|Night of Knives|
|1. Portents and Arrivals|
|3. Hounds of Shadow|
|4. Old Enemies, Old Friends|
|5. Feints and Fates|
Sea of Storms south of Malaz Isle
Season of Osserc
1154th Year of Burn's Sleep
96th Year of the Malazan Empire
Last Year of Emperor Kellanved's Reign
Sea of Storms[edit | edit source]
The Rheni's Dream, a two-masted raider, races towards Malaz Island. They are pushing ahead of a storm that has arisen with unnatural speed. Captain Murl's heart is seized with dread as the azure flashes from the storm's base have all the hallmarks of the Stormriders, a race of sea-demons who slay trespassers without mercy. He questions Lack-eye, his cousin and the ship's tillerman, "Did we forget any of the offerings?" None but the last and most desperate, is the reply. Murl refuses to consider human sacrifice. The crew are all members of his family.
Murl notes that Rheni, his Sea Witch, and Mole, his lookout, have already succumbed to the unnatural cold. First mate Hoggen prepares to break out boarding weapons, but Murl considers it hopeless, the ship is already encrusting with ice and slowing down. Suddenly a Rider appears in the crashing waves beside the ship. Murl attempts to aim the ship's scorpion in its direction, but the weapon is frozen solid. Lack-eye now stares silently from where he has frozen solid to the ship's wheel.
The ice-heavy ship groans as it partially submerges under a large wave and Murl is no longer on deck. Ice begins to solidify around the ship as the Riders and a flotilla of icebergs follow on its flanks. Malaz City is dead ahead.
A Path Within Shadow[edit | edit source]
Edgewalker crosses the monotonous sandy plains of the Shadow realm, his desiccated body appearing like cured leather clad in tattered rusted armour. He pauses his laboured march only for a moment to stare at a pale silver light on the horizon before arriving at a glyph covered menhir. He stops to crouch over a creature of chitinous scales, armoured plates, and lethal horned spurs bound by its hands into the rock. It is Jhedel, once ruler of Shadow.
Edgewalker inquires whether Jhedel has seen anyone passing through. He senses that something is coming. Jhedel bitterly notes that his imprisonment limits the range of his observation. The prisoner stops to sniff the air and notes "something with a heart of ice and something else...something sly, hidden, like a blurry reflection." Edgewalker suspects something is testing the Realm, perhaps eyeing the Throne and planning to make use of the upcoming Conjunction. He suggests that if someone were to finally claim the throne Jhedel might be released. Jhedel struggles against his bonds in a fit of rage, triggering a burst of silver fire from the menhir that stuns them both.
Jhedel groans and comes to. His memory is mostly gone. Edgewalker attempts to remind him, but Jhedel stops him. Attempting to remember his past is the only activity he has left. Edgewalker makes to depart when Jhedel suddenly remembers a rumour that Edgewalker can free him. He curses Edgewalker as he leaves for the House where the Throne sits. The Throne has been empty for a long time, Edgewalker thinks, and it worries him. But something new is in the air, the "coiled potential for change."