- "The Malazan Empire's greatest living general."
- ―Ganoes Paran, on Dujek
Dujek's nickname "Onearm" was due to the lack of a left arm, which had been severed just below the shoulder. He was considered one of the great commanders, inspiring a sense of security, stability and sanity in his followers. He despised tyranny.
As of the 1163rd year of Burn's Sleep Dujek was seventy-nine years old according to Tattersail, though he looked as if he were fifty. Tattersail possibly quoted from an un-reliable source as Dujek was also supposed to have been present in the very earliest days of the Empire which would make him several decades older.
The High Fist was a thin man of average height, standing at five foot, six inches. He had grey eyes, which remained unyielding beneath bushy brows, and a tanned, lean hatchet face. Beardless, his face displayed a lifetime of battle scars. Dujek's hairy, chalk-white calves were visible between the sharkskin straps of his Napan sandals and he wore a pommeled long-sword or an old standard-issue shortsword in an ancient scabbard. He wore plain, unadorned armour without a helmet and his rank was indicated only by a long grey cape with a silver-wrought fastening. His stump was kept wrapped in leather strips. Dujek sat on his horse like a man "pained with old aches and stiff bones" and often smelled of cinnamon water.
In Gardens of the Moon
Nine years later in 1163 BS, Dujek was the popular commander of the 2nd Army and mired in the three year Siege of Pale. The arrival of Malazan High Mage Tayschrenn sparked a sorcerous conflagration against the defending Anomander Rake and his skykeep, Moon's Spawn. The city was successfully captured, but at great cost to the Bridgeburners and the Mage cadre.
Dujek's popularity with his troops carried a political cost. On his way to Pale, Captain Paran was told by Topper that Empress Laseen wanted Dujek, as he put it, 'disarmed'. The reason he gave was that Dujek had a loyal following and posed a threat to the Empress. Many believed that Kellanved had meant for Dujek to be his successor, not Laseen. Paran disappeared shortly after presenting himself to Dujek, and the High Fist queried Whiskeyjack about whether the Bridgeburners might be responsible. Dujek warned the Sergeant that Paran was Adjunct Lorn's man.
In the aftermath of the siege, the decimated 2nd Army was officially disbanded. The remnants, together with those of the 6th Army, were assimilated into the 5th Army, again under the command of Dujek.
The High Fist soon clashed with Tayschrenn over the governance of Pale. Attempts to cull the city's nobility were forestalled when the city's census records burned and Tayschrenn angrily doubted Dujek's claims that the fire had been an accident. Their conflict came to a head when Dujek's agents intercepted a Claw carrying a message for Tayschrenn. The handwritten letter from the Empress ordered the High Mage to arrest and execute Dujek.
Dujek made the decision to cut himself and his ten thousand troops loose from the Empire that feared and distrusted him in order to confront the threat of the Pannion Domin. He parlayed with the approaching enemy forces of Caladan Brood and Kallor in order to leave Pale, secured his alliance with the Black Moranth, and brought the Bridgeburners back into the fold. Dujek made Whiskeyjack his second-in-command and placed the Bridgeburners in command of the returned Captain Paran.
In Deadhouse Gates
Despite his status as renegade, Dujek sponsored an expedition of the Trygalle Trade Guild to provide Fist Coltaine and his Chain of Dogs with desperately needed food and water during their trek across Seven Cities. Additionally, Coltaine was presented with an ensorcelled bottle of smoky glass on a chain which he was instructed to wear at all times because "the Empress must not lose you".
Kalam Mekhar traveled to Malaz City to make the Empress pay for a list of crimes which included her betrayal of Dujek and the Bridgeburners. When he finally confronted her, the Empress informed the Bridgeburner assassin that the revolt of the 2nd Army had been a ruse orchestrated by Dujek himself. The Fist recognized the growing threat of the Pannion Domin but knew his troops could not handle the problem alone. So the outlawing of Dujek provide him an opportunity to make allies of his enemies in order to fight the common foe. Tayschrenn was in on the plot as well, serving as Dujek's "Shaved Knuckle in the Hole".
In Memories of Ice
Dujek secured an alliance between his renegade Malazan army and the forces of his former enemies, Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake, at Pale. He also secured backing from another former opponent, the Noble Council of Darujhistan. Few other than Whiskeyjack and Tayschrenn knew the entire break from the Malazan Empire was a ruse necessary in order to confront the more powerful Pannion Domin. Dujek also sent the Bridgeburners under Captain Ganoes Paran to the Barghast Range to secure an alliance with Humbrall Taur and the White Face Barghast.
