The Malazan world has no official unified name, although Steven Erikson has jokingly called it "Wu". The name has gained some traction amongst fans as an affectionate and informal term for the planet.
The Malazan world is a globe and appears to be at least similar in size to Earth, and may be notably larger. No unified map of the entire planet has been published to date, although fans have frequently attempted to create one. According to Erikson, a world map may appear in the planned Encyclopaedia Malazica. He has also confirmed that rough sketches of such maps have already been created.
In an interview with a Spanish fantasy blog, Erikson stated that the hand-drawn version of the Malazan world which he had at home was too large to be photocopied, however, that the maps created by fans were coming close. Alongside the interview the page displayed a version of D'rek's map. It is unclear if that choice was Erikson's or that of the website.
The Malazan planet has at least four moons, although only one is easily visible from the surface and known to the general population. Three other moons are perpetually occluded from the sun's light. Early historical texts suggested they were not always so difficult to see. Constellations visible from the world included the Roads of the Abyss and the Dagger.
There are at least six continents on the Malazan world according to Midnight Tides. However, Return of the Crimson Guard suggests twelve major landmasses exist. The definition of what constitutes a "continent", "subcontinent" or large island in the world has never been firmly defined.
The largest continent on the Malazan world has no overall name. This landmass's eastern region (comprising roughly one-third of the entire landmass) is known as Seven Cities. This region is separated from the rest of the landmass by the vast Jhag Odhan. To the west of this lies the kingdoms of Nemil and Perish, whilst to the south-west lies the substantial Shal-Morzinn Empire.
South of Seven Cities lies the Falari Isles and the small continent of Quon Tali. Quon Tali is the heartland of the Malazan Empire, which was born on an island just off its southern coast. The island of Drift Avalii is located some distance off its south-western coast.
The narrow Strait of Storms divides Malaz Island from the continent of Korelri. Korelri is a large landmass comprising two subcontinents, Fist and Stratem. Fist consists of a vast number of islands and a part of the adjacent landmass. The Aurgatt Range divides the lands of Fist from Stratem. Stratem consists of several peninsulas, divided from one another by a large inlet known as the Sea of Chimes.
South-west of Korelri and Quon Tali, beyond a vast field of floating ice, lies the small island-continent of Jacuruku. Jacuruku is a land of harsh extremes, with burning deserts on the western side and verdant jungle on the eastern.
East of Seven Cities and north-east of Quon Tali, across Seeker's Deep, lies the continent of Genabackis. Genabackis is a narrow but long continent stretching for many hundreds of leagues from north to south. To the east of Genabackis lies the Genostel Archipelago, comprising one large island (itself large enough to be counted as a subcontinent) and many smaller ones. Further east still is the Cabal Archipelago, which may lie closer to the far western coast of Seven Cities.
Due east of Quon Tali and south-east of Genabackis lies the continent of Assail. This is a long, narrow landmass comprising of two distinct regions, Assail proper (which is regarded as a land of unrelenting hostility) and a more civilised peninsula area in the south, known as Bael.
East of Assail, south of western Seven Cities and south-west of Jacuruku, deep in the southern hemisphere, lies the large continent of Lether, named for its largest nation. Isolated from the rest of the world by distance and the immense ice fields near Jacuruku, Lether had little contact with other lands and nations prior to the arrival of the renegade Malazan 14th Army.
- Seven Cities. The largest continent in the world. Technically, this name refers only to the easternmost third of the landmass, which forms a distinct subcontinent. However, the name is commonly used to refer to the entire landmass.
- Quon Tali. Continent south of Seven Cities.
- Falar, largest of the Falari Isles, sometimes referred to as a subcontinent of Quon Tali.
- Genabackis. Continent east of Seven Cities.
- Genostel, large island, possibly a subcontinent of Genabackis.
- Fist-Stratem. Continent south of Quon Tali. Sometimes confusingly referred to as Korelri.
- Jacuruku. Continent south-west of Fist-Stratem.
