|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|
It is said that on the night of Kellanved and Dancer's Return, Malaz City was a maelstrom of sorcery and dire visitations. It is not a far reach to find one sustained in the belief that the assassinations were a messy, confused affair, and that success and failure are judgments dependent on one'sperspective...Conspiracies in the Imperium
Near Dryj Spring
Duiker hears from fleeing Tithansi tribesmen that Coltaine left the refugees to take on water at Dryj Spring and led his Wickan horse warriors in the Odhan over a league from the oasis to ambush the Tithansi. Though the Wickans had been outnumbered seven to one, they slaughtered the tribesmen who are beginning to see them as something more than human. Duiker contemplates that even though Kamist Reloe's army has superior numbers, Coltaine's Wickan army will pose a strong threat to them. Fearing friendly fire from the blood-thirsty Wickans, he makes for the oasis instead but finds it pillaged and the refugees already gone. He decides to take a break from his tiring journey at the Spring. At dusk, he continues on the trail.
Coast of Otataral Island
Felisin, Heboric and Baudin reach the coast and are waiting for Duiker to come and rescue them by boat. Felisin seduces Baudin to give her the opportunity to kill him as they sleep together. Baudin foils the attack and makes it clear that he was well aware of her intentions. As the trio keep waiting they see a wave of raging sorcery racing across the water towards them. Heboric moves protectively in front of Felisin and the approaching wall shatters around him but the priest puts it down to the Otataral of the island. As the sorcery fades they see a boat approaching them and a man, a mage, asking them for help.
The boat is the Ripath with Kulp, Gesler, Stormy and Truth. On its way to Otataral island they had been attacked by this out of control sorcery which Kulp supposed came from an insane mage who lost his mind due to exposure to Otataral and who lost control over his Warren which had then taken control of him. Kulp had struggled to protect the boat as they had sailed alongside the shore and thus had been relieved when he had sensed a power onshore which had seemed to be pushing back the sorcery. Finding a break in the reef they had made a dash for it.
Kulp tells Heboric that they separated from Duiker north of Hissar due to the Apocalypse. Observing the priest with his warren, he senses a battle taking place within Heboric between Otataral, Fener's warren and an alien power. When the three marines tell Heboric that they are of the Boar Cult, he rejects them. Kulp and the priest discuss their companions and Heboric's inflictions. Kulp tells Gesler, that Heboric and the Otataral in him will help them get off the island and fight off the mad wizard. Heboric hears Felisin talk about a talon amongst Baudin's possessions. His surprised reaction and subsequent cryptic exchange with Baudin indicate to Felisin that the two men are now sharing a secret. She distracts herself with thoughts of revenge and then tries to seduce Gesler to get him on her side but fails. Felisin seeks solitude and ponders why she can't help herself from lashing out at people.
Some time later, at night aboard the Ripath, they go through the gap in the reef and enter a spinning vortex, instantly coming under attack from the sorcery of the insane mage. They see a tiny figure riding the storm high above and Kulp, who is battling the chaotic sorcery, realizes that they are within the madman’s warren. The tiny figure falls as it is engulfed by a wave and the Ripath slumps forward into dead calm. Heboric uses his Fener ghost hand to heal Stormy’s thigh injury, sustained during the attack. Baudin, also injured, refuses Heboric’s healing. A strange pale blue thick water is slowly filling the ship’s hold. They abandon the gradually sinking Ripath and swim to a seemingly abandoned ship nearby, which Baudin claims is a Pre-Imperial Quon dromon. When they study the abandoned ship, Baudin, seeing cargo from Drift Avalii, concludes that it is the Silanda which was the only ship sanctioned to trade with the Tiste Andii and which failed to return to Quon after it was overthrown by the Emperor.
Investigating the ship, they find dozens of bundles containing mostly cleanly severed heads of Tiste Andii and some of humans. Kulp and Gesler head down the hatch which leads to the oar pit where they find head-less corpses manning the oars. They conclude that someone, a long time ago, took the ship, beheaded everyone and put them to work. They find more bodies, of a different race, in the captain's cabin, one pinned to the chair by a spear which could be Barghast if not for its size. They deduct these must have been the ones who killed the crew. Heboric believes them to be Tiste Edur. Kulp takes the captain's whistle and gives it to Gesler. Truth spots sails from the crow's nest - the insane mage has followed them. Gesler decides that running is their only option and blows the whistle. Silanda lurches into motion, operated by the now animate corpses below deck. Kulp mentions to Heboric that he is worried about the latters healing touch on Stormy although the man is not showing any adverse reaction.
As the insane Mage's storm slowly catches up to them, Felisin contemplates all the magic she has experienced. She has become inured to upheavals and feels that little would shock her now. Truth appears and she replies to his comment that the sorcerer is in the clouds with sarcasm. This leads to her and Baudin having another spat.
Fiddler wakes up at the temple of Shadow where he finds himself tended by Iskaral Pust. The High Priest alludes to bargains, arrangements and the Deck as he is seemingly talking to himself. Mappo appears and explains the local situation as well as that Fiddler's friends are with Icarium but the Trell avoids talking further about the Jhag. Pust admits to them that the Rope and Shadowthrone have no more interest in possessing Apsalar because of Rake's warning among other things. Apsalar and Crokus are told by Fiddler that they are looking to find Tremorlor, which is a House of the Azath like the one which grew in Darujhistan. Quick Ben believes that these houses are connected to one another, and there is one such house in Malaz City, called the Deadhouse, hopefully enabling them to travel almost instantaneously to Malaz City. Iskaral Pust delivers a cryptic message, then vanishes, and the others all decide that they should leave.