|Return of the Crimson Guard|
|Chapter 1 (I)||Chapter 2 (II)|
|Chapter 3 (III)||Chapter 4 (IV)|
|Chapter 5 (V)|
|The Eternal Return|
|Chapter 6 (I)||Chapter 7 (II)|
|Chapter 8 (III)||Chapter 9 (IV)|
|Chapter 10 (V)||Chapter 11 (VI)|
|Fates and Chances|
|Chapter 12 (I)||Chapter 13 (II)|
|Chapter 14 (III)||Chapter 15 (IV)|
|Chapter 16 (V)|
Only the dead should be certain of anything.A scholar's ancient warning
Dolmens of Tien
Kyle's party approach the Dolmens of Tien, where Duke K'azz, the original leader of the Crimson Guard, is believed to be trapped. Ereko leads them to the correct location. They dig, and find what appears to be a desiccated corpse. Then a warren opens and Kallor arrives. He has a longstanding grievance against Ereko and intends to kill him. Traveller declines to prevent this as Ereko has made him promise not to. Kallor mortally wounds Ereko, so fulfilling the terms of Traveller's promise. He attacks and wounds Kallor, who retreats into his warren. They return to their ship, Kyle having taken a smooth stone from Ereko as a keepsake.
At the ship they encounter an old man, Jan; he was shipwrecked there long ago and wishes to leave. Kyle agrees to take him to their next destination, Quon Tali.
The Talian League makes another assault on Li Heng. Soon after it starts one of the Seti shamans warns Toc that Ryllandaras is free and approaching them. As many people as possible are moved inside the outer walls, where they should be safe. They close the gate, but the Malazan sappers demolish it with previously-placed munitions.
The Talian League now become trapped between the Malazans guarding the inner wall and Ryllandaras. In retaliation, they destroy the inner gate too, so the Jackal-god can enter the main city. Only Rell can withstand him, and Ryllandaras finally withdraws.
The next day Toc meets with Imotan, the shaman of the Jackal warrior society, whose position within the Seti hierarchy has been enormously enhanced by the reappearance of his totem, Ryllandaras. Toc presses him to adhere to the agreement they had made, to take part in the forthcoming battle. Imotan ambiguously agrees that the Seti will be there.
Near Otataral Island
The scholars and mages freed from The Pit are now travelling on the Crimson Guard's ship Forlorn, led by Grief who is now revealed to be Blues. The mages are washing off as much as possible of the Otataral dust; they are aware of the happenings at Li Heng; to get there in time their leader Yath plans a dangerous shared Ritual to take the ship through a Warren.
Kyle's party, voyaging towards Quon Tali, encounters a magical storm that they cannot avoid. They enter it and find themselves in the Warren of Shadow: Shadowthrone wishes to talk to Traveller, and Kyle also goes to the meeting.
Shadowthrone wants Traveller to do something for him, and Traveller sets two conditions on his service. As the discussion progresses Kyle's sword becomes increasingly hot. Finally it melts, and from it emerges Osserc. Initially there is a confrontation between him and Shadowthrone, but they eventually decide to ignore each other. Osserc gives Kyle his sword to replace the one that melted. Traveller agrees to undertake Shadowthrone's service and leaves by warren. The others also depart.