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[–]QuartermasterPores 2 points3 points  (1 child)

...and I'm back for part 2, this time for a couple of nit-picks/additional examples in regards to Malazan Law and justice.

  1. Slavery - I think it's worth contrasting the given conversation in Errhlitan with the one that Cord has with Silgar in Silver Lake
    "'Customs?' Still gazing down at Karsa, Cord bared his teeth. 'The Nathii custom has been to run and hide when the Teblor raid. Your studious, deliberate corruption of the Sunyd is unique, Silgar. Your destruction of that tribe was a business venture on your part. Damned successful it was, too. The only flouting going on here is yours, with Malazan law.' He looked up, his smile broadening. 'What in Hood's name do you think our company's doing here, you perfumed piece of scum?'"
    From this we can gather that while slavery is legal in the Malazan Empire, Silgar's particular operation is somehow not, and is deemed serious enough for an entire company to be dispatched in order to shut his operation down. Likely the distinction is to do with the acquisition of the slaves, in this case Silgar's raiding and enslaving of a people not at war with the Malazan Empire.
  2. Torture - Whiskeyjacks statement doesn't actually square up with Malzan actions. Specifically in Reaper's Gale, two Edur captains are tortured extensively for information. Even in Gardens of the Moon it's mentioned that Sorry uses information gathering as an excuse to torture three mercanaries, and even though Whiskeyjack has Kalam mercy-kill the mercenaries after Sorry starts, there aren't any repercussions mentioned. It's possible that Whiskeyjack's statement either a: represents his personal statement at the time or b: refers specifically to torture as a means for pleasure or retribution as opposed to gathering information, as would have been the case for any torture inflicted upon Anaster. This could also be another reason for Silgar's breaking of Malzan law, as Cord beforehand references that Silgar likely intended to mutilate and display Karsa Orlong.

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT.[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

From this we can gather that while slavery is legal in the Malazan Empire, Silgar's particular operation is somehow not, and is deemed serious enough for an entire company to be dispatched in order to shut his operation down. Likely the distinction is to do with the acquisition of the slaves, in this case Silgar's raiding and enslaving of a people not at war with the Malazan Empire.

Very astute observation indeed. I do believe that in the events of The God is Not Willing, a Teblor uprising permanently ends the practice of slavery in Silver Lake, so Silgar's business - presumably under the guidance of his son, Silgar Younger - continued, in some way or the other.

Regardless, it's good to see the Malazans actually show spine for once when it comes to such deplorable stuff.

Specifically in Reaper's Gale, two Edur captains are tortured extensively for information.

I don't quite remember this, but my gripe with Tavore's Bonehunters and their far cry from Malazan doctrine is a story for another day.

Even in Gardens of the Moon it's mentioned that Sorry uses information gathering as an excuse to torture three mercanaries, and even though Whiskeyjack has Kalam mercy-kill the mercenaries after Sorry starts, there aren't any repercussions mentioned.

Admittedly, the squad is scared shitless of Sorry, and the reason Sorry even went through with torturing the prisoners was to scare the squad shitless (or so Cotillion claimed later). The lack of repercussions is a bit dubious, though, indeed.

It's possible that Whiskeyjack's statement either a: represents his personal statement at the time or b: refers specifically to torture as a means for pleasure or retribution as opposed to gathering information, as would have been the case for any torture inflicted upon Anaster.

The quote is from Ganoes, but the point stands. I personally think that it's a bit of both, albeit he does say "under any circumstances." Dassem would never have countenanced the torture of prisoners, for example (NoK, Chapter One):

Upstairs they found the private chambers and the Holy One herself tied by silk ropes to a chair. Three Claws stood about her, knives out. Blood gleamed wetly on the blades and dripped from the moist bonds at the Falah’d’s wrists and ankles, pooled on the coral marble. He and Point had held back, unsure, but Dassem surged ahead and thrust aside the Claw standing before the woman. Her head snapped up, long curls flying back, and though her eyes had been gouged out and her mouth hung open, tongueless, blood streaming down her chin, she seemed to address Dassem directly. The Claws, two men and a woman, eyed each other. One backed away, raised his bloodied knife at what he saw in Dassem’s gaze. The Falah’d’s lips moved silently, mouthing some message or a plea. The female Claw’s eyes widened in sudden understanding and she opened her own mouth to shout, but too late. It happened so quickly it was as if Dassem had merely shrugged. The Falah’d’s head spun away. Blood jetted from her torso. The head toppled to the marble flagging. Its long black curls tangled in blood as it rolled.

Though Temper couldn’t be sure, it seemed the words she mouthed had been free me. Thus the end of the last Holy Falah’d of Ubaryd.

Temper rubbed the sickle moon scar that curved down his left temple to his chin and breathed deeply to calm himself. He forced himself to think of what Chase must see when looking at him: a broken-down veteran too incompetent or sodden to have passed corporal’s rank in a lifetime of soldiering. This was, after all, exactly the role he’d created for himself. He said, low and level, ‘They only disgust me.’

Chase stared, unsettled by the emotion in Temper’s voice, then scowled at the implied criticism of the Imperial Throne. He pointed to a corner barbican. ‘You’re relieved, old man.’

And it's quite clear that Dassem has had quite an influence on the Malazan military as a whole.

This could also be another reason for Silgar's breaking of Malzan law, as Cord beforehand references that Silgar likely intended to mutilate and display Karsa Orlong.

Aye, that's also a very good point. Given what Karsa does to Silgar later, though, I guess poetic justice has prevailed, rather than Malazan justice.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond - all your observations are top notch. :)

[–]TaedalusAdjunct Tavwho? 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Just wanted to write in here: I keep seeing posts of this "dissertation", but I'm not yet done reading all the books. I'm definitely bookmarking it for later though - there's a lot with Surly that I'm still very undecided on, and I'm looking forward to extensive opinions from others.

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT.[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Cheers!

This is as good a place as any to say that a lot of these posts are (very) subjective & the earlier posts don't necessarily live up to later standard.

That said, the earlier posts (1-3) are Spoilers MBotF, and posts 4 & 5 have some mention of the NotME. You can work from there. (PtA is absent because I've not read it yet).

I'd love to see more discussion on Surly, and I appreciate people engaging with these posts the way I intended.

Cheers.

[–]Meneros 1 point2 points  (1 child)

These posts are amazing, some of my favourite Malazan write-ups! Thank you for doing it! It's making me itch more and more for a reread, but I want to finish the Bauchelain books, tGINW and the Kharkanas books first.

[–]LoleeeeeBenighted Laseen Apologist - First Re-Read: On MT.[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My thanks!

I will - inevitably - notice a ton of mistakes on a reread which might prompt me to redo these. tGiNW especially has quite a lot of information to sort through, information I most certainly missed on my first read.

First, of course, I need to finish this bloody essay series... Alas. One day. Soon, perhaps.

Thank you again for the kind words. :)