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Kettle was an undead, human girl, forever nine or ten years old, who inhabited the grounds of the Azath Tower in Letheras.[1] She was pale-skinned and naked, with long hair clotted by blood framing her heart-shaped face. Her black eyes were covered with a dull film.[2] She had no memory of her life before her death.[3]

She served as Guardian of the Azath House by killing "bad people" in Letheras and feeding their bodies to the House's grounds.[4][5] She preferred dispatching her victims by biting out their throats because she enjoyed the smell of blood, and when it coagulated it kept her hair out of her face.[4] The House's choice to make her Guardian was a sign of its advanced age and faltering power as she was unready for what the role fully entailed.[6] The House communicated with her using thoughts and feelings.[7] She could see in the dark.[8]

She was given the name Kettle by the undead thief, Shurq Elalle, who Kettle desperately wished would be her mother.[9][10] Shurq had no interest in being anyone's mother, but regularly visited the girl and attempted to discover the origin of her curse.[11]

In Midnight TidesEdit

Kettle aided the Azath Tower in Letheras while it slowly weakened and died. Despite her efforts, the Azath continued to decline and several of its prisoners began communicating with her. While some like Sheltatha Lore promised rewards, others like the Seregahl promised that they would tear her to pieces when they escaped.[12][13]

The House knew the girl would not be ready to defend herself against the hundreds of creatures that would be released upon its death, so it made a bargain to free one of its most powerful prisoners, Silchas Ruin, for his aid.[14] As Silchas slowly worked his way free, he spoke with Kettle regularly and showed her visions of other places. The man who she referred to as uncle told her that she bore the soul of a Forkrul Assail which was not entirely awake. Kettle also recalled that she had once been an adult priestess of the Nameless Ones from Seven Cities. She had journeyed to Letheras with five Nerek witches who prepared her and the body of a dead girl to accept the Nameless One's soul. She recalled her child body being wrapped for burial and her 'other body' observing. The witches told her that she had been prepared from birth and that she was a true child of the Eres. She was also told that she was the answer to the Seventh Closure because she had the blood of kin.[15] In effect, she bore two souls, neither of which was the child's original. Ruin promised to one day find her a body of her own.[16]

Kettle found herself drawn into the plans of Shurq's friends who she named Father Tehol, Uncle Bugg, and Uncle Ublala.[17] Bugg visited her regularly and discovered she was slowly returning to life. Her heart began to beat several times a day and she began to feel aches and twinges where she had only been numb before.[18] Bugg sought out additional help in case Ruin was unable to free himself in time.[19]

The girl was also visited by Brys Beddict and later Ceda Kuru Qan. Kettle introduced Uncle Brys to Ruin, who asked for two swords to assist him in defending the Tower grounds. After the House's death, Kettle provided the Ceda with a new tile for the Cedance representing the Hold of Death which had begun manifesting in the House's place.[20] Kettle's skin began to repair itself with new pink skin and she once again knew thirst.[21] She helped Shurq recruit thousands of ghost volunteers gathering around the new Hold's grounds for the thief's raid on the Tolls Repository.[22]

When the five Seregahl finally did break free, Ruin was still struggling to free himself from his barrow. Fortunately for Kettle, Bugg returned with the Crimson Guard Avowed, Iron Bars, to challenge the Tarthenal gods.[23][24] They were soon joined by Udinaas, the human host for a Wyval and Wither, the Shadow wraith. The Wvyal burst from Udinaas' body to burrow into the earth to rescue its master, Silchas Ruin, while Wither convinced Kettle to save the dying Udinaas with a drop of her blood.[25] With his servants' help, Ruin was able to escape and slay the Seregahl. His task complete, Ruin readied to leave the House's grounds and Kettle asked to join him. Ruin promised Shurq he would keep the girl safe, and they found their way to the home of Seren Pedac. The Acquitor accepted their request to guide them out of the city which had just fallen to Emperor Rhulad Sengar and his Tiste Edur. Their party was joined by Fear Sengar, Wither, and a still unconscious Udinaas.[26]

In Reaper's GaleEdit

The Travellers by Autumn Tavern

The Travellers by Autumn Tavern

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Kettle.

She carried the seed of the Azath within her, and, accompanied by Silchas Ruin, Udinaas, Fear Sengar and others managed to plant a new Azath House within a warren, which killed the human aspect of her.

Significant plot details end here.

SpeculationsEdit

  • Her father may have been Trull Sengar who was raped for his seed by the time traveling Eres'al long after Kettle's birth.[27] When asked who Kettle's father was, author Steven Erikson said, "I probably [knew] at the time. I can't remember now."[28]
  • Udinaas traveled to a tower buried beneath the ice fields of Lether in one of his visions. Inside he found the frozen form of a Forkrul Assail standing over the murdered bodies of a Jaghut family. The back of the killer's head had recently been stoved in by a fist and a set of bloody child-sized footprints led from the body to the tower's doorway. The child may have been Kettle and the Forkrul Assail may have been the source of one of her souls.[29]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.153
  2. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.153-154
  3. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.145
  4. 4.0 4.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.152-155
  5. Midnight Tides, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.385
  6. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.155
  7. Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.308
  8. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.444
  9. Midnight Tides, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.201
  10. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.153
  11. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.145/153-154
  12. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.429
  13. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.152-155
  14. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.155-156
  15. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.539-542
  16. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.448
  17. Midnight Tides, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.379
  18. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.428
  19. Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.428-429
  20. Midnight Tides, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.534-536
  21. Midnight Tides, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.534
  22. Midnight Tides, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.532-533
  23. Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.704-705
  24. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.716
  25. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.727-728
  26. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.756-757/765
  27. House of Chains, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.747-748
  28. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:46:50
  29. Midnight Tides, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.171-172
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