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"From the very beginning, in creating this world via roleplaying, it was always an even exchange. I made up characters who interacted with his storylines, and [Esslemont] did the same with his characters acting in my storylines, so everything in the Malazan world has both of us in it."
―Steven Erikson[src]
"[Kellanved] was my character while Steve played Dancer, and sometimes he and I would just spend the whole night arguing as [Kellanved] and Dancer over what to do, while, in the meantime, nothing got done! It was all immense fun (and we would cackle gleefully by the way)."
―Ian C. Esslemont[src]

The core foundations for the Malazan novels of Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont were born in the role-playing game sessions they began at Canada's University of Victoria in the 1980s. The two were flatmates while attending the college's creative writing program and shared similar interests in history, archaeology, and anthropology. They started with Dungeons & Dragons, but soon found the game system "too mechanical and on occasion nonsensical" so they moved on to GURPS (the Generic Universal Roleplaying System), which offered the spontaneous narrative flexibility they were looking for. Although role-playing games tend to be designed with the idea that a single referee guides the actions of multiple players through an adventure scenario, Erikson and Esslemont played one-on-one sessions with each alternating as referee and player.[1][2]

Erikson says he ran a "very narrative, dialogue-heavy, often action-less style of game" that forced characters into moral quandries.[3] A lot of their gaming was "riff[ing] off what the other person had set up," he says. "Each of us had complete freedom to do that. That riff would be generated by the desire to actually knock the other person askew, knock them off stride and catch them by surprise...It was like this constant passing back and forth of various challenges in the gaming and coming up with something that would be unexpected for the other person.[4]

The early Malazan games ran for three to four years and largely covered the backstory of the foundation of the Malazan Empire. Many members of the Malazan Old Guard were game characters created with characteristics and roles delineated by the gaming rules. Erikson says, "This all became the grounding of the fictional world we then created, and those who have gamed will see the basic gaming elements at work in our tales. To be specific: the Malazan Empire was founded in a tavern called Smiley's in an island city: its core of players were a balanced party of sorcerers, fighters, assassins, thieves and priests."[5] The pair integrated their intellectual interests by gaming the deeds of Malazan's 'great people' and examining the effects of their actions on both the conquered and the conquerors. Then they would replay or expand on these events by taking on the roles of the soldiers caught up in the wake of their leaders on both sides of the conflict. In this way they covered the Malazan invasions of Quon Tali, Seven Cities, and Genabackis that led up to the beginning of the first published Malazan novel, Gardens of the Moon, as well as gamed the general events of that book itself.[6][7][8][2][5]

Gaming went on to form a general timeline for both Erikson and Esslemont's books to be filled in with additional characters and storylines created by each author.[9] Erikson estimates that perhaps as much as twenty percent of the novels come directly from their original gaming sessions.[10] Esslemont states that almost all of the books in the series were gamed to at least some degree, although some such as Blood and Bone were derived from "talked-through sketches and events." But the gaming details used in the books "represent only a fraction of all that material".[6] More important than strictly adhering to the events of their games was creating novels that captured "the sheer fun we had while gaming and the atmosphere that we created with our characters. Specific events—if they need to change to better suit a novel—then go for it...the purposes of the book have to trump any other consideration."[11]

The authors' style of one-on-one gaming is one reason why character duos are so prevalent in the novels (Shadowthrone/Cotillion, Quick Ben/Kalam, et al.)[12] However it was also not uncommon for Erikson or Esslemont to play multiple characters simultaneously. Erikson recalls playing the roles of Anomander Rake, Caladan Brood, and T'riss in one series of games.[3] Erikson says they would have "whole game sessions that were nothing but dialogue, but they'd be a lot of fun. Nobody cast a spell, nobody drew a sword. It was just conversations and absurd situations...That's how we entertained each other."[13] They were also not above departing from game rules when it served the overall story. Esslemont says "we drove the true gamers mad with our blatant disregard for the mechanics of the game. We neither of us cared for what the dice said and preferred instead the unfolding of poetic truth. Excellent, inspired, or entertaining role-playing always won out over the dictates of the rules."[6] Although, Erikson has revealed that some key story points were left to chance. "Believe it or not, the clash of two major characters in Toll the Hounds was decided on a single roll of the die. If it had gone the other... well, I shudder to think."[8]

Erikson and Esslemont mapped the world collaboratively with Erikson outlining most of the continents. Esslemont says there were times he was handed a "blank continent" which he "then filled out with peoples, cities, civilizations, and such. Usually who was 'running' that game determined who would fill in the map. For example, Steve ran me in north Genabackis and so filled all that out. Then, later, I ran Steve in south Genabackis and filled out all the south."[7]

Both men continued gaming even after they were no longer roommates, but career opportunities soon took them to different parts of the world. Erikson continued one-on-one sessions with his friend, Mark Paxton-Macrae, creating the story of Karsa Orlong. He also refereed a more traditional game with five players whose characters formed the basis of Fiddler's squad in the Bonehunters and who helped guide the events of the final books in this part of the series.[14][9]

Erikson says he no longer games as more recent efforts have shown that gaming "draws from the same sort of creative energy that writing does. And so if I'm writing on a novel, I've got no creative energy for running a game, and if I'm running a game, then the novel suffers."[15] Esslemont wishes he was still gaming, but says, "all that creative energy and fun [in gaming] has been shifted over to writing fiction, so my gaming time, if you will, is now my writing time and I try to keep it that much fun. So I sort of am still gaming but instead of doing it with a group and live around a table, or online, I'm doing it with characters in my fiction."[16]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about the entire Malazan series.

Gaming Elements found in the Malazan Novels[]

Below are the characters and events that Erikson and Esslemont have specifically tied to their role-playing sessions in their writings and interviews. It is by no means a complete list.


Characters played by Erikson[]

