Skykeeps ( or Sky keeps) were gigantic floating fortresses created by the K'Chain Nah'ruk. These structures looked more or less like floating mountains. The could be found in either rooted (fixed to the ground) or uprooted (floating and steerable) configurations. The most famous among these skykeeps was Moon's Spawn which was appropriated by Anomander Rake as a home for his people for a time, prior to their settling in Black Coral.
After the discovery of Moon's Spawn, Osseric spent time in the fortress studying it. He determined that Moon's Spawn had been one of the K'Chain Che'Malle's skykeeps and he withdrew from the world to continue his study of the alien mechanisms. From a Jaghut tower within a warren formed by Raraku's ancient memory, he observed a total of three skykeeps travel from the north to Seven Cities. None of their inhabitants survived contact with the continent's defenders, the Deragoth.
Four Nah'ruk skykeeps were with the K'Chain Che'malle army that defended the Malazan world from the invading armies of Silchas Ruin and Scabandari Bloodeye. Companies of Tiste Andii and Tiste Edur assailed the floating fortresses to prevent them from coming to the aid of the K'Chain Che'Malle ground forces. Scabandari and Silchas, in their Soletaken Eleint forms, then brought the skykeeps crashing to the ground by unleashing the warrens of Starvald Demelain, Kurald Emurlahn, and Kurald Galain upon them.
Adjunct Tavore Paran sent Quick Ben, Kalam Mekhar, and Gesler's squad ahead of the 14th Army to Y'Ghatan to gather intelligence. The group travelled via the Imperial Warren, but due to the problems with the Warrens travel was difficult and confusing. The sudden appearance of at least a dozen K'Chain Che'Malle Skykeeps in the air above led Quick Ben to immediately cancel the plan. The squad mage, Sands, announced the skykeeps had come from Chaos. Quick Ben brought the group back to the Malazan world to report the news to the Adjunct.
Icarium and Mappo Runt explored a vast chasm west of Raraku that had recently been exposed by a shifting of the sand. The two explorers climbed to the chasm's bottom where they found a K'Chain Nah'ruk mechanism, still containing the desiccated corpse of its pilot, within a pool of melting Omtose Phellack ice. Mappo realised they had found the entrance to a K'Chain Nah'ruk Skykeep that had mistakenly travelled through a gate into solid bedrock. Tales among the Nameless Ones indicated that an invasion of skykeeps had arrived on the Malazan world long ago when Human society existed only as small bands. But some opposition by the Jaghut, the Forkrul Assail, or the Elder Gods had driven them away from Seven Cities.
The Trell found the skykeep's entrance and the pair explored the alien structure. In the first cavernous room were three more of the giant spider-like vehicles. Despite their great antiquity, their nearly white metal was free of corrosion. The metal became transparent when looked upon and inside was a padded seat and a lever control mechanism for the pilot.
Dust-filled passages and empty storerooms marked by faded symbols led to an arched portal protected by a shimmering barrier. The barrier instantaneously cleaned any who passed through it. In the skykeep's immense hollow centre, was a fortress floating in space, reached only by a single stone span. A second span had crumbled and its remains floated in pieces about the chamber, which appeared to have no gravity. Tiered buildings with dark windows rose along the inside wall of the hollowed chamber.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.783-784
- ↑ House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.687
- ↑ Midnight Tides, Prologue, US SFBC p.19-20
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.142/146-147
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.193-194
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.148-154
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.152-153
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.162-165
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.163-165
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.167