"Twilight, Watch and Rise. Guarding the Shores of Night"
―About the Shake, Deadsmell[src]

The Shake were a race that seemed to have descended from both humans and Tiste Andii. There was also the suggestion that they might have had some K'Chain Che'Malle blood as some children were born with features reminiscent of the lizard-like race. The children thus marked who were not killed at birth were trained as witches and warlocks.

Notable Shake Edit

The queen of the Shake was Yan Tovis, or "Twilight", who had been an Atri-Preda in the Letherii Empire before she absconded and returned to the Shake to claim her throne. Her brother, Yedan Derryg held the titles of Prince and Watch of the Shake.

House of the ShakeEdit

The Shake knew several positions that were occupied by members of royal blood.

  • Twilight, Queen of the Shake (Yan Tovis)
  • the Rise, King of the Shake (unoccupied)
  • the Watch (Yedan Derryg)
  • Awakening Dawn (unoccupied)

In ancient times a 'Sister of Cold Nights' used to stand by the Queen of the Shake. Korlat offered to fill that role and Yan Tovis accepted her into the House of the Shake. This tradition may have been based on repeated appearances of the Elder Goddess Sister of Cold Nights amongst the Shake.

In Dust of DreamsEdit

Following the chaos brought by the Malazan defeat of the Letherii Empire and the destruction of their homeland, the Shake were forced onto the mainland where they were brutally attacked by the inhabitants. Yan Tovis made the decision to save her people by attempting to find their ancestral homeland, hidden somewhere within a Warren. Along the way, they were accidentally pulled into another Warren protected by a group of Tiste Liosan. Narrowly defeating the group, the remnants of the Shake continued their journey.

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

The Shake eventually reached the city of Kharkanas, also the ancestral home of the Tiste Andii. While there, Yan Tovis and Yedan Derryg learned the truth of their people's past when it was revealed that it was actually the Shake who were born of the intermingling between Light and Dark. This was represented by a shore near Kharkanas, vaguely remembered and referred to by the Shake as the Shore.

Significant plot details end here.

In Forge of DarknessEdit

Long ago the Shake were a sect of the Tiste that worshipped the spirits of the land in Kurald Galain and appeared to be relatives of the Deniers. They lived in monasteries divided into two segments--Yan, Sons of the Mother and Yedan, Daughters of the Father. Many Sons and Daughters were lifebound mates of each other, a bond somewhat similar to marriage.[1]

The great temple at Kharkanas was once dedicated to the river god, Dorssan Ryl, who was worshipped by the Shake. Since then the sect had devolved into a cult of asceticism and self-abnegation that conflated suffering with faith.[2] The Azathanai, T'riss, claimed that the Shake killed the river god by chaining him to their fountains before she broke the bond and resurrected the god.[3]

The monks' holy language was called 'Shake' also referred to as 'Yedan' dialect.[4]

The Shake population was so devastated by the wars against the Forulkan and the Jheleck that the monks resorted to child theft to increase their numbers.[5]


"Open to them your hand to the shore, watch them walk into the sea.
Press upon them all they need, see them yearn for all they want.
Gift to them the calm pool of words, watch them draw the sword.
Bless upon them the satiation of peace, see them starve for war.
Grant them darkness and they will lust for light.
Deliver to them death and hear them beg for life.
Beget life and they will murder your kin.
Be as they are and they see you different.
Show wisdom and you are a fool.
The shore gives way to the sea.
And the sea, my friends,
Does not dream of you.
―Shake Prayer[src]

"The sea is blind to the road
And the road is blind to the rain
The road welcomes no footfalls
The blind are an ocean's flood
On the road's shore

Walk then unseeing
Like children with hands outstretched
Down to valleys of blinding darkness
The road leads down through shadows
Of weeping gods

This sea knows but one tide flowing
Into sorrow's depthless chambers
The sea is shore to the road
And the road is the sea's river
To the blind

When I hear the first footfalls
I know the end has come
And the rain shall rise
Like children with hands

I am the road fleeing the sun
And the road is blind to the sea
And the sea is blind to the shore
And the shore is blind
To the sea

The sea is blind...
―Riddle of the Road of Gallan
Shake chant[src]

"She was dying but we carried her down to the shore. There was light stretched like skin over her pain, but it was thin and fast fraying. None of us dared note in any whisper of irony, how she who was named Awakening Dawn was now fading in this morning's wretched rise.

  Her weak gestures had brought her down here, where the silver waves fell like rain and the froth at the curling foot was flecked crimson. Bodies bloated and pale fanned limbs in the shallows, and we wondered at the fitness of her last command.

  Is it suit to face your slayer? Soon enough I will answer that for myself. We can hear the legions mustering again behind the flowing wall, and the others are drawing back to ready their rough line. So few left. Perhaps this is what she came to see, before the killing light dried her eyes.
Shake fragment, Kharkanas, Author unknown[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

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