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Malazan Wiki

The Thelomen Tartheno Toblakai[1] were an intelligent, humanoid race. They were said to be descended from the Thel Akai and to be the blessed of the children of the Great Mother.[2]


The Thelomen Toblakai were humanoid, though taller and generally more physically robust than humans, with broad, flat faces. Pure-blood Toblakai stood at over seven feet tall, and were disproportionately muscled enough to seem wide. They were capable of interbreeding with humans to produce viable half-breeds, but seemed to have a different evolutionary descent, as marked by having four lungs rather than two.


It was known that certain Thelomen Toblakai could essentially become their own Warrens; the exact abilities and circumstances that surrounded this were unknown. Karsa Orlong appeared to be one such, channeling his Warren into the ability to ignore the structures and effects of spells, even Elder magic such as the T'lan Imass' Tellann. However, Karsa Orlong and his tribe's immunity to magic might also have come from the use of blood-oil, a substance related to otataral.

"Among the ancient Toblakai ... according to our own histories ... there could arise individuals, warriors, who became something of a warren unto themselves. Such power varies in its efficacy, and it would appear that this sort of blood talent was waning in the last generations of the Toblakai civilization, growing ever weaker."


Thelomen Toblakai or their descendants were scattered across the Malazan world, and appeared to exist on all continents under a variety of names - Teblor, Fenn, Tarthenal, and Toblakai. They were a fallen people; once possessing high civilization, cities and books, most now lived in tribes and eked out a barbaric existence breeding horses and feuding with nearby tribes. The greatest details were known about the Teblor on Genabackis through the story of Karsa Orlong.


There were several races which were categorized as Toblakai. These were:

In Gardens of the Moon[]

Bellurdan Skullcrusher was a Fenn mage in the Malazan army. He was a part of the mage cadre that battled Anomander Rake.[4] He grieved for his slain lover Nightchill, and later attacked Tattersail on Tayschrenn's orders, only to die in a mutually fatal conflagration in the Rhivi plain.[5]

His soul then shifted into Silverfox's body. He claimed that the Thelomen had Jaghut blood in them.

In House of Chains[]

Bellurdan was also mentioned as the High Mage who forged the Otataral-quenched Long-knife bought by Kalam. The weapon in question proved that Bellurdan used an Elder Warren, as the knife was invested, an impossible task with human Warrens due to otataral's magic-deadening properties.

The body of pure blood Thelomen Toblakai about three times the height of a man lay at the bottom of a well within the B'ridys fortress. It was thousands of years old and possessed by a demon.[6]

In Midnight Tides[]

According to the Shadow wraith, Wither, the explorers and colonizers of the First Empire had conquered the early Tartheno tribes, who they considered ignorant and non-human.[7]

In Reaper's Gale[]

The Errant mused on the origins of the Tarthenal, claiming the race's true name was "Toblakai". Long ago, they had forged a first alliance with the Imass upon the water and so ever since were drawn to Mael, Elder God of the Sea. This happened "before the Great Landings that brought the last of the giants who had chosen to remain pure of blood" to the shores of Lether and elsewhere. The first founders became the vicious, spiteful gods of the Tarthenal.[8] Ublala Pung said his people's oldest legends claimed the Tarthenal had been scattered by ice and betrayal, much like the Toblakai.[9] Rhulad Sengar recalled a time of ancient wars on the seas between the Tiste Edur and the Toblakai which occurred after the fall of the K'Chain Che'Malle. He further spoke of the Teblor, Tartheno Toblakai, Tarthenal, and Fenn as if the terms were interchangeable.[10]

When Old Hunch Arbat released centuries of Tarthenal ghost to aid Karsa Orlong, Kuru Qan identified the spirits as Thelomen Tartheno Toblakai.[11]

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

Rumours that Thelomen had once resided in the Lands of Fist until their extermination were angrily denied by Paulus of Rool. As proof, the writer pointed to the lack of any physical evidence left behind of their presence.[12]

In Stonewielder[]

Ivanr, the former Grand Champion of Jourilan, was of mixed Toblakai blood. His mother belonged to the Red-Rock tribe of the Thoul-Alai, who lived as hunter gatherers.[13]

Author comments[]

Author Ian C. Esslemont implies that the rock-like entity Denuth is a progenitor of the Thelomen and Thel Akai races.[14]


"Death shall be my bridge."
―Toblakai saying[src]

Notes and references[]