|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|
Were the Black Moranth a loquacious people, the history of Achievant Twist would be known. And were it known, from what preceded first mention of him following the alliance with the Malazan Empire; his sojourn during the Genabackan Campaigns of that same empire; and of his life within the Moranth Hegemony itself - one cannot but suspect that the tale would be worthy of more than one legend.Lost Heroes
Badark of Nathii
Picker waits with Ganoes Paran outside of Setta. The Bridgeburners have been doing most of their traveling with the Black Moranth at night, watchful of the possessed condors working for the Pannion Seer. While they wait for a scouting expedition led by Antsy, Quick Ben arrives to tell Paran that Twist, the Black Moranth leader, is near death - an infection from an old wound in his arm has spread. Antsy arrives and tells Paran that Setta is empty but for condor's nests and piles of eaten corpses. Antsy assumes Maurik will be the same once they arrive, but Paran reveals to the Bridgeburners that they're flying directly to Coral. He orders his troops to get ready and is met by Twist.
Twist asks if Paran blessed the newly awakened Barghast gods. Paran says no, he was not asked to do so, although he does acknowledge their place amongst the pantheon. When Paran asks about the schism between the Barghast and the Moranth, Twist tells him of a meeting long ago between the Moranth and the Tiste Edur , the longtime enemies of the Barghast. Finding out the Edur weren't the monsters they were purported to be, the Moranth refused to fight them. This was a crime in the eyes of the Barghast, and resulted in the schism. Twist wonders what awaits him in death now that the Barghast gods have returned. Paran tries to comfort him, saying the Barghast gods might have gained wisdom and tolerance in their long absence. Twist leaves, saying that the Malazan Empire is a wise empire.
North of Maurik
Kruppe is accosted by Hetan and Cafal, who ask about the Malazans' odd behavior. Hetan has seen one company strike the tents of three other companies, an act repeated throughout the camp, and dust seems to conceal the bulk of the Malazan forces. Kruppe offers no answers, and his lengthy non-answers annoy Hetan. She grabs him by the collar and promises to shut him up for good once she beds him. This frightens Kruppe into silence, which satisfies Hetan as she rides away.
North of Setta
Whiskeyjack orders the two marines who were guarding Silverfox to accompany him until further ordered. He argues a bit with Artanthos on the merits of allowing the common soldier to think for themselves, and goes to meet Dujek. Dujek and he talk about splitting the army into two commands, with Dujek taking the riskier position. Whiskeyjack does not approve, but Dujek maintains that Whiskeyjack is the one that actually holds the loyalty of the soldiers. Plus, the Empress needs a seasoned commander who knows Seven Cities to help put down the rebellion. Dujek intends on going to Korel if he survives the Pannion War. Whiskeyjack maintains he is going to retire once the Pannion War is done. Dujek makes a few friendly jabs at Whiskeyjack's projected marital bliss with Korlat, and invites Whiskeyjack to one last meal together. An awkward silence ensues until Dujek clarifies he meant one last meal before Coral.
The Bridgeburners arrive at the River Eryn, which deepens into a massive trench called Ortnal's Cut before flowing into Coral Bay. The Black Moranth suddenly turn their Quorls toward the river, claiming something strange has appeared since the night before. Paran and Quick Ben find several Black Moranth around a dead human-shaped creature, bloated and disfigured with snapped bones jutting out. After a lengthy discussion, the assembled crew determine that it's a Tiste Edur who was killed when he was thrown into a warren leading directly to the bottom of Ortnal's Cut, most likely by a practitioner of Ruse, something unheard of in both the Malazan Empire and amongst the Moranth. The Tiste Edur are on the move again, and are probably seeking the true Throne of Shadow. Meanas, the realm of Shadowthrone, is just a minor warren, splintered off Kurald Emurlahn, the warren of Elder Shadow. Another war within the pantheon will likely begin over the Throne of Shadow, much to the Crippled God's delight.
Paran excuses himself and travels to the Finnest House. He uses the Holds to find the Throne of Shadow. He finds it, and learns that it's in the mortal realm on Drift Avalii, a floating island supposedly populated by Tiste Andii. The throne, seemingly alive, tells Paran to warn Anomander Rake. The Tiste Edur seek to destroy Mother Dark, and are under the control of a mad emperor who has "been slain a hundred times". The throne describes the Emperor of the Edur as a "Tyrant of Pain" and a "Deliverer of Midnight Tides".
