|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|
And all who would walk the fields
when the Boar of Summer strides
in drum-beat hooves,
and the Iron Forest converges
to its fated, inevitable clash - all,
all are as children, as children once more.
Destriant Dellem (b?)
Karnadas, the Destriant of Fener's Reve, looks over Capustan and envisions the inevitable siege by the Pannion Domin. Brukhalian, the Mortal Sword has been meeting with Prince Jelarkan and the Mask Council for weeks trying, unsuccessfully, to convince the city's rulers to take a more proactive approach to the defense. Each member of the Mask Council styles him or herself after various gods and ascendants. Rath'Fener, to Karnadas' disgust, seems less worried about the defense of Capustan than his own political power. He hopes to take the title of Destriant, not knowing that Karnadas already possesses it. Itkovian, the Shield Anvil, arrives with Brukhalian bearing the news that Rath'Trake has sensed demonic apparitions on the plains outside Capustan. Karnadas tells Itkovian to investigate it. They further speak of a magical "invitation" being sent to them from what Brukhalian describes as "twelve souls". They answer the call and are greeted by Quick Ben who brings them news of Caladan Brood's army and their eventual arrival. They discuss how the leadership of the city is divided between the Mask Council and Prince Jelarkan, and agree to meet at a later time.
Itkovian musters his troops and notes a young female recruit. They leave Capustan looking out for the demonic apparitions. They spot one, an undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunter. Despite their careful preparations, the K'ell hunter kills a great many of the Grey Swords and is only dispatched after being torn apart by several ropes tied around it. Itkovian looks up in the distance and sees four more K'ell hunters appear. Before they can muster an attack, Pran Chole appears, and relieves them with an army of T'lan Imass. The K'ell hunters are destroyed, but at great cost to the Imass troops. Pran Chole informs Itkovian that they are here to answer a summons. Messengers are sent to Capustan, accompanied by several Bonecasters, to inform Karnadas what happened.
Itkovian agrees to act as bait while the T'lan Imass travel as dust intending to kill as many K'chain Che'malle as they can. Itkovian speaks to the young recruit who insists on remaining with the main troop. Itkovian warns her this won't heal the trauma of seeing her comrades die. Pran Chole mentions that someone is controlling the K'chain Che'malle from afar and fears that it may be the Matron that finally unearthed herself from the barrow at Morn. Itkovian mentions the Pannion Seer, which suprises Pran Chole because "pannion" is a Jaghut word.
Plain of LamatathEdit
Toc the Younger is at his camp with Onos T'oolan, two of the Seguleh, and Baaljagg. He muses wryly as to how his only sane companion is a prehistoric wolf. He jokingly asks Baaljagg what her story is and is suddenly struck with a vision of the Ay's history. He sees her family die in a tar pit, but is herself rescued by an elder god who grants her a time running with the spirits of her own kind in a dream world until she is needed. Toc awakens to see Tool arriving with a freshly killed animal to eat, and insists on doing the cooking while Lady Envy is away. He says that he won't treat the Seguleh as servants, but as traveling companions, which causes the Seguleh to stare at him. Toc mentions his encounter with Baaljagg's story and Tool reacts with unexpected anguish, though he later denies it. Tool senses a connection between the souls of Toc and Baaljagg and, upon learning that Toc lost his eye to a rock falling from Moon's Spawn, gives Toc a new name: Aral Fayle (touched by stone). He mentions that his own name means "flawed flint" and that the name has many connotations to it.
Toc is struck by another vision, and finds himself looking out from the eyes of Trake, the Tiger of Summer, who lay dying after a fight with four K'ell Hunters. Trake thinks to himself how he has not known a human thought in centuries, only animal rage. He thinks on how the destruction of the First Heroes by the T'lan Imass, now several centuries past, was necessary and right. The K'ell Hunters leave him to die, but are abruptly destroyed when a black panther arrives, killing them with sorcery. Satisfied with seeing his killers dispatched, Trake thinks he is ready to die. The panther is a Soletaken Imass, not undead, who tells him he must not give up, and that he will be needed in the oncoming war of the gods.
Senu slaps Toc awake, telling him that the meal is prepared. Toc tells Tool what he saw and is unsurprised when the black panther from his vision arrives. The panther turns out to be Kilava, Tool's sister, who says she remembers seeing Toc looking out from Trake's vision through his missing eye. Tool tells her that this new gathering of the T'lan Imass could be her chance to reunite with her people. Kilava scoffs at this, and says she is going for a different reason. The voice of an Elder God tells Toc that she goes to right an old wrong. The Elder God further tells Toc that he intends on sending him into the Pannion Seer's hands to help free those under his power, something he probably won't forgive him for. Kilava leaves, saying the meeting has given her hope. Toc reassures Tool, who promises to tell him about Adjunct Lorn's death. The Seguleh call Tool and Toc over for the meal, calling them "Stoneblade" and "Stonearrow" to Toc's amazement.
