In 1162 BS, Felisin was arrested as a noble during the Cull. In 1163 BS, the fourteen year old girl was sent to the Otataral mines on Seven Cities by her sister Tavore, the Adjunct, as a demonstration of House Paran's loyalty to Empress Laseen. The House had become vulnerable not least because Ganoes Paran had become a renegade under Dujek Onearm.
As the prisoners were gathered to be paraded past the crowds to the slave ships, Felisin met fellow prisoners Heboric Ghost Hands and Baudin. Baudin protected her from the worst of the jeering mob's violence. By the time they arrived at Skullcup, Felisin had already realized her only asset was her body, which she sold to the guards in return for more food for herself and her two companions. In the mining camp, Felisin attached herself to Beneth, the local crimelord, for protection and to gain favours, for example, getting Heboric transferred to lighter duties which probably saved his life. She became addicted to Durhang and alcohol, spending her days in a haze to dull the pain. A guard in the camp, Pella, tried to aid Felisin, but in her stupor, she missed his hints. Her only other outlet was her hatred for the sister responsible for her condition and daydreams of revenge.
When the camp's native guards revolted as part of the Whirlwind uprising, Heboric and Baudin arranged the trio's escape into the desert. It was on this journey that she discovered that Baudin was a Talon, sent by her sister to protect her, who had intended to remove her from Skullcup as soon as possible. They had remained in the camp for so long only because, in Baudin's words, "[you] can't pull out a person who don't want to go." Baudin also revealed that he had murdered Beneth during their escape.
Even after being freed from the mines, Felisin remained resentful and hardened from her experiences and continued to vow vengeance for her treatment against Tavore and now Baudin. She and her companions were rescued from the desert shore by Kulp and the crew of the Ripath, but after a disastrous trip through the warrens they were left in the Holy Desert of Raraku. Felisin drove away Baudin and made the lives of Kulp and Heboric miserable. When the D'ivers Gryllen slew Kulp, Baudin reappeared revealing that he had not given up his charge. He saved the lives of Felisin and Heboric at the cost of his own, and died in a repentant Felisin's arms. Felisin and Heboric continued on, stumbling upon Leoman and Toblakai who guarded the Book of Dryjhna and the corpse of Sha'ik. Felisin was proclaimed 'Sha'ik Reborn' by Leoman and began receiving preternatural knowledge from the Whirlwind Goddess. They traveled to the oasis at the heart of Raraku where she took command of the Whirlwind and demanded the obedience of the High Mages, Bidithal, Febryl, and L'oric. Rather than opening the book, she struck a deal with the Whirlwind Goddess, unleashing a towering sandstorm column visible from hundreds of leagues away.
Whilst in Raraku, she adopted an orphan and named her "Felisin". Then she recalled Korbolo Dom and his army back from Aren, even as her sister Tavore arrived with an army to deliver the Malazan Empire's vengeance.
Ganoes was informed of his family's fate by Dujek Onearm. The renegade High Fist informed him that his parents had died and that Felisin had been shipped to an otataral mine. He noted that noble children too young to marry had all been slain by unofficial order and that Tavore's actions had likely spared her sister's life.
Later, while standing amidst the destruction of Capustan, Ganoes had a vision of a green stone monolith towering above the desert sand. Without realizing it, he observed his sister Felisin and her companions, Baudin and Heboric, at the moment the historian touched the jade statue in Seven Cities.
Ganoes knew in his heart that Tavore would find a way to rescue Felisin from the mine and likely had sent a guardian or two to protect her. But he was sure that the Felisin she rescued would no longer be the child they knew. He wished Tavore had found another way, and thought that the new Adjunct would someday pay dearly for her decisions.
After the Whirlwind's victory over Coltaine and Pormqual's forces at Aren, Sha'ik Reborn withdrew the Army of the Apocalypse back to the Raraku oasis. Her camp soon became a snake-pit of seething dissent between her High Mages, advisors, and military commanders. As Adjunct Tavore led the Malaz 14th Army to Raraku to unknowingly confront her sister, Felisin concentrated on writing poetry with the Whirlwind Goddess whispering in her ear. She also made an alliance of convenience with Bidithal while the High Mage attempted to root out conspiracies against her amongst the Whirlwind's leadership.
