The Battle of the Plains, also known as the Battle of the Crossroads, was the culminating fight of the Malazan civil war. It took place in the late summer of the 1166th year of Burn's Sleep and was actually three separate battles occurring over three consecutive days.
The Malazan forces were led by the Empress herself against an uprising by the Talian League close to the city of Li Heng. To complicate matters, at the same time, the Crimson Guard, sworn to bring down the Malazan Empire, also returned, so the Malazans were faced with multiple fronts.
The Talians were betrayed by the Seti, who left the battlefield, confident they could take Li Heng without any outside help. The Imperial troops managed to win the battle against the Talian League and pressed the remaining troops to fight on behalf of the Empire against their common foe, the Crimson Guard. This threat was also neutralized.
When Imperial High Mage Tayschrenn disappeared into a chaos portal opened by Yathengar, Laseen's position seemed more secure than ever. Choss and Toc were reported dead, Amaron was missing, and Urko fled before he could be arrested. She was the last survivor, single remaining representative of the generation that had built the Empire.
In that moment of triumph, Laseen faced two assassination attempts. Cowl's attempt was successfully thwarted by Topper but Taya Radok managed to get through and kill Laseen. From this situation Mallick Rel emerged as the heir to the Malazan throne.