Ceda Kuru Qan was the King's Sorcerer to King Ezgara Diskanar of Lether. He was a small and ancient man who wore wire-bound glass lenses of his own design to improve his eyesight after years of studying the Empty Hold. The lenses made his eyes appear enormous to onlookers. He dressed in robes.
The Ceda's rooms in the Old Palace were filled with furniture and tables crowded with implements, scrolls, and beakers. Countless sources of light resulted in a war of colours throughout the room. Behind a bookcase projecting from the wall, the Ceda maintained a tilted table where he worked on his latest projects. Somewhere deep below the palace was the Cedance, the divination chamber where Kuru Qan studied the Tiles of the Holds.
He was particularly fond of Brys Beddict.
In Midnight Tides
Kuru Qan sent Brys through a portal into Mael's realm where Brys learned the names of many dead gods. As the Edur conquest rolled through Letheras, Kuru Qan appeared to slowly lose his mind, sleeping and eating atop one particular tile in the Eternal Domicile throne room while the Letherii mages fought a losing battle against the Edur.
As the Tiste Edur attacked the Eternal Domicile, it was revealed that Kuru Qan had not been idle during the war nor entirely mad. He first fashioned a trap that imprisoned the Edur's Demon spirit-god beneath Settle Lake with the aid of Mael and the Jaghut Huntress. He had also painted the tile he obsessed over to reflect the movement of energy in all of the Letherii Holds and was able to draw on an unlimited wellspring of power through it. With such power, he had the potential to destroy every Tiste Edur within Letheras.
In Reaper's Gale
After the Ceda's death, the heat of power bled from the Cedance chamber and the tiles themselves became blank. When they refused to reveal themselves even to the Errant, the Elder God wondered if the Ceda had cursed him for standing by as he died. The Errant considered Kuru Quan the greatest Ceda since the First Empire and recognised that the man "never liked me much."
Kuru Qan's spirit wandered distant paths, but returned to find Feather Witch in her hiding place in the Old Palace. He revealed that he had foreknown the manner of his death, but there had been nothing he could have done to stop it. He placed the blame more on the Errant than Trull Sengar and said he would eventually call the god on it. The former Ceda warned Feather Witch to be careful with the severed finger of Brys Beddict she possessed, making a bargain that she would wait for his aid before using it in her plans for vengeance.
He appeared in the Old Palace again when the Errant sought out Feather Witch to use her as a blood sacrifice. The god sought to reclaim his full power by initiating a war between the Holds and the Warrens. Kuru Qan warned the Errant his sudden quest for glory was an illusion driven by his exposure to the lust and ambition of the demon spirit-god trapped in the frozen lake. The Ceda seemed to possess a deep knowledge of the warrens, advising the Errant that the Warrens had their own protector, the Master of the Deck, and to declare war on them was to declare war on their creator, K'rul. The Errant's actions would shatter alliances and play into the hand of the Crippled God. But the afflicted god refused to listen, stabbing Feather Witch and adding her blood to the Cedance. Feather Witch, in turn, used Brys' finger to gouge out and consume the Errant's eye, clapping him in chains of her own.
Kuru Qan's spirit visited Samar Dev begging for help to heal Feather Witch, but the scholar laughed in his face. She despised the slave and instead trapped the Ceda within her knife. Kuru Qan eventually worked out a way to escape, but he remained within the blade, curious about the other spirits who all appeared to be waiting for something purposeful.
When Karsa Orlong faced Rhulad Sengar in the arena, the Emperor's blade lodged itself in Karsa's leg before the Teblor severed Rhulad's arm, finally removing it from his grip. Then Samar Dev released the Ceda and the other spirits by drawing the blade across her hand. They were soon joined by the souls of Karsa's own slain and centuries of Thelomen Tartheno Toblakai ghosts freed by Old Hunch Arbat. The spirits swarmed the blade, sacrificing themselves to the hunger of Chaos to fashion a portal to the island of the Crippled God. Karsa passed through to return the sword where it was destroyed by Withal after Karsa had refused to become the new champion of the Crippled God. Kuru Qan knew he would be sacrificing himself in the process of fashioning the portal and he was swept away by the water of the island's waves.
Notes and references
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.80-81
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.734
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.192
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.732
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.375
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 3, US HC p.81-82
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.285
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.231-232
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.282-285
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.289-290
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.806
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US TPB p.805-807