- Assail. Continent south-east of Genabackis.
- Bael, subcontinent comprising the southern part of Assail.
- Lether. Continent east of Assail, south of Seven Cities and west of Jacuruku.
Bodies of water
- Seeker's Deep, known as the Meningalle Ocean in Genabackis. Divides Seven Cities from Genabackis, with Quon Tali to the south-west.
- The Falari Sea, the sea to the east of the Falari Isles and north-east of Quon Tali.
- The Walk Sea, an internal waterway of the Falari Isles.
- The Strom Sea, an internal waterway of the Falari Isles.
- The Cragg Sea, the sea that divides north-western Falar and northern Quon Tali from southern Seven Cities.
- The Sahul Sea, an inlet of the Seeker's Deep dividing Otataral Island from the Hissar region of Seven Cities.
- The Dojal Hading Sea, an inlet of the Seeker's Deep into eastern Seven Cities.
- The Malyn Sea, an inlet of the Seeker's Deep into north-western Genabackis.
- The Owndos Sea, an inland sea in Genabackis linked to the Malyn Sea by rivers.
- The Clatar Sea, a large inland sea in Seven Cities.
- The Sea of Storms, also called the Ocean of Storms. The sea dividing Quon Tali from both Jacuruku (to the south-west) and Korelri (to the south and south-east).
- The Cawn Sea, an inlet of the Sea of Storms on the southern coast of Quon Tali.
- The Strait of Storms, the straits dividing Malaz Island from Korelri.
- The Pirate's Sea, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Sender's Sea, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Tower Sea, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Blight Sea, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Crack Strait, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Blackwater Strait, one of the internal waterways of Fist.
- The Bloodmare Ocean, the ocean lying to the east of Korelri.
- The Ice Island Sea, the south-western part of the Bloodmare Ocean.
- The Horn Ocean, the ocean lying to the south-west of Quon Tali and possibly along the south coast of Seven Cities.
- The Reacher's Ocean, also called The Reach, the ocean lying east of Quon Tali, north of Korelri, south of Genabackis and west of Assail.
- The Rust Ocean, the ocean lying to the east of Genabackis.
- The Hudd Sea, the sea lying along the north coast of Genabackis.
- The Dryjna Ocean, the ocean lying to the north of Seven Cities.
- The Sea of Kaltepe Kadesh, the sea lying to the north-east of Otataral Island.
- The Otataral Sea, divides Otataral Island from north-eastern Seven Cities.
- The Bandiko Sea, the sea lying to the north of Otataral Island.
- The Domain Ocean, the ocean lying to the west of Lether and east of Assail.
- The Calash Sea, the part of the Domain Ocean lying immediately north-west of the Tiste Edur tribal lands in northern Lether.
- The Dracons Sea, an inlet of the Domain Ocean divided northern Lether from the peninsula lands to the south.
- Sea Iban, an inlet of the Domain Ocean on the far south coast of Lether.
- The Pelasiar Sea, a large bay or sea in south-eastern Lether, south of Kolanse.
- The Bluerose Sea, a semi-landlocked sea lying along the northern coast of Lether. It opens up into the wider ocean to the north.
- The White Spires Ocean, an iceberg-blighted sea lying south of Jacuruku, south-west of Stratem and east of Lether.
- The Sea of Chimes, an inlet of the White Spires Ocean in western Stratem.
See also: Maps in the Malazan Books
The books feature the following official maps of the Malazan world, all drawn by Neil Gower (with one exception):
- Genabackis: The Malazan Campaign: Map showing most of Genabackis (excepting the southern coast), featured in Gardens of the Moon.
- Darujhistan: City map of Darujhistan, featured in Gardens of the Moon, Toll the Hounds and Orb Sceptre Throne.
- Seven Cities: The Malazan Empire: Map showing the Seven Cities subcontinent, featured in Deadhouse Gates.
- Chain of Dogs: Coltaine's March: Detailed map (in two parts) showing the route of the 7th Army. Featured in Deadhouse Gates.
