|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|
There can be no true rendition of betrayal, for the moment hides within itself, sudden, delivering such comprehension that one would surrender his or her own soul to deny all that has come to pass. There can be no true rendition of betrayal, but that of Ormulogun's portrayal is the closest to what was true that any mortal could achieve...N'aruhl's Commentary on Ormulogun's
Slaying of Whiskeyjack
Coll and Murillio are still inside the Temple of Hood in Capustan when another visitor arrives. The undead warrior in service to Hood greets him as K'rul. Coll, remembering stories of the elder god, blocks him from getting close to the Mhybe, saying that he will not allow K'rul to slit her throat on the altar. K'rul assures him that he's there to save the Mhybe. He says that "something has happened... the consequences are unknown - to us all" and that the Mhybe "must dream for real."
The North Gate of Coral
Silverfox is frozen with shock. After Itkovian embraced the T'lan Imass, she no longer feels their presence. It feels like another betrayal in a long line. She sees the various forces readying for combat: the Grey Swords, Trake's Legion, Korlat, Orfantal, and the heartbroken Malazan Soldiers, and thinks they're all doomed in the face of the Pannion Domin's forces of condors and K'Chain Che'Malle. Hopeless, she thinks she will have to "begin all that she had set in motion so long ago." She opens the warren of Tellann and vanishes within.
The Mhybe is in her dream world, thinking on how she was never fit to become a mother. Now she is trapped, and feels unseen forces demanding that she do something. The massive cage of ribs still stands before her and she believes there is a man, a beast, within that's waiting for her. She hears the beast howl in agony and decides to free it. She begins to crawl toward the cage of bones.
Itkovian embraces the pain of the T'lan Imass. He perceives what the Ritual of Tellann was, how it twisted them into lifeless husks, but learns that the T'lan Imass remember their lives, their love, and their grief. They have held onto them for the past 300,000 years. He relives their memories all at once, drowning in their sorrow and the betrayal at the summoner denying them peace. Itkovian thinks on how he promised them relief, but knows he will not be able to hold everything. He feels he is about to be destroyed when he hears the voice of Pran Chole, who tells him there is a place he can carry their memories if he can only hold on for a while longer. Itkovian reaches out and feels a hand grasp his forearm.
The Mhybe is crawling toward the cage of bones when she hears the rumble of thunder. She rolls onto her back and stares upward.
The North Gate of Coral
Itkovian strides over a mindscape, holding onto the memories. Pran Chole asks him to shed the memories to feed the land and so return life to it, as memories are what give all things unseen meaning. Pran Chole tells Itkovian that the T'lan Imass all kneel before him and his gift, and ask him to weep for them.
The Mhybe sees violent, billowing clouds in a once formless sky. Hail suddenly comes down, each stone impacting and revealing memories of ancient lives. As the hail nears her, she is sheltered by Kruppe, who tells her that the storm is "unexpected, yet... wonderful". He leads her closer to the cage.
The North Gate of Coral
Silverfox is tormented by failure. She never intended to deny the T'lan Imass for good. She planned on creating a dreamworld where her mother could be young again, one that would bring healing to the T'lan Imass and the T'lan Ay. Yet, all around her mortals showed more courage than she could believe: Coll, Murillio, Whiskeyjack and the two marines, Tayschrenn, and now finally Itkovian. She thinks all their courage misguided, and believes Itkovian is doomed to fail. She looks up as the sky overhead thunders, and her eyes widen.
Toc the Younger lays in a room with the K'Chain Che'Malle Matron and the Pannion Seer as concussions and impacts grow loud around him. He watches as the Seer creates a Finnest by drawing power from the Matron's body and trapping it into a reptilian egg. The Seer tells Toc that he will return, and disappears with the Matron, leaving Toc alone. All the while he feels the wolf god, Togg, trying to draw breath, but trapped within Toc's mangled body. The sounds of battle cease, and Onos T'oolan arrives, picking Toc up and telling him they are leaving.
