Malazan Empire: Creation Of Bridgeburners Doesn't Add Up - To Me - Malazan Empire

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Creation Of Bridgeburners Doesn't Add Up - To Me

#1 User is offline   DragonMaster 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 12:20 AM

The Bridgeburner history was first outlined in detail in this book so I hope posting here is fine. I'm rereading the series yet again and the creation of the BB has always bothered me. It just doesn't add up or make sense but with these books missing something isn't hard. Here are a few questions:

1. Quick Ben and 11 mages flee the soon to be BBs into Raruku. It's probably fair to say that the 11 mages were some of the most powerful in Seven Cities or atleast moderately powerful when compared to other mages. Why then would they flee on foot and all stay together? Shouldn't a good number of the mages have simply fled into their warrens? Travel by warren shouldn't have been beyond many, if any, of the mages. If warren travel in Raruku is an issue they were not chased directly to Raruku so they had ample opportunities to escape.

2. Also this is more of a side question but IIRC it was 100 soldiers plus Kalam, a recent claw recruit. Isn't that a little far fetched? The mages should have been able to simply wipe out the soldiers, especially if Kalam is secretly helping but even if Kalam wasn't there it seems like sending 100 soldiers, even if minor squad mages were included, would have a 0.0000% chance of succeeding.
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#2 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 12:33 AM

I haven't read your post for spoilers -- there may not be any -- but you should always put a post in the latest book thread relevant to what you want to address, or failing that, in the General forum. So if you hope to discuss how later books may inflect the information you get in MOI, then this is the wrong subforum. This one is GotM, DG, and MOI exlusive.
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#3 User is offline   nacht 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:07 AM

View PostDragonMaster, on 21 May 2019 - 12:20 AM, said:

The Bridgeburner history was first outlined in detail in this book so I hope posting here is fine. I'm rereading the series yet again and the creation of the BB has always bothered me. It just doesn't add up or make sense but with these books missing something isn't hard. Here are a few questions:

1. Quick Ben and 11 mages flee the soon to be BBs into Raruku. It's probably fair to say that the 11 mages were some of the most powerful in Seven Cities or atleast moderately powerful when compared to other mages. Why then would they flee on foot and all stay together? Shouldn't a good number of the mages have simply fled into their warrens? Travel by warren shouldn't have been beyond many, if any, of the mages. If warren travel in Raruku is an issue they were not chased directly to Raruku so they had ample opportunities to escape.

2. Also this is more of a side question but IIRC it was 100 soldiers plus Kalam, a recent claw recruit. Isn't that a little far fetched? The mages should have been able to simply wipe out the soldiers, especially if Kalam is secretly helping but even if Kalam wasn't there it seems like sending 100 soldiers, even if minor squad mages were included, would have a 0.0000% chance of succeeding.


How can it add when you don't have the whole story yet.
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#4 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:31 AM

As Worry said, this should really be in the General Book Topics thread (Mods?)
Anyway, I shall try to explain using Spoiler Tags.

Now, firstly you have QB and 11 other mages fleeing. Think of that for a moment - 11 mages. Some of them quite powerful. And they are fleeing. We have seen in GotM how mages can dominate any battlefield. So what would cause them to flee?
Answer - the Malazan mage cadre. Tayschrenn, Nightchill, Tattersail, Hairlock, Calot - High Mages, or close enough.

This answers why they aren't fleeing through warrens - we know, as it was directly demonstrated in Return of the Crimson Guard that
Spoiler

To unveil a warren would bring the Malazan cadre down on them like a ton of bricks. Hence conventional flight.

Secondly, why the BB? The Malazans are no stranger to Otataral, which is extremely effective against mages (except Elder, and those are very rare) It makes perfect sense to send an Otataral equipped Marine regiment (we know Marines are regarded as the best soldiers for unconventional missions) in charge of a veteran of the Old Guard like Whiskeyjack. We know from Deadhouse Landing that
Spoiler

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#5 User is online   champ 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:31 AM

There is also the quote from Nil in DHG which gives you an idea of their strength...

Quote

"The Malazan professional soldier is the deadliest weapon I know."

And the Bridgeburners are the elite of these soldiers...

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'Yet my heart breaks for a naked hen.'
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#6 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 12:38 PM

View Postchamp, on 21 May 2019 - 08:31 AM, said:

And the Bridgeburners are the elite of these soldiers...


Not back then they weren't. The way it is presented, their a bunch of green recruits at the time of the Raraku chase. Passing through Raraku hones the survivors of that chase somewhat, and the BB regiment swells in size after that, but it would also still take many years of difficult campaigns in 7C and then in Genebackis to turn the whole regiment into elites.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#7 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:32 PM

View PostAndorion, on 21 May 2019 - 06:31 AM, said:

As Worry said, this should really be in the General Book Topics thread (Mods?)
Anyway, I shall try to explain using Spoiler Tags.

Now, firstly you have QB and 11 other mages fleeing. Think of that for a moment - 11 mages. Some of them quite powerful. And they are fleeing. We have seen in GotM how mages can dominate any battlefield. So what would cause them to flee?
Answer - the Malazan mage cadre. Tayschrenn, Nightchill, Tattersail, Hairlock, Calot - High Mages, or close enough.

