|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14|
Kyle is in Kevil, a town in Mare, and wishes to leave. He encounters Storval, the mate of the pirate ship Lady's Luck, who invites him to meet the captain, Tulan Orbed. They have heard reports of a gold-rush in Assail, two weeks to the east, and intend to prey on the ships this will attract. Tulan suspects Kyle has knowledge of the area and asks him to join them; Kyle agrees.
Near Fortress HavenEdit
After their expedition to Jacuruku, Shimmer and the Crimson Guard have been back in Stratem for two months. She has lost patience with their absent leader, K'azz, who has made no plans travel to Assail to rescue Cal-Brinn and the Fourth Company. A meeting is held, where it is decided that she and most of the leaders will take a relief party there themselves.
Assail, the Dead CoastEdit
On the south coast of Assail, locals have started avoiding a stretch of shore that they call the Dead Coast. A few seasons ago a woman arrived there, precipitating what seemed to be a battle with the dead; they now call her Ghost Woman. One day Sumaran, a fisherman, is shipwrecked there and tended by her while he recovered. She tells him to call her Silverfox.
Burl Tardin is captain of Sea Strike, a Genebackan pirate ship which has reached the inland Dread Sea of Assail. They see a sea-dragon, and their ship is damaged by an iceberg; Whellen, the First Mate, touches the ice and soon after loses consciousness. The next day they find an inexplicably abandoned vessel. The crew decide that it and the area is cursed.
Orman Bregin's son is a lowland farmer near Curl, below the Iceblood holdings in northern Assail. There there are rumours of gold, and he agrees to join a small party of locals led by Old Bear who intend travelling to the area. He takes with him Boarstooth, the heirloom spear with the stone blade that had belonged to his late father; after his death it had been appropriated by his uncle Jal.