  • Anomander Rake[17] -- The first character Erikson ever rolled up and played in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Erikson played the character through game after game and "lived and breathed the guy".[18] In his early adventures, Rake was paired up with Caladan Brood and T'riss, who were all played simultaneously by Erikson.[19]
  • Bauchelain[20] -- Invented along with Korbal Broach for friend, Mark Paxton-MacRae's, game. The game was short lived as Paxton-Macrae "found them too scary to deal with."[21] Paxton-MacRae says Erikson's two characters were "terrifying inimical creatures, who could not be stopped" and they "ran roughshod through everything" with Paxton-MacRae "trying as hard as I could to keep up with" Erikson. That was the last time he considered running a game for Erikson.[22] Erikson says they were "more insane" in the games than in the novellas and he still has the GURPS character sheets for the two necromancers.[23]
  • Blues[24] -- Blues and Fingers were Erikson's primary characters in Esslemont's Crimson Guard campaigns.[25]
  • Caladan Brood[3] -- The second or third game character Erikson created.[26] In his early adventures, Brood was paired up with Anomander Rake and T'riss, who were all played simultaneously by Erikson.[19]
  • Cotillion[27]
  • Dancer[27] -- Dancer was always played by Erikson as a non-player character in the games Erikson ran for Esslemont (who was playing Kellanved/Wu). The assassin did not even have a traditional character sheet listing his attributes in the game.[28] Erikson says Dancer was "the first time I ended up playing the straight-man...to one of Cam's characters [Kellanved] in a game, and oh, it was good fun."[29]
  • Fiddler[5][30][31] -- Erikson played Fiddler, Quick Ben, and Kalam together as Malazan marines.[19]
  • Fingers[32] -- Fingers and Blues were Erikson's primary characters in Esslemont's Crimson Guard campaigns.[25] During their games, Fingers' legs were atrophied as a result of a permanent flight spell that meant he no longer needed to walk and would instead "float three feet above the floor with his legs crossed."[25] Erikson says Fingers "was always kind of half mad".[33]
  • Ipshank -- Along with Manask, one of Erikson's favourite characters to play.[34]
  • Iskaral Pust -- Invented for the novels, but later used as a non-player character in the games.[3]
  • Jorrick Sharplance -- "One of the most amusing" characters Erikson played. "He was a complete send up."[35] Erikson played him "mostly for comedic purposes. He was a character I overplayed in the sense of his bombastic self-certainty. So, we didn't get to see him much, but I mean even the name was comical."[25] The other Crimson Guard characters were secretly envious of Jorrick because everywhere they went he was the hero and the centre of attention, and no matter what they did they were relegated to the background. They all hated him.[36] Jorrick's "luck was absolutely absurd", making him "an unkillable character", which served as inspiration for Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas in the novels.[37]
  • Kalam Mekhar[5][30] -- Erikson played Kalam, Quick Ben, and Fiddler together as Malazan marines.[19]
  • Korbal Broach[20][21] -- (See Bauchelain above)
  • Kruppe -- One of Erikson's favorite characters to play "especially since he hardly ever did anything."[3] He was among the first characters Erikson created when Esslemont planned to run a game set in Darujhistan. Unusually for one of his characters, Erikson gave him no background, "he just...popped up as if out of nowhere."[38] "[Kruppe was a] character I rolled up, and on spur of the moment elected to make him... the way he is."[39] He came from Erikson's desire in early games to create "an unusual character--not your standard...cleric, mage, or fighter, or thief. I just wanted something just a little bit different."[40] Kruppe's character in the game was "pretty much as you see him on the page...[He was] overly verbose, spoke about himself in the third person, had the habit of sweating and constantly mopping his brow and stealing food."[41] Erikson did not use a particular voice for Kruppe, but would "sometimes mime having a handkerchief so that when conversations got rough I'd start mopping my brow."[42] Kruppe used illusion magic to make himself appear to sweat profusely when dealing with Baruk or in a difficult situation.[43]
  • Leff -- Erikson and friend Mark Paxton-MacRae co-played Scorch and Leff where "it ended up accidentally being a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern thing cause neither of us could remember which character we were playing cause they were both equally stupid." The two would get into such stupid predicaments, the two players would "lose our shit laughing."[44]
  • Manask[8][45] -- A "300 pound thief...who instead of picking the lock, walks through the door, physically." Along with Ipshank, one of Erikson's favourite characters to play.[46]
  • Murillio[5][47] -- Originally conceived by Esslemont as analogous to the character of Aramis from Alexandre Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers.[48]
  • Quick Ben[5][30] -- Erikson played Quick Ben, Kalam, and Fiddler together as Malazan marines.[19] The name was a take on Paul Newman's fire starter character Ben Quick in the movie The Long, Hot Summer which Erikson and Esslemont had seen on television around the time that Erikson created Quick Ben as a character.[49]
  • Rallick Nom[8][45][19] -- Created by Erikson, but first run in a game as a non-player character by Esslemont. Erikson and other players first encountered Rallick outside the walls of Darujhistan. Rallick was a "serious bad ass...he scared the crap out of us."
  • Scorch[44] -- (See Leff above)
  • Shimmer[50]
  • Skinner[25]
  • T'riss[3] -- The second or third game character Erikson created.[51] In her early adventures, she was paired up with Anomander Rake and Caladan Brood, who were all played simultaneously by Erikson.[19] Erikson was sorry to see her fade into the background when their games became more involved with Darujhistan and he "had too many characters on my plate".[52]

Characters played by Esslemont[]

  • Baruk[53] -- Likely played as a non-player character by Esslemont.[19] He served as a Cardinal Richelieu "enemy/frenemy figure" in their Three Musketeers-style Darujhistan games.[54]
  • Coll[53] -- Inspired by the character of Athos from Alexandre Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers.[55]
  • Crippled God[56]
  • Dassem Ultor -- Erikson says Esslemont played Dassem "very close to his chest, so he did not reveal too much in terms of motivations or feelings." The pair gamed out the entire story of Dassem's tenure as Mortal Sword for Hood.[57]
  • Duiker -- Esslemont laughingly says "he just kept getting killed, all the time."[58]
  • Greymane[53]
  • Hedge -- His gaming name of "Prairie Dog" was changed for the novels at the behest of the Malazan editors.[31][5] Esslemont recalls that Hedge's original name might have been "Wolverine".[59] See also Whiskeyjack below.
  • Kaminsod[56]
  • Kellanved[27] -- Esslemont played Kellanved's character close to his chest so that even Erikson "couldn't tell whether he was completely...insane or incredibly clever."[60] And in Erikson's mind, Esslemont "never really answered that question."[61] During their games, Esslemont was also "incredibly lucky" while playing the character and he could prove to be just as frustrating (in a fun way) to Erikson as to the Old Guard non-player characters he interacted with.[60] First known as Wu, in his early days Kellanved was an illusionist pretending to be a magic-user. Esslemont says, "None of his spells had any real effect, but everyone thought he was a magic-user and so they believed him."[62] "All of his power was an illusion...even his appearance...he was a complete fraud." Much of his success on Malaz Island was achieved through bluffing.[63] Esslemont and Erikson would often stretch the rules of the game's magic setting to allow the low-level Wu's small number of illusion spells to last longer than strictly dictated by their game definitions. Esslemont says, "Wu had only three spells, and so the fight [or duel] would be over pretty quickly...and that would be that. So we just said, well he keeps making illusions, he keeps changing the illusion, even though the duration of that spell has already passed...we kept the illusion up [beyond the rule limit] because it was entertaining.[64] Esslemont admits he has long lost Wu's character sheet he used during their games.[65]
  • K'azz D'Avore[53] -- May have only been played by Esslemont as a non-player character.[66]
  • Leoman -- Erikson calls him "one of [Esslemont's] classic role-played characters. He hardly says a word and he holds everything in, and you're not quite sure what's going on with him. And I always liked that."[67]
  • Mallet -- (See Whiskeyjack below)[31][5]
  • Osseric -- Introduced as a foil for Anomander Rake.[6] Erikson says the character was his first point of contact with the Tiste Liosan and he "got burnt early on by Osric...he just drove me up the freaking wall. So that probably clouded my view of the Liosan forever more."[68]
  • Rhulad Sengar -- Erikson says Rhulad's 'condition' was gamed and that he was crueler to the character in the game than in the novel.[8] The games played with Rhulad lasted only "very briefly" just before the two friends went their separate ways after completing their studies. Erikson says, "We never finished that campaign, but it was one we had started. And I can't remember how far we got in it, either...I think I was running the game because I remember creating the sword that Rhulad would inherit, and I don't remember if what happened in the novel is similar to what happened in the game, in terms of how he acquires it. Probably not. But definitely the notion of that weapon was thrown into Cam's lap as Rhulad."[69]
  • Shadowthrone -- Originally named "Dr. Wu",[27][53] a name based on a Steely Dan song title.[70] Esslemont says the "Dr." came about because Wu "decided he needed a sort of more august name, so he made everyone call him doctor."[71]
  • Traveller[72]
  • Trotts -- (See Whiskeyjack below)[31]
  • Vorcan Radok[73]
  • Whiskeyjack[53] -- Esslemont played an entire squad at once which included Whiskeyjack, Hedge, Mallet, and Trotts[31] (They may have been non-player characters interacting with Erikson's marine characters as opposed to full characters.)[19] Whiskeyjack's death was an invention for the novels, and Erikson admits Esslemont "was a bit miffed...but then I told him he could kill off any of my characters if he wants."[74]
  • Wu[75] -- (See Kellanved and Shadowthrone above)

