He had lived on the moving island of Drift Avalii with his uncle Andarist as one of several protectors of the Throne of Shadow. This number also included his daughter Phaed and several of his other children by different mothers, along with a few of their cousins. This duty ended with the Tiste Edur invasion of the island in House of Chains in which Nimander was not identified by name.
After Andarist's death, Traveller took over the island's defence and sent Nimander and the other six Andii survivors to safety by ship with about a dozen Malazan Marines, including Mudslinger and Gentur. A storm wrecked their ship on an atoll where they lived off coconut milk and clams for months until being rescued by the Jakatakan Fleet and brought to Malaz City.
Braven Tooth met the castaways while drinking at Coop's Hanged Man Inn. He learned from Phaed that Lady Envy was her mother. Braven Tooth reported all of this to Banaschar, his drinking companion, noting that Envy used to know Rake and "got her revenge taking his son as a lover."
He and the other Andii castaways later joined Sandalath Drukorlat and Withal aboard Cartheron Crust's vessel, the Drowned Rat. Crust brought them out into the Malaz City harbour so they could board Adjunct Tavore Paran's flagship, the Froth Wolf.
After the death of his father, Nimander took over as leader of the Tiste Andii. His closest advisors were the High Priestess, Skintick, Desra, Korlat, Spinnock Durav as well as the Ascendant Apsal'ara who sought him out after having been released from Dragnipur by Nimander's father. He led a mass exodus of the Andii from Black Coral back to Kharkanas, to save the ancient home of the Tiste Andii from the Legions of the Tiste Liosan. As the battle raged, he tried to reason with Sandalath Drukorlat, acting queen of Kharkanas, in order to halt the destruction of the city by a pureblood Eleint in her despair. Sand mistook him for Anomander Rake acting out a vision from her past, and he was unable to persuade her to call off the eleint. The ghost of his sister Phaed manifested and convinced Sand that if she stopped the dragon and locked herself in her ancient room, then her son would one day return to her.
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