- "She knew all about desecration. It was her hobby..."
- ―On Kilmandaros
Kilmandaros [kill-man-DAIR-ōs] was worshipped as an Elder Goddess by the Forkrul Assail. She favoured a form that seemed to possess the physical characteristics of that species, such as more joints than a normal humanoid, allowing her to manipulate her body into odd shapes. She was obsessed with death and destruction. She was the mother of Sechul Lath and step-mother of Errastas.
- "The naked creature that traversed the rough path formed by the fallen dragons was a match to their mass, yet bound to the earth, and it walked on two bowed legs, the thighs thick as thousand-year-old trees. The width of its shoulders was equal to the length of a Tartheno Toblakai's height; from a thick neck hidden beneath a mane of glossy black hair, the frontal portion of the head was thrust forward – brow, cheekbones and jaw, and its deep-set eyes revealing black pupils surrounded in opalescent white. The huge arms were disproportionately long, the enormous hands almost scraping the ground. Its breasts were large, pendulous and pale. As it strode past the battered, rotting carcasses, the motion of its gait was strangely fluid, not at all lumbering, and each limb was revealed to possess extra joints."
- ―Reaper's Gale, Prologue
Kilmandaros was usually described as a very large, muscular, bipedal hominid. She was usually naked, with vaguely luminescent skin the colour of sun-bleached bone. Her hands and arms frequently displayed the effects of some recent battering.
In Midnight Tides
Shortly after the sundering of Kurald Emurlahn, the Malazan world was invaded through a violent rent by the combined armies of Silchas Ruin's Tiste Andii and Scabandari Bloodeye's Tiste Edur. The invaders defeated an army of K'Chain Che'Malle before Scabandari betrayed Silchas and murdered his surviving Andii. Although known within the Malazan world by Gothos, Kilmandaros came from the world on the other side of the rent. The Elder God, Mael, made an alliance with her to slay Scabandari and scatter his Edur.
Kilmandaros eventually tracked down Scabandari and shattered his skull while his spirit was imprisoned within a prison of eternal pain. The Tiste Edur believed Scabandari earned Kilmandaros and the other Elder gods' enmity because his invasion had spurred the dying K'Chain Che'Malle race to orchestrate a final ritual. This ritual created an endpoint for the eternal war between Dark, Light, and Shadow that would mean the end of all existance.
In The Bonehunters
Three Eleint chained in Shadow — Ampelas, Eloth, and Kalse — told Cotillion that Scabandari's soul remained alive, but in torment. The one who shattered his skull and so destroyed his body had no allegiance to the Eleint or anyone but herself.
While in the Imperial Warren, the ground collapsed under Quick Ben and Stormy sending them plummeting into a deep fissure. Kalam found them unconscious within a chamber decorated with large painted panels:
- "No idle decoration, this, but a work of art, a master's hand exuberantly displayed in each and every detail. Heavily clothed, more or less human in form, the figures were in positions of transcendence, arms upraised in worship or exaltation, faces filled with joy. Whilst, crowding their feet, dismembered body parts had been painted, blood-splashed and buzzing with flies. The mangled flesh continued down to the chamber's floor, then on out, and Kalam saw now that the bloody scene covered the entire expanse of floor, as far as he could see in every direction."
In Reaper's Gale
At the time of Kurald Emurlahn's sundering, Kilmandaros had sought and failed to save the dying realm as it was wracked by civil wars and broken into fragments. While Edgewalker was committed elsewhere, she slew many of the pretenders, who eagerly descended on the realm like scavengers to tear free their own private pieces. Among them were feral dragons. She traveled through a rent to the Malazan world in pursuit of Scabandari Bloodeye, who she subdued with the assistance of Mael. The Elder God insisted she refrain from delivering the killing blow until the newly arrived Gothos was ready to ensnare Scabandari's soul within a Finnest. Otherwise the Tiste Edur would retain the majority of his power. Gothos tricked both Elder Gods into letting the Jaghut retain possession of the Finnest afterwards. Kilmandaros and Mael argued over whether Kurald Emurlahn was worth saving, with the Goddess arguing that "the death of one realm is a promise to every other realm." Gothos also warned the Goddess that "your children in this realm have lost their way", but was met with indifference.