Characters played by Others[]

  • Bottle[76] -- Played by Mark Paxton-MacRae[77]
  • Fiddler's squad of the Bonehunters -- Erikson ran a game with five friends covering the invasion of Letheras and through the events of The Crippled God. (This did not include Corabb and Cuttle).[53]
    This included:[78]
    • Fiddler
    • Bottle
    • Koryk
    • Smiles -- Played by Erikson's friend Courtney in Winnipeg, "who's this huge, bearded guy, a fantastic singer, great guitar player, but the fact that he created a character, you know, this small woman called Smiles was just hilarious and he played her very well."[79]
    • Tarr
  • Karsa Orlong -- Played by Mark Paxton-MacRae in one-on-one gaming sessions with Erikson, who says Paxton-MacRae had no idea at first he was playing a Toblakai.[80] Paxton-MacRae says he was told to roll up a barbarian character, whom he named Orlong, and to focus on character instead of physical characteristics. When Erikson thought of including him in a novel, he asked Paxton-MacRae for permission to use Orlong and add Karsa to his name.[81] House of Chains, where Karsa first appears, is dedicated to his player.
  • Leff -- Coplayed by Erikson and Paxton-MacRae[44] (See Leff above in Erikson section for more)
  • Scorch -- Coplayed by Erikson and Paxton-MacRae[44] (See Leff above in Erikson section for more)

Characters played only as non-player characters[]

  • Cartharon Crust[6][82]
  • Corabb -- Erikson says, "He was an npc as I recall. Initially used for comic event during the [gaming] sessions. He only took shape in the novels."[83] But his death-defying luck was cribbed from another of Erikson's game characters, Jorrick Sharplance.[84]
  • Draconus -- Run by Esslemont in their early games[85]
  • Kallor -- Esslemont says the High King was "a recurring nemesis" who appeared much more regularly in the games than in the novels. "He had a lot more discussions with the main characters" in earlier drafts of the Return of the Crimson Guard that were cut out from the final manuscript.[86]
  • Lady Envy -- Created and run by Esslemont in their early games.[87] Erikson says "Lady Envy was great...she was a perpetual foil"[88] and she was "brilliantly played" by Esslemont. She had a "fairly neutral role" in wresting Dragnipur from Draconus in the game and "you could never tell what her intentions were, what her desires were." Erikson was "a little bit nervous to introduce Envy" in the books, "to make sure I could get her voice and her blase indifference to almost everything around her."[89] Her sister Spite was a later addition to the novels.[90]
  • Laseen[6][82]
  • Moranth -- The Moranth made appearances only as non-player characters.[91]
  • Obo -- Run by Erikson, who called him "a hilarious NPC" and "the most powerful mage in the city of Malaz"[92] and Kellanved's "arch-nemesis."[93] "Every time Wu would come [to Obo's Tower] seeking help, he'd knock on the door and the door would open, and he'd see Obo there and Cam, playing Wu, would just lay out all the problems that need fixing and all that stuff, and Obo would just stare at him and slam the door. In his face. I did it over and over again. It was a running joke. He could never get anything out of Obo."[92] His name was a play on Obi-Wan Kenobi and the phrase "You're my only hope" from Star Wars.[94] This is probably the basis for Shadowthrone and Obo's interaction in the climax of The Bonehunters.
  • Onos T'oolan -- Played by Erikson as an NPC[95]
  • Tavore Paran[96]
  • Tayschrenn[82]
  • Toc the Younger -- Erikson says he does not "recall if Toc was ever a rolled-up character, more likely he was an NPC."[80]
  • Urko Crust[6][82]

Characters who were invented for the novels and did not appear in games[]

Events from the novels that were gamed[]

