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The Hounds of Shadow were the servants of High House Shadow and some believed them to be more ancient than the Shadow Realm itself.[1] There "was around each beast an aura of dreadful competence, wrought with vast antiquity like threads of iron."[2]

They were described as being the size of a mule with broad, bunched shoulders[3] and dun brown or shaggy tan coats.[4] The massive Hounds had individually coloured eyes. They were variously described as glowing yellow,[5] red,[6] lurid green,[7] or copper,[7] although one of the Hounds was described as having one blue and one yellow eye.[8] They had dark tongues.[9] When travelling in secret they were capable of leaving behind no footprints, tufts of hair, or other trace of their passage.[10] They carried an acrid, pungent scent.[7] Insects fell silent when they passed in the night.[7]

Their deafening howls sounded like "a thousand sound souls plunging into The Abyss" and overwhelmed anyone hearing them with terror.[11]

The ancient denizen of Shadow Edgewalker called them "kin" and "fellow slaves to Shadow." He insisted they would never hurt him, even if ordered by the ruler of Shadow.[12] Yet the Hounds treated him warily, stalking him for their own amusement.[13]

The Hounds were able to communicate with Shadowthrone in a way not detailed.[14]

The Hounds[]

Hounds of Shadow by Sarinjin

  • Baran – mate to Blind
  • Blind – mate to Baran and mother of Gear
  • Doan – largest, first born to Rood and its first mate Pallick, was taken by Dragnipur on the Rhivi Plain
  • Ganrod – was taken by Dragnipur on the Rhivi Plain
  • Gear – son of Blind, marked Seventh amongst Shadowthrone's servants[15]
  • Pallick – absent one
  • Rood – pack leader
  • Shan – long, black, and sleek

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Shadowthrone and the Hounds by Yuloth

In 1161 BS, the Hounds were summoned by Shadowthrone to eliminate a regiment of the Itko Kanese 8th Cavalry to disguise his and Cotillion's abduction of Sorry. A comment by Cotillion indicated that the Hounds' action may have been planned by Shadowthrone only.[16] The Hounds killed 175 soldiers, 210 horses, and over 200 civilians while suffering no casualties of their own.

Shadowthrone was accompanied by two Hounds when he confronted Ganoes Paran in front of Hood's Gate. Shadowthrone and the Hounds flinched when something crackled in the portalway of the gate. Paran recognized the Hounds as the perpetrators of the Itko Kan Massacre and made a silent promise that he would have them yet. The Hounds seemed to sense his animosity.[17]

When Quick Ben intruded in the Warren of Shadow, the Hounds were quick to confront him. He greeted each by name and they herded him to Shadowkeep for an audience with Shadowthrone.[18]

The Hounds tracked Hairlock after the soulshifted puppet trespassed within the Shadow Realm. Gear managed to follow him all the way to Tattersail's lodgings in Pale where he was held at bay by the sorceress and Hairlock. Gear was then wounded by Paran's sword Chance[19] which left him with a scar across the chest. They finally ran Hairlock to ground on the Rhivi Plain and tore him to pieces before confronting the Tiste Andii, Anomander Rake. Rake slew Doan and Ganrod with his soul stealing sword Dragnipur and drove off the others.[20]

Ganoes Paran thought of one of the Hounds killed by Anomander Rake as having been a beautiful beast.[21] Cotillion claimed the Hounds had lived for thousands of years and never before had any been killed.[22]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

Apsalar and a Hound of Shadow by Shadaan

The five remaining Hounds (Rood, Baran, Blind, Gear, and Shan) accompanied Fiddler, Apsalar, Crokus Younghand, Icarium, Mappo, and Iskaral Pust through the maze surrounding Tremorlor.[23] The Hounds served as protection from the hordes of Soletaken and D'ivers following Shadowthrone's false Path of Hands to the Azath House. They also proved as a deterrent against the rage of Icarium. During the journey, the Hounds dispatched the Soletaken Messremb and killed a D'ivers of five Dhenrabi, but cringed in the presence of Moby, the Bhok'arala familiar.[24][25]

Cotillion discovered from Panek that the Hounds could see landmarks in Shadow that he could not. This explained his observation that they often did not travel in straight lines.[26]