While the allied armies marched to relieve the Pannion Domin's Siege of Capustan, Dujek was angered to discover that their true enemy was not the mortal empire of the Pannion Seer but the Crippled God. Dujek feared he was marching his troops to their deaths when he learned from Silverfox that not even the immortal T'lan Imass would dare to join them. Whiskeyjack countered Dujek's despair by arguing that events such as the fortuitous creation of Silverfox and Kruppe's successful challenge of Brood and his hammer suggested the hidden hand of a compassionate Elder God on their side.
On the campaign trail, Dujek tried to put Empress Laseen's recent actions into context for Whiskeyjack. He explained how the Empress had inverted the command structure not as punishment, but to prepare for the eventual return of Shadowthrone and Cotillion by placing competent men like Whiskeyjack in the front lines to counter them. The decimation of the Bridgeburners at Pale had been a tragic accident. Tayschrenn had placed them in the tunnels to keep them protected in the battle, and had not anticipated their collapse. The events at Darujhistan had been the result of a miscommunication between the Empress and her agents and Tattersail's death was one of the greatest foul-ups in Imperial history.
The Empress had known that the Crippled God was readying to make a move but had not suspected he was behind the Pannion Domin. Once the God's presence was revealed, Dujek saw his role as buying time for Brood. If Brood ended the Crippled God's threat against Burn and the Warrens with his hammer, then all of civilisation would be destroyed.
After Capustan was relieved, the allied armies marched towards Coral to confront the Pannion Seer. Dujek sent the Bridgeburners ahead to reconnoiter the battlefield and he began secretly ferrying his troops ahead by Quorl. Dujek aimed to confront the Seer's forces on his own while Brood was kept in the dark and joined the advance forces while leaving Whiskeyjack in charge of the decoy troops. He explained to his friend that the Empress did not expect the High Fist to survive and she needed Whiskeyjack to to take charge of the Host's survivors to aid Adjunct Tavore Paran on Seven Cities. Dujek expected to be sent to Korel if he lived.
At the Siege of Coral, Dujek's six thousand troops first fought five times their number of Beklite infantry outside the city. Then the High Fist sent the Bridgeburners into Coral by night to secure the Seer's keep while he and his forces were inserted into the city by quorl. Dujek's forces became bogged down in street fighting with the Urdomen, Seerdomin, and Beklites. Many of the High Fist's elite Untan heavy infantry bodyguards were cut down by an attack of undead K'ell Hunters. Ultimately, Dujek and a small band of Malazan survivors were rescued and brought outside the city by the Grey Swords.
At battle's end, Dujek learned his friend Whiskeyjack had fallen to Kallor's treacherous attack. The High Fist was broken and seemed to age ten years. Whiskeyjack's lover, Korlat, lied when Dujek asked whether his friend had fallen due to his injured leg. Dujek gathered the remaining Bridgeburners and allowed them to secretly retire with their accumulated backpay as had been Whiskeyjack's wish. He asked them to look after Duiker, but otherwise to the Empress and Empire-at-large, they were believed dead. Paran turned down the offer to join Dujek and his Host on their next mission to Seven Cities.
In House of Chains
High Mage L'oric of the Army of the Apocalypse reported to Sha'ik Reborn that Dujek was a broken man after the battle at Coral. Only about three thousand of his soldiers remained. Fist Gamet noted that Dujek was the last of the commanders from Emperor Kellanved's time, other than Admiral Nok.
The Empress' Clawmaster, Topper, visited Adjunct Tavore Paran and the Malaz 14th Army near Aren to inform her that Dujek and his troops were readying to embark by ship for Seven Cities. When they arrived, they would approach Sha'ik's Raraku camp from the north as Tavore's troops approached from the south. Dujek would assume overall command of both armies. With the help of mage-driven winds, Dujek's forces reached Ehrlitan a week before the Battle of Raraku, but too late to assist Tavore.
In The Bonehunters
Onearm's Host had been reinforced by new Nathii and Genabarii recruits as well as half the Garrison of Pale. While Adjunct Tavore followed Leoman and the remnants of the Army of the Apocalypse to Y'Ghatan, Dujek and Admiral Nok's fleet concentrated on reinforcing garrisons and pacifying the cities of the north. Dujek's Host remained in Ehrlitan for nearly two months before moving out into the countryside.