  • The plot of Gardens of the Moon was largely shaped by gaming:
    • Erikson says, "the events in the city of Darujhistan leading up to the night of fete were all gamed" with the action broken down into small groups. For example, Kruppe, Coll, Murillio and Rallick formed one group while Whiskeyjack, Mallet, Fiddler, Hedge, Quick Ben, and Kalam formed another.[8] An entire campaign was dedicated to Whiskeyjack and the squad infiltrating Darujhistan.[117]
    • Unbeknownst to Erikson, Esslemont based the game grouping of "Coll, Murrilio and Rallick, with Crokus thrown in" on the Three Musketeers.[7] Erikson has also stated that Crokus did not appear in the games, but was invented first for an early Malazan screenplay and then the books.[118][119]
    • The Fete at Lady Simtal's estate -- The affair was fully gamed including Kruppe, his face smeared with pastry, meeting Anomander Rake.[8] Erikson bounced back and forth playing Kruppe, Rallick, Rake, Fiddler, Quick Ben, and Kalam simultaneously.[120]
    • Rallick facing Turban Orr -- An encounter whose resolution depended on a roll of the dice.[8]
  • The city of Darujhistan was invented and mapped by Esslemont.[121]
  • Anomander Rake's visit to the Isle of the Seguleh and recovery of the Tyrant's mask -- Esslemont says he created the island to take a "cocky" Rake "down a notch or two".[17] The encounter began when Rake discovered a group of children wearing all black masks catching fish in a stream. When they noticed Rake, they drew their swords and challenged him one-on-one. Rake batted their blows aside and was soon challenged by adults wearing colourful masks decorated with many markings. These battles proved not very difficult as the attackers only fought him one at a time, but the number of challenges were relentless and tiring, and his strength waned. Eventually, his challengers (with less ornate masks) were so skilled and dangerous that he maneuvered the battle to the edge of a cliff so he could leap backwards and transform into his Soletaken form in midair to escape. So began the legend of the Blacksword among the Seguleh, who determined that Rake had achieved seventh rank during the encounter.[122] Rake "barely escape[d] with his skin! It was a hilarious night of gaming."[17]
  • Erikson's first three characters in games run by Esslemont were Anomander Rake, Caladan Brood, and the Queen of Dreams, and they were played in a setting that originally was not "'Malazan' in the sense of what we now call 'Malazan.'"[123][124] Much of their adventures over ten years of gaming was "not relevant" to the story Erikson wanted to tell in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. But details such as Rake claiming Dragnipur (with Lady Envy witnessing) and Brood acquiring Burn's hammer formed the backstory of the novels.[123]
  • The creation of the Malazan Empire came from a campaign run by Erikson featuring Esslemont as Kellanved with Dancer played by Erikson. These events had not been depicted in any novel as of 2008.[124] It is unclear if they are the same events depicted in Esslemont's Path to Ascendancy books, but in a 2018 interview, Erikson said the prequel series covered "the stuff we actually gamed so that's a lot of fun for me [to read]. I get to tap in and see what he's up to, and how he remembers things versus how I remember things, and then how these things change for the purposes of fiction."[125]
  • Kellanved's discovery of the First Throne and mastery over the T'lan Imass occurred in a game run by Erikson, who "never revealed the extent to which [Esslemont's] character Kellanved had control over the T'lan Imass. And that was part of the fun, was that he never knew and I was never going to tell him. So sometimes things worked, and sometimes they didn't. Sometimes he gave orders and they were followed, and sometimes they were completely ignored. It was amusing. It was a very fun aspect of the game because he would come into scenarios brimming with confidence because he's got the T'lan Imass, and then he'd call on them and they wouldn't show up."[126]
  • Conquest of Falar -- Esslemont says this campaign, which was depicted in Forge of the High Mage, was not really gamed[127] and the Jhistal itself was left undefined in the game and only used as "a byword for terror and fear."[128]
  • Kellanved and Dancer's conquest of Seven Cities was gamed,[8] but the Whirlwind rebellion later depicted in Deadhouse Gates was invented for the novels.[129]
  • Dassem Ultor's Siege of Y'Ghatan -- Erikson says "we were doing squad by squad for the assault, building by building engagement, in a kind of Black Hawk Down style (before the film ever came out)."[130] See also the Y'Ghatan battle map below.
  • Malazan conquest of Quon Tali[6]
  • Blackdog Forest campaign -- Run by Erikson for Esslemont involving the Malazan campaign on Genabackis before the events of Gardens of the Moon.[7] Some of the first maps created by Erikson of the Malazan world featured Blackdog Swamp, Mott, and Mott Wood.[124] The Bole brothers and the Mott Irregulars "played a huge role in the Blackdog Campaign in the gaming sessions."[131]
  • The history of the First Empire was shaped by gaming. Per Erikson, he and Esslemont "gamed a bit in the bronze age of the...pre-Malazan world...I had a bronze age map of Seven Cities, long lost...Then we had the full back story of the First Empire."[132] Erikson sets the bronze age of the Malazan world as "back about ten thousand years" where even the continental coastlines were different due to changing sea levels.[133]
  • The supposed drownings of many of the Old Guard refer to an in-joke between Erikson and Esslemont from their gaming days. "Whenever we wanted to drop a character off the board, as it were, they drowned," says Erikson.[134]
  • Surly's assassination of Kellanved and Dancer at Mock's Hold depicted in Night of Knives -- The gamed version of the pair's fall into the sea was much more comical than the novel. After Erikson's Dancer healed the injured Esslemont's Kellanved, Dancer asked Kellanved if he remembered who he was. Kellanved answered by throwing back his head and shouting, "Wuuu!" as the Hounds of Shadow howled in the distance. Esslemont and Erikson described Dancer and Kellanved's early adventures as "The Three Stooges of fantasy" and their slapstick had to be toned down for the novels.[135] See also Ian Esslemont's account here. Esslemont initially remembered Wu shouting, "Noooo!", but Erikson jogged his memory that he actually shouted, "Wuuuu!"[135]
  • The Trygalle Trade Guild -- Originally created for Darujhistan, Erikson says "it seemed obvious...in retrospect that yes, you would have a delivery system, you'd have a FedEx through the Warrens. Because why wouldn't you?"[136] "They were a lot of fun."[137]
  • Karsa Orlong's story in Book 1 of House of Chains -- Erikson says he dragged his player "through hell" and that later events involving Binadas Sengar on the Silanda were dictated by the "immense frustration" of Karsa's player and surprised even Erikson.[14] Karsa's companions, Bairoth Gild and Delum Thord, were inventions for the novels. In their gaming sessions, the raid on Silver Lake was conducted by Karsa alone.[138] In fact, Karsa's player "seriously balked at his first venture down into the civilised lands."[80] Erikson began the game by having Paxton-MacRae's character approached by his friends announcing that "it's time to go down into the valley and kill children." Without understanding what the term meant to the Teblor, Paxton-MacRae "went through a horrible existential crisis."[139] When Paxton-MacRae charged the settlement at Silver Lake and discovered he was larger than the doors, Erikson revealed Karsa was a giant and "laughed for about 20 minutes."[140]
  • The fate of Lieutenant Ranal in the aftermath the Battle of Raraku and the ambush with Corabb's desert warriors that precipitated it.[141]
  • Jheck -- Played a central role in gaming events that are now only "ancillary history" per Erikson.[142]
  • The many deaths of Rhulad Sengar -- Erikson said he gamed this scenario to "create a rather unusual sword that upended the seemingly perfect gift it offered" and question "what would it be like to die over and over again?"[143]
  • The duel between Anomander Rake and Traveller at Darujhistan[144] -- This was the event Erikson referred to when he said, "Believe it or not, the clash of two major characters in TtH was decided on a single roll of the die. If it had gone the other... well, I shudder to think."[8] He says the winner of the duel was decided by a dice roll-off between himself and Esslemont, with the first to roll a twenty on a twenty-sided die winning the fight and deciding the story.[72] To avoid spoiling his audience, Erikson usually never outright admits he is referring to the Rake/Traveller duel, but in answer to a fan question he says Esslemont won the day.[145] In later interviews, Erikson admits that Rake and Traveller met in a game run by Esslemont. After Rake failed the die roll that settled their duel, Esslemont surprised Erikson by using Dragnipur in Rake's demise. Erikson was "initially...shocked [and] upset at losing the character, but then massively intrigued...because [Rake] was going into the sword...That had never happened. I knew nothing about what was inside the sword, since that was all of Cam's stuff...He would tell me you hear this wagon, these huge, creaking wheels and this rattle of chains. And that's all I knew...It was a great moment because it's like, oh great, where are we going with all of this? And then I appear in the sword, chained. I get to meet Draconus and various other characters and then I'm faced with a dilemma--how do I get out of these chains? And that took...[Rake's] story in a very different direction from what's in the books."[146] Erikson says Esslemont believed they had to get rid of Dragnipur, so the sword had to be shattered.[147]
  • The Bonehunter campaigns as experienced by Fiddler and his squad, who were all gamed by individual players:
  • The Crimson Guard -- Esslemont can not remember the inspiration for the Guard, but says "We needed or decided to use a mercenary group, and it had to have weight to it, it had to have a power, in order to stand up to what it was facing...it had to be balanced with the power of the Malazan Empire at that time...we made this vow and that gave it the power to stand up and meet toe-to-toe with some very heavy hitters."[149]
  • The Stormwall and Greymane -- Erikson says "I'm left smiling in the wake of this novel [Stonewielder], in that it possesses so many elements that Cam and I gamed (the Stormwall, Greymane and his pact, the shards at the centre of the landmass, etc, in fact, the whole inundation of the Stormwall...you can't imagine the cruel glory of seeing a rolled-up character, heroic in his own right, ending up universally cursed as a betrayer. It was exquisite, and perfectly in keeping with how we gamed, and with what we aimed for in terms of fucking over the other guy's characters.")[150]
  • Smiley's Bar followed the classic role-playing trope where a tavern served as the place for various game characters to meet and begin adventuring. Erikson and Esslemont modified the standard setup thinking, "If we're going to have our characters meeting up in a bar, why don't we own the bar? It's a lot safer that way." Erikson recalls that when Kellanved and Dancer first arrived at Smiley's it was "the hangout for the local thieves guild, or something along those lines. There was a protection racket being run out of there, and they just took that over. And so they inherited the waiting staff, and the cooks, and everything else--who were all criminals."[151] Inheriting the crew at Smiley's was a shortcut way for the authors to add NPCs when they did not have other players to fill these roles because we were "living in places where we didn't have a gaming group, it was just him and me...We had to work our way around all of those aspects of traditional gaming to fit our narrative and to have all those background characters step onto the stage."[152]
  • Jethiss and the Blade of Bone -- Jethiss' story arc was originally gamed for Anomander Rake. But after Rake's death in the books, Esslemont says he and Erikson agreed they did not want "to cheapen" his death and have him "pop back up and say, "Oh, I'm back! That would really be a disservice to the depth of that moment. It would cheapen that emotional moment." The Blade of Bone, a sword made for Jethiss by the Forkrul Assail using the bone of his own arm, originally came from these gaming sessions with Rake. Esslemont says Rake was "very powerful at this point--too powerful, frankly. And he kept breaking his weapons, destroying them because he was so strong. And then I told [Erikson] that there's this race called the Forkrul who they say could make anything, make something indestructible. And so [Rake] goes to find them and he says, 'Make me a weapon that's worthy of me, that I can't break.' So they look at him and they say, 'Well, do you really want to do that, because the price is very high.' And he says yes. So, yeah, they take him and they cut his arm off and use his bones to make his sword."[153]
  • South of Stratem is a large region known informally as the Sea of Glass from their gaming sessions that Esslemont describes as "a great wound".[154] It made a brief appearance in Kellanved's Reach[155] and was briefly referenced in Forge of the High Mage.[156]

