Pug (fictional character)

Pug (fictional character)

Pug, also known as Milamber (after being taken by the Tsurani to their home world of Kelewan), is a fictional character appearing in the novels of Raymond E. Feist. He is the protagonist in Feist's first novel, and the first novel of the Riftwar Saga, Magician. He is also featured as a prominent character in the other two novels of the Riftwar Saga, and also in the Serpentwar Saga, the Riftwar Legacy, the Conclave of Shadows, and the Darkwar Saga.

He is the most powerful magician in Midkemia save for Macros the Black. However, his power is recognized as stronger in the novels of The Conclave of Shadows.



Pug is the magician of Midkemia, a world popularised by fantasy author, Raymond E. Feist in his Riftwar Saga.

Pug is the child of unknown parents, an orphan abandoned at a monastery near Crydee, a town on the north-west coast of the Kingdom of the Isles. As a boy, he is sent to Castle Crydee and is adopted by Megar, the castle keep's cook. He grows up there, becoming the closest friend of Megar's son, Tomas, becoming almost a brother to him.

While gathering shellfish at age 13, Pug is caught in a storm, his ankle is sprained, and he is charged by a wild boar. He is saved by a franklin named Meecham, who is in the service of the court Magician Kulgan. Kulgan discovers Pug's talent for magic and takes him as his apprentice on Choosing Day.

Under Kulgan's tutelage, Pug makes satisfactory progress in the theory of magic, but finds himself unable to cast spells in the traditional way. Pug appears to suffer some form of mental block.

Kulgan decides that as a foil to Pug's very logical mind, Pug is to be taught equestrian skills. This leads to Pug being selected to accompany Princess Carline (daughter of the Duke of Crydee) into the countryside on a ride. During the course of this ride, they are attacked by two trolls; Pug manages to defend the princess demonstrating skill first with a sling and then with his unexpected success in casting a spell, his first of any power. The spell causes the trolls excruciating pain and they drown. Kulgan voices to Pug that this is a skill unheard of in Midkemian magic. Casting this particular spell without a device to focus the power was impossible. Casting the spell in the manner in which Pug did should have caused great pain to himself instead of the Trolls.

Upon return to Crydee, Pug earns the gratitude of the Duke and the affection of Carline, Duke Borric's beautiful, but willful, daughter. As a reward for this feat, Pug is made a squire and was granted land, to be held by the crown until the age of majority.

Then, mysteriously, the Tsurani invade Crydee. A bitter nine year war ensues at the start of which, Pug is captured while helping Kulgan get safely away from a skirmish and taken to Kelewan, kept at first as a swamp slave, cutting timber and pulp for the Tsurani. He is liberated from the swamps by a Clan of Tsurani nobles, and instructed to tutor their sons in the ways of the Kingdom. Pug is respected but never allowed to forget that he is nothing but a slave. During this time Pug meets and falls for Katala, a slave girl of great beauty and wit, and Laurie, a former Troubador from the Kingdom, most recently a friend and confidant of Pug. However, one day Pug's former training is recognized by a Tsurani Great One. Pug is trained as a Greater Path Magician, and is remarkable in many ways. His outworld status (as well as his former status as slave, enemy and lesser path apprentice) makes him something of a celebrity. Pug is renamed Milamber. Pug also discovers what is called his "true name" which is never to be told to anyone. To do so would give that person absolute power over you. He never reveals what the name is, only its meaning "One who stands between worlds".

Pug becomes instrumental in bringing the Riftwar to an end, by destroying the planetary rift between Kelewan and Midkemia, in an effort to stop the return of the enemy to Midkemia. When the Riftwar ends, Pug is rewarded with the title to the island of Stardock, previously gifted to him by Duke Borric for saving his daughter. It is also revealed that after he had been considered dead, the Duke gave him a name in memorial, adopting him into the ConDoin family, effectively making him an adopted member of the royal family. With Katala he has a son, William, and an adopted daughter named Gamina.

After establishing a school for magical study on the island of Stardock, he eventually releases all ties with the Kingdom of the Isles, and realizing that Nalar (the God of Evil) could one day return, he and his closest friends and confidants begin an organization known as the Conclave of Shadows following the conclusion of the Serpentwar.

During his life he has had four children. One, Gamina is adopted. His first son William, did not wish to train as a Magician, despite the fact that Pug hints that he has the potential to become a powerful one, possibly even surpassing Pug. William eventually leaves Stardock and becomes quite a prominent soldier, rising quickly, though his relationship with Pug is rocky at best. Gamina marries Jimmy the Hand, the two die together when Jimmy destroys a good proportion of the evacuated city of Krondor in order to destroy the invading army which was led by the Demon captain who impersonated the emerald queen.

