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Has Coltaine ascended

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 5 months ago

Has Coltaine ascended?


Short answer: no.


Long answer: Coltaine was nearing what in common Malazan terms could be considered as ascension, but had not in fact ascended.


At the Fall of Coltaine:


"The crows shook the air with their eerie cries and plunged down towards the sagging figure on the cross, sweeping over the warriors crowding the slopes. The sorcery that battered at them was shunted aside, scattered by whatever force - Coltaine's soul? - now rose to join the birds.


The cloud descended on Coltaine, swallowing him entire and covering the cross itself - at that distance they were to Duiker like flies swarming a piece of flesh. 


And when they rose, exploding skyward, the warleader of the Crow clan was gone."


(DG, UK mmpb pg 858)



DG closes with the description of a pregnant Wickan woman, whose unborn child is "empty." The scene ends with a storm cloud heading towards her, which she slowly realises is not a cloud at all but a swarm. She thinks they are flies, until:


"The young woman's heart hammered with sudden realisation.


No, not flies. Crows. Crows, so many crows-


Deep within her, the child stirred."


(DG, UK mmpb, pg 935)



These events mirror the resurrections of the warlocks described earlier in the book. Laseen ordered the execution of the Wickan warlocks after Coltaine's failed rebellion. The order was followed, but the warlocks did not die - their souls were transferred to unborn children. This is the origin of the child warlocks of the Wickans seen in DG. As these quotes demonstrate, Coltaine has undergone the same transformation.


Contrast the number of crows who came for Coltaine with Sormo E'nath's total:


"'Eleven days,' Bult grunted. 'No single crow could hold all of his soul. Each day there came another, until he was all gone. Eleven days, eleven crows. Such was Sormo's power, his life will, and such was the honour accorded him by the black-winged spirits. Eleven came to him. Eleven.'


'Elder sorcery,' Mallick Rel whispered. 'Most ancient scrolls hint at such things. This boy is named Sormo E'nath. Truly the warlock reborn?'


'The Rhivi of Genabackis have similar beliefs,' Duiker said. 'A newborn child can become the vessel of a soul that has not passed through Hood's Gates.'"


(DG, UK mmpb p76)


This is also what happened to the souls of Tattersail, Nightchill & Bellurdan in GotM. That child, Silverfox, grew at an extremely fast rate. But it seems that Wickan rebirths are not exactly the same as for the Rhivi, and the children grow at a normal rate. This is why Sormo E'nath is only a boy of ten, and Coltaine-reborn will remain an infant for the remainder of the series.  For more information, see Is Coltaine coming back? & Wickan Reiteration.


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