Warrens and Holds[]

Esslemont recalls that Erikson came up with the concept of "portals and people moving from one physical reality to another...you'd almost call them...parallel dimensions of worlds that you can move from one to the other." Esslemont's contribution was a riff on the concept of "walking through shadow" created by Roger Zelazny in The Chronicles of Amber. Zelazny's characters could pass through an infinite number of worlds that were shadows of the one true world "simply by imagining and anticipating the characteristics" of the world they wanted to travel to. The focus for this travel was a deck of specialised tarot cards.[157]

The Deck of Dragons[]

The Deck of Dragons was initially conceived by Esslemont for their games and the two authors devised schematics on how to lay the cards down.[158] The cards were inspired by similar cards used in Zelazny's Amber series, which Erikson and Esslemont were both "huge fans" of.[159][160]

Ascendancy[]

At its most basic level, the concept of Ascendancy is "based on the mechanical structure of role-playing games, where a character levels up."[161]

Tiste[]

  • None of the events in the Kharkanas Trilogy came from gaming sessions.[162]
  • When asked if the Tiste had "pointy ears" during a fan Q&A, Erikson said, "I can't remember if I ever mentioned that. I may have. I don't know. I mean they originally derived from Dark Elves and D&D, so."[163]

T'lan Imass and Jaghut[]

Erikson says the dry sense of humour (or the non-sense of humour) of the T'lan Imass carried over from the games to the books, but "the game versions of the T'lan Imass tended to be more comedic, believe it or not. And the Jaghut were less comedic in the games and much more comedic in the books."[164]

Death[]

Instances of character death were a bit looser in the games as the rules allowed for character resurrection under particular circumstances. Erikson says, "Resurrection was not uncommon...It was a drag to roll up new characters all the time. Although we did have characters die off, definitely. And, you know, you just...put those characters away, whether they were ones we rolled up or NPCS, they're out of the picture at that point. So, yeah, we did have characters die...There were some major characters where their death, it was not the ending that satisfied either one of us, and so we would alter the storyline to adjust and to make it a little bit better."[165]

Gaming events that have not appeared in the novels (yet)[]