Under the Whirlwind Goddess's influence, she became obsessed with punishing the sister who had betrayed her. At the same time, her love and concern for her adopted daughter, Felisin Younger, was suppressed. Sha'ik did not notice Felisin Younger's disappearance when Bidithal abducted and mutilated the girl.The 14th Army arrived at Raraku and made preparations for the following day's battle. But overnight, the core of Sha'ik's army, Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers, was killed by the spirits of Raraku.The next morning, Felisin garbed herself in her predecessor's armour and challenged Adjunct Tavore to single combat. As she waited for her sister, the Whirlwind Goddess was slain by Korbolo Dom's assassins and consumed by forces from High House Chains, claiming the fragment of the Warren she was using as her own. Suddenly, Felisin was not the Goddess' avenging Chosen, but merely a noblewoman with no sword training. Tavore easily slapped aside Felisin's weapon and killed her with a single sword thrust, never realizing who she really was because Felisin (as Sha'ik) was clad head to toe in armour. This was witnessed by most of the army on both sides, and in particular by Leoman, Karsa Orlong, Pearl, and Lostara Yil.
- "I just wanted to know, Tavore, why you did it. And why you did not love me, when I loved you. I--I think that's what I wanted to know. Heavy. So very heavy...Oh, Mother, look at us now."
- ―Felisin's dying thoughts
Felisin died without ever knowing that her sister had sent her to the mines to save her, that she had sent Baudin to protect her, or that she had sent Pearl and Lostara to discover her fate.
Pearl and Lostara had identified Felisin's role as Sha'ik but arrived too late to save her. They did, however, conspire to keep the fact that Tavore had killed her own sister from the Adjunct, and Pearl spirited her body away to be buried on a hillside while Lostara distracted Fist Tene Baralta, who was eager to claim the body as a trophy.
At the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan, Pearl was piqued when Adjunct Tavore refused to send him into the city alone to finish off Leoman and end the war. The Claw cruelly mulled the possibility of informing the Adjunct of Sha'ik's true identity in revenge. Lostara and Pearl argued over the matter resulting in a rift between them.
Mathok, one of Felisin's commanders at Raraku, grew disillusioned by the rebellion and surrendered himself and his warriors to the nearest Malazan army. He had no idea that the army's High Fist was Ganoes Paran, brother of both Sha'ik Reborn and the Imperial Adjunct. During a conversation with Hurlochel, one of Ganoes' aides, Mathok commented that the Adjunct never knew she had cut down a Mezla woman when she killed Sha'ik. Hurlochel started to put the pieces together before he became preoccupied with reorganising Mathok's warriors to join Paran's Host. He never reported his conversations with Mathok to his commander.
On the night the 14th Army returned to Malaz City, Fiddler, Gesler, and Stormy made their way to Braven Tooth's room in the Mouse Quarter. Fiddler played a sorrow-filled song for fallen friends and comrades. He included Felisin among them saying, "she had no luck at all, and when good things showed up, rare as as that was, well, she didn't know what to do or say...A person hurts enough inside, all they can do is hurt back."
Felisin was confirmed as the co-author of the Call to Shadow poem excerpts that appeared in the epigraphs of several chapters in Gardens of the Moon. Felisin Younger told Heboric that Felisin had rediscovered her hunger for writing poetry and worked on continuing the Call to Shadow poem begun by her own mother. The historian believed the Whirlwind Goddess used Felisin's creative efforts to whisper secrets containing truths into her ear.
- The Call to Shadow poem attributed to Felisin in Gardens of the Moon listed the poet's birthdate as 1146 BS. However, Felisin herself noted that she "entered my sixteenth year" in 1164 BS, putting her birthdate at 1149 BS. Note: Entering your 16th year is not the same as being 16 years old. A baby is not 1 year old during its first year of life.
- Steven Erikson calls Felisin "one of my favourite characters to write, so I don't know what that says about me." Her storyline was his favourite in Deadhouse Gates.
- "...though we leave the house of our birth, it never leaves us."
- ―Felisin Paran
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Read for Pixels 2016 Interview As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 46:17
- ↑ Ten Very Big Books podcast As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 18:44
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xii
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.50
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, US HC p.385
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.657-658
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.84
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Prologue
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.449
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.79-80/84, 119/120
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.153-155
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6, US HC p.148
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.448-449
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.202
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.288
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, US HC p.374-381
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.603
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.750
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.492
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.133
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.578
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.282
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.288
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.601
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.594/600
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.600/605
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.801
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.820
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.822-828
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.826-828
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.829-831
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.804
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.829/834
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.273
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.809-812
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.894-895/920
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.282-283
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, Epigraph
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.84
- ↑ Ten Very Big Books podcast - See 19:50
- ↑ Ten Very Big Books podcast - Deadhouse Gates (See 30:00)