In Memories of Ice[]

Toc the Younger was puzzled by Lady Envy's canine companion, Garath. At times, the dog could grow in size to dwarf Baaljagg, the Ay, and his coat became dark, mottled grey and black and his eyes appeared coal-lit. He was powerful enough to bring down the temple of Seerdomin Kahlt. Toc told Envy that Garath could be a Hound of Shadow, and she responded that indeed, Garath "could" be, but that he was reluctant.[27]

In House of Chains[]

The Hounds were troubled by unspecified trembles and agitation, which suggested Shadowthrone and Cotillion's claim to Shadow was threatened. Cotillion desired to know more about their potential enemy and brought his favourite Hounds, Blind and Rood, with him as he assigned tasks to sympathetic allies, Kalam Mekhar and Cutter.[28]

In a discussion between Onrack T'emlava and Trull Sengar, the T'lan Imass revealed that the Logros had only ever encountered the Hounds once during the time of the T'lan Imass First Empire. Onrack said they had appeared seven in number serving an unknown master and had been bent on destruction. He called them untethered, wild and deadly, and unworthy of worship. To truly command them, one needed to first reunite the fragments of Kurald Emurlahn and then sit on the Throne of Shadow as the Warren's master.[29]

When the Throne of Shadow on Drift Avalii was attacked by Tiste Edur warriors, Cutter called on Blind's aid. But the Hound cowered when it recognised the nature of its opponents, forcing Cotillion to intervene and angrily send the Hound away.[30]

In Midnight Tides[]

Fear Sengar and the Tiste Edur of Lether still recalled the time before the shattering of Kurald Emurlahn when the Edur had been the masters of the Hounds.[31]

In The Bonehunters[]

Hounds of Shadow by Dejan Delic

One or more of the Hounds tended to accompany Cotillion on his travels inside and out of Shadow,[32][33] but the god felt he could no longer completely trust them given the mastery the Tiste Edur seemed to hold over them.[34] The Hounds also sometimes amused themselves by stalking Edgewalker.[35]

Ganoes Paran discovered the fate of the two Hounds he had freed from Dragnipur. While he and the Trygalle Trade Guild were passing over Verdith'anath, the Bridge of Death, they found an overturned Guild carriage belonging to Darpareth Vayd whose expedition had been missing for two years. The carriage was torn and gouged and Paran, recognising the scent of his "kin", identified Doan and Ganrod as the culprits.[36]

Paran and the Guild followed the bridge into the Nascent where they discovered seven enormous statues of the Deragoth, the Hounds of Darkness. Five of the statues were intact and two were shattered. Paran indicated that Doan and Ganrod had reunited and conjoined with their counterparts before being freed when the two statues were shattered.[37] (These were the two Deragoth freed in House of Chains by Onrack).[38] Hedge recalled the Deragoth's visit to Sha'ik's camp during the Battle of Raraku where they were killed by Karsa Orlong.[39][40] The two Hounds of Shadow were dead for good this time.

Paran used the Deck of Dragons to call upon Shadowthrone to notify him that he planned to shatter and release the remaining statues freeing all of the Deragoth to hunt Dejim Nebrahl. He asked Shadowthrone to send his Hounds to Seven Cities because the Deragoth would surely seek out their counterparts and it would be better if this did not occur in Shadow.[41]

The Hounds found the T'rolbarahl west of Y'Ghatan as it hunted Masan Gilani and herded it into the path of the Deragoth. After the Deragoth killed four of Dejim's forms the Hounds of Shadow swept in and Baran snatched up its last remaining body in its mouth. Then the Hounds ran southward into the wastes.[42][43][44]

The Deragoth pursued the Hounds all the way to G'danisban where Shadowthrone saw a way to eliminate multiple problems. The Hounds burst into the camp of Onearm's Host outside the city sending Sweetcreek and Futhgar tumbling. Hurlochel saw pure terror in one Hound's eyes as the Deragoth followed.[45] Inside the city, they burst into Poliel's Grand Temple where Ganoes Paran had pinned the goddess with an Otataral shard. Also present was Quick Ben, who Shadowthrone had lured to the temple knowing the otataral would prevent his escape. The mage was there to save his sister, Torahaval Delat, who had been marked for death by the god of Shadow. Baran dropped Dejim Nabrahl while Shan and the other Hounds went for Quick Ben. The mage and his sister were saved only by the sudden appearance of Apsalar, who fought the Hounds using a Shadow Dance, and the skeletal Telorast and Curdle.[46]