Coral and the Keep
Picker and the surviving Bridgeburners are near the keep at Coral, but are moving cautiously. A vicious battle is taking place within, sorcery exploding and K'Chain Che'Malle racing back and forth. A K'ell Hunter is spotted and they run towards the keep. Upon clearing the breach, they run into Hedge and the other sappers. As they discuss tactics, the K'ell Hunter arrives, surprising everyone. Blend throws Picker into another room and Picker, falling, watches as Hedge blows himself up in order to kill the Hunter. After the explosion dies down, Picker gathers everyone together, noticing that Blend, while still alive, took the brunt of Hedge's cusser attack to protect her. Seemingly out of nowhere, Lady Envy arrives and asks if anyone has seen a Seguleh or a female T'lan Imass. When Picker mentions Tool, Envy offers to heal everyone in exchange for assisting the rescue of Toc the Younger. Picker agrees. One of her soldiers shouts when Baaljagg arrives. Envy tells them not to worry. Though she wonders where Garath has gotten to.
Ganoes Paran and Quick Ben are still on top of the keep after their attack on the condors. Mallet, Spindle, Detoran, Trotts, and Antsy are still with them. Paran and Quick Ben discuss that something is making its way to the roof of the keep, and causing a lot of violence along the way, distracting the condors as well. Paran orders Mallet to take the rest of the squad and find what's left of the Bridgeburners and escape. Quick Ben and Paran stay behind, waiting.
Dujek Onearm is alone after a K'ell Hunter slaughtered his Untan bodyguard. Onearm's host managed to fight off the Urdomen, Beklites, and Seerdomin along with the first two waves of K'Chain Che'Malle, but after their munitions were depleted, the undead lizards nearly wiped them out. He has no idea how many of his 6,000 soldiers still live, and the sounds of battle moved away to the keep. Now, however, the sky is full of rolling, lightning streaked clouds, and the sound of the storm is dominating everything else. A marine finds him and tells him Captain Hareb is still fighting, having received more munitions from Twist. Dujek tells her to lead the way.
The North Gate of Coral
Gruntle speaks to Norul, the Shield Anvil of the Grey Swords. They plan to charge the amassed K'Chain Che'malle and break down the gate in order to relieve Dujek. Both seem to know this is a suicidal charge. Tayschrenn has taken over command of Whiskeyjack's forces, and sends a messenger saying that he will block the Pannion mages on the walls, and the Tiste Andii and Barghast shouldermen will attack the K'Chain Che'malle with magic. Gruntle gathers his legion and they blur into a massive tiger. They charge down the slope towards the waiting K'Chain Che'Malle.
Korlat is in shock, standing near the bodies of Whiskeyjack and the two marines. Caladan Brood approaches, asking her about Moon's Spawn and implying that if things continue to look grim for his forces, he will use his hammer. Korlat does not respond, but watches as Orfantal is attacked by the chaotic magic of the condors. The Pannion mages unleash chaotic magic only to be met by Tayschrenn's High Telas Warren. The tiger meets the K'Chain Che'malle, though as Hunters strike at the tiger, members of Trake's Legion fall away, dead. Tayschrenn's magic takes down a dozen of the mages, but Tayschrenn is used up. The Grey Swords attack the Hunters while trailing behind Trake's Legion, and both are losing members by the score. Brood screams at her to call Anomander Rake, guessing that he's hiding Moon's Spawn in the stormclouds overhead. Korlat sees the stormcloud break up, revealing sunlight, and tells Brood that Anomander Rake is dead. She turns into a dragon and races to aid Orfantal.
Caladan Brood looks around the battlefield. The Grey Swords are scattered, the Malazans and the Barghast are being slaughtered by the K'chain Che'malle, and the T'lan Imass are all kneeling, oblivious to the battle. Brood asks Burn to forgive him, raises his hammer, then freezes.
Picker, Blend, the Bridgeburners, and Lady Envy are following a trail made by a T'lan Imass, who is apparently being followed by a woman wearing mocassins and a man wearing boots. They pause for a moment to get their bearings, but Baaljagg rushes ahead. As Lady Envy begins explaining the relationship Toc and Baaljagg have to Togg and Fanderay, twenty Urdomen rush into the room. Envy seems annoyed and asks if the fight will take long. Picker pushes Blend up the stairs after Baaljagg, and noting her exhausted, ill-equipped soldiers, answers with a fatalistic, "No, it won't."
