Fener [fen-er] was the god known as the Boar of War. He was also known as Tennerock, The Boar of Five Tusks, the Boar of Summer, and the Tusked Sower of War. Each of his five tusks had a name: Hate, Love, Laughter, War, and Tears. Besides the Beast Hold, Tennes was one of the warrens associated with the boar-god.
In his most modest form, he appeared as more ogre than man, with broad shoulders covered in bristly black hair and a bullet head with thick, ringleted hair thrust forward on a short neck. His small narrow-set eyes were dull garnets set below heavy brows. The lower half of his face was dominated by a long, curling moustache and beard, along with large yellowed tusks pushing clear of his lips. His arms, with their stubby, battered hands, were so long they touched the floor. A rank, bestial stink exuded from his body. His tusks likely made speech impossible, so he spoke in a low, heavy voice directly into the minds of those he wished to communicate with.
Fener was popular among the soldiers of the Malazan Empire and cults dedicated to the god had once flourished in the Malazan Military early in Emperor Kellanved's reign. This was especially true in the Marines. But Empress Laseen had crushed the Cult of the Boar, and afterwards their presence was discouraged by the Claw.
The followers of Fener observed a set of laws, rules, and doctrine known as Fener's Reve. One of its most powerful rituals allowed the god to sit in judgement of a follower's soul after the ceremonial severing of their hands. The holy order of the boar god's temple was primarily male.
Fener was said to know grief, "so much grief that it is beyond his capacity to withstand it. And so he chooses a human heart. Armoured. A mortal soul, to assume the sorrow of the world. The Shield Anvil."
In Gardens of the Moon
In Deadhouse Gates
Heboric, shorn former follower of Fener, escaped from the Skullcup Otataral mine with Felisin Paran and Baudin. Along their journey in the desert, he came into contact with a mysterious giant jade statue. After touching it with the stump of one of his missing hands he experienced a strange fusion of holy and Otataral powers. He attempted to commune with his god by ritualistically touching the tainted stump to the sacred mark on his chest. This had the unexpected result of dragging Fener unwillingly into the plane of humanity where he became mortal and vulnerable.
In Memories of Ice
Hood's Herald, Gethol, visited Fener's Mortal Sword, Brukhalian, in Capustan. He warned Brukhalian that Fener was in great peril and the loss of the god's power was imminent. Hood offered the Grey Swords a way out of certain death at the hands of the Pannion Domin if they changed their patronage from Fener to Hood. The Mortal Sword rebuked the offer, striking Gethol with his sword.
As Master of the Deck, Ganoes Paran experienced a vision of the moment Heboric touched the jade statue. The result was a tear in the sky as Fener was dragged unwillingly into the mortal realm. He feared the god was as good as dead now that he was vulnerable to the same dangers as other mortals.
Anomander Rake claimed the object Heboric touched brought him into contact with the Warren of Chaos, and had possibly been forged there. Heboric's contact with the stump of his hand had sent an uncontrolled surge of power to where the historian's hands were safely sealed away in Fener's realm. The hands had then pushed Fener out of his realm to his inevitable doom.
Fener had been an ally of the Elder Gods and Ascendants who had participated in the Chaining of the Crippled God. Although the loss of their ally was keenly felt, the boar god's fall had been foreseen and events set into motion to allow Treach/Trake to ascend to the position of God of War in his place.
Fener's mortal followers sensed something was amiss with their god. Rath'Trake, the city's holy representative of Trake, spoke of his god's ascension to share the title of Lord of Summer with Fener much to Destriant Karnadas' alarm. During the Siege of Capustan, Fener's Shield Anvil Itkovian sought to meet the extraordinary fighter who was said to fight like a boar. But Itkovian was crestfallen to see that Gruntle was clearly one of the Tiger of Summer's followers. Later, seeing Gruntle covered in barbed, feline tattooing, Itkovian felt a hammerblow to the chest as he realised he and his god had been replaced.
