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Malazan Wiki

Ublala Pung was an unemployed Tarthenal half-blood who lived in Letheras.[1] He was a towering figure with enormous muscles and burnished skin lined with whip scars.[1] He had a round face, pale eyes, and a thick neck.[2][3] He was not all that bright and was described as an innocent, but he was noted to be very "well endowed",[4] characteristics that were frequently used humourously during the series.

In Midnight Tides[]

Ublala was sentenced to a Drowning for "a ruckus" at Urum's Lenders in Letheras involving murder times three, destruction of property, assault, kidnapping times two, cursing, fraud, failure to pay debt and voiding in public, all of which were committed in one afternoon. As a Tarthenal, however, he had four lungs, and so survived the Drownings and was set free.[5]

He was later employed by Tehol as a bodyguard to Shand, Rissarh, and Hejun.[6] The way the three women treated him as a sexual toy left him feeling used and unappreciated.[7] He was later taken as a lover by Shurq Elalle after her installation of an insatiable ootooloo. He found this arrangement much more to his liking.[8]

Shurq brought Ublala along as muscle for her robbery of Finadd Gerun Eberict's estate by telling him the guards there did not like him. Ublala burst through the estate's wooden and bronze gate and fought around a dozen swordsman with his bare hands while Shurq slipped inside unnoticed. The hulking half-Tarthenal slapped and tossed the guards about while angrily demanding to know what he had ever done to deserve their disdain.[9] Afterwards, he often spent time with Shurq and Harlest Eberict in their crypt hideaway. Harlest complained about having to witness Ublala and Shurq's evening endeavours.[10]

Ublala somehow sensed the escape of the Seregahl from the grounds of the dead Azath Tower and rushed to the place.[11] He arrived at the grounds of the Azath House to find the Crimson Guard Mage, Corlo, standing watch outside. When Corlo asked if he had come to worship his gods, Ublala explained that the Tarthenal gods were bad and his people prayed for them to stay away.[12] He rushed into the grounds in time to stop the Seregahl from killing Iron Bars and he helped the Crimson Guardsman fight the five gods using a tree branch as a club. He managed to crush the life out of one before he was knocked unconscious. Both of them were saved by Silchas Ruin.[13]

Afterwards, he presumably joined Shurq Elalle's crew aboard her newly purchased pirate vessel.[14]

In Reaper's Gale[]

Ublala Pung's life as a pirate was short-lived as he proved to be too large to live comfortably on Shurq's ship. Unable to fit below deck, he was forced to sleep outside in all weather and his fellow pirates amused themselves tying sails to him. Eventually he returned to Letheras and Tehol's employ.[15] He was eager do Tehol's bidding even if he did not quite understand his master's intentions, taking Tehol literally, for example, when he jokingly said Bugg deserved a boxing about the head.[16] At other times the cramped quarters of Tehol's residence proved trying as when Pung accidentally crushed one of Bugg's hens under his feet.[17]

Ublala witnessed Karsa Orlong's arrival in Letheras as a champion to face Emperor Rhulad Sengar in mortal combat and was awed to recognise Karsa as one of the pure blood. Bigger and more frightening than any Tarthenal, Karsa was similar to the Sereghal, the fallen ones appeased as gods by the Tarthenal. He warned Tehol that once word got out of Karsa's presence the other Tarthenal would gather in the city.[18]

Pung was determined to discover whether Karsa was a god worthy of worship and corralled Tehol into helping him break into the champion compound. While Tehol unwittingly proved a distraction for a city guard patrol, Pung disabled the compound's guards and stumbled into Samar Dev. When she brought him before Karsa, Pung immediately dropped to his knees. Recognising Pung's Toblakai blood, Karsa struck him in the head saying Toblakai kneeled to no one. After hearing of the Tarthenal peoples' misfortune in Lether, Karsa ordered Pung to bring the refugees back from their islands in the Draconean Sea. They would be the first to join Karsa's army of Toblakai. Before he departed, Ublala shared word of Rhulad's secret with Karsa alone.[19]

Ublala Pung and hen by Shadaan

Ultimately, Ublala did not want to go to the islands and instead sent word of Karsa's message before returning to the reed mat that was his home on the floor of Tehol's residence.[20] The dozen hens Bugg kept fell one by one to the Tarthenal's clumsiness or hunger. He kept one plucked chicken in his pillow to keep it warm.[21] Ublala was away killing a steer to drag back as food when Tehol and Janath Anar were arrested by the Patriotists. When Bugg was soon after trapped and imprisoned by the Errant, Ublala was left alone.[22]

Ublala was next seen clearing the city's centuries-old Tarthenal cemetery on his hands and knees, pummeling a group of scribes hiding on the property. Ormly assumed the Tarthenal had gone mad, but Ublala was following the orders of Old Hunch Arbat.[23] On the day of Karsa's duel with Rhulad, the old shaman summoned the cemetery's ghosts of Tarthenal dead to show them the Teblor who was their new god and direct them to help Karsa open a portal to the island of the Crippled God. Arbat's blood was needed to show them the way, so he commanded Ublala to stab him in the chest with a ceremonial knife. Then the dying shaman sent the weeping Ublala away so he would not be consumed by the ritual as well.[24]

In Dust of Dreams[]

Ublala Pung as Herald of Life by HeathWind

Though supposedly travelling with Shurq to his homeland, Ublala got waylaid by the ghost of Old Hunch who led him to a set of Dragon bone Tarthenal armor buried in a Letheras graveyard. Shurq believed Ublala just forgot the arrangement for her to take him to his homeland so left without him, resulting in Ublala having to walk.

While on the trek to return to his homeland, he was joined by Draconus, and later Ralata who he announced to be his new wife.

In The Crippled God[]

Ublala Pung by Shadaan

After parting company with Draconus, he came upon Mappo Runt on the losing end of a battle with Sister Calm next to an imprisoned Icarium. Ublala crushed her skull, adding that what she had done "wasn't very nice".[25]

He then released the amnesiac Jhag and the two set off together along with Ralata.


Shurq Elalle: "I intend to rob Gerun Ebberict's estate. But there are outlying watchers that need taking care of. Can you create a diversion, Ublala Pung?"
Ublala Pung: "I don't know. I got nothing against them--"
Shurq: "They don't like you."
Ublala: "They don't? Why?"
Shurq: "No reason. They just don't."
Ublala: "Then I don't like them either."
Shurq: "So you say, but I haven't seen any proof."
Ublala: "You want proof? Good. Let's go."
―Shurq Elalle and Ublala Pung[src]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.126
  2. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.140
  3. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.551
  4. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.127
  5. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.126-128
  6. Midnight Tides, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.139-140
  7. Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.298
  8. Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.304/319-320
  9. Midnight Tides, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.321/326-329
  10. Midnight Tides, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.372
  11. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.713
  12. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.726
  13. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.726-729/738-739/
  14. Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.766-767
  15. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 7, US HC p.185
  16. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 7, US HC p.184/186-187
  17. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.278
  18. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 7, US HC p.186
  19. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 11, US HC p.296-298/300-303
  20. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.546-547
  21. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.546-547
  22. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 18, US HC p.551-552
  23. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.759-761
  24. Reaper's Gale, Chapter 24, US HC p.800-801/807
  25. The Crippled God, Chapter 24, UK HB p.835-837
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