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The Bonehunters
Dramatis Personae Prologue
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
Chapter 11
Shadows of the King
Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16
The Bonehunters
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Epilogue Pagination
Epigraph

An old man past soldiering
his rivets green, his eyes
rimmed in rust,
stood as if heaved awake
from slaughter’s pit, back-cut
from broken flight
when young blades chased him
from the field.
He looks like a promise only fools
could dream unfurled,
the banners of glory
gesticulating
in the wind over his head,
stripped like ghosts,
skulls stove in, lips flapping,
their open mouths mute.

‘Oh harken to me,’ cries he
atop his imagined summit,
‘and I shall speak – of riches
and rewards, of my greatness,
my face once young like these
I see before me – harken!’

While here I sit at the Tapu’s
table, grease-fingered
with skewered meat, cracked goblet
pearled in the hot sun, the wine
watered to make, in the
alliance of thin and thick,
both passing palatable.
As near as an arm’s reach
from this rabbler, this
ravelling trumpeter who once
might have stood shield-locked
at my side, red-hued, masked
drunk, coarse with fear, in
the moment before he broke—
broke and ran—
and now he would call a new
generation to war, to battle-clamour,
and why? Well, why – all
because he once ran, but listen:
a soldier who ran once
ever runs, and this,
honoured magistrate,
is the reason—
the sole reason I say—
for my knife finding his back.
He was a soldier
whose words heaved me
awake.

'Bedura's Defence'
in The Slaying of King Qualin Tros of Bellid
(transcribed as song by Fisher, Malaz City,
last year of Laseen’s Reign)


In front of G'danisban Edit

Noto Boil tries to stop Captain Ganoes Paran, who is pretending to be Captain Kindly, from entering the Field Hospital that houses the highest ranking commanders who have been infected with the plague, but Ganoes orders him aside despite all the protests regarding Ganoes' own safety.

Once inside, Ganoes makes his way to Dujek's cot where he observes a very nearly dead Dujek barely hanging on to life.

On his way back out, Ganoes is engaged in a conversation by Fist Rythe Bude, who sees through Ganoes' Kindly impersonation since she has served under Kindly before. She introduces herself as a Shal-Morzinn native and gives a brief background of herself. When Ganoes is about to leave, she asks him to fill her lungs with oil and burn her when she is dead.

Ganoes then meets up with Noto Boil and explains the plan: to assault the city with just a two man team, himself and Noto Boil.

Since the two sisters Soliel, mistress of healing, and Poliel, Mistress of Pestilence, are resident in G'danisban and Noto Boil was a former priest to Soliel, Ganoes intends to exploit these facts. Meanwhile, he orders Hurlochel to get all the soldiers working, and that they will march in four days.

Ganoes and Noto Boil then mount up and ride towards the city walls.

Poliel's temple Edit

Torahaval Delat, Quick Ben's elder sister, recalls the several times Quick Ben had gotten the entire family into trouble when they had lived in Aren, and how she wished she hadn't severed her ties with her brother after a particularly nasty joke he had played on her. Torahaval, now a priestess of Poliel is resident in the Temple of Poliel in G'danisban in the company of other priests and priestesses of Poliel. She is summoned by her goddess.

On the road Edit

Bottle is dragged by Fiddler to where Quick Ben is working with dolls, a lost art of magery. Bottle inspects the set-up and deduces that Quick Ben's sister has been thinking of her brother of late. He makes suggestions involving Shadowthrone then goes to sleep. Quick Ben tells Fiddler that it had been the Eres'al speaking through Bottle.

Watching the proceedings from behind a rock, Apsalar recalls Torahaval's name being on the Mebra's list, and also probably on Shadowthrone's hit list as well. Apsalar then shadow-dances away.

Quick Ben asks Kalam to watch the strings and bring him back if they go taut, then disappears to make a deal with Shadowthrone.

G'danisban Edit

Ganoes slashes a part of the wall with his knife, then leads his horse through the wall, followed by a very reluctant Noto Boil. The city is desolate, bones lying around the streets with no living being in sight.

The two talk about Noto Boil's nature of exit from Soliel's priesthood, Ganoes taking the reason to be a loss of a power play on Noto's side.