In House of Chains
In The Bonehunters
Heboric, now a Destriant of Treach, noted that Fener had disappeared after being dragged from his realm as revealing himself would invite annihilation. He vowed he would find a way to send Fener back, whether Treach liked it or not, and both gods could share the Throne of War.
Fener was now sometimes referred to as "The Bereft".
In Reaper's Gale
The Errant entered his walled-off and abandoned temple in the Old Palace of Letheras and discovered Fener taking refuge there. The boar god had thought an obscure temple of the forgotten Holds was an apt place to momentarily hide from the pursuers who sought to kill him and claim his power. The two gods commiserated over their diminished power and Fener referred to a mortal who might have been able to return him, along with other gifts, to his place in the pantheon. But that mortal had failed, as mortals were wont to do. Then Fener spoke of the coming of a final battle he knew would lead to his own death.
Fener asked the Errant for sanctuary in his temple, offering a gift in return. The gift was the knowledge that it was possible for the Holds to awaken and regain power just as the Beast Hold had done. After Fener's fall, the Hold had demanded an inheritor arise to take his place. Since Treach was too young and weak, Togg and Fanderay awoke to take the Throne. The Errant promised to veil Fener's presence in the city and the boar god asked him to block the cries of his followers who still called on him. He said they filled his skull and it was too much.
On the Falari Isles, feelings about the outlawed Cult of the Boar still ran strong. The Malazan soldier, Lookback, considered killing Gesler and Stormy over their supposed betrayal of the cult, but was talked out of the attempt by fellow Falari, Drawfirst and Shoaly.
In The Crippled God
Fener manifested as a huge boar made of dark clouds during the Battle of the Spire having been called by Gesler and Stormy repeatedly invoking his name. He was killed when Karsa Orlong walked into Fener's temple in Darujhistan and shattered a tusk. Fener's blood rained down upon the battle giving the T'lan Imass under Onos T'oolan and The Fourteen Undead Jaghut their mortality once again.
It was later implied that Fener chose this as we are told that "Even gods tire of war, while mortals do not".
- Heboric Light Touch was an exiled historian and ex-priest of Fener. His hands had been ritually severed as part of his excommunication. This meant the tattoos he sported as part of his priesthood could no longer be activated to open a Warren. The ritual should have been the expression of purest justice, but in this case, it was not. His hands had been sent to Fener's hooves to await his death and his elevation to a position of Fener's wrath. Because the ritual was flawed, however, his hands were as poison to the god and were sealed until his spirit could come and collect them.
- Gesler and Stormy were part of the Boar Company of the disbanded Malaz 1st Army and followers of the cult of Fener. They recruited Truth to the cult.
- The Grey Swords were a cult of warrior-priests and acolytes dedicated to the Boar of War.
At one time Fener's entry in the Malazan Wiki declared that the god was at one-time the "master of the Beast Throne" based on the below passage from Reaper's Gale.
- "This: the Hold of the Beasts is awakened. I was driven out, you see, and there was need, necessity, insistence that some inheritor arise to take my place – to assume the voices of war. Treach was too young, too weak. And so the Wolves awoke. They flank the throne now – no, they are the throne."
But when asked about the wiki's conclusion in an April 2022 interview, author Steven Erikson said the god was only associated with the Throne of War and the wiki's conclusion had "definitely been misinterpreted".
Notes and references
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.229
- Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 2 - As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 33:58
- Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.185
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, US HC p.402
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, US HC p.465
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.228-229
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.631
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.591-596
- House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.761
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.552-553
- The Bonehunters, Prologue, UK MMPB p.27
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, US HC p.134
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.187-189
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, US HC p.372
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.288-290
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.578
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.632
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.631-632
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.376
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.485
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.590
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.666-669
- House of Chains, Chapter 7
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.275
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.231
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.451
- The Bonehunters, Glossary
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.227-230
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 22, US HC p.670-671
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- Deadhouse Gates: A Chat with Steven Erikson, Part 6 - Claudia Iovanovici - See 27:00