|The Emperor in Gold|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Layers of the Dead|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Knuckles of the Soul|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14|
|Chapter 15||Chapter 16|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
She walked through the shrouds of dusk
Where the living gamed with death
Where the dead mocked the living
She came to set down her new child
'This,' said she, 'is what we must do,
And the child did cry in the night
Have we dreamed this enough now?
Will you look down upon its new face
Taking the sawtoothed key in hand
Tell then your tale of futility to the child
We who stand here have heard it before
The Masked Monks of Cabal
Isle of the Shake
Darkness descends on Second Maiden Fort and Nimander Golit is awakened by the sound of spinning chains. He finds his way down to the street where he is greeted by Clip. Clip tells the puzzled Tiste Andii that the Shake are their kin. And not just Andii blood, but a mixture of Human, Tiste Edur, and possibly Tiste Liosan. But the Shake are not yet ready for this knowledge and it is time for Nimander and the others to leave what Clip mockingly calls Twilight's island empire.
He tells Nimander to gather the other Andii so he can return them home to Anomander Rake. When Nimander protests that Rake does not want them, Clip says it only matters what Mother Dark wants. Nimander is excited that the time of their exile seems to be at an end and runs back inside to find the others.
While Clip waits on Nimander, he thinks they must be a pathetic bunch if Nimander is the best among them. Most of what he has just told the young Andii is a lie. His thoughts next turn to Silchas Ruin, who he expects did not fare well in Letheras. Clip dismisses Ruin as something less than his brother. Then he thinks of Rake, angered that his god chose to betray his people and walk away. Soon they will find Rake and make him know how it feels.
Rud finds his father, Udinaas, sitting on a boulder overlooking the valley near the Imass village in the Refugium. They watch as a lone Ranag calf separated from the herd wanders the valley below calling for its mother. The air is thick with emotion when Rud asks how long his father will stay. Udinaas avoids the question and struggles over his decision to inform Onrack T'emlava of Trull Sengar's death. Rud asks again how long he plans to stay and Udinaas replies he will stay as long as Rud will have him. He says he does not have much to teach his son other than how to mend fishing nets. Nearly in tears, Rud looks below and sees that three adult ranag have found the calf and are guiding it home. Then Rud asks his father to teach him his greatest skill, the most important thing of all--how to survive.
Onrack readies to leave, telling Kilava Onass that the journey to his friend's body will ease his spirit. He must also tell Seren Pedac of her husband's life after he gave her his sword. Kilava surprises him by telling him she will join him on this trip. Love wells in his eyes as he begins to praise his wife, but she cuts him off. They say goodbye to their son.
Letheras, Eternal Domicile
Emperor Tehol Beddict grumbles from his throne that he is exhausted, despite Bugg's observation that he has not done anything since he took office three weeks ago. Tehol's list of reforms is so long he does not think he will ever get around to any of them. Brys Beddict offers that at least there is now peace in the land, but Bugg can only wonder how long it will last. Brys reminds Tehol that both Adjunct Tavore Paran and Shurq Elalle are expected shortly for an audience with the new emperor. Adjunct Tavore is expected to announce her army's departure.
Janath Anar, Tehol's new Chancellor, enters wearing the gaudy robes of her new office. Tehol tries to swallow his distaste for the uniform by praising her loveliness, but Janath cuts him short to remind him that chancellors should be valued for their competence and elegance. This reminds Tehol to once again ask his wife why she cannot also be First Concubine. Bugg argues that her true title is Empress. Not given his first choice, Tehol considers that Rucket might make a fine concubine. While they wait for the Adjunct, Tehol brings up the subject of appointing a new Finadd to aid Preda Varat Taun with the city's reconstruction. Brys is glad to finally be discussing genuine matters, until Tehol admits he has Ublala Pung in mind for the position. Bugg decides it is time for a walk.
Letheras, Seren Pedac's home
Seren Pedac struggles to leverage the heavy pavestones out of place beneath the entrance to her home. Once they are out of the way, she will dig as far as she can manage. But the work is proving difficult. An unfamiliar old man asks if he can help--his large, well-worked hands suggesting he has experience as a mason. He somehow recognises her as an Acquitor, but she admits she is now only Seren Pedac. The man steps in to help, but succeeds only in bending the iron bar. So to Seren Pedac's amazement he resorts to moving the final block with his bare hands.
As he readies to leave, the old man advises her not to grieve overlong. She is needed. After he leaves, Seren is thoughtful for a moment before readying to gather Trull's weapons to bury beneath the threshold of her empty home. Suddenly the man returns, announcing he had found the Errant and they had much to discuss. That was how he learned of her. The former Acquitor is suddenly concerned that the man is one of the Errant's new zealots and attempts to turn away. But the man quickly advises her, "You have all there is of him, all that's left. Cherish it, please. Seren Pedac, cherish it. And yourself. Please." Then Bugg leaves for good.
She is reminded of Trull's final words: "You have all there is of me, all that's left." She unconsciously puts her hand on her stomach--something she will be doing a lot of over the coming months.