  • Dancer and Wu's first gamed meeting was somewhat different than the one depicted in Dancer's Lament. In a game refereed by Erikson, the two characters attempted to loot an old wizard's tower and it turned into "a whole Keystone Kops kind of scenario". The two encountered a little demon named Twist, not realising the wizard was long dead and the demon was his pet. Twist led them "on a merry chase", using illusions to make himself appear enormous, making fun of their aspirations, jumping out of closets, and tricking them repeatedly. They spent half the time fighting him and half the time running away. Game mechanics went out the window and the session leaned heavily on narrative riffing.[166]
  • Kellanved and Dancer's hijinks at Smiley's -- Esslemont remembers "one particular immortal exchange between us (one that has yet to see print) wherein I explained that the paranoid Kellanved, then owner of a bar named Smiley's, was spying and listening in on his employees by drilling holes in the floor of his office over the bar. Later, Steve had Dancer come upstairs, see Kellanved with his ear pressed to a hole and his bum in the air, and promptly kick him across the room."[167] Erikson recalls that an angry Obo once kicked open the door to Kellanved's office only to discover Kellanved's butt facing the door while the mage spied through a hole in the floor into the tavern's main room.[168]
  • Anomander Rake's discovery and claim of Moon's Spawn -- This occurred in a game run by Esslemont during the first campaign the authors gamed together.[169] It was a remnant of one of the K'Chain Che'Malle's Skykeeps that Erikson made the home of the Tiste Andii, and he prepared a diagram of the fortress' interior and bridge.[170]
  • Anomander Rake's acquisition of Dragnipur - Esslemont ran a series of games in which Erikson played Rake's quest to possess the sword. Once it came into his possession Rake gave the sword to Osserc to hold onto it for him and Lady Envy stole it from Osserc. Erikson "was seriously ticked." Esslemont says the sword was his homage to Stormbringer, the sword of Michael Moorcock's character, Elric.[171]
  • In one early game session, Anomander Rake was stranded on a beach and Erikson set about building a boat to escape. But Esslemont refused to allow him to succeed as Rake had no skill in shipbuilding. After "a huge argument", Erikson was forced to concede.[172]
  • Onos T'oolan served as a Sergeant, or more likely Lieutenant, in the Bridgeburners "during the gaming campaigns involving the Bridgeburners conquering Northern Genabackis...he ordered Whiskeyjack and his squad around...[and Erikson] liked the idea of an undead boss for that squad." Both Erikson and Esslemont found it funny.[173]
  • After Kellanved and Dancer's ascension, the authors took the two characters out of the main storyline for a time. Instead they ran a campaign where the two characters used the Azath Houses to travel back in time to Quon Tali's Bronze Age. Erikson "redrew the maps slightly to take into account lower sea levels and that kind of thing." The campaign "was very, very useful in building the backstory to what was going on, that showed up later in the Malazan books."[174] Erikson says all that physically remains of the campaign is a single Bronze Age map of Quon Tali that's "kicking around somewhere."[175] Similarly, Esslemont recalled a game that took place in the future on Stratem "after the Crimson Guard had become legendary."[176]
  • Among the Bridgeburners who died in the Siege of Pale in Gardens of the Moon were "many, many [non-player characters]...who had been major players in the gaming that we did."[177]
  • Three of Erikson's main characters in Darujhistan were Rallick Nom, Kruppe, and Ferret. Erikson thinks Ferret was killed off early on and so did not appear in the books.[178]
  • Mark Paxton-MacRae once played a vampire character who travelled to Seguleh Island where he was not welcomed. The wounded vampire then made his way to Darujhistan where he was pursued by a vampire hunter, eventually asking Baruk to remove his vampiric curse. Paxton-MacRae says Erikson "kicked the crap out of him. That was the last time I tried to flex in Steve's worlds."[179]
  • During a game session run by Paxton-MacRae for Erikson, Bauchelain summoned a minor demon and instructed it to find the most frightened person in the city, throwing off Paxton-MacRae's carefully planned scenario. Bauchelain turned the unfortunate victim into his slave.[180]
  • Paxton-MacRae and a group of others played in a game run by Erikson where they were "a bunch of brothers who...found some armour, and decided to wear armour and be cool and run around and do stuff because we were tired of living in the tiny village we were in." They somehow passed through a gate into a warren where they "pissed off" Anomander Rake. Rake came after the group drawing Dragnipur and "the look on Steve's face--he became a just a terrifying figure." The brothers escaped when Paxton-MacRae cast an ice spell on Rake's sword that weighed it down just long enough for them to escape back through the gate.[181]
  • Erikson says he and Esslemont examined the nature of otataral and its relationship to magic to a detail not yet revealed in the books. Although not ready to give away the mystery, Erikson says, "There is certainly something there and certainly something Cam that I worked through in our gaming. It's just not showed up in our fiction."[182]
  • Tower Thick--Blues constructed a tower on Stratem using earth magic whose walls kept getting thicker and thicker as he continued to reinforce them. The tower was occupied by Blues' squad of Crimson Guardsman including Fingers, Shimmer, and Skinner who felt overshadowed by Jorrick Sharplance.[183]
  • An adventure in Shal-Morzinn that made use of "three holdover characters" from a game Esslemont had originally run with a group of friends before gaming with Erikson. The three high-powered mages--who were possibly referenced in the Malazan novels as The Three--had built their own castle. Although not considered "officially part of the Malazan world" at the time, the three characters "sort of butt in briefly, sort of a flyby, causing all kinds of chaos on their way" in a session where Erikson played as Anomander Rake. Erikson recalled it as "a tense meeting."[184][185]

Author maps[]

Steven Erikson has posted some of his original hand drawn Malazan maps on his Facebook page.

Significant plot details end here.

Dungeons & Dragons vs. GURPS[]

Erikson says the primary reason for shifting to GURPS from D&D was "primarily driven by the need for multi-class characters." Dungeons & Dragons defines characters by giving them a class archetype (fighter, cleric, magic-user, thief, etc.). It is possible for characters to multi-class--that is combine classes, such as a fighter-thief--but both authors found the process still too limiting for the characters they wanted to create.[186]

"GURPS sort of got rid of classes entirely, and we really liked that idea. What was happening with both Cam and I was, we were growing frustrated with the structuralism that's built into D&D...GURPS just opened the door on that because you had your same character generation rules for a character who could be living in the stone age all the way up to the space age, it just didn't matter. And that really, really appealed to our sense of how we wanted these characters. I think because we wanted our characters to be elusive. In your classic D&D group, if you will, it would be difficult to mistake a thief for a fighter. All the physical descriptions, you'd look at them and know one was a thief and one was a fighter. Or a mage and fighter. Or a cleric and a fighter. Or a cleric and a mage. They're sort of walking, talking cliches. They're tropes, each of them...Why fight the constraints that are built into the system?"--Steven Erikson[186]

An official Malazan RPG?[]

Erikson and Esslemont have discussed making an official Malazan game book to allow fans to play their own adventures in the authors' world. In an April 2016 interview, Erikson mentioned that he and Esslemont had talked about the possibility with Steve Jackson, publisher of the GURPS system in which Malazan was born, and Jackson seemed "amenable" to the idea. Erikson said he could see a GURPS-based game proceeding as a crowd-funded project. The authors' long gestating plans for an "Encyclopedia Malazica" would serve as the foundation for the book. Erikson suggested he and Esslemont would "be happy to write little aspects for atmosphere...conversation, dialogue between characters, that kind of thing", but that the bulk of the organizational and game mechanics work would have to be done by trusted partners. Both authors are currently too busy with writing projects to take on such a project themselves.[45]

Esslemont has said he thinks a game supplement for a preexisting game like GURPS detailing a specific city and its environs would be workable with the world ultimately being built "piece by piece" over many projects.[187]

