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Interpretation of Apsalar with Telorast and Curdle by slaine69

Interpretation of Apsalar with Telorast and Curdle by Spindrift

Telorast and Curdle were ghosts imprisoned in a fragment of Kurald Emurlahn.[1] Talk between the two suggested that they had been sent by Edgewalker, but they never elaborated exactly why.[2] Cotillion said that they were "agents of Edgewalker".[3] Telorast and Curdle (who were probably originally female)[4][5] always appeared together. They had a long history of thievery.[6]

They appeared as shades of translucent flesh, with strangely luminescent bones and skeletal faces with black-pitted eyes.[7] Another time they were noted as having faintly luminous eyes.[8] In daylight, they became more difficult to see and risked some possibility of dissolution if they were not mindful.[9]

The pair took physical form by possessing bodies, living[10] or dead.[11] In the process, they "absorbed certain essences" and took on some of the innate characteristics of their host, such as an animal's behavioral traits.[12][13] During possession, "memories seep[ed] back and forth, yielding confusion and inconsistency."[14]

Telorast and Curdle kept up a running conversation of insults, threats, lies, and half-truths between each other. They often seemed to shift between states of confusion and clarity. Underlying their seeming humour was a current of deadly menace, as they blurted out murderous threats between seemingly harmless observations.[13]

They hated Shadowthrone,[15] the new master of Shadow, who they claimed came to their prison to taunt them.[16]

Reference was made to them previously having ruled: "'Good,' Curdle said, stretching out along the ruined wall and staring up at the strange stars. 'Because I want my throne back.'"[2] However this may have been another lie or half truth.

In The Bonehunters[]

Apsalar with Telorast and Curdle by Shadaan

Apsalar found the two ghosts lingering over the corpses of two Tiste Andii chained in Shadow. The pair had been caught long ago while attempting to steal Shadowkeep's uncounted riches. They conversed with her in the language of the Tiste Andii.[17] When Apsalar told Telorast and Curdle her name, they reacted with disbelief as they had personally known the actual Apsalar/Apsal'ara, whose name Apsalar had adopted[18] and who she did not resemble in the least. The confusion being cleared up, both Telorast and Curdle thereafter always referred to 'Apsalar' (the assassin) by the name "Not-Apsalar".[19][20] Apsalar guided the ghosts to a gate to Ehrlitan where she immediately had to restrain them from seeking out new bodies to inhabit.[21]

Telorast and Curdle went on to accompany Apsalar on her travels. They took the opportunity to gain bodies when Apsalar visited Urko. His fossil collection included the skeletal bones of two crow-sized dinosaur-like, bipedal reptiles, which the two shades proceeded to possess. As the animation of the skeletons gave Urko new insight into the posture and movement of those reptiles, he agreed that they could keep them as a reward.[22]

When Apsalar travelled with the remnants of the 14th Army, after the conflagration at Y'Ghatan, Fiddler asked Bottle what kind of ghosts possessed the skeletal reptiles. Bottle informed Fiddler that Telorast and Curdle's original forms were that of dragons.[23] They remained with Apsalar aboard Adjunct Tavore Paran's flagship, the Froth Wolf, on the return voyage to Malaz City. After the ship entered the harbour, Apsalar abandoned them to make her own way into the city. Kalam Mekhar found them hiding on deck and they warned him it was "scary out there tonight" in the city as "all of them" were here.[24]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Telorast and Curdle traveled to Lether aboard the ships of the Bonehunters, spending their time below deck killing rats. Though Curdle lamented their skeletal bodies had no stomachs to fill, Telorast argued that the killing was fun in itself. Coming to shore at Second Maiden Fort with Adjunct Tavore's flagship, they were terrified to discover traces of Kilmandaros' presence and rushed to inform Not-Not-Apsalar (i.e, Lostara Yil). Lostara shooed them away so they went next to Banaschar, although they squabbled over whether the millennia since the Elder Goddess' visit negated the urgency of their information. Telorast revealed "by accident" to Banaschar, that the two spirits were in Lether secretly following orders from Edgewalker. Noting the slip, Telorast and Curdle began to think of ways to kill the priest until he warned them against waking his patron, D'rek, who might be interested in Edgewalker's plans. The two chastised skeletons retreated.[25]

In Dust of Dreams[]

As Fiddler conducted a reading of the Deck of Dragons in Letheras, Telorast and Curdle veered into two Elder Eleint, destroying a tavern in the city.[26] Much later, they encountered Torrent and Olar Ethil, swearing their allegiance to the former after the latter told them she had no need of the two.[27]

In The Crippled God[]

Telorast and Curdle followed Torrent and Olar Ethil, rarely making a sound in the presence of the two.

During the climax of the novel, as the Otataral Dragon descended to the earth, the two were able to shift into the form of two elder dragons, joining Silchas Ruin, Tulas Shorn, Eloth, Ampelas and Kalse in defending the great dragon against the other Eleint. The two were greeted by Eloth who named them Telorast Anthras and Kerudas Karosias and called them 'Betrayers', causing Curdle to comment that those three (i.e. Eloth, Ampelas and Kalse) still hated them.[28]

In Fall of Light[]

Telorast and Curdle were among the Eleint who entered Kurald Galain through the breach that Spinnock Durav and Calat Hustain and their Wardens saw above the Vitr.

At some point after they entered Kurald Galain, Telorast assumed the form of an attractive Tiste woman and went to the Warden's winter fort where she had a brief conversation with Spinnock Durav and Calat Hustain.

Curdle stayed at the Vitr close to the Gate where she met the Thel Akai warrior Kanyn Thrall and Ardata. She was later joined by Telorast. They were both there when Osserc and Scabandari arrived at the rent.

In Deadhouse Landing[]

In the years before the foundation of the Malazan Empire, Kellanved and Dancer made their first forays into the Shadow Realm. They attracted the attention of Koro who reported their presence to Edgewalker. The bat-like creature was exasperated by Edgewalker's failure to destroy the meddlers, asking that he at least set Telorast and Curdle upon them. But Edgewalker refused, saying he did not want the two intruders eaten--at least not yet.[29]


"The creature named Telorast had crept closer to Olar Ethil, almost on all fours. 'Servitude! As my sister said. Not a real lie. Just a . . . a . . . a temporary truth!'"
―Telorast, fawning before Olar Ethil[src]

"This isn't good. A stranger lives here. Must be a stranger, since we've never met. And if not a stranger then somebody I know, which would be even worse—"
―Telorast to Apsalar[src]

Notes and references[]