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Malazan Wiki

Seven Cities detail

Seven Cities subcontinent

Hissar was a city on the eastern coast of the Seven Cities continent.[1] It lay at the feet of the Sahul Sea, while the Sialk Odhan was to its west. Across the strait was Dosin Pali.

The city's people were called "Hissari".[2]

By ship, it took about a month to travel from Hissar to Aren.[3]


Although Hissar was an important port and a central landing for the occupying Malazan Empire, it was designed with its spiritual back towards the sea. From the desert trading camps outside the city's main west wall entrance, the guldindha tree-lined Dryjhna colonnade ran straight through the heart of the city past unwalled estate gardens to the palace of the old Holy Falah'd. Surrounding its immense walls of mortared bricks of fired mud was a ring of ancient buildings and narrow alleys.[4]

The city's Malazan population lived in the Estates District of the Malazan Quarter. Their merchants and nobles maintained private household guards amidst walled estates surrounding the taverns and shops of Imperial Square.[5][6]


Conquered by the Malazan Empire, the city was ruled by a Fist and occupied by the Malazan 7th Army. The army was headquartered at the Malazan Imperial compound, which was a large complex built of stone at the city's western gate. Inside its walls were a barracks, an administrative building, and a training field.[7][8] Order was maintained within the city with the help of the Hissar Guard, which was made up of local troops.[9]


Ritual gestures of gratitude to the old Falah'd were forbidden by the Malazans since the time they had dispatched his corpse to the bottom of the city's bay.[10]

The "Circle of Seasons" was a ritual in which two seers faced each other and conducted a divination involving symbolic language and complex gesticulations. It sometimes resulted in the death of one of the seers.[11]

Early afternoons in the summer dry-season were known for marrok, when many residents retired indoors to nap and wait out the worst of the heat.[12]

On particularly hot mornings, local residents crowded into the city's tepid and murky fountains before retiring to their cooler homes at mid-day.[13]

Surrounding area[]

A road passed through the city's northern gate past the coast and its outlying slums of shacks and huts. The road soon forked with its left branch skirting around the city's western side to the Malazan barracks compound. The right branch continued northward a half mile up the coast to a fishing village where Corporal Gesler's Malazan Coastal Guard was based.[14]

Hissar was connected to Ahol Tapur in the north via the Tapur Road which, inland, ran parallel to the coast of the Otataral Sea.[15]

In the Odhan northwest of the city was a dried up oasis surrounded by gnarled and withered cedars. The ancient trees were over a thousand years old and bore the antlers of unfortunate Bhederin who had become caught in their branches.[16]

On a hill south of the city were the ruins of an immense monastery. A maze of chest-high walls, alleys, and cul-de-sacs surrounded the relatively intact central temple.[17]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

As tensions rose in 1164 BS between the people of Seven Cities and their Malazan occupiers, Empress Laseen dispatched Fist Coltaine to take command of the 7th Army in Hissar. High Fist Pormqual welcomed the new Fist and his Wickan troops to Seven Cities by sending Mallick Rel as his representative (a calculated insult).[18] At the same time, Admiral Nok and the Sahul Fleet were ordered to return to Aren while Baria Setral brought his contingent of fanatically pro-Empire Red Blades to the city from Dosin Pali.[19][20]

Coltaine made use of the ruined monastery complex south of the city to prepare his troops for urban combat and escort missions. This proved foresightful when Hissar became one of the first cities to fall to the Army of the Whirlwind. Whirlwind forces broke into the Imperial Compound during the night with sorcery, but Coltaine's troops were not caught unprepared. Although forced to abandon the compound, their attackers were killed by the score. The Hissari had been more successful against the private guards of the Malazan Estates, dragging men, women, and children into the streets for slaughter. But Coltaine had anticipated the attack and sent his Wickans into the city on horseback. The Wickans ambushed the Hissari at Imperial Square, eliminating nearly all of the attackers with their arrows.[21]

Afterwards, Coltaine's army guided tens of thousands of Malazan refugees into the Sialk Odhan on a journey that would become known as the Chain of Dogs.

Notes and references[]