External links[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Erikson Q & A - Part 6 - YouTube (link no longer works - video made private)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hello Reddit, I am Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything - Reddit (2012)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Ask Steven Erikson Your Crippled God Questions - Tor.com (5 November 2014)
  4. Deadhouse Gates - A chat with Steven Erikson, Part 1 - See 22:40
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 The World of the Malazan Empire and Role-Playing Games - steven-erikson.org
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Ian Cameron Esslemont Answers Your Return of the Crimson Guard Questions - Tor.com (15 April 2013)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 A Conversation with Malazan series authors Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont - Tor.com (29 October 2010)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Questions for Steven Erikson on Gardens of the Moon? Start asking! - Tor.com (27 September 2010)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hello Reddit, I am novelist Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything - Reddit (2014)
  10. Hello Reddit, I am Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything - Reddit (2012)
  11. Steven Erikson Talks Building Malazan, Facebook Post, & More - See 15:30
  12. 12.0 12.1 Steven Erikson Answers Your Midnight Tides Questions - Tor.com (9 March 2012)
  13. Novellas (and more) with Steven Erikson - Smiley's Podcast - See 52:00
  14. 14.0 14.1 Steven Erikson Answers Your House of Chains Questions - Tor.com (23 November 2011)
  15. The Grim Tidings Podcast See 13:50 (dead link)
  16. A Sojourn at our Humble Tavern for a conversation on the Novels with Ian C. Esslemont! - Smiley's Podcast - See 3:55
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Ian Cameron Esslemont Answers Your Orb Sceptre Throne Questions! - Tor.com (3 June 2015)
  18. Anomander Rake and Point of View - stevenerikson.org (7 July 2018)
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 Interview with Dark Fantasy Legend Steven Erikson - See 15:00
  20. 20.0 20.1 Interview: Malazan Book of the Fallen author Steven Erikson - The Void (13 March 2011)
  21. 21.0 21.1 In the Dragon's Den: Interview with Steven Erikson Part 2 - The Critical Dragon (21 April 2016)
  22. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 22:30
  23. Novellas (and more) with Steven Erikson - Smiley's Podcast - See 29:30
  24. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:38:00
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Gardens of the Moon: Chatting with Steven Erikson, Part 3 - See 1:53:00
  26. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 55:50
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Steven Erikson Interview - Pat's Fantasy Hotlist (6 April 2011)
  28. Chat with Ian C. Esslemont and Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 1:06:00
  29. In the Dragon's Den: Interview with Steven Erikson Part 1 - The Critical Dragon (18 April 2016)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 19:15
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont Ep#4 podcast - See 27:10
  32. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:38:00
  33. Deadhouse Gates - A chat with Steven Erikson, Part 1 - See 22:20
  34. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:00:55
  35. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:38:00
  36. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 20:10
  37. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 43:10
  38. Novellas (and more) with Steven Erikson - Smiley's Podcast - See 1:03:20
  39. Interview: Steven Erikson, Author Of The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Sequence - blogcritics.org (14 April 2011)
  40. Deadhouse Gates - A chat with Steven Erikson, Part 1 - See 19:30
  41. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:17:00
  42. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Midnight Tides - See 53:15
  43. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 27:30
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 27:45
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 The Grim Tidings Podcast (dead link)
  46. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:00:55
  47. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 18:20
  48. Discussing Inspiration and Imitation with Malazan Authors Esslemont and Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 5:30
  49. Amalgam Podcast - See 45:00
  50. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:38:00
  51. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 55:50
  52. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:34:00/1:37:00
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 53.5 53.6 Hello Reddit, I am Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything - Reddit (2012)
  54. Interview with Malazan Author Ian C. Esslemont - Philip Chase - See 13:50
  55. Discussing Inspiration and Imitation with Malazan Authors Esslemont and Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 5:30
  56. 56.0 56.1 Ten Very Big Books podcast - Midnight Tides - See 53:25
  57. Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 2 - See 25:30
  58. Beyond the Table: E4 - Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - See 22:35
  59. Conversation with Ian Cameron Esslemont - Ten Very Big Books - See 38:45
  60. 60.0 60.1 Grimdark Magazine - Interview with Dark Fantasy Legend Steven Erikson - See 23:50
  61. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Midnight Tides - See 54:30
  62. Malazan Magic, Warrens, and the RPG Origins with Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 19:20
  63. https://youtu.be/jR6pU2IqPOg?t=1710 Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon] - See 28:30
  64. Malazan Magic, Warrens, and the RPG Origins with Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 16:45
  65. Chat with Ian C. Esslemont and Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 1:02:00
  66. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:38:00
  67. Ten Very Big Books podcast - The Bonehunters - See 18:45
  68. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 25:35
  69. A Conversation with Steven Erikson - Malazan Mid-Series Reflection - Green Team of the Legendarium - See 22:15
  70. Steven Erikson Facebook post 31 January 2018
  71. Chat with Ian C Esslemont about Malazan - A Critical Dragon - See 32:00
  72. 72.0 72.1 Steven Erikson Talks Building Malazan, Facebook Post, & More - See 16:10
  73. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 18:44
  74. Steven Erikson Discussion - Death in Malazan (Spoiler Warning) - Books with Banks - See 36:30
  75. In the Dragon's Den: Ian C Esslemont Interview - The Critical Dragon (14 April 2016)
  76. Ask Steven Erikson Your Bonehunters Questions! - Tor.com (27 June 2012)
  77. Amalgam Podcast - See 1:08:25
  78. Steven Erikson (Malazan) about his upcoming book about writing - The Nostalgic Dragon - See 16:45 - Note: Erikson erroneously says Bridgeburners when he means Bonehunters
  79. Amalgam Podcast - See 1:09:00
  80. 80.0 80.1 80.2 Hello Reddit, I am novelist Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything. - Reddit (2014)
  81. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 4:30
  82. 82.0 82.1 82.2 82.3 82.4 Interview with Dark Fantasy Legend Steven Erikson - See 24:40
  83. Steven Erikson Reddit Ask Me Anything session - September 2021
  84. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 43:10
  85. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:34:00
  86. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 7:15
  87. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:34:00
  88. Chat with Ian C Esslemont about Malazan - A Critical Dragon - See 52:00
  89. Steven Erikson Discussion - Death in Malazan (Spoiler Warning) - Books with Banks - See 51:20
  90. 90.0 90.1 Steven Erikson Discussion - Death in Malazan (Spoiler Warning) - Books with Banks - See 52:20
  91. Spoiler Chat: Orb Sceptre Throne with Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 10:50
  92. 92.0 92.1 Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:32:00
  93. (Melo)Dramatic Reading and Discussion - Fiends of Nightmaria with Steven Erikson and Philip Chase - A Critical Dragon - See 44:20
