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"I have invented countless things that would prove of great value to many people. And that presents me with a dilemma. I must ask myself, with each invention, what possible abuses await such an object? More often than not, I conclude that those abuses outweigh the value of the invention. I call this Dev's First Law of Invention."
―Samar Dev[src]

Samar Dev was a scholar, inventor, and witch from Ugarat in Seven Cities.[1][2] She was familiar with a wide array of disciplines including chemistry, anatomy, geography, sociology, cartography,[3] linguistics,[4] and astronomy.[5] However, she distrusted philosophy and did not consider herself a particularly eloquent writer.[6] Although primarily an inventor, she would not release an invention, however valuable, unless she determined that it could not be used abusively. Consequently, she shelved most of her inventions.[7] At the same time, she was powerful in "the old arts",[8] capable of bargaining with spirits and casting curses.[9][10] She preferred not to bind spirits as "one who binds risks getting bound in return."[9]

Samar Dev was self-described as "a woman with ample womanly charms"[11] and likely in her early thirties.[12]

Her rooms in Ugarat were crowded with work benches and shelves displaying various mechanisms she had invented or the scientific paraphernalia of experiments in progress.[6] Some experiments served to create useful tools such as a spyglass, a self-powered wagon, or an ointment "for the suppurating wounds that sometimes arise on the lining of the anus."[13][6] Other experiments served no practical purpose other than to establish interesting technical effects.[6] She sat at a scriber's desk to record her thoughts and observations with a stylus and wax tablet.[6] She owned a leather satchel containing surgical instruments as well as an extensive collection of rare maps.[6]

In The Bonehunters Edit

Samar dev by meonika

Samar Dev by Meonika

Samar Dev met Karsa Orlong when she was left stranded in the Ugarat Odhan after the self-powered carriage she built broke down. The potential investor who had accompanied her took them too far out into the desert and dropped dead, while Samar Dev was hobbled by a broken foot after kicking one of the wagon's wheels in frustration. Karsa placed her behind him on Havok's saddle and brought her back to Ugarat in exchange for her help entering the city.[14] Her intercession proved necessary when the Teblor pummeled the city guard who attempted to confiscate the Deragoth heads he carried as trophies. Captain Inashan recognised the scholar and prevented further bloodshed and sent one of his healer's to tend to her foot.[15]

Karsa volunteered to enter Moraval Keep, where Ugarat's Malazan Garrison had fled during the Whirlwind rebellion, in order to secure peace now that the rebellion was effectively over. Samar Dev remained outside with the Falah'd of Ugarat, Inashan, and a few hundred soldiers while the Teblor went in alone. Karsa discovered that the entire garrison had been massacred by a Demon—actually a K'Chain Nah'ruk—which he was forced to kill with his bare hands.[16] Samar Dev was asked to examine the unrecognised creature by the Falah'd and conducted an extensive study of its remains.[17]

Studying the maps in her collection, Karsa determined to travel to Sepik when Samar Dev told him the island practised slavery.[18] Intrigued by the Teblor and expecting a journey of exploration and discovery, she accompanied him on horseback through the Jhag Odhan.[19] She found the culture of the fringe tribes dwelling in the waste fascinating.[20] Near the Olphara Peninsula they were approached by Boatfinder and the Anibar people who wanted Karsa to deliver them from the mysterious invaders who were killing and terrorising them.[21] Karsa tracked the Tiste Edur killers to their camp and began slaughtering them. Samar Dev intervened, convincing the Teblor to parley in an attempt to frighten off the Edur forever rather than just slay the few who were there at present. In the negotiations with Preda Hanradi Khalag of the Letherii Empire, she was shocked to discover the Letherii language was cleary derived from that of the ancient First Empire. Karsa accepted the Preda's offer to return with the Edur to Letheras as a champion to face Emperor Rhulad Sengar in mortal combat, and Samar Dev chose to accompany him.[22]

She soon came to regret her decision. Essentially imprisoned aboard the ships of the Third Edur Imperial Fleet, she became familiar with Taxilian, a kidnapped resident of Seven Cities used by the Edur as an interpreter, and Feather Witch, a enslaved Letherii mage. The scholar earned Feather Witch's enmity when she refused to instruct her in the Seven Cities common language. The Letherii threatened Samar Dev's life, but the scholar dismissed her magical skill as inferior.[23] When the Edur fleet faced off in the Kokakal Sea against the Malazan Imperial Fleet carrying Adjunct Tavore Paran's 14th Army, she was pleased to see the arrogant Edur knocked on their heels.[24]

On the long voyage back to Letheras, she was terrified to discover that the fleet bore a second champion—Icarium the Slayer. She quickly advised Karsa that they abandon ship the next time the fleet came within sight of land, but the Teblor was heartened by the news, relishing the opportunity to face the Jhag again after their first unsatisfying confrontation.[25]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Samar Dev.

In Reaper's Gale Edit

Samar Dev travelled to Letheras with Karsa Orlong. She trapped the spirit of Kuru Qan in her knife. When Karsa disarmed Rhulad Sengar, Samar Dev released all the spirits trapped within her knife.

In Toll the Hounds Edit

Karsa and Samar Dev by Dejan Delic

Karsa and Samar Dev by Dejan Delic

Samar Dev travelled with Karsa Orlong and Traveller to Darujhistan where they witnessed the fight with Anomander Rake.

In The Crippled God Edit

Samar Dev finally invited Karsa Orlong to share her bed.

Significant plot details end here.

In Orb Sceptre ThroneEdit

Karsa returned to live anonymously with his two children in a steep gorge to the east of Darujhistan for a nearly year before the events of Orb Sceptre Throne. Rumours spoke of a sullen giant from the north who was best to avoid. Samar Dev, who sometimes lived with him and whose name was unknown to the local clans, paid for any animals he took. The scholar scornfully laughed off the attempts of local tribes to scapegoat Karsa for unexplained pregnancies or mysteriously spoiled milk.[26]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1
  2. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5
  3. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.183-190
  4. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.663-664
  5. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.574-575
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.183-185
  7. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5
  8. The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.704
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.190
  10. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.58
  11. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.44
  12. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23 - Cutter described her as older by a decade, maybe more, than himself when he was around nineteen or twenty.
  13. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.45
  14. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.44-46
  15. The Bonehunters, Chapter 1, US SFBC p.57-60
  16. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.123-133
  17. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.184/186-188
  18. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.189-190
  19. The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.701
  20. The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.406
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.483-491
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.659-666
  23. The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.701-706
  24. The Bonehunters, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.727-731
  25. The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.979-980
  26. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 2, US TPB p.78
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