Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki

Edgewalker was an Elder God and an ancient inhabitant of the Shadow realm. He was often mistaken for a T'lan Imass as his appearance was essentially that of a desiccated corpse.[1][2] His origins were unknown, however he had existed for a long time.

He indicated that he was bound and imprisoned in service of Shadow just as tightly as Jhedel, and he had been so for a very long time. During his days, Malaz was not an Island, but attached to the mainland.[3] He also seemed to hint that he had once ruled Shadow.[4]

"Countless have tried. All have failed. Even those who succeeded for a time. Myself included, after a fashion. Now I walk its boundaries forever. And I fared better than most."
―Edgewalker, discussing the rulers of Shadow[src]

His body was described as tatters of rotted sinew and strips of skin that were motionless upon the bones of temple, cheek and jaw. He spoke in a broken, rasping voice. Strands of hair dangled and drifted from his head, and he wore rotted moccasins. His eyes were withered dark.[citation needed]

His right leg was twisted and he wore tattered remains of what might have once been thick cloth over armour of leather and scale. His arms were naked, desiccated and cured to little more than leather-clad bones. He wore a bronze and verdigrised helm and the face disclosed only empty pits, nose a gaping cavern, lips dried and withdrawn from carried teeth. He carried a rust-bitten sword hung across his back.[5]

His uncanny prescience appeared like mind reading to some, but Edgewalker attributed it to his extraordinary age. All patterns were known to him as he had observed them played out countless times before.[6]

Edgewalker called the Hounds of Shadow "kin" and "fellow slaves to Shadow." He insisted they would never hurt him, even if ordered by the ruler of Shadow.[7] Yet the Hounds treated him warily, stalking him for their own amusement.[8]

Jhenna called him 'Tracer of Edges'.[9] He spoke archaic Talian.[10]

In The Bonehunters[]

Key figures of the Warren of Shadow (Rashan and Meanas).
Interpretation by Shadaan (clockwise from the left) Gear, Cotillion, Shadowthrone, Edgewalker, Shan, and Apsalar

Edgewalker joined Cotillion in order to witness the impending conversation between Cotillion and three chained Eleint. Edgewalker begrudgingly gave their names, Kalse, Eloth and Ampelas, but refused to explain why they were chained or why he was interested in the meeting. Cotillion commenced negotiations with the chained Eleint under Edgewalker's eye.[11]

Edgewalker had commented on the nature of Shadow and what it hid that the two new rulers of Shadow could not see. Discovering the motivations of the three Eleint, who had come to take the Throne of Shadow in order to heal Emurlahn, Cotillion surmised that they were not interested in just healing the realm, but also who was sitting on the Throne after that, which took Edgewalker slightly by surprise. All the conversation led to the question of whether the Crippled God was an Elder God (an elemental force) or not, and whether he could be killed. Ampelas then revealed that a sundered realm was the weakest of all, which was why the Crippled God was working through it. This was the piece of information that Cotillion had needed.[12]

As they walked away, Edgewalker commented that he had underestimated Cotillion, and asked him why he needed the information. Being asked by Cotillion to give some information about himself in return, Edgewalker indicated that he himself could be considered an elemental force and that he might be inclined to help the two of them, if the need should arise. When Cotillion explained that the Throne of Shadow and First Throne of the Imass were under assault, Edgewalker said he would give the matter some consideration.[13]

Apsalar freed two ghosts named Telorast and Curdle she found chained in Shadow. The pair told Apsalar of their disdain for Edgewalker, but between themselves revealed that he wanted them to accompany the assassin. Having experienced his unhappiness before, they did not want Edgewalker to be unhappy with them again and complied.[14] Cotillion later informed Apsalar that Telorast and Curdle were agents of Edgewalker, who was interested in her because of her connection between himself and Apsalar. Cotillion remembered meeting Edgewalker the first night of his and Kellanved's ascension into Shadow. He had made Cotillion's spine crawl then and still did.[15]

