The Path of Hands was a mysterious convergence of Soletaken and D'ivers to the holy desert Raraku on the continent of Seven Cities. The Tanno Spiritwalker Kimloc called it a prophecy that would draw shape-shifters to a particular, but unspecified, warren's gate like moths to a flame. He suspected the gate promised a method by which the Soletaken or D'ivers who seized it could achieve Ascendancy. The winner of such a prize would achieve domination over its own kind.
Painted inhuman hand prints began appearing in cities all over the Seven Cities continent. Imperial Historian Duiker spotted them in Hissar while Kalam saw them in Ehrlitan. The hands pointed a trail leading into the Raraku desert. Icarium and Mappo encountered Messremb walking the Path in the Pan'potsun Odhan. The Soletaken bear knew only that the Path offered him answers.
The warlock Sormo E'nath discovered that the Path plagued the warrens and prevented anyone in Seven Cities from accessing them. Travelers in Raraku risked a bloodbath as hordes of shape-shifters killed anything in their way, including each other.
Icarium and Mappo took shelter at Tesem, a temple of Shadow overseen by the high priest Iskaral Pust. In the temple's catacombs they discovered an unusual chamber likely of First Empire origin carved with symbols. They were from an Elder version of the Deck of Dragons that used Holds, not Houses. The symbols were defaced by gouges and scoring and Icarium thought the room stank of old sorcery that felt like Kurald Galain. The pair realized they had found the gate.
Pust revealed that he had followed the orders of Shadowthrone and painted the false trail of hands away from the true gate and instead aimed towards the Azath House, Tremorlor. The shape-shifters converged there, each growing in power as they slaughtered their rivals, until all were dead or imprisoned by the house. Until the convergence's end, Shadowthrone feared the ruse would fail and his "precious realm" would "become very crowded indeed".
- "And all came to imprint
On the path,
To scent the dry winds
Their cloying claim
- ―The Path of Hands
- "This path’s a dire thing,
the gate it leads to
is like a corpse
over which ten thousand
their fruitless claims."
- ―The Path
Trout Sen’al’ Bhok’arala
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.64
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Glossary, UK MMPB p.938
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.48/67
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.75
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, US HC p.119
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 10, US HC p.255
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, US HC p.114-115
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.291
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, US HC p.372
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 15, US HC p.417
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20
- ↑ Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.305-306