|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|
The harder the world, the fiercer the honour.Dancer
Crippled God's Warren
Gethol crawls through a landscape of bones, his face ruined from Brukhalian's strike. He comments on the irony of Hood sending him here, free to crawl away from his service, saying that he now knows who and what Hood is. He enters Omtose Phellack and notices the warren seems to be dying. A fissure appears, where Gethol finds the Crippled God. The Crippled God tells him that Hood dismissed Gethol because of his desire to seek vengeance, something that would harm Hood's plans. The Crippled God, on the other hand, welcomes personal ambition. He displays the deck of cards that Munug had painted for him, and declares he will "enter the game" as the House of Chains, and offers Gethol the position of Herald of the House. Gethol thinks he's a fool, and that the deck will fight him, but ultimately accepts.
Caladan Brood's Camp
Murillio, Coll, and Quick Ben are playing knuckles with Kruppe and losing badly. Murillio suspects Kruppe has some kind of sympathy with the Bridgeburners' table. Quick Ben suspects he's cheating, as Kruppe throws several impossible hands, but he can't detect anything with his warren. Whiskeyjack laughs, saying no one will ever figure Kruppe out. Korlat appears and asks Whiskeyjack to accompany her to Anomander Rake's tent.
Still favoring his bad leg, Whiskeyjack makes his way to Rake's tent. Rake makes enigmatic observations about chance meetings, hope, and trust, and mentions Ganoes Paran. Whiskeyjack offers to tell Anomander Rake about Quick Ben's history:
Seven Cities had been in rebellion, led by a group called the Seven Holy Protectors. Dassem Ultor led the sack of a city where one Protector had been hiding, and killed him. The Protector's cadre of twelve mages then fled into Raraku, and Whiskeyjack's company had been sent to pursue them. His company was comprised of seventy soldiers from various companies who had almost been wiped out, Fiddler, Hedge, and Picker amongst them. They were guided by Kalam Mekhar, a Seven Cities local who had recently joined the Claw. Along the way, they found the ravaged body of one of the mages in the cadre, who looked to have died a long time ago. The chase continued for weeks across the hostile landscape of Raraku, with another mage found dead every few days until there was only one left. Upon finding the last one, Quick Ben, it had turned out that he and Kalam had been in secret communication during the hunt, but that the pursuers had worked this out. Whiskeyjack guessed that each of the cadre mages allowed their souls and their powers to be shifted into Quick Ben's body to avoid death, giving him enormous power. Quick Ben told Whiskeyjack that the arduous trek across Raraku had "burned the bridges of [the soldiers'] pasts... and they are yours. Heart and soul." Whiskeyjack told him that whatever they experienced, Quick Ben and Kalam had shared as well. The two Seven Cities natives had then decided to follow Whiskeyjack. In their first assignment, the Bridgeburners took G'danisban from four hundred desert warriors in a single night.
Anomander Rake is amazed at the story, understanding why Quick Ben asked not to be probed. Rake tells Whiskeyjack that he was impressed with his defense of Silverfox, and that he won't move against her, and will instruct Kallor to do the same. He promises to repay Whiskeyjack's tale with one of his own. Whiskeyjack departs, amazed at having made a friend.
Crone comes to Rake's tent, telling him to be wary of making friends with short-lived races. He curtly tells her to bring Kallor to his tent. He summons Korlat and tells her to guard Silverfox and place watchers on Kallor. He gives her permission for the Tiste Andii to fully unveil their warrens in order to bring Kallor down if need be. She is alarmed at this, given that eleven-hundred Tiste unveiling Kurald Galain might very well destroy the continent. He advises restraint, saying to be prepared simply as a precaution.
The Mhybe dreams she is young again, thinking this a curse, not a blessing. In her dreams, she sees footprints and thinks that flesh and blood Imass have wandered into her dreams. She awakens in her tent, wishing to the Spirits of the Rhivi to end her life and the constant pain she has to endure as an old woman. Leaving her tent, Kruppe appears with a box for her. During an attempt to expand the gaseous caves in Darujhistan, chambers were found with altars and crude cave paintings. Upon these altars were copper adornments meant to look like flint. The adornments were made and worn by the Spirits of the Rhivi before they ascended. He tells her that wearing them will ease her pain. He leaves her to find something to eat, telling her to hold onto her faith and that her dreams are a gift from that faith. As he leaves, she wonders at the hope he planted within her, and again at who might have been with her in her dreams.
Paran's company is going to meet up with the White Face Barghast to try and form an alliance against the Pannion Domin. Trotts once had a high rank, and he can get them into Barghast territory unharmed, but he will probably have to fight a challenge or two. If he wins, the alliance is assured, but if he loses, the Bridgeburners might all die. Paran tells Antsy that his troop will be staying behind to wait for Quick Ben, who is busy. Antsy, worried at what might happen if Quick Ben doesn't show, calls for Spindle, who is examining what apppears to be a tree planted upside down. Spindle, upon hearing the news, says that the Barghast spirits of the land are agitated with Trotts' arrival. Paran talks with Twist, telling him he wants the Moranth to fly over them. He thinks on how Whiskeyjack is going to force the Bridgeburners into retirement after this war is done. He wonders if being killed en masse by the Barghast might not be a more merciful fate.
Quick Ben is traveling between warrens, but finds that each of them is tainted by some kind of corruption. The corruption is similar to the Crippled God, yet he's approaching the land of the Pannion Domin. He doesn't think this is a coincidence. Traveling into Hood's warren, he notices the corruption isn't nearly as bad. He senses something peculiar, and finds a bundle of sticks and twigs with an acorn head in a field of clay with ancient wards scratched into its surface. The bundle of twigs is the sticksnare once employed by Bauchelain, who tells Quick Ben his name is Talamandas. He says he was one of the first Barghast, and that the Barghast were once Imass, but were too far away to make it to the Ritual of Tellann. He is bound to the earth, but was almost overthrown by Bauchelain who, had he succeeded, would have learned secrets forgotten even by the Barghast themselves. The Barghast were once seafaring Imass that traveled with the Thelomen Toblakai, and the upside down trees at their barrow are meant to represent the dugout canoes they traveled in, and are part of the binding process. He needs to escape to give the Barghast spirits a chance to ascend in truth, and his people the chance at survival. Quick Ben offers to free him from his bindings in exchange for help in the war against the Crippled God. He frees him with worms that feed on the salt in the clay, slowly breaking the wards by disrupting the writing. Talamandas asks who Quick Ben is, and he replies, "In the eyes of the gods... just a lowly saltworm."