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See also: Elder Deck

See also: Tiles elsewhere

The Tiles of the Holds were an ancient version of the Deck of Dragons representing the various Holds that once existed everywhere in the world. Like the Deck of Dragons, they could be used to make predictions in a process called "casting the tiles". They were predominantly used in the Letherii Empire.

Unlike the Deck of Dragons, members of the Hold could be places or things. The only diviner seen in Midnight Tides was Feather Witch, named after the feather witches who, for generations before her time, were the only ones that could read the Holds. In her readings, she could see actions of the individual members of the Holds not as if she were there but through images in the form of representations of their actions. This was very unlike the Deck of Dragons, where the cards were drawn and placed in an order on a surface and the meaning was left for interpretation.

The Errant was the Master of the Tiles and considered the Cedance the foundation of his realm.[1]

The Cedance[]

The Cedance referred to the dominant set of tiles[2] and to Ceda Kuru Qan's chamber of the tiles where they were kept.[3] The Ceda's divination room was a vast circular chamber deep below the Old Palace behind a pair of massive copper-sheathed doors. Narrow steps rose to a walkway suspended by chains knee-high above the floor ending at an observation disc in the chamber's centre. The enormous tiles of the holds with their ever-shifting faces were arranged on the floor in a spiral pattern.[4][5]

Known Holds[]

Tiles elsewhere[]

The Synod of Stygg also had a version of casting Tiles.[6] Brother Jool cast the Tiles and saw Fire, Night, Earth, Light, Seas, Life, and Death all gathered for the coming season at the Stormwall. In opposition was the House of Death represented by the Malazan Empire as well as a hidden tile representing the Stormriders.[7] During a second reading he saw Hearth/Flame inverted, the Dark Hoarder (death) inverted, Earth/Dolmen or the past, Stormriders, Demesne of Night or Hold of Darkness all of which foresaw a betrayal.[8]

In Reaper's Gale[]

After the deaths of King Ezgara Diskanar and Ceda Kuru Qan, the heat of power bled away from the chamber of the Cedance, leaving it bitter cold. The tiles themselves remained blank, refusing to reveal the Holds even to the Errant.[9]

Later, inflamed by lust and ambition from exposure to the Demon spirit-god trapped in Settle Lake, the Errant rashly sought to reclaim his lost power by initiating a war between the Holds and the Warrens and defeating the Master of the Deck. He stabbed Feather Witch and flung the bloody knife into the Cedance where it pierced the image of himself on his own tile. After the other tiles finished spinning about his own, the blood filled the channels between them. The wounded Feather Witch gouged out the Errant's eye and consumed it, stealing some of his power and gaining new knowledge of the Warrens. She said the blood between the Cedance's tiles depicted the Warrens and its presence meant the Cedance finally mapped the truth of things. Then she urged the Errant to claim the Empty Throne with herself as Destriant, Brys Beddict as Mortal Sword, and Udinaas as Shield Anvil.[10]

Notes and references[]