  94. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 40:30
  95. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:02:40
  96. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:04:00
  97. Steven Erikson Facebook post 9 April 2018
  98. Amalgam Podcast - See 35:00
  99. Critical Conversations 09: Beak, Emotional Vignettes in Epic Fantasy, and Reaper's Gale - A Critical Dragon - See 1:15
  100. 100.0 100.1 100.2 Interview at Caballero Del Árbol Sonriente - See question 11
  101. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 2nd Interview with Steven Erikson, author of Memories of Ice - See 39:25
  102. Conversation on Malazan with Steven Erikson and AP Canavan (aka A Critical Dragon) - Green Team of the Legendarium - See 45:30
  103. Steven Erikson Facebook post 9 April 2018
  104. Novellas (and more) with Steven Erikson - Smiley's Podcast - See 31:15
  105. Steven Erikson Answers Your Reaper's Gale Questions - See question 6
  106. Beyond the Table: E4 - Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - See 22:50
  107. 107.0 107.1 Steven Erikson Reddit Ask Me Anything session - September 2021
  108. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:02:15
  109. 109.0 109.1 Chatting With Nutts - Episode #18 ft Steven Erikson - The Fantasy Nuttwork - See 2:23:30
  110. Spoiler Talk: Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 1:40
  111. A Conversation with Steven Erikson - Malazan Mid-Series Reflection - Green Team of the Legendarium - See 37:30
  112. Steven Erikson Live Q&A - Fantasy/SciFi Focus - See 5:05
  113. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:02:15
  114. Steven Erikson Reddit Ask Me Anything session - September 2021
  115. DLC Bookclub Special: Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of Midnight Tides - See 9:25
  116. Amalgam Podcast - See 1:09:40
  117. Read for Pixels 2016 Interview See 1:35:50
  118. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 18:24
  119. Beyond the Table: E4 - Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - See 20:10
  120. From the Cutting Room Floor: Steven Erikson Chat Fragment - A Critical Dragon - See 14:50
  121. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 18:13
  122. Spoiler Talk: Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 5:10
  123. 123.0 123.1 Ten Very Big Books podcast - Memories of Ice - See 44:00
  124. 124.0 124.1 124.2 The True Gods of Shadow: A Steven Erikson Interview - Jay Tomio (3 June 2008)
  125. Interview with Steven Erikson - The Fantasy Hive (1 November 2018)
  126. Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 1 - See 1:11:00
  127. Forge of the High Mage, Ian C. Esslemont on his New Malazan Novel - Books with Banks - See 19:20
  128. Forge of the High Mage, Ian C. Esslemont on his New Malazan Novel - Books with Banks - See 52:05
  129. Beyond the Table: E4 - Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - See 23:10
  130. Steven Erikson Facebook post 21 August 2018
  131. DLC Bookclub - Memories of Ice - Malazan Book of the Fallen - Chapters 23-24 - See YouTube comment by stevelundin5705 aka Steven Erikson
  132. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Deadhouse Gates (See 28:20)
  133. In Conversation With Steven Erikson: A Foray Into Writing and Characters - ToriTalks - See 12:20
  134. Deadhouse Gates - A chat with Steven Erikson, Part 1 - See 37:10
  135. 135.0 135.1 Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont Ep#4 podcast - See 46:00
  136. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Deadhouse Gates - See 46:30
  137. Steven Erikson Live Q&A - Fantasy/SciFi Focus - See 42:25
  138. Steven Erikson Facebook post 9 April 2018
  139. An Evening with Steven Erikson by Nerdaí Irish Nerds - See 20:20
  140. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 6:00
  141. 141.0 141.1 141.2 Steven Erikson Answers Your House of Chains Questions, Part 2 - Tor.com (2 December 2011)
  142. Steven Erikson Answers Your Dust of Dreams Questions! - Tor.com (11 June 2014)
  143. Hello Reddit, I am Steven Erikson. Please Ask Me Anything - Reddit (2012)
  144. Ask Steven Erikson Your Toll the Hounds Questions - Tor.com (see comment 29 section 12)
  145. Steven Erikson Facebook post 28 October 2020
  146. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Toll the Hounds - Conversation with Steven Erikson - See 1:14:00
  147. Spoiler Chat: Toll the Hounds - Part 3 with Dr. Philip Chase and Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 47:00
  148. Steven Erikson Answers Your Reaper's Gale Questions! - Tor.com (16 November 2012)
  149. Mid-series Discussion: Novels of the Malazan Empire by Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 38:00
  150. Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Stonewielder, Epilogue - See comment 11
  151. (Melo)Dramatic Reading and Discussion - Fiends of Nightmaria with Steven Erikson and Philip Chase - A Critical Dragon - See 39:15
  152. (Melo)Dramatic Reading and Discussion - Fiends of Nightmaria with Steven Erikson and Philip Chase - A Critical Dragon - See 47:10
  153. Conversation with Ian Cameron Esslemont - Ten Very Big Books - See 30:30
  154. Livestream Recording: Steven Erikson, Ian C. Esslemont, and Me (and a surprise guest) - A Critical Dragon - See 18:00
  155. Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 17, US HC p.253-263
  156. Forge of the High Mage, Chapter 2, UK HC p.33
  157. Malazan Magic, Warrens, and the RPG Origins with Ian C. Esslemont - A Critical Dragon - See 22:20
  158. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont Ep#4 podcast - See 01:02:00
  159. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:49:00
  160. Conversation with Steven Erikson about spirituality in Malazan - The Nostalgic Dragon - See 38:20
  161. Interview with Steven Erikson, Best-Selling Author and Archaeologist - Systems Change Alliance - See 27:40
  162. Kharkanas Discussion with Steven Erikson - Follow Up Discussion, Light Spoilers - Books with Banks - See 27:15
  163. Steven Erikson Live Q & A - Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus - See 1:13:50
  164. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 3rd Interview with Steven Erikson, Author of House of Chains - See 1:02:40
  165. Steven Erikson Discussion - Death in Malazan (Spoiler Warning) - Books with Banks - See 34:55
  166. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 44:45
  167. Ian C. Esslemont on Collaboration - Tor.com (2011)
  168. (Melo)Dramatic Reading and Discussion - Fiends of Nightmaria with Steven Erikson and Philip Chase - A Critical Dragon - See 43:55
  169. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson Ep#3 podcast - See 1:34:00
  170. Not A TSACast: Fireside Conversations with Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont Ep#4 podcast - See 1:01:00
  171. Chat with Ian C Esslemont about Malazan - A Critical Dragon - See 51:10 and 7:00
  172. DLC Bookclub Special: Our 2nd Interview with Steven Erikson, author of Memories of Ice - See 21:20
  173. The Use of Tool: Neanderthals, the Malazan World and Deep Time
  174. Interview with Dark Fantasy Legend Steven Erikson - See 21:45
  175. Chatting With Nutts - Episode #18 ft Steven Erikson - The Fantasy Nuttwork - See 12:20/13:30
  176. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 16:45
  177. Gardens of the Moon - Chatting with Steven Erikson, part 1 - See 37:20
  178. Beyond the Table: E4 - Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - See 21:10 and 22:10
  179. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 21:00
  180. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 23:40
  181. Conversation with Mark Paxton-MacRae A.K.A. Karsa Orlong - Ten Very Big Books - See 25:30
  182. Deadhouse Gates: A Chat with Steven Erikson, Part 3 - Claudia Iovanovici - See 43:15
  183. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 17:55
  184. Chatting with Ian C. Esslemont, Steven Erikson, and Dr. Philip Chase - No Ochre Involved - A Critical Dragon - See 17:55
  185. Livestream Recording: Steven Erikson, Ian C. Esslemont, and Me (and a surprise guest) - A Critical Dragon - See 12:20
  186. 186.0 186.1 Talking About Writing: Magic, Malazan, and Meandering with Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 3:20
  187. ITV Pop in Books - Steven Erikson & Ian C. Esslemont - Blue Neko TV - See 8:50
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