Detoran, Antsy, Mallet, Spindle, and Trotts are moving through the keep, finding nothing but bodies along the way. As they descend a staircase, they're attacked from both sides by Seerdomin. Detoran fights with six in the cramped quarters while Mallet supports her with a crossbow. Mallet takes down two with well-aimed quarrels, and Detoran kills the rest at the cost of her own life. Antsy tumbles down the stairs, covered in blood, but still alive. Spindle comes staggering down the stairs shortly afterward, saying that Trotts is fighting off twenty Seerdomin. As Mallet runs to help, loading his crossbow, and is met by a tumble of bodies, Trotts among them, all fighting and snarling as they fall down the stairs. When Mallet stands up again, he notes that Trotts stabbed him, though Trott's himself has sustained more wounds than Mallet thought possible. He and Trotts trade grim jokes, find Spindle, and decide to carry Antsy the rest of the way.
Toc is being carried by Tool, slowly remembering who he is and who Tool is. Tool stops in a room that was once filled with devices for torture, though all are smashed to pieces now. Tool sets him down, and Toc sees Mok blocking Tool's path. Tool draws his flint sword and asks Mok to take Toc away from the keep once they are done fighting. Mok agrees, and they begin to fence, moving too quickly for Toc to see. As the duel intensifies, the wolf inside Toc stirs, and he spies a broken beam capped in bronze. He slowly, painfully manages to rise to his knees, then, through force of will, stand. He nearly faints, but holds on.
Kruppe begs the the Mhybe to touch the cage of bones, saying there are things that must be freed. The Mhybe reaches.
Toc watches Tool reeling. He steps toward the bronze-capped beam then topples forward, impaling himself.
The Mhybe touches the cage.
Toc dies. The wolf draws breath and howls.
The North Gate of Coral
Brood holds his hammer in the air when a god's howl rips through the air. The T'lan Ay answer it, rising from the ground and slaughtering the K'chain Che'malle who run toward the gate. Something is happening above the keep.
Kruppe staggers with the unconscious Mhybe. The hailstorm stops and Togg emerges, howling. His howl is answered "on all sides."
Paran and Quick Ben notice a gloom descending on the keep. Quick Ben calls it Kurald Galain and uses it to fly himself and Paran onto the balcony of the keep where the Seer awaits with the Matron and two K'ell Hunters. The Hunters advance, but are met by Senu and Thurule. Quick Ben and Paran edge toward the harbor side of the balcony as the storm above dissipates. In the bay, the ice begins exploding, and the water seems to bulge, then finally part as something enormous rises from the water. Quick Ben screams that all the Tiste Andii have unveiled Kurald Galain, and Paran realizes that Moon's Spawn has been hiding in Ortnal's Cut all this time. As it rises, Paran sees that massive fissures and cracks have formed in the floating mountain, pouring out seawater. Two thirds of Moon's Spawn is visible as it spins slowly to reveal Anomander Rake standing alone.
The North Gate of Coral
Itkovian senses that all the memories he carried have gone. He tells the T'lan Imass he would take their pain. It rises before him like a wave, and Itkovian smiles in answer.
Caladan Brood watches as Kurald Galain blasts forth from Moon's Spawn, filling the air, decimating the condors. He sees dragons emerge. He realizes that the Tiste Andii have never done a full unveiling in all their time in this world, and wonders what will happen. He watches helpless.
Korlat flies with Moon's Spawn feeling the power of Kurald Galain. She sees that the floating fortress is dying, but it is still moving inexorably toward the keep's balcony. She can see the Seer, revealed as a Jaghut, holding a Finnest. Korlat notes the darkness overwhelming the city and knows it will never dissipate.
