Osseric was an Ascendant known as the Lord of the Sky. He was also known as Osserc, Osric, Liossercal, and Brother Light. He was Champion (Knight) of High House Light, a Soletaken, and god of the Tiste Liosan. His Soletaken form was that of the Eleint, which possessed glittering scales of silver and gold and rivaled Anomander Rake and Orfantal in size. He was the son of Father Light and an unknown mother.
Osseric was tall, pale as snow with wavy, silver long hair which was streaked with gold, the appearance pure Liosan. His eyes were silver, "licked by gold". He wore plain grey leathers and a sword at his belt. Alongside Ammanas, Cotillion, and Traveller, Osseric appeared tall, with blunt features and gold eyes. His lips were heavy and his smile revealed "prominent tusks at his lower jaw."
Osseric explained his godship in these terms: "The Liosan worship themselves ... I happen to be a convenient figurehead". At one time, Osseric wrote or inspired the text of Osric's Visions, which the Liosan held sacred and consulted for wisdom.
In Gardens of the Moon
Anomander Rake remarked to Baruk that 800 years earlier he had been visited by Icarium, Mappo, and Osseric. He and Osseric had quarreled, and almost come to blows but Caladan Brood had kept the peace.
In Deadhouse Gates
When the Malazan mage Kulp sensed a powerful presence within Kurald Emurlahn he searched his memory for Ascendants who bore that kind of power. He dismissed Osric as a possibility because he was reputed to have journeyed to a continent far in the south a century back.
In Memories of Ice
In House of Chains
It had been centuries since Osric had walked amongst his people in Kurald Thyrllan. The Bonecaster, Monok Ochem, informed Seneschal Jorrude that Osric "numbered among the contestants in the other realms." But he could not return to the Tiste Liosans because he was lost.
Osric's son, L'oric, conspired with his familiar to hide his father's disappearance from his own people. Without their god, Osric's seneschals would not be able to call upon their magic. So the familiar answered their prayers without the senechals' knowledge. This came to an abrupt end when T'lan Imass led by Monok Ochem sensed the deception. The undead warriors slew the familiar forcing L'oric to seek help from the Queen of Dreams.
L'oric later found Osric living within a Warren that appeared to be formed of Raraku's memory. He appeared in his Soletaken form, a towering white and gold Eleint to rescue his son from the Deragoth. Osric had purposefully withdrawn to the warren after he and Anomander Rake had discovered Moon's Spawn. Osric was convinced the Skykeeps were inventions of the K'Chain Che'Malle, and the warren allowed him to observe them as they had once been. Once reunited, Osric admitted he could barely stand the company of his son, who reminded him much of L'oric's mother. He was unwilling to return to the same world as the Malazans, preferring to live his life in seclusion pursuing his own interests. He felt no responsibility for Kurald Thyrllan, believing it could take care of itself.
Osric returned to save his son once again when L'oric was struck down and left to die by Korbolo Dom's assassins in the warren of the Whirlwind Goddess. He readied to take L'oric back to his keep to heal once they determined how to find their way out of the warren.
In Midnight Tides
Long before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Scabandari and Silchas Ruin led an invasion of Tiste Edur and Tiste Andii into the Malazan world. Mael and Gothos observed Scabandari betray Ruin in the Tiste moment of triumph and Mael allied with Kilmandaros to bring down the rogue Edur. Gothos warned him to hurry as Ruin's brother, Anomander Rake, began to distantly awaken to the threat. Mael had anticipated Rake, mentioning that Osserc was already moving to stand in his path.
In a vision, Udinaas witnessed a meeting between Osserc and his daughters, Menandore and Sukul Ankhadu, that took place shortly after Osserc's battle with Rake. Osserc's hair had been burned away by fire, his skin was cracked, red, and oozing, and his armour was battered and broken by the encounter. Although Rake had gotten the better of him, he claimed to have delayed Rake long enough for Scabandari to escape.
Osserc challenged his daughters to explain why they carried the unconscious body of Sheltatha Lore. From their conversation we learned that the creation of Soletaken Eleint involved Tiam mating with, amongst others, Osserc and that he regarded the Soletaken thus created as extended family. When his daughters suggested that they meant to imprison Sheltatha in the same Azath House as Scabandari had buried Ruin, Osserc warned against it. He noted that Scabandari had already been destroyed by this world's gods.
