|Die eisige Zeit|
|Der Funken und die Asche|
|Kapitel 1||Kapitel 2|
|Kapitel 3||Kapitel 4|
|Kapitel 5||Kapitel 6|
|Kapitel 7||Kapitel 8|
|Kapitel 9||Kapitel 10|
|Kapitel 11||Kapitel 12|
Wo immer sie einherschreiten,
hinterlassen sie blutige Spuren ...
Horal Thume (geb. 1134)[src]
Gruntle, Harllo, Stonny Menackis and their caravan enter the city of Saltoan, whose army and guard have left to aid in the battle against the Pannion Domin. On the way through town, they're stopped by Nektara who says she's there to escort them to a meeting of the various gang leaders and thieves. Keruli tells him that he planned on having this meeting, Gruntle accepts his orders, but wonders who exactly Keruli is.
At the meeting, Keruli tells the crowd that the war against the Pannion Seer must be fought with disinformation as well as with soldiers. He tells them that they're the only ones able to turn public opinion against the Pannion Domin in such a way as to prevent civil unrest. One of the attendees of the meeting describe rumors of the Tenescowri women raping dying or dead soldiers and bearing children by them. Keruli confirms these rumors, calling them the Children of the Dead Seed. Keruli admonishes them that they have no choice but to aid in this war, lest the Tenescowri come to them as well. Speaking with Gruntle after the meeting, Keruli claims it was a success.
On the way out of Saltoan, Gruntle finds the badly burned corpses of at least a dozen bandits. He fears it was the work of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, assuming they were in the city recently due to the recent bout of brutal murders. Stonny Menackis finds a group of White Face Barghast warriors, and Keruli suggests that they ride with them. The Barghast warriors, three siblings named Hetan, Cafal, and Netok, claim they are seeking out demons that walk upright and have blades for arms. They agree to accompany Gruntle's caravan.
The group find the ruins of Bauchelain's wagon. The Barghast warriors are angry that Bauchelain has pillaged one of their barrows and stolen the spirit of the shaman that was buried within. While they find no bodies, Gruntle finds some disturbing signs that Bauchelain and Korbal Broach are both necromancers. He determines that Bauchelain summons demons and that Korbal Broach reanimates corpses - the remains of the murder victims in Darujhistan and Saltoan cobbled together into a human shape being the most damning evidence. The two necromancers return with Buke and Emancipor Reese, and explain that they were set upon by undead creatures resembling lizards, but they were not demons. They warn that there are more out there and they could arrive at any time. The Barghast shaman that once resided in the barrow now resides in a sticksnare, a bundle of sticks and twine resembling a person, and is monitoring the progress of the undead hunters. They say they'll have little warning, but enough to mount a defense. All begin making their own preparations.
Gruntle speaks to Buke, trying to persuade him to leave the service of the two necromancers. He tries to guilt Buke into seeing reason, but Buke isn't moved. Buke is convinced that they'll all die before the morning, but Hetan and the Barghast have confidence their sorcery will protect them.
When the attack comes, the Barghast warriors seem to merge into a fog. Keruli explains that what approaches are K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell hunters, and for the first time is truly worried. Bauchelain and Korbal Broach attack the hunters directly with sorcery. One hunter slips past and attacks Gruntle. Harllo tries to protect him, but Gruntle sees him go down. After being picked up and thrown by the K'ell hunter, he feels himself being squeezed by a taloned foot which suddenly stops after Gruntle feels the impact of multiple blows. Believing he is dying, Gruntle's vision goes dark and he finds he can't feel anything, not even pain. The last thing he hears is the sound of shrieking as consciousness fades.