Ferro Maljinn is an escaped slave of the Gurkish Empire, now the most feared rebel, who puts her thirst for revenge over all else.
Ferro has short, spiky black hair and dark skin. She has a long thin scar across the right side of her face, starting at her eyebrow and ending across her lips. However, her most remarkable feature is the "deep, rich, golden" colour of her slightly slanted eyes.
Ferro's life has been filled with trauma after trauma, from her time as a slave, to years of life in the desert pursued by Gurkish soldiers. It has left her broken, lonely and isolated. She treats everyone with the deepest suspicion, and tries not to get close to her companions; there's a large part of Ferro that just enjoys provoking people. Her only allowance is to bury her fellows when they die, because that's what you do for your companions. Her only desire in life is vengeance against the Gurkish, and hates everything she associates with them, tea, luxury etc.
Ferro is a Devil-Blood, a distant descendant of the Demons, and possesses several traits of their bloodline. Her physical capabilities exceed normal human limits, including speed, endurance, tolerance to pain, healing, ability to go without sleep, and hearing. Her vision is especially acute; she can see in near-total darkness and her distance perception is as good as a man with a spyglass. However, she is completely color-blind. Her demonic heritage also allows Ferro to safely handle The Seed, and seemingly allowed her to sense its presence in the House of the Maker.
Ferro is from a small nation in Kanta called Muntaz, far to the east of Shaffa beyond the mountains, beside the sea. The Gurkish conquered it years ago, and its people were made slaves like Ferro or scattered. When she was twelve years old, she was bought by a man called Susman, who trained girls to be sex-slaves and then sold them at a profit. After two years, she stole a knife and cut a big gash across her face, as a way of spiting her owner by cutting her price down by three quarters. Later, she became one of the many slaves of the Emperor's youngest son, Uthman, who would become Emperor Uthman-ul-Dosht.
Some time before the start of the trilogy, Ferro escaped slavery. She has lived for years in the desert with the dregs of society, preying on Gurkish soldiers without mercy. Her only companions are fellow bandits who she generally despises. She is now one of the deadliest and most feared bandit in Gurkhul; nobody who lays eyes on her lives to tell the tale.
The Blade Itself Edit
Ferro is introduced digging graves for three of her dead crew, fellow bandits who she generally despised, but that's what you do for your companions. She is the only survivor of a fight between some Gurkish soldiers and her crew of ex-slaves and bandits. Suddenly, a voice calls her name. She reacts immediately by firing two arrows at the old man. Despite her prodigious skill, Ferro misses. Reasoning that magic is at work, Ferro decides to talk instead. The old man introduces himself as Yulwei, and offers to help her evade the soldiers tracking her. Realizing that without his help she will be caught, she accepts in exchange for a future favour.
Thanks to Yulwei's power, they are able to walk straight though the Gurkish encampments without being seen. Nearing Dagoska, and concerned about sneaking them through so many soldiers, Yulwei scouts ahead alone. Despite Ferro’s willingness to follow him out of the desert, she’s reticent about going to The Union, and flees into the night. The next morning, she is woken by voices, a brother and sister hunting her. Ferro bolts, but the terrain is very open, and they pair begin to run her down. The brother moves toward her, undaunted by repeated arrows in his torso; Eaters to be sure.
As Ferro begins to lose consciousness, they hear a commanding voice; Yulwei. He admonishes the Eaters for breaking Euz’s law, and offers them a chance to leave. When they refuse, he attacks with his Art, turning the sister’s bones to water, and burns the brother from within. Ferro recovers remarkably quickly, as she always does, and finally admits that she cannot survive without Yulwei.
In Adua, despite proper paperwork, the guards refuse the savage looking woman and old man entry, unless they disarm. With a cool head and some credibility earned in the First Gurkish War, Colonel West mollifies the situation, convincing Ferro to give up her knife.
