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Korlat, Anomander and Spinnock by Shadaan

The Tiste Andii [tīst ann-dee][1] were a non-human Elder Race.[2] They were the Children of Darkness. The first of Mother Dark's children, they were her dearest, the dwellers of the land before light. They were sometimes referred to as the Souls of Starless Night.[3] The Tiste Andii were immortal, and their actions could be difficult for mortals to comprehend. The leader and Archmage of the Tiste Andii was Anomander Rake, who ruled by strength of personality.[4]

Before the coming of light, the Tiste Andii lived alone in Kurald Galain. The city of Kharkanas was their first city. The Tiste Andii worshipped Mother Dark. After Mother Dark turned away, the Tiste Andii fell into turmoil, leaving Kharkanas and wandering from place to place, following Anomander Rake as their Lord.[5]


The Tiste Andii were described as being taller than humans, though of similar proportions. They were described as tall and ebony-skinned with almond-shaped eyes which could change colour. Their hair was generally kept long and tended to be either black or silver-white.[6]


By the time of Gardens of the Moon, Rake claimed his people were "dying...No cause seems great enough to return to my people the zest for life. I try, but inspiration has never been a great talent of mine." Their point of view was one of "disinterest, stoicism, and quiet, empty despair."[7] They did not seek out romantic companionship with their own kind, finding such unions pointless. Children were sometimes born, but likely as a result of boredom.[8] Korlat knew in her soul that some of the Tiste Andii who died in battle did so as a choice made in despair, not because they could not defend themselves.[4]

When a Tiste Andii fell in battle, their bodies were simply left on the ground where they fell. Attempts by non-Andii to mourn and ritualize the deaths of the fallen were met by bemusement.[9] They did not seem to place great value on typical symbols of wealth. When Malazan soldiers looted their corpses in battle they found only plain weapons, and common items such as knotted strips of coloured cloth and stream-polished pebbles.[8]

The Tiste Andii were a patient people and their long lives gave them a different perspective than short-lived mortals. For the Andii, the "true measure of power lies in the wisdom to wait for the propitious moment."[10] A Tiste Andii could be content to stand still in quiet contemplation for weeks.[11]


The Tiste Andii drew upon the Elder Magic of Kurald Galain, the Warren of Darkness.[12]

In Gardens of the Moon[]

A contingent of Tiste Andii fought under Caladan Brood against the Malazan Empire in the Genabackis Campaign. They were able to pick out a Claw from some distance and as a result, by the time the Siege of Pale ended, there were no Claw operatives left in the Malazan 5th and 6th Armies opposing them.[13]

Tiste Andii mages started a secret war with the Assassins' Guild on the rooftops of Darujhistan to prevent their collaboration with the Malazans. The Andii used heavy, antique crossbows and long-knives as well as sorcery, using the latter also to ascend and descend buildings. One of the first to die by their hands was Talo Krafar who was pursued by at least two hunters and possibly their commander. They also tried to kill Crokus Younghand, but due to the influence of Oponn whose coin he carried, the young thief escaped all attempts and eventually reached the safety of the Phoenix Inn. The hunters agreed that the sequence of events had been uncanny and that an Ascendant was involved. The commander of the group, Serrat, decided that it might be useful to leave a witness alive to spread the rumour of their actions. One of the hunters commented that Crokus had had the help of someone with a sense of humour. Crokus thought one of the group to be about six and a half feet tall and thin.[14] Serrat was one of the most talented assassins of the Andii. She was charged by her lord to hunt down the Coinbearer, but was repeatedly frustrated in her efforts by an unknown force that merely incapacitated her, rendering her unconscious on two occasions.

In Memories of Ice[]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Tiste Andii.

Prior to the events of Memories of Ice, the Tiste Andii fought alongside the Crimson Guard and Caladan Brood against the Malazans in the Genabackis Campaign. Whiskeyjack, in a conversation with Korlat (Anomander Rake's second in command), noted that the Tiste Andii never pursued a retreating company, nor looted the bodies of their fallen enemies. He also noted that those Tiste Andii who were found slain possessed armor and weaponry no better than any enlisted soldier, and that none carried silver or gold, only knotted cloth or polished stones.[15]

