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Hairlock [Hair-lock] was a mage of the 2nd Army's mage cadre[1] under Tattersail.[2]

He had small, dark eyes, yellow teeth, a flat, scarred brow and a shaved head. His nose was flat, mashed and misaligned. Hairlock would sweat profusely, regardless of the temperature.[3][4]

Hairlock dressed in satin slippers and wore a garment with brocaded sleeves.[5] In his last battle he wore a dark grey raincoat.[6]

He had a book that was valuable to him. From context (Tattersail's book was mentioned shortly before) one has to assume it was a book about sorcery, likely that of his Warren.[7]

In Gardens of the Moon[]


Hairlock was from Seven Cities, and had fought against the Malazan Empire. After Aren fell he was given a choice between death and service to the Empire.[8] It was implied that he and the Imperial High Mage Tayschrenn had an adversarial history[9] stemming from this period, though the specifics were never elaborated. Hairlock joined the 2nd Malaz Army's mage cadre at Pan'potsun. He was also present at the betrayal and fall of Dassem Ultor.[10]

When the Mage Cadre Commander Nedurian died, Tattersail was promoted to the rank in preference to Hairlock, something he resented. According to Calot, Hairlock was not given the job due to his ambivalence.[11]

Just prior to Gardens of the Moon, he was under the command of High Fist Dujek Onearm, running personal errands for him.[12]

Kalam, Quick Ben, and Whiskeyjack standing over dying Hairlock. (Official art by Michael Kormack)

The Siege of Pale[]

On the final day of the Siege of Pale, Hairlock was positioned on the hill furthest from Moon's Spawn along with Tattersail and Calot.[13] A wave of sorcery descended on him and destroyed him below the hips with only his magic keeping him alive a little longer.[14] Hairlock told Tattersail that he suspected that the attack which had wounded him had not come from Rake, who had not been aiming, but had been a deliberate attack coming from the wrong side, from the plain, implicating Tayschrenn.[15]

Once the battle was over, Hairlock was approached by Whiskeyjack, Kalam and Quick Ben which had been pre-arranged. The latter performed a ritual of soulshifting which transferred Hairlock's soul to a wooden puppet. Quick Ben then entrusted the wrapped puppet to Tattersail with instructions to open the package later, in private.[16]

During the performance of the ritual, Quick Ben kept Sorry away.[17]

The deal for the soul-shifting had likely been worked out when Hairlock was sent into the tunnels where the Bridgeburners were digging just prior to the Siege. He told Dujek that he had been shown around by some Sapper named Fiddler.[18]

The Puppet[]

Hairlock the puppet Interpretation by Johntocaelpiano

The ritual performed by Quick Ben, in which Hairlock's soul was shifted into the body of a puppet, was known as soulshifting and had not been performed in a thousand years. During the ritual, webs of black energy spun over the wrapped puppet which was laid upon Hairlock's body, then encompassed the mage's body. The threads traced a chaotic pattern until Hairlock drew his last breath.[19]

When still wrapped, the puppet was described as being about the length from just under Hairlock's chin to a few inches beyond what was left of his torso.

Soon after Tattersail returned to her tent, the wrapped bundle displayed signs of motion. Tattersail cut it open and revealed a wooden marionette, dressed in bright yellow silk clothing, a floppy hat and with the features of Hairlock painted upon its face.[20] The puppet had tiny gloved hands and Tattersail thought of Hairlock's eyes as shining bright and mad.[21] He carried small knives.[22]

Hairlock had always made Tattersail feel uneasy, but she now felt a certain amount of fear when facing him.[7]

Controlled by Quick Ben, Hairlock was tasked with finding out who wanted the death of the Bridgeburners and whether the recruit Sorry had any link to High House Shadow.[23] As the regular paths were trip-wired, the puppet travelled the Chaos paths that lay between the Warrens. Doing so, the puppet quickly went insane and it's natural irascibility increased as it became more powerful.[24] Hairlock claimed that he choose where to go, uncontrolled, which sowed some doubts in Tattersail's mind about Quick Ben's control of the puppet.[25]

Hairlock by HemlockMilk

Hairlock trespassed on the Shadow Realm and was followed by the Hounds of Shadow. One of them, Gear, tracked the puppet back to Tattersail's abode and attacked the sorceress. Hairlock, after initially hiding, ambushed the Hound with chaotic magic. Ganoes Paran's intervention ended the fight.[26]

Although Tattersail lay fevered afterwards, Hairlock did not her or Paran, to whom he had taken a dislike, as the ease with which Tattersail had somehow instinctively raised a spell to ward Paran from being discovered by Tayschrenn seemed to have scared the puppet and Tattersail herself seemed to be warded.[27]

Not long after, Tattersail was still unconscious, Quick Ben summoned Hairlock just prior to crossing Lake Azur into Darujhistan. The way his ritual was set up meant they would meet half way. Recognised the Warren of Chaos, Quick Ben thought that Hairlock had gone too far and was losing control. They met at the Spar of Andii. The puppet was described as smeared and scorched, the clothing ripped and frayed. Hairlock's painted eyes were flickering with black flame, the leaking of Chaotic power. Quick Ben warned Hairlock about the dangers of travelling through Chaos. Hairlock updated Quick Ben on events in Pale. The puppet was unhappy about being kept in the dark with regards to Gods being involved in events. Hairlock began talking to himself, seemingly unaware of Quick Ben listening. During those ramblings he talked about being disappointed that Gear did not kill Tattersail. Quick Ben eventually told him to pursue Tayschrenn's plans then abruptly dismissed the puppet with a kick, eliciting an outraged growl as it span off into the yellow clouds of the Warren.[28]

Hairlock by Shadaan

Hairlock's madness caused him to consider both Paran and Tattersail enemies. Fearful of Paran's sword Chance, he bided his time waiting for the right opportunity to murder them.[29]

Hairlock eventually began tracking Adjunct Lorn and Onos T'oolan across the Rhivi Plain towards Darujhistan. Traveling between warrens, he attracted the attention of the Great Ravens who served as Anomander Rake's scouts. Hairlock killed Kin Clip before successfully turning away Crone herself.[30]

Closer to Darujhistan, the puppet ambushed Ganoes Paran and his companion Toc the Younger, casting the Claw through a tear into the warren of Chaos.[31] Before Hairlock could confront Paran, he was destroyed by the Hounds of Shadow who were directed to his location by Quick Ben, who deemed the puppet too unstable. The Bridgeburner mage cut the puppet's strings to immobilise him and prevent him from slipping away again through the warrens.[32]

In Deadhouse Landing[]

(Information needed)

In Kellanved's Reach[]

(Information needed)


Hairlock was adept at using an unnamed Warren. The only clue as to what it might have been was given in Gardens of the Moon when Tattersail revealed that his power was anathema to her own Warren of Thyr.[33] Most likely it was the Warren of Rashan.

Once his soul shifted into that of the puppet, Hairlock began using the Warren of Chaos.[34]

Notes and References[]

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB xii
  2. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64/72
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.53
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64/65
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.89
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.69
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.54
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.69
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65/81
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.72
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.53/76
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.81
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79-82
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.82
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.65/81
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79-81
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.88
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.163
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.262
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, US HC p.104-107
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.126/127
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.164
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.152/164-168
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.279
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.260-263
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.207
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.245-247
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, US HC p.326
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.470
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.63
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.166
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