Envy realizes Picker's words had only been bravado as all but two Bridgeburners are killed and almost casually kills the Urdomen with a gesture. More soldiers approach, but Picker identifies them as Mallet and Spindle. Trotts makes it into the room but dies as soon as he comes to a stop. Envy makes ready to heal everyone's wounds, but feels the pressure of Kurald Galain and tells everyone they need to get downstairs. Five Bridgeburners are all that remain.
Tool is thrown up against a wall and loses his sword. Before Mok can strike the final blow, he's magically thrown to the side. Kilava appears, enraged that a mortal man defeated the First Sword of the T'lan Imass. She wants to kill Mok so no one will know of Tool's humiliation. Tool stops her, saying that the time of the Imass is over, and humans are set to inherit everything. He sees Toc's dead body and Kilava explains that the wolf god is freed, roaming in a world made by Silverfox, though that realm now gives life to something else. Lanas Tog appears, asking for Silverfox. Tool tells her he will seek with her. Kilava tells them that Silverfox can be found in the Warren of Tellann, though Kilava says she is going to the Seer. Tool asks her to seek him out once her quest for "redemption" is finished. She agrees. Tool and Lanas Tog leave. Baaljaag appears, and Kilava opens a Warren of Tellann to allow her to find her mate. Kilava leaves the room.
Blend steps from the shadows to find Mok unconscious and debates taking off his mask. Envy arrives with the five remaining Bridgeburners: Picker, Mallet, Spindle, Antsy, and Bluepearl. Envy declares she will have vengeance on the Seer, but the Bridgeburners say they're leaving. They retrieve Toc's body and leave Envy's company.
Paran watches the scene unfold: Moon's Spawn drawing closer to the balcony, the Seguleh being driven back by the K'ell Hunters, the Matron trying to claw through the tiles, and the Seer staring madly. Quick Ben notes that Moon's Spawn isn't going to clear the keep, and Paran realizes that Rake plans on obliterating the keep and everyone in it. Quick Ben and Paran decide to make their move, but are interrupted when Kilava appears as a giant panther. Quick Ben calls to Talamandas as the base of Moon's Spawn smashes through the balcony's roof wall, crushing the Matron. The floating mountain dips down and the floor begins to buckle. Quick Ben knocks Kilava over with sorcery, then tackles the Seer, taking all of them through a warren. Kilava follows. The two Seguleh jump onto the roof as a chunk of basalt drops from Moon's Spawn, crushing the two K'ell Hunters and falling through to the bottom of the keep.
The North Gate of Coral
Gruntle collapses with his eight remaining soldiers. The Grey Swords went in search of Dujek, and the Black Moranth have returned, throwing sharpers in the western part of the city. Meanwhile, Moon's Spawn is still tearing through the keep. Stonny Menackis finds him and tells him that the Mott Irregulars were already inside the gate when the Grey Swords arrived. Moon's Spawn breaks away from the keep, then floats over Gruntle and Stonny's position, covering them in darkness and raining seawater. The sound of fighting ceases, and Velbara arrives. She tells them that Dujek is alive with 800 surviving soldiers. All the survivors are gathering outside the city. Gruntle thinks about the now-disappeared T'lan Ay, Itkovian, and how he lost most of his legion to get fifty paces inside the gate. He tells Velbara that he'll follow.
Korlat and Orfantal fly unopposed around Coral. Korlat sees Malazan Imperial ships coming from the sea into Coral Bay, and thinks about the plans within plans of the Malazans. Orfantal tells her to join Caladan Brood and the surviving fighters while he and the newly arrived Silanah guard the skies. Korlat hesitates, but Orfantal insists that she go and grieve in earnest. She sembles and approaches Caladan Brood who is talking to High Marshal Stump of the Mott Irregulars. Stump tells Brood that they made it behind the gates and took down most of the mages on the walls. Brood orders him to put out fires in the city, and admits to Korlat that he thought he'd left the Mott Irregulars behind. Korlat mentions the ships, and Brood says he knows. An imperial legate, a governor, and all manner of titles are aboard, and Brood is willing to give the Malazans Coral and anything else they want. Korlat gestures toward the darkness now lingering about the city after the full unveiling, and tells him that Coral now lies equally in the mortal world and in Kurald Galain. Brood asks if Anomander Rake would claim Coral, given Moon's Spawn is now broken. Korlat says she does not know, and turns away, walking toward the hill where Whiskeyjack lies. She begins to think about Mother Dark, and how she turned away from the Tiste Andii so long ago, and wonders if it was grief that caused her to do so. Korlat asks if Mother Dark now smiles at her own grief. Moon's Spawn floats overhead and seawater rains down, and Korlat begins to weep.
