Truth was a young Cawn recruit to the Malazan Coastal Guard serving under Corporal Gesler in Seven Cities, although Fiddler later described him as being Falari. He was described as a gangly young man with startling blue eyes, a comely appearance, and an air of vulnerability. He was one of the last members of the Boar Cult.
In Deadhouse Gates
Truth and the crew of the Ripath were attacked in their homeport during the Seven Cities rebellion (the Whirlwind). Aided by Duiker and cadre mage Kulp they fought their way to their ship and retreated by sea. With Hissar burning and no obvious safe harbour nearby, Corporal Gesler followed Kulp's orders to travel to Otataral Island to pick up historian Heboric Light Touch. Accompanying him were Stormy and Gesler.
After rescuing the historian and his companions Felisin Paran and Baudin, Truth was deeply disturbed by the former priest of Fener's lack of faith. Their ship travelled into the Nascent where they commandeered the abandoned vessel Silanda. This vessel was briefly pulled through a Warren where he, Stormy, and Gesler were exposed to magic causing them to begin their transformation into Ascendants. Their skin took on a bronze hue becoming as strong as stone, and their strength and endurance rose to well above normal.
By coincidence, the Silanda met Fist Coltaine and his Chain of Dogs at Vathar Crossing. The ship's crew joined Coltaine's army and Marine Captain Lull promoted Truth to full-fledged marine status. The Silanda was ordered to take many of the 7th Army's wounded to Aren, arriving only after the battle ended below its walls. The three marines set out to look for Duiker's body among the crucified prisoners along Aren Way. Along the way, Truth rescued the dogs Bent and Roach from the site of the Fall and convinced the Trell, Mappo Runt, to provide them with healing elixirs. When Gesler and Stormy finally found Duiker's corpse they kept that knowledge from Truth.
In House of Chains
Adjunct Tavore Paran arrived in Aren with the newly formed Malaz 14th Army to take back Seven Cities from the rebels. She ordered the Silanda impounded, and Gesler was made sergeant of the 5th squad Marines in the 8th Legion. His squad included Truth, Tavos Pond, Sands, and Pella with Stormy as corporal. The dogs, Bent and Roach, accompanied his squad as well.
At the 8th Legion's initial muster before Adjunct Tavore, the boy Grub had sparked fears of a bad omen by appearing at the Adjunct's feet and pointing a human leg bone at the soldiers. Fiddler attempted to turn the omen to the army's own benefit by swallowing it whole. Truth was one of the men who collected bones from the local graveyard to incorporate them for use in the army's uniform per Fiddler's plan.
Pearl and Lostara Yil tracked down Truth, Stormy, and Gesler to question them regarding their part in the escape of Felisin Paran, Heboric, and Baudin from the Otataral mines. While Pearl spoke to Gesler and Stormy, Lostara questioned Truth separately.
Their company captain, Keneb, suspected the odd looking Truth, Stormy, and Gesler of serving in a martial cult, an action forbidden in the Malazan Military. Thus, he did not deem them trustworthy and kept their squad and a few others eating dust in the army's rearguard while on the march to Raraku.
After the Battle of Raraku, Lieutenant Ranal led Gesler's, String's, and Borduke's squads on a chase after Corabb's fleeing desert raiders. Gesler's squad fell behind before noticing four bizarre armoured men charging their position on horseback. Gesler ordered Sands to fire a cusser at their attackers and deemed them dead after the explosion. The four men were actually Seneschal Jorrude and his Tiste Liosan who sought vengeance against Truth, Stormy, and Gesler for their trespass into Kurald Thyrllan. The four survived the blast but determined to bring justice to an easier target, such as the dragon who had pulled the Silanda in its wake.
Truth, Stormy, and Gesler could no longer get drunk after their trip through the warrens. Gesler considered it a curse.
In The Bonehunters
After the Battle of Raraku, Leoman led the Army of the Apocalypse westward towards Y'Ghatan and the 14th Army followed. Adjunct Tavore wanted to send some of her people ahead to reach the city first, so she chose Gesler's squad (including Truth) to accompany Quick Ben and Kalam Mekhar. The group travelled via the Imperial Warren, but due to the problems with the Warrens travel was difficult and confusing. The sudden appearance of at least a dozen K'Chain Che'Malle Skykeeps in the air above led Quick Ben to immediately cancel the plan. He brought the group back to the Malazan world to report the news to the Adjunct.
Adjunct Tavore launched the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan by breaching the city's walls with Sappers. First into the city were the Malazan marines, followed quickly by the Heavy infantry. Pella determined to stick close to Truth, who he considered "too wide-eyed for all this." Barely a street in and fearing an ambush, Gesler called for backup while Truth and Pella scanned the windows above with their crossbows. In the fighting that followed, Pella was killed by a sniper and many of the sappers and heavies were killed. Truth brought up the rear as Gesler and the survivors of Thom Tissy's squad moved forward.
When enough Malazans were engaged in street fighting inside the city, Leoman sprung his trap. The city's olive oil-soaked buildings were set alight and the streets quickly became an inferno. Truth and a mixed group of survivors from Gesler's, Fiddler's, Hellian's, Balm's, and Thom Tissy's squads were driven by the fires to the palace. Fiddler suggested using munitions to cut a path through the flames. Truth sacrificed himself by running into the middle of the fires engulfing the palace with a half dozen cussers while a shrieking Gesler had to be held back. The resulting explosion allowed the trapped Malazans a passage forward, ultimately saving them, but Gesler was torn by guilt.
Notes and references
- Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.18
- House of Chains, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.639
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.209
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.336
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.424/427/429-430
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.590-592
- House of Chains, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.253-255
- House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.537/540
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.316-320
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.335-336
- House of Chains, Chapter 8, US SFBC p.332-336
- House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.536
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.835-839
- House of Chains, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.539
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.142/146-147
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.193-194
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.298-300
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.311-312/333