|Memories of Ice|
|The Spark and the Ashes|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15|
|Chapter 16||Chapter 17|
|Chapter 18||Chapter 19|
|Memories of Ice|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
In my dreams I come face to face
with myriad reflections of myself,
all unknown and passing strange.
They speak unending
in languages not my own
and walk with companions
I have never met, in places
my steps have never gone.
In my dreams I walk worlds
where forests crowd my knees
and half the sky is walled ice.
Dun herds flow like mud,
vast floods tusked and horned
surging over the plain,
and lo, they are my memories,
the migrations of my soul.
D'arayans of the Rhivi
Vision Plain[edit | edit source]
Whiskeyjack accompanies a dozen Rhivi scouts to a site of giant bones. They seem to be reptilian in nature, but wearing armor and wielding swords. The Rhivi babble incomprehensibly about giant wolves and the stench of graves. The leader of the scouts says that demons were killed by giant wolves who are like those that run in the Rhivi dreams, in the realm of their shaman. Korlat, Silverfox, and Kruppe arrive, and Whiskeyjack notes that Silverfox has now grown into an attractive woman. Korlat identifies the reptilian bones as K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters. Silverfox reveals that the giant wolves were T'lan Ay. She whispers the name, causing a huge cloud of dust to swirl and thousand of T'lan Ay appear about the valley. Silverfox calls them simply her escort, but Whiskeyjack has the uneasy feeling that she has gone beyond the need of their protection, and that perhaps Kallor was right: is she now so powerful that she could turn on her allies? He knows that Tattersail never would, but doubts the other souls residing within her. Could the feelings of betrayal that Nightchill held towards Tayschrenn be extended to the rest of the Malazan Empire or even Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake? Silverfox asks Korlat to check on the Mhybe, saying that she shouldn't go near, lest the T'lan Ay frighten her. Kruppe approves. Silverfox gestures and the T'lan Ay return to dust. Whiskeyjack wonders at the secret communication between them and is worried that too many secrets are being held in this alliance.
The four return to the main column and discuss the findings with Dujek Onearm, Brood, and Kallor, who seems to know a lot about the K'chain Che'malle. He mentions the scholars from Jacuruku, before he destroyed it, found ruins of a modern city with technological and sorcerous marvels that outpaced anything found in today's civilization. He said that the K'Chain Che'malle were led by Matrons who could magically give birth to a variety of offspring meant for specific tasks. The K'ell hunters were born with swords for arms, and were bred specifically for battle. At one point, however, the Matron sought to resurrect an ancient breed his scholars called "Short-Tails", who then caused a civil war which ultimately led to their complete extinction. The sorcery unleashed was apocalyptic, and at some point, one Matron tried to harness the power of a gate to the Warren of Chaos, which created The Rent at Morn. These new K'Chain Che'malle are undead, but are being commanded by something, which means a Matron must be alive and most likely under the control of the Pannion Seer. Kallor sees that someone has destroyed these hunters, and accuses Silverfox of knowing more than she's letting on. She says that the T'lan Imass are joining the fight and their reasons run parallel with their reasons for warring with the Jaghut.
The Jaghut, Silverfox explains, were willing to allow the Imass to live independently until the Tyrants arose. The ensuing generations of slavery left scars that ran so deep, the Ritual of Tellann was taken to ensure no Jaghut were left from which could rise new Tyrants. This is important, she says, because before the Jaghut ruled, the K'chain Che'Malle ruled. She suspects that the K'Chain Che'Malle are the power behind the Pannion Seer. A Matron lives again, and the Jaghut would be as nothing compared to the tyranny of the K'chain Che'malle. She says that dealing with that threat will be the sacrifice of the T'lan Imass.
Kallor says that she lies, and that this battle is no more than a feint, but refuses to say more. Haradas, a mage from the Trygalle Trade Guild says that a feint makes sense, given the poisoning of the warrens. She says that the Pannions and the K'chain Che'malle might all be unwittingly manipulated by an unseen third power. Silverfox says that the T'lan Imass cannot fight this final unseen enemy.
Whiskeyjack is horrified, thinking that they are heading to their deaths when Kruppe interrupts everything by saying that he will stand between them and the unknown enemy. This causes Caladan Brood to explode in anger, demanding that Kruppe provide proof of his claim to be able to stand up against the Crippled God, raising Burn's hammer in threat. Kruppe scoffs at his threats and his demands, and defies him to try. Caladan Brood slams his hammer down, causing an earthquake which knocks Whiskeyjack off his horse, breaks the earth into lava streaked crevasses, and raises a small mountain range at the edge of the valley. Whiskeyjack looks up and sees Kruppe, unharmed, on an island in the midst of the flowing lava. Hearing a cry, he sees Korlat looking over a fissure in the earth and sees it filling with fouled blood. He realizes the poison affecting Burn must be the Crippled God.