Panek told "Uncle" Cotillion he enjoyed Edgewalker's company because he told him stories of dragons and of the shadows Cotillion could not see in his own realm: "They all cast shadows, Uncle...Into your realm. Every one of them. That's why there's so many...prisoners."[16]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Edgewalker by Shadaan

In the time when Kurald Emurlahn was dying and fragmenting, Anomandaris Purake offered his help to Kilmandaros, who was protecting the Throne of Shadow from pretenders and killing dragons and other scavengers attempting to tear away pieces of the warren for their own. Rake noted that Kilmandaros was alone in her efforts as Edgewalker was "committed elsewhere". The Elder Goddess accepted Rake's aid on the understanding that the Throne must remain unoccupied.[17]

Curdle and Telorast accidentally revealed to Banaschar that they were following Edgewalker's orders to be with the Bonehunters in Lether where Kilmandaros once walked. When they threatened to kill the priest to keep their secret, he informed them he had never heard of Edgewalker, but warned his death would awaken his goddess, D'rek, and she might know enough about their patron and his plans to crush them. The pair were suitably cowed.[18]

In Toll the Hounds[]

Edgewalker was called in by Hood to what Edgewalker described as mitigation. He was witness to a meeting between Shadowthrone and Hood. They were waiting, and were finally joined by someone who arrived to the sound of wagon wheels and rustling chains.[19]

In Dust of Dreams[]

Telorast and Curdle revealed that the two Eleint sisters had sought the Throne of one of the fragments of Emurlahn. Edgewalker had confronted the two and had given them a choice: Kilmandaros and her chains or Anomander Rake and Dragnipur. The two had chosen the Chains.[20]

In The Crippled God[]

Edgewalker and Cotillion discussed 'failure' early on. Cotillion thought of Edgewalker as 'the deathless guardian'. While Edgewalker thought Cotillion would fail in his upcoming endeavors even should he succeed in convincing the three Eleint to assist him, Cotillion countered saying he didn't have to lose either.[21]

In Night of Knives[]

He met Jhedel, a former ruler of Shadow who had been imprisoned by the House, and felt that someone might attempt to take the throne when the Shadow Moon occurred.[22]

He spoke with Kiska, when she had been swept by a Shadow storm. He also identified himself as someone who was responsible for sending entities alien to Shadow, out of it, and that he was a slave to Shadow in his own way. He then sent Kiska back since she was imminent danger of attack by the Hounds of Shadow.[23]

He then encountered Temper when he slew a creature who he described as ‘Disgusting parasites’ and 'trespassers' to Shadow.[23]

He was present at the site of the battle between Temper and Jhenna, when Jhenna bought Temper to the edges of Omtose Phellack whose boundaries, during the Night of Conjunction, came close to Shadow's own boundaries. When Jhenna tried to convince Temper to step aside with various promises and threats, he pointed out that he was there to oppose and make sure Jhenna would not enter Shadow, but should Jhenna choose, she could enter Temper's world. He warned Temper against the wiles of the Jaghut, and his warnings proved true, since all of this had been a ploy by the Jaghut to remove him from her way.[24]

He was on hand to see Kellanved enter Shadow and start familiarising himself with the realm. He refused to take orders from him, saying that he was a Slave to the House. On Kellanved's assertions that he was in control, he recalled so many others who had done the same, reflecting that no one ever learned.[25]

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

Edgewalker appeared before the Crimson Guardsman, Shimmer, as she lay dying on the field of battle. He complained that the Battle of the Plains was "spilling over into Shadow and that I cannot allow. I want all of you gone." He sent Shimmer back to the living world, but not before revealing to her that the Guard's missing leader K'azz D'Avore still lived and was in Shadow.[26]

Later he agitatedly ejected the Clawmaster Possum as well as K'azz D'Avore, Kyle, and the Lost brothers for the same reason.[27]

In Stonewielder[]

