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Tene Baralta was a native of the Seven Cities and commander of the Ehrlitan Red Blades. He despised High Fist Pormqual, the Empire's appointed governor.[1]

Baralta was tall, broad, and dusk-skinned.[2] He wore a beard,[3] which he kept slick with oil.[4] His full armour consisted of a scaled vest, chainmail skirt and camail, gauntlets with spurred links, and greaves and vambraces of beaten bronze rimmed with iron.[5][6] He fought with two tulwars.[7]

His subordinate, Lostara Yil, thought him "something of a coward, despite all his belligerence and posturing", eager to "take credit for every success whilst dancing from the path of disaster."[4] She also thought he possessed a sadistic streak.[4] Faradan Sort thought Baralta vain about his appearance.[4]

In Deadhouse Gates Edit

Tene Baralta devised a plan to locate Sha'ik, the leader of the Whirlwind uprising. He passed a stolen copy of the Book of Dryjhna to the spy Mebra to offer as bait. Mebra convinced Kalam Mekhar to deliver the holy book to Sha'ik in Raraku while the Red Blades followed.[8]

Baralta, Lostara Yil, Aralt Arpat, and twelve other Red Blades successfully assassinated Sha'ik, but had to flee from her bodyguards Leoman and Toblakai. Afterwards, they rode to announce the news in Pan'potsun.[9] Nevertheless the prophesied uprising against the Malazan Empire had begun.

In House of ChainsEdit

When the 14th Army was created, Tene Baralta, now overall commander of the Red Blades, was elevated by Adjunct Tavore to the station of Fist of the 10th Legion. He accompanied the 14th Army on their mission to stop the Whirlwind and Sha'ik Reborn.[10] He was eager to seek revenge against the Whirlwind as a company of Red Blades had perished with the Chain of Dogs.[11]

Fist Baralta attempted to serve as a moderating force of wisdom within the army's leadership. Fist Gamet immediately clashed in personality with Fist Blistig, who had been elevated from the Aren Guard. Gamet questioned whether Blistig had been the one to arrange for Grub's dire and portentous appearance before the gathered 8th Legion. An angered Blistig removed the peace-loop from his sword's hilt before Baralta tamped down the disagreement.[12]

As the 14th Army neared Raraku, Baralta attempted to convince the wounded Gamet to reassume his position as Fist. Baralta worried that Adjunct Tavore was leading them into Korbolo Dom's carefully constructed trap, and Baralta thought Gamet could serve as a cautious voice in the Adjunct's ear. Baralta dismissed Gamet's claims that he was no longer fit to serve.[13]

After Sha'ik's death at the Battle of Raraku, Baralta was angered by Lostara Yil and Pearl's decision to spirit away Felisin Paran's body. Lostara rightfully feared that Baralta had planned to use Sha'ik's body as a trophy, and was loudly harangued by her former commander.[14] Afterwards, Baralta brought Kindly and Pores before the Adjunct after his men discovered them in the Dogslayers camp.[15]

In The BonehuntersEdit

After the Battle of Raraku, Leoman led the Army of the Apocalypse westward towards Y'Ghatan and the 14th Army followed. Distrusting Adjunct Tavore's leadership, Fist Baralta and Fist Blistig attempted to unite the other Fists in a plot to corner Tavore and demand answers on strategy. They were particularly concerned when the Adjunct dismissed Quick Ben and Kalam Mekhar on what appeared to be a wild goose chase. While Blistig invited Fist Keneb into their plotting, Baralta met with Warleader Gall of the Khundryl Burned Tears.[16]

Leoman's decision to hole up in Y'Ghatan deeply worried Baralta as it made no sense to him.[17] He also heard rumours of plague coming from the east and feared it would reach them while the 14th was bogged down in the city.[18] Keneb read signs of a deep demoralization in his posture and affect.[19] Shortly before the Malazan attack, a disguised L'oric charged through the Empire's lines on horseback nearly bowling over Fists Baralta and Keneb. Baralta swore the rider would pay for his temerity.[18] He was surprised when his former officer, Lostara Yil, returned to his side, but allowed her to lead three of his squads into battle.[20]

Adjunct Tavore launched the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan by sending the army's sappers to breach the city's wall under the cover of night. First into the city were the Malazan marines, followed quickly by the heavy and Medium infantry. Fists Baralta and Keneb entered the city after its western edges were secure.[18] But when enough Malazans were engaged in street fighting inside the city, Leoman sprung his trap. The city's olive oil-soaked buildings were set alight and the streets quickly became an inferno. Baralta was severely burned and lost an arm. His beard caught fire, leaving him scarred and disfigured with most of his nose and lips gone, but a Denul healer saved his eyes. At the battle's end, he lay unconscious in the wagons with the wounded.[21]

Baralta remained in his sickbed for weeks, his muscular physique sagging into fat and his eyesight diminishing to a blurred haze in only one eye. He was in constant pain and a cordon of his Red Blades guarded him at all times. He became convinced that the Adjunct had betrayed him, and had conspired with Leoman to kill him. He began to think of himself as Tene Baralta the Maimed or the Betrayed, around whom which a cult of worship would form as they had for Coltaine. Gethol, Herald of the Crippled God, visited his sickbed and confirmed his fears about the Adjunct. The Herald soothed Baralta's pain and offered to restore his eyesight for a future favour.[22]

On the night that Admiral Nok's fleet brought the 14th Army to Malaz City, Baralta seized the initiative and launched a longboat ahead of the Froth Wolf to secure the docks with Lostara Yil and the rest of his Red Blades.[23] Then they escorted Adjunct Tavore, T'amber, and Kalam through an angry mob of citizens to a meeting with Empress Laseen at Mock's Hold.[24] He used the meeting to request the Empress to relieve the Red Blades of their conscription in the 14th Army.[25]

Later, in his private room in Mock's Hold, Lostara helped remove his armour. The Fist looked forward to being tended by the Empress' High Denul healers, especially for its impact on what he saw as a blooming relationship between himself and Lostara. Lostara told him she always regretted following his orders to slay everyone at Ladro Keep. Then she sliced his throat for betraying Tavore and the Bonehunters. Leaving his room, she told the two Red Blades guarding the door outside: "The commander sleeps now. Do not disturb him."[26]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.72
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.322
  3. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.351
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.520-521
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.71
  6. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.274
  7. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.135
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.134-136
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 5
  11. House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.232-233
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.316-318/322
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.720-721
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.832-833
  15. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.833
  16. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.199
  17. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.251
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.274-275
  19. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.252
  20. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.285/304
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.424/425
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.797-800
  23. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.857-858/865
  24. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.857-858/865
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.897-898
  26. The Bonehunters, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.909-910
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