In Bayaz’ chambres, the First of the Magi wonders if Ferro is what he’s looking for, and tests her with two stones, asking her to choose the blue. When she chooses the one on the left, Bayaz reveals them both red, proving that Ferro cannot see colours. Having been tricked, Ferro promptly breaks Bayaz’ nose. However, Bayaz just finds it rather funny, and asks Ferro to accompany him on his quest, eventually convincing her it’s her chance for revenge on the Gurkish. Yulwei will not be accompanying them, and awkwardly hugs Ferro good-bye.
With the journey now prepared, Ferro goes missing, and Bayaz sends Logen Ninefingers to track her down. He finds her surrounded by three Practicals, sent by Superior Goyle to learn more about Bayaz. Logen leaps to his new "friends" defence. As more Practicals appear, the pair flees up the remains of The Contest stands and across the rooftops of the Agriont. However, eventually they find themselves trapped and surrounded. Logen takes a beating, but his alter-ego emerges, the Bloody-Nine, and lays waste to the attackers.
Afterwards, Ferro helps Logen back to Bayaz’ chambres. However, the Practicals have tracked them there, determined to arrest Ferro. Bayaz makes them change their minds by turning one of them to pink mist. The Magus then orders the group to help Logen to his feet, and leave … now.
Before They are HangedEdit
Ferro and the rest of Bayaz’ band of heroes reach Calcis in the Old Empire. Logen's wounds are healing well, thanks to Ferro’s expert needle skills. They leave toward Darmium disguised as merchants. Out on the plain, an increasingly agitated Ferro presses Bayaz for information on their destination, The First Law, Khalul, and The Seed. Barely hiding his annoyance, Bayaz only says The Seed is her route to revenge. Ferro learns to trust the Magus even less, and that night she decides to escape. However, she’s gently stopped by Logen, who persuades her that together they can watch each other’s backs.
As they journey, Logen laments the lack of meat, so Ferro promptly brings down three birds with her superb ability with the bow. Bayaz explains her acumen is due to her Devil-Blood; she is a distant descendent of Demons. Soon, Bayaz announces that rather than Darmium, they’ll divert and cross the river Aos at Aulcus. No one is amused.
As they continue, Ferro spies riders following them. They hide in some ruins as the riders pass by, but later they find a massive log blocking their path. The riders emerge, and their leader Finnius explains that they were sent by Emperor Cabrian to find them. Bayaz gets annoyed, the air ripples, and men go flying, until he seems to loses control. The world bends and then suddenly rights itself, leaving the battle over but Bayaz unconscious. Quai explains that using the Art is always a risk, and Bayaz will recover... probably.
With Logen now the leader, they continue towards Aulcus. Stopping at an ancient old ruin on a hill, Ferro sees thirteen riders still following them. They decide to stay and fight, and surprisingly they win. However, Jezal is badly injured.
Later, Bayaz wakes after weeks of torpor, looking older than ever. At the outskirts of Aulcus, a battlefield littered with dead bodies opens up around them. The Magus Zacharus strides through the corpses. He claim the dead are the work of his protégé Goltus. Zacharus tries to deter Bayaz from his dangerous course, but Bayaz refuses; it is The Seed or nothing. Zacharus hopes he fails.
Soon 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. Logen doesn’t much care for that forewarning and asks Ferro to watch his back. Surprisingly she agrees, having grown to trust the Northman.
They ride in silence brought on by the desolation, until they reach the Maker’s bridge. Ferro balks, and presses Bayaz again for answers about The Seed. Bayaz reluctantly names The Seed as the thing that destroyed this city, and only Ferro with her devils-blood can safely carry it. Ferro smiles as she contemplates Gurkhul turned into a wasteland like Aulcus.
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 to The Other Side and causes the buildings around them to collapse. However, Logen and Ferro fall into a rent in the earth.
Logen and Ferro find themselves in tunnels beneath the city. As Ferro leads Logen through the darkness, they come across a massive cavern filled with Shanka. Before Logen can stop himself his rage grows. The Bloody-Nine lays waste to the Shanka, barely able to restrain himself from killing Ferro too.