A Chaos Whorl drained Ixpcotlet, a great lake of Shadow whose shores were home to a settlement of Azalan demons. Least Branch and his fellow fishermen were forced to place their gigantic boats onto wheeled carts and search for another body of water. They also hoped to find Edgewalker, Guardian of Shadow, and ask him why he allowed their lake to be destroyed.[28]

In Deadhouse Landing[]

In the very early days of the formation of the Malazan Empire, Koro, a winged inhabitant of Shadow,[29] became greatly upset because two repeat trespassers - Kellanved and Dancer - from outside the realm had escaped a Shadow Hound that had been hunting them. Koro went in search of Edgewalker - the guardian of Shadow - to inform him of this. Koro felt that Edgewalker especially needed to know about this because the pair had escaped by going through a sealed gate into the Scarred Lands which the Dal Hon mage had managed to open himself. Edgewalker was indifferent to this news and tried to make it clear that the Scarred Lands were not something for which he was responsible. Furious, Koro told Edgewalker that this was exactly the sort of thing that Edgewalker was supposed to be doing something about. Edgewalker responded by telling Koro that the flying creature had "no idea" what it was that the guardian 'did'. Because Edgewalker was not going to act, Koro told him that he should "at least set Telorast and Curdle upon them" - which the guardian refused to consider. Edgewalker then dismissed Koro's concerns and ordered him not to interfere - except at the guardian's direct command.[30]

In the midst of a Shadow Moon-like Convergence - whose focal point was evidently the Azath House of Malaz City, the Deadhouse - the Sister of Cold Nights spotted Edgewalker watching intently from Shadow itself - unseen by all the others present. At first, Edgewalker's attention was upon four Hounds of Shadow who were stalking the just-arrived Kellanved and Dancer - who were seemingly at the center of the Convergence. Edgewalker's apparent concern about the Hounds' threat to Kellanved and Dancer surprised the sorceress as the guardian had never been known to interfere in this way in the past. The Sister of Cold Nights remembered that some believed that Edgewalker was the "creator of Shadow itself". Then, the sorceress recalled a story that she had heard from a fellow Azathanai long ago: that Edgewalker had become tired of his role as the guardian of Shadow and had been "searching for a worthy inheritor all this time". The sorceress wondered if the Dal Hon mage could possibly be someone that Edgewalker was actually considering as a replacement. Kellanved, with some difficulty, was able not only to deal with the Hounds, but was also able to enter the Deadhouse with Dancer. The Sister of Cold Nights then noticed that Edgewalker had departed - having presumably come to some unknown conclusion.[31]


Cotillion: "We need allies, Edgewalker, and we need them now."
Edgewalker: "You have just walked away from three such allies—"
Cotillion: "Allies who won’t rip our heads off once the threat’s been negated."
Edgewalker: "Ah, there is that..."
―Cotillion and Edgewalker, walking through the Shadow realm[src]
Edgewalker: "My wisdom I limit to one last comment, mortal."
Temper: "What?"
Edgewalker: "Ware the cold, human. Ware the ice that grips. The frost that silences."
―Edgewalker warning Temper against the wiles of the Jaghut Jhenna[src]
Cotillion: "How did you feel, Edgewalker, when everything you held fell to pieces in your hands? Did failure arrive like a wall of fire? Those tatters have the look of scorching, come to think of it. Do you remember that moment, when you lost everything? Did the world echo to your howl?"
Edgewalker: "If you seek to torment me, Cotillion—"
Cotillion: "No, I would not do that. Forgive me."
Edgewalker: "If these are your fears, however..."
Cotillion: "No, not my fears. Not at all. They are my weapons."
Edgewalker: "You, Lord of Assassins, are no healer."
Cotillion: "There is more than one path to salvation."
Edgewalker: "Your another voice, coming from...someone else, would leave a listener calmed, reassured. From you, alas, they could chill a mortal soul to its very core."
―Cotillion and Edgewalker exchanging remarks.[src]

Notes and references[]