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Tiste Andii

Page history last edited by Eloth 13 years ago



The Tiste Andii, Children of Darkness


Mother Dark begat three children, the First, Tiste Andii, were her dearest, dwellers of the land before Light.


Race: Tiste Andii

Warren: Kurald Galain

Appearance: Black skin, black or white hair

Significant Andii: Andarist, Anomander Rake, Aranatha, Boruld, Clip, Dashtal, Desrsa, Endest Silann, the High Priestess, Horult, Jekaral, Kedeviss, Killanthir, Korlat, Nenanda, Nimander Golit, Orfantal, Phaed, Sandalath, Serrat, Silchas Ruin, Skintick, Spinnock Durav

An Andii, an artists impression

© Michael Komarck

Claiming the title of Mother Dark’s first children, the mysterious Tiste Andii have wandered the warrens, since there departure from their home, Kurald Galain, the warren of darkness.  Tall, dark-skinned, with hair of silver-white or midnight black the Tiste Andii have lifespans that last so long as to seem immortal, and their actions can be difficult for mortals to comprehend.


 Ancient History


The history of the Tiste Andii is shrouded in mystery, with legend, rumour, slander and fact twisting the story in many directions. Steven Erikson has promised a trilogy of books detailing some of this history, but for now here is an outline of what we have gleaned.


The Origin of the Tiste Andii


‘She is the creator of us all, Lord!’


The Tiste Andii claim to be birthed by their goddess, Mother Dark, in a time before light.  The Tiste Andii claim to have been Mother Dark’s first children, but others believe that the Elder Gods, elemental forces birthed from Mother Dark without need for a sire, have a better claim to this title.  Three of these early Tiste Andii have special prominence, named as the son’s of Mother Dark herself, Anomander Rake, Andarist and Silchas Ruin have a special place in the history of the Andii.


It is known that at this time, the elder god Draconus lived among the Andii, whilst he forged the sword that would come to be known as Dragnipur, in the time of all darkness.                                                                                                   

The Three Brothers, an artists impression, © Isolde


Before the coming of light, the Tiste Andii lived alone in Kurald Galain.  The city of Kharkanas, was their first city.  The Tiste Andii worshipped Mother Dark, with her priestess’ residing in the temple.


This was not a peaceful period, there appears to have been a number of Andii factions who fought amongst themselves, some of these leaders are named as Anomander Rake, Andarist, Silchas Ruin, Drethdenan, Hish Tulla, Vanut Degalla and Manalle.  During this time the three brothers are believed to have agreed a plan, involving Silchas Ruin betraying Andarist, in an attempt to bring peace.  What this plan was and how it played out is unknown.

Mother Dark herself condemns the Andii behaviour, and it has been suggested that this led to the coming of light into the world.


During this period Anomander commanded the Hust Legion to defend the gate to Starvald Demelain in order to close the gate and prevent the Eleint from coming through.  He told them to defend it  and when the last five were left to give their lives to seal the wound.   Anomander himself went to guard the Throne of Shadow


The Coming of Light


‘from Andii blood is born a new world. Understand me. You and your kin are no longer alone, no longer free to play your vicious games. There are now . . . others.’


At some point in the distant past light came into the world, and the other Tiste races came into being, the Tiste Liosan, children of Light, and the Tiste Edur, Children of Shadow.  The coming of light was a period of great turmoil for the Andii, Endest Silann, and survivor of the fall of Kharkanas tells of the appearance of light in the sky over Kharkanas, and the resulting descent into chaos of the city.  In this period, Anomander Rake, slew Tiam taking her blood into himself and becoming a draconian soletaken.  The Andii, feeling betrayed and rejected, fled Kurald Galain.


The First and Second waves


From the twisting, smoke-filled clouds, blood rained down. The last of the sky keeps, flame-wreathed and pouring black smoke, had surrendered the sky.


At some point after the coming of light, the Tiste Andii came to the world of the Malazan Empire.  The full history of the migration of the Tiste Andii to this world is unknown, but there are believed to have been two major influxes.  The first influx is thought to have been led by Anomander Rake.


The second migration, led by Silchas Ruin provides the opening for Midnight Tides.  200,000 Tiste Edur led by Scabandari Bloodeye, and 400,000 Tiste Andii, led by Silchas Ruin emerged into the malazan world, following the sundering of Kurald Emurlahn.  There they battled the K’Chain Che’malle for dominance.  The battle left both races shattered and diminished, with around 18,000 Edur warriors, and barely 1000 Andii warriors remaining.  After the battle the Edur turned on the Andii, Scabandari Bloodeye imprisoned Silchas Ruin in a house of the Azath, whilst his warriors slew the Andii.  Some survivors of this Andii population remain, they are the ancestors of the Bluerose and the Shake, though the Andii blood in this population is much diluted.