Later, long after Katala's death from an unspecified illness, he marries Miranda, the daughter of Macros, and they have two more children, Magnus and Caleb. Magnus grows to be an amazing magician, similar to his father; however, Caleb has no apparent magical talent, yet still works for the Conclave. Instead he is sent to train with the elves.

Pug is currently the leader of the Conclave of Shadows and according to Nakor more powerful than Macros ever was. The Conclave stands as the last line of defense against the evil forces that constantly plague Midkemia, and to a greater extent, the first realm. The primary antagonist to the Conclave, and Pug's nemesis, is the evil necromancer Leso Varen, once known as Sidi. Pug first confronts Sidi during the events of Riftwar Legacy novels. The evil necromancer's powers prevent his soul from dying when his body is destroyed, allowing him to constantly return in other bodies to harass the Conclave. Pug's struggle to permanently destroy Leso Varen becomes a primary story element in the Conclave of Shadows trilogy and the Darkwar Saga trilogy.

Pug is relegated to a background role in the Conclave of Shadows novels but is thrust to the forefront once more in the Darkwar Saga. Following the discovery of a mysterious object called a Talnoy in Exile's Return, Pug is warned of an impending invasion by an alien race known as the Dasati from the second realm. Pug, along with his son Magnus, Nakor, and the mysterious Ralan Bek, journeys to this second realm in an attempt to prevent this invasion. Meanwhile, the evil sorcerer Leso Varen, apparently working in concert with the Dasati, continues his efforts to destroy the Conclave and become the supreme ruler of Midkemia.

At the end of the Darkwar Saga, Leso Varen is finally killed by Nakor, who removes a black crystal from his heart called "The Godkiller", and uses that crystal to destroy the Dread Lord who was using the Dasati to invade the realm of Midkemia in an attempt to enter that realm and absorb all life from it, as it had done in previous realms - as shown to Pug by Ban-Ath, the Midkemian god of trickery. As Nakor threw the Godkiller crystal towards the Dread Lord, Pug, who was on the planet Kelewan where the invasion was occurring, created a rift between Kelewan and its moon and causing the moon to fall through the rift, destroying the planet as the Dread Lord entered the realm through the "tunnel" he had created.[1]

In the first novel of the Demonwar Saga, Pug's wife Miranda, his son Caleb, and much of Caleb's adopted family are murdered during a demon attack on the village on Sorcerer's Isle. Pug and Magnus both grieve at the loss, but realize they must continue on and keep fighting, or everything they know will be destroyed. Pug knows that he will continue seeing everyone he loves die before him, as this was the bargain he made with Lims-Kragma, the Goddess of Death, after being wounded by the Demon Captain during the invasion of the Emerald Queen's army.[2]


In the Serpent War Pug appears to learn how to teleport without using a magical orb from his wife Miranda. In the more recent books in the Darkwar series he has not used that power. However, in the book Into a Dark Realm he used teleportation to evade the trap of a slaver, so it appears that he is still able to use his power. Pug is able to teleport "line of sight" as of Wrath of a Mad God, but is unable to teleport to locations he has not seen before, such as his wife Miranda, and son Magnus are able to do, however he did learn this during the Serpentwar Saga. Either Pug forgot or Feist forgot he learned this power.

In the first book of the Demonwar saga, Rides a Dread Legion, Pug himself notes that teleporting without knowledge of his destination requires all of his concentration, whereas his wife Miranda and son Magnus are able to accomplish the task almost effortlessly.

Pug's Power and Its Limitation by Feist

By the end of the Riftwar Saga Pug has become one of the most powerful individuals in Feist's fantasy mythos. He appears in one form or another in almost all of the novels written by Feist set in the world of Midkemia. Some of the novels include him as a minor character and instead focus on the exploits of other characters such as Jimmy the Hand or Arutha, Prince of Krondor. By necessity these novels have the characters facing less powerful obstacles and enemies than those in the novels Pug features prominently in. Because if he were allowed to use his full power Pug would quickly deal with most of the minor problems faced by Jimmy and Arutha such as the continuing trouble caused by the Nighthawks, Feist must constantly devise ways to limit Pug's power. His power is either weakened (such as in the Serpentwar Saga when he is lured into a trap by a demon, or in the Krondor series, when he is teleported to a world where his magic is useless), or he is explained as being "too busy with his own affairs" to aid the other characters.


  1. ^ Wrath Of A Mad God
  2. ^ Rides a Dread Legion

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