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House of Chains
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Faces in the Rock
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Cold Iron
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Something Breathes
Chapter 13 Chapter 14
Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
House of Chains
Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26
Epilogue Pagination

Among the founding families of Darujhistan, there is Nom.

The Noble Houses of Darujhistan
Misdry


Between Silver Lake and CulvernEdit

The Malazan soldiers of Silver Lake load Karsa Orlong onto a wagon, which already contains Torvald Nom. They are to be sent to Seven Cities to work in the imperial mines. One Malazan, Shard, notices that the magic subduing Karsa is weakening. Ebron is incredulous that the net of fire did not kill the Teblor three days ago. The mage orders Karsa to be restrained with heavy chains. Once the enchanted net is removed, Karsa attempts to break free but is struck on the head with a shovel and knocked unconscious.

Karsa awakens six day later, bound to the floor of the wagon in chains. He recounts how Delum lost his wits after a blow to the head and tells Torvald of his intention to pretend to have brain damage in order to deceive the Malazan guards. Torvald agrees to play along on the condition that Karsa will help him escape...and not kill him immediately after.

Arriving at Culvern, the Malazans are excitedly talking about the fall of Pale and how they wish they could have been present instead of being stationed in a remote outpost.

They take a ferry to cross a river and load Karsa, still chained to the wagon. Weeks of traveling follow with Karsa beginning to lose his sanity from being chained and immobilised for so long. He is drifting in and out of consciousness.

Malyn SeaEdit

Eventually, at Tanys, they are transferred to a large ocean-going vessel to cross the Malyn Sea. Despite the fact that he is still chained to a platform, the new crew is afraid of Karsa, which Torvald uses to intimidate them before he is struck down by the captain and threatened to be thrown overboard if he causes any more trouble. The captain orders Karsa to stop smiling, but Karsa does not comply, either because he's still pretending to be brain damaged or he really is losing his mind. The captain orders Karsa gagged.

Karsa finds himself standing, in spirit only, before the Seven Gods, telling Urugal that he has failed them. Urugal agrees, saying, "You have abandoned us and so in turn we must abandon you." Then Karsa finds himself atop a hill made of bones with hundreds of chains stretched out from his wrists, each connected to a corpse, all climbing toward him chanting, "Lead us, Warleader." He awakes back on the ship screaming, but hears a small voice saying, "Perhaps we will not abandon you yet."

Torvald removes the gag from Karsa's mouth, allowing him to breathe. Torvald tells Karsa that he had been semiconscious for weeks, hardly holding down any food or drink. Karsa looks up to see the sky flashing colors and chains snapping down through the clouds. The ship had been becalmed for some time until Karsa started screaming and now the sailors believe that Karsa has called the storm upon them and try to throw him, still chained, overboard. Karsa then sees chains snapping down from the sky before he loses consciousness.

The NascentEdit

Karsa awakes to Torvald climbs onto the Teblor's platform as it floats in the water. The storm destroyed the ship, killing all of the sailors, and Torvald has been scavenging supplies that have floated up from the wreckage. Torvald believes Karsa was responsible for the storm, as not one chain of lightning missed its target amongst the Malazans.

As they drift, Torvald works to free Karsa from his chains, but lacks the tools to effectively do so. The ocean they are in does not seem to be familiar, as it is freshwater, albeit silty. Torvald talks of how Silgar said they had entered a warren before the ship was destroyed.

Eventually they float toward a group of ships stranded on underwater sand bars. As Torvald walks in the waist-deep water he describes many corpses from a battle at his feet. In one of the ships, Torvald finds a chisel and frees Korsa from his chains. Despite being freed, Karsa is still too weak to leave his platform and board one of the ships, until a group of massive carnivorous catfish approach and attempt to eat him. With great effort he pulls himself off of the platform, just as it is destroyed by a catfish. Torvald is able to harpoon one of the catfish which drags their boat into the side of one of the larger vessels. Karsa kills the catfish for food before passing out again.

He awakens aboard a small dory which Torvald has found. They take turns manning the oars for several days and Karsa grows strong again. Eventually, they spy a wall running along a beach on the horizon. A ship like the ones they found stranded earlier bears down on them. A rope is lowered and they soon find themselves amongst the ship's grey-skinned warriors. Also on deck is a pile of black-skinned severed heads whose eyes shift towards Karsa. The sixteen warriors command Karsa and Torvald to kneel, but Karsa refuses. As the angry grey-skinned warriors reach for their swords, Karsa draws his own and kills them all. Then he fights his way into the ship's cabin where a mage's attempt to strike him with sorcery sputters. The Teblor impales the man with a harpoon through the chest. Below deck, Karsa discovers the oarsmen are missing their heads. They deduce the bodies and heads are Tiste Andii and return to their dory. Once they are out of sight, the Faces of the Rock arise from the slime on the ship behind them. Some voice concerns that Karsa is leaving their control, while others argue that they just need to set their chosen warrior on the proper current.

Karsa and Torvald reach the beach and discover it is actually a mass of trees, grass, and other detritus—as if the wreckage of an entire land had drawn up alongside the wall. A current is pulling them toward a breach in the wall. Near the breach is the wreck of another boat bearing Master Silgar and his men, Damisk and Borrug. Karsa moves to kill Silgar, but is persuaded by the others that the slave master, being a mage, might get them out of the warren they are trapped in. They near the breach in the wall, which is actually a portal Silgar can use to take them out. As they pass the portal, Borrug has his legs shorn off below the knees by the gate's closing. They travel through darkness and then into water. Torvald spots a light in the distance and they all swim towards it, Borrug on Karsa's back. A large shark attacks Borrug's body, and Karsa draws his sword, slays the fish and recovers Borrug's corpse.

Keeper's Tower, A'rath Forest, North Coast of Seven CitiesEdit

Slug Fest by Shadaan

Interpretation of Keeper facing Karsa by Dolmen aka Shadaan

They reach the shore and Karsa and Torvald part from Silgar and Damisk to head toward a tower, the source of the light. At the tower, they meet a man, seemingly Napan, known only as "Keeper", who refuses to reveal his true identity. The man has spent years excavating fossils and recreating the skeletons of long extinct animals. Karsa insults him for "wasting his life," and the man strikes the Teblor, breaking several ribs. The man informs Karsa and Torvald that they are on the Seven Cities' northern coat near the Otataral Sea and the city of Ehrlitan.

They decide to head toward Ehrlitan and part ways, as the Keeper senses that there are mysterious powers influencing Karsa's path and it is dangerous to be around him. Keeper gives the two a significant amount of money before they head off toward the port city.

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