Sheltatha Lore was described as being the daughter of Scabandari Bloodeye and Tiam, however the latter was likely to have been mother only in the sense of birthing Sheltatha's Soletaken aspect. (Blood ties were difficult to establish with certainty as female Soletaken descendants of Tiam seem to customarily describe each other as sisters/half-sisters).
In Midnight Tides
Udinaas had a vision to the ancient time shortly after the Tiste invasion of the Malazan world. He witnessed Sukul and Menandore dragging an unconscious Sheltatha Lore between them and their conversation with their father, Osserc. The vision also showed that shortly after Scabandari Bloodeye betrayed Silchas Ruin, and was in turn defeated by Mael and Kilmandaros, Menandore and Sukul had conspired to defeat Sheltatha. They then interred their captive in the same Azath House where Scabandari had imprisoned Silchas Ruin.
Thousands of years later in modern Letheras, the Azath Tower holding Sheltatha and Ruin began to die. Its guardian, Kettle, spoke of hearing one of its female prisoners angrily decrying "those bitches" in her sleep. When awake, the woman whispered that she would reward Kettle if she freed her. Even the powerful Seregahl, who killed any fellow prisoner they could reach, avoided the woman. The House chose to release Silchas Ruin to help Kettle destroy the worst of its prisoners after it died, but Sheltatha clung to Ruin's ankles hoping to escape with him.
Brys Beddict and Ceda Kuru Qan provided Ruin with the swords, Glory Goat and Sarat Wept, possibly to cut off Sheltatha's hands, but Ruin could not achieve this on his own. On the day of the Seventh Closure, Ruin's follower, the Wyval possessing Udinaas, entered the barrow and successfully removed its master from Sheltatha's grip allowing him to escape. Afterwards, it was streaked with blood and Sheltatha's fate was not revealed.
In Reaper's Gale
Before Silchas Ruin departed Letheras, he used rituals of Kurald Galain to continue binding Sheltatha within her barrow after the Azath Tower's death. Sukul Ankhadu heard Sheltatha's calls and travelled to Letheras to free her cousin, thinking she had always worked better with Sheltatha than Menandore. While Sukul's magic slowly unravelled the new bindings, the goddess preyed upon the population of the city. When Sheltatha's freedom neared, Sukul found Hannan Mosag investigating the grave and she made a bargain with the former Warlock King. Silchas Ruin was even then seeking out Scabandari the Betrayer. Mosag would guide the two women to Ruin, and the Crippled God would help them destroy him. In return the God would make use of Scabandari's Finnest and destroy it.
Sheltatha's renewed binding had pushed her into a bottomless bog in a pocket realm of the Azath where every moment stretched like centuries. So by the time of her release, her hair was stained a burnt red and her skin turned the hue of a betel nut (or stained wood) and became waxy and seamed like a T'lan Imass. The whites of her amber eyes were stained like rust and her teeth became brown. Her long taloned fingers gleamed like beetle carapaces, while her open wounds did not bleed.
She accused Sukul of being complicit with Menandore's betrayal and demanded they find an Azath so Menandore could suffer as she suffered. Their shared hatred of Menandore allowed them to temporarily overlook their own enmities. Sheltatha also revealed that she had tasted Silchas Ruin's dreams during their captivity. Ruin had allowed himself to be betrayed by Scabandari knowing that the world's powers were closing in on them. Millenia within a barrow was preferable to Scabandari's fate in Ruin's cold-blooded draconean calculations. Sheltatha was ready to move against him with Sukul, but shuddered at his alien nature, warning their plans had to be foolproof.
Sheltatha and Sukul travelled to the Refugium where they joined Menandore in a temporary truce to protect the Finnest from the soon-to-be-arriving Silchas Ruin. Sheltatha wore a bronze studded, vest, black leather leggings and boots, and a cloak of deep burgundy. But first, Menandore suggested they kill two "pathetic mortals seek[ing] to stand in our way"--Quick Ben and Hedge. All three Soletaken veered into their dragon forms, with Sheltatha's described as stained brown and looking half-rotted, and swept low towards the two Bridgeburners. Just as they were about to breathe out their killing sorcery, Quick Ben unleashed his own magic, exploding the ground beneath them and sending them tumbling. Sheltatha used the chaotic moment to turn on Menandore, biting into her neck and severing her head. As she died, Menandore's claws ripped open Sheltatha's underbelly. Hedge finished off the wounded dragon by launching a cusser into her open wound, sending dragon flesh everywhere. One chunk struck the sapper squarely between the eyes and knocked him out cold.
In Forge of Darkness
In Fall of Light
Notes and references
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.276
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.230
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.229
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.705
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.277
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.232
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.276-278
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.429
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.385/392-396
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.737/756
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.118
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 5, US HC p.118/134-136
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.214/215
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.215-216
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 23, US HC p.719-721/725-729
- Forge of Darkness, Chapter 20