- "Old soldiers talk about him like grandmothers talk monsters to the brats, to keep them in line, sir."
- ―Hurlochel, on Kindly
Captain Kindly originally led the 2nd Company in the Ashok Regiment. He was renowned for his harsh manner with his troops and known as the "meanest officer in the entire Malazan military". He claimed to have killed more lazy soldiers than enemies of the empire. One fellow officer described him as "terrifying but competent."
Although known for being strict, events showed him on several occasions to be acting thus for the benefit of those in his care, for example ordering a kit inspection to take soldiers' minds off horrors witnessed. His caution was legendary and deemed extreme even for a soldier.
He was described as a man with very little hair left, though he had a passion for his collection of combs.
In House of Chains
Kindly was the commander of the garrison in Silver Lake when Karsa Orlong, Bairoth Gild, and Delum Thord attacked the town. After Karsa attempted to escape, Kindly was annoyed to discover the Teblor had been recaptured by Sergeant Cord and his men who had all been previously placed under house arrest by Kindly for drunkeness. Kindly decided to forgive their lack of discipline.
As a response to rumours of rebellion on Seven Cities, Kindly's regiment was recalled back from Genabackis. He and his men escorted prisoners Karsa and Torvald Nom as far as the port of Tanys where they took a different ship across the Malyn Sea.
He and his command were then presumably posted in Ehrlitan when the Whirlwind rebellion began. Several hundred Malazans, including the Ashok Regiment, fled from Ehrlitan, G'danisban, and Pan'potsun to hole up in the cliff-side fortress of B'ridys. There Kindly and Pores fell down a well and were presumed drowned. They actually managed to escape the creature at the bottom of the well only to later be captured and imprisoned in Raraku by Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers.
He and Pores were freed by ghosts of the Bridgeburners on the eve of the confrontation between Sha'ik and Adjunct Tavore. They were then found by Fist Tene Baralta and his men and brought to the Malazan camp.
In The Bonehunters
After the Battle of Raraku, Keneb was promoted to Fist and Kindly temporarily replaced him as captain of the 8th Legion's 9th Company in the Malaz 14th Army. Leoman led the Army of the Apocalypse westward to Y'Ghatan and the 14th Army followed. About the time the 14th Army arrived at Y'Ghatan, Kindly was replaced by Faradan Sort. Kindly attempted to take the measure of his replacement, but Captain Sort concluded he and Pores were "two idiots."
During the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan, he was trapped inside the city by Leoman's olive-oil firestorm along with Fists Keneb and Tene Baralta. Kindly escaped with no injury but tracked Pores to the hospital tent where he was recovering from burns to chastise him for loafing. The 14th Army then made haste for the Kokakal Sea to embark on Admiral Nok's ships and escape the Bluetongue Plague ravaging Seven Cities. Three days west of Y'Ghatan, Pores led a patrol that was ambushed by starving bandits and he took a crossbow quarrel clean through his upper left arm and sword-slash deep enough above the right knee to sever muscle down to the bone. Healers were able to roughly knit together his wounds, but the pain was excruciating. Kindly physically dragged him off a convalescent wagon to make room for soldiers with "real injuries" and placed him in charge of picket duty. Pores thought his captain was insane and reflected that there times when he wanted to kill him.
- "[A]rranged on a camel-hair blanket, an assortment of combs – two dozen, maybe more, no two alike. Bone, shell, antler, tortoiseshell, ivory, wood, slate, silver, gold and blood-copper. Clearly, they had been collected over years of travel, the captain's sojourn as a soldier laid out, the succession of cultures, the tribes and peoples he had either befriended or annihilated."
- ―Kindly's combs
The captain complained bitterly over Keneb's seeming incompetence at organising the boarding. He claimed if he had been charge, the task would have been completed in two days, and anyone not on board by then would be stripped naked and left behind. He chose to spend the delay attempting to fix Captains Ruthan Gudd and Madan'Tul Rada, whom he considered "complete idiots."
