|The Thousand-Fingered God|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2|
|Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Beneath This Name|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Shadows of the King|
|Chapter 12||Chapter 13|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15|
|Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20|
|Chapter 21||Chapter 22|
|Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
The streets are crowded with lies these days.High Mage Tayschrenn, Empress Laseen's Coronation
Recorded by Imperial Historian Duiker
1164 Burn’s Sleep
Fifty-eight days after the Execution of Sha'ik
Traveling through Ehrlitan's eastern inland gate, Apsalar manages to slip through with little notice and heads towards Ehrlitan’s central tel, the Jen'rahb. She finds a tavern, and at the bar and orders a bottle of rice-wine and a room with a lock. The barman speaks to her in Malazan assuming she is attached to Dujek's army which marched out six days ago leaving a garrison behind. Apsalar denies this and heads for her room arriving shortly after she has had to threaten a man who attempts to follow her.
We join the fleeing army of Leoman of the flails as they attempt to escape the Adjunct's pursuing Malazan army, the 14th. Leoman believes that the army pursues in order to obtain the Holy Book of Dryjhna which he in fact does not possess. Leoman displays a particular hatred for the book and is constantly cursing it which is a fact his second in command, Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas, withholds from their fellow rebels. News reaches them that the rebellion in Seven Cities is collapsing as cities were capitulating with the arrival of imperial armies and ships. This seems to be putting Leoman in an even worse mood, made worse again by the fact that he does not seem to know where they are or where they are going.
With an injured ankle, a woman named Samar Dev lies on a track on the Ugarat Odhan in the shade of her broken wagon - which we later learn she created to work mechanically without the aid of oxen. She hears soft footfalls approaching and is surprised to look up to see a "giant of a man", Karsa Orlong, towering over her. Karsa finds out that Samar Dev is from Ugarat which is the city he wishes to enter to gather supplies. He wishes to remain beneath notice which Samar Dev agrees to help him with even after comprehending how difficult that will be, particularly with the heads of two Deragoth tied to the back of his horse. Karsa picks her up, puts her on Havok and they set off for Ugarat.
Apsalar weeps in her room in the tavern as she is still grieving over Cutter. She left him since she does not believe she is worthy of being loved, a fact Cotillion appears to understand well. After awhile she heads back down to the bar where she is approached by two Pardu women who say that three Gral regulars sitting nearby want her to dance for them. Apsalar tells them she is a Shadow Dancer after which they leave her alone. Apsalar then sets out and once outside enters Shadow Realm. Within the warren of Shadow she enters a lifeless, ancient city which appears to be unfamiliar. Walking towards the Jen'rahb, she passes an open square where shackles line the walls, two sets of which hold two decaying Tiste Andii bodies. Two shades rise from them asking Apsalar to help them escape the warren by escorting them through one of the gates. Even after learning that they had attempted to break into Shadowkeep and neither shade will divulge exact details of themselves except that they plan on possessing new bodies once they leave, Apsalar agrees. The shades are named Telorast and Curdle and both sound as though they may be more than they first appear to be.
Leoman and his band of rebels, exhausted and broken, reach a well somewhere in the odhan. Corabb and Leoman take a walk away from the others once they have stopped to rest. Corabb voices his beliefs on his faith in Leoman and his last army of the rebellion though Leoman sounds unsure and seems to be contemplating how to get out of it.
Samar Dev and Karsa Orlong arrive at Ugarat. The guards at the city gates don't want Karsa to enter so he throws one of them into a nearby cart. They enter the city upon which a crowd starts to gather along with a squad of guards, led by a Captain Inashan. The guards surround Karsa attempting his arrest. Samar Dev is revealed to be a witch as she threatens to curse ogling bystanders. Once the guards find out that Karsa is the ex-bodyguard to Sha'ik, the Captain informs Karsa that the Malazan garrison had been driven out of the city and that they are aware of the rebellion’s failure. Karsa states that he will meet the Malazans to make gestures of peace all of which Captain Inashan believes should be brought to the Falah'd – seemingly withdrawing the threat of arrest.
Apsalar leaves the warren of shadow through a gate leading out onto the Jen'rahb. Telorast and Curdle learn of Apsalar's name and reveal that they had known the original. Their ramblings indicate they have been around awhile and have intimate knowledge of Starvald Demelain. While Apsalar warns them the may end up in Hood's realm once they leave the warren, they pass through anyway and reach the other side onto the streets of Ehrlitan safely. Apsalar tells them to stay put and await her return while she sets off towards the secret trail leading into the heart of the Jen'rahb. Apsalar reflects on her mission, revealing that she aims to answer what Cotillion believes is a betrayal. She finds and enters the temple she is looking for only to find the person she was sent to kill, Mebra, is already dead. The person responsible is an assassin from the South Clan of the Semk who attempts to kill her but is killed instead. Apsalar notes the Semk is covered in tattoos of the language of the First Empire realizing he was a priest of the Nameless Ones.
While waiting for Apsalar's return, Telorast and Curdle mention that they want to stay out of Edgewalker's way and that they want their throne back for which they will be using Apsalar.