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Malazan Wiki

Ganoes Stabro[2] Paran [Gan-ohs Pah-ran][3] was the eldest son of House Paran of Unta. He was born in Unta, the capital of the Malazan Empire, in the 1142nd year of Burn's Sleep.[4]

Paran was described as having black hair,[5] an easy face to rest eyes upon[6] and a broad back.[7] He wore a helm as part of his uniform[5] and when on the road, wore a travelling cloak.[8]

Imperial Adjunct Lorn described him as a dour man.[9]

Early life[]

His father instilled in him to be cautious when dealing with the many faces of the Empire.[10] As a young man, Ganoes had an overblown faith in honesty and integrity.[11] Ganoes had a Napan tutor.[12]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

1154th year of Burn's Sleep[]

In 1154 BS, Ganoes Paran visited Malaz City for the third time in as many years with his father, who was negotiating with harbor officials about the island export tithe.[13] Whilst Ganoes' father was negotiating, Ganoes ventured out to the wall of Mock's Hold and observed the riots in the Mouse Quarter.[14] Whilst watching the distant flames and smoke, he met Whiskeyjack,[15] Fiddler and Surly.[16] In his discussion with Whiskeyjack, to the older man's disapproval, he mentioned dreams of soldiering and grandeur where he imagined himself a hero and commented that he did not believe the world needed another "wine merchant".[17]

At the time Paran noted that Whiskeyjack seemed young and that Fiddler was not much older than his own 12 years,[4] however, Paran's false assessment at the end of the prologue about the source of a smell[17] must be taken as a pointer that, at that age, his judgment wasn't necessarily accurate.

1161st year of Burn's Sleep[]

Interpretation of Ganoes Paran by Yapattack

Seven years after the events in the Prologue, Ganoes Paran was newly stationed in Itko Kan. As a graduate of the Marine Academy's officer training corps, he had reached the rank of Lieutenant in the 8th Cavalry.[18][19] After volunteering to lead the inspection detail,[20] he was charged with escorting Adjunct Lorn through the Itko Kan Massacre,[21] which had been initiated by Ammanas and perpetrated by the Hounds of Shadow.[22]

Adjunct Lorn assigned Paran a commission on her staff in order to continue the investigation into the massacre.[23] Paran's first assignment was to make enquiries in the market town of Gerrom.[24] He discovered the aftermath of yet another slaughter. Paran then returned to Unta, escorted by Topper by way of the Imperial Warren,[25] to report his findings and met Surly, now Empress Laseen, again when he and Topper exited the Warren in the Hall of the Throne.[26]

Paran was ordered by Adjunct Lorn to rejoin the Officer Corps in Unta to continue his training until such time as she would need him again.[27] Working with the Adjunct, he became accustomed to being used.[11]

1163rd year of Burn's sleep onwards[]

Ganoes Paran by Dejan Delic

By the 1163rd year of Burn's Sleep, Ganoes Paran ranked a Captain, and was dispatched to his new permanent command with the Bridgeburners of the 2nd Malaz Army.[28] The details of the assignment were conveyed to him by Topper who arrive on board the Imperial trireme by Imperial Warren around the time of the final battle at Pale.[29] The top secret part of Paran's mission was to deal with the possessed young girl Sorry, whom he was to track in continuation of his mission from Ikto Kan. Topper told him that it was feared that Sorry might have corrupted the Bridgeburners and possibly Dujek Onearm and the entire 2nd army.[30] This was Paran's second encounter with the Claw, and in both encounters, the two men parted on bad terms, with Topper accusing Paran of being arrogant and discourteous.[31][32]

Paran landed in Genabaris on Genabackis during the Season of Currents in 1163 BS. His contact, a government agent, possibly Claw, observed that Paran looked like a member of the nobility and that his longsword showed not a single stain. He surmised that Paran was "as green as the rancid waters of this bay". When they made eye-contact however, the agent judged there to be something dangerous in Paran's gaze, making his eyes look older than the rest of him. Paran then grabbed his duffel bag and followed the agent to meet up with the Moranth.[33]

Paran had never heard of Quorls and was surprised to be told that he would be flying.[34] He was transported to within viewing distance of Pale where he was met by Toc the Younger who rode with him to the now subjugated city. Paran, who had not called anyone a friend in two years, got on well with Toc despite the man being a Claw. When they parted ways, Toc said Paran should call on him if he needed help.[35]

