|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|
The priest of Elder Mael
dreams rising seas…
Felisin Paran, Heboric, and the Raraku army of the Apocalypse exit the Whirlwind warren at Balahn. The village is still littered with corpses from the battle that took place there between the forces of Coltaine and Korbolo Dom. Leoman takes a patrol of scouts ahead while the High Mages, Bidithal, Febryl, and L'oric, quest ahead with their own powers. Felisin senses their horror at what they find. The Sha'ik Reborn speaks of regrets with Heboric. To herself she regrets the falling out with her sister Tavore. To Heboric she mentions she has adopted the orphan girl Felisin Younger.
They are soon approached by the commanders of her southern army, the triumphant Kamist Reloe and the coolly disdainful Korbolo Dom, as well as the shaken warleaders of the various desert tribes. At the head of the Aren Way, which is decorated with crucified corpses for more than three leagues, Dom brags about his victory. He admits Aren is still held by the Malazans, but the soon to arrive Adjunct Tavore is naïve and untested. She will find no one to advise or assist her here. Felisin calls for Dom's army to join her own and make ready to return to Raraku. The Sha'ik will decide the time and place to meet her sister.
The blind Heboric is drawn to one of the corpses lining the cedar trees of Aren Way. "Who is this man?" he asks. It is of course Duiker, his friend. But Mallick Rel tells him it is no one, and Heboric asks if anyone hears a god's laughter. No one else does. Heboric prays to Fener, saying his wayward son wishes to come home.
Aren Guard Commander Blistig watches Adjunct Tavore approach the city palace with her aide T'amber and Captain Gamet. Captain Keneb informs him that Gesler and the crew of the Silanda have disappeared after offloading the wounded of the Malaz 7th Army. The survivors of the Chain of Dogs, including Nil and Nether, have assembled for the Commander's inspection. Blistig ponders how these troops as well as his own Guard have been broken by their experience. Meanwhile, Squint is missing. Blistig makes his way to meet the Adjunct.
The Aren Way
Mappo rests while Icarium sleeps near the corpses lining the road. The Azath warren had left them on the Dojal Odhan and they have made their way here. Mappo observes three men in an ox-drawn cart slowly move up the road inspecting each of the bodies. It is Gesler, Stormy, and Truth. They are looking for Duiker. They are alarmed by the Trell's sudden appearance, but Mappo offers his services as a healer. Truth has recovered the dogs Roach and Bent from the site of Coltaine's Fall, but Mappo thinks neither will survive their wounds. Stormy checks the last of the crucified bodies. When Truth asks if it is Duiker, Gesler and Stormy lie that it is not the historian. Mappo suddenly remembers the healing elixirs he carries in his pack.
Iskaral Pust arrives home at Tesem after his own journey through the Azath warren. He begins shrieking as hundreds of spiders pour from his clothes. The spiders semble into the D'ivers human Mogora. She berates the Shadow priest, saying she has been following him for months and is aware of all his schemes regarding the Path of Hands. The two argue as the undead Soletaken dragon that Kulp once called The Unwelcome flies off from its perch near the tower. Pust is pleased that the dragon was not fooled by his trickery and had protected the true gate while he was away.
Pust and Mogora head inside where Pust suggests the witch can take up Rellock's former duties. Mogora explodes with rage.
The Aren Way
Two Bhok'arala-like creatures named Irp and Rudd lead an enormous, ornate wagon up the road. Servants of Baruk, they are here to claim the body of Coltaine, whom their master had gifted with a small magical bottle of smoky glass. Rudd finds the unrecognisable corpse with the bottle under its shirt. Peering inside, he sees that it has served its function and captured the soul of its wearer. He also finds a tattered note with only the name Sa'yless Lorthal written upon it. Mortals are strange, he thinks. The creatures pull the body onto their cart.
Near the Aren Way
Icarium awakes. He has no memory of any events since their sighting of Apt in the Pan'potsun Odhan. Mappo tells him it has been only a day since they lost the demon's trail. They decide to head west into the Jhag Odhan. Icarium feels optimistic about their prospects. "I feel close this time. Very close," he informs the Trell. "What would I do without you, my friend?"
"Perish the thought," replies his companion.