Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki
Quorl by Grimhilde

Interpretation of a Quorl by Grimhilde aka Tattersail

Quorls [KWORLS][1] were huge dragonfly-like creatures domesticated by the Moranth and used as a means of transportation for both goods and people. The Moranth used high saddles[2] and ridged second saddles for passengers which rose up at the back of the thorax like cowls.[3]


Cloud forest

'Quorl Rider' by Corporal Nobbs

A quorl had four horizontally-oriented wings,[4] comprised of "skin-thin", transparent membrane which sparkled. They could also easily be shredded. When in flight they created a sharp whirring sound and when stationary, they were quivering fast. They had four thin legs, emerging from beneath the high saddles and two additional limbs (or arms) tucked underneath, which were more dexterous. Their long, oddly segmented tails jutted straight out behind them, multi-hued and twenty feet in length. On rare occasions, the tip of a quorls tail might curl up. They exuded an easily recognizable acrid scent. They had enormous wedge-shaped heads with faceted eyes and articulated mandibles. They also exhibited some apparent intelligence.[5] Their chitinous jaws tore strips of flesh from their prey.[6]

A single quorl could accommodate two riders. The Moranth directed their mounts with unseen signals.[7] Quorls were incredibly agile, capable of diving at high speeds and then coming to a stop a man's height above the ground with a single snap of the wings.[7] They fed on live prey and detested open water.[8] They could fly by night as easily as in the day.

In combat, the Moranth attacked with crossbows or Moranth munitions from their quorls. They were capable of attacking both air and ground targets. They were especially effective at mass bombardment of munitions on ground targets.[9][10] In a worst case scenario, quorls could be used as suicide dive bombers that snapped and bit their targets even as their frail bodies and wings shattered.[6]

Quorl by Corporal Nobbs

Quorl by Corporal Nobbs

Qourl Milk[]

Both male and female quorls produced milk that was bottled by the Moranth and sold primarily to women who wished to become pregnant. A normal dosage was a thimbleful--any more resulted in unconsciousness. It was unclear whether the milk had the intended effect or merely "shocked the body into avoid another taste." Female quorl milk smelled sweet. The Green Moranth were said to produce the cheapest quality.[11]

Interaction with the Malazan Empire[]

Access to this air transport changed the way the Malazan Empire fought its wars. They relied heavily on Quorls for transport by air of both soldiers and supplies.[12] The Moranth could use their quorls to stealthily insert squads by dark into key locations as well as quickly move entire companies of troops about the battlefield.[13] Government agencies tried to keep their existence from becoming general knowledge.[14]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Paran was conveyed to Pale by a Quorl of the Green Moranth.[15]

Quorl by Corporal Nobs

Quorl angles by Corporal Nobbs

Whiskeyjack and his squad were taken from Pale to the northern shore of Lake Azur by Quorls of the Black Moranth.[16][17] As they were waiting to leave Pale, Whiskeyjack gave one of the Quorl a nod and it seemed to curl its tail briefly in response.[18] Quorls of the Green delivered Moranth munitions as well as an eighteen foot boat to their landing area.[19]

Dujek at one point considered transporting an entire legion by Quorl.[20]

Due to a storm coming down from the Laederon Heights (likely synonymous with Laederon Plateau), Quorl of the Gold were grounded in a forest (probably Blackdog Forest).[21]

In Memories of Ice[]

Quorl of the Black transported Quick Ben. The flight then picked up a consignment of Darujhistan councils.[22]

In Toll the Hounds[]

Antsy, Picker, and Blend became embroiled in a war of drinks with Barathol Mekhar and Scillara in a Darujhistan restaurant. Each group took turns sending ever more fouler drinks to the others' table. When a bottle of Quorl Milk showed up at the Bridgeburners' table, Antsy complained it was the cheap Green Moranth vintage.[23]


The quorl originated as part of a comic book project Steven Erikson worked on when he was fourteen.[24]

Fan art gallery[]

Notes and references[]