Later, Udinaas and Feather Witch accidentally travelled to the Refugium where they met the Imass, Ulshun Pral, and the boy, Rud Elalle. 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 Osserc, had closed the road to the Hold long ago.
In The Bonehunters
In a discussion with Ampelas, Eloth, and Kalse — three Eleint imprisoned in the Shadow realm — Cotillion linked Osserc to the Tiste Liosan much as Anomander Rake was tied to the Tiste Andii and Olar Ethil to the T'lan Imass.
Icarium and Mappo Runt discovered the crucified body of the Eleint, Sorrit, within the wreckage of a K'Chain Nah'ruk skykeep. Mappo noted that the Eleint was aspected to Serc and her death meant the source of Osserc's power was under assault. Her death left Osserc the sole ruler of that warren and if he were to die, Serc would have no ruler. Along with Fener's recent fall, Mappo saw this as evidence that the pantheon was under siege.
In Reaper's Gale
In the time when Kurald Emurlahn was dying and fragmenting, Anomandaris Purake waited for Kilmandaros at the rent leading from the Malazan world to Shadow. The Elder Goddess had just dispatched Scabandari Bloodeye after his betrayal of Rake's brother, Silchas Ruin. She asked Rake where Osserc was, having been told by Mael that Osserc planned to use the opportunity to pursue Rake. Rake only laughed at the idea of the "idiot" searching for him in the Malazan world before he and Kilmandaros returned through the rent to Shadow.
The Errant considered the viewpoints of various gods and ascendants towards rulership, power, and worship. While Rake denied his worshippers and concentrated his activities on specific, minor conflicts, Osserc again and again tried the opposite and failed. The Lord of the Sky saw Rake's very existence as "an unconscionable insult."
When Bruthen Trana found Kilmandaros and Knuckles residing in an Azath House at the bottom of the sea, the Elder Goddess bitterly recalled the betrayal of Anomander Rake that had once left her imprisoned there. Knuckles assured her that if she had not first attacked Rack in anticipation of his eventual betrayal, she would not have faced Rake's wrath. He argued the same was true of Osserc.
In Toll the Hounds
Anomander Rake gave Baruk a copy of Dillat's Dark and Light from his personal library. The archaic book described an incident in which Rake and Osserick had been allied against the evil tyrant Draconnus, Slayer of Eleint. Rake had struck Draconnus unconscious and left Osserick to guard him. But when Rake returned, he found Osserick bloodied and Draconnus freed by Sister Spite's hand. Anomander vowed his alliance with Osserick would one day end and he would wage war on him and his kin. Spite and her sister, Envy, secretly watched this result of their manipulations and were pleased. Rake set out in pursuit of Draconnus, while Osserick sought vengeance against Spite. Crone found the account inaccurate, explaining that Osserc and Rake's alliance fell apart because of a growing mutual dislike in which Draconus was merely the death-blow. She found the book's description of Rake's vow against Osserc amusing. But she did scold Osserc for falling for Spite's womanly wiles.
The book also described war among the dragons when all the First Born (but one) had bowed their necks to K'rul. The children of the dragons, bereft of their inheritance, rose in battle to reject the First Born. Osserick and Rake had already tasted the blood of T'iam and others came to do the same. War raged upon all the Realms as long as the Gates of Starvald Demelain remained open. Under Osserick, Kurald Liosan was the first Realm to seal the portal between itself and the Realm of the dragons. He cleansed the world of all rivals--the Soletaken and the feral purebloods--and drove out the D'ivers. Osserick and Rake battled until Kilmandaros drove them apart.
In Night of Knives
In the Elder Age, the Child of Earth Denuth found an injured Liossercal at the site of a violent explosion. Denuth was soon horrified to realize that Liossercal had obtained his wounds in the act of destroying an Azath House. He considered taking advantage of the Soletaken Eleint's weakness to finish him off, but Liossercal sensed his intentions. Liossercal argued that "Draconus is a fool. His conclusions flawed. Rigidity is not the answer." Instead, Liossercal claimed his own actions at the Azath House were for "exploring alternatives." Denuth ordered him to leave, hurrying Liossercal on his way by noting that Draconus was approaching and he "brings his answer with him." Draconus soon arrived carrying what appeared to be an unfinished Dragnipur.
