The Crippled God

The Crippled God

The Crippled God, also known as The Chained One and The Fallen One is the major antagonist in Steven Erikson's fictional series The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The Crippled God rules High House Chains and manipulates both its members and the rest of the world in an attempt to break free of his bonds. He is unique in that he is not King of his own House in the deck (that role falls to the cursed Rhulad Sengar), but is instead the Deathslayer, an Unaligned card. The Crippled God manifests himself in the form of a broken old man, continuously coughing, with mis-set bones and mangled hands, whose face is ever enshrouded by a hood and body by a shapeless blanket. His domain is a tiny, wandering Warren in the shape of a small tent (possibly a fragment of Kurald Emurlahn), which can isolate the area of a small island from the rest of the world. The Crippled god has a long and uncertain history of conflict and imprisonment with the Ascendants of the Malazan world, though they are apparently unable to kill him.


The Crippled God takes the form of a broken old man, whose bones give the appearance of being shattered, then badly set. He is always seated, wrapped in a blanket with his face obscured by a hood. His home is a tent, constantly filled with the smoke of unidentified seeds thrown upon a brazier. The Crippled God coughs sporadically, but endlessly, breathes loud and laboriously, and speaks with a raspy, raw voice. Despite his weakened appearance, the Crippled God is extremely powerful, with control over immense magical forces.


The calling down

The origins of the Crippled God are mostly lost in the history of the Malazan world. In a flashback in Memories of Ice, he was called down from an alien realm to destroy the High King Kallor by a group of mages; however, causing mass destruction leading to the death of the cadre of mages. After his fall, The Crippled God was driven mad with pain and his power was torn apart. He wished his pain and torment to be shared upon everyone including his followers.


The Crippled God has repeatedly been 'chained', an uncertain event which worked to restrict his powers. This has happened multiple times in the past, though the history of this has been lost and merged over time. [cite web | url = | last = Erikson | first = Steven | date = 2003-01-29 | accessdate = 2007-10-24 | title = Q&A with Steven Erikson at | Source = | language = english ] Currently, The Crippled God is chained to the flesh of Burn, the Sleeping Goddess, whose flesh represents the earth itself. The last chaining involved the participation of multiple Ascendants, including Hood, Anomander Rake, Caladan Brood, Osserc, Oponn, Fener, the Queen of Dreams and others, and seems to have involved the sacrifice of Dassem Ultor's daughter, by Hood. There were six other Tiste Andii, in addition to Anomander Rake, possibly Korlat and Orfantal, and a full unveiling of Kurald Galain was involved. Dancer and Kellanved were also present.


The Crippled God currently lives in a tiny Warren in the shape of a small tent. The Warren can move about, and has manifested itself on Genabackis and near Lether. The Crippled God is not helpless, and has succeeded in poisoning both the flesh of Burn, and the blood of K'Rul, God of the Warrens, rendering magic temporarily inoperable.

The Crippled God's most effective and obvious actions to date have taken place on the continents of the Seven Cities and Lether. In the former, he indirectly assisted the Army of the Apocalypse in the book House of Chains, and in the collapse of the army at Raraku, re-invented the Apocalypse in the form of a plague, with the assistance of Poliel in the book "The Bonehunters".

On Genabackis in the book Memories of Ice, he was initially successful in using the cannibalistic Pannion Domin to conquer parts of the southern continent. Upon moving north to lay siege to Capustan, his forces ran into opposition in the form of the Grey Swords, a company of mercenary priests dedicated to Fener, the God of War. Ultimately, a rebel army of the Malazan Empire, in conjunction with the forces of the Tiste Andii and Barghast, were successful in defeating the Pannion Domin at Capustan and also succeeded in conquering the Domin's seat of power, Coral.

At Lether in the book "Midnight Tides", he was the source of magic behind the armies of the Tiste Edur, and following their conquest of the Letherii, the voyages across the globe.


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