|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|
The flowering of light from darkness
brought into my sight there on the field
a host of dragons caught
like a crest of wind before the eternal flame.
I saw the ages in their eyes
a worldly map inscribed
in each whirled scale on their hides.
Their sorcery bled from them
like the breathing of stars
and I knew then
that dragons had come among us…
As the Jaghut Tyrant's Finnest is shaped like an acorn, Lorn decides to plant it like one. She does so in the heavily wooded part of a garden in the city. She still has two tasks ahead of her but one of them may be impossible as she senses nothing of Sorry's presence. When she emerges out into the street, she loses focus for a moment. Passing thoughts about the futility of life make her realise that she is breaking down. She pulls herself together and decides to focus on her other task, finding and killing the coinbearer.
Kruppe has been pondering the patterns of fate. His reading of events leads him to believe that Crokus is still in danger, however, he senses that someone else is also protecting the boy, someone who he has not factored in and at the moment, he can only trust in the integrity of that entity. He decides that Circle Breaker is due for retirement and ponders that The Eel's cover may not last much longer. That does not worry him though as he had only needed his freedom to act until this day. Everything hinges on what will happen that evening, the pattern only shows him a blank after that.
Crokus and Apsalar head for the Simtal estate. Apsalar is worried that Crokus might be betrayed by Challice D'Arle whilst Crokus in turn is worried that something might happen to him and thus harm Apsalar, so he instructs her to go back to the Inn and find Meese or Irilta if that should happen.
The Bridgeburners report to the Captain of Simtal's House Guard, Stillis, who is annoyed because he thinks that Trotts misled him into believing they were all Barghast. Whiskeyjack points out that the Captain would not have been able to afford them had that been the case. They get stationed with their backs to the unkempt part of the garden to prevent guests from getting lost in it. Quick Ben is rattled as the thunder and lightning in the distance is getting closer, signalling that the Tyrant is in a battle and seems to be winning.
Kalam and Paran plan to kill the Adjunct. Paran feels very tired, and thinks he may not be very useful in the fight and asks Kalam to keep him as the surprise factor, the one thing that might surprise the Adjunct and freeze her for just one second. He tells Kalam to make that one second count. They head out to join the squad at the fete. Kalam spies the bartender. The assassin loses his patience, shouting at Scurve to inform the Guild Master of the Assassins Guild that the Empire has a contract offer for the Guild, which will be available at the back wall of Simtal's estate. Seeing the Greyfaces in the street give Kalam a nagging feeling but he can't quite think why.
Baruk and Anomander Rake are on their way to the Fete. Baruk feels assailed by the magic wielded in the distance, something he knows is affecting every mage in the city. He feels that they have hours at the most before the Tyrant is upon them. Looking at Rake's mask, he thinks there is a secret to it, but does not know what it is.
Turban Orr and Lady Simtal observe Baruk's arrival and are taken aback by the imposing presence of Baruk's guest, a seven foot tall man with a two-handed sword strapped to his back, wearing the mask of a black dragon. They greet the arrivals and introductions are made but the name 'Anomander Rake' means nothing to Orr and Simtal.
Murillio and Rallick are at the house, observing what is going on. Murillio is concerned that Baruk might try and stop their plan, but Rallick assuages Murillo's doubts, saying he will not. Then they watch with disbelief as Kruppe approaches Rake and Baruk. Baruk forewarns Rake that in this unlikely person, he is about to meet the mysterious Eel. Kruppe, pastries in hand and mouth, is introduced to Rake and compliments him on his exquisite face mask. He makes vague references to dragons, telling Rake it must be exhilarating to look at humans while flying from so far above. When Baruk reminds him that it is just a mask, Kruppe comments that such is the irony of life, and makes some allusion to one learning to distrust the obvious. A few more mutterings and he takes his leave, going ahead to survey the kitchens.
Turban Orr, Rallick Nom
Turban Orr recognises Circle Breaker as the guard from Despot's Barbican, and in a flash of insight, recognizes that he was in a prime position all these years to spy on him. Thus establishing that the guard is indeed the spy he has been hunting for so long, he heads towards him to kill him, but collides with a man wearing a tiger mask. Rallick runs into the councilman, insulting him and baiting Orr into challenging him to a duel. Orr choses Estraysian D'Arle as his second for political purposes, since Estraysian is a political enemy.
Murillio is seducing Simtal who briefly wonders why it has gone quiet downstairs but happy to believe Murillio when he says that the guests have just gone into the garden.
Baruk is about to volunteer himself as his friend Rallick's second, despite the likely undesirable consequences, when Rake steps forward instead. As they walk out onto the terrace, Baruk recognizes Mammot, wearing the mask of a Jaghut.
When the duelling parties and onlookers spill out onto the terrace, the Bridgeburners recognise Anomader Rake. Quick Ben does not think he will be much good as the magic battle outside the city is making his head reel. None of the mages present dare access their Warrens as it would act as a lodestone to the approaching power. Whiskeyjack gives orders for them to resume their posts but for Hedge and Fiddler to have 'something' ready just in case they need a diversion before setting off the intersections. At that point a young man comes out of the back garden and moves past the Sergeant towards the house.
Crokus squeezes between two guards and heads for Challice. Recognising the opponents, he stops to ask a guard for more details. As he does, Kruppe appears who passes a message to the guard who is none other than Circle Breaker. The message contains information of a new life, a reward for the loyal agent for all he has done for The Eel.
Baruk announces that he will adjudicate the duel. Orr says he will make it quick as he is distracted for a moment by the thought of where the hostess is. His second steps forward to promise that should Orr fall, he won't seek retribution. Rallick chooses not to show his weapons until the last moment, and as Turban attacks, extending his rapier rapidly, Rallick reveals his own knives, a curved knife in his left, with which he catches the attack and parries, and a dagger in his right with which he attacks. The duel is over quickly when Rallick manages to stab Orr in the chest killing him instantly. D'Arle comments that he suspects this to have been an assassination but that he will not do anything about his suspicion. Baruk tells Rallick that it is done and tells him to go home. He then introduces Rake to the witch Derudan. Rake tells them that he will attend to the matter of the approaching threat himself if necessary but he thinks that there is a threat closer by, the details of which are too sensitive to share. Derudan admits that the Cabal does not like to feel helpless but that she places her trust in Rake.
Kruppe ponders for a moment that Murillio should prepare for a storm as the crowd is turning its attention to the question of the missing hostess.
The courtier and Simtal are getting dressed and she comments that it is odd that everyone should have retired to the terrace. Rallick barges into the room and tells Simtal that the guards won't come to her aid as they have been bribed and left their posts. He then informs her that the Guild contract on Coll has been cancelled as Orr just died in a duel and that Coll will be reinstated. Murillio watches for only a moment as she seems to shrink into herself then leaves, leaving behind his ornamental dagger, knowing he will be the last to have seen her alive. He feels shaken up by the enormity of what he has just been part of.
Crokus finds Challice and throws a stone from a distance to get her attention. When she answers with a questioning "Gorlas", he lunges forward, puts an hand over her mouth and carries her off into the darkness of the garden.
Circle Breaker sighs with relief at seeing Turban Orr dead. He is finally able to smile with relief. On his way out he notices Kruppe, fast asleep.
- "I've done my part. Just another nameless stranger who couldn't run from the face of tyranny. Dear Hood, take the man's shriveled soul-his dreams are over, ended by an assassins whim. As for my soul, well, you shall have to wait a while longer."
- ―Circle Breaker, about himself and Turban Orr, as he is about to leave the Fete.