For a time, Osseric appeared to be a prisoner of the warlock Shen at his fortress on Bael. Shen used the sleeping god like a battery, sapping his power to enhance his own. The Crimson Guard unknowingly awoke Osseric when they killed Shen to fulfill a contract. The Guard's High Mage and chief assassin Cowl attempted to kill Osseric as well and believed he had succeeded, but Osseric managed to transfer himself into the sword of the Guardsman Kyle. The sword had coincidentally just been inscribed by the Crimson Guard mage Smoky, with a token of the Spirit of the Wind. Osseric was not identified by name during that incident, and Kyle believed that this unnamed entity was Father Wind, a god worshiped by his people, the People of the Wind, on the subcontinent of Bael.
While in possession of Tcharka, Kyle dreamed of a meeting between Anomandaris and Liossercal in Kurald Emurlahn. Liossercal had discovered a strange crystalline structure growing from the ground and was dismantling it in "research". Anomandaris questioned his methods as he labeled the entity a Shadow House and called it a child, something new and unformed. It was his "interpretation that this house is of Emurlahn and Emurlahn exists as proof of the accord between our Realms. Threaten one and you threaten all." Liossercal took his words to heart, and Anomandaris lightened the mood by discussing Resuthenal, a woman they both knew.
Osseric later released himself from the sword when Kyle and Traveller met with Shadowthrone and Cotillion in Shadowkeep. Kyle's sword was destroyed in the process so Osseric gave him one of his own.
- Kyle: "Father of Winds, I had no idea…"
- Osseric: "You were not to. And I am not father to winds or to your people. Your ancestors merely adopted the ancestral totems of sun, sky and winds – all of which shine, turn and blow without my intervention. So are traditions invented. It is up to you to keep them – or not."
- ―Kyle and Osseric after Osseric freed himself from Kyle's sword.[src]
In Blood and Bone
Osserc spoke briefly with Shadowthrone in the throne room of Shadowkeep. Some time after this meeting he was able to enter the Deadhouse in Malaz City, succeeding in his ambition of penetrating an Azath House.
- "Memories are not the truth of the past. We sculpt them to suit our images of our present selves. And, in any case, the truth of then is not the truth of now."
- ―Gothos speaking to Osserc
Gothos was present in the house as well, and he and Osserc entered into a battle of patience. A Nacht Guardian of the Azath House later appeared in the house as well (acting as a servant), presumably placed there, along with Gothos, to aggravate Osserc. Osserc began to recall memories from his past and realized that the Azath House wanted self-reflection from him. Shortly afterwards he witnessed Cowl's escape from his prison within the grounds surrounding the Azath House. After much reflection, Osserc decided to leave the house, and when leaving he realized that the ritual then being performed by the Circle of Masters in Jacuruku was taking advantage of Thyrllan. After the large blast which occurred when the ritual was interrupted, Osserc was found unconscious but alive by Sister Spite and L'oric, who returned him, still unconscious, to Thyrllan.
In Forge of Darkness
Osserc sought to help Hunn Raal manipulate events in Kurald Galain to place his father, Vatha Urusander, on the throne. When his father informed him that he would not inherit command of Urusander's Legion, Osserc felt betrayed and abandoned him. As he left the Legion's headquarters in Neret Sorr he was challenged by Millick who was angered that Osserc had seduced his beloved Renarr. Osserc strangled the man with one hand.
Notes and references
- Stonewielder, Chapter 2, US HC p.121
- Toll the Hounds, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.51-54
- Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.232
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.816
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.820
- House of Chains, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.567
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, US HC p.405
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.281
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.826
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.382
- House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.462/476-477
- House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.487-491
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, US TPB p.533-534
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.686-688
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.689
- House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.686/692
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.823-826
- Midnight Tides, Prologue, US SFBC p.24-25
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.230
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.277/278
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.231
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.117-118
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.485
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.111
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.78
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.162-167
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.231
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.560
- Reaper's Gale, Prologue, US HC p.23-24
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 15, US HC p.416-417
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.589
- Night of Knives, Chapter 5, US MMPB p.230
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Prologue, UK PB p.1-2
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 2
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 2
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 3, US HC p.356-358
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 5
- Blood and Bone, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.94-95
- Blood and Bone, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.134-137
- Blood and Bone, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.244-247
- Blood and Bone, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.584-591
- Blood and Bone, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.779-781
- Blood and Bone, Epilogue, UK MMPB p.831-838
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 12, UK HC p.350/353
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 12, UK HC p.356
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.230