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Malazan Wiki

Mother Dark was the Elder Goddess worshipped by the Tiste Andii; and she was Queen of High House Dark. Her Warren was her ancient realm of Kurald Galain.[1][2]

Creation Myth[]

The Tiste Andii believed that Mother Dark created the world, but was lonely. In order to feel less alone, she created Father Light. Her children saw this as a betrayal and rejected her. Afterwards they were either cast out of Kurald Galain or left their mother's embrace by choice. Andii mages still used the Warren of Kurald Galain, but were no longer of it.[3]

"Mother Dark begat three children,
the First, Tiste Andii, were her dearest,
dwellers of the land before Light.
Then were birthed in pain the Second, Tiste Lians,
the burning glory of Light itself,
and so the First denied their Mother,
in their fury, and so were cast out,
doomed children of Mother Dark.
She then gave rise, in her mercy, to the Third,
spawn of the war between Dark and Light,
the Tiste Edur, and there was shadow
upon their souls.
―"Kilmanar's Fables"
Sebun Imanan[src]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Korlat remarked that Mother Dark was present at the birth of Light, and called it new, innocent, and precious. Korlat's brother Orfantal retorted that the Queen had been flawed. Light had become corrupted and so Darkness was destroyed.[4]

While battling the demon Lord of Galayn, who appeared to wield a weapon of Light, Anomander Rake stated that Mother Dark saw too late the corruption of Light and came to regret that it had been granted birth.[5]

In Memories of Ice[]

Ganoes Paran returned to the Warren within Dragnipur and spoke to Draconus. The Elder God explained that he had once sought to aid Mother Dark in the eternal war between Darkness and Chaos. Darkness was forever retreating before Chaos and Mother Dark had diminished her powers by relenting to the Coming of the Light and to the Birth of Shadow. The imbalance between the two forces grew in Chaos' favour until it approached the Gate to Kurald Galain itself and Mother Dark withdrew deep into her own realm. Thinking Mother Dark incapable of helping herself, he bound the Gate of Darkness to Dragnipur to protect it. He later learned he had misunderstood the nature of the Gate and sought to destroy Dragnipur to release the Gate once more.[6]

While on Drift Avalii, Paran was warned by the Throne of Shadow that the now corrupted Tiste Edur sought both the Throne and the destruction of Mother Dark.[7]

After the full unveiling of Kurald Galain that ended the Battle of Black Coral, Korlat reflected upon her personal loss and wondered if the Goddess smiled to see her broken. For Korlat had repeated the Goddess' fatal errors of old. She had yielded her heart and succumbed to a foolish dream and been betrayed. Korlat wondered if it had been that grief that had sent Mother Dark so far away from her children who had then insensitively cursed her and added to her pain.[8]

In House of Chains[]

Trull Sengar intimated that Mother Dark did not so much as create the Tiste Edur, "but simply separated what was not separate before."[9]

In Midnight Tides[]

At the time of the sundering of Kurald Emurlahn, the Tiste Edur leader, Scabandari, noted that Mother Dark had three children: Andarist, Anomander Rake, and Silchas Ruin. Scabandari believed Rake had broken with Mother Dark and his kind and vanished. Fleeing the civil wars that plagued Kurald Galain, Silchas Ruin took four hundred thousand Andii to invade Malazan world, a place where Andii settlers had already found a home. There, they defeated a massive army of K'Chain Che'Malle that claimed the world for its own.[10]

Scabandari betrayed Ruin and imprisoned him within an Azath House. But Ruin's shade was known to walk the land when he dreamed. Ruin claimed this ability was a reluctant gift from Mother Dark as a reminder to him that she did not forget.[11]

Knowledge of Mother Dark's later fate was passed down among generations of widows of Scabandari's followers. The K'Chain Che'Malle reacted to the Tiste invasion by sending their Kaschan magic into the warren of Darkness like a plague. All gates from Kurald Galain to the other worlds were sealed and Mother Dark was driven into the core of the Abyss. There, she was surrounded by an endless swirl of light which she would consume until her own annihilation. Mother Dark's murder would mean the end of the game between Darkness, Light, and Shadow as well as the death of the Abyss and all of existence.[12]

