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Malazan Wiki

Toes was a squad mage in the Bridgeburners. His Warren was Hood's Path.[1]

"Toes had earned his name by his habit of collecting toes among the enemy's dead — whether he'd been personally responsible for killing them or not. He had concocted some kind of drying powder with which he treated his trophies before sewing them onto his vest - the man smelled like a crypt in dry weather, like a pauper's pit before the lime when it rained. He claimed to be a necromancer, and that some disastrously botched ritual in the past had left him over-sensitive to ghosts — they followed him, he would assert, adding that by cutting off their mortal toes he took from the ghosts all sense of balance so that they fell down so often that he was able to leave them far behind.

Indeed, he looked a haunted man, but, as Blend had pointed out, who wouldn't be haunted with all those dead toes hanging from him?
Picker prior to the Battle of Black Coral [src]

Toes often kissed one of the mummified fetishes about his neck before preparing to use his magic, sickening fellow mage, Bluepearl.[2] He was prone to fatalistic outbursts during combat.[3]

Like many Malazan soldiers, his name was bestowed by the legendary Master Sergeant, Braven Tooth.[4]

In Memories of Ice[]

By the time of the Pannion War, Toes was one of the Bridgeburners' last surviving mages. He and the other mages, Quick Ben, Spindle, Shank, and Bluepearl, were often seen together talking with Captain Ganoes Paran.[5]

During the Siege of Coral, Dujek sent the Bridgeburners into the city by Quorl under the cover of darkness. Their mission was to attack the keep of the Pannion Seer while the High Fist led the rest of the army into the city itself.[6]

Once inside, Captain Paran devised a plan to attack the Seer's demonic Condors sleeping atop the keep's roof. Toes contacted the spirits of centuries of guards who had fallen off the keep's wall their deaths. Six carried the mage to the top of the wall while another six carried hooks with ropes attached. Toes then secured the hooks to the top of the wall so that soldiers with crossbows armed with Moranth munitions could scale them.[7]

Toes was among the casualties during the fighting in the keep. Like the other Bridgeburners who perished, Toes' body was placed in a sarcophagus within the throne room of Moon's Spawn after the battle by Anomander Rake. The failing Skykeep was then sent out over the Rust Ocean where it was presumed to have crashed into the sea.[8]

In The Bonehunters[]

Ganoes Paran, now Master of the Deck, travelled to the newly reborn sea of Raraku. On its shores he performed a ritual to summon all of the dead Bridgeburners by name, including Toes. Among the ranks, Hedge bragged this was not the first time this group of dead Bridgeburners had walked among the living, noting that they had twisted the hair of Korbolo Dom and his Dogslayers at the Battle of Raraku. Shank spoke directly to Paran, asking their former captain what he required. Paran requested that they help him find the Deragoth to destroy Dejim Nebrahl.[9]


Toes: "We're all going to die!"
Quick Ben: "Dammit, Toes, shut up!"
―Toes, in combat[src]

Notes and references[]