    Silchas Ruin, an artists impression

© Onrack

Moon’s Spawn


Ragged as a blackened tooth, the basalt fortress was home to the most powerful enemy the Malazan Empire had ever faced.


The fate of the first wave is a subject of much debate.  What is known is that Anomander Rake stumbled upon a K’Chain Nah’ruk floating fortress.  This fortress was still operating and he came to call it home.  The majority of the remaining pure-blood Tiste Andii in the world, settled here under his leadership.  As well as the Tiste Andii, the eleint Silanah, and the leader of the Great Ravens, Crone and her brood, also call Moon’s Spawn home.  Key members of Moon’s Spawn population are three aging graying warlocks, including Endest Silann, Rake’s assassin mages, including Serrat and four eleint soletaken including the brother and sister pairing of Korlat and Orfantal.  Under Anomander Rake’s leadership, the Andii have travelled the world taking up worthy causes in an attempt to stave off the boredom of eternal life.


Moon's Spawn, an artists impression

© Puck

 Recent History


‘There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail – should we fall – we will know that we have lived.’


Anomander Rake


Son of Darkness


In recent times the Andii have been fighting on Genabackis, under the command of the warlord Caladan Brood, fighting the malazan invasion as part of a grand alliance of Caladan Brood, the Crimson Guard and some of the natives of Genabackis.


Moon’s Spawn, and Anomander Rake guarded the city of Pale, at the opening of the series, Tayschrenn and several high mages begin a magical assault on Moon’s Spawn, the result is the famous Sorcerous Enfilade at Pale, which could be considered to be one of the worst disasters of Malazan history.  None the less, as a result Moon’s Spawn retreated to Darujhistan, leaving Pale to the malazans.


Following this through the schemes of a variety of mortals, God’s and Godesses, culminating in face offs between Anomander Rake and the hounds of shadow (leading to the deaths of two of these hounds) and a collision between the Andii soletaken and assassin mages with the Jaghut tyrant Raest, and the assassin high mage Vorcan, the malazan army under Dujek seemingly betrayed the empire and joined with the Andii to take on a new threat, the cannibalistic empire of the Pannion Domin.

Anomander Rake confronting the Hounds of Shadow, an artists impression  © Corporal Nobbs 


The Andii under Rake, embarked on a brave tactical manoeuvre, taking Moon’s Spawn into the depths of the ocean, and travelling underwater until they reached Coral, the heart of the Pannion Domin’s domain.  There the floating fortress emerged from the sea, and contributed to the defeat of the Pannion Domin, but was no longer able to fly.  At Coral the Tiste Andii led a full unveiling of Kurald Galain, which led to the city being permanently shrouded in darkness.  The Tiste Andii living in the Moon’s Spawn have now come to call this city, ‘Black Coral’ their home.

Moon Spawn appearing over Coral, an artists impression © Corporal Nobbs


At around this time Anomander Rake’s own descendants, under the protection of Anomander Rake’s brother Andarist on Drift Avali, came into conflict with Tiste Edur searching for the throne of shadow.  Whilst defending the island, Andarist was slain, and if it were not for the presence of Traveller the island would have fallen.  Traveller left the island bearing the sword, formerly belonging to Anomander Rake, known as Vengeance or Grief. The surviving children of Anomander Rake, also left the island under the leadership of Nimander Golit, and are now searching for their father.


Anomander Rake had set into motion a plan to return Mother Dark to her children, and fix the mistakes of Draconus, the Elder God who are chained darkness to a wagon in the sword Dragnipur, there it is forever dragged away for Chaos by the souls of those who were slain by it, including Draconus himself.  Rake killed Hood, the god of death himself, allowing all the souls of the dead to enter Dragnipur and fight chaos. Then on meeting Traveller, revealed as Dassem Ultor, the man who sought to slay Hood for vengeance, Rake was stabbed by Dragnipur itself, and joined Hood within the sword.  There as his last sacrifice he scattered his being into the warren of darkness, unmaking Dragnipur, and persuading his mother, Mother Dark herself to return to her people.


Tiste Andii Culture


As many kings or queens as there were players. A field of battle that expanded with each round and was never twice the same.


Tiste Andii culture is very different from that of humanity.  The defining trait of the Tiste Andii for many seems to be their battle against despair, whether to give in to this despair or fight on and live.  As a result many consider the Andii to be a dour race.


The Andii seem to have a different concept of value to other races, with all that was found on the Tiste Andii bodies being a few coins, bit’s of ribbon and a polished stone.


The Tiste Andii worship Mother Dark, with a clergy of priests and priestesses.  The priestesses journey into the warren to seek Mother Dark.  On their return, they are overwhelmed with an urge for sex, the job of satisfying the priestesses normally falls to the priests, but it is considered an honour not to be refused by other Andii.


The Tiste Andii game Kef Tanar, is a mixture of a gambling and strategy game based on the succession wars in Kharkanas.  The game uses a number of pieces based on real people in these succession wars, and has as many sides as players.






