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Memories of Ice
Dramatis Personae Prologue
The Spark and the Ashes
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Hearthstone
Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Capustan
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17
Chapter 18 Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Memories of Ice
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Epilogue Pagination

The First Child of the Dead Seed
dreams of a father's dying breath
and hears in eternal refrain
the scream trapped in his lungs-
Dare you step behind his eyes
even for a moment?

The First Child of the Dead Seed
leads and army of sorrow
down hunger's bone-picked road
where a mother dances and sings-
Dare you walk in his steps
and dearly hold her hand?

The First Child of the Dead Seed
is sheathed in the clutter of failed armour
defending him from the moment of birth
through years of dire schooling-
Do not dare judge him hard
lest you wear his skin.

Silba of the Shattered Heart
K'alass


CapustanEdit

The Tenescowri have overrun the city of Capustan, climbing on top of each other and dying by the score. Itkovian sees some of the women raping the dead and dying, and others eating their fallen comrades. Itkovian is struck with disgust and hatred at the Pannion Seer for doing this to his people, and frustrated because it seems to be working. Riding a warhorse, he wades into the fray, killing more people than he ever has before. At one point, he sees his Grey Swords physically swallowed by the mass of Tenescowri and realizes that he's fighting on top of a veritable sea of corpses. Accepting his impending death, he says a prayer to Fener, and orders his warhorse to go on the attack. Both he and his horse receive grievous wounds, but he slowly notices the horse is moving towards a clearing in the battle. Upon arriving at the clearing, sees that many of his Grey Swords survived. He meets Brukhalian and Karnadas, and asks to have his soldiers and horse healed before passing out.

Gruntle watches as the Pannion soldiers flee the tenement building he chose as his fighting ground. He doesn't feel tired or hurt, and his appearance has changed: his eyes are a pale yellow and stripes have appeared on his face. His militia, now numbering 100, fight with new-found abilities and seem to be able to communicate with him non-verbally. He barricades hallways and staircases with dead Pannions, and tells his Lestari lieutenant that they're going to retreat to the next floor. The Lestari looks at him and proclaims him Trake's Mortal Sword. Gruntle doesn't respond, but watches as his militia strips armor from the dead and begin to retreat to the next floor.

Brukhalian watches Karnadas and his assistants carry Itkovian away to see to his wounds. As they operate, Brukhalian notices how the use of the poisoned warren has ravaged Karnadas' body. He doesn't think he'll survive the night. Itkovian's forced healing will leave a mental scar, but it must be done. The Grey Swords have been all but destroyed, and Capustan has fallen. A messenger arrives, a young Capan woman, who tells him that Rath'Fener has invoked Fener's Reve, and demands that Brukhalian come to the Thrall and rescue him. He asks how Rath'Fener was able to get a message to her, and indeed how she herself was able to cross Capustan unmolested. She doesn't know. Brukhalian asks if she would like to go with them. When she says yes, he changes his mind and tells her to stay behind and tell Itkovian where he's going.

Nilbanas, an older veteran of the Grey Swords, tells Brukhalian that going to the Thrall would mean their deaths, and that Rath'Fener has betrayed them. Brukhalian knows, but wants to go anyway. Without their deaths, Rath'Fener would have committed no crime, and he must be punished for betraying their god's commands. Brukhalian assures Nilbanas that Itkovian will avenge them, and this satisfies Nilbanas. Brukhalian marshals 400 Grey Swords to answer Rath'Fener's invocation. When they reach the clearing around the Thrall, they are surrounded by Seerdomin, Urdomen, and Betaklites, all led by Septarch Kulpath. Nilbanas roars his defiance and begins to dance, momentarily freezing Kulpath, who then orders his archers to shoot.

Itkovian awakes and has a preternatural vision of the slaughter of Brukhalian's troops. He sees Nilbanas cut down by arrows, and Brukhalian's sword burning with sorcerous fire. Brukhalian's enchanted sword continues incinerating the Pannion soldiers even as he is cut apart. As he dies, the sword explodes, killing yet more. Itkovian and the Pannions all pause to see an apparition of Hood appear to claim Brukhalian's soul. Itkovian feels Rath'Fener's presence in the vision and tells him, "You are mine, betrayer. Mine."

Buke flies above Capustan. The compound owned by Bauchelain and Korbal Broach is littered with bodies, many of whom are now undead soldiers for Korbal Broach. Three times the Pannions attacked, but each time Bauchelain's sorcery or Korbal Broach's undead warriors drove them back. Buke sees cook fires, where the Tenescowri have begun cooking what people they could find. He flies to the tenement where Gruntle is fighting, and he sees that bodies litter the streets so high he can't see the ground. The tenement itself is virtually solid, packed with still bleeding corpses to the point where the building won't burn. Buke can't bring himself to face Gruntle, changed as he is after this siege. He flies away.

Itkovian is still on his cot, Karnadas holding his hand. He isn't fully healed, but disguises the extent of his remaining injuries from Karnadas. Karnadas looks skeletal, his grip weak, and he tells Itkovian that he is finished as he dies. Itkovian sees the young Capan woman and asks for a report. 137 Grey Swords survive, most of them recruits, the barracks are burning, and they've had no contact with Jelarkan's palace. The Capan asks to be punished for sending Brukhalian to his death. Itkovian assures her that Brukhalian knew what was coming, and she bears no responsibility. He requests an armorer to bind his still injured knee and shoulder and makes ready to depart with the words, "We are not yet done here. I am not yet done." The remaining Grey Swords march to Jelarkan's palace.

The streets are empty near Jelarkan's palace. No sign of intruders or defenders can be found, not even bodies. Entering the throne room, he finds Anaster and his mother along with several Tenescowri. They have killed Jelarkan, roasted and eaten him, and nailed his skin to a cross. Anaster mockingly invites Itkovian to join the feast, saying he knows about the tunnels. Itkovian's captain reveals the purpose of the Shield Anvil: a mortal soul chosen to bear the grief of the world on behalf of his god. When Itkovian offers to take Anaster's despair, Anaster reacts with gibbering terror, saying that Itkovian cannot have it. Itkovian realizes that within Anaster, there is nothing but despair; without it, he would be nothing. Forty Seerdomin enter the room, but the Grey Sword kill them. Anaster and his mother escape. Ordering his soldiers to take down Jelarkan's corpse and skin, Itkovian declares that they will hold the throne room in honor of the prince.

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