Ganoes had named the sword he had purchased years ago "Chance" which led to him being noticed by Oponn who saw this as another opportunity to wreak havoc.[36]

Ganoes Paran by Jirí Dvorský

Paran briefly met some of the Bridgeburners in Knobb's Inn in Pale and expressed his trepidation about leading a unit which was reputed to go through so many officers.[37] Upon leaving the Inn, he was attacked and mortally wounded by Sorry.[38] Mallet later estimated that the first wound was a fatal stab up under his heart, the second would have killed more slowly but no less certain.[39] Paran however retained life through the intervention of Oponn.[40] The deal between Oponn and the Gatekeeper included that someone close to Paran would die an early, meaningless death instead.[41] Paran also encountered Shadowthrone and two of the Hounds after Oponn had left and managed to persuade the Master of Shadow that he would be better served letting Paran go.[42] Paran was then found in Pale over an hour later[43] by Picker and Antsy[44] and taken by Quick Ben, Kalam and Mallet to recover with the mage Tattersail[45] as the Bridgeburners were about to travel with the Black Moranth to Darujhistan.

Mallet stated that Paran's forced healing had only seen to the flesh and that he feared for the state of the Captain's mind. Paran would be suffering from shock which would need time to heal. As the forced healing had severed the connections between the physical and mental harm, Mallet could do nothing to speed up the recovery.[46] Upon the instructions of Whiskeyjack,[47] Paran was to be kept hidden by Tattersail and Hairlock during his recovery.[48] As far as everyone else was concerned, he had disappeared.[49]

Within hours of his arrival at Tattersail's, the soul-shifted puppet Hairlock was tracked by Gear, one of the Hounds of Shadow, to Tattersail's abode.[50] Paran, a blank cast to his eyes, appeared from the inner bedroom and attacked the Hound, wounding Gear in the chest with his sword Chance causing the Hound to flee by Warren.[51]

Paran tended to the wounded sorceress whilst she lay fevered from the attack. He had only vague memories of events following his stabbing and Hairlock, who seemed to hate the Captain, refused to answer questions although he divulged that the sorceress had somehow managed to instinctively raise a spell which warded Paran from being discovered by Tayschrenn.[52]

When Tattersail regained her senses, she and Paran discussed the events surrounding his miraculous recovery and the likelihood that he was being used by Oponn. Tattersail asked Paran not to leave as fear of the Captain's sword was all that kept Hairlock from attacking her and he agreed.[53]

Paran became attracted to Tattersail and found his feelings reciprocated.[54]

Tattersail speculated that the reason for Adjunct Lorn being unable to track the Captain was that his encounter with Oponn had severed the link.[55]

Interpretation of Paran and Anomander by slaine69

After Tattersail left for Darujhistan to warn Whiskeyjack about danger from Lorn and her T'lan Imass, Paran learned from Toc the Younger that the danger was possibly greater than anticipated and he decided to follow her with Toc insisting on coming along.[56] Whilst travelling in pursuit of Tattersail, they were waylaid by the puppet Hairlock who sent Toc into a rent, however, the puppet's attack on Paran was interrupted by the arrival of the Hounds of Shadow. The Hounds, Gear amongst them, killed the puppet. They then turned their eyes on Paran who was saved by the opportune arrival of Anomander Rake who slayed two of the Hounds with his sword, Dragnipur.[57]

After Rake's departure Paran dipped a hand in a Hound's blood and found himself within Dragnipur, unchained. He briefly spoke to one of the sword's prisoners before helping the Hounds escape by tricking them into a portal to the Warren of Darkness.[58]

A couple of days after freeing the Hounds, Paran encountered a herd of Bhederin and was attacked by a youth as the herd passed. He knocked the boy unconscious. The boy belonged to a group of Rhivi who appeared and also attacked the captain. They stopped after Paran's sword inexplicably turned aside all projectiles thrown at him. The group then gave way to a little girl, about five years of age, who seemed very familiar to Paran. Through an interpreter, he was told that the girl had ordered his life to be spared and that he should not grieve as he would meet again the woman he thought dead. Even as the Rhivi disappeared in a cloud of dust, Paran recognised Tattersail's likeness in the girl.[59]

