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Menandore, meaning 'Sister Dawn', was a Soletaken Eleint goddess hated and feared by the Tiste Edur.[3][4] Linked by the Edur with the light of dawn, Menandore was responsible for the Edur's association of white light with evil.[3]

Menandore blazed blinding white light and wore a flat, featureless gold mask along with an arching, gilt-scaled headdress.[5] She had iron-clad boots and a silver cloak.[6] She carried a sword flickering like lightning in one hand and a double-bladed axe dripping something molten in the other.[5] When not girded for battle, she was known to wear a long black sarong flowing from frayed ends and ragged tears.[7]

She had thick, red hair and epicanthic Tiste eyes set beneath thin brows.[7][8] In her Soletaken form, she was blindingly bright[9] with golden scales, eyes of white fire and breath of argent flames.[10]

In Midnight Tides[]

Shortly after being attacked by a Wyval, the slave Udinaas had a dream in which he found himself on a plain of ash below a sky of fire. Dead warriors converged on him and one grabbed him by the leg and dragged him off. Suddenly, Menandore appeared atop a huge skeletal horse bound by fire. She struck the warriors down with her sword and axe and crushed Udinaas with her boot, demanding he decide whether he would ride his Wyval blood or his slave body. In the face of her taunts, he chose Wvyal and she raped him.[11]

Udinaas later had a vision to a time shortly after the Tiste invasion of the Malazan world when Scabandari had betrayed Silchas Ruin and his Tiste Andii. Udinaas observed Menandore and her sister, Sukul Ankhadu, dragging their unconscious cousin, Sheltatha Lore, when they were challenged by their father, Osserc. Menandore claimed Sheltatha deserved her fate, and the two planned to inter her in the same Azath Tower that Scabandari had imprisoned Ruin. Osserc wished to wash his hands of the dread mess.[12]

The two castigated their father before Osserc startled them by warning that Scabandari was in turn defeated by the gods of this world (known to be Mael and Kilmandaros). After Osserc had left, the two women veered into dragons, and bore Sheltatha away with them.[13]

Menandore by Dejan Delic

Feather Witch tried to force Udinaas to take her into his dream realm and they accidentally travelled to the Refugium where they met the Imass, Ulshun Pral, and the boy, Rud Elalle. The boy told how he had been adopted by a Letherii couple living in a Meckros city, which had later been destroyed by ice. The boy was the sole-survivor as he had been rescued by Menandore who swore she had "worked hard on this beget, and that damned legless bastard wasn't going to ruin her plans". The goddess brought Rud and the destroyed city to the Refugium where she placed him in the care of the Bentract Imass until her return. Both Udinaas and Feather Witch realised that the young boy was Menandore's son and that he, Udinaas, must have fathered Rud when she raped him. The boy's advanced age was explained by the rapid aging inherent in his Eleint blood.[14]

Ulshan Pral spoke of a Hold the two Letherii had never heard of called Starvald Demelain, home of the pure dragons. He noted that a group of mixed bloods, which included Menandore, had closed the road to the Hold long ago. Udinaas and Feather Witch returned to their world without revealing Rud's parentage.[15]

In Reaper's Gale[]

'Menandore' Interpretation by Corporal Nobbs

Menandore viewed the Refugium as her private haven and visited Rud from time to time as the young Soletaken matured rapidly into young adulthood. She seemed to sincerely bear real affection for her only son, although she failed to understand his protectiveness towards the Bentract. She failed in her efforts to coerce him into fully embracing their draconic heritage.[16][17] She was aware that Ulshun Pral, clan chief of the Bentract, was the guardian of Scabandari's Finnest.[18]

Sukul Ankhadu and Silchas Ruin each separately sought the Finnest of Scabandari.[19] Sukul freed Sheltatha Lore from her Azath prison in Letheras to assist her in the search as she thought Sheltatha had always worked better with her than Menandore. Sheltatha accused Sukul of being complicit with Menandore in her betrayal and imprisonment in the Azath, but their shared hatred of Menandore and Ruin allowed them to temporarily overlook their own enmities. Sheltatha demanded they find an Azath so Menandore could suffer as she suffered.[20]

The Errant learned of the women's plans and approached Menandore in the Refugium. The goddess testily responded to his information with taunting hints of plots within his own realm.[21] When the god departed, Shadowthrone and Hood appeared. Shadowthrone spoke of previous meetings in which the three had agreed on little, and Menandore stated she had never accepted Shadowthrone's claim to the Warren of Shadow. Shadowthrone offered his help against her sisters in return for a one-time use of the gate to Starvald Demelain. Menandore agreed.[22]