Brood watches Korlat weep surrounded by dead warriors and K'Chain Che'Malle with Moon's Spawn poised directly overhead. He knows what he sees will never leave him.
Silverfox walks through the Tellann dreamworld and watches the Rhivi Spirits approach from afar, full of bitterness at her failure. She wanted to give back the life she stole from her mother, but thinks she did not have anything to give that she hadn't stolen from Pran Chole, Kruppe, K'rul, and the Rhivi spirits. When the spirits arrive, they tell her that they found two thrones and the true masters are soon coming. Silverfox is angry, saying she made the dreamworld for them. They demur, saying the realm has grown too powerful for them to rule, and they look forward to serving the coming masters. Silverfox cannot deal with this final injustice, and turns away when they mention that the Mhybe is in the dreamworld, and can be saved as Silverfox originally intended. As Silverfox leaves, she calls herself an abomination.
The Rhivi spirits start a fire and discuss how they need to find the Mhybe. One spirit sighs that she will merely flee like she always has, but another says it will be different this time now that the land lives.
Togg runs through the dreamworld, exulting in his freedom, howling his triumph. He hears other howls and sees the Ay, the children of Fanderay. He slows and Fanderay joins him. They join minds for a moment. The god and goddess are reunited. They run toward their thrones.
The Mhybe awakens in Kruppe's arms, struggling to flee the approaching wolves. Kruppe tells her that it is time this dreamworld pass to her. As she frees herself from his grip, she sees tens of thousands of wolves led by two enormous beasts. The Rhivi spirits stand in front of a low hut of bones, and Kruppe tells her that the Beast Thrones within belong to Togg and Fanderay. The ancient body of the Mhybe now sleeps eternal, an agreement having been reached with Hood. The Mhybe will never awaken, but live in this dreamworld, never aging. The Rhivi spirits say that Silverfox created this world to beg forgiveness from her mother, but grief has taken her away, leaving the Mhybe to silently beg forgiveness herself. Togg asks the Mhybe to release a cherished, mortal spirit from the realm. The Mhybe agrees.
The North Gate of Coral
Itkovian finds within himself enough capacity to hold the suffering of the T'lan Imass. They ask him why, and he tells them of his life. Of a hard father, a timid mother, and how she smiled when he left to join Fener's Reve. They still do not understand, and beg him to explain his compassion. He tells them that no human understands compassion, despite knowing what it is in the abstract. He says it must be given freely. They still do not understand, and ask why he will not answer their question. He falls slowly back saying, "Because. I was the Shield Anvil. But now... I am done." He dies beneath Moon's Spawn.
Silverfox is met by Lanas Togg and Onos T'oolan with the T'lan Ay. Tool asks her to free the T'lan Ay, to make them mortal once again to live in the Tellann dreamworld. Silverfox does so, appalled at how little effort it took. Tool tells her that Lanas Tog will lead her back to the T'lan Imass to speak, but Tool does not move. He drops his sword at his feet, and Silverfox understands.
The undead warrior in Hood's service tells Coll and Murillio that the Mhybe must be interred in the sarcophagus. Coll and Murillio balk, but K'rul tells them that she will not die, simply sleep and dream eternally like Burn. Coll suggests they line the pit with furs and blankets, guiding a still confused Murillio. Rath'Togg and Rath'Fanderay have taken off their masks, tears in their eyes at the reunion of their gods.