Paran and Silverfox by Efirende

Soon after, Paran encountered the injured Coll. Paran offered to accompany Coll back to Darujhistan and let him use his packhorse, sparing the injured man a ride on a mule. The two men shared a camp fire and over a bottle of wine exchanged life stories.[60] By the time they got to the city, Coll's injuries had worsened and Paran, with the help of a couple of guards, had Coll conveyed to his stated destination, the Phoenix Inn.[61] Sat at a table in the bar, musing that his new friend might soon be dead, Paran had doubts about whether his luck had turned and drove his sword into the wood of the table. He was about to snap the blade when Kalam turned up and introduced himself. Paran interrupted him immediately and asked after the squad's healer then ordered him brought to the Inn. Mallet turned up soon after, accompanied by Whiskeyjack and whilst the healer was saving Coll's life, Paran updated the sergeant. He informed him about Tattersail's suspicions that the Bridgeburners had been set up to die during the taking of the city and that the sorceress had died on the Rhivi Plain. Also, that Lorn was on her way accompanied by a T'lan Imass.[62] Whiskeyjack then used a device to contact Dujek and appraised him of the latest events. Paran agreed to be part of the rebellion of Onearm's Host as long as he would get his revenge against Tayschrenn. He told Dujek that he wanted Whiskeyjack to remain in command locally.[63]

Whiskeyjack told Paran that the intention to take Darujhistan remained as they needed its wealth to support the fight Dujek intended against the Pannion Seer to the south whose proclamation of a holy war threatened not only the region but the entire world.[64]

Adjunct Lorn admitted to herself that she had been attracted to Paran and regretted losing him.[65]

Paran had told Whiskeyjack that Lorn would be dropping off something however, the sergeant told Quick Ben that Lorn had not done so as yet. From a conversation with Kalam, who said the squad was still 'clean', Paran possibly expected some kind of tracking device.[66][67]

Ganoes Paran by enolezdrata

When Paran arrived in the garden of Lady Simtal's during the fete, he felt there was something very wrong with it as if he was within a primordial presence. He and Kalam came across the former Sorry standing in front of a strange wooden block which seemed to be growing and the source of the wrongness. Sorry professed vague memories of having killed Paran and the Captain went to get Mallet to take a look at the strangely changed girl.[68] Mallet found that Sorry was no longer possessed however also detected another presence. Paran advised him to give that presence help to heal the girl and the healer agreed.[69]

Paran then witnessed as Kalam, representing the Malazan Empire, agreed a contract with the Assassins' Guild mistress Vorcan Radok for the elimination of the T'orrud Cabal. Paran suggested that it was unlikely that Anomander Rake would directly oppose the Empire forces.[70]

First Paran and then later his sword were tools of Oponn. When he felt his luck had turned, just before leaving Darujhistan, he gave his sword to Cotillion.[71] To replace "Chance" he took Adjunct Lorn's Otataral sword from her after her assassination.[72]

In Memories of Ice[]

Interpretation of Paran, the Master of the Deck, by Artsed

As Captain of the Bridgeburners, Paran rejoined Dujek's army at Pale. Normally disdainful of nobleborn officers and suspicious of further betrayal, the Bridgeburners were not endeared to their new captain. Whiskeyjack was concerned enough to ask Mallet to watch the young man's back.[73]

In the months after his trip into Dragnipur, Paran was plagued by illness, unearthly visions, and unfamiliar memories. He suspected the cause was exposure to the Hound's blood. He felt that, although he had escaped the world of the sword, he could feel its chains about him, drawing ever tighter, an expectation for him to become something...[74] His condition did not go unnoticed by Quick Ben or by Mallet, whose Denul powers recoiled in Paran's presence.[75]

In reality, Paran had been chosen by the Azath to be the Master of the Deck. A new Unaligned and near-Ascendant power, Paran had been chosen to adjudicate at a time of uncertainty in the Deck of Dragons. This was confirmed by several sources including Silverfox,[76] Quick Ben,[77] and Raest, now guardian of Finnest House, when Paran's spirit traveled there. At the Azath House the captain discovered he could travel to various Warrens merely by focusing on their representative tiles.[78] Additionally, Paran's own image appeared on a new card painted underneath Fiddler and Hedge's stacked gaming table.

The elevation seemed to imbue him with preternatural knowledge.[79] For example, Paran had the unnatural ability to see the aura of Anomander Rakes's draconian form in the distance.[80]

Dujek had the sad duty of informing Paran of The Cull in Unta, which had led to the deaths of his parents, the rise of Tavore to Adjunct, and the imprisonment of his sister Felisin. Paran's life was further complicated by the arrival of Silverfox, who although still a child, bore the adult soul of his former lover Tattersail.[81] The two shared a connection that could be felt even at great distances.

