerain of Night", Draconus claimed to be "Consort no longer. And that suzerainty long defied." Eager to add the Bastard of Light's essence to the Void at his side, and voicing his contempt for Anomander Rake, Draconus soon departed. Denuth despaired for peace on a world filled with such powerful feuding entities.[24]

Much later, while still a prisoner of Dragnipur, Draconus seemingly made an appearance near Li Heng at the Battle of the Plains. Heuk, a priest of Night, announced that his God had returned and was overdue to demonstrate his gathering presence. A Tiste Andii was soon seen standing before him. Although not specifically named, he appeared as a "tall, black as night, almond eyes, long straight shimmering black hair" with a "calm, almost contemplative expression." He wore coat of fine mail that shimmered like night itself and carried a terrifying void at his side. The figure warned Malazan Sergeant Nait that events on the battlefield were about to become "much worse."[25]

In Orb Sceptre Throne[]

See also: Morn

It has been speculated that Morn, the Tiste Andii shade encountered by Antsy, Corien, and Orchid in the ruins of Moon's Spawn, was in actuality the shade of Draconus. Follow the above link for more details.

In Forge of Darkness[]

The events in Forge of Darkness showed Draconus as a resident of Kurald Galain before the forging of Dragnipur.

He was the consort of Mother Dark and the adopted son of the late Srela, founder of House Dracons.[26] It was revealed he had a third triplet daughter named Malice, and it was suggested that the mother of his three daughters was Olar Ethil,[27] not Sheltatha Lore as previously thought. He also had a son called Arathan by a different woman. Olar Ethil called Draconus the 'Suzerain of Night'.[28] It was revealed that Draconus was an extremely powerful Azathanai whose aspect was darkness. When Mother Dark was just a Tiste noblewoman, Draconus gifted her with his aspect, leading to her ascension.

Despite disagreement with his fellow Azathanai, Draconus arranged for them to fashion a Terondai as a gift for Mother Dark.[29] The Terondai was created by Errastas and Sechul Lath as a product of murdering Hood's wife, Karish, at the Spar of Andii, a method not suspected nor desired by Draconus at the time.[30] He traveled to the Azathanai along with his son Arathan to retrieve the object. Then he stopped at the Tower of Hate to free Hood, who was in a dungeon nearby, from his chains, despite the Lord of Hate's protests that Hood would declare war on Death.[31] He admitted his inadvertent complicity in Karish's death and spoke of forging a sword to imprison Errastas inside.[32] Leaving Arathan with the Jaghut, Gothos, Draconus returned to Kharkanas with his gift and opened the Gate of Kurald Galain.[33]

In Fall of Light[]

(Information needed)

In Dancer's Lament[]

A few years before the founding of the Malazan Empire, K'rul, the Errant, and Sister Night met near Li Heng. K'rul noted that their missing brother, Draconus, lay "imprisoned within the consequences of his own design."[34]


He called K'rul his brother and the Sister of Cold Nights his sister although it was unclear if those terms meant they were siblings in the human sense of the term.[35] (For more information see Speculations).


"Speak not to me of that upstart. I will bring him to heel soon enough."
―Draconus, regarding Anomander Rake[src]
"A troubling manifestation of existence, this world. All is change and flux. Yet I find in it a strange attraction. Perhaps I shall remain a time here."
"The world around you speaks your language (...) It can do no else. All you see has the paint of your words."
"He turned back in time to see Draconus drawing his sword. Blackness poured from the long blade like wind-whipped shrouds, billowing out, twisting to close around the man like folding wings. Draconus disappeared inside the darkness, and the inky cloud spiralled higher, growing in size. In moments it towered over them, and then those black wings unfolded once more. The apparition rose into the sky, enormous wings of inky smoke thundering the air. [...]

He watched the huge thing fly away, northward. Not a dragon. Winged darkness. Just that. Winged darkness.
―Ublala Pung watching Draconus veer[src]

Notes and references[]

  1. House of Chains, Dramatis Personae
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 1
  3. House of Chains, Glossary
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15
  5. 5.0 5.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 23
  6. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 13
  7. 7.0 7.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 17
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15
  9. Memories of Ice, Prologue
  10. Memories of Ice, Prologue
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.578-583
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.820-822
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.822-823
  14. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.824
  15. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.974-975
  16. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.232
  17. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.485
  18. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.78
  19. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.282
  20. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 15, US HC p.417
  21. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.589
  22. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 13
  23. The Crippled God, Chapter 22
  24. Return of the Crimson Guard, Prologue, UK PB p.2-4
  25. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 2, US HC p.584/599
  26. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.35
  27. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.470
  28. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.459
  29. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 11, UK HC p.317
  30. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.491
  31. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.521
  32. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.522
  33. Forge of Darkness, Chapter 20, UK HC p.651
  34. Dancer's Lament, Chapter 4, US HC p.72-74
  35. Memories of Ice, Prologue
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