Raest was described as gaunt and nearly fleshless. His ribs were broken and jutting, and strips of flayed skin and muscle hung in ribbons from his arms. He dragged his bare feet as if the bones were grinding and broken. His eyes were pits.
In Gardens of the Moon
The Malazan Empire learned the location of Raest's prison just east of Darujhistan from the research of High Mage Bellurdan, who studied newly discovered fragments of Gothos' Folly. Adjunct Lorn and the T'lan Imass Onos T'oolan were sent to release him as part of the Empire's strategy to seize Darujhistan and eliminate its defender, Anomander Rake. The Malazans expected Rake to defeat Raest but be so weakened in the process that Rake could be defeated by the Empire's mages. In this way the city could be conquered relatively quickly and efficiently.
Lorn guaranteed that Raest would go to Darujhistan by burying the Tyrant's Finnest within the city on the grounds of the Simtal's estate garden. As strength began to return to an awakened Raest, the Tyrant pondered on his history and his mistake of being unprepared, vowing that he would do it right this time.
Breaking through the tomb barrier and walking into the sunlight, Raest noted that the world was similar to how it was when he ruled, and attempted to find higher concentrations of power. By driving his senses deep into the Earth, he found the sleeping goddess, Burn, but rather than awakening and enslaving her, he decided to simply make her bleed first, driving a fissure through the bedrock.
Raest battled Silanah Redwings and four of Rake's Soletaken Tiste Andii sorcerers in the form of Eleint dragons. Unsuccessfully, he tried to convince them to join him. Though his body was shredded to pieces, their attacks proved ineffective against the Omtose Phellack sorcery holding it together. Driving the dragons back and destroying everything around him, he reached the outskirts of Darujhistan in search of his Finnest. He was ensnared in an Elder Vision inside one of Kruppe's dreams, where both Onos T'oolan and the Elder God K'rul waited. K'rul, one of the only beings that was alive during the time of Raest's empire, told the Tyrant that their time had passed and offered him a choice; die here by the hand of Onos T'oolan, or come with K'rul through the Gates of Chaos.
Raest escaped the vision by possessing the body of the festival-goer High Priest Mammot (whom had previously exposed himself to the Tyrant by spying on his barrow) and attacked Lady Simtal's Gedderone Fete, the estate where his Finnest was buried. Killing many festival-goers and battling against the witch Derudan and wizard Quick Ben, who unleashed seven Warrens, Raest was temporarily stopped by Hedge, who fired a cusser Moranth munition which formed a deep crater but did not kill Raest. He was ultimately defeated after his Finnest was, with Onos T'oolan and Ganoes Paran's aid, imprisoned by a newborn Azath house, located where Lorn had buried the Finnest in the Simtal estate garden. The empowered Azath house then forcibly dragged the Jaghut Tyrant possessed body of Mammot inside with its roots, as he pleaded for mercy, presumably ending Raest's tyranny. This new Azath house would come to be known as the Finnest House.
In Memories of Ice
Two months after his release by the Malazan Empire, the region was still recovering from Raest's destructive path towards Darujhistan. He had destroyed a key bridge over the River Catlin on the caravan route between Darujhistan and Capustan, which choked trade along the route. The necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach arrived to investigate his former tomb finding a crater forty paces across and four or five arm-lengths in depth.
When Ganoes Paran made an unwilling visit to the Finnest House, it was revealed that Raest, although thought dead by the general public, had actually become the House's guardian. Raest confirmed that the Azath had chosen Paran as the Master of the Deck and warned that a war had begun that would not spare the Azath, the gods, or insignificant humans. He escorted Paran down seven flights of stairs to a place that took the captain to the Beast Hold and Burn. The Jaghut was annoyed by Paran's reluctance to embark on the offered path and threatened to kill him for making him waste his effort.
