|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 6||Chapter 7|
|Chapter 8||Chapter 9|
|Chain of Dogs|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14|
|Chapter 15||Chapter 16|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
An exquisite match of dog to master, the Wickan cattle-dog is a vicious, unpredictable breed, compact yet powerful, though by far the most notable characteristic is its stubborn will.Lives of the Conquered
Near the River P'atha
The Chain of Dogs are one day east of the River P'atha. As Duiker walks through camp he is startled by an onrushing Wickan cattle-dog bearing a frightened lapdog in its mouth. The dog races past and the historian is soon accosted by a group of nobles looking for their rare Hengese roach dog. Duiker does not treat the issue with the gravity they think it deserves and one noble, Pullyk Alar, begins to threaten him with a beating. They are interrupted by Corporal List who has been sent to bring Duiker before Coltaine.
Along the way, they spot the noble Lenestro beating the servant who lost the dog. Duiker stops the beating, and asks List to bring the man to the army's healers. He informs the noble that the servant will not be returned to him and frightens the man into a faint by shaking him by the collar. They are berated by an indignant Nethpara until List advises the noble of Duiker's background as a soldier. In his mind, the historian used restraint by not stabbing Lenestro to death. Arriving at the wagons bearing the dying and the wounded, Duiker says they are a lesson that lays bare the delusion of self-importance. They leave the servant to the hands of the healers.
They reach Coltaine's headquarters where Duiker is greeted by his unnamed marine before stepping inside the tent. List grins at the old man's sudden improved mood. Inside are the Fist, Bult, Captain Lull, and Sormo E'nath. The necromancer explains that the Semk godling was badly damaged the night of the attempted assassination. Apparently, Duiker's reported Claw had assistance from a Demon. But Sormo is puzzled. During the attack, Nil entered a spirit world where he came face to face with a young boy who appeared to be the beast's familiar. This is not typical of an Imperial demon.
Bult informs Duiker that Kamist Reloe has prepared them a welcome on the other side of the river. Since the army cannot go around, they will go through. Duiker will accompany the Marines, Lull clarifies that they will not be on the front lines. Duiker tells Coltaine that he does not believe it was a good idea to return the noblemen's servants, and Coltaine decides to bring the servants into the army.
Later, Coltaine sits beside Duiker and they discuss the upcoming battle. The army does not know conditions ahead as the scouts are being hunted. Coltaine is still aware of the large forces awaiting them. Duiker is pessimistic about their chances, but Coltaine assures him that they will be victorious. Duiker stands and makes his way to nearby Foolish Dog Wickans, he realizes they are turning themselves into a heavy cavalry unit. Despite Temul's demonstrations, Duiker doubts the potential efficacy of the force, and he heads off to the 7th Army camp. He meets Lull and List, who tell him they will be at the back of the attacking forces. Chenned and Sulmar arrive, claiming that the sappers of the Seventh have deserted. Lull has doubts, but before the conversation can continue, final preparations before the battle begin.
With assembly of the forces complete, Duiker and the unnamed marine begin to advance towards the lake bed where the battle will occur. Vastly outnumbered, the forces cross the river. As the troops begin their ascent, enemy arrow fire starts to hit them. Bult temporarily clears the archers, and the first of the marines make contact with enemy forces at the ridge's top. Duiker watches enemy forces approaching the Seventh from all sides. In the distance, Duiker notes that the Wickans guarding the refugees are in battle. As the Seventh's formation begins to crumple, Nil and Nether come forwards leading a horse and the heavily armored Foolish Dog Clan prepare to charge. The sappers appear from hiding and their munitions generate chaos in the heavy forces. The Foolish Dog begin their charge, the sappers fall to the ground as the charge goes over them. Their shields mostly protected them. Duiker steps to the side to observe the battlefield. he turns and sees the Weasel Clan's attack on remaining forces in the valley. This decisively turns the tide of the battle. Lull returns, his face seriously wounded by a mace.
The battle complete, Duiker is shocked by the casualties. Hundreds of refugees were killed in a trap laid by the Weasel Clan that nearly eliminated the Tithan. Duiker recounts the horse which Nil and Nether had their hands on - its life force was used to fuel the uphill Wickan charge.
In the Imperial Warren, Kalam gets off his horse and approaches a half-buried dome with a carved symbol he recognizes. His reminiscing is cut short by Minala's approach, and Kalam decides it is time for the party to leave the warren. Concentrating, he opens a portal and they step into an abandoned necropolis in the Aren. They head to Squall Inn, where Kalam sits down in the main room opposite another solitary man. The rest of his group head into a private room. Kalam and the man strike up a conversation, and after some discussion the man offers Kalam passage to Unta on the Ragstopper which also happens to be carrying the Aren treasury. The man says the arrangement was made by a man named Salk Elan.
Kalam decides to part ways with Minala and the rest of his party, Minala is angered by the sudden departure. Despite Kalam's misgivings, he begins to travel towards the harbor with the man, captain of the Ragstopper.
Lostara Yil and Pearl are discussing the tracking of Kalam when she decides she ought to report to the local Red Blades commander. She enters the streets, city troops quickly find her. She is disarmed and the soldiers detain her after informing her the Red Blades have been arrested.
A confused Keneb comes upon Minala packing up her gear, she informs him that Kalam has left - and she will be following him.