The Tiste Andii including Korlat, Orfantal, and Rake himself, accompanied the combined forces of Onearm's Host and Caladan Brood's army during the Pannion War.[16] Rake was instrumental in keeping the alliance together after Brood found out Dujek Onearm was only outlawed in order to find allies against the Pannion Domin.[17] Most of the Tiste Andii went with Anomander Rake into Moon's Spawn, which was hidden for most of the journey towards Coral.[18] Several dozen remained with Korlat, and upon reaching the city of Coral, they supported the ground troops with sorcery against a force of undead K'Chain Che'Malle. Moon's Spawn surged out of an underwater hiding place deep in an oceanic trench near Coral Bay. All Tiste Andii aboard Moon's Spawn united in unveiling Kurald Galain, a feat which Caladan Brood said had not been done since the Tiste Andii arrived in this world. Silanah, a red Eleint joined forces with Moon's Spawn's advance. Ultimately, Rake crashed the floating fortress into the Pannion Seer's keep.[19]

Moon's Spawn was damaged after its journey under the sea, and it remained in Coral which was now covered in a permanent gloom due to the full unveiling of Kurald Galain. Rake offered to bury Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners inside Moon's Spawn, and the Tiste Andii took up residence inside Coral.[20]

In House of Chains[]

Anomander Rake sent the Throne of Shadow to Drift Avalii where it could be guarded by the Tiste Andii. The Tiste Edur, indirectly commanded by the Crippled God, attacked the island so they might take the Throne for their master. Their attacks were held back by a group of stranded Malazans with Hawl amongst them as well as Andarist, Cutter, Apsalar, Cotillion, Phaed, and Traveller.[21][22]

In Midnight Tides[]

Before the time of the sundering of Kurald Emurlahn, several hundred thousand years before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the first group of Tiste Andii left Kurald Galain to settle in the Malazan world. They were accompanied by Anomander Rake, who was said to have cut ties with Mother Dark.[23]

After Kurald Emurlahn was riven, a second wave of four hundred thousand Tiste Andii led by Silchas Ruin left behind the civil wars of Kurald Galain to invade the Malazan world. They allied with Scabandari and his Tiste Edur to pass through a rent into Lether and defeat an army of K'Chain Che'Malle. Scabandari betrayed the Tiste Andii, trapping Ruin in an Azath House and slaughtering the Andii survivors of the battle. Scabandari meant to destroy the other Andii settlers, but he was killed by the Elder Goddess, Kilmandaros, and his people were scattered.[23][24]

Tens of thousands of the murdered Andii became shadow wraith slaves of the Tiste Edur and their descendents. Gothos' ritual to bury and preserve the battlefield had torn loose their spirits and prevented them from passing on to the gates of death.[25][26] During their war with the Kingdom of Lether, the Edur used the wraiths to scout and harass the enemy and as fodder during major battles. Fifty to sixty thousand wraiths were believed to have perished at the Battle of Brans Keep alone.[27]

In The Bonehunters[]

Three Eleint, Ampelas, Eloth, and Kalse, imprisoned in Kurald Emurlahn told Cotillion that they had attempted to heal that fractured Warren by seizing the Throne of Shadow. But a vengeful Anomandaris and his Tiste Andii wreaked destruction on the Warren to stop them. Rake was determined to see the Throne remain unclaimed and had the Eleint chained.[28]

In Reaper's Gale[]

(Information needed)

In Toll the Hounds[]

(Information needed)

In Forge of Darkness[]

Before the Tiste Andii, Tiste Liosan, and Tiste Edur there were only the Tiste, the pale golden- or bronze-skinned people of Kurald Galain. The intercedence of the Azathanai Draconus and T'riss made Mother Dark a goddess and marked her followers as the onyx-skinned Tiste Andii.[29]

Significant plot details end here.


At least one group of Tiste Andii arrived in the Malazan world several hundred thousand years before the events of Gardens of the Moon. Among these Tiste Andii was Anomander Rake who had broken with Mother Dark.[23] Another large group of Tiste Andii arrived in the Malazan world under the leadership of Silchas Ruin. Along with the Tiste Edur, they fought a devastating war against the K'Chain Che'Malle. Though victorious, their numbers were decimated: of the initial 400,000 Andii, only a thousand survived. These survivors were then betrayed by the Edur and slaughtered on the orders of Scabandari Bloodeye. He also stabbed Silchas Ruin in the back.

Until the arrival of Serrat and her night hunters, the language of the Tiste Andii had not been heard in the lands of Darujhistan for millennia.[30]

The history of all three Tiste people is the subject of the Kharkanas Trilogy.


The Andii were present in several locations around the world.


For a list of known Tiste Andii words and phrases as well as translations please visit the Tiste Language page.


"Speak truth, grow still, until the water is clear between us."
Meditations of the Tiste Andii[src]


  • Several of the Tiste Andii were Soletaken with the blood of Tiam in them that allowed them to veer into dragons.


  • There was some question as to whether or not they could ever lie, based on the fact that their eyes seemed to reflect their mood.

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