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With these signs great Glustrod marked me out as his chosen. With his hands I tore down the statues of Aulcus. Now I kill little men, in little wars.

Fenris the Feared

The Circle is the thirty-fourth chapter in Last Argument of Kings.

Chapter Summary Edit

On the morning of the duel, Lord Marshal West leaves his tent before dawn after a sleepless night. Jalenhorm and Pike are already up, discussing the clash to come; Jalenhorm considers it barbaric, while Pike sees merit in preventing the carnage of war. As they walk towards the circle, West sees Ninefingers sitting alone and walks up to him. Logen Ninefingers is stoic about the prospect of his death, maybe he should pay for what he’s done. But then, no one gets what they deserve. He asks West and a few other Union officers to hold shields for him in the circle; Logen has too few friends even among his own.

Meanwhile, Dogman, Dow, and Grim hide in the trees just outside Carleon, ready to infiltrate the city and kill Caurib. Dogman urges caution, but Dow hares off across the open space, heedless of the sparsely guarded walls. When Dow reaches the walls without being seen, Dogman and Grim follow suit. Using a grapple, they scale the walls, although they're almost caught by two guards who spot them.

Logen heads through the whispering crowd into the circle. As he calls out for the duel to begin, Fenris the Feared walks from the gate shocking even Ninefingers by his size. After Crummock announces them and they recite their deeds, the Feared wins the spin of the shield, and much to Logen’s relief chooses his own armour, rather than the sword he had brought. And so the fight begins. Ninefingers holds his own despite the Feared’s immense size, but the monster’s blue side is invulnerable. Even when Logen cuts off his blue arm, the Feared picks it up and reattaches it. Gradually Ninefingers starts to get his ass kicked. At one point, he manages to push the Feared into the surrounding men, and West sneakily loosens a strap on his armour during a scrum. The fight seems to turn in Logen’s favour, when the Bloody-Nine emerges. Until finally the Feared gets him in a bear hug. Despite all of the Bloody-Nine rage, the Feared begins to crush him to death.

Inside Carleon, Dogman and Grim enter Caurib’s lair, while Dow sneaks around the back. As they approach her, she stops them with a word. Totally in her control, she orders Dogman to stab Grim, who bares his chest to receive the blow. Suddenly, Black Dow saves the day, leaping from the shadows and splitting Caurib’s head with his axe, sneering that she talks too much.1

Outside, the Feared’s immense strength immediately weakens with Caurib’s death. The Bloody-Nine breaks his hold and gets an arm loose enough to stab the giant’s side. The Feared struggles, but the Bloody-Nine relentlessly presses his sword on, slowly through the Feared’s body, past the blue side and into the vulnerable flesh beyond. And Fenris the Feared topples over dead.

In the aftermath, Logen marches into Carleon and up to the wall where Bethod waits. Logen smashes the King of the Northmen’s head on the stones until it breaks open, and then throws him from the wall. Then the gathered masses below declare Logen Ninefingers the new King O’ the North, as he sages in exhaustion and despair.

Characters Edit

Introduced Appeared Mentioned
Logen Ninefingers Harding Grim Glustrod
The Dogman Caurib
Collem West Fenris the Feared
Captain Jalenhorm Crummock-i-Phail
Pike Bethod
Black Dow

Locations and Terms Edit

Carleon The North First Northern War The Union Magic

References Edit

  1. We never really learn how Caurib learned to do magic. Yet she seems to have no affiliation to the Order of the Magi. A free-lancer, so to speak. The only other free-lance we meet is SPOILER Adeptus Silber who learns through the book in the University library.


Chapters in The First Law
The Blade Itself

Part 1

Prologue: The End ▪ 1. The Survivors ▪ 2. Questions ▪ 3. No Choice at All ▪ 4. Playing With Knives ▪ 5. Teeth and Fingers ▪ 6. The Wide and Barren North ▪ 7. Fencing Practice ▪ 8. The Morning Ritual ▪ 9. First of the Magi ▪ 10. The Good Man ▪ 11. On the List ▪ 12. An Offer and a Gift ▪ 13. The King of the Northmen ▪ 14. A Road Between Two Dentists ▪ 15. Flatheads ▪ 16. The Course of True Love ▪ 15. How Dogs are Trained ▪ 16. Tea and Vengeance
The Blade Itself

Part 2

▪ 17. What Freedom Looks Like ▪ 18. The King’s Justice ▪ 19. Means of Escape ▪ 20. Three Signs ▪ 21. The Theatrical Outfitter’s ▪ 22. Barbarians at the Gate ▪ 23. Next ▪ 24. Better than Death ▪ 25. Sore Thumb ▪ 26. Questions ▪ 27. Nobility ▪ 28. Dark Work ▪ 29. Words and Dust ▪ 30. The Remarkable Talents of Brother Longfoot ▪ 31. Her Kind Fight Everything ▪ 32. She Loves Me ... Not ▪ 33. The Seed ▪ 34. Never Bet Against a Magus ▪ 35. The Ideal Audience ▪ 36. The House of the Maker ▪ 37. Nobody’s Dog ▪ 38. Each Man Worships Himself ▪ 39. Old Friends ▪ 40. Back to the Mud ▪ 41. Misery ▪ 42. The Bloody-Nine ▪ 43. The Tools we Have
Before They Are Hanged

