|Gardens of the Moon|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 8||Chapter 9|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|The Gadrobi Hills|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15|
|The City of Blue Fire|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 20||Chapter 21|
|Chapter 22||Chapter 23|
There's a spider here
in this corner in that —
her three eyes
tiptoe in darkness,
her eight legs
track my spine,
she mirrors and mocks
There's a spider here
who knows all of me
her web my history full writ.
Somewhere in this strange place
a spider waits
for my panicked flight…
Blind Gallan (b.1078)
Once the Guild assassin has left the bar room of the Phoenix Inn in Darujhistan, Kalam goes upstairs to a room where Quick Ben is seated in a magic circle, ensconced in a ritual. As Kalam assembles his goat's foot arbalest, Quick tells him that he has prepared two spells, one enabling Kalam to float, the other making most magic visible to him. Quick Ben himself will be all but invisible. Kalam says that they may well be led into a trap but that the guild will want to find out their purpose first and things should be ok from then on. As they follow Rallick to the harbour area, the two exchange some cynical observations about themselves and their roles within the Empire. They arrive at a place where they can observe Rallick overlooking a warehouse courtyard.
Rallick Nom knows he is being observed. He tells Ocelot who is in the shadows of the courtyard below that he suspects that there is more than one and that magery is involved. Ocelot believes it to be a case of the stranger being better than Rallick. He tells Rallick that his role is over and that now he, Ocelot, and the other Guild assassins will put an end to the assassins’ war of the recent days for which they blame the Malazan Empire.
A dog-sized demon is observing the rooftops at the behest of his master. He sees men and women closing in on two men, one a mage. At that moment he comes under attack and as he struggles to survive the onslaught by an assassin mage, another eleven figures drop from the sky and pass them, heading for those on the rooftops below. The demon narrowly escapes but the assassin mage does not pursue, joining his fellow assassins instead. As he flees, he sees eleven of them raise their crossbows and begin a slaughter of the men and women below whilst another makes for the two men who they were heading for.
Kalam sees two glowing shapes touching down on to the roof behind Rallick, then he and Quick Ben find themselves under attack. He feels the first of the assassins touch down and immediately rolls aside, avoiding a bolt fired at him. He scampers away to a rooftop edge where he turns the ambush, gravely injuring the assassin. Meanwhile another assassin, who is only a few steps behind, is charging Kalam. This second assassin uses her warren to disappear but Quick Ben sends bolts of magic her way, eventually revealing her, just before she attacks Kalam. Kalam manages to evade the Andii, and delivers knife wounds on his opponent, but at the cost of getting injured himself. Scanning the lower rooftops, Kalam can see bodies in various places but no sign of Rallick or his attackers. He recalls hearing two booms and is concerned that Quick Ben has come under attack by one of the mage assassins.
Rallick is hit by a quarrel between the shoulder blades but his concealed armour saves him and he is able to turn round and fire a quarrel at the assassin attacking him. A second assassin's quarrel then ricochets off his upper chest leaving his right arm numb. That assassin then disappears as he can see Ocelot arriving despite the Clan Master being cloaked by a magic spell. The body of the first assassin also disappears before they can investigate. Rallick is certain that the stranger whom he led to the warehouse had nothing to do with it and as he looks up to where he suspects him to be, he sees someone being attacked with magic. Ocelot and Rallick decide to get out.
Sorry's intuition tells her that Crokus is important for some reason and she follows him rather than Kruppe. As she trails Crokus to the D'Arle estate, she is beset by thoughts of a Seer but does not know why. Reaching the estate, she kills the lone guard in the garden and waits.
Challice wakes up as Crokus returns the loot. They have a long conversation and he tells her that he will be in the line of her suitors one day. They hear voices approach and Crokus leaves in a hurry. He is unnerved to see Sorry in the Garden, watching his departure.
Quick Ben and his attacker appear in front of Kalam. Before he can help, Quick knocks out his assailant. As they flee, he comes back to his feet and two more appear. Quick Ben releases a Korvalah demon named Pearl to cover their escape. The three Tiste Andii do not flee. Pearl asks who is sending him to fight and Quick Ben gives him his full name, Ben Adaephon Delat, a name which Pearl recognizes from a list naming the dead High mages of Seven Cities who fell to the Empire. Another six Andii arrive, the last of whom strikes fear in both of them. Pearl tells Quick Ben that the latter is sending him to his death and that he can only guarantee a small delay to cover their escape. Quick Ben and Kalam promptly take to the rooftops to disappear.
Rallick is feeling circumspect about the career choices he has made, resigning himself to the fact that his future can only lead him to a darker path, and that avenging Coll may be his last act of humanity. He spots Crokus approaching and pulls him aside, warning him to stay off the rooftops. He tells Crokus to report to his uncle Mammot that there is a Claw in the city as well as others who are killing everyone in sight. He then tells the thief not to further pursue his current, criminal path. Murillio arrives in time to hear the ending of that conversation and commends Rallick for trying. He also tells Rallick about the mission they are about to undertake with Kruppe but Rallick says he has other things to do and won't come along.
The Tiste Andii assassin Serrat reports the injuries and losses they have taken to Anomander Rake. They believe there may have been a Claw and a High Mage. The surviving Tiste Andii return to Moon's Spawn to mourn the death of the fallen Andii comrade.
Whiskeyjack is pondering the changes the introduction of Moranth munitions have made to the way the Malazan saboteurs operate, as he observes Fiddler playing one of his new games, then loses himself in thoughts of his youth. Quick Ben brings the injured Kalam in and whilst Mallet treats him, he reports their encounter with the Tiste Andii assassins. Whiskeyjack and Quick think that the Tiste are taking out the Guild to prevent them making a deal with the Malazans. They conclude that they need to find those who really run the city.
Sorry has felt the death of the demon and watched Crokus being told off by Rallick. She ponders what Crokus' role is, whether he is conducting an affair with Challice D'Arle and, given the involvement of Oponn, what the political implications might be. Having heard Murillio talk about Kruppe's mission, she decides to follow them and kill Crokus.
Rake visits Baruk and brings the small demon which is Baruk’s, who had been following him. Baruk and Rake have an argument about whether the Guild Master Vorcan would take up the offer of a contract from the Empire. Neither is willing to completely trust the other. Baruk thinks Darujhistan is just another pawn in Rake's game of opposition to the Empress and is angry that Rake is taking action without consulting them. He tells Rake that Vorcan is a High Mage and possibly stronger than the other members of the T'orrud Cabal. Rake reveals that he used Dragnipur on the Korvalah demon who had been unleashed.
Kruppe dreams and K'rul tells him of Tattersail’s accelerated growth and Rake’s alliance with Baruk and the T'orrud Cabal. The Elder God warns him of the Omtose Phellack magic from the Jaghut in the Gadrobi Hills.