|“||Well enough? That’s all? You have learned to stay silent, then, at least. How did you teach him that, Bayaz? That I never could make him learn.||”|
–Zacharus on Quai
Malacus Quai is a pale, gaunt, sickly-looking young man with dark rings round his eyes. He has long hair and a nervous smile.
Quai is a very subtle and talkative character, though often cowed under the pressure of master Bayaz' sarcastic comments about his poor study progress. Learned in the study of and telling of histories. His personality notably changes midway through the first book. He becomes more silent and reserved, and resentful and belligerent towards Bayaz. The reason is finally explained in the third book.
Malacus Quai is originally from The Old Empire. He was apprenticed to the Magus Zacharus, the fifth of Juvens’ twelve apprentices, for seven years, before being sent to the Great Northern Library to study under Bayaz and earn his staff. He finds Bayaz much more demanding than his former master.
The Blade ItselfEdit
Malacus Quai is sent to find Logen Ninefingers on behalf of his master, Bayaz. The journey in the harsh Northern weather is difficult, and when he finally finds Logen in the moors, he has lost the second horse and most of his provisions. Suffering from hunger and fever, Quai is on his last legs, and Logen is forced to carry him all the way back to Bayaz' Library, saving his life.
Quai has barely recovered, when Bayaz insists he return to his studies. Soon, he soon leaves the library with Bayaz and Logen for Adua, where Bayaz demands the traditional seat on the Closed Council reserved for the First of the Magi. Shortly after arriving, Quai's personality becomes noticeably more reserved.
Quai, Bayaz, and Logen are in the stands at the final of The Contest, between Jezal and Gorst. Observing the pair, Logen declares Gorst the more dangerous. Bayaz offers a gentleman’s bet that Jezal will win. Despite Quai’s warning to never bet against a Magus, Logen agrees. During the fight, Bayaz manipulates Jezal’s performance with the Art, and with his help rallies and defeats Gorst. Logen sneers at such foul play.
Before They Are HangedEdit
When they are ambushed by soldiers sent by Emperor Cabrian to find them. Bayaz becomes annoyed; the air ripples and men go flying. However, Bayaz seems to lose control, the world bends and then suddenly rights itself, leaving the battle ended, but Bayaz unconscious. Quai explains that using the Art is always a risk, and Bayaz will recover... probably.
With Logen the new leader, they continue towards Aulcus, with Quai tending to Bayaz. They stop at an old ruin on a hill, and Ferro sees thirteen soldiers still following them. They decide to stay and fight. Logen and Ferro deal with most of them, but three men flank them. Jezal kills two of them but the last one knocks him unconscious and beats him, until Quai kills him with a frying pan.
Later, Bayaz wakes after weeks of torpor, looking older than ever. At the outskirts of Aulcus, a battlefield littered with dead bodies rises around them. The Magus Zacharus strides toward them, claiming the dead are the work of his protégé Goltus. Zacharus greets his former apprentice, and remarks on Quai's changed personality.
When they arrive at Aulcus, the city stuns them, the jewel of cities, but nothing lives there, not even birds. Before continuing, Bayaz tells them of a hill south of the city with a temple, which will be their rendezvous should they be separated. The Magus guides them to a massive domed structure, the Imperial Senate of Aulcus. As they explore, Logen smells something and recognizes the stink of Shanka. As they flee, more and more flatheads emerge from the shadows. About to be overwhelmed, Bayaz reaches into to The Other Side and causes the buildings around them to collapse. However, Logen and Ferro fall into a rent in the earth.
Jezal, Bayaz, Quai, and Longfoot make it to rendezvous. Everyone finds it unlikely that Logen and Ferro survived, but then they spot the duo in the distance, very much alive. Reunited, Bayaz leads them from Aulcus over the Broken Mountains to the Great Western Library. Inside Cawneil welcomes them, flirting with the handsome Union noble; but utterly perplexed by Malacus Quai.
Bayaz’s crew sail to the desolate rocky island of Shabulyan at the edge of the world. They find a cave, and huddled around a meagre fire, Logen drinks some liquor to draw the Spirit. It arrives and offers Ferro the stone from its stomach that Juvens gave it centuries ago. Its duty done, the Spirit fades away. Bayaz investigates the stone and flies into a rage; this is not The Seed, but a trick of Kanedias to keep the power for himself. Bayaz declares the journey a failure. Quai seems especially shaken by the news.
Last Argument of KingsEdit
Finally they arriving back in Adua, Logen, Longfoot and Jezal head off, leaving only Quai and Ferro with Bayaz. Quai quietly advises Ferro to go back to the south, that Bayaz will bring her nothing she needs, and cannot be trusted. When she asks why he stays? He cryptically responds “For vengeance.”
When the Gurkish forces land in Midderland and begin to lay siege to Adua, Quai, Bayaz, Ferro, and Yulwei go to the House of the Maker to get weapons to fight Khalul's Eaters. While the others go get The Divider, Ferro explores the map and the series of moving rings above. In the centre she finds The Seed. While Bayaz orders her to take it to the palace, Quai reveals himself to be Tolomei, the Maker’s dead daughter. She killed Quai and took on his appearance before the journey to the edge of the world (the mauled body that Inquisitor Glokta investigated was Quai). While Yulwei fights Tolomei, Bayaz and Ferro flee. Despite promising to go back for Yulwei, Bayaz locks him and Tolomei in the Maker’s house.