Sormo E'nath was the re-incarnation of the greatest Wickan warlock of the same name.[1] In his previous life, he lived to be an old man until he was captured and spiked to a wall at Unta on the orders of Empress Laseen. His soul was so great it took eleven crows to take his soul for no single creature could hold it.[2]. Instead, it was said that it took eleven days for him to die as a crow arrived each day to take a portion until his remains were gone. He was subsequently reborn and was said to be about ten years old at the time he served as the leader of Coltaine's warlocks.[3]

Sormo appeared to be a tall, bow-legged boy with dark eyes who wore a cloak with a goat's-head cowl. He spoke with a reedy voice that often broke as his body was on the verge of manhood. The Malazan mage saw the aura of an ancient man about the boy and claimed to smell the scent of mare's blood on him. This indicated that the warlock had once reached the Time of Iron, a period when a Wickan warlock reached the greatest flowering of his power.[4]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Sormo and his cadre of child warlocks accompanied Coltaine when the Fist was given the command of the Malaz 7th Army in Hissar. There, he unwittingly conducted a ritual that revealed the convergence of Soletaken and D'ivers known as the Path of Hands.[5]

When the Whirlwind rebellion drove the 7th Army out of Hissar, he became one of Coltaine's Chain of Dogs. He and his cadre had the advantage over their enemy High Mage Kamist Reloe during the first half of the march. The chaos in the warrens due to the Path of Hands prevented their access for use in magic. Instead, the Wickan warlocks were able to turn to the spirits of the land while Reloe went without.[6] After the Battle of Sekala Crossing, Sormo, Nil, and Nether unleashed the spirits to destroy the tribal god of the Semk.[7]

Sormo was lost during the Battle of Vathar Crossing. He fell pierced with arrows while attempting to stop the massacre of refugees crossing the River Vathar. His soul was taken from the water by an enormous swarm of yellow butterflies.[8]

In House of ChainsEdit

Adjunct Tavore Paran brought the Malaz 14th Army to Aren to launch a punitive expedition against the Army of the Whirlwind. She ordered the heartbroken Nil and Nether to accompany her despite their desire to return home.[9] As the army followed the Chain of Dog's path in reverse, the two young Wickans regularly attempted to contact Sormo's spirit. Near the site of Sormo's death, Fiddler stumbled upon the pair sitting in the grass facing each other with a broad, bronze bowl between them. Something in the bowl attracted a score of yellow butterflies which quickly increased in number to swarm Fiddler.[10]

Fiddler sensed a presence within the swarm which told him:

I am of this land, now. What I was before does not matter. I am awakened. We are awakened. Go to join your kin. In Raraku—where he will find you. Together, you must slay the goddess. You must free Raraku of the stain that lies upon it.[11]

The distressed Wickans told Fiddler it had been Sormo's spirit and they lamented that in all their attempts to contact him, he had never spoken to them. They demanded to know what message he had for them. But Fiddler was sure they were wrong about the spirit's identity.[11]

It was revealed that Sormo had perished at Vathar Crossing because a tribal archer had pierced his neck with an arrow. His lungs had filled with blood preventing him from calling on the spirits for healing. In reward, Korbolo Dom had made the archer one of his chosen assassins.[12]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Like Coltaine, Bult, and the other dead heroes of the Chain of Dogs, shrines were built for Sormo E'nath by the people of Seven Cities in the wastes along the doomed army's path.[13]

As the 14th Army made its way to Y'Ghatan in pursuit of Leoman and the remnants of the Army of the Whirlwind, Nil and Nether made repeated trips beyond Hood's Gate looking for Wickans killed in the Chain of Dogs. Fiddler's first thought was that they were looking for Sormo E'nath, although this was not confirmed by the twins themselves.[14]


Sormo's great power may have been the result of his possessing the combined souls of eleven warlocks. When Sormo conducted the ritual at Hissar, the backlash was so powerful that he noted, "Somewhere a crow flaps broken-winged on the ground. There are but ten left."[15] By the time of his death at the River Vathar, Duiker stated that Sormo carried within him the spirits of eight elder warlocks.[16] Presumably two others had perished during the brutal march.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.18
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.855
  3. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.54
  4. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.54-55/58
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, US HC p.117-121
  6. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 10, US HC p.255
  7. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 10, US HC p.272-275
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.704
  9. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.235-236
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.540
  11. 11.0 11.1 House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.541
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.608
  13. The Bonehunters, Book Four, Epigraph
  14. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.143
  15. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, US HC p.121
  16. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.486
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