Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki

Lieutenant Ranal was a young noble-born officer in the 9th Company, 8th Legion of the Malaz 14th Army.[1] He was Lieutenant of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Marine squads of the 9th Company under the command of Captain Keneb. The 8th Legion to which 9th Company belonged was lead by Fist Gamet. Ranal's squad sergeants were Fiddler for the 4th, Gesler for the 5th, and Borduke for the 6th.[2][3]

Ranal was a tall Quon man, fair-skinned, fair-haired, with high cheekbones and a wide, long, straight nose and a full mouth. He had pale blue eyes.[4] He was clean-shaven.[5]

When in front of his soldiers, he adopted a grim-faced officer's expression that was meant to project maturity and professionalism, but succeeded only in evoking the scowl of a constipated man.[6]

In House of Chains[]

Fiddler immediately took a dim view of Ranal, describing him as "embod[ying] the worst of Malazan Military command. Nobleborn, commission purchased in the city of Quon, arrogant and inflexible and righteous and yet to draw a sword in anger." The aversion was mutual with Ranal accusing Fiddler to his face of being a deserter.[7]

Bad decisions made by Ranal, like putting salt water down the centre aisle of their barracks in the stables, resulting in an almighty stench,[8] or proving to be pathetically ineffective as during the first assembly of the Legion reinforced the already dim view his soldiers had of him.[9]

During the first assembly of the Legions a child turned up with a human bone in his hand which was taken as a bad omen by the attending soldiers. Fiddler came up with the idea of making a small bone part of their uniform. Renal did not appreciated this effort to turn the omen when he inspected his troops just prior to their first assembly as a separate force and gave Fiddler a dressing down for the additions. However, before he was able to make an official complaint during the following assembly, the Adjunct Tavore Paran told him to standardise the accoutrements and to remedy that fact that he was the only one wearing a non-standard uniform.[10]

Ranal continued to be at odds with his sergeants, even telling them off. Fiddler put it down to the Lieutenant knowing nothing about being an officer in the field and suggested to the others they go easy on 'the lad' at least for the time being.[11]

He was present when the Khundryl Burned Tears offered their allegiance to Tavore.[12]

Ranal did not know why Captain Keneb kept his squads of marines at the rear of the marching army.[13] He was unaware that Keneb distrusted them for fear they had been infiltrated by a martial cult led by Gesler and Stormy. In any case, he did not lower himself to join his soldiers in their misery eating the dust of those marching ahead of them.[14]

He again showed how out of touch he was with his troops when he was completely confused by talk between Keneb and Fiddler about the betting for the planned fight of the scorpions.[15]

Ranal was briefly promoted to Captain whilst Keneb acted as Fist.[16] Whilst Captain, Ranal restructured the units based on an arrangement originally designed by Greymane. When the promotion was eventually rescinded upon Gamet's return to duty, though the Fist assessed that Ranal likely made them in ignorance, he nevertheless decided to keep the new structure.[17]

In the aftermath of the Battle of Raraku, Ranal led his squads in pursuit of rebel horse warriors fleeing Raraku. Against the advice of Fiddler, Ranal ordered the 4th squad to continue the chase into an approaching sandstorm even after they had left their other squads behind.[18] Using the sandstorm as cover, Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas's warriors turned and ambushed their pursuers. Corabb stumbled into Fiddler in the maelstrom, accidentally pulling free the sapper's entire supply of Moranth munitions and triggering their fuses. Ranal was killed in the huge explosion whilst stumbling around in the storm after his horse had been taken down. The blood-spattered Cuttle reported the Lieutenant's death to Fiddler, saying that he was 'wearing' Ranal.[19]


Fiddler mentioned to Kalam that Cuttle was afraid that eventually they would all end up wearing Ranal.[20] The Bonehunters later used an expression of 'having been rannalled', describing when someone's remains were spread over a large area by an explosion.[21][22]

Notes and References[]

  1. House of Chains, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.300/303
  3. House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.381
  4. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.271/272
  5. House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.407
  6. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.627
  7. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.271/272
  8. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.298/299
  9. House of Chains, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.298/299
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.380-383/407-409
  11. House of Chains, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.497-498
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.630
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.641
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.536/538
  15. House of Chains, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.746/747
  16. House of Chains, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.847
  17. House of Chains, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.863
  18. House of Chains,Chapter 26, UK MMPB p.994-996
  19. House of Chains,Chapter 26, UK MMPB p.1001
  20. The Bonehunters,Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.123
  21. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 17, UK BCA edition p.555
  22. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 23, UK HB p.847
List of abbreviationsPaginationsHow to reference an article