Storm Riders by Shadaan

'Stormriders' Interpretation by Shadaan

Stormriders, or Riders, were a race of beings which lived in the deep ocean trench of the Ocean of Storms between Quon Tali and Korel.[1][2] They were isolationist and disliked foreigners and were known to attack ships crossing through their territory. For over four thousand years they lived in a constant state of war with the residents of Korel who had built the enormous Stormwall along the shore to protect themselves from Stormrider attack.

Fair skinned, with pale hair resembling the Tiste Andii,[3] they wore what appeared to be armour, which gleamed with sapphire and rainbow opalescence.[4] It shone like frost and they carried jagged-edged lances.[1] They could ride waves, which would curl into horse-like shapes beneath them.[5]

Their power was of sea and ice and seemed to be connected to Omtose Phellack, however Ieleen, the blind Falaran Sea Witch and pilot of the Silver Dawn, explained that, like the Crippled God, the Stormriders were from another realm.[6] Their sorcerers were known as Wandwielders.[7]

They often fought with lances and shields or swords so cold they burned to the touch.[8]

Both their origin and aims were shrouded in mystery, as they were generally feared and viewed as antagonists.

Stormriders were capable of speaking Korelan, which they learned from eavesdropping on sailors and those who guarded the Stormwall.[9]

In Night of KnivesEdit

Why are you killing us FINAL small

'Why are you killing us?' by Corporal Nobbs

The Stormriders attempted to take advantage of the Shadow Moon to advance against Malaz City with unknown intentions. On their way to the island, they crossed the path of the Rheni's Dream, whose crew was killed by the cold. The ship became encased in ice.[10] The Stormriders were delayed in the harbour by local mage, the Fisherman, until they killed him using an iceberg containing the frozen Rheni's Dream.[11]

After the fisherman's failure, Agayla and Obo managed to hold back the Stormriders until Tayschrenn arrived. Tayschrenn observed the magical work of the Wandwielders through his Thyr warren, and he was startled to see that "It appeared like a curtain of energy, a replica of the shimmering light that sometimes played above the northern night sky ... it cut a dividing line that ... did not end at the water but plunged downwards through it ... [to] continue unbroken, down through the depths of the cut into unplumbed crevasses, where he glimpsed a glowing heart of otherworldly ice."[12] With Tayschrenn's assistance the mages were able to successfully hold back the Stormriders from the island.

After their failure, one Stormrider was found dying on a beach by local residents. When approached, the Stormrider asked, "Why are you killing us?"[13]

In Return of the Crimson GuardEdit

Stormriders were seen by the members of the Crimson Guard on board the Kestral as they were making their way from Bael to Stratem. Greymane commented that one of the riders appeared to salute Kyle.[14] Kyle proposed that, rather than him, they might have been saluting Greymane upon which the latter replied, "No. I told them to cut that out long ago".[15]

The Stormriders had greatly impacted Greymane's fate when they had slain Greymane's fisherman father when they both lived on Geni. The experience led Greymane to forswear the sea and join the Malazan Military.[15]

In StonewielderEdit

Over four thousand years before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the Stormriders battled Temal and his war band who were newly arrived on the shores of Korel. The outmatched outlanders were forced to make alliance with the powerful and mysterious Lady, who directed them to build a great wall along the coast in return for her protection.[16] This wall would eventually come to be called the Stormwall and was protected against constant Stormrider attacks by the Stormguard, conscripts, prisoners, and slaves. The Stormriders were seen as the great enemy of the subcontinent's residents and any attempt to treat with them was considered an act of treason.[17]

It was revealed that Greymane's original failure on Korel occurred when the Fist decided to try talking to the Stormriders. He had waited at the edge of the Ocean of Storms until several had approached him. Then he learned that the Stormriders viewed themselves as the injured party, claiming the peoples of Korel were denying them access to their own territory and preventing them from their ancient obligation. As a gift for allowing them to speak, they presented Greymane with an ancient stone blade they had found at the bottom of the Cut. When his actions were discovered, Malazan Governor Hemel 'Et Kelal and several minor officers court-martialed him.[18]

Greymane later returned to Korel as head of the Malazan Expeditionary Force, and used the stone sword to destroy the Stormwall by plunging the sword into the Earth close to the wall's foundation.[19] The Stormriders rode the waves that flooded the island and swept into the interior of the continent where their presence had previously been forbidden.[20]

The Stormriders carried Greymane's body to the depths of The Hole where they left him lying in state holding his sword beneath the waters.[21][22]

In Dust of DreamsEdit

Ruthan Gudd's appearance seemed to change into that of a Stormrider as he charged the K'Chain Nah'ruk.[23] At the time, his thoughts were that, "This Stormrider crap had better work. But gods below, it does hurt to wear."[24]

In The Crippled God Edit

Faradan Sort had forsaken the wall presumably due to an understanding between her and the Stormriders when she was herself a Stormguard.

Both she and Ruthan Gudd were present with the Adjunct's army due to the fact that the Stormriders wanted them there. Ruthan was invested with Stormrider sorcery which he could use, while Faradan seemed to know of their purpose. She said they 'are driven'.[25]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.87
  2. Stonewielder, Glossary
  3. Stonewielder, Chapter 12, UK TPB p.618
  4. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2
  5. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2
  6. "The ignorant speak of the winters of the Stormriders and the Jaghut as if they are the same thing. But that is not so. The Riders are alien. Not of this world. Indeed, some argue that in their original form they were of the frigid black gaps between the worlds." ―Ieleen • Assail, UK TPB, p.436
  7. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2
  8. Stonewielder, Chapter 8, UK TPB p.443
  9. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, UK TPB p.69
  10. Night of Knives, Prologue, US TPB p.1-5
  11. Night of Knives, Chapter 4, US TPB p.146
  12. Night of Knives, Chapter 5, US MMPB p.232
  13. Night of Knives, Epilogue, US TPB p.282
  14. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1, Chapter 2, UK PB p.88
  16. Stonewielder, Prologue
  17. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.167
  18. Stonewielder, Chapter 1, US HC p.69-70
  19. Stonewielder, Book 3 Chapter 12, US TPB p.576-578
  20. Stonewielder, Chapter 12
  21. Stonewielder, Chapter 12
  22. Stonewielder, Epilogue
  23. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 23, UK HB p.837/838
  24. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 23, UK HB p.839
  25. The Crippled God, Chapter 24
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