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Olar Ethil was first among the Bonecasters of the Logros T'lan Imass, and was known as the First Soletaken.[2][1]

She was described as "hugely boned, the skull beneath [her] thin, withered flesh bestial. She wore a scaled, leathery cloak of skin that hung down to the ground behind her. Unadorned by a helm, the broad, flat skull revealed only a few remaining patches of skin that each bore but a few strands of long, white hair."[3]

In her Soletaken form, she was a colossal Eleint, that was "an undead twin to T'iam, who spawned all dragons".[4][5]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Adjunct Lorn recalled the Bonecaster Olar Ethil standing alongside Logros clan chieftain Eitholos Ilm during the battle of Kartool. The exchange of sorcery during the battle had made the battle between the Malazan Empire and Moon's Spawn at the Siege of Pale "look like a child's cantrip". Olar Ethil was the only one of the Logros Bonecasters who ever appeared before outsiders.[6]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

As the crew of the Silanda traveled through a flooded Elder warren, they were overtaken by a colossal undead Soletaken dragon of incalculable power. The Malazan mage Kulp called it "The Unwelcome", and described it as hugely boned, with skin like dry shark hide, a viper-like head that was as wide as it was long, and a narrow, bony tail. Its dead black eyesockets sat high on its skull, which had no ridged forehead and "sloped back to a basal serration almost buried in neck and jaw muscles." The dragon's wings were multi-jointed in a crazy pattern beneath taut, cracked skin and their span dwarfed even that of the Son of Darkness. The dragon assisted Kulp in closing a rent that threatened to destroy Meanas before pulling the ship in its wake through its own portal to another warren.[7]

Heboric later identified the dragon as a T'lan Imass Bonecaster.[8] The dragon ultimately appeared at Tesem to guard the gate hidden within its crypts and protect it from the D'ivers and Soletaken pursuing the Path of Hands.[9]

In Memories of Ice[]

Olar Ethil first appeared as an impossibly huge undead dragon in the dreamworld of the Mhybe. Her nearly translucent wings trailed dessicated flaps of skin. She caught the woman in her talons as she plummeted from a precipice towards a storm of the Abyss. The dragon took her for an exhilarating flight across the plain before depositing her safely on the ground. Rhivi spirits told the Mhybe that the dragon, the greatest of the Bonecasters, had been passing through on her way to Silverfox's summons.[10]

Olar Ethil and Ay Estos were the only two Logros clan Bonecasters to heed Silverfox's summons and attend the Second Gathering of the T'lan Imass near the city of Capustan. The others were hunting renegade members of the Logros who had broken from their Vow.[3]

Until the Gathering, Olar Ethil had not been seen by the Logros clan for many years. She had been tasked by their clan commander Logros to seek out the world's remaining T'lan Imass armies. She found signs that four clans of the Bentract were on Jacuruku but trapped within the Warren of Chaos. Of the others (Ifayle, Kerluhm, and Orshayn) there was no sign and she presumed them lost. Under Silverfox's questioning, she admitted that Logros' request had come at the command of the occupant of the First Throne, former Malazan Emperor Kellanved. Kellanved retained control of the Throne because he had Ascended and not died as was generally thought.[11]

Along with the other Bonecasters at the Gathering, she begged for Silverfox to release the T'lan Imass from their Vow. She too was denied.[12]

In House of Chains[]

While pursuing The Unbound with Trull Sengar, Onrack T'emlava became sure that one of the renegades was a bonecaster. He ran through the names of Logros bonecasters in an attempt to determine who it might be. Olar Ethil was one of the names he discarded as she was currently seeking the other armies of the T'lan Imass.[13]

After failing spectacularly to bring Gesler, Stormy, and Truth to justice for trespassing within Kurald Thyrllan aboard the Silanda, Jorrude's party of Tiste Liosan decided to rethink their quest. They considered regrouping and going after an easier target, the draconian T'lan Imass bonecaster in whose wake the three men's ship had been unwillingly dragged.[14]

In The Bonehunters[]

The imprisoned Eleint, Eloth, discussed the rivalry between her kind and the Soletaken Eleint with Cotillion. When Cotillion mentioned that Olar Ethil was the champion of the T'lan Imass, the Eleint complained of the Soletaken woman's endless pleading to bring fire to the world of the Imass. Cotillion noted that both Eloth and Olar Ethil shared the aspect of Thyr, and reasoned that it was clever of K'rul to force the two to share power.[15]

In Dust of Dreams[]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Olar Ethil.

Unsubstantiated claim made by Olar Ethil:

"I am Burn the Sleeping Goddess, in whose dreams life flowers unending, even as those dreams twist into nightmares"
―Olar Ethil[src]

Olar Ethil was an Elder God. She described herself to Torrent as a half-Imass (or possibly less) Bonecaster.[16] Torrent thought of her as a shaman or a witch.[17] She fashioned the Ritual of Tellann.[citation needed] She said that "From [her] ancient blood ran every stream of Soletaken and D'ivers".[18]

She claimed that she was Burn, the Sleeping Goddess, Eran'ishal mother of Eres'al.[19] The Forkrul Assail called her Rath Evain, the Jaghut, "Stone Bitch".[20] She was also variously known as "the Mother beneath the Mountain" and Ayala Alalle who tends the Gardens of the Moon.[21]

In The Crippled God[]

Olar Ethil approached Mappo Runt and his travelling companions, offering them incentives so she could take Absi, the son of Onos T'oolan from them. Initially opposed, one by one the adults gave in and she left with the boy. During the encounter Olar Ethil killed the wolf Baaljagg but got badly mauled in the process. Absi's half-sisters go with him.[22]

She was ultimately killed by Torrent, the last of the Awl, after being returned to mortality.

In Forge of Darkness[]

Olar Ethil encountered Draconus and Arathan in an Azathanai village west of Kurald Galain. She was an Azathanai who took the form of an overweight, middle aged woman whose rolls of snow white skin hung from every appendage. Her belly was covered in scars through which she was able to remove small bloody clay figurines in the shape of prehistoric fertility idols. She presented one such figurine to Arathan.[23] When she intimated that she was the mother of Draconus' daughters, Envy, Spite, and Malice, Draconus made no argument,[24] but by other accounts she may have only been their wet-nurse.[25] She also claimed to have nurtured Burn at her own breast contradicting her later claims that she was herself the sleeping goddess.[26]

Olar Ethil used her power to mentally torment the House Draconus sergeant Raskan before thrusting his head inside her belly and tearing it from his body.[27] In retaliation, Rint, one of Draconus' Bordersword guards, set fire to the tree where she was hiding and left her screaming as she burned.[28]

In Fall of Light[]

(content needed)

Significant plot details end here.


Olar Ethil's name appears in the Deadhouse Gates Dramatis Personae, but she is never identified by name in the text of the novel.


Knuckles: "If there is one presence I would find unwelcome above all others, Errastas, it is Olar Ethil."
Errastas: "She is dead—"
Knuckles: "And supremely indifferent to that condition..."
Errastas conspiring with Knuckles[src]

Notes and references[]