Tattersail (or 'Sail for short)[3] was the commanding mage of the 2nd Armies Mage Cadre,[4] having been chosen by Dujek Onearm in preference to Hairlock to succeed Nedurian when the latter died at Mott Wood.[5]

She was described as having an oval, fleshy face with heavy-lidded eyes. Her face often displayed a certain cherubic humour. Tattersail was a heavy-set woman with round shoulders[4] with many 'soft pillows of flesh'.[6] On another occasion, her face was described as being round with heavy-lidded eyes.[7]

Being honest with herself had never been one of Tattersail's strong points.[6]

Tattersail had access to the Warren Thyr[8] and amongst her few possessions were a book of Thyr sorcery, sealed within an oaken chest warded by spells, as well as a few alchemical devices. She was an adept reader of the Deck of Dragons.[2]

As cadre commandant, Tattersail wore a burgundy cloak with a silver emblem indicating her rank.[4] She was a Master of her Warren and had been offered the title of High Mage more than once but had always declined. In Whiskeyjack's estimation, a head-to-head between her and Tayschrenn would have been a close thing.[9]

Her sensitivity to other magic users caused her to have migraine headaches in their presence. The headaches were worse when the Warren in question was one which was anathema to her own Warren, as in the case of the Warren Hairlock used.[10] The Warren of Chaos was diametrically opposite Tattersail's own Warren and it had strong adverse effects on her when it was used in her presence.[11]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

The Siege of PaleEdit

Tattersail by Eileen

Tattersail by Eileen

In the run-up to the battle at Pale, Tattersail did not read the deck for some months - as if something had kept her away.[2] She recalled that this had happened once before, on the night before her then lover was killed when Dancer and Kellanved took over Malaz Island, and she suspected a pattern in this (see speculations).[12]

Prior to the Siege of Pale, Tattersail had taken the mage Calot as a lover.[13] She reflected on the odd combination of her and Calot as lovers due to the latter's thin build and her thoughts seem to indicate that she was very much emotionally involved in their relationship.[6]

Tattersail, Calot and Hairlock were positioned on a hill furthest from Moon's Spawn, and its defender, Anomander Rake. Nearby were the High Mages A'Karonys, Bellurdan, Nightchill, and Tayschrenn.[14] The assault of Moon's Spawn saw her arcane defenses whittled away by an unexpected magical attack. Calot broke off his attack on Moon's Spawn to channel his own energy and Warren into defending Tattersail. By channelling his defenses outwards he was left vulnerable and perished.[15] Only afterwards did Tattersail admit to herself that the relationship had been far more than a mere diversion.[16] Hairlock was cut in half. Tattersail came to believe that Tayschrenn murdered her cadre as well as A'Karonys and Nightchill.[17]

After the SiegeEdit

Tattersail by Matt Smith

Tattersail by Matt Smith

In the hours after the destruction of Pale, Tattersail was entrusted with a package containing Hairlock's new puppet body into which his soul had been transferred.[18] and thus, Tattersail became part of the Bridgeburner's conspiracy to take down Tayschrenn for his part in Calot's death.[19] When upon returning to her tent, Tattersail noticed movement from the package, she freed the now animated puppet from it's constrains. She then started a reading of the Deck and enraged Hairlock when she held on the second card.[20] The puppet continued to hold a grudge over the abandoned reading and Tattersail began to fear him.[21] She did not trust the puppet.[22]

She attended a debriefing with Tayschrenn later that day during which the two had an argument.[23][24]

About five days after the end of the siege, following a request by soldiers who were getting sick, patrolling the area, Tattersail found Bellurdan in a Pale alleyway, protecting a large burlap sack containing the remains of Nightchill. With Bellurdan's permission, Tattersail cast a sealing spell on the remains. During the encounter, she mentioned her suspicions about Tayschrenn but Bellurdan would have none of it.[25]
Tattersail by luztheren

Tattersail by Luztheren

She read the Deck for Tayschrenn soon after the encounter with Bellurdan.[26][27] Tayschrenn told her that he knew of the meeting she had had with the Bridgeburners immediately after the battle.[24]

Tattersail moved from her tent to quarters within a rambling estate, two blocks from the old palace.[28] Her lodgings consisted of an outer room and a bedroom which had a solid wood door.[29] It was likely a brick building.[30] On the day Whiskeyjack and his squad were due to leave for their covert mission to Darujhistan, she hosted a meeting there with him, Quick Ben, Kalam and Fiddler which was interrupted when Fiddler had one of his 'bad feelings'.[31]

