Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki
Return of the Crimson Guard
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Diaspora's End
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)
Epilogue Pagination

See the mourning exile sitting by the lake. His cloak is ragged, his stomach cramped. Does he cry for fallen friends, for tankards never to be raised again to the long rafters? Where are his companions, his brothers and benchmates? All stiff and staring in fields they lie. Their spears are broken, their swords blunt. Oh, where shall he go, this lone exile? Shall he cross the water? What is to become of him? What if he were you?

Lament of the Lonely Traveller
Anonymous (attributed by some to Fisher Tel Kath)


A group of local Untan landholders feel they are forced by circumstances to rebel and intend to seize the Imperial Arsenal. Mallick Rel, who has incited their conspiracy, immediately betrays them, so enhancing his power in the Assembly. The next day Empress Laseen meets with her Council. They discuss strategies to quell the rebellions in the provinces, in particular the Quon Talians and the Seti.

Wickan Plains[]

On the Wickan frontier, the fort holding the Malazan garrison and some Wickan refugees is besieged by a large number of Malazan settlers. The settlers call upon Lieutenant Rillish, the commander, to surrender. He refuses.

Li Heng[]

Captain Storo and his remaining troops are recovering from their wounds in Li Heng. Storo and Silk discuss their situation: they fear an attack by the surrounding Seti tribes.

Rust Ocean[]

In the Southern Rust Ocean the slave galley Ardent rescues a dozen castaways from a raft. Though the castaways appear close to death, they recover amazingly quickly and take over the vessel in the name of the Crimson Guard; one, Iron Bars, kills several of the slavers. They set course for Stratem.


Commander Shimmer and the Crimson Guard Second Company have arrived off the Stratem coast, near Fortress Haven which was once their base. Some, Kyle included, disembark and explore. They eventually meet some of the First Company led by Skinner, who appears to be insane. Gradually more of the Guard arrive, including Avowed and Mages. Then one night Kyle wakes to find Stoop leaving the camp. He follows and witnesses him meeting Skinner and Cowl, the company Mage and assassin-master. Cowl kills Stoop; as he dies he tells Kyle to run.

Kyle runs for three days before he is caught by another mage, Mara, who claims that it was Kyle that killed Stoop. Kyle is saved from her by the arrival of his comrades Stalker, Badlands and Coots, the Lost brothers. Together they continue away from the Guard.

Traveller and Ereko are constructing a ship when two raider vessels arrive; they contain Tiste Edur. Traveller has no difficulty in killing them all, sparing only a Witch named Sorrow. She sees Traveller as a prophet or Ascendant and asks for his guidance; he instructs her to travel north and spread the word of what she has seen.