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"Let the Dogslayers cower! The Burned Tears have begun the hunt!"

The Burned Tears were a group of three thousand Khundryl warriors,[1] the mightiest Seven Cities tribe south of Vathar. They were led by Gall and had fought at the side of Coltaine and his 7th Army at the Battle of Sanimon. On that day they had sought to prove their prowess against their rival tribes of the Odhans, but had come to recognise Coltaine's Crow clan as the most powerful.[2]

After the battle, they had returned to their homes while Coltaine and the Chain of Dogs marched on to their annihilation. The Burned Tears' shame made them feel as ghosts in their own land. The faces of their wives, husbands, and children were as strangers.[3]

Each had patterns of black tears tattoed down their cheeks. They wore an eclectic collection of bronze scale armour with crow-winged helmets and a strange grayish hide armour that appeared almost reptilian.[4] The weight of their armour sometimes proved difficult for their horses.[5] Leoman suspected the armour had been looted from some tomb.[6]

Over their armour they wore black Telabas and furs. They decorated their forearms with crow wings and their ears with crow feet to honour Coltaine's clan. They carried countless standards topped with ragged streamers, antlers, horns, and skulls.[7]

Notable members of the Khundryl Burned Tears[]

In House of Chains[]

After Coltaine was killed by Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers, the Burned Tears decided that they had to avenge Coltaine, blaming themselves for his fall, and they joined Adjunct Tavore's 14th army. They sought vengeance against Korbolo Dom and his Dogslayers.[8]

The Burned Tears were incorporated into the cavalry arm of the army by the Adjunct, and were accepted by Temul as a part of the Crow Clan. Gall celebrated their alliance with a feast of Bhederin, boar, and barrels of Urtathan, upon which much of the army became drunk.[9]

At Vathar Crossing, Fists Gamet and Tene Baralta sent Gall and his warriors to root out any observers who might object to the army destroying the bridge of blood blocking the army's progress over the river's ford.[10] The Burned Tears also proved to be able opponents against Leoman's attempts to harass the army with his desert cavalry. The Khundryl butchered their fallen opponents taking body parts as trophies.[11]

At the Battle of Raraku, the Burned Tears were kept in reserve behind the fortified positions of the Malazan infantry.[12]

In The Bonehunters[]

After the Battle of Raraku, Leoman led the Army of the Apocalypse westward to Y'Ghatan and the 14th Army followed. While Leoman and his troops were holed up in the city, the Burned Tears were divided into companies and positioned to respond if Leoman surprised them. Along with Temul's Wickans, they provided scouting and reconnaissance.[13]

They did not directly take part in the Malazan assault on Y'Ghatan, but Fist Blistig noted Khundryl witches and warlocks among those attempting to help staunch the blaze engulfing the city. Several burst into flames or melted into ash.[14] Once Leoman's forces were defeated and the city destroyed by fire, the the 14th Army made haste for the Kokakal Sea to embark on Admiral Nok's ships and escape the Bluetongue Plague ravaging Seven Cities.

The two thousand or more Khundryl spent the sea journey back to Quon Tali seasick below decks.[15][16] The Adunct's fleet travelled to Malaz City where Empress Laseen awaited Tavore in Mock's Hold. Tavore's flagship, the Froth Wolf, and the Silanda moored at the city pier while the rest of the fleet remained anchored in the harbour. The entire city seethed with magically induced anger against the 14th Army. The Empress, allied with Mallick Rel, had settled on making both the Wickans and the foreign Khundryl scapegoats and sacrifices for her own political needs. She ordered them to be disarmed and brought ashore. Tavore refused to participate in the slaughter of her loyal troops and turned renegade. She escaped back to her ships and the fleet fled Malaz Bay.[17]

In Reaper's Gale[]

The Khundryl Burned Tears and the majority of the Perish Grey Helms did not take part in the invasion of the Letherii Empire. Fist Keneb described them both only as being "for the moment, far away."[18] Even Adjunct Tavore's aide Lostara Yil was unaware of their role. Tavore would only say the Bonehunters would be joining the Khundryl and the Perish in the east after Letheras was conquered.[19]

In Dust of Dreams[]

The Khundryl Burned Tears were part of Tavore's army. During the attack by the K'Chain Nah'ruk, they were decimated. Of the 6000 that rode in only 880 warriors remained.[20]

In The Crippled God[]

Gall fell into a catatonic state after the massacre of the Khundryl. Realizing her people needed a leader, Hanavat took command of the Khundryl during their march through the Glass Desert.

Notes and references[]