The First Throne was the source of power of the T'lan Imass. Any mortal who sat upon it gained command of the armies of those undead warriors.[1]

The Throne had once been located in Seven Cities, the homeland of the T'lan Imass, but it was now located at the bottom of a crevasse below an unidentified city on Quon Tali.[2][1] The area containing the Throne featured both an inner and outer ward.[3]

The Throne itself was described as a petrified bone monstrosity.[4]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about the First Throne.

History[edit | edit source]

The Throne was created sometime during the Ritual of Tellann, though details were sketchy. It was known that the Logros T'lan Imass were tasked with guarding the throne from being usurped, thus protecting the undead warriors in the continuing quest to eradicate all remaining Jaghut.

Some time later, Logros ordered that the First Throne be removed from Seven Cities because the Nameless Ones, which served the Azath Houses, had discovered the power of the Throne could be claimed and were drawing closer to discovering its location. Logros believed that if a priest of that cult ascended the Throne, their first and only command would be to order the T'lan Imass to voluntarily accept eternal imprisonment.[5]

Kellanved ultimately found and claimed the First Throne. Because he had once resided in an Azath House, the T'lan Imass feared he had some connection to the Nameless Ones or shared their goals. But the former Emperor's commands were relatively modest, using the Logros armies to conquer Quon Tali, Falar, and Seven Cities. It baffled Onrack that the former Emperor had not exploited the T'lan Imass for his own gains to a fuller extent.[6][7] Before his death, Kellanved ordered Logros to recall the other clans of the T'lan Imass, and Olar Ethil was sent to look for them.[8]

When Kellanved ascended instead of dying, the Throne was not really unoccupied, leading to a stalemate with the T'lan Imass' status.[9][10] Empress Laseen held no power over the T'lan Imass as Kellanved's successor because she had never sat on the Throne and did not even know where it was located.[11] This allowed the T'lan Imass to cease serving the Malazan Book of the Fallen and embark on their own agenda, including a war in the Jhag Odhan, in the first crucial years of the Empress' rule.[12]

Onrack noted that Kellanved's command over the T'lan Imass was always tenuous. The emperor had only been ever to control the Logros because of their proximity to the Throne, and even then the Logros were capable of displaying token obedience while pursuing their own ends. This accounted for the Logros' abandonment of the Seven Cities campaign when they learned of a new enclave of Jaghut. As the ascended Kellanved became bound to the aspect of Shadow, this impurity increasingly weakened his command over the Throne and its power waned.[13]

According to Dujek Onearm, Kellanved took the Throne once more after his supposed death to wreak revenge on Laseen and commanded the Logros to slaughter the citizens of Aren.[14]

In Gardens of the Moon[edit | edit source]

Tool told Adjunct Lorn he recalled when he and the other Logros T'lan Imass were awakened by Kellanved when the Malazan emperor sat on the First Throne. They kneeled before the Emperor who was accompanied by Dancer. Upon the Emperor's death the Logros gathered their minds and created a binding that prevented them from revealing the Throne's location. This binding held for both the Logros and Kron clans.[15]

In House of Chains[edit | edit source]

Referring to Cotillion's memories, Apsalar and Cutter deduced that Kellanved quietly held onto the Throne to negate the chance of someone else claiming it and avoid the notice of other powers. They concluded that Kellanved had used an Azath tactic by negating the power of the Throne through its disuse.[16]

An attack on the Throne was anticipated by several factions. Onrack feared that the Crippled God would be led to the Throne by his servants, The Unbound, who were renegade T'lan Imass and knew its location. Then the god would indirectly take control of the Throne through his mortal servants, the Tiste Edur. This was especially worrisome as the owner of the Throne would also command the new, mortal Bonecaster Silverfox, just as it seemed she would deliver the T'lan Imass from their curse.[17]

Onrack was shocked to discover that no Logros guarded the Throne as they had all been called to Seven Cities by Logros. He and Trull Sengar convinced the Bonecaster, Monok Ochem, and clan leader, Ibra Gholan, to journey to the Throne to serve as its guardians.[18]

When Onrack's group arrived, it discovered Shadowthrone's servants, Minala, Apt, and Panek, along with their Company of Shadow already guarding the Throne in force.[19][20]

In The Bonehunters[edit | edit source]

The Throne's defenders faced four attacks from the Crippled God's allies, the Tiste Edur of the Letherii Empire. Entering through a gate from Chaos, the attackers were newly blooded Den-Ratha skirmishers who were not fully committed to the cause and not accompanied by mages. Nevertheless, the casualties for the defenders were terrible. Of the original thirteen hundred children in the Company of Shadow only seven hundred remained. Of those, three hundred lay dying of their wounds. Only the presence of Trull staved off disaster as the T'lan Imass Bonecaster, Monok Ochem, held back to avoid detection. It was only a matter of time before Trull was recognised and the Edur came in force.[21]

Cotillion visited the defenders, but could provide little support beyond promises of healing from Shadowthrone. He asked the T'lan Imass why they did not send reinforcements to protect the Throne, and Monok Ochem responded that the others were preoccupied with war in Assail. Cotillion was dumbfounded that the T'lan Imass were wasting their lives on a lesser threat, but Onrack explained the Imass' need to prove their own supreme efficacy was their sole reason to exist. The Throne itself was weakening and only capable of commanding the Logros clan when Shadowthrone had first sat upon it because they were in its proximity. Even then, the Logros response represented only token obedience. Shadowthrone's ascension had further weakened his control. Cotillion's interest in whether the Throne's power could be restored was met with hostility by the Bonecaster, who commanded Onrack to remain silent. When asked what the T'lan Imass would do if the Throne was lost, the Bonecaster just shrugged. If the Edur claimed the Throne, they could only hold it, not use it.[22]

The final attack consisted of an expedition force of two hundred Tiste Edur veteran warriors and sixty Letherii archers from Preda Tomad Sengar's Third Edur Imperial Fleet.[23] They were commanded by Kholb Harat and Saur Bathrada and were accompanied by Ahlrada Ahn, Varat Taun, and the warlock, Sathbaro Rangar.[1][24] They were also joined by Icarium and his companion, Taralack Veed, as the Edur wished to test the prowess of the Jhag champion selected to face Emperor Rhulad Sengar in mortal combat.[1]

In the fighting that followed, Icarium quickly became enraged and began killing friend and foe alike. Monok Ochem, Ibra Gholan, and Apt fell while Onrack and Minala were incapacitated. Icarium disarmed Trull before Shadowthrone dragged in an unsuspecting Quick Ben. Despite an incredible spectacle of power, the High Mage fell as well. When all seemed lost, the Eres'al arrived to neutralise Icarium.[25] The only other survivors of the Edur forces, Taralack Veed and Varat Taun, hurriedly carried the unconscious Jhag back through the gate to their ships.[26]

In Kellanved's Reach[edit | edit source]

(Information needed)

Trivia[edit | edit source]

In a 2020 interview, author Steven Erikson confirmed that the Malazan imperial throne of twisted bone that stood in the Hall of the Throne in Unta was a facsimile of the First Throne.[27]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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