The Pannion Seer was a Prophet Tyrant ruling the Pannion Domin lands southeast of Darujhistan. He was a hunched and twisted old man resembling a corpse, who spoke with an ancient, high-pitched, and quavering voice. His eyes appeared as if they were lit by torches and his sorcery smelled "of ice on the wind".
The Seer was capable of speaking directly into the minds of others. He did not brook disagreement from his underlings and regularly ranted and raved and threatened dire punishments for those who failed him.
In Memories of Ice
The Pannion Seer was the creator and priest-king of the Pannion army, including the Tenescowri. Corrupted by the Crippled God, his purpose was to inflict as much damage and pain as possible to everyone. To do so, he allied himself with an insane K'Chain Che'Malle Matron, whose control over her undead K'ell Hunters allowed him an edge against any who opposed him.
The Pannion Domin successfully brought a large part of eastern Genabackis under his control, most recently conquering the cities of Lest, Maurik, and Setta. The Pannion Seer and the Domin suffered their first defeat at Capustan where the newly allied forces of Dujek Onearm's outlawed Malaz 5th Army, Anomander Rake's Tiste Andii, various forces under the command of Caladan Brood, and Humbrall Taur's White Face Barghast lifted the Domin's siege.
At the same time, the Seer's armies were attacked from the south by Lady Envy, Onos T'oolan, Toc the Younger, Baaljagg, Garath, and the three man Seguleh punitive army, Mok, Thurule, and Senu. The Seer's powerful magic failed to defeat Envy and her forces, although he succeeded in capturing Toc. When brought before the Seer, Toc's sorcery-sensitive sight noted that the old human he saw before him was merely a facade. Within his withered carcass was a thin, tall, hairless, Jaghut with green tinted skin. The Seer placed Toc into the embrace of his "mother". Envy's approach forced him to abandon his fortress at Outlook and fled to Coral taking along the Matron and Toc. The Seer took great delight in tormenting Toc, whose body was repeatedly crushed and poorly healed in the Matron's arms.
Determined to stop the Seer, the victors of Capustan marched for Coral where the Seer decided the Domin would make its last stand. He ordered Septarch Ultentha to bring him Caladan Brood's hammer, annihilate the Malazans, force the Barghast gods to grovel at his feet, and deliver the living Shield Anvil Itkovian to the arms of his "mother".
The Seer and his empire were ultimately defeated at the Siege of Coral at great cost to their attackers. As Coral was falling, the Seer's human body began to fall apart revealing the Jaghut within, and he captured his mother's soul and power within a Finnest. When Moon's Spawn crashed into the Seer's keep, Quick Ben, Ganoes Paran, and Talamandas abducted the Seer to Morn via a Warren portal. Kilava Onass followed them, bent on revenge as the Seer had killed Toc the Younger who had been her brother, Onos T'oolan's, friend. Quick and Paran brokered a deal that exchanged the Finnest containing the Matron's soul and power for the sister of the Seer within the Rent. Quick Ben established that the Seer had not been using Omtose Phellack but the Warren of Chaos and had been manipulated into his twisted thinking by the Crippled God. This delivered the Seer from the god's influence, but left him feeling empty. The Seer expressed his regret at tormenting and killing Toc, but could not yet bring himself to forgive Kilava.
Once the girl had been freed, the party travelled to a cavern beneath the earth in Burn's realm where the Seer fully unveiled his Warren of Omtose Phellack. The unearthly cold immediately began to cool the fever caused in Burn by the poisoning of the Crippled God. Burn's servant, the Witch of Tennes, arrived to assist the Seer with the care of his young sister, who was told her now much older brother was her uncle. The final manifestation of Omtose Phellack would be protected by Burn from the prying eyes of the T'lan Imass and allow the Jaghut to raise his sister in peace.
At the time of the First Gathering of the Imass, about 300,000 years before the main events of the Malazan series, Pran Chole and the Kron Imass hunted Jaghut in the 33rd Jaghut War. Their quarry was a mother and her two children, a boy of about five and a girl of about four. The renegade Imass Bonecaster Kilava Onass attempted to rescue the children by thrusting them into the Rent at Morn. The Bonecaster erroneously thought she was sending the children to safety through a gate to the Jaghut Warren, Omtose Phellack. Not until afterwards did she learn that what she had done was imprison them within the rent and instead cause them an eternal life of immense suffering. Her actions also had the unintended consequence of freeing the K'Chain Che'Malle Matron whose soul had previously been used to seal the rent.
The Matron's soul returned to her nearby body, but she took considerable time (possibly hundreds of thousands of years) extricating herself from her tomb and recovering from her ordeal. She found her world had turned to dust, and without her, her children had withered, died, and been buried in the barrows around her. Then several decades before the Siege of Pale, she recovered the Jaghut boy, Pannion, and adopted him as her son, showing him his power so that he could re-create her world. She raised her undead children from their barrows and attempted to rebuild the dead city. But the delusion led only to madness, and her desperate need to love the living Jaghut boy devoured him until he grew so foul that she spit him back out.
Fourteen years before the Siege of Capustan, the Pannion Seer returned from the Mountain to Bastion to first speak the Words of Truth. The power of those words rippled out and their acceptance by the city's residents became known as the Embrasure. The first flowering of the Faith was accompanied by the creation of the Tenescowri who massacred a caravan camped outside the city. Amidst the slaughter, Anaster was conceived as the first of the Children of the Dead Seed.
The Seer made his home at the mountain fastness of Outlook, surrounded by his demonic Condors and the subverted children of the Matron. He kept his insane mother chained in a cave, and sent a steady stream of prisoners into her murderous embrace to satisfy her motherly needs. Their corpses littered her prison.
Notes and references
- Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xvi
- Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.704
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.421-424
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.417
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.781-785
- Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.694-695
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.425-426
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.556-559
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.781-785
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.782
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.912-913
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.1134/1141
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.966
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.1141/1143
- Memories of Ice, Prologue, UK MMPB p.26-34
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB p.1136/1137
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.966-967
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.57
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.426
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.965
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.344