"Tiste Andii hair was either silver-white or midnight black." - DG, UK MMPB, p.335




The unification with Light 


"The Tiste Andii considered it (The union of Mother Dark with the Light) a degradation of pure Dark, and the source of all their subsequent ills" - DG, UK mmpb, p.336


"The Tiste Andii were of Kurald Galain, the Warren of Darkness. Kurald Galain stood alone, untouched. The Goddess, their mother, knew loneliness...' Tool hesitated. 'There is probably little truth in the story, Adjunct.'

'Go on,' Lorn said quietly. 'Please.'

'In her loneliness, the Goddess sought something outside herself. Thus was born Light. Her children Tiste Andii saw this as betrayal. They rejected her. Some hold they were cast out, others that they departed their mother's embrace by choice."  - GotM, US HC, p.316


 ‘Through the gate’s peaked arch he could see the city, the roofs like the gears of countless mechanisms, gears that could lock with the sky itself, with all creation. Such was Kharkanas, First Born of all cities. But the sky had changed. The perfect machine of existence was broken – see the sky!


The city trembled, the roofs now ragged-edged. A wind had begun to howl, the voice of the multihued light-storm as it lashed out, flared with thunderous fire.


Forsaken. We are forsaken!


He reached the gate, fell against one pillar and clawed at the tears streaming from his eyes. The High Priestess, cruel poet, was shrieking in the nave of the Temple, shrieking like a woman being raped. Others – women all – were writhing on the marble floor, convulsing in unison, a prostrate dance of macabre sensuality. The priests and male acolytes had sought to still the thrashing limbs, to ease the ravaged cries erupting from tortured throats with empty assurances, but then, one by one, they began to recoil as the tiles grew slick beneath the women, the so-called Nectar of Ecstasy – and no, no man could now pretend otherwise, could not but see this the way it was, the truth of it.


They fled. Crazed with horror, yes, but driven away by something else, and was it not envy? Civil war had ignited, deadly as that storm in the sky. Families were being torn asunder, from the Citadel itself down to the meanest homes of the commonry. Andii blood painted Kharkanas and there was nowhere to run.’

‘Does it matter? It was Scabandari’s conceit to think this world’s gods had not the power to oppose him.’ He paused then to eye his daughters speculatively, and said, ‘Heed that as a warning, my dears. Mother Dark’s first children were spawned without need of any sire. And, despite what Anomander might claim, they were not Tiste Andii.’

Osserc, speaking to his daughters, Midnight Tides, p 197, UK HC


Tiste Andii despair 


"...despair is the nemesis of the Tiste Andii. How often have I seen my kin fall on the field of battle, and have known – deep in my soul – that my brothers and sisters did not die through an inability to defend themselves? They died, because they had chosen to die. Slain by their own despair. Our gravest threat." -Korlat's thoughts - MoI, UK TPB, p.748 


"a people plagued by indifference, an apathy that made even the efforts of civil discourse too much to contemplate. There were secret tragedies in the long, tortured past of the Tiste Andii. Wounds that would never heal. Even suffering...was capable of becoming a way of life. To then extend such an existence from decades into centuries, then into millennia ...those few of them who were killed on such occasions were simply left on the ground. It had fallen to the Rhivi to retrieve those bodies, to treat them in the Rhivi way and to mourn their passing. The Tiste Andii looked upon such efforts without expression, as if bemused by the attention accorded to a mere corpse." -The Mhybe's thoughts - MoI, UK Trade, p.73-4 


General References


"...Hairlock bared his teeth. 'The Tiste Andii are Mother Dark's first children. You've felt the tremors through the Warrens of Sorcery, Tayschrenn. So have I. Ask Dujek about the reports coming down from the North Campaign. Elder magic - Kurald Galain. The Lord of Moon's Spawn is the Master Archmage - you know his name as well as I do.'" - GotM, UK mmpb p.67, UK Trade p.50 


"Hairlock climbed slowly to his feet. He stepped close to Tayschrenn. ' Anomander Rake, Lord of the Tiste Andii, who are the souls of the Starless Night. Rake, the Mane of Chaos. That's who the Moon's Lord is, and you're pitting four High Mages and a single cadre against him.'

"Tayschrenn's smooth face held the faintest sheen of sweat now. 'The Tiste Andii,' he said in an even voice, 'are not like us. To you they may seem unpredictable, but they aren't. Just different. They have no cause of their own. They simply move from one human drama to the next. Do you actually think Anomander Rake will stay and fight?'" - GotM, UK mmpb p.70



Sayings of the Tiste Andii


'Speak truth, grow still, until the water is clear between us.' -Meditations of the Tiste Andii - TtH, US TPB, p.17



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Comments (1)

PhantomSoldier said

at 3:19 am on Feb 22, 2009

when scabandari thinks about the three sons in MT, he says Irake as a last name.

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