The Ritual of Tellann was performed at the First Gathering 298,665 years before Burn's Sleep by the Imass Bonecaster, Olar Ethil, transforming most of the Imass people into the T'lan Imass. It was "the binding of the Tellann Warren to each and every Imass. The ritual made them immortal [...] The life force of an entire people was bound in the name of a holy war destined to last for millennia." The purpose of the ritual was to make the T'lan Imass capable of exterminating the Jaghut people. Kilava Onass was the only Imass known to have escaped the ritual. The Imass also included their hunting partners, the ay in this ritual, creating the T'lan Ay.
The T'lan sometimes referred to the ritual as the Vow of Tellan or simply the Vow.
In House of Chains
The Ritual was instigated after four Jaghut Tyrants had risen and raised a compact to destroy the land forming the modern day continent of Seven Cities. Events happened so quickly that crimes of individual Imass, like Onrack T'emlava, were ignored so that they could be included in the Ritual. The Ritual took place somewhere near the modern city of Sarpachiya and the Jhag Odhan.
It was possible, in some cases, to wittingly or unwittingly become shorn from the Ritual. Onrack lost his connection with Tellann after his body was badly damaged while battling two of the Deragoth in the Nascent. The renegades known as The Unbound were set free after swearing fealty to the Crippled God and recovering their weapons from one of the T'lan Imass sacred caches.
In Reaper's Gale
Stories passed through the years by the Awl of Lether suggested that the Ritual took place simultaneously in different places across the Malazan world rather than entirely at a single gathering. Redmask told of how the Shamans of the Antlers gathered at the valley of Bast Fulmar to conduct a fell ritual with their brethren across the world that severed their life from the earth and severed the earth from its own life. Afterwards, the land of the valley was completely drained of magic and sorcery did not work there.
In Dust of Dreams
Though most T'lan Imass were under the impression that there was only one Ritual of Tellann, the ritual was again performed later in time by the Brold Imass, descendants of some of those who sought to follow Kilava Onass when she rejected the first Ritual. According to Nom Kala, the second ritual took place about a hundred generations after the Jaghut had gone and about two hundred generations after the K'Chain Che'Malle had journeyed to the eastern lands.
In Fall of Light
Notes and references
- Memories of Ice, Prologue
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 14
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, UK MMPB 1147
- House of Chains, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.564
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.375
- House of Chains, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.34
- House of Chains, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.571
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 12, US HC p.319-321
- Dust of Dreams, Chapter 19, UK HB p.658
- Dust of Dreams, Chapter 17, UK HB p.570-572
- Fall of Light, Chapter 23, UK HB p.713/714