The Hounds were forced to depart empty handed as the Deragoth arrived to tear Dejim Nebrahl and Poliel apart. Returning to Shadow to lick their wounds, they were suspicious of Cotillion whose magic they sensed in the dancing figure that had repelled them. Baran growled at Cotillion's outstretched hand as the god protested his innocence.[47]

In Toll the Hounds[]

(Information needed)

In Dust of Dreams[]

Key figures of the Warren of Shadow (Rashan and Meanas).
Interpretation by Shadaan (clockwise from the left) Gear, Cotillion, Shadowthrone, Edgewalker, Shan, and Apsalar

It was stated by Mappo Runt that the Ay were used in breeding the Hounds of Shadow.[48] Though whether or not this was true and how Mappo would have known is as yet unknown.

In The Crippled God[]

(Information needed)

In Night of Knives[]

Several of the Hounds, including Rood, were in Malaz City on the night of the Shadow Moon in 1154 BS. One Hound (with one brown and one pale grey eye) tracked Kiska through the city and killed a group of Bridgeburners and mercenaries at the Southern Crescent Inn. Only the use of a Moranth munition drove it away.[49] Rood fought former Dassem's First Sword Temper and nearly killed him before the Shadow cult intervened.[50][51] A third Hound with green eyes pursued Kiska near the Deadhouse.[52]

In Stonewielder[]

Some of the Hounds tracked Kiska and Jheval through Shadow before trapping them within a crevasse in the rocks. The canny hounds laid in wait for their prey to exit, but ultimately gave up, possibly after being stung once too often by their quarry's attacks.[53]

While in Shadow, Kiska and Jheval also found a K'ell Hunter that had been crippled and left to die by the beasts.[54]

In Dancer's Lament[]

(Information needed)

In Deadhouse Landing[]

(Information needed)

In Kellanved's Reach[]

(Information needed)


Tulas Shorn, a Tiste Edur, was the original master[55] of the Hounds of Shadow, though they were following Shadowthrone[56] at the time of the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Their prior servitude to the Tiste Edur was reflected by Blind's unwillingness to assist Andarist, Cotillion, and Apsalar in the defence of the Throne of Shadow from invading Tiste Edur warriors.[57]

It was hinted that they were, in some fashion, shadows of the Deragoth.[citation needed]


"Cuddly mutts, one and all."
―Cotillion describing the Hounds to the child Panek[src]

Notes and references[]

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.153
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161
  4. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, UK TPB p.185
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.140
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.506-507
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.472
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.139
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1
  11. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.539
  12. Night of Knives, Epilogue, US TPB p.278
  13. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.72
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p.180
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.139/140
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p.279-281
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161-167
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, US HC p.330-332
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.476
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, US HC p.461
  23. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.442
  24. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 18, US HC p.475/482
  25. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.498/500
  26. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.535
  27. Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.399-401/404
  28. House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.262-268
  29. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.370-371
  30. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.652
  31. Midnight Tides, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.41
  32. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.72
  33. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.507
  34. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.80
  35. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.72
  36. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.445-447
  37. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.461-462/467
  38. House of Chains, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.443-447
  39. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.462
  40. House of Chains, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.961-964/968
  41. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.466-467
  42. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.536-546
  43. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.586-587
  44. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.624
  45. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.620-621
  46. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.624-628
  47. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.627-628/630/632
  48. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 20
  49. Night of Knives, Chapter 3, US TPB p.117-120
  50. Night of Knives, Chapter 3, US TPB p.128-131
  51. Night of Knives, Chapter 4, US TPB p.158
  52. Night of Knives, Chapter 5, UK HB p.234
  53. Stonewielder, Chapter 5, UK HC p.223-226
  54. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, UK HC p.144
  55. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 16, UK HB p.600
  56. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  57. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.652
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