Part 1

▪ 1. The Great Leveler ▪ 2. Best Laid Plans ▪ 3. Questions ▪ 4. The Wounds of the Past ▪ 5. The Condition of the Defences ▪ 6. The Thing About Trust ▪ 7. Allies ▪ 8. Campfire Politics ▪ 9. Small Crimes ▪ 10. Rain ▪ 11. Bloody Company ▪ 12. Long Shadows ▪ 13. And next… My Gold ▪ 14. Fear ▪ 15. One Hundred Words ▪ 16. The Blind Lead the Blind ▪ 17. Prince Ladisla’s Stratagem ▪ 18. Until Sunset ▪ 19. Long Odds ▪ 20. The Road to Victory ▪ 21. Necessary Evils ▪ 22. Among the Stones ▪ 23. The Fruits of Boldness ▪ 24. One for Dinner ▪ 25. One of Them
Before They Are Hanged

Part 2

▪ 26. Heading North ▪ 27. Scant Mercy ▪ 28. So This is Pain ▪ 29. One Step at a Time ▪ 30. The Rest is Wasted Breath ▪ 31. A Matter of Time ▪ 32. Scars ▪ 33. Furious ▪ 34. To the Last Man ▪ 35. Jewel of Cities ▪ 36. Luck ▪ 37. Beneath the Ruins ▪ 38. No Good for Each Other ▪ 39. The Hero’s Welcome ▪ 40. Cold Comfort ▪ 41. The High Places ▪ 42. Coming Over ▪ 43. Cheap at the Price ▪ 44. To the Edge of the World ▪ 45. Before the Storm ▪ 46. Questions ▪ 47. Holding the Line ▪ 48. A Fitting Punishment ▪ 49. The Abode of Stones ▪ 50. Back to the Mud
Last Argument of Kings

Part 1

▪ 1. The Poison Trade ▪ 2. Being Chief ▪ 3. This Noble Business ▪ 4. The New Man ▪ 5. Feeding Time ▪ 6. So Much In Common ▪ 7. Honesty ▪ 8. Ghosts ▪ 9. Bad Debts ▪ 10. A Ragged Multitude ▪ 11. Beloved Of The Moon ▪ 12. Flowers And Plaudits ▪ 13. Too Many Knives ▪ 14. Best Of Enemies ▪ 15. Fortunes Of War ▪ 16. The Kingmaker ▪ 17. The Trap ▪ 18. Horrible Old Men ▪ 19. Prepared For The Worst ▪ 20. The Habit Of Command ▪ 21. The First Day ▪ 22. Such Sweet Sorrow ▪ 23. Picked Up A Shadow ▪ 24. Questions ▪ 25. The Fourth Day ▪ 26. The Perfect Couple ▪ 27. The Seventh Day ▪ 28. Too Many Masters ▪ 29. Sweet Victory ▪ 30. Rude Awakenings
Last Argument of Kings

Part 2

▪ 31. The Number Of The Dead ▪ 32. Leaves On The Water ▪ 33. Authority ▪ 34. The Circle ▪ 35. Greater Good ▪ 36. Skarling’s Chair ▪ 37. Leadership ▪ 38. A Rock And A Hard Place ▪ 39. Charity ▪ 40. Better Left Buried ▪ 41. Tomorrow’s Hero ▪ 42. Nightfall ▪ 43. Questions ▪ 44. The Day Of Judgement ▪ 45. Sacrifices ▪ 46. Open The Box ▪ 47. Dark Paths ▪ 48. Reckoning ▪ 49. After The Rains ▪ 50. Answers ▪ 51. The Wounded ▪ 52. Patriotic Duties ▪ 53. The First Law ▪ 54. Tea And Threats ▪ 55. Behind The Throne ▪ 56. Good Men, Evil Men ▪ 57. Not What You Wanted ▪ 58. Loose Ends ▪ 59. The Beginning
Best Served Cold ▪ 1. Benna Murcatto Saves a Life ▪ 2. PART I: TALINS ▪ 3. Talins Chapters 1 ▪ 4. Talins Chapters 2 ▪ 5. Talins Chapters 3 ▪ 6. PART II: WESTPORT ▪ 7. Westport Chapters 1 ▪ 8. Westport Chapters 2 ▪ 9. Westport Chapters 3 ▪ 10. Westport Chapters 4 ▪ 11. PART III: SIPANI ▪ 12. Sipani Chapters 1 ▪ 13. Sipani Chapters 2 ▪ 14. Sipani Chapters 3 ▪ 15. Sipani Chapters 4 ▪ 16. PART IV: VISSERINE ▪ 17. Visserine Chapters 1 ▪ 18. Visserine Chapters 2 ▪ 19. Visserine Chapters 3 ▪ 20. Visserine Chapters 4 ▪ 21. Visserine Chapters 5 ▪ 22. Visserine Chapters 6 ▪ 23. PART V: PURANTI ▪ 24. Puranti Chapters 1 ▪ 25. Puranti Chapters 2 ▪ 26. Puranti Chapters 3 ▪ 27. Puranti Chapters 4 ▪ 28. Puranti Chapters 5 ▪ 29. PART VI: OSPRIA ▪ 30. Ospria Chapters 1 ▪ 31. Ospria Chapters 2 ▪ 32. Ospria Chapters 3 ▪ 33. Ospria Chapters 4 ▪ 34. PART VII: TALINS ▪ 35. Talins Again Chapters 1 ▪ 36. Talins Again Chapters 2 ▪ 37. Talins Again Chapters 3 ▪ 38. Talins Again Chapters 4 ▪ 39. Talins Again Chapters 5

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