Silchas Ruin's own quest for the Finnest included Udinaas amongst its party members, who Menandore spied upon through his own eyes.[23] She appeared in person at Andara, the hidden monastery of the Onyx Wizards, informing them she meant to oppose Ruin. But the wizards still provided Ruin with Clip as a guide to the Finnest's location.[24]

Menandore once again visited Udinaas in his dreams, intruding upon the Errant's attempts to claim the former slave as his T'orrud Segul. She appeared in her dragon form claiming Udinaas was already her own. In return for the Errant's promise to remove her sisters from her path with a "nudge", she gave Udinaas over to the god, but insisted the child she shared with him would remain her own. The Errant laughed that the child had grown since the goddess last saw him and had a mind of his own. Udinaas interrupted their negotiation to defy them both and banished them from his dream.[25]

Returning to the Refugium, Menandore was surprised by Rud's will, which was strong enough to make her flinch when directed at her. She asked for his aid against Ruin and her sisters, but Rud refused so he could instead lead the Imass to safety before the battle. She was unimpressed by Shadowthrone's choice of agents to assist her--Quick Ben, Trull Sengar, Onrack T'emlava, and Hedge--and warned Rud she die without his help. Hurt, she sent him off but refused to let him take Ulshun Pral with the others.[26][27]

When Sukul and Sheltatha reached the Refugium, they joined Menandore in a temporary truce to protect the Finnest from the soon-to-be-arriving Silchas Ruin. But first, Menandore suggested they kill two "pathetic mortals seek[ing] to stand in our way"--Quick Ben and Hedge. All three Soletaken veered into their dragon forms and swept low towards the two Bridgeburners. Just as they were about to breathe out their killing sorcery, Quick Ben unleashed his own magic, exploding the ground beneath them and sending them tumbling. Sheltatha used the chaotic moment to turn on Menandore, biting into her neck and severing her head. As she died, Menandore's claws ripped open Sheltatha's underbelly. Hedge finished off the wounded dragon by launching a cusser into her open wound, sending dragon flesh everywhere. Sukul fled to hunt down and slay Rud and the Imass as one final act of vengeance and betrayal against Menandore.[28]

Ursto Hoobutt later claimed Sukul Ankhadu, Menandore, and Hannan Mosag had been involved in weakening the ritual that held Ay'edenan of the Spring imprisoned within Settle Lake.[29]

In The Crippled God[]

Silchas Ruin confirmed to Ryadd Eleis in conversation that Menandore had indeed been amongst the first few generations of Soletaken, counting among the Ancients.

In Fall of Light[]

Menandore was revealed to be the bastard daughter of the Tiste, Infayen Menand. Her soldier mother held no love for her "wretched child" and arranged for her to be fostered with another family in an arrangement Menand described as a "pallid mockery of the [Hostage] tradition among the highborn" Tiste. Infayen saw Menandore as her flawed replacement, marking a further descent of the Menand family line.[30] At the same time, Menand knew her daughter was no fool.[31] During the turbulent time of the Tiste civil war, she asked Tathe Lorat to take her daughter under her care in the event of her own death.[31]

Family ties[]

She was sister to Sukul Ankhadu and cousin to Sheltatha Lore.[32] The three had a history of allying, betraying, and assaulting each other. Menandore was described as a daughter of Tiam and Osserc however, the former was likely to have been mother only in the sense of birthing Menandore's Soletaken aspect. (Blood ties were difficult to establish with certainty as female Soletaken descendants of Tiam seemed to customarily describe each other as sisters/half-sisters).

Menandore was named as the bastard daughter of Infayen Menand in Fall of Light. As Infayen did not want the child, Menandore was raised by another family.[30]

Notes and references[]

  1. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.475
  2. Midnight Tides, Glossary
  3. 3.0 3.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.40
  4. Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.105
  5. 5.0 5.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.103
  6. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.229
  7. 7.0 7.1 Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.127-128
  8. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.230
  9. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.232
  10. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.311
  11. Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.102-104
  12. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.229-230
  13. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.276-280
  14. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.476-484
  15. Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.485-486
  16. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.127-128
  17. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.592-594
  18. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.717-718
  19. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.134-136
  20. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.215-216
  21. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.127-128
  22. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.128-129
  23. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.720/724
  24. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 8, US HC p.202
  25. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.310-312
  26. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.592-594
  27. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.717-718
  28. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.719-721/725-731
  29. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.790
  30. 30.0 30.1 Fall of Light, Chapter 11, UK HB p.332-333
  31. 31.0 31.1 Fall of Light, Chapter 19, US HC p.579-580
  32. Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.277
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