Seeds of Despair
The Jaghut are one of the founding intelligent races of the Malazan planet. They are solitary, powerful beings who once dominated much of the world after the eradication of the K’Chain Che’Malle.
Anatomy The Jaghut are taller and broader than humans, with tusked lower jaws. Their skin is grey-green and hair is generally grey. As confirmed in The Bonehunters, the Jaghut possess two hearts, and possibly duplicates of other organs, in a mannar similar to that of the Theloman Toblakai. The Jaghut are extremely long-lived (essentially immortal in the sense that they will not die except through violence or accident), and capable of inter-breeding with humans and Theloman Toblakai. They are adapted to living in a cold climate, and generally prefer an Arctic environment. The Jaghut primarily use the Omtose Phellack Warren, an Elder racial Warren that allows them control over great areas and is generally tuned towards magics of ice, cold, stasis and preservation. The Warren can also produce effects of ‘stagnation’, isolating whole continents from the rest of the world. In one case, this prevented the magic of the continent of Lether from evolving for over 300,000 years.
Culture The Jaghut do not gather in locations or create communities. They see community leading to power over others (by the civic leaders), leading to dominance, hunger for power, slavery and a downward spiral into Tyranny over all other living things. Instead, they prefer solitary towers as dwellings, usually living with only their closest family. Despite this tendency towards isolation, their parental instincts are very strong, which has resulted in a scaling up of conflicts with the T’lan Imass – if a parent is attacked, their spouse and children will come to fight with them, and vice versa. This can result in considerable devastation due to the scales of sorceries involved.
The exception to the rules of isolation are the rare Jaghut known as Tyrants, for whom conquest and rule is an unslakable thirst. These individuals will use their powerful magical capabilities to enslave and dominate other races. This most notably occurred with the T’lan Imass, and as a result of the Tyrant Raest’s actions, in this regard, the Imass underwent the ritual of Tellan and became undead. For the battle between the Imass and the Jaghut there is never any quarter given – if any trace of the Jaghut is found by the Imass, a pogrom is raised in which several clans converge on the site until their army is wiped out or all of the Jaghut are slain.
Interactions with the Malazan Empire During the main events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Jaghut are almost unknown except as legends. The rare individuals who have survived the pogroms of the T’lan Imass exist in solitude and hiding, using Warrens other than Omtose Phellack or restricting their activities to other realms where the T’lan cannot find them.
The other point of interaction takes place in “Memories of Ice” where a psychologically abused Jaghut leads the Pannion Domin against the free cities on Genabackis and is contested by Caladan Brood’s Horde and the outlawed 2nd Army of the Malazan Empire.
Appearances in the Novels From these appearances, it is apparent that the Jaghut are more active than the T’lan Imass would suspect, generally working behind the scenes and in hiding to ensure the continued isolation and binding of dangerous creatures.
Descendants Jhag The Jhag are half-blooded Jaghut living in the Jhag Odhan area of the Seven Cities continent. T The half-Jaghut Icarium is a major character in the series and appears in Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains, The Bonehunters and Reaper’s Gale. He shares the immortality of his Jaghut father, Gothos, and when roused to anger is an uncontrollable, nearly unstoppable force of death and destruction. In the past, Icarium has laid waste to entire cities, and is a threat to the Azath. The Azath is a nearly indestructible entity that detains powerful beings like a prison. Because of his rage, he is always bound to a companion who works in secret to prevent Icarium from being roused to anger. During Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains and the beginning of The Bonehunters, his companion was the Trell Mappo Runt, however Mappo was attacked and replaced as Icarium’s companion with the Gral warrior Taralack Veed. The source of Icarium’s rage is fueled by the Azath’s entrapment of his father, Gothos. However, Gothos is actually quite content in his situation since he, like most Jaghut, enjoys solitude as is provided by the Azath. It is revealed in Reaper’s Gale that Icarium’s mother was a Thelomen Toblakai, however that does not necessarily imply that all Jhag’s are a Toblakai/Jaghut mix.