He was described as resembling "a sunken-eyed toad". He was bald, his face webbed in tattooing, minute, black, square-etched symbols hidden within an overall pattern covering skin like a wrinkled scroll", and he had no hands. Of his tattoos, it was said that "the boar's face [overlay] his own, the intricate maze of script-threaded, curled fur [wound] down his arms, covering his exposed thighs and shins, and […] detailed hooves [were] etched into the skin of his feet."
His tattoos were magical in nature, quickly healing his wounds. When active, they became thicker, blacker, and more detailed, depicting each of the boar's hairs. Over his heart he bore the sacred mark of Fener, and his missing right hand had once been tattooed with a key.
Heboric's writings made him a victim of The Cull in Unta when they challenged the competency of Empress Laseen. Imperial Historian Duiker had defended him at trial to no avail and the ex-priest was placed on a slave ship bound for the Otataral mines in Seven Cities. Along the way, he fell in with fellow prisoners, Felisin Paran and Baudin.
The historian and his companions escaped the Skullcup camp when the native guards revolted as part of the Whirlwind uprising. Knowing Duiker had arranged transport, they traveled into the Otataral Desert in an effort to reach the coast. Along their journey, he came in contact with a "jade giant", one of many statues buried in the sands long ago. When he touched it, it burned the stump of his right wrist and became saturated with the otataral-tinged other-worldly power of the jade.
Baudin, in an effort to get aid, pushed an unconscious Heboric's hand against the seal tattoo on his chest, resulting in Fener being pushed into the mortal realm by the poisoned hands which had been stripped of their protective coating by the surge of power.
Heboric was driven mad by the presence of the Otataral in his body as well as the alien presence left by the jade giant. He was killed by the unbound T'lan Imass who kidnapped Felisin Younger. His body was taken to Otataral Island by Cutter, Scillara, Barathol Mekhar, and Chaur. During the jade meteor shower, he took the role as Shield Anvil and accepted the pain of those imprisoned by the jade statues.
Heboric's hands had been ritually severed as part of his excommunication. This meant that 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.
Likely, the reason for the Reve was his particular avenue of historical analysis. His investigation had concluded that Laseen had failed in her attempt to assassinate Kellanved and Dancer and that they had instead ascended. This was knowledge that was dangerous for the Empress and so she called for the ritual and also had him sent to the Otataral mines.
Notes and references
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.17
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Prologue, US HC p.22-23
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 3, US HC p.84
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.184-185/187
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Prologue
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.183
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Prologue, US HC p.26
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6, US HC p.145