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Malazan Wiki

Admiral Nok [pronounced as in 'nocking' an arrow] was the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Malaz Navy. His flagship was the Star of Unta.[1] Nok was known for his legendary taciturnity,[2] and was thought of as being 'cold iron'.[3] Hawl was his wife.[4]

Nok was a quite old but well preserved man with skin darkened by sun and wind to the hue of ironwood. He had a shock of pale long white hair, thin snowy brows, and a white moustache and goatee. He had a severe demeanor and was very tall and thin.[5][6][7][8]

Nok was said to have famously sworn a vow never to set foot on dry land again,[9] although it was unclear when this vow was made. He did set foot on land during the course of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.[10]

He wore a sealskin cloak.[11]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

Shortly before the start of the Whirlwind uprising in Seven Cities, Nok's Sahul Fleet was recalled from Hissar to Aren by High Fist Pormqual. This left Fist Coltaine's 7th Army isolated and unsupported.[12] When he arrived at the site of the Empire's High Command he was placed under arrest by the High Fist to guarantee his fleet would remain in Aren's harbour.[13]

In House of Chains[]

Dujek Onearm and Nok were now the last of the commanders from Kellanved's old family, Nok being the only admiral who didn't drown. With the sudden deaths of Urko and Cartheron Crust, Nok had been given overall command of the imperial fleets. When rumours of rebellion in Seven Cities were at their height, Laseen had sent Nok with a hundred and seven of his ships to Seven Cities, however, the actions of the High Fist of Aren had effectively impounded the fleet in the harbour, otherwise, Coltaine's Chain of Dogs might not have happened.[14]

Nok appeared before Adjunct Tavore Paran in Aren as she readied her Malaz 14th Army to march against the Whirlwind rebels at Raraku. His assignment was the reconquest of the subcontinent's port cities to provide supplies to the army as it moved.[15] By the time the army reached Vathar Crossing, Nok had retaken the city of Ubaryd.[16]

As the army neared Raraku, Nok was in contact with a Malazan collaborator in Ehrlitan, who had issued a secret invitation to the fleet.[17] As Nok's ships rounded the Otataral Sea, they were joined by Dujek and eleven transports carrying the survivors of Onearm's Host.[17] They reached Ehrlitan a week before the Battle of Raraku, but were too late to affect the outcome.[18]

In The Bonehunters[]

Nok and a third of the imperial fleet occupied the Maadil Sea while Adjunct Tavore and the 14th Army lay siege to the Army of the Apocalypse at Y'Ghatan and Dujek led garrisoning and pacification efforts in the east. The presence of Nok's fleet alone was enough to quell rebellious tendencies among the locals.[19]

As the Bluetongue Plague swept Seven Cities, Nok struggled to find safe ports to take on supplies. When it became clear that Tavore's 14th Army needed to be extracted by sea after the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan or face destruction, Nok raced westwards hoping to find a suitable embarkation point.[20] Ultimately, he settled on a spot on the coast of the Kokakal Sea thirteen leagues west of Sotka.[21]

Per Empress Laseen's command, Nok prepared to return the 14th Army to Unta.[22] He returned possession of the Silanda to Gesler and Stormy as he could find no sailors to crew the unpleasant vessel.[23] Hoping to find ports free of plague, Nok and Tavore plotted a western course around the continent with stops at Sepik and Nemil.[24]

The Malazan Imperial Fleet had a narrow escape from a trap laid by the Third Edur Imperial Fleet in the Kokakal Sea.[25] Then the intervention of the Eres'al raised winds that allowed their vessels to travel much faster than normal.[26] When a dozen suns were seen falling from the sky to the east and the world seemed about to end, Nok traded drinks with a drunken Hellian, who failed to recognise him.[27]

A magic gateway through the Warren of Togg and Fanderay prepared by the Perish Grey Helms shortened the trip by months and brought them close to The Horn of Quon Tali. Nok's fleet was met by Commander Exent Hadar of the Jakatakan Fleet who delivered orders rerouting them to Malaz City.[28] While the Adjunct's flagship, the Froth Wolf, and the Silanda docked at the city's pier so that the Adjunct could meet with the Empress, Nok's ships remained anchored in the harbour. Laseen's emissary, Rynag, ordered Nok and his escort fleet to return to Unta, leaving 14th Army's transports behind, but Fist Keneb failed to relay the order.[29] When Tavore and her army went renegade and fled to avoid handing over their Wickan and Khundryl contingents to be slaughtered, Nok feigned incompetency to avoid pursuing her.[30]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Throatslitter's father had been present during the Malazan conquest of Li Heng. After Emperor Kellanved's Logros T'lan Imass had defeated The Protectress and captured the palace, three "madmen" named Nok, Cartheron, and Urko had brought the Malazan fleet upriver.[31]