In G'danisban, Ganoes Paran sought to take command of Dujek Onearm's plague stricken and moribund Host while keeping his own problematic identity a secret. Hurlochel suggested he portray himself as Captain Kindly, a name known and feared among the Malazan soldiery. His cover identity succeeded with everyone but Fist Rythe Bude, who had served with Kindly at Nathilog.
At Malaz City, Kindly's troops remained on their ships in the harbour while the Adjunct went ashore to meet Empress Laseen in Mock's Hold. Fighting broke out on the pier between the citizens of Malaz City and the 14th soldiers guarding the Adjunct's flagship. Kindly rejected Pores' request to send aid, saying he would be happy to promote Hanfeno in the Lieutenant's place while Senny took bets on whether Pores could survive swimming to shore across the shark-filled harbour.
In Reaper's Gale
After Adjunct Tavore's clash with the Empress at Malaz City she took the Bonehunters rogue, following the Tiste Edur fleet that had ravaged Sepik back to Lether. Tavore invaded the Letherii Empire, spreading Fist Keneb's marines in isolated pairs of squads across thirty leagues of coast and burning their transport vessels behind them. The marines moved forward into the Letherii countryside towards Letheras, the capital, with orders to kill Edur by night and stir the occupied Letherii into rebellion. Each squad had a mage responsible for hiding their presence and confusing their enemies.
The rest of the Adjunct's fleet gathered at Second Maiden Fort where Tavore met with her officers. Reviewing the meeting's assembly, Throatslitter thought the Adjunct needed to promote some new Fists, immediately striking Kindly from his mental list as someone liable to cause a mutiny. Before departing the island, Tavore hired the pirate, Shurq Elalle, to guide her fleet to the mouth of the Lether River leading to Letheras. Aboard ship, Pores still affected a limp from his injuries at Y'Ghatan in what he realised was a pathetic attempt at eliciting sympathy from Captain Kindly. Kindly only found it annoying and warned him to stop it unless he wanted the captain to shatter his leg with a billy club.
When Kindly caught Pores looking across the waves admiring the voluptuous Masan Gilani aboard the nearby Silanda, he reprimanded the lieutenant and ordered him to draw up papers to place Gilani on report for being out of uniform. From Masan Gilani and Cord's vantage point, Kindly himself appeared to be drooling over her. Gilani predicted Kindly had not lain with a woman since some father or uncle had brought him to a whore for his first time. She thought the captain "repressed, in all the worst ways." Before Pores could even make it back to his cabin to begin the report, Kindly followed up behind to oversee his penmanship. Then he tasked Pores with cleaning the expensive new turtleshell combs the captain had acquired from the Shake at Second Maiden Fort.
The Adjunct's fleet made landfall near Letheras and defeated the city's Imperial Brigade with Kindly leading Fist Blistig's infantry. Meanwhile, Keneb's marines secretly entered the city to secure its western gate to allow the rest of the army entrance. Soon the City Garrison surrendered and the city fell.
In Dust of Dreams
In The Crippled God
Kindly had served with one of the Malazan armies during the campaigns in Nathilog. Rythe Bude, who later became a Fist under Dujek, served under him.
Kindly had an unsavory reputation with rumors about his (in)famous temper rampant among the Malazans. It was said that he had once dangled a Malazan-allied Falah'd over the edge of the Falah'd's own palace's tower balcony because the colours of his attire were mismatched.
Notes and references
- House of Chains, Dramatis Personae
- House of Chains, Chapter 9
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.641
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 17, US HC p.501
- The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.92
- House of Chains, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.148
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16
- House of Chains, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.136
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.276
- House of Chains, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.136-137
- House of Chains, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.138-140/148
- House of Chains, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.207
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.345/347-348
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.360
- House of Chains, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.738
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.833
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.833-834
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.244
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.304
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.350
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.350
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.642
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.548
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.640-641
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.519-520
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.596
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.941
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 13, US HC p.356
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 13, US HC p.361-365
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 14, US HC p.408
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.613
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.610-611
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 22, US HC p.693-694
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.748-754
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.779/800
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.812
- The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.92
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US HC p.481