|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Prows of the Day|
|Chapter 6||Chapter 7|
|Chapter 8||Chapter 9|
|Chapter 10||Chapter 11|
|All That Lies Unseen|
|Chapter 12||Chapter 13|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15|
|Chapter 16||Chapter 17|
|Chapter 18||Chapter 19|
|Chapter 20||Chapter 21|
|Chapter 22||Chapter 23|
|Chapter 24||Chapter 25|
Out of the white
Out of the sun's brittle dismay
We are the grim shapes
Who haunt all fate
Out of the white
Out of the wind's hoarse bray
We are the dark ghosts
Who haunt all fate
Out of the white
Out of the snow's worldly fray
We are the sword's wolves
Who haunt all fate
In the Warlock King's chamber now occupied by the new emperor, Udinaas is a silent observer to the beginning of the emotional trauma Mayen suffers at the unwitting and eager hands of Rhulad Sengar as he has sexual intercourse with her. Unlike him, Feather Witch, the only other observer, cannot keep her emotions silent and is heard weeping softly, this to the fury of the emperor who shouts the dismissal of both slaves.
Udinaas tries to console Feather Witch but the other isn't receptive to anything the Indebted has to say, going as far as pointing out that she did not trust him nor did she want anything to have to do with him. Udinaas acknowledges that they should only have contact as necessary, but dismisses her lack of trust, to which she threatens that she should reveal the Wyval's existence to Mayen. Udinaas points out that if she were to do that she would be destroying her only chance at freedom. But Feather Witch has never known freedom, thus she counters that it holds no value to her. Udinaas persists that they will have an opportunity at freedom soon since the Edur were going to a war of conquest with the Letherii, and at Feather Witch's skepticism regarding the outcome of the war, Udinaas reveals that the emperor now has control over all the wraiths bound to the Edur, something unprecedented.
Hull Beddict returns to find Buruk the Pale's wagons readied for departure. Seren Pedac asks him to join her in a walk to the guest house where First Eunuch Nifadas and his delegation are housed. As they make their way toward their destination, Hull reveals that he has seen activity at the old sites. He reveals the old sites to be kill sites housing piles of Tiste and reptilian bones, and among them the bones of a huge shattered dragon's skull, which he supposes could be Father Shadow's, the Edur God. The activity is something that he finds unsettling since it is his belief that it is Draconic in nature. Seren points out that the Hold of the Dragon has remained inactive for thousands of years, to which Hull asks when she had spoken to a caster the last time. Thinking back on Feather Witch’s casting, Seren hesitantly acknowledges Hull’s assertion and asks the significance of all this. “A fated war born of a renewed sense of destiny”, is something that Hull believes is coming, since Father Shadow and the three Daughters – the gods of the Edur – were draconic, though he is not sure how Hannan Mosag and his K'risnan will fare in it. Seren then explains all that has come to pass since his departure — the fall of a king and the rise of an emperor — to which Hull adds his adamant assertion of Destiny at work. Seren vehemently disagrees, but ultimately sees that Hull’s mind is already made up.
In the guest house Prince Quillas is boorishly advising the assassination of the emperor, but the First Eunuch ignores him. Seren is welcomed by Nifadas, but he is hesitant to extend that welcome to Hull. When inquiring what Hull would advise the delegation, the eldest of the Beddict brothers advises their speedy departure. Hull declines to answer his intentions now that the Edur would be going to war with Letheras. This enrages Quillas who names him a traitor and calls for his arrest, only for Seren Pedac to point out that Hull is a guest of the emperor.
Much to her surprise and to her alarm, the First Eunuch asks Seren to accompany them as they take their leave from the emperor. Rhulad addresses Hull first, who affirms his loyalty to the Edur. He then addresses Seren, who informs him that she is ready to escort Buruk the Pale home. He bids both to separate themselves from the Letherii delegation so that he can speak to them directly. The First Eunuch is the first to speak, and conveys that the Kingdom of Lether has incurred a debt for which they are prepared to negotiate. Rhulad dismisses the assertion, pointing out that the Edur did not care for gold, and it quickly becomes apparent that the emperor has set his mind already as he officially declares war against the Kingdom of Lether.
As the official delegation departs, the emperor asks Hull and Seren to stay. He tells Seren to inform Buruk that the merchant has three days to depart the Edur Lands, and that the Nerek and the wagons are to be left behind. Seren is witness as Hull pledges fealty to the Edur cause.
Exiting the citadel, Seren encounters Gerun Eberict who inquires after Hull. At Seren's skepticism regarding his intentions, he conveys that a promise he had made to Brys Beddict led him into pursuing an encounter with the eldest Beddict brother. What Brys had hoped to achieve by this, not even Eberict knows.