Logen and Ferro escape the city through an underground river. When darkness falls, they stops in a ruin. Logen offers Ferro his filthy coat since she's clearly freezing. Her response catches him off guard when she asks if he’d like to fuck. Logen sputters, but before Ferro can rescind it, he recovers and suggests they get a little closer. The next morning, the two are awkward with each other, but eventually they make it to the rendezvous.
Reunited, Bayaz leads them from Aulcus over the Broken Mountains to the Great Western Library. Inside Cawneil welcomes them and invites them to dinner, but the food is poor and the company rancid. She reminds Bayaz of his failings, of when he left her for Tolomei, and when his actions led to Tolomei’s death. Bayaz calls her a fool for hiding at the edge of the world. There is a long and sordid history between these two. Finally, Bayaz asks about the boat that will take them to Shabulyan, a duty commanded of Cawneil by Juvens.
Bayaz’ group sail to the desolate rocky island of Shabulyan. 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.
Back aboard the boat, Logen and Ferro consider their future. Neither is capable of making the first move and taking what pleasure they can in one another, rather they drive each other away.
Last Argument of KingsEdit
Returning to Adua, Logen departs for The North to settle his score with Bethod, Jezal returns to his army duties, and Longfoot takes his leave his duty complete. Ferro reluctantly remains with Bayaz; with The Union at war, no ships are sailing to Gurkhul. She spends her days at the docks, watching for Yulwei; the only one who can get her back to Kanta.
Ferro does attend the Open Council, sitting in the public gallery during the election of the new High King of the Union. When Jezal is voted the new King Jezal the First, Ferro bursts into uncontrollable laughter.
Later, Ferro is walking through Adua when she senses she’s being followed. She lays a trap, and Ferro quickly has him beaten, a knife to the throat of Practical Severard. She forces him to admit that he works for someone named Glokta. For reasons Ferro barely understands, she allows the man to live, merely because he pleads for the birds he cares for. In Glokta’s apartment, she nabs him, dunks him in the bath, and demands to know why he's been having her watched. After some posturing, they agree to exchange questions. Glokta asks her about Bayaz and The Seed. Ferro asks him about Eaters. In the end they learn little, but Ferro leaves him alive.
Soon the Gurkish invade Midderland and put siege to Adua, in the Battle of Adua. Bayaz determines to go to the House of the Maker, to get weapons to fight the Gurkish 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 supposedly dead daughter of the Maker; she killed Quai and took on his appearance before the journey to the edge of the world. While Yulwei and Tolomei fight, Bayaz and Ferro flee. Despite promising to go back for Yulwei, Bayaz locks him and Tolomei in the Maker’s house.
Bayaz prepares the ritual in the Square of Marshals. As the Gurkish breach the Agriont, Bayaz orders Ferro to take The Seed out of the box. When the Eaters enter the square, Bayaz summons forth the power of The Seed, and blithely sweeps away Eaters and Union men and buildings alike. Bayaz drunk on the power, seems unwilling to end the tumult. Insulating within a bubble of calm, Ferro hears the voices of Demons pleading to trust them and set them free. Trust … a word only liars use. With the last of her strength, she puts The Seed in the box and closes its lid.
Afterwards, Ferro's prolonged exposure to the Seed has left her altered, always hearing the voices of Demons; she's increasingly losing her mind. One night, Mamun enters her room, having barely survived the Magus' trap, and attacks her to use her image to kill Bayaz and avenge Juvens. The full extent of The Seeds effects are revealed, as an icy strength spreads through her body, Ferro crushes his skull in her bare hands. She is last seen heading south back to Gurkhul to kill Uthman-ul-Dosht, with water freezing into ice under her feet. She still hears the voices but she just ignores them, Ferro Maljinn has no master. What happens afterwards remains an Unanswered Question.
In Best Served Cold, the Gurkish Eater Ishri comments, "My brother was killed. By a woman seeking vengeance." which surely refers to Ferro.