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Interpretation of the Trygalle Trade Guild
Collaboration between Grimhilde, Dolmen, and Corporal Nobbs

The Trygalle Trade Guild [Trih-Gal][1]was the most effective and most expensive courier service on any continent. It was renowned for using the Warrens to travel from place to place, saving a great deal of time as the Warrens reduced the amount of time needed to travel great distances. The Trygalle Guild did not, however, request permission of the Warren residents before travelling through them, and so Trygalle Guild caravans were frequently attacked by all manner of creatures/demons. This made Trygalle Trade Guild missions extremely dangerous, and hence expensive.

Despite the cost, their services were so highly desired that they did not need to advertise openly.[2] The Trygalle Guild's High Mages were so powerful that it was said they could access Warrens that not even the Malazan Empire's best mages could enter unaided.[3] Among the Guild's most prized possessions was the work of their Surveyants—maps of the Warrens and the connections between them. With each trip, these maps became more complete.[4] Details of the Guild's journey were kept strictly secret as client confidentiality was part of the service.[5]

Trygalle Trade Guild caravans were composed of one or more enormous, gaudily painted six-wheeled carriages,[6] each usually pulled by six,[6] nine, or even as many as twenty horses, depending on the quantity and weight of what (or who) was being transported. The carriage was entered through a side door which contained a barred window and a shutter. A speak-tube near the roof allowed the high mage inside the carriage to give instructions to those outside.[7] The roof was protected by a sheath of copper.[6] The Daru thief, Crokus, recognized the Trygalle Guild carriages as having been manufactured by "Bernuk's", located near the Lakefront in Darujhistan.[8]

To reduce the risk, Trygalle Guild caravans' transit through Warrens were conducted at breakneck speed, and the Trygalle Guild equipages tried to stop for nothing. The Guild carriages were guarded by a large number of heavily armed and armoured shareholders, stationed upon the roofs, flanks, and ornate projections of the carriages, to which they were strapped in place by leather harnesses attached to iron rings.[6] The Trygalle Guild caravan guards carried crossbows[6] and other weapons whose edges were sometimes darkened and smeared with unknown substances. Despite this rate of travel, the Guild carriages were usually scarred and fire-scorched from encounters within the Warrens. Karpolan Demesand (mage-merchant and original Trygalle Trade Guild caravan master) suspected that the Trygalle Guild horses were in the process of acquiring a taste for wild terror.[9][10][11][12]

The unofficial motto of Trygalle Trade Guild shareholders (even after a particularly disastrous mission) was "We've had worse trips."[13][14] On the other hand, the most common reaction of those new to travelling via Trygalle Trade Guild caravan was (along the lines of) "These people have all lost their minds."[15][16] The Guild shareholders referred to their trips through the Warrens as "the Ride".[17]

The Trygalle Trade Guild, itself, originated in the small fortress city of Trygalle, situated south of the Lamatath Plain, on the continent of Genabackis. Councillor Coll of Darujhistan thought that Trygalle was located near Elingarth.[18][19] The Trygalle Trade Guild was born of a dubious alliance of mages (one of whom, a Trygalle Trade Guild founder, was Karpolan Demesand), as well as a motley collection of local pirates and wreckers. At the time of the march of the Chain of Dogs in Seven Cities, the Trygalle Guild had only recently opened an office in Darujhistan. All employees of the Trygalle Trade Guild were made shareholders, which, as intended, increased their loyalty to the business' success and shareholders' willingness to take the necessarily dangerous risks that were fundamental to Trygalle Guild missions. In addition, there was a popular policy (known as "earning the spike") which meant that if a particular shareholder was killed in the course of active duty, that shareholder's family would be awarded twice the payback than the shareholder would have received for that particular mission if he/she had completed it alive.[20][21]

Kruppe was a well known shareholder within the Trygalle Trade Guild,[22] and was the only shareholder not known to actually travel with it.

In Deadhouse Gates[]

The Trygalle Trade Guild was hired by Dujek Onearm, with some help from Quick Ben and the T'orrud Cabal, to help provision the refugees of the 'Chain of Dogs' after their disastrous river crossing in Vathar Forest.[23] The Trygalle Guild also delivered some much appreciated munitions to Fiddler in Tremorlor in Seven Cities.[24]

In Memories of Ice[]

Kruppe was revealed to be an investor in the Trygalle Trade Guild. He convinced the Noble Council of Darujhistan to hire the Trygalle Guild to transport supplies to the allied armies of Dujek and Caladan Brood during the war with the Pannion Domin.[25] The resulting Trygalle Guild caravans, led by Haradas, had an even more difficult time passing through the usual Warrens than would have been 'normal' because the Crippled God had poisoned the Warrens. Haradas approached the Bonecaster Silverfox to ask permission for the Trygalle Trade Guild to send its caravans through the Warren of Tellann, because this T'lan Imass Warren would provide a safer route as it was immune to the poison infecting the other Warrens. Silverfox assented to Haradas' request, but was surprised to learn that the Trygalle Guild sorcerers were already capable of gaining access to Tellann. The Bonecaster claimed that not even the most powerful of the Malazan Empire's mages had accomplished such a feat unaided. Haradas said the Trygalle Trade Guild had chosen not to make use of Tellann, without first getting permission, out of respect to the T'lan Imass, and due to the ready accessibility of less "uncivilised" Warrens usuable in more 'normal' times.[3]

