|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|
Bhok’arala seem to have originated in the wastes of Raraku. Before long, these social creatures spread outward and were soon seen throughout Seven Cities. As efficacious rat control in settlements, the bhok’arala were not only tolerated, but often encouraged. It was not long before a lively trade in domesticated breeds became a major export...
The usage and demonic investment of this species among mages and alchemists is a matter for discussion within treatises more specific than this one. Baruk’s Three Hundred and Twenty-first Treatise offers a succinct analysis for interested scholars...
Fiddler, Crokus and Apsalar arrive to G'danisban only to find a renegade army outside the city's walls. They understand that they cannot avoid them and they have to trust their disguises : Fiddler as a Gral tribesman sworn to protect Crokus and Apsalar, a newly wed young couple.
The Captain of the guards tells them that the city is closed and spits between the hooves of Fiddler's horse. True to its Gral origins, the horse violently bites the guardsman, tearing half his face off. Fiddler hides his shock by sticking to his disguise and cursing as a Gral would. The Arak warriors that are stationed with the guards offer to buy Fiddler's horse, who insults them but at the same time offers them his beer, thus acknowledging them as his equals, and asks to camp with them for the night.
The Araks race with Fiddler to the Arak camp. Fiddler's horse wins the race by throwing a shoulder to the other horses.
In the camp, the Araks explain that the city of G'danisban is closed because it has been liberated from the 'Mezla' and there is going to be a cleansing, all the Malazan nobles and merchants are going to be executed during the night.
While they are alone, Crokus and Apsalar express their worries that if they stay with the Araks for the night, they will surely be unmasked. Fiddler suggests that they enter G'danisban immediately, with the excuse of wanting to witness the flaying alive of the Malazans as a blessing to the young couple.
The Araks approach and announce the arrival of a Gral clan. Fiddler tells them that he cannot meet the other Grals because he is an outcast and moreover, the young couple wants to enter the city without delay. The Araks then change their attitude and want to hold Fiddler for the clan's vengeance, but Apsalar saves the situation : she announces that she is with child, and that she is going to curse them all if they don't let them go.
Even if they are free to enter the city, they are in trouble due to Fiddler's tale that he is an outcast as the Gral clan will surely pursue them.
In G'danisban, they find desolation everywhere, smoke, screams, broken toys on the streets.
They see a naked and bruised young girl running and hiding and they save her from her rapists by killing all six of them.
Then they arrive in the city's central square, where a massacre has taken place, there are hundreds of bodies, mainly old men, old women and children, all Malazan.
Crokus asks if the Malazan did the same to the locals during the conquest, and Apsalar vehemently defends the Malazan Empire, the Emperor warred against armies, not civilians, and the Aren massacre was Surly's responsibility, not Kellanved's. Fiddler and Crokus are astonished by this outburst and they suddenly understand that the Rope/Cotillion is really Dancer, and that Shadowthrone is Kellanved. They were not murdered by Laseen as everybody believes, but escaped through ascendancy in the warren of Shadow. They now want vengeance against Laseen, and this is why Cotillion/Dancer possessed Apsalar when she was still a fisher's daughter. Apsalar confirms all this.
They finally arrive to the South gate and ride out of G'danisban. Crokus's familiar, Moby, rejoins them outside the city, visibly hurt and bleeding.
Then they hear the sounds of pursuit from the Gral clan and decide to ride hard for the next village, New Velar.
Then Sha'ik appears, asking Kalam to give the Book to her. She is a small, honey-skinned woman, radiating power. Kalam delivers the Apocalypse to her, then she asks him to join her soldiers, but he refuses, saying that his destiny lies elsewhere.
She offers him an aptorian demon as an escort on his journey through the desert.
Kalam departs in the company of the demon, and thinks about what just happened and his conflicting loyalties, as a child of the desert, he has seen to the rise of the Whirlwind. Now he would kill the Empress, in order to save the Empire.
Sha'ik sits cross-legged, flanked by her two bodyguards, just before dawn. As the first rays of light touch her, she opens the Holy Book. Suddenly, a quarrel hits her in the head, crushing her skull. The Red Blades attack the two bodyguards, but Leoman and Toblakai are too strong. Since Sha'ik is already dead, Tene Baralta recalls his troops. Luckily, the bodyguards don't pursue them. The Red Blades retreat to a small canyon, where Tene Baralta compliments Lostara Yil on her shot which killed Sha'ik, and orders her to regain Kalam's trail. Lostara is badly hurt, but she follows the orders. Tene Baralta and his surviving Red Blades ride to Pan'potsun.
Leoman delicately rolls Sha'ik's body in a blanket and rewraps the Book in a cloth. The two bodyguards are lost. Sha'ik opened the Book of the Apocalypse at dawn, as said in the prophecy, but nothing happened, except her assassination. They remember Sha'ik's words : "At dawn I shall open the Book, and the Whirlwind shall rise, and I shall emerge from it… renewed. " So they decide to wait.