Kilmandaros returned to the rent to Kurald Emurlahn and found another figure standing before it—Anomandaris Purake. She warned Rake he was not welcome in Kurald Emurlahn and questioned why he seemed indifferent to Scabandari's betrayal of his brother. Ultimately, they both agreed that the Throne of Shadow must stay unoccupied and made a pact to drive the pretenders from the realm. As they readied to pass back through the rent and cleanse the ravaged world, Kilmandaros declared, "If Kurald Emurlahn must die, then let it do so on its own."
In the present day, the Tiste Edur Warlock King, Hannan Mosag, cut the spirit of Bruthen Trana free of his body so that he could search the bottom of the ocean for the soul of Brys Beddict. Bruthen soon became lost on the ocean floor, unsure of where to go until he stumbled across an underwater Azath House. He was invited inside at the door by Knuckles, who warned the Edur not to bring up the subject of dragons or Scabandari with his other guest. Knuckles did not want her pulled away from the distraction he had already provided her as she was most gentle when distracted.
Inside the House's tower--the only space that could fit her--his mother Kilmandaros studied a casting of bones looking for patterns. In this House under the Sea, Kilmandaros and her son, Knuckles, spent time playing a contentious game with small bones. After a violent outburst by Kilmandaros, Knuckles 'stilled the grains' stopping time temporarily so they could have a glass of wine with Bruthen, and his mother would have longer to look for a pattern in the bone arrangement.
During the ensuing conversation, it was revealed that Kilmandaros had once been imprisoned inside the Azath House by Anomander Rake. Knuckles was impressed that the House held her at all, but thought the Azath had let Kilmandaros escape. She did not agree and said, "Not even the Azath could hold me for ever." She had been imprisoned in the Azath House for attacking Rake, but she argued it was only in anticipation of a betrayal of his own. Knuckles assured her that if she had not first attacked Rake, she would not have faced Rake's wrath. He said Rake never broke his word, declaring that his Mother and Osserc had the bad habit of "anticipating" imminent betrayals.
Eventually, Knuckles informed Bruthen that what he sought could be found at the place of the Names of the Gods, then he restarted the grains of time. As he escorted the Edur to the door, Knuckles admitted he had no idea if there were patterns to be found in the game of bones they played, but "our kind [...] love patterns."
In Dust of Dreams
In The Crippled God
It was hinted that Kilmandaros, Sechul Lath and Errastas were behind the plan to steal the heart of the Crippled God. Kilmandaros freed Korabas, the Otataral Dragon. In retaliation, she was hunted down and killed by Draconus.
In the Elder Age, the Child of Earth Denuth despaired for peace on a world filled with such powerful feuding entities as Draconus and Liossercal, among others. He recalled Kilmandaros saying that the unending strife was "no more than pettiness and childish prickliness."
In Forge of Darkness
Kilmandaros was revealed to be one of the Azathanai and the wife of Grizzin Farl. She came across Haut, Varandas, and Korya Delath as she raced through the valley around the "Empty City" of Omtose Phellack, weeping and smashing down Jaghut towers. Haut and Varandas challenged her and drove her away. From there she ran to the Tower of Hate and encountered Draconus and his son, Arathan, nearby. She and Draconus argued as she forcibly tried to take Arathan to bed. Draconus informed her that Errastas and Sechul Lath had murdered Karish, the wife of Hood, and he recommended she kill them both. Kilmandaros went back into the night to continue her fit of rage and grief.
In Fall of Light
Author Steven Erikson "really liked the naming constructions of Sanskrit" and used them as the underlying basis for several Tiste names as well as Kilmandaros. "I love the rhythmic elements of those names."
- Errastas: "How does Kilmandaros feel about killing her own children?"
- Sechul Lath: "Don’t you understand anything, Errastas? She doesn’t feel anything."
- ―Errastas and Sechul Lath conspiring[src]
- "She wore violence like a fur cloak riding her shoulders, a billowing emanation that brushed him again and again."
- ―Sechul Lath thinking about his mother
Notes and references
- A Conversation with Steven Erikson - Malazan Mid-Series Reflection - Green Team of the Legendarium - As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 39:50
- Reaper's Gale, Prologue
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20
- Midnight Tides, Prologue, US SFBC p.24-25
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.117-118
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.77-78
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.262-264
- Reaper's Gale, Prologue
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 15, US HC p.441-442
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC 584-590
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Prologue, UK PB p.4
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.506
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 16, UK HC p.508-512
- A Conversation with Steven Erikson - Malazan Mid-Series Reflection - Green Team of the Legendarium - See 39:30