After the Pannion War, Paran retired from service in the Malazan Army and returned to Darujhistan. Three weeks in the company of the other retired Bridgeburners was enough for him to decide to move into Finnest House with Raest. The Jaghut guardian greeted his new houseguest without enthusiasm.
In The Bonehunters
Early one morning, Kruppe knocked on the door of the Finnest House, proclaimed he had an urgent meeting, and slid past a staring Raest to have breakfast with Ganoes Paran. Kruppe convinced Paran that he had to travel to Seven Cities to intervene in a terrible crime in the making. After the little round man's departure, the endlessly muttering Raest was reticent regarding whether he could have blocked Kruppe's entrance. Upon departing Finnest House, Ganoes Paran jokingly referred to its occupants as two eternally sleeping houseguests and a Jaghut manservant — though he admitted Raest would likely kill him if he heard himself described that way.
In Toll the Hounds
In Orb Sceptre Throne
Raest, in the Azath Finnest House in Darujhistan at the time that the Legate had arisen and completely taken over the the governance of the city, was playing cards with Dev'ad Anan Tol. The card game between the Jaghut and the T'lan Imass with the mismatched leg bones was interrupted by the arrival at the Azath of Rallick Nom. Rallick had come seeking to question Raest about the very worrying situation that was developing in Darujhistan - as well as elsewhere in Genabackis - around the increasingly tyrannical acts of the Legate. However, Rallick got short shrift from Raest, who told him to go away - which Rallick very quickly did.
A young Raest was drawn to the power of the wind, demonstrated by its raw banshee fury and its ability to manipulate and shape seemingly immutable stone over thousands of years. His growing reach for power led his mother to declare a Sundering of Blood between them, breaking herself in the process. Raest saw this as an inevitable fate for those resisting his command.
Raest first attempted to subjugate the Jaghut, then the beasts, and then the earth, but all were unsatisfying failures. He finally succeeded with the Imass, creating an empire that followed his cruel will even without his direct intervention. The Imass worshipped him as a god and created temples in his name. Raest's rule lasted for close to 3,000 years.
But his empire came crashing down around 300,000 years before the events of Gardens of the Moon when a community of Jaghut, including his own father, came together and allied with the Imass to stand against him. The collaboration of his notoriously solitary race came as a complete surprise to the unprepared Raest. They separated him from his power, storing it in a Finnest that took the form of an acorn, then imprisoned him and destroyed his empire. One of the Jaghut who collaborated with the Imass referred to his imprisonment as a "chaining".
The truce between the Jaghut and the Imass broke down soon after Raest's defeat. Within 2,400 years of Raest's chaining, the Imass clans had completely exterminated all Jaghut from Genabackis, leaving a dormant Raest as the last known member of his kind on the continent.
Legends of the Tyrant continued to circulate even hundreds of thousands of years later. Two to three thousand years before the events of Gardens of the Moon, rumours of the Jaghut Tyrant's barrow within the Gadrobi Hills led to an influx of human fortune seekers in the area attempting to discover it. Though none ever managed to find Raest's tomb, the treasure hunters eventually founded the city of Darujhistan nearby, leading to the saying that the city was 'born on a rumour'.
Notes and references
- Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 2 - As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 2:01:17
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.374
- Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xv
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.191
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.237-238
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 18
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, US HC p.420
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, US MMPB p.554
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, UK MMPB p.595
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, US MMPB p.558
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, US MMPB p.592
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 17, US MMPB p.489
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, US MMPB p.617-618
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 5
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 1
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.722
- Memories of Ice, Epilogue, US SFBC p.997-998
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.374/377
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.213
- Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 5, US TPB p.141-148
- Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 6, US TPB p.185-188
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US MMPB p.309
- Memories of Ice, Prologue
- Toll the Hounds, Chapter 8, UK HB p.282-285
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 20, US HC p.414-415
- Memories of Ice, Prologue
- Memories of Ice, Prologue, UK MMPB p.26
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.370
- Gardens of the Moon: Chatting with Steven Erikson, Part 3 - See 1:48:45