Quick Ben, Paran, Talamandas, the Seer, and Kilava appear at Morn. Kilava tries to attack the Seer again, but Paran stops her when he takes the form of a Hound of Shadow, though he doesn't realize what's happening. Quick Ben tells both the Seer and Kilava that there's a way where everyone can win. Kilava wants vengeance on the Seer for her brother, and promises equal pain for what the Seer did to Toc the Younger. This revelation rocks Paran, and the Seer accuses Kilava of already having done that. It is revealed that the Seer was one of the Jaghut children that Kilava sent through the Rent during the Jaghut War before the Ritual. The Matron, who was once trapped within the Rent, took the Seer, but left his sister, who still remains trapped within. The Seer is mad with terror, saying he does not trust Kilava, and that he remembers her promising that she was sending him and his sister to their mother. When Kilava admits that she eventually learned exactly what she did, the Seer calls her a coward for not undoing it. Quick Ben explains that they can now put the Finnest into the rent and save the Seer's sister, and that she will need someone to help her, still being young and lost and looking for her mother. The Seer thinks they will only be killed by T'lan Imass once they open up Omtose Phellack. Quick Ben says he knows a way to heal Omtose Phellack in a place no T'lan Imass can find it. He explains that the Seer has been manipulated by the Crippled God, and that his need for such wanton destruction and cruelty was never the Jaghut way. The Seer pauses at this, and Paran tells Quick Ben to release the Seer as a gesture of mutual trust. Kilava says that the Seer has been twisted after all he has done, and he can not be trusted to be left alone. Paran tells her he will not be alone. Talamandas releases the Seer.
The Seer's sister, still a young girl, emerges from the Rent. The Seer isn't certain he can care for her, as families aren't kind to one another among the Jaghut. Paran convinces him to let her be the guide to heal all that he's destroyed, starting with himself. The Seer turns to Kilava, and asks about the brother she mentioned. Kilava says he participated in the Ritual of Tellann. The Seer says they both have a long way to go to make amends to their families. Neither can forgive the other yet. The Seer takes his sister in his arms.
The party arrive at the caves where Quick Ben first learned of Burn's infection. The Witch of Tennes arrives, and tells the Seer that by unveiling Omtose Phellack here, he can slow the infection and strengthen the giants holding up the walls. She warns Kilava not to tell anyone about the unveiling. Kilava agrees. Quick Ben tells Paran, as Master of the Deck to create a card to lead them out of the caves.
The North Gate of Coral
Gruntle is at the meeting place for the surviving armies with Korlat, Caladan Brood, and the bodies of Whiskeyjack and the two marines. He sees the Grey Swords approaching Itkovians body, the T'lan Imass gone, and their prisoner Anaster still a hollow shell. The surviving Malazans exit the city, and Gruntle sees that Dujek has obviously heard of Whiskeyjack's death, his shoulders slumped. One of Gruntle's legion asks to raise the child banner from Capustan. He tells her to raise it in the gloom where the rest of their legion died. She calls him the Mortal Sword of Trake, a title which he balks at, but she does not relent. Tayschrenn arrives, making introductions to the dignitaries aboard the ship, among them an ambassador named Aragan. Caladan Brood insists that negotiations wait until Anomander Rake arrives.
Toc the Younger's mind is full of fragments of memories: his torture at the hands of the Matron, his death, the feeling of exultant running. He finds himself sitting on a horse surrounded by the Grey Swords. A woman approaches and tells him that Togg has delivered his soul into a mortal body (that of Anaster's), and that he must choose to continue with his god or leave it. Toc chooses to stay, and the woman calls him the Mortal Sword of Togg and Fanderay.
Silverfox and Lanas Tog find the T'lan Imass who all stand differently now that their burdens and sorrow have been lifted. The T'lan Imass are awakened, and remember who they once were without the burden of millennia of pain. Silverfox offers to end the Ritual of Tellann, but Pran Chole says no. Lanas Tog has spoken of a war that other T'lan Imass fight in a different continent, and the ones gathered here want to rescue their kin. Silverfox says she will join them. She asks what changed after Itkovian's deed, and Pran Chole says that the Tellann dreamworld Silverfox made has been changed, given life. It is now a place where the Ritual of Tellann unravels, hence the surprising ease when Silverfox made the T'lan Ay mortal. The memories of the T'lan Imass now dwell in the land, and it is what they will return to once Silverfox ends the Ritual. Pran Chole says they expected the only way to be free of their pain would be to die utterly, but Itkovian found a way they did not expect. However, Pran Chole says, there is one last thing they must do before they leave.