When Onearm's Host allied with the forces of Caladan Brood to take on the Pannion Domin, Dujek sent Paran and the Bridgeburners to the Barghast Range by quorl, courtesy of Twist and the Black Moranth. Surrounded by angry White Face Barghast, Paran was to use Trotts' respected lineage to secure an alliance with the war chief, Humbrall Taur. Trotts fought a duel to the death Taur's youngest son to be acknowledged by the Barghast. When the duel ended with Taur's son dead and Trotts dying, Paran had to restrain a group of fearful and mutinous Bridgeburners from taking violent preemptive action to escape the camp. Paran fetched Mallet in time to save Trotts' life and continued negotiations until the late arrival of Quick Ben, who brought news the lost Barghast spirits were entombed below Capustan. Paran's successful handling of the mission earned his soldiers' grudging respect, with Aimless calling him "cold as a Jaghut winter".[82]

The Siege of Capustan[]

Paran took over as the second-in-command of Trotts' warhost and marched with the White Faces to Capustan, which had just fallen to Septarch Kulpath's Pannion hordes. The Bridgeburners were the first to the relief of Capustan, using Moranth munitions to blast their way past the 200 Betaklites and over a thousand Tenescowri guarding the city's North Gate.[83] Passing through the empty streets followed by peasant cannibals, they quickly encountered Gruntle and joined his troop atop a defendable tenement rooftop.[84] Frightened and angered by their precarious situation and by the sickly Paran's lack of communication, Antsy nearly drew his sword on the captain. Paran offered his unprotected back to the sergeant before Mallet was able to defuse the situation.[85]

Again Paran was assailed by his role as the Master of the Deck, observing Fener being pulled down into the mortal world near three figures standing before a jade monlith. He then began conversing in his mind with Nightchill/Silverfox, telling her that if she and her fellow Elder Gods had chosen him to be the Deck's mitigator, then they had chosen poorly. He would never be another god's puppet and vowed to call down the Hounds of Shadow upon her. Nightchill tempered his anger by telling him all was not what it seemed, and that he was being kept ignorant of the true battle out of mercy. Nightchill revealed that the man Paran had spoken to within Dragnipur had been Draconus, the weapon's forger. His strength was needed for the coming battle, but he would need to be released from his prison first. Unfortunately, this would require shattering the sword and freeing all of its other prisoners as well. She said there was still time for Draconus to find a way to escape without unleashing a legion of horrors upon the world.[86]

When Paran returned to his senses, he took the Bridgeburners, along with Gruntle, to the Thrall. Here they witnessed Shield Anvil Itkovian punish the traitorous Rath'Fener then take on the grief of the city to cleanse it. Paran stepped forward to aid the Shield Anvil as he faltered without his god, and Mallet, with the help of the Barghast spirits, was also pushed into action. Paran then mediated between Rath'Trake, Trake's Mortal Sword, and Itkovian, enabling an uneasy balance to be found. He then stepped back to allow the Barghast to claim their ancestors.[87]

Paran and Gruntle commiserated over their unwanted roles as representatives of the world's higher powers. The Master of the Deck had come to the realisation that he was being asked to bless or deny the addition of the Crippled God's new House of Chains to the Deck of Dragons. Many were pushing for denial, including Anomander Rake, Trake, and Hood, but a voice inside Paran demanded the opposite. Gruntle pointed out that the new House currently operated as it pleased outside the rules, but a sanctioned House would be bounded to the same rules as everyone else.[88] Paran also learned he had to be careful with his statements. Giving his metaphorical blessing to Velbara's request to take custody of the prisoner, Anaster, physically staggered the Destriant with the weight of his words.[89]

After the armies of Dujek and Brood defeated the last of Kulpath's troops, they gathered representatives of all the allied factions to decide on their next step. The armies would next march on the Pannion city of Coral. By this time Silverfox had fully matured into her role as Bonecaster and whatever link Paran shared with her Tattersail soul was severed.[90]

The Master of the Deck used his powers to visit the Throne of Shadow on Drift Avalii where he learned that it was being sought by the Tiste Edur. He also found himself returned to the Warren within Dragnipur. He sought out Draconus who told him that Rake's failure to fill the prison with new souls risked disaster. Fewer and fewer prisoners were able to pull the monstrous wagon and keep the Gate of Darkness ahead of the storm of Chaos that pursued it. He argued that Dragnipur must be destroyed.[91]

The Siege of Coral[]

Paran and the Bridgeburners were secretly sent in advance of the main army to reconnoiter the lands outside Coral. They seized a network of defensive trenches and tunnels on a wooded slope to the city's north. When a company of Beklites and Urdomen stumbled upon them, they defended the position until reinforced by Dujek.

