Heboric 2

Interpretation of Heboric by Yapattack

Heboric Light Touch also called Heboric Ghost Hands was an exiled historian and ex-High Priest of Fener.[1][2]

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."[3]

His tattoos were magical in nature, quickly healing his wounds.[4] 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.[5]


In Deadhouse Gates

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.[6]

The historian and his companions escaped the Skullcup camp when the native guards revolted as part of the Whirlwind uprising.[7] 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, which became saturated with the otataral-tinged other-worldly power of the jade.[8]


Jade hand by Corporal Nobbs

Dying of hunger and thirst in the desert and desperate for aid, Baudin pushed the stump of the unconscious Heboric's hand against the seal tattoo on his chest. The "touch" of the poisoned hand opened the god's warren and pushed Fener unwillingly into the mortal realm.[9] Afterwards, Heboric possessed two ghostly hands, invisible to normal sight but capable of interacting with the world with great strength. To those with the sensitivity to see them, the left was outlined by the tattoos of Fener while the right was shot through with veins of red otataral and jade.[10][11]

The trio were rescued from the coast by Kulp, Gesler, Stormy, and Truth. But their ship fell through the warrens, and Heboric, Felisin, Baudin, and Kulp were dropped in the Holy Desert of Raraku.[12] There, Heboric was blinded by a sandstorm, but gained a supernatural vision that gave him extraordinary knowledge and insight.[13]

After the deaths of Baudin and Kulp at the hands of Gryllen, Heboric and Felisin stumbled upon the corpse of Sha'ik and her bodyguards, Leoman and Toblakai.[14] Leoman brought them to the Whirlwind camp at the Raraku oasis where Felisin opened the Book of Dryjhna and took up the mantle of Sha'ik Reborn.[15]

In House of Chains

He escaped with Felisin Younger, Scillara, and Greyfrog before Sha'ik Reborn's death.

In The Bonehunters

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.

In The Crippled God

Heboric's soul was rejected by Hood. He was shown to be still traumatized by the events that occurred in Deadhouse Gates, though he was consoled by K'rul and Mael.

In the finale, he chained Korabas to save her from T'iam, with the aid of the Crippled God.


Heboric had once been a cut-purse from the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City before becoming a priest and historian.[16] In his writings he had criticized the works of Duiker as deliberate lies.[17]

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

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