Skullcup was one of the Malazan Otataral mining camps on Otataral Island. It was situated in the Dosin Pit, about thirty leagues from Dosin Pali and was run by Captain Sawark. Sawark commanded seventy-five Malazan Guards and a further two hundred or so Dosii regulars, all overseeing twelve thousand slaves. The camp population also included locals, who were mostly servants, prostitutes, or the destitute.[1]

Camp LayoutEdit

The camp was centred around Work Road which ran roughly east-west. At the eastern end of Work Road was Three Fates Crossing where it split into three separate roads--one for each of Skullcup's mines. The northeastern Deep Road led to the Deep Mine which had a "thick, rich and straight vein of Otataral running far under the hills. The central Twistings Road led through the Nearlight gate to the Twistings mine which "followed a folded vein, rising and diving, buckling and turning through the limestone." The southeastern Shaft Road led to the Shaft, a worked-out mine now used to dispose of the dead.[2]

To the north of Work Road was a Dosii guardhouse and Sinker Lake, a deep pool of turquoise water that stretched all the way to the base of the cliffs on the pit's northern edge. At Work Road's western end was Rathole Round, which was dominated at its centre by Sawark's Keep. The rest of the round was used as a marketplace on Rest Day. Nearby were Bula's Inn, Suruk's gambling establishment, and a row of brothels.

Along a road known as Rust Ramp lay Darkhall and the Malazan barracks. Atop the Rust Ramp Tower was a row of spikes named Salvation Row, which displayed the corpses of those who attempted to escape.[3]

Surrounding the pit was Beetle Road which was regularly patrolled. Beyond the road was thirty leagues of desert to the nearest city or a ten day walk to the coast.[4]

At least one farm called Deepsoil was tilled by prisoners to supply food for the camp.[5]

Sawark's KeepEdit

The keep was the home of Captain Sawark. It was a squat, three story, hexagonal tower built of huge rough-cut limestone blocks and stained by the pit's greasy smoke. The first floor was an armoury with a central staircase leading upward to Sawark's office on the second floor.[6][7]

Mines at SkullcupEdit

  • Deep Mine[8]
  • The Shaft - defunct
  • Twistings[8]

Known Inhabitants Edit

Notable LocationsEdit

  • Beetle Road
  • Bula's Inn[9]
  • Darkhall
  • Deep Mine Road
  • Deepsoil
  • Rathole Round
  • Rust Ramp
  • Sawark's Keep
  • Shaft Road
  • Sinker Lake[10]
  • Spit Row[11]
  • Suruk's[12]
  • Three Fates Crossing
  • Twistings Road
  • Whipcord Lane[13]
  • Work Road

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Felisin Paran, Heboric, and Baudin were brought to the work camp in 1163 BS as part of The Cull that enslaved Malazan nobles and political prisoners. The camp became one of the first Malazan possessions to succumb to the Whirlwind in 1164 BS when Captain Gunnip and the Dosii guards turned on their Malazan comrades. The camp was burned and Sawark and his troops likely slain. Felisin, Heboric, and Baudin escaped in the chaos by swimming across Sinker Lake to an underwater cave that led to the surface.[14][15]

In House of ChainsEdit

According to Gesler, only a handful of Malazan guards, including Pella, had survived the uprising.[16] Pella confirmed that he and fourteen other survivors made their way from the camp to the burned out ruins of Dosin Pali where they were picked up by a Malazan ship and brought to Aren.[17]


Skullcup was spelled "Skullcap" in Return of the Crimson Guard.[18][19]

Notes and referencesEdit

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