Interpretation of Paran's fight with a condor by dejan-delic

In the fighting, Quick Ben showed Paran how to use his Ascendant powers to draw his own cards of the Deck. Together they managed to bring down one of the Pannion Seer's demonic Condors and attack it on the ground. The fight brought out Paran's Hound aspect, and he simultaneously battled the condor as both man and Hound. Quick Ben recognised this power as coming from Kurald Emurlahn, but Paran had no recollection afterwards of his transformation.[92] He ordered Mallet administer healing to his soldiers and not spend his powers removing the resulting scars from his face and torn ear.[93]

During the ensuing Battle of Black Coral, the Bridgeburners were sent into the city by quorl under the cover of darkness. Their mission was to attack the keep of the Pannion Seer while Dujek led the rest of the army into the city itself.[94] While his soldiers kept the Pannion Seer's condors at bay and breached the keep's wall, Paran and Quick Ben reached the keep's roof. They captured the Seer and brought him to Morn via Warren where Paran used his Hound aspect to prevent Kilava from killing their prisoner. They were able to reverse Kilava's ancient error by convincing the Seer to reseal the Rent with the K'Chain Che'Malle Matron's soul and releasing his sister.[95]

Then Quick Ben brought them to Burn's realm where Paran was witness to the birth of possibly the final manifestation of Omtose Phellack. The Seer, now free of the Crippled God's corruptive influence, fully unveiled the Jaghut Warren to slow the God's infection of Burn to a crawl. Burn's priestess, the Witch of Tennes, warned to never reveal the manifestation's existence.[96]

Returning to the battle, Paran and Quick Ben learned of the deaths of Whiskeyjack and most of the Bridgeburners. Paran drew a card to transport them to the tomb in throneroom of Moon's Spawn so they could pay their respects. Thinking it probably far too late, he blessed them one and all.[97] Afterwards, Paran turned down Dujek's offer to accompany him to Seven Cities to put down the rebellion. Instead, the High Fist allowed Paran and the remaining Bridgeburners to secretly retire as had been Whiskeyjack's wish. To the Empress and Empire-at-large, they were believed dead.[98]

Several of the Bridgeburners used their accumulated back pay to buy and renovate K'rul's Bar. Three weeks in the company of his former subordinates was enough to convince Paran to move into Finnest House with Raest. The Jaghut guardian greeted his new houseguest without enthusiasm.[99]

In House of Chains[]

Paran by Sarinjin

As Adjunct Tavore Paran led her Malaz 14th Army out of Aren towards Raraku, she was visited by Topper. The Clawmaster brought news that her brother had not in fact been a renegade but part of Empress Laseen's plans. He had been a hero on Genabackis, but perished at Coral and was interred in Moon's Spawn with the other Bridgeburners.[100]

Felisin recalled her brother and sister playing with wooden swords as children. Ganoes had a way of laughing and gently instructing his younger sister.[101] When he had been sent off for schooling, Tavore became severe and remote.[102]

On the eve of the Battle of Raraku, the Master of the Deck made his choice and sanctioned the House of Chains. The Crippled God was now bound to the same rules as the other gods.[103]

In The Bonehunters[]

Ganoes spent his time in Darujhistan learning the players in the war to come as the pantheon split asunder and the Crippled God found allies. Seven months later, he retrieved Lorn's otataral sword from where he had buried it on Coll's estate and travelled to Seven Cities by ship, where he encountered Apsalar in the A'rath Strait.[104][105] The two agreed that Ganoes and Shadow were likely not enemies, and Paran revealed that he had come to Seven Cities to counter an enemy and remove a threat before moving on to Quon Tali.[105] Their first port of call was Kansu where Paran and Apsalar continued on their separate paths.[106]

Paran and the dead by Noah Bradley (Official image)

