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Malazan Wiki

The city of Y'Ghatan was the subject of many sieges, and each time it was rebuilt. The event which was commonly known as the Siege of Y'Ghatan was the siege led by Dassem Ultor and the one where he was commonly believed to have died. When Ganoes Paran met Whiskeyjack at the beginning of Gardens of the Moon, the siege was a very recent event which put it around the year 1154 of Burn's Sleep.[1]

According to Blistig, both the Malaz 1st Army and the Malaz 9th Army had laid siege to the city and a total of eight to ten thousand soldiers had been lost.[2] The city itself had burned to the ground.[2]

The Malaz 3rd Army also played a huge role in the siege.[3]

In Night of Knives[]

Map of Y'Ghatan by Steven Erikson

Temper had been present at the Siege of Y'Ghatan as part of Dassem's bodyguard known as the First Sword, and recalled his memories of the siege in detail. A host of different personages, including several members of the Old Guard were present. These included Surly, A'Karonys, Amaron, Choss, Whiskeyjack et al.[4] Ullen Khadeve was also present as a sub-commander under Choss.[5]

The City Fortifications[]

There were four levels of escarpments on the ancient city walls. The fortifications looked to be no more solid than simple rammed earth. While these fortifications held, the Seven Cities javelin cavalry and skirmishers usually sallied from the city walls to harass the Malazan Regulars.[6]

Final day of the Battle[]

The Malazan commanders and Sub-Fists headed for their positions, and the Y'Ghatan Guard and skirmisher cavalry withdrew behind the city walls. A'Karonys tried to lash the walls with flames to try and bring it down, but was rebuffed by the Holy Falah'd. The saboteurs then emerged, reporting that the walls had been breached. Breaches appeared on the first of the ringed walls, which the defenders held tenaciously. After a long period of continuous assault, Dassem turned over field command to the three sub-commanders: Amaron, Choss and Whiskeyjack.

The Malazan regulars of the Third Army then pushed through to the second level, at which time, Dassem and his Sword took to the field, expecting Surgen Ress, the Champion of Y'Ghatan to commit to the field. Crossing the second escarpment, they received intelligence that Surgen had taken the field towards the right flank. Leading the assault, the Sword found itself isolated and encircled by the Seven Cities infantry.[7]

Initially, the fight went in the Sword's favor, with the defenders being pushed back by Dassem, as the Sword defended his back. Soon, things went wrong when a bolt, ostensibly thrown from their own lines hit Dassem, causing the Sword, now encircled by enemy infantry and being pushed by a berserk Surgen, to fight a desperate retreat. In the fight, most of the bodyguard was killed by either the enemy infantry or Surgen, who pursued them with the sole ambition of killing a now injured Dassem. Temper then fought Surgen to a standstill while Ferrule helped Dassem fend off the infantry as they retreated. Temper managed to hold Surgen back long enough for relief to arrive in the form of the Malazan Regulars, upon which he lost consciousness.

All this had been a conspiracy enacted by Surly to take over the throne and remove Dassem, one of the biggest threats to her chances to become Empress. Surly's Claws tried to kill an unconscious Dassem, but failed; and Dassem, Ferrule, and Temper managed to escape.

Meanwhile Choss had been promoted as interim commander of the Third Army, and Surgen succumbed to his wounds in an unexplained manner, most probably assassinated by the Claw.

The City of Y'Ghatan fell three days later, High Fist Choss acquitting himself well in his new role.[8]

In The Bonehunters[]

The Malazan dead were buried in sixteen massive barrows made of limestone blocks a half league south of the city. The barrows were a hundred paces long, thirty paces wide, and three man-heights tall. When Adjunct Tavore Paran's Malaz 14th Army besieged the city again in 1164 BS, her soldiers found that the rebellious Y'Ghanni had toppled the barrows' central statue and dug trenches to surround them in sewage.[9]

Officially, Dassem and his First Sword were said to be buried there, but most soldiers believed otherwise. They believed Dassem's guard was buried in unmarked graves upon the field to prevent desecration and Dassem was buried in an unmarked grave near Unta.[10]

See also[]

Notes and references[]