Paran reels back and appears within Dragnipur. He finds Draconus among the souls chained to the wagon. Draconus tells him that Anomander Rake is too merciful to wield Dragnipur. More souls are required to pull the wagon within which resides the gate to High House Dark. Paran sees that the wagon is being chased by a storm made of Chaos. Draconus explains that Darkness and Chaos have been warring eternally, and Darkness has been retreating. Chaos was almost at the gates of Kurald Galain when Draconus thought to create a defense: the sword Dragnipur. Chaos hungers for the souls within Dragnipur, and it pursues. Yet as the souls who pull the wagon fall, Chaos grows closer. Rake must begin killing again to buy them time, and Dragnipur must be destroyed, lest Chaos ultimately catch up. Draconus has learned that Order has its own methods of defense: souls are bound up in the Deck of Dragons, in the Azath Houses, and in the Holds, protecting them from Chaos. Draconus promises Paran, however, that if Chaos overtakes Darkness, everyone will be caught up in the storm. Rake must be warned. Paran decides to find him even as another soul in the chain falls.
Paran wills himself to find Anomander Rake, focusing on High House Dark. He feels a hammering force, a flash, then oblivion.
Paran wakes up with Mallet over him, it's noon the next day. Quick Ben arrives and tells him that the condors are sweeping the sky in an attempt to find them. Paran says they're probably looking for Moon's Spawn, but they won't find it. He thinks it might be lost, and that Anomander Rake is gone.
The main column having arrived at Setta, Whiskeyjack, Hetan, and Cafal, listen to Kruppe harping on about how awful the sight of the city is. Kruppe wishes for darkness to come and hide the city from his sight. Hetan mutters that bedding him only quieted Kruppe for two days. Cafal asks her to try shutting him up until they reach Maurik. When Hetan promises just that, Kruppe wishes for darkness to never arrive.
At night, a weary and freezing Picker looks on a meeting between Paran, Quick Ben, Spindle, Shank, Toes, and Bluepearl, all the mages present in the Bridgeburners. Mallet approaches and tells her he thinks Paran and Quick Ben are planning something that even Dujek might not know about; Hedge and Trotts suspect something as well. Blend arrives, having been unable to spy on Paran, and says it's time to get ready. The three move to rouse the troops airing their concerns about the condors and the imminent march to Coral.
The army led by Caladan Brood, including the Grey Swords and Trake's Legion, are marching toward Maurik as fast as they can, resulting in a caravan spread nearly three miles long. Itkovian has opted to stay with Gruntle and his troop at the back of the line. When Gruntle remarks on Itkovian's introspective mien, it sparks an argument between him and Stonny Menackis about Buke and what kind of redemption he sought following the death of his family. When Gruntle claims he understands Buke's feeling of loss, Stonny scoffs. Stonny is struck silent when Gruntle says he lost Harllo and nearly lost Stonny herself. Itkovian reveals that he doesn't seek redemption for himself, but for the thousands of souls he took on at Capustan, which he still carries. He hopes to find answers in Coral. Their conversation is interrupted by a man calling himself High Marshal Straw of the Mott Irregulars. Straw asks why the army is moving so fast. When Itkvoian says that Brood wants to reach Maurik before the Malazans, Straw reveals that the Mott Irregulars have spies in the Malazan army. The Malazans have split in two and Whiskeyjack now leads an army of only 4,000. They've reached Maurik River and are going to use barges to float to Maurik and join with Brood in a matter of days. The Mott Irregulars have tried to tell Caladan Brood about this, but have been stopped by Kallor. Thinking they've been forgotten by Brood, most want to return to Mott Wood. Stonny and Itkovian convince them to remain by telling them of a forest in Coral. This convinces Straw, who leaves. The three discuss Straw, the Mott Irregulars, and the likelihood of Dujek having beaten them to Coral. Itkovian wonders what it would mean if he traveled all the way to Coral to find no war.
A seasick Hetan is traveling by barge with Humbrall Taur and Whiskeyjack. Apparently, her attempts to cow Kruppe have backfired, and the Daru is now in love with her, much to her father's amusement. Whiskeyjack and Humbrall Taur speak of the approach to Maurik, about a day's journey by barge. Whiskeyjack knows there are Mott Irregular spies in his camp, and that Brood probably knows of their early arrival. He describes the origins of the Mott Irregulars, an insurgent group that formed after the Malazans took Mott. A year and a half of fighting in Mott Wood led nowhere. When Dujek pulled them out, Brood drew the Mott Irregulars into his army. They further discuss the Malazan's intentions regarding the White Face Barghast. Whiskeyjack tells Taur that the Malazans will respect their previous treaties, and merely attempt to trade with the White Face. After a groan from Hetan, Taur remarks that she might be suffering from symptoms of early pregnancy. This revelation causes Hetan's nausea to get the better of her.