Picker and Blend watch the Rhivi wagons transporting dead bodies from the wreckage at Coral. Picker thinks about how the Bridgeburners all really died outside of Pale, but a few did not realize it until now. Envy arrives, complaining about Rake's attack when Rake himself arrives via warren. He trades a few impatient words with Envy who warns him that Draconus seeks to escape Dragnipur with the help of Ganoes Paran. Anomander Rake does not seem concerned by the news and dismisses her, much to Envy's annoyance. Blend tries to console Picker, who is wracked with guilt on her failure to keep her squad alive, when Rake asks if he can accompany the remaining Bridgeburners to the gathering north of the city. Picker mutters that they aren't pleasant company, but Anomander Rake insists that they are worthy company.
The North Gate of Coral
Gruntle and Stonny are on the hilltop when Stonny says that Harllo should be buried with the rest of the combatants. Gruntle agrees. Dujek arrives and examines Whiskeyjack's body. He asks Korlat if the shattered leg was responsible for his loss, saying that Whiskeyjack was a superb swordsman who could hold his own against even Dassem Ultor. Korlat lies, and says the broken leg came after. Dujek's only words are, "I have lost a friend." And the simple truth in those words is enough to move Gruntle to tears. Gruntle then sees the rest of Onearm's host gather around, and sees Mallet walk to Whiskeyjack's body. The healer observes the wounds and, realizing the truth, seems to collapse inwardly. Anomander Rake asks Korlat if she plans on doing anything in response to Kallor's betrayal. Korlat says that Orfantal is going to hunt Kallor down, and Rake tells them to leave him alive so he can use Dragnipur. Rake turns to Dujek and says that he would have Whiskeyjack and the two marines interred inside Moon's Spawn along with the dead Bridgeburners. Picker agrees.
The Mott Irregulars have stolen (for a second time) the table that the Bridgeburners made while in Blackdog Forest. The painting of Paran has been glowing for some time, when Paran, Quick Ben, and Kilava appear. Jib Bole of the Mott Irregulars walks to Paran and confesses his confusion as to the table's nature.
Kilava having parted from their company, Quick Ben and Paran walk toward the plain towards Coral. Paran is still reeling from the recent events, and recalls Quick Ben's explanation that Burn's realm is now home to an ancient warren, memories of ice, all working to slow the infection of the Crippled God. They pause when they see the mass of figures crowded beneath torches.
Gruntle watches as Anomander Rake and the Tiste Andii complete the internment of the Bridgeburners inside Moon's Spawn. He sees the Grey Swords holding a modest burial service for Itkovian, and, grabbing Stonny, walks their way. Once there, he notes that Anaster is sitting differently, no longer an empty shell, and feels, that they are somehow rivals. Norul says a few words, and gestures for the burial to begin when Azra Jael, the Malazan soldier who traded helms with Itkovian, offers to return Itkovian's finer helmet. Norul tells him to keep the helm, that Itkovian would not ask for it back, but stops when she sees that Onearm's Host, the Black Moranth, the Rhivi, the Barghast, and the Tiste Andii have all gathered in a massive, silent congregation. Gruntle's gaze continues past them to see that the T'lan Imass are approaching. A Bonecaster approaches with a seashell, saying that each T'lan Imass has a gift to lay at Itkovian's grave in thanks for the gift he gave them. As they pass, the gifts pile higher to become a barrow, bound with Tellann sorcery, each piece immovable. After the T'lan Imass are finished, the Malazan soldier do the same. After the last soldier leaves the hill, Gruntle's arm torcs fall away, and he apologises to Trake for adding them to the pile.