Dujek remained in regular communication with Adjunct Tavore while also attempting to hold secret meetings with Tayschrenn, Quick Ben, and Kalam Mekhar behind her back. The Adjunct refused all but token assistance from Dujek in preparation for the Siege of Y'Ghatan, much to her own army's dismay. But as Tavore revealed to Fist Keneb, the core of the Host was gone after Coral and it was a spent force like its commander. Better that Tavore be disrespected for her seeming incompetence then for the 14th Army's hopes in Dujek be dashed, or their enemies across Seven Cities be emboldened. The Adjunct prayed that the Host was not required to prove its mettle under fire. Both Dujek and Tavore agreed that the assault on Y'Ghatan had to begin immediately.
As the Bluetongue Plague swept all of Seven Cities, Dujek discovered its source was the Grand Temple of Poliel at G'danisban. The majority of the Host camped outside the city while he led a company of veterans to assault the temple and strike at the disease's heart. He expected to face no more than a High Priestess, but instead found the Goddess herself. The company was forced to retreat back to the Army's camp, but Dujek and the survivors were all wracked with plague. Only the feverish work of the Host's healers kept them alive.
A month later, Ganoes Paran found the Host sitting idle as Dujek and many of his officers were dying of the plague. He took command of the Host under the pseudonym Captain Kindly and marched into the city with only Noto Boil to confront Poliel. Paran orchestrated the goddess' death and the end to the plague, and forced Soliel to bestow her healing magic on Dujek's army. But when Paran returned to the Host's camp, Dujek was already dead. The remaining officers learned Paran's true identity and named him High Fist in Dujek's place based on the writings in Dujek's logs.
Dujek was laid to rest in a barrow outside the city. It was a vast oblong pit lined with slabs of limestone then walls of brick rising to form a domed roof. A massive lintel stone bearing the imperial symbol as well as his name and title framed the entrance ramp into the barrow. Imperial artist Ormulogun painted three panels inside depicting three scenes from his career: "Dujek Onearm standing outside the shattered gates of Black Coral. Dujek Onearm at the parley with Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake. Dujek Onearm and Tayschrenn outside Pale, the dawn preceding the attack." The High Fist's armour, with a new sleeve of chain attached, was passed to Ganoes Paran.
In Reaper's Gale
Fist Keneb thought Dujek one of a handful of military geniuses who knew the fortunes of war could turn on a single, unexpected and outrageous act. Quick Ben thought of Dujek when reminiscing over lost friends.
In Toll the Hounds
In Deadhouse Landing
Before the formation of the Malazan Empire, Dujek was a hale and hearty individual who said that he had been a "fighting man" all his life. According to Dujek, he had been: a soldier; a mercenary; a bodyguard; and a hiresword.
At the beginning of Deadhouse Landing, Dujek was a crew member — a marine — aboard the Honest Avarice, a privateer raiding vessel out of Malaz City. At this time Admiral Mock was the ruler of Malaz Island. Dujek was described as being a "burly squat fellow" who easily broke out into "full-bellied", roaring laughter. His hair was prematurely retreating and Dujek had a habit of rubbing his hand over his head/neck. During an abortive sea-raid on a Cawnese convoy, Dujek proved himself to be an extremely capable fighter. It was during this raid that Dujek met and became friends with Cartheron Crust — a Napan "common seaman" — who had brought the Honest Avarice safely back to Malaz harbour. There, it was Dujek's recommendation of Cartheron to Mock — for saving the Avarice — that led to Mock promoting Crust to steersman of the corsair vessel.
The renegade Napans under Surly, self-exiled in Malaz City, had decided to join a major sea raid upon the city of Cawn — along with the rest of the Malazan fleet. Needing crew badly, the Napans had "put out the word" for new recruits to crew their vessel, the Twisted.
Dujek was one of the "five men and three women" who answered this call and who reported to Cartheron Crust — now a captain of the newly relaunched Twisted — for vetting. Cartheron immediately recognized Dujek and asked him why he was looking to join the Twisted. Dujek told Crust that the newly appointed captain of the Honest Avarice, Hess, was a "jumped-up popinjay" who wouldn't be able to handle a toy boat in a bathtub. Thus, when Dujek had heard that Cartheron was captaining the Twisted, he had quit his position with the Avarice. Crust told Dujek that he was "more than welcome" and then continued down the line of recruits.
