The Crippled God
Dramatis Personae Pagination
"He was a soldier"
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
All the takers of my days
Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Chapter 7
To charge the spear
Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10
The fists of the world
Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13
A hand upon the fates
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16
To one in chains
Chapter 17 Chapter 18
Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Your private shore
Chapter 21 Chapter 22
Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Epilogue I Epilogue II

Perched upon the stones of a bridge
The soldiers had the eyes of ravens
Their weapons hung black as talons
Their eyes gloried in the smoke of murder

To the shock of iron-heeled sticks
I drew closer in the cripple’s bitter patience
And before them I finally tottered
Grasping to capture my elusive breath

With the cockerel and swift of their knowing
They watched and waited for me
‘I have come,’ said I, ‘from this road’s birth,
I have come,’ said I, ‘seeking the best in us.’

The sergeant among them had red in his beard
Glistening wet as he showed his teeth
‘There are few roads on this earth,’ said he,
‘that will lead you to the best in us, old one.’

‘But you have seen all the tracks of men,’ said I
‘And where the mothers and children have fled
Before your advance. Is there naught among them
That you might set an old man upon?’

The surgeon among this rook had bones
Under her vellum skin like a maker of limbs
‘Old one,’ said she, ‘I have dwelt
In the heat of chests, among heart and lungs,

And slid like a serpent between muscles,
Swum the currents of slowing blood,
And all these roads lead into the darkness
Where the broken will at last rest.

‘Dare say I,’ she went on,‘there is no
Place waiting inside where you might find
In slithering exploration of mysteries
All that you so boldly call the best in us.’

And then the man with shovel and pick,
Who could raise fort and berm in a day
Timbered of thought and measured in all things
Set the gauge of his eyes upon the sun

And said, ‘Look not in temples proud,
Or in the palaces of the rich highborn,
We have razed each in turn in our time
To melt gold from icon and shrine

And of all the treasures weeping in fire
There was naught but the smile of greed
And the thick power of possession.
Know then this: all roads before you

From the beginning of the ages past
And those now upon us, yield no clue
To the secret equations you seek,
For each was built of bone and blood

And the backs of the slave did bow
To the laboured sentence of a life
In chains of dire need and little worth.
All that we build one day echoes hollow.’

‘Where then, good soldiers, will I
Ever find all that is best in us?
If not in flesh or in temple bound
Or wretched road of cobbled stone?’

‘Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant,
‘This blood would cease its fatal flow,
And my surgeon could seal wounds with a touch,
All labours will ease before temple and road,

Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant,
‘Crows might starve in our company
And our talons we would cast in bogs
For the gods to fight over as they will.

But we have not found in all our years
The best in us, until this very day.’
‘How so?’ asked I, so lost now on the road,
And said he, ‘Upon this bridge we sat

Since the dawn’s bleak arrival,
Our perch of despond so weary and worn,
And you we watched, at first a speck
Upon the strife-painted horizon

So tortured in your tread as to soak our faces
In the wonder of your will, yet on you came
Upon two sticks so bowed in weight
Seeking, say you, the best in us

And now we have seen in your gift
The best in us, and were treasures at hand
We would set them humbly before you,
A man without feet who walked a road.’

Now, soldiers with kind words are rare
Enough, and I welcomed their regard
As I moved among them, ’cross the bridge
And onward to the long road beyond

I travel seeking the best in us
And one day it shall rise before me
To bless this journey of mine, and this road
I began upon long ago shall now end
Where waits for all the best in us.

Avas Didion Flicker
Where Ravens Perch

After the battles, three barrows were raised near Kolanse City for the deceased Letherii, Bolkando, Gilk and Teblor while near the Spire, three more were raised for the fallen Imass, Jaghut, K'Chain Che'Malle and Kolansii, with two small mounds for Gesler and Stormy.

The SpireEdit

Nimander asks Korlat to attend the marines' funeral and pay their respects to the Malazans. Filled with trepidation, Korlat approaches the barrows and is joined by Kalyth. Kalyth tells her about Gesler and Stormy, and about how they died.

When Korlat comes forward to place Whiskeyjack's heartstone as a barrow gift, she is confronted by her lover's former squad, though the Adjunct steps in. Fiddler asks her if she knew the marines. Understanding from her reaction, he assures her that Whiskeyjack stll loves her and is waiting for her.

The eleven surviving Jaghut, along with Hood, pay their respects to the fallen Imass in solitude. They are joined by Roach.

Brys, Aranict, Abrastal and Spax bid farewell to the Adjunct. Elsewhere, the surviving Bonehunter marines and heavies reunite with the regulars.

When Korlat returns to the Tiste Andii camped nearby, they are joined by Whiskeyjack's squad. Fiddler summons Whiskeyjack's ghost, playing one of Fisher's songs, My Love Waits. Korlat runs to join her beloved.

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