Cotillion (Malazan)

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For other uses, see Cotillion (disambiguation).

Cotillion, also known as the Rope and Dancer, Assassin of High House Shadow, is a fictional character in Steven Erikson's fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Cotillion is the Patron of Assassins in the pantheon of the world in which Malazan Book of the Fallen takes place. He is the Assassin of High House Shadow, and was once a mortal named Dancer, who was the lead assassin of the Malazan Empire.



In his mortal life, Dancer and Kellanved, the first Emperor of the Malazan Empire, overthrew the ruling criminal element on Malaz Island and forged what would come to be the Malazan Empire. During this time, the pair (and later the group) operated out of an Azath House in Malaz City known as the Deadhouse. Dancer founded the Talon, which was a form of secret service that policed the Empire and was later succeeded by the Claw. Years after the Empire was founded, an act of betrayal killed both Kellanved and Dancer, though the pair Ascended to become the gods known as Ammanas Shadowthrone and Cotillion, the Rope.


Many years later, as part of a plot to take revenge upon the now-Empress Laseen, Cotillion possessed a small girl from a village on the coast of Itko Kan. Masquerading as the girl, now called Sorry, Cotillion joined the Malazan army, and ended up in the Bridgeburners, a highly feared elite unit. He eventually left her body, though she retained his skills and memories. Since this, Cotillion has learned that gods should not stand removed from the affairs of mortals and bully them into doing their bidding, and has played a much more active role in events.


Cotillion appears human, tallish, with dark hair and even features. He is usually garbed in gray, tightly wrapped around his limbs, with a hood loosely covering his head. When in battle Cotillion is armed with a dagger and an animated rope, both of which have a capacity to wound far beyond their initial appearance.

A quote in Night of Knives (ICE's first published work) adds further light unto his appearance. 'The face and head were unremarkable; bristly short black hair, narrow fine features. No scars. The eyes, though, shone like jewels of jet' - NoK p. 199