In The Bonehunters[]

The Tiste Andii of Bluerose possessed an ancient tapestry depicting Mother Dark and the three brothers born in Darkness who were her most cherished children: Andarist, Anomandaris Purake, and Silchas Ruin. But all three had eventually been cast out by her. Andarist was the first, after Mother Dark made an accusation of betrayal that all knew to be mistaken. Filled with unbearable grief, he accepted his banishment by Mother Dark, but vowed to continue his guardianship of her from exile. Anomander and Silchas saw Mother Dark's turning away from her son as a crime and Anomander confronted her. Afterwards, he too walked away, denying the Darkness in his blood and seeking out Chaos. Silchas Ruin's indecision and failed efforts to forge reconciliation led to the greatest betrayal of all—an alliance with Shadow.[13]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Hannan Mosag called upon Mother Dark and Father Light to aid him in restoring the fractured Kurald Emurlahn and bringing the Andii, Edur, and Liosan together in an alliance once more. His call for a sign that they heard his prayers was a welling band of darkness in the eastern sky and the glow of the sun through the west's overcast.[14]

Udinaas speculated that the source of Mother Dark's estrangement from her three sons was something other than their disdain for her relationship with Father Light. The former slave questioned whether that story was a lie and the truth lay in the brothers discovering who their father was.[15]

Clip, the Mortal Sword of the Black-Winged Lord and chosen of Mother Dark, claimed Mother Dark had scattered the power and armies of Chaos.[16] He later went to Second Maiden Fort to bring Nimander Golit and his Andii kin to Anomander Rake. When Nimander argued that Rake did not want them, Clip claimed it only mattered what Mother Dark wanted. Most of what he told Nimander was a lie.[17]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Mother Dark.

In Toll the Hounds[]

While using Aranatha as a vessel and accompanying Nimander's group, Mother Dark accepted Anomander Rake's sacrifice in Dragnipur and settled along with the Gate of Darkness in Black Coral.

In Dust of Dreams[]

(Information needed)

In The Crippled God[]

(Information needed)

In Forge of Darkness[]

As reward for his service, Nimander Purake gave up his land holdings and attendant staff to Mother Dark earning all involved the title of "Andii" or "Children of Night". His bloodline was further honored when his sons Silchas Ruin and Andarist were named Sons of Darkness and his son Anomander Rake was named First Son of Darkness.[18]

Mother Dark was originally a royal Tiste, half-sister to the queen of Kurald Galain. The queen disappeared on the field of battle leading the Royal Wardens to recover the body of her fallen husband. Mother Dark was considered unsuitable for the throne until, with the aid of her consort Draconus, she leapt from the Spar of Andii straight into Chaos, and emerged as a goddess.[19][20] Upset with Draconus, the Azathanai, T'riss, brought a vessel containing Vitr to sanctify the temple at Kharkanas, an act Grizzin Farl called "blatant interference."[21][22][23] This act much expanded Mother Dark's power and afterwards those of the Tiste who worshipped and approached her turned dark skinned and became known as Tiste Andii.[24] In the act of sanctification, T'riss also transformed high priestess Syntara into the first pale as alabaster Tiste Liosan. Syntara possessed a similar power, transforming Vatha Urusander into Father Light.[25]

Afterwards, Draconus returned from the Azathanai with the Terondai which gave Mother Dark the Gate to Kurald Galain. It was the first of its kind and started the creation of gates between the Warrens.[26]

In Fall of Light[]

(Information needed)


Originally a Tiste herself, she became a goddess through the actions of her consort Draconus. The Tiste who worshipped her became the dark skinned Tiste Andii, whereas those who followed Father Light, Urusander, became Tiste Liosan. The history of the creation of these two figures varies greatly from the Tiste creation myths. They are described in detail in Forge of Darkness.

Significant plot details end here.

Notes and references[]