Grub was the adopted name of an orphan boy adopted by Captain Keneb from among the survivors of the Chain of Dogs. He was placed in Keneb's care by another survivor, Duiker, the Imperial Historian, and raised by Keneb in the company of the Malaz 14th Army.
Grub was unaccountably attuned to the mystical aspects of the world, though he had not been trained as a mage.
In House of Chains[edit | edit source]
Grub first appeared as a dire omen before Adjunct Tavore Paran and the 8th Legion in Aren as the Malaz 14th Army readied to march against the Army of the Whirlwind in Raraku. As the Adjunct reviewed her troops, the boy slipped the supervision of his nurse to stand in Tavore's footsteps carrying a human bone in his hand. The troops were shocked into silence.
- "There was no doubt among them concerning the meaning of the omen, and Strings was inclined to agree. A child leads us to our deaths. A leg bone to signify our march, withered under the curse of the desert sun. We've all lived too long, seen too much, to deceive ourselves of this one brutal truth: this army of recruits now see themselves as already dead."
- ―Strings explains the Legion's reaction
By the time the army reached the Whirlwind encircling Raraku, Fist Gamet had decided to end his life for fatal mistakes made during an engagement against Leoman's desert warriors. Before he could walk into the Whirlwind's fury, he was unaccountably intercepted by Grub. The child told Gamet that he spent too much time thinking about things there was no point in thinking about. Then he said Keneb was looking for Gamet and went to tell his father he found him. When Keneb found Gamet soon after, Keneb told the Fist he had not seen the boy and had never heard him speak before.
Gamet saw Grub again on the eve of the Battle of Raraku. The boy woke Nil and Nether to observe the spirits of the dead gathering on the battlefield. Then the boy told Gamet to join the cavalry forming on the battlefield's centre. After Gamet and the spirits of the dead attacked and destroyed the opposing Dogslayers, it was revealed that Gamet had died in his sleep back in camp.
According to the Epigraph for Chapter 19 in House of Chains, Grub eventually became the First Sword of the Late Empire period.
- "It was said the captain's adopted child - who at that time was known by the unfortunate name of Grub - refused the wagon on the march. That he walked the entire way, even as, in the first week beneath the year's hottest sun, fit and hale soldiers stumbled and fell.
This is perhaps invention, for by all accounts he was at that time no more than five years of age. And the captain himself, from whose journals much of that journey and the clash in which it culminated is related in detail, writes very little of Grub, more concerned as he was with the rigours of command. As a result, of the future First Sword of the Late Empire period, scant details, beyond the legendary and probably fictitious, are known."
- ―Lives of the Three
In The Bonehunters[edit | edit source]
Sinn was frequently found accompanying him. He was also accompanied by the Hengese lap dog, Roach, and Wickan cattle-dog, Bent. Sinn, whom many assumed to be either mute or dumb, did speak to Grub, however, normally only when out of earshot of others.
Adjunct Tavore Paran used Grub as a messenger to call impromptu staff meetings. When Quick Ben spoke the boy's name he made a warding gesture and indicated to Fiddler that there was more to Grub than he appeared.
A few days after the 14th Army had been resupplied with troops, Grub gave Keneb some of his cryptic answers, amongst them saying that 'she is our last hope' but not naming 'she'.
Keneb thought of Grub's comments as a 'disordered host of peculiar observations'. Amongst those observations, Grub seemed to hint at glory or maybe infamy to come for Temul, in whose company the boy was often found.
After the fall of Y'Ghatan, Grub again gave Keneb cryptic clues, seemingly displaying knowledge of the soldiers tunneling beneath the city as well as other things to come.
Grub told Keneb to delay the boarding of the ships by one day as otherwise they would all die two days after leaving the Sepik Island. Amongst other things, Grub also said that he found a bone whistle and would keep it for him who would want it back. Keneb admitted to Tavore that he caused the delay on Grub's advice just as the survivors who tunneled their way out of Y'Ghatan arrived down the road.
Grub appeared towards the end, during the clash in Malaz City, to inform Lostara that she was needed. He led her to Pearl who was by then suffering a long drawn-out death, and persuaded her to kill him out of mercy, whilst at the same time, judiciously not telling her who killed Pearl, so that she would not seek revenge. Grub then led her to watch as the Eres'al left the body of the dead T'amber, telling Lostara that she must never tell Tavore about this and agreeing that this and the secret about Tavore's sister were the only ones which she had to keep. He then asked her to join the Bonehunters and help Tavore.
In Reaper's Gale[edit | edit source]
In Dust of Dreams[edit | edit source]
He and Sinn followed Bent and Roach into the dying Azath Tower in Letheras and disappeared into a Warren for a time, only to reappear at a crucial point in the battle between the K'Chain Nah'ruk and the K'Chain Che'Malle. Their intervention turned the battle in favour of the K'Chain Che'Malle.
In The Crippled God[edit | edit source]
Whilst riding with the K'Chain Che'Malle towards the Bonehunters, Grub asked Sinn to reach out with her mind to the Adjunct. Sinn told him that the barrier of the Otataral sword would not let 'them' in. This seemed to indicate that at this point Grub was able to use magic intentionally. He finally parted company with Sinn and ultimately took command of the Letherii troops in battle against the Kolansii.
Speculations[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- House of Chains, Dramatis Personae
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, SFBC p.317
- House of Chains, Chapter 22
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.317-318
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.318-320/341-342
- House of Chains, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.716-719
- House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.799
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.832
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.122
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.102
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.239/240
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.288
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.389
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.419
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.777/778
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.815
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.1136/1137/
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.1159
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.1160/1161
- The Crippled God, Chapter 3, UK HC p.72