Hairlock [Hair-lock] was a mage of the 2nd Armies mage cadre under Tattersail.
He had small, dark eyes, yellow teeth, a flat, scarred brow and a shaved head. His nose was flat, mashed and misaligned. Hairlock would sweat profusely, regardless of the temperature.
Hairlock dressed in satin slippers and wore a garment with brocaded sleeves. In his last battle he wore a dark grey raincoat.
He had a book that was valuable to him. From context (Tattersail's book was mentioned shortly before) one has to assume it was a book about sorcery, likely that of his Warren.
Hairlock was from Seven Cities, and had fought against the Malazan Empire. After Aren fell he was given a choice between death and service to the Empire. It was implied that he and the Imperial High Mage Tayschrenn had an adversarial history stemming from this period, though the specifics were never elaborated. Hairlock joined the 2nd Malaz Army's mage cadre at Pan'potsun. He was also present at the betrayal and fall of Dassem Ultor.
When the Mage Cadre Commander Nedurian died, Tattersail was promoted to the rank in preference to Hairlock, something he resented. According to Calot, Hairlock was not given the job due to his ambivalence.
Just prior to Gardens of the Moon, he was under the command of High Fist Dujek Onearm, running personal errands for him.
The ritual performed by Quick Ben, in which Hairlock's soul was shifted into the body of a puppet, was known as soul shifting and had not been performed in a thousand years. During the ritual, webs of black energy spun over the wrapped puppet which was laid upon Hairlock's body, then encompassed the mage's body. The threads traced a chaotic pattern until Hairlock drew his last breath.
When still wrapped, the puppet was described as being about the length from just under Hairlock's chin to a few inches beyond what was left of his torso.
Soon after Tattersail returned to her tent, the wrapped bundle displayed signs of motion. Tattersail cut it open and revealed a wooden marionette, dressed in bright yellow silk clothing, a floppy hat and with the features of Hairlock painted upon it's face. The puppet had tiny gloved hands and Tattersail thought of Hairlock's eyes as shining bright and mad.
Hairlock had always made Tattersail feel uneasy, but she now felt a certain amount of fear when facing him.
Controlled by Quick Ben, Hairlock was tasked with finding out who wanted the death of the Bridgeburners. As the regular paths were trip-wired, the puppet traveled the paths that lay between the Warrens, Chaos. Doing so, the puppet quickly went insane and it's natural irascibility increased as it became more powerful. Hairlock claimed that he choose where to go, uncontrolled, which sowed some doubts in Tattersail's mind about Quick Ben's control of the puppet.
Hairlock trespassed on the Shadow Realm and was followed by the Hounds of Shadow. One of them, Gear, tracked the puppet back to Tattersail's abode and attacked the sorceress. Hairlock, after initially hiding, ambushed the Hound with chaotic magic. Paran's intervention ended the fight.
The puppet was destroyed by the Hounds of Shadow who were directed to its location by Quick Ben after Hairlock had become too unstable.
Hairlock was adept at using an unnamed Warren. The only clue as to what it might have been was given in Gardens of the Moon when Tattersail revealed that his power was anathema to her own Warren of Thyr, Most likely it was the Warren of Rashan.
Once his soul shifted into that of the puppet, Hairlock began using the Warren of Chaos.
On the final day of the Siege of Pale, Hairlock was positioned on the hill furthest from Moon's Spawn along with Tattersail and Calot. A wave of sorcery descended on him and destroyed him below the hips with only his magic keeping him alive a little longer. Hairlock told Tattersail that he suspected that the attack which had wounded him had not come from Rake, who had not been aiming, but had been a deliberate attack coming from the wrong side, from the plain, implicating Tayschrenn.
Once the battle was over, Hairlock was approached by Whiskeyjack, Kalam and Quick Ben. The latter performed a ritual of soul shifting which transferred Hairlock's soul to a wooden puppet. Quick Ben then entrusted the wrapped puppet to Tattersail with instructions to open the package later, in private.
During the performance of the ritual, Quick Ben kept Sorry away.
The deal for the soul-shifting had likely been worked out when Hairlock was sent into the tunnels where the Bridgeburners were digging just prior to the Siege. He told Dujek that he had been shown around by some Sapper named Fiddler.