In Dust of Dreams[]

(Information needed)

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

Korbolo Dom questioned why Nok did not come to the aid of the Empire during the Malazan civil war. Empress Laseen replied that she had placed Nok in charge of the maintenance of the Empire's overseas holdings, and he was "fully committed with the logistics of supply, troop transport, relief and reinforcement." League member Ullen Khadeve claimed that Nok was busy with the pacification of Seven Cities and he was "wise enough to keep to one war at a time."[32]

In Stonewielder[]

Nok was the commander of the naval forces of the Malazan Expeditionary Force to the Lands of Fist. Their charge was to bring the renegade Malazan 6th Army to heel. Nok and Blue Moranth Admiral Swirl led a fleet of ships to break the Mare blockade and successfully transported tens of thousands of troops to Fist. He helped coordinate the marine assault on the fortifications of Aamil where he disembarked High Fist Greymane's armies before pushing through the Black Water Strait to Banith.[33] At Banith, he successfully bluffed his way into an occupation of the city while waiting for Greymane to arrive.[34]

Once the army and the navy were reunited, Nok brought them to Korelri, where he argued against Greymane's planned location for an amphibious assault. Overruled, he landed the troops amidst brutal opposition with the aide of High Mage Devaleth.[35] When Greymane shattered the Stormwall sending a wall of water towards the fleet, Nok withdrew them to safety in the Crack Strait. Even so, only Devaleth's skill with the Ruse warren allowed the fleet to survive.[36]

In Deadhouse Landing[]

A few years before the founding of the Malazan Empire, Prince Tarel usurped rule of the Napan Isles from his sister Sureth and proclaimed himself king. Someone called Noc in the book, presumed to be Nok, remained loyal to Sureth, and according to Grinner, remained on the island with Napan Councillor Amaron looking for support to install her as queen. Grinner doubted the pair would find success as "the powers that be all consider [Tarel's rule] a done deal".[37]

In Kellanved's Reach[]

Nedurian recalled how Admiral Nok, the last great Napan sea commander, had scuttled his vessel in defiance of Tarel's taking the throne. Afterwards, he remained in hiding while communicating with Surly through her newly formed corps of messengers and intelligence agents--the Claw. Surly planned to make Nok her sea-lord once she reclaimed Napan.[38]


Nok was originally the first mate to a corsair that worked the sea lanes around the Napan Isles around the time the islands were annexed by the Kingdom of Unta. Also serving on that ship were Ameron and Hawl who were the only ones to escape being imprisoned by Mock upon docking in Malaz City. All three were recruited soon after by Kellanved and Dancer after a young lad named Dujek discovered their hiding place. Because of his stay in the Malaz Deadhouse, Nok had been gifted with long life and resilience to disease and illness.[4]

Long before he had been an admiral, Nok commanded six dromons. He made landfall at the Napan Isles at the Koolibor River to draw fresh water before proceeding on to battle the Kartool fleet. But Nok's ships had the misfortune of filling their water barrels just as the annual migration of Paralt snakes was underway. At least one sailor died as every barrel collected was revealed to be filled with venomous snakes. Nok had been forced to wait until the next year to shatter Kartool's navy.[39]

Notes and references[]

  1. Stonewielder, Glossary
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.237
  3. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.597
  4. 4.0 4.1 House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.296
  5. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, US HC p.190
  6. Stonewielder, Chapter 5, US HC p.219
  7. Stonewielder, Chapter 8, US HC p.404-405
  8. The Bonehunters, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.772/779
  9. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.485
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 5, see Nok's appearance in the city of Aren, for example
  11. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.638
  12. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.60
  13. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 15, US HC p.390/393-394
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.278
  15. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.228
  16. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.547-548
  17. 17.0 17.1 House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.228
  18. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.793
  19. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.198-199
  20. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.348
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.548
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.637
  23. The Bonehunters, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.713-714
  24. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.637-638
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.725-723
  26. The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.770
  27. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.779
  28. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.829-831
  29. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.867
  30. The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.952
  31. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 14, US HC p.406-407
  32. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4
  33. Stonewielder, Chapter 4
  34. Stonewielder, Chapter 8, US HC p.402-406
  35. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, US HC p.538-540
  36. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.601
  37. Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 4, US HC p.84-85
  38. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 6, US HC p.92
  39. House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC 319-320
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