On his way to the newly reborn Raraku Sea, he witnessed the Jaghut sorceress, Ganath, burst from her barrow prison. Paran's role as Master of the Deck of Dragons had "somehow" granted him the knowledge to converse with the Jaghut in her own tongue.[107] Intrigued by the strange "god", Ganath chose to accompany him to the sea's shore where she witnessed him ritually summon an army of the sea's dead, including the Bridgeburners who died at Coral. Paran requested that they help him find the Deragoth to destroy the T'rolbarahl, Dejim Nebrahl, released by the Nameless Ones.[108]

The ghost of Hedge travelled with Ganoes and Ganath to the primordial Jaghut underworld, Verdith'anath, also known as "The Bridge of Death". They were soon met by Karpolan Demesand and his Trygalle Trade Guild caravan whom Paran had contracted to accompany them.[109] At the start of the journey, Hedge pulled Paran aside to probe for the possibility that the Master of the Deck might create an Unaligned Soldier card as a reward for the dead army's aid. Paran said he would think on it.[110]

Paran rode his horse alongside the caravan as it fought its way past a horde of ochre-skinned beast-men on the bridge. He rescued Trygalle shareholder Thyrss after she was pulled down by a mob of creatures. When the later discovered the wrecked carriage of missing Trygalle sorcerer, Darpareth Vayd, Paran recognised the scent of his "kin", Doan and Ganrod, as the culprits. He determined the two Hounds of Shadow had passed this way after he had freed them from Dragnipur. A gateway at the end of the bridge brought them to the Nascent.[111]

Upon entering the Nascent they were stalked by a massive scaled and bear-like creature. Paran sent it elsewhere using a hastily drawn card from the Deck.[112] Arriving at their destination they found seven enormous statues of the Deragoth (five complete and two shattered). Paran understood that Doan and Ganrod had reunited and conjoined with their Deragoth counterparts in the shattered statues. At the base of one statue was a driftwood shrine where Paran and Ganath discovered the ritually sacrificed bodies of Darpareth Vayd and her last client, Sedara Orr. Paran instructed Hedge to destroy the remaining statues with munitions to free the Deragoth. While Hedge prepared his charges, Paran called upon an irritated Shadowthrone using the Deck. Paran notified the god that he planned to release all of the Deragoth to hunt Dejim Nebrahl, an idea Shadowthrone found "profoundly stupid". He was further enraged when Paran requested that he send the Hounds of Shadow to Seven Cities as well. But Paran understood that the freed Deragoth would first seek out their counterparts and if this occurred in the Shadow Realm all of Shadowthrone's plans would literally be "torn to pieces". Shadowthrone reluctantly agreed.[113]

Hedge destroyed the Deragoth statues and Karpolan led the caravan's escape by Warren just ahead of the angered Deragoth. Hedge was left behind despite Paran's best efforts. The gate led to a realm of the dead where they were swarmed by countless undead until Ganath pulled them into Omtose Phellack. The frenzied journey left the carriage shattered and several shareholders and horses dead.[114][115] Ultimately Karpolan brought them back to Seven Cities near G'danisban. Ganath took her leave and Paran handed Lorn's otataral sword over to Karpolan as payment. Karpolan shattered the sword and allowed Paran to keep a finger-sized shard.[116]

Returning to the Army[]

Paran made his way to nearby G'danisban, where he found Onearm's Host and was arrested by Futhgar as a suspected deserter.[117] He was brought before Captain Sweetcreek and ordered to be sent to the stockade for probable execution. Rather than submitting, Paran knocked out Futhgar and Sweetcreek and left them bound and gagged in the captain's tent. Making his way towards the High Fist's command tent, he came across outrider Hurlochel who knew him from the Pannion campaign. Being saluted by Hurlochel helped establish Paran's credentials as an officer.[118]

Hurlochel informed Paran that Dujek had traced the source of the Bluetongue Plague ravaging Seven Cities to the Grand Temple of Poliel in G'danisban. Dujek led a company of veterans against the temple expecting 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.[119] Paran reluctantly took over command of the Host. Not wanting to use his real name, he took Hurlochel's suggestion to pretend to be Captain Kindly.[120]