Tattersail desired vengeance and wanted to see Tayschrenn pulled down.[32]

After Captain Paran was attacked by the Rope-possessed Sorry, he was taken by Quick Ben, Kalam and Mallet to recover in Tattersail's residence, leaving her to sleep on a bed in the outer room.[33]

Tattersail by Dejan Delic

Tattersail by Dejan Delic

Not long after, about seven days after the end of the Siege,[32] Tattersail was attacked by Gear, a Hound of Shadow who had been trailing Hairlock. The Hound easily broke through her outer Wards. When he attacked her closest defences, a layering of High Wards, she could feel the cracks streak outwards and the fissures reaching through her arms and chest with a snapping sound instantly replaced by spurting blood.[34] When the newly awakened Paran drove Gear away with a thrust of his sword, Tattersail prevented Hairlock from attacking the Hound further which caused the puppet to swear he would take revenge on the sorceress for that. Tattersail's bed was left in ruins after the attack.[35]

Hairlock's unleashing of a Warren of Chaos during the attack left Tattersail fevered and comatose for some time. Hairlock wanted to kill her whilst she lay unconscious but according to the puppet's mutterings was prevented from doing so by wards she had placed. Tattersail had also somehow managed to instinctively perform a spell which warded Paran from being discovered by Tayschrenn just prior to falling ill. That display of power seemed to have scared the puppet. Whilst incapacitated, Tattersail was nursed by Paran.[36][37]

Tattersail by enolezdrata

Tattersail by enolezdrata

Having said that she could hear a spinning coin just before falling unconscious, the first thing Tattersail told Paran when she regained her senses about six days later was that she had heard the Coin drop.[38][39] They discussed the events around Paran's miraculous recovery agreeing that he was likely used by Oponn. Tattersail persuaded Paran not to leave as Hairlock was only kept from attacking her by his fear of Paran's sword not by any wards of hers.[40]

Tattersail became attracted to Paran and found her feelings reciprocated.[41]

About four days later, Tattersail was asked to attend dinner with Dujek, Tayschrenn, Toc the Younger, and the newly arrived Adjunct Lorn.[42]


Eventually, Tattersail left Pale in an attempt to reach Whiskeyjack and the rest of the Bridgeburners to warn them of betrayal, but her efforts to travel by Warren had to be abandoned due to the presence in the area of a T'lan Imass which made accessing them extremely dangerous. When she abandoned the Warrens, she was confronted by Bellurdan who had been ordered to apprehend her and take her back to the Empire. With Bellurdan was the body of his former partner Nightchill, killed at Pale, upon which Tattersail had previously laid a preservation spell. Tattersail resorted to desperate measures. She opened up her Warren fully, causing a conflagration in which both she and Bellurdan, whom she embraced at the last moment, were incinerated. Their souls then shifted to the body of Nightchill where all three souls were preserved.[43]


See also: Silverfox

One of Kruppe's dreams was hijacked by the Elder God K'rul to create a Soletaken. Through the efforts of a pregnant Rhivi woman, the Mhybe, prepared by means unknown, and the T'lan[44] Bonecaster Pran Chole they transferred those three souls into the body of the unborn child. The child was born with silver fur which sloughed away immediately, hence the name, Silverfox. Kruppe's dream ended with that scene.[45]

Besides the souls of Tattersail, Nightchill, and Bellurdan there was the soul of Silverfox herself, the seed-child of the Bonecaster Pran Chole.[46]

Paran later met briefly with the reincarnated Tattersail and was told "You are to live." She then lived among the Rhivi for a time growing very quickly under the protection of a powerful Warlord. She also communicated with Paran telepathically in the Epilogue.

In Memories of IceEdit

Silverfox remained in the company of Caladan Brood when Brood's forces joined with the Malazans against the Pannion Domin. Those Malazans who had known Tattersail recognised her in Silverfox's features, her walk, and her sleepy, knowing gaze.[47] A pair of Sister marines appointed themselves Silverfox's bodyguards out of loyalty for their old cadre mage.[48] Ganoes Paran and Silverfox were drawn together because of his romance with Tattersail, but the Bridgeburner was embarassed by Silverfox's young age.

