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Dust of Dreams
Dramatis Personae Prologue
The Sea Does Not Dream of You
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Eaters of Diamonds and Gems
Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Only the Dust Will Dance
Chapter 13 Chapter 14
Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
The Path Forever Walked
Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Pagination
Epigraph

In my lifelong study of the scores of species of ants to be found in the tropical forests of Dal Hon, I am led to the conviction that all forms of life are engaged in a struggle to survive, and that within each species there exists a range of natural but variable proclivities, of physical condition and of behaviour, which in turn weighs for or against in the battle to survive and procreate. Further, it is my suspicion that in the act of procreation, such traits are passed on. By extension, one can see that ill traits reduce the likelihood of both survival and procreation. On the basis of these notions, I wish to propose to my fellow scholars at this noble gathering a law of survival that pertains to all forms of life. But before I do so, I must add one more caveat, drawn from the undeniable behavioural characteristics of, in my instance of speciality, ants. To whit, success of one form of life more often than not initiates devastating population collapse among competitors, and indeed, sometimes outright extinction. And that such annihilation of rivals may in fact be a defining feature of success.
    Thus, my colleagues, I wish to propose a mode of operation among all forms of life, which I humbly call—in my four-volume treatise—'The Betrayal of the Fittest'.

Obsessional Scrolls
Sixth Day Proceedings
Address of Skavat Gill
Unta, Malazan Empire, 1097 Burn's Sleep


The K'Chain Che'Malle and Kalyth travel faster through the Wastelands; the Che'Malle sense they are being followed by a powerful enemy. They pause at a skeleton of a long-dead dragon. From their reactions Kalyth deduces that their religion involves worship of dragons. The skeleton's skull was pierced by an otataral tooth. Sag'Churok states their belief that there cannot be a single god; there must be at least two in opposition. Gunth Mach then shows Kalyth a vision of the chained Otataral Dragon; they consider it to be the god opposing their own.

The Gadra clan react to the unexplained death of their scouts by blaming the Akrynnai and intend to attack them. Cafal, the Great Warlock, with Torrent and Setoc, try to leave by warren, but find themselves in a different world. Setoc can sense no living wolves; they had been hunted to extinction long ago. While Cafal prepares a gateway to home, Setoc summons the spirits of the wolves; enormous numbers respond and help widen the portal; they then all pass through.

The ghost's companions explore the dead city, finding machinery and storerooms. The ghost is becoming less amnesiac; he remembers the city's name: Kalse Rooted, a border keep.

The Shake are preparing to take the Road of Gallan, forced to hurry by rioting ex-prisoners. Yan Tovis slashes her arms that her royal blood might open the way.

The Snake enters the Glass Desert.

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