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Trake (also known as Treach) was the Tiger of Summer and Battle.[5] He was a Soletaken[6] First Hero[7] who was born of a Soletaken ritual during the period of the First Empire, and subsequently survived the slaughter delivered by the T'lan Imass.[4] He ascended as a First Hero and fought amongst his own kind, but in the thousands of years which followed he slowly lost his conscious mind, remaining locked in his Soletaken beast form.[2][4][8] Over the years, many great warriors had sought to prove their strength by slaying the giant tiger without knowing his true identity.[9]

The people of Korel knew him as the Beast of War.[10]

In Deadhouse Gates[]

When Mappo spoke with Ryllandaras he called the D'ivers the brother of Treach and spoke of a chasm between the brothers to have occurred in Dal Hon or Li Heng. Whether this referred to blood brotherhood or a form of friendship was not made clear.[11]

Fiddler said he had been present when Malazan Emperor Kellanved had fought both Treach and Ryllandaras outside Li Heng.[12]

In Memories of Ice[]

Interpretation of Trake's battle against K'Chain Che'Malle by Grimhilde

While crossing the Lamatath Plain, Toc the Younger found himself seeing through Treach's eyes as the Soletaken lay dying far to the north. The great tiger had been mortally wounded in an encounter with four undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters. As his blood soaked the ground, Treach's human memories returned after millennia of bestial madness. He recalled how the First Empire's Soletaken ritual had unravelled, causing many of the more powerful Soletaken to go mad and splinter into the first D'ivers. Their act also tore a Warren to pieces turning the eastlands of Seven Cities into molten rock that defied sorcery when it finally cooled. When the T'lan Imass arrived to correct the error by exterminating the participants, it was the end of the First Empire.[4]

Treach and his friends, Ryllandaras and Messremb, were among the few survivors and they fled. Treach vaguely recalled battling the man-jackal in a faraway land, sending him falling into an infinite crevasse, while Messremb disappeared.[4]

The dying First Hero was visited by the last living Imass, Kilava Onass. She told him the shattered warren had eventually been repaired, and questioned why his memories had fortuitously chosen now to return. She refused his request for a quick death, and warned that he and other mortals had been chosen and shaped by an unknown Elder God in answer to a grave threat. She suspected that when he died he would not find himself before Hood's gates, but elsewhere.[4]

Trake's rise had been long foreseen by the Elder Gods for their eventual battle against the Crippled God. After Trake's death, he ascended to true godhood with the potential to become the new God of War, a position left vacant by the fall of Fener. But he was young and weak in comparison to the Boar of Summer.[13][14][15]

During the Pannion Domin's Siege of Capustan, Trake chose Gruntle to be his Mortal Sword. The profane and irreverent carvan guard became a fierce and catlike fighter who rallied the city's defenders to push back the invaders. In the process, Gruntle and his followers, who he jokingly named Trake's Legion,[16] took on the striped markings of their patron.[17] Gruntle shocked Trake's priest, Rath'Trake, with his lack of piety and his mocking disregard for his new title, but did not earn Trake's wrath.[18] It was later revealed that Trake had made a bargain to provide Hood with souls through the deeds of his human servant.[19] What Trake received in return was unspecified, but may have accounted for why he had not passed through Hood's gate himself.

Following the relief of Capustan, Trake's Legion joined the Malazan alliance to confront the Pannion Seer at Coral. When the Siege of Coral began, Trake risked the heart of his power to meld Gruntle and his followers into a giant, emerald tiger, almost like a reverse D'ivers. The enormous cat ran all the way to Coral to find the Malazan forces facing an army of eight hundred K'ell Hunters.[20] Trake had a score to settle with the undead K'Chain Che'Malle and Gruntle placed his Legion at the front of the army. When the battle began, his soldiers again became a tiger that bit and clawed its way through the mass of Hunters. As the K'Chain Che'Malle attacked the tiger from all sides, bloodied human bodies fell away. By the time thousands of T'lan Ay came to assist, the tiger was dying. At battle's end, only eight Capan women remained of the entire Legion.[21][22]

In House of Chains[]

Treach claimed Heboric as his Destriant causing the former High Priest of Fener to undergo a physical transformation. No longer blind, the historian's eyes became those of a cat, his tattoos became the barbs of a tiger, his hearing greatly increased, and his nose became capable of following scent trails. His aches and pains were replaced by a new physicality of feline grace and strength.[23][24]

In The Bonehunters[]

Before the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan, Tene Baralta swore an oath in which he prayed to Treach. Fist Keneb marvelled at how quickly Fener had gone from men's minds to be replaced by Treach.[25]

Treach's Destriant, Heboric, was wracked with doubt over his new role, certain the god had made a mistake in choosing him.[26][27][28] He eventually came to reject the traditional role of his title and vowed he would never take another life to deliver "justice" in a god's name.[28] He vowed he would find a way to send Fener back to his realm, whether Treach liked it or not, and both gods could share the Throne of War.[29] But before Heboric could make good on his promises, he was killed by The Unbound, the servants of the Crippled God who took great pains to mutilate his body.[30] During a war between the gods, it was a dangerous time to be one of their mortal followers.[31]

Fiddler acquired a new Deck of Dragons which included cards for High House War. Treach appeared as the Hunter in the new House, depicted with the striped corpse of an old man with no hands at his feet.[32]

While under the influence of Carelbarra, the God Bringer, Cuttle dreamt of a tiger cut to pieces by giant undead lizards that ran on two feet. The tiger died, but ascended. Cuttle concluded the dying was important for the tiger to arrive.[33] When Heboric was returned to life by Hood to stop the suns falling on Otataral Island, he had similar thoughts. "You had to die, Treach, didn't you? Before ascendancy, before true godhood. You had to die first."[34]

In Reaper's Gale[]

The Errant discovered Fener taking refuge in his abandoned temple in the Old Palace of Letheras. In return for allowing him to stay, Fener gifted him with the knowledge that it was possible for the Holds to awaken and regain power. After the boar god's fall, the Beast Hold had demanded an inheritor arise to take his place. Since Treach was too young and weak, Togg and Fanderay awoke to take the Throne.[35]

In The Crippled God[]

Gruntle, Trake's Mortal Sword, described the God as hot iron.[36]

Trake was revealed to be the son of Kilava Onass.[37]


Notes and references[]

  1. Stonewielder, Chapter 2, US HC p.121
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 2
  3. The Bonehunters, Glossary
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.264-268
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
  6. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
  8. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.440
  9. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.479
  10. Stonewielder, Chapter 2, US HC p.121
  11. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.47
  12. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.64
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.365/376
  14. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.570
  15. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.632
  16. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.792
  17. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.536
  18. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.600-601
  19. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.656
  20. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.898-902
  21. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.901-902
  22. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.921-924/936-937/944
  23. House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.495-496
  24. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.605-607
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.275
  26. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.160
  27. The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.402
  28. 28.0 28.1 The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.475
  29. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.451
  30. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.476-480
  31. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.559
  32. The Bonehunters, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.722/725
  33. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.359
  34. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.784
  35. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 9, US HC p.227-230
  36. The Crippled God, Chapter 2
  37. The Crippled God, Chapter 16, UK MMPB p.610
  38. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 21, Tor MMPB p.573
  39. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2
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