This answers why they aren't fleeing through warrens - we know, as it was directly demonstrated in Return of the Crimson Guard that
Spoiler

To unveil a warren would bring the Malazan cadre down on them like a ton of bricks. Hence conventional flight.


Additionally, we know from DG that it is very difficult to track someone magically to open a warren to them when they are at sea. It is highly likely that this is because of the lack of distinctive features at sea, which also largely applies to a desert. So while opening a warren can be felt by other mages and would have brought them down on them, getting lost in the desert where tracking you is highly challenging and time-consuming, is the better option. They might have thought that being natives of 7C, they had a better idea of what to expect in the desert, only to find out that natch, they do not. I haven't read the story in quite a while, but they may have been exhausted from trying to defend the city to begin with and the flight might have been a spur of the moment decision. Maybe they thought - which is the likeliest idea imo - getting lost in the desert, THEN fleeing via warren, when they are at a point where they are difficult to locate, would have been the best solution, only to find out that by the time they were far enough into the desert, they were physically too weak to open warrens. After all, they KNEW they were being followed, and had no way to know whether their pursuers had mages with them, meaning opening warrens would have given their location away, so they first had to get rid of/lose their pursuers.

I mean, there was clearly a plan between QB and Kalam, but Whiskeyjack & Co. knew Kalam was leading them on. I think the original plan had been for Kalam to delay the pursuers so that QB and the other mages could flee far enough into the desert to safely continue their flight via warrens, only for Whiskeyjack to make Kalam keep tracking them, creating a situation where the mages had no way to know whether Kalam had turned or there were other mages with their pursuers who could track them despite Kalam's misdirections. Also, QB states that they didn't think their pursuers could survive in desert as long as the mages could and it was a sure way to get away.

As for why they didn't split up... Easy, it's much easier to survive in a desert when you're not alone. The landscape is basically featureless, you could be running in circles without noticing it. When you're in a group, the chances of someone knowing what they're doing is higher, and they were probably some of them who knew teh area better than the others. For all we know, it may have been QB who convinced them to stay togetehr because he knew where to go or claimed to. That he was very convincing is evindenced by how he convenced everyone to let them take their soul when their bodies died. Also, they likely had a plan, so why slit up and destroy it?

Edit: Just reread the story and QB and Kalam were communicating throughout, so they knew there were no pursuing mages. Still, doesn't change much about my theory. They had to get rid of their pursuers and were too weak physically to blast them into oblivion.

This post has been edited by Puck: 21 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

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#8 User is offline   Siergiej 

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:38 PM

To add to what everyone said above:

1. They were probably not an elite or high profile group of mages. Or at least not nearly as elite as Malazan high mages. They were the mage cadre of a Falah'd of an unnamed city - so not even one of the Seven Holy Cities.

2. Even if they were a match to Malazan mages, Kellanved still had an army of T'lan Imass at his disposal. Better to keep a low profile when these guys are involved Posted Image
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#9 User is offline   NefaraisBredd 

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 11:43 PM

HERE BE SPOILERS:it in the general forum so I think it's safe but be warned. this post contains subtle references to stuff that is in later books.


To address the comment about the mages being low level-when QB opens up his warren(s), he demonstrates High Mage-level abilities in later books. Mages can become tired and less effective after using their powers and need rest to restore themselves. They were simply exhausted after battling the insanely powerful malazan cadre.

One thing that (extremely important) isnt asked by the OP;

Why did the mages agree to soul bind with QB and whose plan was that anyways? Certainly not kellanveds.


The BB are (in my opinion) like the historical Devils Brigade from ww2-a bunch of misfits and demoted old guard who were cast into the worst battles and forged into cold iron.

Found this:

They were a collection of seventy marines, engineers, infantry, and cavalry veterans cobbled together from decimated squads that Dassem Ultor could afford to sacrifice. For the pursuit, the company under the command of Whiskeyjack"


So they were in fact veterans who were pulled from decimated companies and formed into anew company-the bridgeburners.
A rational/reasonable definition of a veteran soldier is one who has lived through a battle or two (true combat changes a person irrevocably) and they did experience hell. They fought under Dassem. Were taught by the famous Braven Tooth.

The 7th and the 9th squads are the elite of the BB.

Shout out to Bottle and the Bonehunters :lol:

This post has been edited by NefaraisBredd: 30 May 2019 - 11:54 PM

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#10 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

We only really see the Empire's mage cadre intact in the beginning of GotM. Plus during the time of the Bridgeburners' creation, you would have had Kellanved himself, a mage capable of "dropping a mountain" on the Crimson Guard, as well as Dancer and his talons, with Surly and her claw on top of that. Let's not underestimate how terrifying that would be. Opening their warrens would light them up like a beacon.

As others have mentioned, we've seen that using their abilities can be very tiring for mages. Given that these 11 were on the losing side, I'm guessing that they had basically nothing left in the tank, as they used up what they had in their failed defense of the city (hence why they were fleeing). They may have been physically unable to open their warrens due to exhaustion, and counting on being able to outpace the Malazans in order to get time to rest in order to do so.

Laseen did nothing wrong.

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