They are met by a carrier of Soliel, a naked thin young woman, who approaches them and recalls how she had been saved by a Bridgeburner a few years ago. Ganoes asks Noto to go with her to Soliel's temple and that he would meet up with them after a bit. He also says he expects something else from Soliel. As he rides away, Noto reveals that the young woman is indeed Soliel herself, and begs her forgiveness. She moves in Ganoes' wake in order to witness what he is about to do.

Ganoes rides down the avenue and is confronted by Poliel's carriers led by Brokeface. When Ganoes tells them he wants to meet the Grey Goddess herself, they lead him to her.

Poliel's temple Edit

Torahaval is chosen by Poliel as her lover, and this means she is afflicted by the Grey Goddess' touch. She is very nearly dead herself when Ganoes arrives on his horse.

Ganoes confronts the Goddess and she reasons that the plague was of human nature, that they wanted it. Ganoes cuts her, expresses his regrets, then throws a sliver of Otataral at her. The Otataral embeds itself into her and she implodes in a conflagration.

Shadow Keep Edit

In the Shadow Keep, Quick Ben tries to reason with Shadowthrone, and finally gets him to send himself to her on the condition that Quick Ben acknowledges a debt to Shadowthrone. Quick Ben acquiesces and is sent to Poliel's temple.

In front of G'danisban Edit

Captain Sweetcreek argues that Ganoes is dead and she is now in charge. She is interrupted by the Hounds of Shadow who tear across the army and on to G'danisban breaking through the walls and disappearing within. Sweetcreek realizes that they were just passing through. Hurlochel also realizes that the Hounds had been running because they were terrorized by something.

Poliel's Temple Edit

Ganoes clarifies to Poliel that he is not just a Soletaken, then leaves leaving Poliel to die.

Quick Ben appears in front of Torahaval who is alive but unconscious. Due to the presence of Otataral, he is unable to use his magery. He then hears the Hounds coming his way and deduces that Shadowthrone has double played him, and that the Hounds will probably kill him.

Ganoes emerges to see the Hounds charge past him, then observes the Deragoth arrive in their wake.

As one of the Hounds is about to attack Quick Ben, the Hound is sliced by a black clad figure, Apsalar, who then shadow dances around the Hounds slicing away at them and keeping them away from Quick Ben, who has by this time has found a bolt hole and is escaping. She sends Brokeface to help the two out and escape himself. She keeps the Hounds away for a time with the help of Telorast and Curdle, then escapes herself.

Poliel laments the betrayals she has faced, since the Crippled God's energy has abandoned her. She sought to remove the people who poisoned their lands, water and air by using the plague, but was killed for it. The Hounds of Shadow come into the chamber and throw Dejim Nebrahl at her feet, then scurry away. Followed shortly by the Deragoth who killed both Poliel and Dejim.

Brokeface convinces Quick Ben to bring a diseased Torahaval to Soliel's temple, since Apsalar had informed him that Soliel is turned away no more due to Ganoes' actions.

Soliel's Temple Edit

Ganoes summons Soliel and demands that she begin the healing by depositing a strong spell on various carriers, making them healers of the plague, starting with Noto. She agrees, but cryptically says that she leaves the suffering for him.

Ganoes meets Quick Ben, who deposits Torahaval in their care, then escapes as she is about to regain consciousness.

On the road Edit

Quick Ben returns to the soldiers making their way back to the 14th army, and just in time too. Apsalar has appeared back and the sight of blood on her knives has made Kalam unstable who thinks she just killed Quick Ben. Quick Ben intervenes just before Kalam kills Apsalar, since he knows it was Apsalar who saved his life. He then berates Kalam for acting hastily, observing that she has her knives put away, deducing that she does not want to fight, but just die.

Shadow Keep Edit

A dusty Cotillion returns to find the Hounds slashed up with slices and knife wounds. Shadowthrone is aghast and furious at their condition and his plans' failure and blames Cotillion for their injuries, even though he wasn't even in G'danisban. The hounds too blame him because Apsalar's skills have come from Cotilllion.

In front of G'danisban Edit

The army camp is now full of activity, soldiers cleaning up and going about their duties in a hurry. At the command tent, Sweercreek and Hurlochel are waiting with bad news. The High Fist Dujek passed away two bells ago, and since his logs spoke very highly of Ganoes Paran, Ganoes has now been proclaimed High Fist by unanimous vote.

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