Korlat rides through Maurik, thinking about her Tiste Andii kin and what it would mean if Anomander Rake really were gone forever. Despite all they have witnessed, the despair affecting the Tiste Andii is still their greatest threat; something Rake managed to curtail through strength of personality. She considers what it would mean for her and Whiskeyjack if she had to take up Rake's role as leader. She approaches the outskirts of the city near a river and finds Caladan Brood, Kallor, Outrider Hurlochel, and Orfantal, her brother and second-in-command. All have been standing in tense silence for over an hour. As Korlat and her brother talk, the first barge arrives with Whiskeyjack and Humbrall Taur visible. When they land, Humbrall Taur tells them that three clans of the White Face took the barges while the rest walked. Whiskeyjack tells them that Dujek split the army and took half of them directly to Coral. Whiskeyjack argues that the disappearance of Moon's Spawn in Brood's own private plan led the Malazans to concoct their own. He also claims that the Great Ravens haven't successfully gotten close enough to Coral to get any reliable information. The preemptive arrival of Onearm's Host might provide invaluable intelligence. Outnumbered as they are, however, it is now important that the rest of the army arrive at Coral quickly to relieve them. Brood allows the Malazans to cross the river first, and take a more exhausting pace, provided Korlat and Orfantal accompany them (despite Kallor's protests to Korlat's objectivity). The remaining forces should arrive in eight days. As the parties separate, Orfantal threatens Kallor for his insults to the Tiste Andii. Whiskeyjack and Korlat are reunited.
Gruntle and Itkovian reach the barges several hours after Humbrall Taur and Whiskeyjack have crossed, to Itkovian's disappointment. Rhivi herders are trying to get their Bhederin across the river, blocking access to the barges. They meet another Mott Irregular calling himself High Marshal Sty, who is attempting to steal dung from the herders. As Gruntle argues for passage with the leader of the herders, Sty knocks out the man guarding the dung and runs onto a barge. Gruntle remarks that the Rhivi dropped "like a sack of dung", which makes Itkovian smile.
Two days out from Coral, Whiskeyjack, rain-drenched and facing a march fraught with problems, thinks he's pushing his troops too hard. Korlat and Orfantal, meanwhile, are exhausting their own forces trying to purge Kurald Galain of the Crippled God's taint. Whiskeyjack thinks leaving behind the 50,000 Barghast might prove to be a fatal decision.
Kallor studies the prairie and notices a basin where the rainwater flows uphill. Kallor thinks, "From dust... to mud. So you march with us after all. No, understand, I am pleased." He goes to Caladan Brood who sits slumped in a camp chair. Brood says he made a mistake and Kallor agrees, surprising Brood by telling him abandoning Onearm's Host to annihilation was a tactical mistake. Kallor asks permission to ride to join Korlat and Whiskeyjack, citing his experience in tactics and his individual prowess in battle. Despite being momentarily surprised by Kallor's zeal, Brood tells him to go. As Kallor leaves his tent he smiles, though no one sees.
Lady Envy, Lanas Tog, and the Seguleh accompanying them land near Coral. Envy and the Seguleh are eager to begin marching on the Seer. Lanas Tog examines the ground and says a group of people, heavily laden, passed by their landing site, and were pursued by a predator of some kind, perhaps a large cat. Envy is excited by this news and tells Lanas Tog to follow their trail.
Paran, Quick Ben, and the Bridgeburner mages are discussing plans inside a series of tunnels once used by the Pannion Domin. However, a company is on its way up the mountainside including 400 Beklites and at least one Seerdomin, most likely a mage. They will be at their position in about an hour. Paran tells Spindle to gather the other Sappers and figure out how to blow up the tunnels in such a way that the Seer will think the entire Malazan army is on the hillside. Spindle goes to find Hedge. Paran asks Quick Ben about their plan to deal with the Seerdomin sorcerer in charge of the approaching company. Shank volunteers to take care of him but can't describe the spell he intends to use, lest the Seerdomin become aware of it through magical means. Paran tells Toes to find Picker and distribute a cache of bows and arrows found in the tunnels.
As the Pannion army approaches, Shank and Quick Ben kill the Seerdomin leader by transporting the water from a canteen directly into his lungs, drowning him. Munitions are thrown and the woods, soaked in lantern oil, swiftly catch fire. All those who try to flee the conflagration are killed by Picker and the rest using the procured arrows. Looking at Quick Ben, Paran gets a fleeting glimpse of Talamandas, but thinks it's a trick of the light. As the flames die out, Paran thinks on how the munitions change things from war to simple slaughter. Mallet arrives to tell Paran that Dujek has arrived with the Moranth and reinforcements. Quick Ben and Paran are relieved and go to meet Dujek.