An Imperial Sceptre of the Malazans was a device that could be used to both communicate instantly and send objects (or people) over vast distances without requiring a powerful magic user, which was kept incredibly secret within the Malazan Army. One such sceptre, initially sent to Genabackis with High Fist Dujek, was considered the most valuable object in the 5th Army. That sceptre was "about the length of a long-knife [where one] end was a blade, the other sculpted into a three-toed bird’s foot grasping a frosted orb of glass or crystal". It was activated by slamming the blade into a wooden table.
Sergeant Whiskeyjack used a similar device, likely an Imperial Sceptre, to contact Dujek. It was described as consisting of twin bones of a human forearm, yellowed with age, the elbow-end ball joints of which were bound together with verdigrised copper wire. The wrist ends were wrapped as a misshapen knife grip, beyond which jutted a serrated blade. This description was similar to that of the Imperial Sceptre. According to Whiskeyjack, the device originated from a K'Chain Che'Malle tomb and all of the members of the inner ring of military commanders in Emperor Kellanved's time possessed one. Whiskeyjack said it had been the source of much of their success.
The Imperial Sceptre left with the forces in Darujhistan was kept in a small battered travel trunk, a hinged iron box secured by buckled leather straps. The Scepter lay within, wrapped in oiled leathers. Upon learning of the assassination of his mage cadre, Aragan activated the Scepter. Later Spindle was told by a member of the Imperial Delegation in Darujhistan that they had the Imperial Sceptre which originally came to the continent with Dujek. He also told Spindle that the Sceptre had awakened.
In the early days of the formation of the Malazan Empire, the powerful ex-Kartoolian mage, Tayschrenn, was based in Malaz City. He was involved, along with others, in the ongoing recruitment and training there of the individuals who were to become the first official army of the Malazan Empire. At one point, it occurred to Tayschrenn that an issue that needed to be addressed was the problem of communication - that is, how various components/people of the new military force would be able to stay in touch with each other across long distances. Although the new army was to have mages - ideally in each squad - not all squad mages could be expected to have such capabilities. Thinking about this problem, Tayschrenn decided that the development and manufacture of portable devices for communications should be undertaken. The mage soon concluded that the "natural resonance" of certain crystals for this purpose should be explored. To begin with, Tayschrenn was going to work on this undertaking with the sorceress, Nightchill/Sister of Cold Nights, who was already attached to the newly forming army.
Tayschrenn and Nightchill, after much trial and error, developed a prototype of a device which was akin to, if not the precursor of, the Imperial Sceptre. The day arrived when Tayschrenn and the other major mages connected to the Malazan forces were ready to demonstrate the proto-Sceptre.
Surly - in the 'palace' at Dariyal on the Napan Isles - called a meeting of interested people to observe the first trial of this very early version of an Imperial Sceptre-like device. The trial proved to be successful and contact was made with Ap-Athlan in Gris. Ap-Athlan, Gris' court sorcerer, was seen by the observers as a "blurred shape" in the globe of the proto-Sceptre, and Ap-Athlan's faint voice could be heard. After a proposal was suggested by Tayschrenn to the sorcerer, Ap-Athlan answered that he would get back with a reply, via the proto-Sceptre, after consulting with his mistress, Malle of Gris. Although the trial had been a success, it had taken major effort on the part of three mages: Tayschrenn, Hairlock and Calot.
The Imperial Sceptre was likely an improved or altered version of the found devices.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 5, UK MMPB, p.210
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 6, UK MMPB, p.276
- ↑ Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18, UK MMPB p.549/550
- ↑ Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 5, UK PB p.209/210
- ↑ Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 14, US TPB p.216
- ↑ Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 15, US TPB p.232-233
- ↑ Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 16, US TPB p.241
- ↑ Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 16, US TPB p.241-242