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Malazan Wiki

Drift Avalii's relative direction from Quon Tali

Drift Avalii, the Floating Isle,[1] was a moving island, located to the southwest of Quon Tali during the time of the Malazan Empire. Its movement followed the pattern of "a kind of wobbly circle."[2] Legend held that it was populated by demons and spectres.[2]

Beneath a heavy cover of clouds, the island was very heavily forested with a seemingly impenetrable and gloomy landscape of cedars, firs, and redwoods. The island had not a single mountain, and only a steeply rising sandstone shoreline gave any semblance of high ground. There was no natural shore where boats could land, only one entrance which could be found by a singular current of water in a certain direction to an underground cave. All other currents, which surrounded the island with swiftly moving vortices, would lead to wrecking and drowning.[3]

The island's forest was filled with ruins and it was evident to Cutter that the forest had risen from the heart of a massive dead city which had been filled with huge buildings.[4]


Drift Avalii was inhabited by a group of Tiste Andii in order to protect the Throne of Shadow located on the island from the Tiste Edur. Among the Andii who set up residence on the island were a few with familial ties to Anomander Rake, including his brother Andarist, and a few of his grandchildren.[5]

At one time, the Silanda was the only vessel sanctioned to trade with the island, but it disappeared after Emperor Kellanved's forces overran Quon.[6] Much of the wood used in the Silanda's construction came from the island's trees.[2]

In Memories of Ice[]

Using his powers as Master of the Deck, Ganoes Paran found himself before the Throne of Shadow on Drift Avalii. The Throne spoke in his mind calling out for the protection of Anomander Rake. It warned that the now corrupted Tiste Edur sought the Throne and that its Tiste Andii guardians had departed the island to lead the Edur away. It also stated that the Edur were now led by the new Emperor of the Edur, the Tyrant of Pain and the Deliverer of Midnight Tides, who had been slain a hundred times.[7]

In House of Chains[]

When the Edur learned of the existence and whereabouts of the Throne of Shadow, they launched an attack on the island in an attempt to reclaim it. During the conflict, many of the Andii were killed, leaving a small contingent to defend the Throne. Luckily, the small force of Andii was bolstered by a group of Malazan soldiers stranded on the island after a naval battle with the Edur, the newly-made assassin Cutter, and the once-possessed Apsalar. Cotillion, concerned that the Throne might fall into the hands of the Edur, also aided in its defence. As a result of a last ditch effort by the Edur to claim the Throne, Andarist was killed, as were all the remaining Edur. The mysterious Traveller vowed to help protect the throne for a time, taking Andarist's sword, Vengeance, in order to aid him in the task.[8]

In The Bonehunters[]

After Andarist's death, Nimander Golit, Phaed, and the other surviving Tiste Andii guardians left the island under Traveller's protection.[9] But the Tiste Edur continued to seek control of the Throne. The Seat of Shadow was the soul of Kurald Emurlahn and would need to be reclaimed by the Edur before the sundered realm could be made whole again and become a seething source of power.[10]

The Edur warlock, Sathbaro Rangar, opened a gate through the warren of Chaos to Drift Avalii for a raiding party of two hundred Edur warriors and sixty Letherii archers led by Saur Bathrada and Kholb Harat. Also included were Ahlrada Ahn and the Jhag champion, Icarium, and his companion Taralack Veed. But when they arrived at the Throne's location, they were surprised to find that the demons guarding the island were dead. Inside the throne room they were horrified to discover the Throne had been shattered and destroyed. The outraged Edur departed with none but Icarium realising the Throne of Shadow's destruction was only Shadowthrone's trick. When anyone but Shadowthrone entered the throne room, an illusion of Meanas bound with Mockra made the Throne appear broken.[11]

In Reaper's Gale[]

According to folklore, the rogue Pamby Doughty and his sidekick Pomolo Paltry the Sly had long ago set the island adrift by cutting the Great Rope that once held Drift Avalii in one place.[12]

In Assail[]

The bard Fisher kel Tath heard rumours that after the fall of Moon's Spawn many Andii left Black Coral for the island of Drift Avalii.[13]

Significant plot details end here.

Notes and references[]