Shortly after the Siege of Capustan, Quick Ben collected munitions from the Bridgeburners' supplies and contracted with the Trygalle Trade Guild to have the munitions delivered to Fiddler in Seven Cities.[26]This was the shipment Fiddler received at Tremorlor in Deadhouse Gates.[27]

In The Bonehunters[]

After a string of deliveries in Seven Cities (including a set of stones for the Temple of the Queen of Dreams in Y'Ghatan, Karpolan Demesand and his crew rested up in Ehrlitan. Two of their newer shareholders, Artara and Nisstar, ran afoul of Apsalar when they thought to bring information about the Shadow Dancer back to their master. Apsalar told the women that Karpolan and the Guild should mind their own business.[28]

Ganoes Paran hired Karpolan and his crew to accompany him across the Bridge of Death to the Nascent. Paran also brought Hedge, the Bridgeburner ghost and Ganath, a Jaghut. During their journey they were swarmed by more than fifty ochre-skinned creatures. Shareholder Stebar was killed while Paran had to rescue the seriously wounded Thyrss. Further along the bridge they discovered the shattered and abandoned carriage of Guild sorcerer, Darpareth Vayd, who had been missing for two years. Paran identified her attackers as Doan and Ganrod, the two Hounds of Shadow he had freed from Dragnipur. Karpolan worried about what else they might encounter in that place as Darpareth was his superior in magical talent.[29]

Upon entering the Nascent, the group was stalked by a huge scaled and bear-like beast. Paran sent it elsewhere using a hastily drawn card from the Deck of Dragons.[30] Arriving at their destination they found seven enormous statues of the Deragoth (five complete and two shattered). At the base of one statue was a driftwood shrine containing the ritually sacrificed bodies of Darpareth Vayd and her last client, Sedara Orr. Paran instructed Hedge to destroy the remaining statues with munitions to free the Deragoth. Karpolan readied the passage to escape the Warren ahead of the angered Deragoth and barely got them all out in time.[31]

They first appeared in a Warren crawling with undead who clung onto the sides of the carriage until Ganath hastily pulled them into Omtose Phellack. The carriage crashed down an icy hill, killing two horses and three shareholders.[32][33] After some quick repairs, Karpolan returned them to Seven Cities between the new Raraku Sea and G'danisban. Paran gave him Adjunct Lorn's Otataral sword as payment, which the High Mage promptly ordered shattered. He allowed Paran to keep a finger-sized shard before he and his shareholders finally returned home through the Warrens.[34]

In Toll the Hounds[]

Gruntle decided to join the Trygalle Trade Guild as a shareholder, as he figured that he could make far more money with it than he could as a regular caravan guard. The Trygalle Guild caravan that Gruntle was hired for was one to be led by the Trygalle Trade Guild merchant-mage, Master Quell - who, with his surviving shareholders, had just returned to Darujhistan. Gruntle learned that the next Trygalle Guild mission that Master Quell was going to be leading (and which Gruntle joined) was to transport the Trell, Mappo Runt, to the continent of Lether where Mappo hoped to be reunited with Icarium.[35][36]

In Dust of Dreams[]

K'Chain Che'Malle Shi'Gal Assassin attacked the Trygalle Trade Guild caravan in the Wastelands, killing some of its members, namely Glanno Tarp, Reccanto Ilk, and Master Quell, and injuring several others, before being driven away.[37]

Official Members of the Trygalle Trade Guild[]

  • Caravan Masters/Mistresses and Sorcerers/Sorceresses (known by name):
    • Darpareth Vayd – caravan mistress and sorceress
    • Haradas – caravan mistress and sorceress
    • Karpolan Demesand – one of the original Trygalle Trade Guild founders - caravan master, sorcerer, and merchant
    • Master Quell – caravan master, navigator and sorcerer
  • Shareholders (known by name):
  • Other (unnamed) Shareholders:
    • Drivers
    • A multitude of caravan guards (male and female)
    • Servants (one, at least, known to travel with Karpolan Demesand)[38]

Notes and references[]

  1. Ten Very Big Books podcast - Deadhouse Gates As pronounced by Steven Erikson at 46:50
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.505-506
  3. 3.0 3.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.728-730
  4. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.469
  5. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.445
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.436/441/445
  7. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.445
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.517-518
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.505-506
  10. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.517-518
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, US TPB p.335-337
  12. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 3, US TPB p.69-71
  13. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US HC p.381
  14. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 16, US TPB p.540
  15. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US HC p.358
  16. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 14, US TPB p.461
  17. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.119
  18. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.506-507
  19. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US TPB p.138
  20. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.506-507
  21. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US HC p.358
  22. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US TPB p.139
  23. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.504-508
  24. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.517-518
  25. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US TPB p.138-139/143
  26. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.775-776
  27. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.517-518
  28. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.116-120
  29. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.434-447
  30. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.460-461
  31. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.461-470
  32. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.470-472
  33. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.512
  34. The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.512-514
  35. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 3, US TPB p.85
  36. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 7, US TPB p.201-202/204/227-228
  37. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 20
  38. The Bonehunters, Chapter 10, US HC p.352
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