Eberict then wonders what Seren's plans were after escorting Buruk back to Trate. When she tells him she is planning on returning to Letheras, he offers her a job working for him at his estate, though he adds that he would seek her out back in the city so she might ponder on the offer. Seren points out that his duty as a Finadd of the Kingdom might not leave him much time to pursue any of his other enterprises, but Eberict scoffs at the idea. To him the Letherii would always overcome any war against them, as history had proven time and again. Far from being the ideal that granted the right to be different without fear of repression, freedom was wielded as a sword for the subjugation and eradication of anything different from the Letherii, and was used further as a justification by the Finadd for the atrocities committed, and to be committed. Seren's claim that the Edur conquest would be different fails to register as he points out that even if the Edur were victorious, they would ultimately still lose, because at the heart of it, the Merchant Tolls -- the commercial core and heart of the Letherii financial system -- is not a place as much as it is an ideal that is bound to everything. The only way to be truly victorious would then be to eradicate every Letherii. All of this angers Seren enough for her to turn down his job offer.
Udinaas had been witness to all that transpired in the audience with the Letherii delegation and Seren Pedac, just as he is witness again to Hull’s reaffirmation of fealty to the Edur in the conquest to come. Rhulad probes Hull further for details regarding the strategies Letheras may employ, and reveals during the conversation that the Edur had new allies yet to be revealed; something the Letherii had no knowledge of.
When Hull is dismissed to Tomad Sengar residence, where he is to meet Binadas, Rhulad calls Hannan Mosag to him, revealing that the Warlock King had been listening in on the conversation too. Rhulad affirms Hannan Mosag’s suppositions regarding the strategies the Letherii might employ, as confirmed by Hull. He then asks his opinion regarding the audience with the Letherii delegation, with Mosag revealing that, unlike the prince, the First Eunuch had grasped the situation immediately, though both had remained confident in their Kingdom’s military might. Indeed, he felt that Nifadas felt sorrow and compassion for what was to happen to the Edur. A notion that Rhulad would reciprocate with mercy, though is advised against it by Mosag.
Udinaas contemplates the changes Rhulad has gone through as the emperor endures another spasm. In his observation he muses that a thousand bindings were holding the madness that was inside the emperor at bay, yet they seemed not enough as Rhulad’s speech and actions also indicated self-persuasion. Seeing the fear flicker through Hannan Mosag’s face at Rhulad’s spasm, Udinaas muses that he understands the reaction well since it was clear that Mosag needed the young emperor to be sane and in control. If ever the control vanished, Mosag's choice seemed easy since he knew more about the sword and its maker, though Wither had also given Udinaas enough insight to understand that the sword had been instrumental in how the emperor now could command the wraiths.
When Rhulad regains himself, Mosag inquires about the Nerek, and during this conversation the emperor reveals that he believed the Nerek spirits to be older and more powerful than they thought. Mosag finds that hard to believe since the Letherii had no problems in subjugating the Nerek and eradicating the spirits. The fault lay not with the old spirits, but with the Nerek themselves, Rhulad believed, for the Eres'al had not risen to protect them. Mayen’s blessing of the Nerek had changed that. Whether that change was something the Edur needed to fear, was unknown, but what was clear was that they needed to be cautious.
The conversation winds toward the strategies of the conquest, in which the first few moves were already made. The distant Edur were converging toward the emperor’s banner, leaving behind ashes where previously their were homes.
Trull Sengar feels helpless as he watches everyone around him trying to cope with the new reality. Hannan Mosag, as everyone else, had knelt before the new emperor, and it had not taken Rhulad long to demand a gift from his brother Fear. Trull rails against all of this, something that is evident as Fear advises him not to fight against it. With Rhulad holding the sword, there was nothing to be done. But there was no question for him that the sword was seeking to supplant Father Shadow and the Daughters. Pointing out that the sword but was a tool, Fear tries to convince Trull to stop his chain of thought that so borders treason. It is his opinion that as Rhulad’s blood brothers, they would also have a hand in shaping what is to come. While Trull is skeptic, he does confirm that he will answer the summons when it comes, as he had always done, but for now he needs solitude.
Rhulad needs Udinaas’s help to fight drowning in madness as he reveals that he relives each moment of his death with clarity. Furthermore, he reveals that the one behind the sword is manipulating him, leading him to draw the conclusion that he was imperfect and in fact not so different from the slave himself. But when Udinaas names him Indebted, the emperor is infuriated. Udinaas is successful in appeasing him by recanting his words and deflecting the issue to other subjects.
In search of solitude, Trull sees Seren Pedac standing motionless midway across the bridge before the main road leading through the village. As he makes his way toward her, she turns, and for a brief moment that lasts long enough their eyes meet, something deep passes between the two. But Trull finds himself incapable of speaking the truth of his heart, and as such, watches Seren Pedac leave dejected.