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The Imperial Warren

Page history last edited by Eloth 12 years, 8 months ago

The Imperial Warren


A Warren used by the Malazan Empire for travel purposes. It was thought to be devoid of life.

The Imperial Warren was created by K'rul after Kallor had turned a continent (Jacuruku) into a wasteland. 


‘Quick Ben says you travel with an intention in mind and the warren will take you there.’ - (DG UK Tpb, p.336)




The Kallorian Empire had spread to every shoreline of Jacuruku, yet K’rul saw no-one as he took his first steps inland. Lifeless wastes stretched on all sides. The air was grey with ash and dust, the skies overhead churning like lead in a smith’s cauldron...

A familiar voice spoke in K’rul’s mind. Brother, I am upon the north shore.

‘And I the west.’

Are you troubled?

‘I am. All is . . . dead.’

Incinerated. The heat remains deep beneath the beds of ash. Ash . . .and bone.

A third voice spoke. Brothers, I am come from the south, where once dwelt the cities. All destroyed. The echoes of a continent’s death-cry still linger. Are we deceived? Is this illusion? 


Kallor : The Circle brought down a foreign god. Aye, the effort went . . . awry, thus sparing me the task of killing the fools with my own hand. And the Fallen One? Well, he’ll not recover for some time, and even then, do you truly imagine he will accede to anyone’s bidding?


‘You have in truth incinerated an entire continent?’ the sister Elder whispered. ‘Jacuruku—’

‘Is no more, and never again shall be. What I have unleashed will never heal. Do you understand me? Never. And it is all your fault. Yours. Paved in bone and ash, this noble road you chose to walk. Your road.’

‘We cannot allow this—’

‘It has already happened, you foolish woman!’

K’rul spoke within the minds of his kin. It must be done. I will fashion a . . . a place for this. Within myself.

A warren to hold all this? Draconus asked in horror.  -(MoI - Prologue)


 ‘I am a Claw, of course. Who else is granted the privilege of travelling the Imperial Warren?’Pearl - (DG UK TPB, p. 338)




  • "Paran turned to see a curtain in the air open on the road, spilling dull yellow light...

...Within he could see a greyish pathway, humped on either sided by low mounded walls and vaulted overhead by impenetrable ochre-hued mist. The air swept past into the portal like a drawn breath, revealing the pathway to be of ash as invisible currents stirred and raised spinning dust-devils."  - (GotM, UK MMPB p.39)


  • "The world they had entered was barren, deathly. The banked mounds lining the trail proved to be more ash. The air was gritty, tasting of metal.

'Welcome to the Imperial Warren,' Topper said, with a hint of mockery.


'Carved by force out of...what was here before. Has such an effort ever been achieved before? Only the gods can say.'

They began walking.

'I take it then,' said Paran, 'that no god claims this Warren. By this, you cheat the tolls, the gatekeepers, the guardians on unseen bridges, and all the others said to dwell in the warrens in service to their immortal masters.'

Topper grunted. 'You imagine the warrens as crowded as that. Well, the beliefs of the ignorant are ever entertaining.'" - (GotM, UK trade p.30, UK TPB, p.40)


  • "'...the Adjunct is now in Unta. We will use this Warren to cross the distance - three hundred leagues in only a few short hours.'"

- Topper to Ganoes Paran - (GotM, UK mmpb p.40)


  • "No shifting of light marked the passage of hours. A number of times they came upon places where the ash embankments had been disturbed, as if by the passage of something large, shambling; and wide, slithery trails led off into the gloom. In one such place they found a dark encrusted stain and the scatter of chain links like coins in the dust...

Hardly the secure road he'd have me believe. There're strangers here, and they're not friendly." - thoughts of Ganoes Paran - (GotM, UK TPB p.41)


  • '...knee-deep ash. Ash that was filled with charred bones...grey dust rose like smoke...Sky merged with land in a formless, colourless haze.' - (DG, UK MMPB, p.472)


  • '(Kalam) had heard rumours that such a warren had been created...but the tales he'd picked up on Genabackis suggested that it was barely nascent, extending no more than a few hundred leagues -if leagues mean much here - in a ring around Unta. Instead, it reaches all the way into Seven Cities. And Genabackis? Why not?...' - (DG, UK MMPB, p.472)




  • '...a broad. raised disc of grey basalt.' - (DG, UK MMPB, p.472)


  • 'A short while later they came to a stone archway. It had been recently constructed, and Paran recognized the basalt as Untan, from the Imperial quarries outside the capital....At the center of the arch, high over their heads, was carved a taloned hand holding a crystal globe: the Malazan Imperial sigil." - (GotM, US HC, p.50)


  • "The Imperial Warren was a realm with neither day nor night, just a perpetual dusk, its faint light sourceless - a place without shadows." - (DG, UK mmpb, p.519)


  • "The ash formed compacted layers, revealing past variations in the temperature and ferocity of the fires that had incinerated this land - and everything on it. The layers varied in thickness as well. One of the thickest was an arm's length in depth and looked solid with compacted, shattered bone. Immediately below it was a thinner, reddish layer of what looked like brick dust. Other layers revealed only charred bones, mottled with black patches rimmed in white. Those few that he could identify looked human in size - perhaps slightly longer in limb. The banded wall opposite him was at least six arm-spans deep...His gaze slowly descended to the pit's floor. It was crowded with rusted, corroded mechanisms, all alike though strewn about. Each was the size of a trader's wagon, and indeed huge spoked iron wheels were visible." - (DG, UK mmpb, p.521)


  • "The Imperial Warren's horizon was a grey shroud on all sides. Details were blurred behind the gauze of the still, thick air. No wind stirred, yet echoes of death and destruction remained, suspended as if trapped outside time itself." - (DG, UK mmpb, p.567)


  • "Ashes and dust shrouded the tiled dome. It had collapsed in one place, revealing the raw edges of the bronze plates that covered it. A grey haze lay over the gaping hole. From the dome's curvature, it was clear that less than a third of it was above the surface....
  • Reaching the dome, the assassin leaned forward and brushed the ash from one of the bronze tiles. A deeply carved symbol revealed itself...He had last seen that stylized crown on another continent, in an unexpected war against resistance that had been purchased by desperate enemies." - (DG, UK mmpb, p.568)



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