Sandalath Drukorlat, or Sand, was a Tiste Andii spirit who had been dead for thousands of years. Her spirit was described as 'tall as an Edur', with midnight skin and a reddish glint to her long unbound hair. She had green eyes which were tilted and large in a face which seemed too soft and round for her height and long limbs. She was dressed in a leather harness and leggings and on her shoulder sat the skin of a white-furred beast.
She had an unnamed husband and daughter, who she thought must have been long past their grief for her. She thought her daughter might still be alive as the daughter had fed on draconic blood, making her a Soletaken Eleint.
She was a self-described poor fighter.
In Midnight Tides
Sandalath had been among the legions of Tiste Andii and Tiste Edur led by Silchas Ruin and Scabandari to invade the Malazan world. After their arrival, they had battled an enormous army of K'Chain Che'Malle and Sandalath had died at the hand of a K'Chain Che'Malle after being driven to the shoreline in a counter-attack. After the Tiste victory, Scabandari and the Edur turned on their allies killing the surviving Andii and imprisoning Silchas Ruin within an Azath House. Sandalath's body was drawn out by the tides and swallowed by the muddy sands. Thousands of years later, the descendents of the Edur made use of the betrayed Andii as Shadow wraith slaves.
After the fall of Trate to Emperor Rhulad Sengar's army of Tiste Edur, the Crimson Guard Mage, Corlo, opened a path to Kurald Galain to lead Iron Bars, Seren Pedac, and the rest of their company to safety. They found themselves lost within a crypt of black stone swarming with wraiths. Seren Pedac suggested Corlo allow one of the wraiths through the magic shield that protected them so they could bargain for directions to an exit.
The spirit summoned was Sandalath. Since she had died before the betrayal, she was not forced to serve the Edur like others, but she was still trapped among them. In return for leading them to the exit, Corlo and his companions promised to return her spirit to her bones that she might find oblivion. Sandalath joined her substance with that of a ring she had carried and when the Crimson Guardsmen returned to the world near Old Katter Iron Bars flung the ring into the sea.
Instead of finding oblivion, Sandalath awoke within her restored body on the shore of the Crippled God's island. The god was concerned for the well-being of his captive Meckros blacksmith, Withal, and resurrected Sand in order to provide Withal with female companionship. Withal was disgusted by the god's offering and he and Sandalath quarreled from the start. The pair fought constantly and their mutual dislike turned towards hatred. Withal dedicated all his efforts to praying, hoping Mael took pity on him.
Ultimately, Mael heard Withal's prayers and arrived at the island upon a boat. Mael gave the boat to Withal, Sand, and their three Nacht companions to escape while he went to beat the Crippled God senseless.
In The Bonehunters
Adjunct Tavore Paran was crestfallen as her Malaz 14th Army left Malaz City by ship. Bottle had been sent into the city to retrieve the man called Foreigner and not returned. Without Foreigner, all her plans would fail. But before the Froth Wolf exited the harbour, they were approached by Cartharon Crust's vessel, the Drowned Rat. Aboard were Bottle, Foreigner (now revealed to be Withal), Sandalath, the three Nachts, and several Tiste Andii, including Nimander Golit and Phaed.
Withal introduced Sandalath as his wife. In rough Malazan she told Tavore, "My husband has been waiting for you a long time. But don't think I am just letting you take him away. What is to come belongs to us – to the Tiste Andii – as much and perhaps more than it does to you."
Sandalath was described as short-tempered, especially with her husband, though she cared for him deeply.
In Reaper's Gale
Sandalath, Withal, and the group of young Tiste Andii remained aboard the Froth Wolf for over a year as the Malazan fleet crossed the ocean to invade the Letherii Empire. During that time, the older Sandalath Drukorlat became a surrogate mother to the group, something which the mentally unstable Phaed deeply resented. Sandalath easily saw through the girl's spiteful behavior, shrugging off the girl's contempt and meeting her mute histrionics with amusement and even mockery. When Phaed vowed to kill Sandalath before Nimander, Nimander feared for Sandalath's safety.
At the start of the Malazan invasion, the Adjunct made her headquarters at Second Maiden Fort and Sandalath and Withal found a room in the island's port town. On the eve before the Bonehunters were to leave the island, Phaed set out to murder Sandalath in her sleep. She crept into Sandalath and Withal's rooms during a torrential storm and attempted to stab her nemesis with a knife. But Nimander thwarted the plan by following Phaed and breaking her wrist as the knife plunged down. When she tried to scratch out his eyes he broke the other wrist before attempting to strangle her. The altercation between the two woke Sandalath and Withal, who first assumed Nimander was the guilty party. Withal pulled Nimander away before Phaed was revealed as the assassin.
Sandalath sought mercy for Phaed's act, but when she went to summon help, Withal threw Phaed out a window to her death. He refused to believe his wife would ever be safe while Phaed lived and pleaded with Nimander to agree that Phaed had committed suicide. When Sandalath returned with Lostara Yil and Banaschar, she was followed close behind by the other Andii. Withal lied about Phaed's death and a distraught Sandalath begged Nimander to tell her if he told the truth. Nimander confirmed Withal's story.
In Dust of Dreams
In a dream, it was revealed that Sandalath was the mother of Orfantal (and so, by extension, also Korlat). During Fiddler's reading of the Deck of Dragons in Letheras, she took the position of Queen of High House Dark.
In The Crippled God
Sandalath grudgingly took the throne as Queen of Dark in Kharkanas, having been unsuccessful in persuading Yan Tovis to take on the role. She accidentally revealed to Withal that Mother Dark was giving her directives.
During the battle for the First Shore, Sand began to lose her grip on reality as she wallowed in the memories of Kharkanas' vicious past and her life as a noble-born hostage.
It was confirmed that Sandalath was the mother of both Orfantal and Korlat.
The death of her son Orfantal finally saw her lose touch with reality, summoning Silanah in her grief to destroy the city. The ghost of Phaed was able to convince Sand that if she stopped the dragon and locked herself in her ancient tower in the palace, Orfantal would return to her one day, but she mustn't open the door or else he would not come home.
In Forge of Darkness
Sandalath was a member of House Drukorlas and bore bastard son, Orfantal, after a dalliance with a drunken soldier of low birth named Galdan. When the boy was five, she was sent to Dracons Hold as a hostage by her mother, Nerys Drukorlat. There, she survived the massacre of the Hold's staff by Draconus' daughters, Envy, Spite, and Malice, and watched the Hold's Houseblades defeat the Borderswords from the Hold's tower.
In Fall of Light
Notes and references
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.617
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.517
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.510
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.6178
- Midnight Tides, Prologue
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.511
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.505/508-510
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.510-516
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.625/626
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.584-587
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.663
- Midnight Tides, Epilogue, US SFBC p.769-771
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.951-953
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.953
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 13, US HC p.357
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 13, US HC p.370-373
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 16, US HC p.471-472
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.601-606
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 20, US HC p.606-608
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.756
- The Crippled God, Chapter 5, UK HB p.120-122
- The Crippled God, Chapter 5, UK HB p.123
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 3, UK HC p.64
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 13, UK HC p.399
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 19, UK HC p.610