- Genabackis: The Pannion War: Essentially the same map as in Gardens of the Moon, but with some errors fixed and borders changed. Featured in Memories of Ice.
- Capustan: Eastern Genabackis: City map of Capustan. Featured in Memories of Ice.
- Central Malazan Empire: A map showing the entirety of Quon Tali and the Falari Isles, as well as the coast of southern Seven Cities. Featured in House of Chains.
- Northwest Genabackis: A detailed map of the Malyn and Owndos Sea regions of Genabackis. Featured in House of Chains.
- Pan'arak Oasis: Raraku's Heart: Detailed map of the Pan'arak Oasis in Seven Cities. Featured in House of Chains.
- Tiste Edur Lands and North Lether Frontier: Detailed map of the north-western part of Lether. Featured in Midnight Tides.
- Central Letheras: City map of Letheras. Featured in Midnight Tides.
- Central Malazan Empire: Quon Tali: A substantially more detailed version of the map in House of Chains, featuring only the southern part of Quon Tali. Featured in The Bonehunters, and Return of the Crimson Guard.
- Seven Cities: The Malazan Empire: A redrawn and revised version of the map of the same name from Deadhouse Gates. Featured in The Bonehunters.
- Malaz City: City map of Malaz City, featured in the PS Publishing version of Night of Knives. Notable as it is a hand-drawn map by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont.
- Malaz City: The same as the above, redrawn by Neil Gower. Featured in The Bonehunters and the Transworld and Tor versions of Night of Knives.
- The Empire of Lether: A map showing most of the western half of Lether. Featured in Reaper's Gale and Dust of Dreams.
- Black Coral and Environs: City map of Black Corel. Featured in Toll the Hounds.
- Kolanse: A map of eastern Lether, focusing on the kingdom of Kolanse. Featured in The Crippled God.
- Malaz Isle: A map of Malaz Island, featured in Night of Knives.
- The Lands of Fist: A map of the Fistian subcontinent, featured in Stonewielder.
- Main Installations of the Stormwall: A detailed map of the Stormwall. Featured in Stonewielder.
- South Genabackis and Environs: A map of the south coast of Genabackis, featured in Orb Sceptre Throne.
- The Isle of Jacuruku: A map of the island-continent of Jacuruku, featured in Blood and Bone.
- Assail and Environs: A map of the northern part of Assail, featured in Assail.
- The Blood Range: A detailed map of the Blood Range in Assail, featured in Assail.
- Thal Akai, Jaghut, Tiste Realms: A map of the lands in Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light. Note that these lands may not reside on the Malazan world.
- Kurald Galain: A map of the lands of Kurald Galain in Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light. Note that these lands may not reside on the Malazan world.
- Kharkanas (central): City map of Kharkanas in Forge of Darkness and Fall of Light. Note that these lands may not reside on the Malazan world.
- City of Li Heng: City map of Li Heng. Featured in Dancer's Lament.
- Quon Tali - A pre-Empire version of the "Central Malazan Empire: Quon Tali" map. The only change appears to be that the city of Quon Tali is listed as 'Quon & Tali'. Featured in Dancer's Lament and Deadhouse Landing.
- Malaz City (Pre-Empire) - The same city map from Night of Knives with additional marked locations. Featured in Deadhouse Landing.
- Northwest Genabackis - Late Empire - An updated map of northwest Genabackis, featured in The God is Not Willing.
In August 2018, Steven Erikson began posting some of his original hand drawn Malazan maps on his Facebook page.
Malazan globe model
There have been several efforts to display the Malazan world map on a globe. The first was created by Adam Whitehead and can seen here. Another globe model of the Malazan world was created by Joshua Butler at this link.
Notes and references
- Q and A with malazanempire No 1 (2003)
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.312
- http://caballerodelarbolsonriente.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/steven-erikson-no-hay-nada-para.html Interview with El Caballero del Arbol Sonriente, December 2017
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.313
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 3
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 17
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.474
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 2,
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4