Lady Envy, meanwhile, has traveled to the city of Callows with Mok and Garath. Upon entering the city, she finds its inhabitants slaughtered - perhaps 30,000 people having been killed. She makes her way to an old temple where she is contacted by K'rul, who tells her that the people of Callows weren't slaughtered by K'Chain Che'malle, but by a fleet of unhuman killers on ships. He refuses to name them, saying they have returned to the sea. Envy expresses her dislike of having to care for his "unwitting servants", referring to the Seguleh and her difficulty in keeping them under her sway, especially Mok. She claims that Mok will easily defeat Tool if he is allowed to challenge him. K'rul admits he didn't think the First of the Seguleh would send someone so highly ranked, but rather send several score low-ranked initiates to distract the Pannion Seer from the Malazan Army. When Envy becomes petulant, K'rul reveals that all the warrens used for sorcery, including the elder warrens Kurald Galain and Starvald Demelain, draw power from his blood. K'rul says he doesn't wish to be a tyrant with his presence in the warrens, but he is frightened by the Crippled God. When Envy asks what he needs her to do, he tells her to take his servants into the heart of the Seer's territory, but to take special care of Toc the Younger. She leaves, but not before K'rul warns her against using her warren within the Pannion Domin's territory, as his blood is poisoned there.
While on the road, Itkovian and Pran Chole encounter Bauchelain and Korbal Broach and find the wreckage of Gruntle's caravan along with several hundred undead Ay. Bauchelain and Korbal Broach aren't unscathed, but seem to be healing themselves. The others are all unconscious and wounded. The Grey Swords' mages draw upon Karnadas' warren to begin healing them, and one notes that they all seem to be in a magical, protective sleep. At one point, Korbal Broach tries to approach Pran Chole, who strikes him to the ground. Pran Chole later tells Itkovian that Korbal is a eunuch and insane, but that Bauchelain is the more dangerous of the two. As the party sets off towards Capustan, Itkovian asks that when they reach the city, the T'lan Imass and the T'lan Ay remain hidden from sight.
Karnadas is in a meeting with Prince Jelarkan, suffering headaches as his Denul warren has been used up. Jelarkan looks haggard after his discussions with the Mask Council, who wish to commit the bulk of their troops to a suicidal outpost. Jelarkan leaves after begging Karnadas to find him "leverage." Karnadas and Brukhalian discuss what must have happened for Itkovian to require so much of Karnadas' warren when Itkovian's outrider, Sidlis, appears. She relays to them the story of the battle and their relief by unexpected allies. When she mentions emissaries from said allies, three Kron T'lan Imass Bonecasters appear, Bek Okhan, Bendal Home, and Okral Lom. Sidlis introduces them, pointing out their abilities as Soletaken. Bendal Home steps forward and says that the T'lan Imass did not come to seek a battle, but to answer a summons. Refusing to give details on the nature of the summons, Bendal Home simply says they might be of less use once the gathering is finished. Bek Okhan questions Karnadas as to the nature of the Pannion Seer. Karnadas answers that he is simply a mortal man, with no glamor cast over him. Bek Okhan thinks there might be someone "in his shadow". The three Bonecasters leave, and Karandas and Brukhalian are left to discuss these new developments.
Two hours before dawn, with the arrival of Itkovian's troops imminent, Brukhalian waits in his room. He thinks on the events of the past days, starting with the communication with Quick Ben. He intuits that relieving Capustan probably isn't their primary goal, and that Caladan Brood's army is probably much reduced after so many years of battle. He muses on possible exit strategies for his troops that would still honor the contract he made with Prince Jelarkan. Suddenly a tall Jaghut appears before him, introducing himself as Gethol, a herald of Hood. Hood, it seems, can no longer contact Fener directly, so he sent Gethol to offer the Grey Swords a way out of Capustan if they agree to help Hood in the approaching war between the gods. When Brukhalian mentions his contract, Gethol is contemptuous, saying that Fener is soon going to fall, and that he should feel honored to be approached by Hood. Upon mentioning Honor, Brukhalian slashes Gethol across the face with his broadsword. Gethol draws his swords, but before he can strike, the three T'lan Imass Bonecasters appear on the edge of veering into their Soletaken forms. Gethol is pulled through a warren before they can attack. The Bonecasters compliment Brukhalian on his quick action, then disappear. Brukhalian cleans his sword in the flames of his hearth. Despite it being a sanctified sword with its power unveiled, he only sees ashes.
Gruntle awakens near Capustan. Stonny Menackis tells him that Harllo died during the attack along with Netok. A young Capan woman tells him he has been force healed by the Grey Swords. Keruli appears, but Gruntle curses him and tells him to get out of his sight. His last thought is of Harllo jumping between him and the K'Chain Che'malle.