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Map of the Chain of Dogs march, part 1

Map of the Chain of Dogs march, part 2

The Malaz 7th Army, according to Mallick Rel, was one of the original three armies of the Malazan Empire and had a long and distinguished history.[1]

It had once fought against Coltaine, the Wickan warleader who united the Clans against the Empire in the Wickan Wars, until Emperor Kellanved made peace and secured his loyalty.[2] It was later sent to Seven Cities where it was likely used to conquer Hissar, the city in which it made its headquarters.

But its most famous (or infamous) campaign was conducted under the command of its former enemy Coltaine, now promoted to Fist and leading an officer corps that had largely once fought against him.[3] The campaign became known as the Chain of Dogs which Iskaral Pust called the Malazan translation of Anabar Thy'lend.[4]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

"Coltaine's Chain of Dogs. He leads, yet is led, he strains forward, yet is held back, he bares his fangs, yet what nips at his heels if not those he is sworn to protect?"
―Captain Lull of the Malaz 7th Army to the historian, Duiker[src]

The Chain of Dogs[]

Empress Laseen put Coltaine in charge of the 7th Army in order to help High Fist Pormqual contain the prophesied Whirlwind uprising in Seven Cities. But resentment of the Empire's former enemy and the internal politicking of Pormqual and Mallick Rel led to the 7th Army's abandonment, forcing it to conduct a harried refugee march across the Seven Cities subcontinent from Hissar to Aren. This train of soldiers and refugees became known as the Chain of Dogs.[5] Initially they had a complement of five thousand Wickans from three clans: the Foolish Dog, the Crow, and the Weasel clans, forty or so Red Blades from Dosin Pali, and the Sialk Marines in addition to the regular Malazan troops.

The refugee march[]

Wickan Cattle Dog Sigil of the Seventh Army by Fable Weaver

In 1164 BS, the refugee march was led by Coltaine after the fall of Hissar. It turned out that the Fist had anticipated at least some of this, purchasing livestock and training the 7th Army in war games to act in the best interests of the refugees from his first arrival in Hissar. Despite this, the nobles in the refugee camp constantly complained that they were not being heard and further when their servants were drafted.

The march took several thousand refugees as well as Coltaine's remaining forces from Hissar to the walls of Aren. The refugees were added to by Kamist Reloe sending as many Malazans into his path as possible from the captured Seven Cities. "Tithansi raiders nipped at the battered tail of the refugee column, snaring the Wickans in an eternal running skirmish. The back end of Coltaine's train was a bleeding wound never allowed to heal."[6]

Multiple clashes with the rebels took place: at Bat'rol where rebels under Reloe were destroyed, at Sekala crossing, at Gelor Ridge, at Vathar crossing where Sormo E'nath was slain, and at Sanimon and Tathimon. The Khundryl arrived in aid, proclaiming the Wickans to be greatest horse-warriors in the world. Coltaine sent the refugees ahead to Aren under Duiker, while his rearguard held off the rebels to buy them time.

At Aren, all the surviving refugees were welcomed. However, the High Fist in Aren refused to sortie to save Coltaine and his remaining rearguard, so they were massacred by Korbolo Dom's army and Coltaine was cruficied, and left to die. Blistig then ordered that the best archer among the Malazan officers, Squint, shoot the man in the head in order to spare his needless suffering and disgrace and release his soul.

It was later mentioned that Coltaine's soul returned to the Wickans to be born again.

In House of Chains[]

The Empress sent Adjunct Tavore Paran to Aren with the Malaz 14th Army to put down the rebellion. Paran dissolved the 7th Army and dispersed the survivors amongst her three Legions.[7]

Notable Members[]


The Seven Cities phrase for the Chain of Dogs was Anabar Thy'lend.[10]

Notes and references[]

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.78
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, US HC p.39
  3. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, US HC p.39
  4. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.433
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Glossary, UK MMPB p.938
  6. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 12
  7. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.233
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.18
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.17
  10. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.223
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