Master of the Deck by Celtic Botan

Paran entered G'danisban to confront Poliel, bringing only the reluctant Noto Boil, army healer and former priest of Soliel. Within the dead city they were approached by Naval D'natha, who Noto Boil recognised as the Chosen of Soliel. The healer was astonished when Paran brusquely refused the goddess' aid to hide. Instead Paran was found by Brokeface and his gang and brought to Poliel's altar chamber. Paran's unexpected entrance on horseback inadvertently spared Torahaval Delat, Quick Ben's sister, from dying at the goddess' hands. Proclaiming that she did not fear Soletaken and unable to perceive his true nature, Poliel was stunned when the Master of the Deck pinned her hand to the world with the shard of otataral taken from Lorn's sword. Paran departed with the words, "Mess with mortals, Poliel, and you pay." As part of his bargain with Shadowthrone, the Hounds of Shadow quickly deposited Dejim Nabrahl at Poliel's feet and the pursuing Deragoth tore both Poliel and the T'rolbarahl apart.[121]

The Master of the Deck then dragged Noto Boil to the Temple of Soliel where he used his power to summon the angry goddess herself. He commanded her to temporarily grant Noto Boil and the other survivors of G'danisban the power to heal the plague across Seven Cities. But it was already too late for Dujek, who had perished soon after Paran had entered the city.[122] 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.[123] The former High Fist's armour, with a new sleeve of chain attached, was passed on to their new commander.[124] Paran asked imperial artist, Ormulogun, to create him a new Deck of Dragons.[125]

After finishing up the loose ends in G'danisban, Paran took the Host east towards Hanar Ara where he sensed power.[126] Before he could reach the City of the Fallen, the eastern sky lit up as a dozen suns began falling from the sky. Paran hurriedly called Ormulogun for the in-progress Deck, hoping to seek help from Mael. But Paran discovered the only completed card brought him before Hood at the gate to his realm. Paran struck a hurried but unrevealed bargain with the god to stop what was coming. When Paran came back to his senses, his soldiers asked him if he had just saved the world.[127]

Near Hanar Anar, the Host was approached by four thousand tribal warriors on horseback. Mathok, a former commander of Sha'ik Reborn's rebel armies at the Battle of Raraku, surrendered himself and his army to Paran. When Paran quizzed him about the City of the Fallen, he learned it was populated by a dissolute cult led by a new Sha'ik Reborn preaching salvation after death. Although agreeing the cult would prove dangerous in the future, he could not bring himself to follow Mathok's advice to slaughter its followers. Instead Paran appointed Mathok a Fist, inducted the former rebels into his Host, then turned the army around to march for Aren.[128]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Inflamed by lust and ambition from exposure to the Demon spirit-god trapped in Settle Lake, the Errant rashly sought to reclaim his lost power by initiating a war between the Holds and the upstart Warrens. As he prepared to stab Feather Witch and add her blood sacrifice to the Tiles of the Holds in the Cedance, the ghost of Kuru Qan tried to stop him. The former Ceda warned the Errant that the Warrens had their own protector, the Master of the Deck. The Errant, who had previously not heard of such an entity, said such a being would be child before him. He would wrest away his power, and perhaps pity him as he took his life.[129]

The sole Malazan among the Awl on Lether, Toc Anaster thought of Ganoes Paran as one of only a handful of people he had ever trusted.[130]

In Toll the Hounds[]

(Information needed)

In Dust of Dreams[]

(Information needed)

In The Crippled God[]

Ganoes and Tavore reunited by Shadaan

Paran and his Host arrived in northern Kolanse by infiltrating the North Citadel (called North Keep by the Forkrul Assail) via Warren. During the siege, Paran told his High Mage Noto Boil that he only answers to the Empress. When Boil pointed out that the Empress is dead, Paran replied that that means he answers to no one, not even the High Mage.[131] They were subsequently besieged at the stronghold but broke the siege and marched south, destroying two other Assail forces along the way.

They arrived in time to save the Bonehunters after which he was reunited with his sister, Tavore. He attended the funerals for Gesler, Stormy and other combatants of the Battle of the Spire near Kolanse City.


"Of all the weapons we turn upon ourselves, guilt is the sharpest, Silverfox. It can carve one’s own past into unrecognizable shapes, false memories leading to beliefs that sow all kinds of obsessions."
―Ganoes Paran speaking with Silverfox about her mother, the Mhybe[src]
"The heart of wisdom is tolerance. I think."
―Ganoes Paran[src]
Anomander Rake: "Whatever you've done to draw the attention of gods, it was unwise."
Ganoes Paran: "It seems I never learn."
Anomander Rake (smiling): "Then we are much alike, mortal."
―Ganoes and Rake meet as the Hounds of Shadow attack[src]
Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Memories of Ice.