Paran is numb after hearing of Whiskeyjack's death, the death of the Bridgeburners, and not having been able to be at the funeral. Quick Ben asks Paran to draw a card of Moon's Spawn as it slowly drifts away. Paran does so, and the two walk through it into Rake's throne room. They see thirty sarcophagi lined up on either side with three atop a dais in the center. The coffins are guarded by Kurald Galain with Anomander Rake having cast the wards on Whiskeyjack and the two marines himself. Quick Ben names each Bridgeburner one by one until they reach the dais. He explains that Whiskeyjack must have shattered his leg while performing a lunge, meaning he had Kallor dead. Whiskeyjack would still be alive but for a marble pillar toppling in a garden in Darujhistan. Quick Ben places a pebble near the dais so he can visit again with Kalam. As they leave, Paran silently blesses the Bridgeburners. Once gone, a mysterious light begins dancing among the webs of Kurald Galain.
The North Gate of Coral
While crossing the road, Gruntle spies Bauchelain and Korbal Broach's carriage approaching. Emancipor Reese stops the carriage with Gruntle blocking the path, and Bauchelain emerges, saying how much he admires Coral now that it is wreathed in darkness. Gruntle tells him the Tiste Andii and Malazans would not tolerate Korbal Broach's hobbies, and Korbal Broach agrees. Bauchelain tells Gruntle that he received an invitation (written on bark) to meet with Jib Bole and his brothers. Gruntle advises him to wear his best, and continues across the road. He notices the Grey Swords encampment and the large number of Tenescowri recruits that have emerged after learning of Anaster's "rebirth". As Gruntle considers the new Mortal Sword of the Grey Swords, and makes up his mind that he doesn't like him already. However, when they meet, Anaster (Toc) tells Gruntle he has no idea what it means to be a Mortal Sword, and asks Gruntle for advice. Gruntle smiles and says he does not either. They trade stories about who they once were, and Anaster suggest they talk more about it over a cask of ale. Gruntle agrees, saying he will bring Stonny. Anaster calls him a friend, and Gruntle silently agrees.
Paran and Picker watch Quick Ben talking with the Trygalle Trade Guild as they wait for Dujek. Picker tells him that he shouldn't have left her in command, and Paran says that walking out of Coral with survivors was better than anyone could have done. Dujek arrives, looking like he's aged ten years, and agrees. He tells them that he's collected back pay for the entire company of Bridgeburners, and wants to give it to the six survivors. They will be counted among the dead, and the Trygalle carriage will take them to Darujhistan. He tells them there's one last mission, and that's to visit a man in the care of the High Alchemist Baruk, and see what can be done for him. He dismisses them, and asks for Quick Ben, whom he calls "High Mage", saying that Tayschrenn insisted. Dujek tells Paran that a command still waits for him as Dujek returns to Seven Cities to reinforce Tavore Paran. Paran refuses, saying he was never cut out to be a soldier. Dujek disagrees, telling him that everyone sees Paran as a true noble man, and tells him to join his fellow Bridgeburners.
Toc the Younger retrieves the cask of ale from his tent and mounts his horse when he is approached by a what looks like a scar-covered Barghast. The man says nothing, only looking at Toc. When Toc asks if he needs anything, the man says he only wanted to see if he was well. He leaves, saying that he holds Toc in his memory. As he leaves, Toc thinks there's something familiar about him. Toc leaves as Velbara calls to him.
The scar-covered Barghast is revealed to be Onos T'oolan, newly returned to flesh. He meets Kilava who mentions that he will need a sword now more than ever. Tool suggests they find a quarry. Kilava promises to enchant the blade so it will not break like she did long ago.
Lady Envy wakes Mok up. He seems shocked at the state of Senu and Thurule, but Envy says none of them have come out unscathed. Rake has banished them from the city. Their punitive war with the Pannion Domin is ended, and they need to go home. Mok begins to argue that they should have an audience with the Seventh (meaning Rake), but Envy refuses. She simply smiles at Mok's anger.
Hetan and Cafal are walking apart from their father and the rest of their clan when Hetan spots Tool and Kilava. She calls to them and introduces herself, finding Tool attractive. She tells him she sees that he has not bedded a woman in a long time. His eyes widen, he smiles, and says, "Indeed."