Twist was the commander of the Black Moranth, also known as the Achievant. The name Twist was given to him by members of the Malazan Army as his true name was considered completely unpronounceable.
Twist wore gleaming black, chitinous armour that was badly damaged by sword strikes. He had lost all four fingers of his right hand, but continued to wear what was left of its gauntlet.
His right hand was completely paralyzed, withered and crushed by the necromantic grasp of a Rhivi spirit in Blackdog Forest. The paralysis was expected to slowly climb up the arm and eventually spread to other parts of his body and cause his death.
The Achievant thought the Malazan Empire wise and tolerant, a rare and precious thing.
In Gardens of the Moon
During a rendezvous with Black Moranth forces near Pale, Whiskeyjack enquired about a one-armed Black Moranth, five times marked for valor. This was likely to have been Twist. He was later told by the Moranth that the man he fought alongside in the streets of Nathilog still lived.
In Memories of Ice
Throughout the Pannion War, Twist's forces established hidden forward supply bases and aided the Bridgeburners by flying their members to different destinations on their quorls. He himself accompanied Captain Ganoes Paran's squad to the Barghast Range to secure an alliance with the White Face Barghast despite the Barghast's hatred for the Moranth. He claimed the enmity was born of ancient and false memories. Planning for the worst in Trotts' duel against Humbrall Taur's son, Paran sent Twist to fetch Mallet by quorl. The Black Moranth returned just in time for the healer to save Trotts' life and the alliance. Paran sent Twist to communicate their success back to Dujek and Whiskeyjack before moving on Capustan.
Later in the war, after the Siege of Capustan was lifted, Twist accompanied the Bridgeburners on their secret night flight to Setta. By this time, Twist's infection had spread above his shoulder causing him much pain. Quick Ben was amazed he was able to still maintain control. The Achievant queried Paran as to whether he had blessed the newly recovered Barghast gods in his role as Master of the Deck. He described for Paran how the Barghast and Moranth peoples were kin, and their ancestral spirits the same. Knowing he had only weeks to live, the Moranth wondered who awaited his soul.
- "Were the Black Moranth a loquacious people, the history of Achievant Twist would be known. And were it known, from what preceded first mention of him following the alliance with the Malazan Empire; his sojourn during the Genabackan Campaigns of that same empire; and of his life within the Moranth Hegemony itself - one cannot but suspect that the tale would be worthy of more than one legend."
- ―"Lost Heroes"
Badark of Nathii
The poison finally claimed Twist during the Siege of Coral. He perished a bell before the Black Moranth began ferrying companies of Dujek's soldiers into the city. His body was placed in a sarcophagus alongside the fallen Bridgeburners within the throne room of Moon's Spawn by Anomander Rake. The failing Skykeep was then sent out over the Rust Ocean where it was presumed to have crashed into the sea.
In Kellanved's Reach
Many years before the Moranth allied with the Malazan Empire, Twist had been one of several high commanders within the Black caste who had questioned the right of the Gold caste to rule their race. For this, he and his like minded soldiers had been arrested, tried, and exiled from their homeland. Twist's group left Genabackis by ship and were eventually shipwrecked on a blasted wasteland south of Stratem. As they built a small, ramshackle raft to continue their journey, they discovered Dancer and Kellanved unconscious in the desert.
Balak, one of Twist's soldiers, nursed the two humans back to health, but there was no place for them on the hastily built raft. Twist begrudgingly made room for the pair when Kellanved promised to transport them back to Genabackis via Warren once they sailed far enough away from the desert's damaged and inaccessible warrens. The Moranth commander warned Kellanved that if he failed to honour his side of the bargain, he and his men would dismember and eat the mage for food. After a day, Twist moved to act on his threat. Kellanved was able to hurriedly transport them to a field of tall grass along a rocky shoreline.
Twist knelt before Kellanved to vow, "We are yours." The mage respectfully dismissed the Moranth, advising him to continue to struggle for his people and noting that he might call upon Twist some time in the future.
Notes and references
- Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.112
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.110
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.457
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.93
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.808
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.157
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.256
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.164
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.383-384
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 11, US SFBC p.386/394
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.513
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.573
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.805/807-808
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.982/985-986
- Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 17, US HC p.253-258
- Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 17, US HC p.258-262
- Kellanved's Reach, Chapter 17, US HC p.263