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Malazan Wiki

'Empress Laseen' Interpretation by Shadaan
Depicted in the background clockwise from left:
Tayschrenn, Possum, Topper and Lorn

Possum was a Claw assassin and mage described as "beady-eyed and narrow-faced as his namesake".[1] He eventually became Clawmaster.

His true first name was Urdren, which he had left behind "with the corpse of his father".[2]

Possum's Warrens were Meanas and Mockra, although Mockra was not his strength.[3][4]

In Night of Knives []

Temper recalled how Possum and his fellow Claw, Jade, were directed by Surly, later known as Empress Laseen, to dispose of Dassem Ultor, Ferrule, and Temper after the Siege of Y'Ghatan. Possum was second in command to Topper at this time. Despite Temper describing his form as the best he had seen, Possum was unable to fight an injured Dassem and was seemingly mortally wounded.[5]

Possum was involved with the events during the night of the Shadow Moon on Malaz Island. He clashed with Temper in Mock's Hold, keeping his distance, then fled upstairs[5] to where a confrontation between Surly and Emperor Kellanved and Dancer appeared to result in the latter duo falling out of a tower window into the sea. After their failure to kill the two within the tower, Surly asked a slightly injured Possum to organize a search for the corpses.[6]

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

Possum, now Clawmaster after Pearl's death, attended the execution of Janul of Gris Province, one of the Old Guard, in Reacher's Square in Unta. As he moved through the crowd, dressed as a common labourer and his appearance altered by the Warren of Mockra, he estimated that about 50,000 people were attending the execution. As he continued through the crowd he felt someone address him through Hood's Path. It was a head piked on a wall above the crowd and it had a message for Possum, "They are returning. The death-cheaters. The defiers. All the withholders and arrogators."[7]

He was soon joined by Laseen who surprised him by using his first name. The two searched the crowd for Janul's sister Janelle, who found Possum first. She willingly offered up her life to the assassin, taking a small victory by cheating him of professional satisfaction.[8]

When the Crimson Guard invaded Unta, he was in charge of the Claws' response. He survived an ambush set up by the Guard and witnessed Laseen kill an Avowed. He was also briefly held at knifepoint by an unknown assassin.[9]

During the Battle of the Plains, Possum eliminated the Claw Coil who he thought had betrayed the Empress. But as Coil lay dying, her façade fell away to reveal Havva Gulen, the High Mage. She claimed to have been removing the Claw loyal to Mallick Rel, and now Possum had ended the Empress' protection.[10]

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

Towards the end of the battle, Possum remained hidden behind a veil of Mockra watching over the Empress. He was ambushed and stunned by the Crimson Guard High Mage Cowl, but got back on his feet, staving off Cowl alongside Laseen. As Cowl disappeared into the warrens, dueling with Topper, Possum made the mistake of relaxing his guard. Thinking they had already encountered and beaten the worst, he was unready to prevent Laseen from being assassinated by Mallick's pet assassin, Taya Radok, who struck at her from behind with a stiletto.[11]

In Assail[]

Possum, broken by his failure to protect Laseen, turned up on Assail, where he became a khall leaf addict. He was amongst those travelling with Cartharon Crust and was killed during his successful attempt to assassinate King Ronal of Mantle.[12]

In Kellanved's Reach[]

(Information needed)

Significant plot details end here.

Notes and references[]