|Night of Knives|
|1. Portents and Arrivals|
|3. Hounds of Shadow|
|4. Old Enemies, Old Friends|
|5. Feints and Fates|
The fisherman Toben pauses in the midst of eating and regretfully tells his sightless wife that he must go out. She voices her concerns saying that he has never had to go out any of the other times but he tells her that because things are out of balance, he has to go. He asks her to sing for him. After leaving the house, he makes his way to the shingle beach of the barren southern shore of Malaz Isle where he finds his skiff covered in ice. He lays his hands on it and the ice melts, then turns to steam. Toben sets off, chanting an ancient song whilst advancing outward into the rough waters of the Strait of Storms. Malaz is only a dark distant line, he turns his skiff and faces the stern, the bow to the south. Facing north, he ignores the storm front advancing from the south and continues to drone his chant. As he is doing so, the hail does not touch his hair and the high waves roll under his bow, transformed into gentle waves leaving the sea smooth between his boat and Malaz.
Kiska has lost the man who was following the other group and suspects he may have used a Warren again. Following the trail of that group directly, leads her through the warehouse district and into some of the poorer city quarters, then upwards through a wealthier merchant district and into the rich estate quarters, ending at the dilapidated and abandoned E'Karial Manor. From a hidden vantage point behind the estate walls, she observes two men sitting on a bench, one of them being the man she had followed, the other an old man. They are silently observing the southern sky. When the moon appears, an exchange of words follows. Having decided that there is nothing to be gained from observing those two, Kiska is leaving when a noise draws her back for another look. The man she had been following is nowhere to be seen but the other one, whose trail she had lost, is bent over the body of the old guy. He then abruptly vanishes into his Warren and Kiska drops below the wall again, fearing she has witnessed an assassination by the Claw. After enough time passes for her to feel secure, Kiska moves forth to investigate. The old man has been stabbed twice in the back so Kiska is unprepared when grabs her, now undead. She screams.
Before he can unlock his door, Temper is waved into another room by Corinn. She reveals that she is a Bridgeburner and that she has recognised him. She asks him to stand aside through the night, saying that it will save his life. Before Temper can respond, the Bridgeburner from downstairs, now naming himself Sergeant Ash, accompanied by a small guard, opens the door and declares Temper his prisoner. They take him down to the Hanged Man Inn common room and place him in a booth with the other prisoners: Coop, Trenech, and Faro Balkat. Temper counts around forty armed men and women. A dozen or so stand near Ash and Corrin, mostly in their mid-thirties and well armed, these he believes to be veterans, likely Bridgeburners. The remainder appear to be mismatched hired thugs. Temper thinks that Ash is likely an officer, not just a sergeant. Trenech seems to be in a right state - looking at Temper but seeing through him, sweat on his brow, a white-knuckle grip on the table. Temper wonders if Corinn is not just a mage but a Bridgeburner cadre mage. He has a flashback to the Siege of Y'Ghatan and remembers the betrayal, Dassem severely wounded, supported by Hilt. All those within the inn hear a dog's long howl, the most savage call Temper has ever heard which makes Corinn flinch as if bitten but puts a disturbing smile on Trenech's face. Faro then opens his eyes and calmly announces that the Shadow Moon has risen.
Warren of ShadowEdit
Kiska finds herself laying at the bottom of a deep and narrow canyon. The undead man is there as well. After a chase, he corners her. He tells Kiska that his name is Oleg, that the realm they are in, overlaps the real world and is called The Path of Shadow. In a conversation which is several times interrupted by the howls of Hounds, he tells her that Kellanved and Dancer will be returning to Malaz Island that night in an effort to enter the Deadhouse, not, as the Claw and its mistress might think, to reclaim the throne. He demands that she go and tell the man he had been talking to at the manor that he, Oleg, has now seen it all and that he has been right. He also tells her to say that Kellanved plans to lose all in order to gain everything and that he does not want that to happen as what they are seeking belongs to him. With that, Kiska finds herself returned to the E’Karial manor. She debates on what to do and where to go, when, upon turning around, she finds herself facing the man who killed Oleg. He tries to strangle her, saying he will send her to his master, but is stopped by a burst of magic from Oleg’s shade.
After warning the prisoners to remain within the inn until dawn and not cause any trouble for the guards, the veterans and thugs, led by Ash, depart in squads. Only six hired guards remain, four inside and two (Bell and Theo) outside. Coop tricks the common room guards into drinking Moranth distilled spirits, which is pure alcohol, but to no immediate effect. As time passes, the guards playing a game of bones and drinking, fog begins to coat the floor, coming up from a stairwell to some cold cellars that no one ever enters. Faro jerks awake and says something to Trenech in a language Temper does not recognise. The next moment, the roar of a hound sounds from just outside the inn. The death screams of Bell and Theo can be heard by those within. Then the fire in the hearth goes out. Faro's repeated speech and warnings to the room eventually provoke the young guard Eli into attacking the old man. Temper intercepts him and and kills him then Trenech dispatches the three who remain. Faro tells them that they have to leave as 'Shadow - and Others - come. The Heralds announce'. Temper departs, dragging Coop along with him. The innkeeper promptly faints at the sight of the mangled bodies.