When Cartheron asked a question of Autumn — the first of the recruits — Dujek was able to provide information that Autumn was hesitant to give. Dujek again spoke up when Crust had reached the last recruit, Jack — telling Crust that he, himself, had recruited him. Dujek also supplied information about Jack's background.
Having accepted the eight — including Dujek — as new crew members of the Twisted, Cartheron told them that he would "write up the papers" that night. In the meanwhile, Crust had Choss — one of the Napans — set them all to work on the ship.
Two weeks later, the Twisted — with its new recruits and a contingent of the Napans — had set sail to join the raid upon Cawn. As Cartheron had expected, Dujek — usually with contributions by Jack — turned out to be a major asset. This was especially true in the emergencies which arose because of the still poorly repaired and outfitted Twisted.
From the beginning, Dujek and Jack worked closely together as a team, and, back in Malaz City, they soon became the "unofficial leaders" of the local (i.e., Malazan) hires. Dujek and Jack — Dujek's "seeming adjutant" — decided to side with their employers even when being threatened by outside forces that the duo had not been originally hired to take on.
Eventually, Dujek's and Jack's employers decided it was time to take over Mock's Hold in Malaz City. As a result, Dujek and the Napan, Choss, were put in joint command of twenty fighters (all local hires); while Jack and another Napan, Tocaras, were put in joint command of a second group of twenty (also local hires).
In Kellanved's Reach
A young Dujek had been one of Kellanved's family, the group of people who had coalesced around Kellanved and Dancer to conquer Malaz Island from Mock the pirate and form the Malazan Empire. He had discovered the corsairs Nok, Ameron, and Hawl hiding from arrest by Mock and brought them to Kellanved and Dancer's attention.
In the Emperor's time, Dujek had fought in the Wickan Wars against Coltaine. During one battle, a young Bult severely injured Duiker with his lance. Dujek responded by attacking the Wickan with his sword, giving him a cut to the face that caused a disfiguring scar. Bult's horse in turn bit Dujek's arm causing him to lose that arm to the surgeons.
Dujek later went on to fight in the Seven Cities campaign. Dujek had once been under Whiskeyjack's command.
During the conquering of northern Genabackis, Dujek had led three Legions from the Malaz 2nd Army along with the Bridgeburners and two High Mages against Malyntaeas. The city's three factions had been so busy warring with each other that they had not noticed the Malazan arrival until it was too late. By the end of the day the Nathii fleet had been sunk, the Genabarii royal line was dead, the Korhivi surrendered, and the city was in Dujek's hands.
Notes and references
- Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 1 - As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 38:40
- Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p. xiii
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.32
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64/65
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.322
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65
- House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.596-597
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.92
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.812
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65/66
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.151
- Gardens of the Moon, Prologue
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72-78
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.96
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.149
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.150
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.214
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24, US HC p.480
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, US HC p.394
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24, US HC p.480
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.507
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23, US HC p.578-579
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.618
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 11
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.493-507/510-513
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.910
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.770-772
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.770-771
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.813
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.863-865
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.878
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.914/919/945
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.969/977-978/991
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.991-992
- House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.307
- House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.232
- House of Chains, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.425
- House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.793
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.250-254
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.198-199
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.41
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.103-104
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.195
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.252
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.518-519
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.516-520
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.595-601/611-630/632-633
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.654-656
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.656
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 17, US HC p.502
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 12, US HC p.317
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 3, US TPB p.52
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 4, US TPB p.80
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 9, US TPB p.170/172
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 9, US TPB p.169
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 3, US TPB p.45-52
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 4, US TPB p.78-80
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 9, US TPB p.173
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 10, US TPB p.190-191
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 10, US TPB p.191/192
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 10, US TPB p.193
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 11, US TPB p.214-217/220-225
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 15, US TPB p.280
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 17, US TPB p.329-332/335-340
- Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 19, US TPB p.367
- House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.247-248
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.73/74
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.69
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.371/372
- House of Chains, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.149-150
|Members of Kellanved's Family|
|The Originals||Kellanved • Dancer • Dujek • Amaron • Hawl • Nok|
|Expanded Family||Cartharon Crust • Dassem Ultor • Duiker • Surly (Laseen) • Tayschrenn • Toc the Elder • Urko Crust|