Ganoes Paran by AJK

Paran touched the blood of a Hound of Shadow slain by Anomander Rake, which caused him to walk unchained into Dragnipur. This encounter also led to Paran taking on some hound-like qualities. When encountering Paran, the Hound Rood was puzzled by feelings of kinship.[132] Although not fully Soletaken, Paran on a few occasions became almost invisible within a writhing, shadow-woven hound.[133]

"Not Soletaken...not Soletaken at all, although it might at first seem so. Alas, Poliel, more complicated than that."
―Ganoes Paran[src]
"Not a Soletaken — not a veering. These are two creatures — man and beast — woven together... somehow. And the power behind it — it's Shadow. Kurald Emurlahn."
Quick Ben[src]

Paran had no recollection of what happened during his transformations.[134]

He was given the name Jen'isand Rul, which in Rhivi meant "the Wanderer Within the Sword", by Silverfox.[135]

Author's comments[]

  • In a 2020 interview, Erikson revealed that Felisin was the one chosen by Oponn to die in Ganoes' place after the assassination attempt at Pale in Gardens of the Moon. At the time Oponn had told the Gatekeeper to Hood's Realm they would look for another in Ganoes' shadow to suffer a premature and meaningless death in his place.[136]
  • Erikson says a subtext of Gardens of the Moon was that Lorn was grooming Ganoes Paran to serve as her replacement as Adjunct. But this went by the wayside when Paran broke his way free within the sword, Chance.[137]
Significant plot details end here.

Notes and references[]

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.49
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xii
  3. Ten Very Big Books podcast As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 18:44
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.5
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.39
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.23 - comment made by Lorn
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.27
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.48
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.565
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.36
  11. 11.0 11.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.118
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.6
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.3
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.4
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.95
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.4-8
  17. 17.0 17.1 Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.8
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.23
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, US HC p.101
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.235
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.25
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.27/30
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.28
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.40
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.42
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.44
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.149
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.94
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.94-97
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.41
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.94
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.97/98
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.99/100
  35. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.113-117
  36. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.136-138
  37. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.122
  38. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.123/124
  39. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.153
  40. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.135-140
  41. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.138
  42. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.139/140
  43. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.141
  44. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.140/141
  45. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.153-155
  46. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.154
  47. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.326
  48. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.279
  49. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.268/295
  50. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161-166
  51. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.167
  52. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.279
  53. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.280-284
  54. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.283/299/317
  55. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.315
  56. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.325-328
  57. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.462-472
  58. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.476-482
  59. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.497-505
  60. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.505-510
  61. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.535-543
  62. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.543-549
  63. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.550-554
  64. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.562-564
  65. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.565
  66. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.588
  67. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.606
  68. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.636-638
  69. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.638-644
  70. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.644-647
  71. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.664
  72. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, UK MMPB p.679
  73. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.82-85
  74. Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.93/94
  75. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.77-78/85
  76. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.146-147
  77. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.204
  78. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.190-196
  79. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.223-235
  80. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.219
  81. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.133-136
  82. Memories of Ice, Chapter 11
  83. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.560-566
  84. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.568-572
  85. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.576-577
  86. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.577-582
  87. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.583-598
  88. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.631/655/658-662
  89. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.778-779
  90. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.709
  91. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.819-824
  92. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.1030-1034
  93. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.876-877
  94. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.877-878
  95. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.943/960-966
  96. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.966-968
  97. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.985-988
  98. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.991-992
  99. Memories of Ice, Epilogue, US SFBC p.997-998
  100. House of Chains, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.424
  101. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.827
  102. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.592
  103. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.811
  104. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.435
  105. 105.0 105.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.211-215
  106. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.256-258
  107. The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, US TPB p.305-306
  108. The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.377-378/392-397
  109. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.434-436
  110. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.438-441
  111. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.445-449
  112. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.460-461
  113. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.466-468
  114. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.461-470
  115. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.512
  116. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.512-514
  117. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.623-626
  118. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13
  119. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.518-519
  120. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.626-631
  121. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.617
  122. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.628-630/633
  123. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.595-601/611-630/632-633
  124. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.656
  125. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.658
  126. The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.809
  127. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.775-776/780-782/792
  128. The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.808-812
  129. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.282-288
  130. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 22, US HC p.702
  131. The Crippled God, Chapter 1
  132. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, US HC p.461
  133. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.1033
  134. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.1034
  135. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4
  136. Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 2 - See 37:45
  137. Critical Conversations 08: Character Agency in Gardens of the Moon with Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 22:40
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