With his newly found powers as Master of the Deck, Ganoes Paran could sense the entwined souls of Tattersail, Nightchill, and Bellurdan within Silverfox. At various times one personality seemed more influential than the others in Silverfox's behaviour. Paran sought to bring Tattersail to the forefront of the girl's consciousness and keep the dangerous and self-interested High Mages at bay.[49]

On the campaign trail, Dujek explained to Whiskeyjack the truth behind the events at Pale. The Empress had anticipated the threat of the Crippled God and Tayschrenn had been grooming Tattersail to be the Master of the Deck. But their plans began falling apart when the Bridgeburners were unexpectedly decimated at Pale. The High Mage had positioned the Bridgeburners in the tunnels to protect them, never guessing they would collapse. Further, it was Nightchill who proved to be the traitor. She killed A'Karonys as part of her own ambitions and Tayschrenn killed her in turn. The deaths of Tattersail and Bellurdan further rattled the Empress. Dujek called Tattersail's death one of the worst foul-ups in Imperial history.[50]

By the end of the Pannion War, Silverfox had reconciled the various souls within her and made peace with the T'lan Imass.[51]

In Deadhouse LandingEdit

Tattersail lived in Mock's Hold on Malaz Island and was called Jay by her lady-in-waiting, Viv. Sail regarded herself as Mistress of the Hold and hoped that her lover Mock would gain the title of King taking her as his Queen. Her former teacher Agayla told Tattersail that she was wasting her talents. Tattersail called Agayla Auntie, though this may have been an endearment.[1]

(more information needed)


She was born in a village 219 years before the Seige of Pale.[52][53] Possessed of the talent, she foresaw a coming war but warned no one and still felt guilty about this nearly two hundred years later.[54]

Based on one of Tattersail's recollections, it seems that Mock, the pirate ruler of Malaz Island, had been her lover at the time of the conquest of the Island by Kellanved and Dancer.[12]

Around 1143 BS, Tattersail was involved in something which left her changed. In 1163 BS, she thought of herself having spent twenty years washing the blood off her hands.[55]

It was said that rather than being recruited, she had been conscripted and that she messed up her first posting.[56]


  • It was a standing joke in the 2nd Army that "anything surprising, be it an ambush or unplanned skirmish—the enemy invariably came from [Tattersail's] travelling wardrobe."[57]
  • Tattersail's name originated from Steven Erikson's misreading of the street sign for Tattersall Drive in Victoria, B.C.[58]


Tattersail reflects that she also had a reluctance to read the Deck, the night before Dancer killed Mock, which was the same night that he and Kellanved stole her lover's Hold. This indicates that she was Mock's lover, unless it is a reference to another Hold on the Island. Based on that assumption, it is possible that her unwillingness to read the Deck of Dragons before the battle at Pale was a reluctance to foresee the potential doom of another lover. Another possibility might be that she was influenced by the close proximity to Dancer.[2][12] There are several references to her having suspicions about Sorry.[59][60]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Deadhouse Landing, Chapter 2, UK HB p.16-20
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.87
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.54
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.52
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.64
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.59
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.281
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.75
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.148
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.63
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.282
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.88
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.59
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.72
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.76
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.87/88
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.128
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.82
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.89
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.88-92
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.102
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.129
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.91-92
  24. 24.0 24.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.108
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.100-103
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.100
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.111
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.127/142/143
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.127
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.165
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.126-135
  32. 32.0 32.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.163
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.146/153/156/163
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.152/163-166
  35. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.166/167
  36. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.165-168
  37. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.279/280/282/293
  38. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.168
  39. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.280/283
  40. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.280-284
  41. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.283/299/317
  42. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.299-311
  43. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10
  44. In Gardens of the Moon editions, the pre-ritual T'lan Imass are referred to as the T'lan, whilst the correct name is Imass. Pran Cole takes part in the soul-shifting prior to the Ritual of Tellann
  45. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11
  46. Kruppe: 'Disparate spirits are united in their resolve! A spirit of hard edges, to hold the others to their course despite all the pain that others must bear (Nightchill). Another spirit, to clasp hard the hurt of abandonment until it can find proper answer! (Tattersail) And yet a third spirit, filled with love and compassion – if somewhat witless, granted (Bellurdan) – to so flavour the pending moment. And a fourth, possessing the power to achieve the necessary reparation of old wounds—’ Quick Ben: '...Who’s the fourth in Silverfox?’ Kruppe: '‘Why, the seed-child of a T’lan Imass Bonecaster, of course. Pran Chole’s daughter, the one whose true name is indeed the one by which we all know her!’ ―Kruppe • MoI, UK TPB, p.644
  47. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.108
  48. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.433
  49. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.144
  50. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.770-772
  51. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.911/951/972
  52. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.145
  53. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, US HC p.78
  54. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.145/146
  55. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.86
  56. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.147
  57. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.305/306
  58. Steven Erikson Facebook post 31 December 2019
  59. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.111
  60. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.130-132
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