The Mhybe wakes up in her wagon as the impact of Brood's hammer reverberates throughout the camp. She hears Coll and Murillio talking about what just happened, unsurprised that Kruppe was involved. Thinking the Mhybe asleep, Murillio waxes nostalgic about his youthful days sleeping with widows. Now that he's aged, he realizes that new, young libertines are soon to take his place. And whilst he looks back and sees wastefulness, he still recognizes that he had his time of glory while the Mhybe, now resembling a very old woman, has none. Coll points out that the Mhybe is awake. Murillio apologizes, but the Mhybe thinks to herself that the only time people are honest with her is when they think she is asleep. She doesn't answer them, and slips into her dream-world of a treeless yellow wasteland.
Dujek storms into a tent with Whiskeyjack, incensed at how he's been deceived by Brood and Rake, who clearly knew the Crippled God was involved in this war. He says the Malazans were prepared to fight a human empire, not an evil god. Whiskeyjack says the Malazan army shouldn't shift their focus from the Pannions, and that Brood and Rake will probably take care of the Crippled God as they were there for the chaining. He also points out that the Malazans have done their share of deception and manipulation. Dujek calms down.
Whiskeyjack says that he has faith in Kruppe and whatever Elder God he is involved with, citing the events in Darujhistan. Someone was working behind the scenes in Darujhistan, manipulating circumstances and it was not the T'orrud Cabal, or Vorcan Radok, but Kruppe. The fact that Silverfox possesses the souls of three Malazans inside the body of a Rhivi, has bridged the gap between all factions, minus Kallor, again the work of Kruppe. This latest demonstration by Caladan Brood, he thinks, was contrived by Kruppe simply to remind Kallor of Brood's power. The Elder God probably chose Kruppe because he is, perhaps, the smartest man in the world. Dujek can hardly believe it, and still doesn't enjoy this feeling of helplessness. Whiskeyjack assures him that Quick Ben probably already knows all about the Crippled God, and is nearly Kruppe's equal in intelligence. Artanthos enters the tent to say that Twist has arrived. Whiskeyjack and Dujek exit the tent, eager for news of the Bridgeburners.
The Mhybe dreams she is being chased by wolves. At first she flees quick as an antelope, outrunning the wolves for miles. However, the wolves eventually tire her out, and surround her. Just when she thinks she is about to be killed and eaten, she wakes up. Korlat arrives with stew, and sits with her to eat. The Mhybe mentions the two female marines that have spoken to her about Silverfox, and how they are the only ones who bring her news anymore. Korlat is surprised to hear this, and the Mhybe takes this as a sign that she disapproves. The Mhybe accuses Korlat of being part of a conspiracy to keep her in the dark and forcing her to continue living despite her wishes. The Mhybe becomes angry, asking about Silverfox, and how she has not seen her for days. Korlat, in an attempt to reassure the Mhybe, tells her of the T'lan Ay. The Mhybe reacts with terror, scratching Korlat's face and raving that the wolves and her daughter are trying to kill her.
Korlat finds Whiskeyjack and accuses him of hiding things from her. She demands that he tells her what he ordered his marines to do, and why they have caused the Mhybe to react so fearfully. Whiskeyjack says the two marines were given no orders, and that he has no idea why the Mhybe should fear the T'lan Ay. He believed that Korlat knew, but did not feel the need to ask. Korlat calms down, and as Whiskeyjack cleans her scratches, she tells him that the Malazans have become the backbone to this army. Whiskeyjack denies this, saying that the Malazans are simply soldiers, and that they all feel overwhelmed by the immortals and ascendants comprising Broods army. Korlat suspects that Silverfox might be giving the Mhybe bad dreams. Whiskeyjack does not think so, as it is not something Tattersail would do. But neither he nor Korlat can be sure if Tattersail is the one in charge. The two go to find a healer.
Kruppe wanders through the camp and finds the two marines guarding Silverfox. He offers them Nathii black-cakes, which reminds them of the war in Blackdog Forest, and they chat about Silverfox, Whiskeyjack, and the Malazan Empire. The two marines say that Whiskeyjack was crucial to stopping the bloodshed after Laseen took the throne, but the empire would have been better off had he killed her and taken her place. After a time, Kruppe leaves. The two marines decide that Kruppe and Silverfox are planning something to ease the Mhybe's pains.
Kruppe finds Coll and Murillio, who tell him that the Mhybe is suffering from heartbreak. Kruppe assures them that plans are already in effect to help her, but that she must take her own journey of the spirit before being told those plans.
Crone arrives at camp to give a report to Caladan Brood. Anomander Rake has successfully hidden Moon's Spawn, and Capustan will not hold despite the best efforts of the defenders. Crone mentions that something unusual is happening to the south: the Seer wages a war with an unknown enemy and is unleashing Omtose Phellack. Brood is not surprised, but does not know who the Seer's enemies to the south could be. Crone doesn't know if the Pannion Seer is still in Outlook, as the ensorcelled condors prevent her and the other Great Ravens from getting too close. This concerns Brood. Crone asks for food and is offered the scraps in the rubbish heap. On her way out, she mocks Brood for losing his temper. When he reacts angrily, Crone flees.