|Die Gärten des Mondes|
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|Kapitel 5||Kapitel 6|
|Kapitel 8||Kapitel 9|
|Kapitel 11||Kapitel 12|
|Kapitel 14||Kapitel 15|
|Die Stadt des blauen Feuers|
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Die alten Steine dieser Straße
erzittert beim Klang der Trommeln
und der eisernen schwarzen Hufeisen
wo ich ihn habe gehen sehen
vom Meer herauf und zwischen morgenroten Hügeln hindurch
war er gekommen, ein Junge, der die Echos
der Söhne und Brüder - alle in den Reihen
geisterhafte Krieger -
passierte, wo ich am Ende des Tages
auf dem abgewetzten letzten
Meilenstein saß -
sein Scchritt auf der steinernen Straße kündete laut
von all dem, was ich wissen wollte -
der Junge geht weiter, ein andrer Soldat
ein anderes strahlendes Herz, das noch
nicht erstarrt zu kaltem Eisen ist
- ―Klagelied einer Mutter
Kapitel 1 Bearbeiten
Das Jahr 1161 von Brands Schlaf
Das Jahr 103 des Imperiums von Malaz
Das Jahr 7 der Herrschaft von Imperatrix Laseen
Itko Kan Bearbeiten
Seven years have passed since the events in the prologue. A young fishergirl stands on the roadside in Itko Kan next to an old woman named Rigga as the army rides by on the road. The old woman has a bag of candles while the fishergirl is bringing twine to her father because their net was taken in the deep water.
Suddenly, the old woman knocks the basket of twine from the fishergirl's head and grips her hair painfully. Rigga begins spouting prophecy at the fishergirl, claiming that the girl will be the last to hear her, and Rigga will be the last one to speak to the girl. Rigga claims the girl's soul will be embraced by shadow but that Rigga will preserve her because they are linked. Rigga also tells the fishergirl that the Lord spawned in darkness shall be the hand to free her. One of the riders stops and cracks the old woman's skull, killing her. He rides off and the army passes by but the girl remains there, with Rigga's corpse sprawled across her lap. A man swathed in black approaches and tries to calm her while a shorter man stands in the road looking after the army that has just passed and mocks the other two quietly. The shorter man raises his arms and a darkness descends. As it dissipates, seven hounds lie on the road with him, likewise staring after the army. The short man sends them tearing after the horses. The two figures then reveal themselves to be Cotillion and Ammanas, and they seem to be discussing what to do with the fishergirl. Cotillion says that she will do for their purposes, and it is implied that they will use the fishergirl as an instrument of vengeance against the Empress Laseen. The fishergirl mutters something indicating that she and the old woman are now one person, having joined at the moment of the old woman's death. With that, shadows flow out from Cotillion to embrace the fishergirl and she knows no more.
An unnamed Captain is accompanying the Adjunct as they are riding towards the area of the massacre. The captain is wary of the Adjunct to the Empress who grills him about his past and his thoughts on the Purge there. The area of Itko Khan where the Hounds of shadow killed the entire 19th Regiment of the Itko Kanese 8th Cavalry; 175 men and women as well as 210 horses has been put under guard. The soldiers, despite being veterans of the siege of Li Heng and the Wickan Wars, are disturbed by the sight of the bloody carnage. From a promontory, the Captain and the Adjunct look out over thousands of gulls and crows eating the dead men and horses. All had weapons out and fought what attacked them, but the only dead are Malazan. There are no signs of an invading force, and whoever attacked also killed the local inhabitants. Over 400 dead.
The Adjunct notices someone riding through the bodies and the captain tells her it is Ganoes Paran, a Lieutenant new to his command from Unta. Lorn requests his presence and the captain signals him over. Ganoes tells of two empty huts, one belonging to Rigga, the other to the fishergirl and her father. The fishergirl’s father seems to have taken his boat out and left the area. Lorn asks what killed the soldiers and Ganoes offers his opinion that it was done with teeth, by animals as big as mules. Lorn has Paran take her to the hut, instructing the captain to clean up the massacre as quickly as possible. After speaking with Ganoes for a short while, the Adjunct decides to take him on as a commissioned officer on her staff. The Adjunct is open and honest with Ganoes, telling him that something has happened and killing all of these people was simply a diversion to keep them from knowing what really happened. The purpose of the Adjunct is to hunt down mages and kill them, as well as act as the will of the Empress. Ganoes is sent to Gerrom to investigate the fisher family while Lorn requests the records of any new recruits for the Malazan army as well as the captain’s opinions on the nobility in the military command structure.
Sorry enlists in the Malazan Marines. She requests a spot in High Fist Dujek Onearm’s Host. The recruiter, Staff Sergeant Aragan, notices the mud on her boots is the wrong color for the region and that it hasn’t rained there in days.
Ganoes goes to Gerrom and finds it empty. Everyone has fled apart from the soldiers at the local constabulary who have all been killed. The constabulary with the bodies is full of black pigeons, obviously brought there by sorcery.
Paran rides off, contemplating his lot as a noble and the massacre of the 8th cavalry. He remembers the words of the Commander back on Mock's Hold, telling him to live quietly, and he realizes – now the aide to the Adjunct – that he has not done so. Riding along numbly, he sees a figure on the road, dressed all in green leather and wool and bearing only a long knife in the style of a Seven Cities warrior. The figure is Topper, the Empress’s chief Claw assassin, and the murderer of all of Unta’s royal line. Ganoes, as an Untan noble, is immediately offended by him. They wait until a Warren opens for them. Topper has been sent to lead Ganoes to the Adjunct. Their trip through the Imperial Warren is uneventful, though filled with verbal sniping at each other. Finally they arrive at a basalt arch, carved with a clawed talon holding a crystal globe – the Imperial sigil. Topper steps through the gate, but Ganoes rides through on his horse – and into the Imperial throne room. The horses hooves shatter the mosaic that covers the floor of the hall as Laseen herself looks on from her throne made of twisted bone. Dismounting, Ganoes notices that Laseen has changed little in the seven years since he last saw her at Mock’s Hold. The empress makes reference to the conversation between the young Ganoes and the Commander back on Mock's Hold, noting that he ignored the man's advice about living quietly. Ganoes is led from the throne room by Topper, in search of Adjunct Lorn. As soon as they leave the throne room, Topper inquires about the empress’s words to Ganoes, but Ganoes refrains from elaborating.
Ganoes meets with the Adjunct, and is told that he will have a few days before being officially reassigned to her service. Ganoes asks if they will abandon the pursuit of the truth of what happened Itko Kan and she responds that it is trail they must not follow too closely, however follow it they will. He is told by Adjunct Lorn to visit his family’s estate in the meantime and get some rest. The gate is guarded by the veteran Gamet, whom Paran had not met before. Ganoes then encounters his sister Tavore.