Taralack Veed was an outlawed warrior of the Gral. He was described as the sole remaining survivor of the "Eroth bloodline", and as being tattooed. Veed had an unpleasant habit of grooming his hair with his own phlegm which he spread over his swept-back black hair with a gesture that temporarily disturbed the flies which customarily crawled over his scalp and through his hair. On long trips through the desert he recaptured and drank his own urine.
He admired former Malazan Emperor Kellanved's skill at rooting out and slaughtering enemy cults in Seven Cities, but thought current Empress Laseen too prone to make mistakes. He had seventy-five avowed enemies, including the Empress, whom he "ritually cursed" at every sunrise and at every sunset.
Taralack Veed was secretly an agent of the Nameless Ones. He hoped to earn enough gold and clout in their lucrative service to raise a company of mercenaries to deliver justice on those in his village who had betrayed and outlawed him. Then he would become a warleader of the Gral and lead his people to victory. His ostracism may have resulted from a domestic dispute in which he had murdered his lover's husband, only to discover after she denounced him that the woman had used him to free herself for another man.
On assignment, he followed a gathering of twelve of the cult's priests to a tomb where they planned to resurrect Dejim Nebrahl. From afar he heard Spite's betrayal of the other cultists as she left them to be devoured by the newly released T'rolbarahl, then began following the creature's trail. The spy, Mebra, learned of Veed's involvement and suspected the Nameless Ones were hunting someone. This knowledge likely led to his assassination. Veed's task was to make sure the T'rolbarahl was successful in its hunt.
Veed had been assigned by the Nameless Ones to take over as Icarium's constant companion as soon as Icarium's current companion, Mappo Runt, could be removed. Dejim Nebrahl ambushed Mappo and Icarium, grievously wounding both and seemingly sending Mappo plummeting to his death over a cliff. Veed nursed Icarium back to health over several days. When the amnesiac Jhag regained consciousness, Veed acted as if he had always been Icarium's companion and the Jhag was none the wiser. Veed told Icarium that the Jhag had been chosen by the gods to free the world of a great evil. He prepared Icarium to become the Nameless Ones' weapon using the words the cult gave him,, emphasizing the Jhag's supposed sense of harsh justice and the many grim and unpleasant deeds it required. Now he said there was a new enemy, the mad emperor, Rhulad Sengar, who ruled the evil Tiste Edur of the Letherii Empire, and only Icarium was powerful enough to oppose him.
The Gral brought Icarium to the shores of the Olphara Peninsula where the sea was filled with the ships of the Third Edur Imperial Fleet. Preda Tomad Sengar and his/ fleet traveled the world seeking a champion to face their emperor in mortal combat and chose Icarium at Veed's insistence. The Preda quickly began to second guess his decision when the Jhag spent his time aboard ship clutching himself and weeping at the prospect of killing the emperor. Under threat of being thrown overboard to the sharks by the Edur, Veed worked hard to bolster the Jhag's morale and convince him of the righteousness of their cause.
The Preda chose to test Icarium's martial prowess by sending him and Veed along with the Edur and Letherii raiding party that assaulted Drift Avalii to face Traveller. Finding the Throne of Shadow seemingly destroyed and abandoned, they journeyed instead to the chamber of the First Throne to face the child soldiers of Minala's Company of Shadow. As they readied to fight against the Throne's guardians, Icarium made clear that he no longer trusted the Gral and believed Veed had been lying to him about their long friendship. Veed cursed himself for being careless, assuming the Jhag had been oblivious to his surroundings.
Taralack Veed pushed Icarium into the fighting and the Jhag soon entered a rage, killing friend and foe alike. At the sight of the Jhag's power unleashed, Veed was gripped by terror and lay huddled and weeping against the cavern wall. Only the intercession of the Eres'al kept the Jhag from slaying everyone within the chamber. Her touch rendered Icarium unconscious, and Veed recruited Varat Taun to drag the Jhag back through the magic gate to the Edur fleet. Of the entire Edur and Letherii assault force, only Veed, Icarium, and Varat Taun survived.
When Icarium awoke back aboard ship, he felt more refreshed and hopeful than he had ever been, while Veed lay curled up in the hold, bitter and angry and wracked by shivers. The Jhag's mind had been healed by the Eres'al's touch and he claimed to no longer needed Veed to tell him who he was.
Veed was an eighth 'wanderer' in the Wastelands of Lether. Veed arrived separately at the abandoned K'Chain Che'Malle "edifice", some time after the other seven, who had gotten there all at the same time: Asane; Breath; Last; Nappet; Rautos; Sheb; and Taxilian. Veed then proceeded to 'deal' with each of the other wanderers, one by one. This activity by Veed seemingly catalyzed the reunification of the - up until then - separate parts of the "ghost" - who had had an omniscient connection to each of the original seven wanderers - thus allowing for a single individual to coalesce from the pieces.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Bonehunters, Prologue, US HC p.30
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.173-175
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.400
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Prologue, US SFBC p.27-33
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.121
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US HC p.143-144
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US HC p.217-218
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US HC p.322-324
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.265-267
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.399-401
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.491-494
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.689
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.494
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.687-690
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.813-818
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.960
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.966/968/971/975-976
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.980
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.980-981
- ↑ Dust of Dreams, Prologue, US HC p.31-33
- ↑ Dust of Dreams, Chapter 18, US HC p.564-567/581-584