We begin when Dj'hân, Thorson, Edmond and Lynn each receive a message from Zellara the fortune teller. Zellara wants revenge on petty crime lord Gaedren Lamm, and the others have been affected by Lamm in one way or another - Dj'hân and Edmond were once part of his gang of criminal children, Lamm's Lambs. A close friend of Lynn's had become addicted to Shiver thanks to Lamm ruining his life and reputation, and Thorson sought to avenge the death of his true love, Kala.
They found Lamm in the Old Fishery, having carved their way through his minions. Yargin and Giggles the half-orc ended up dead by Thorson's axe, as did Yargin's dog Bloo and Lamm's pet crocodile Gobbleguts. Lamm himself and the gnome Hookshanks were taken to Citadel Volshyenek. Edmond took in many of Lamm's Lambs, led by the eldest, Kester.
Whilst they were fighting Lamm, King Eodred II died and the city erupted into chaos. The group rescued a hippogriff rider, one of the Sable Marine company called Grau Kirton, as well as a young dandy threatened by thugs.
Eventually the riots died down, and the group went to visit the new queen, Ileosa, Eodred's young (and some say spoilt) wife, with the news that they had found her missing brooch amongst Lamm's belongings. Lamm had stolen it from the city jewellers where it had been sent to be repaired.
Queen Ileosa rewarded the group (minus Thorson who had gone missing) with a monetary reward and a commission to the Korvosa Guard, performing special missions under the command of Marshal Cressida Kroft.
Their first mission was to kill or capture a group of guard deserters who, under the command of Sergeant Verik Vancaskerkin, had set up giving away free meat at a place called All the World's Meat. The deserters were all captured, although Verik was released under Lynn's supervision to continue the butchery. Verik had a mysterious female benefactor (with whom he was infatuated) who provided the animals (his followers, unknown to him, supplemented this with a bit of murder). A connection with the Arkona family, self-proclaimed lords of Old Korvosa, was discovered, but motive remains unclear.
The second mission introduced the group to Vencarlo Orisini, an old friend of Marshal Kroft, master of a fencing academy and former tutor to Grau Kirton and the Queen's bodyguard Sabrina Marrin.
Vencarlo told of trouble with the Chelaxian ambassador, Amprei, and a means to gain his compliance by getting blackmail material from one Devargo Bavarsi, self-styled King of the Spiders and master of the floating vice den that is Eel's End.
By entertaining the Spider King with a fight with one of his minions, Edmond secured some inciminating letters, whilst Dj'hân managed to sneak into the lower decks of the ship, and return later to free Majenko, a pseudodragon that Devargo kept around to torment.
With Lynn leaving to become more involved in the running of the butchery (and perhaps more involved with Verik), two new faces joined forces, passing acquaintances of Edmond who were drawn to his efforts to rebuild his old family home and convert it to an orphanage. Brindom Towar and Manachan Aingeali were co-opted into the hunt for Trinia Sabor.
Trinia, another protege of Vencarlo Orisini, was a painter comissioned to paint a portrait of the king, and the Queen was accusing her of poisoning her former husband. Kroft, preferring a fair trial over mob justice, sent the group to recover Trinia first and bring her into "protective custody". Unfortunately, she panicked and ran, making the job of recovering her a bit harder (not helped by the appearance of some Shingles imps as well). However, mollified by the appearance of Vencarlo, Trinia agreed to accompany the group to the citadel.
Trinia's accusal and disappearance led to more riots by the trigger-happy Korvosans, during which a young Shoanti boy, Ghaeken, was killed. To complicate matters, his body was then sold to an infamous necromancer name of Rolth. The boy's grandfather, a politically powerful Shoanti figure known as Thousand Bones, threatened terrible retribution of the dishonour was not righted and so Kroft sent her agents into Grey District, and the Dead Warrens.
Here they encountered undead and an assortment of constructs made from body parts, as well as some of the mysterious derro, an ogrekin called Cabbagehead and an otyugh called Thing. They rescued a couple of prisoners and found Thorson, ensorcerelled by Rolth into serving the derro, but not for long. Although Ghaeken had been chopped up for parts, they managed to return all the bits to Kroft.
A few days later, the execution of Trinia Sabor was announced. Somehow, word had got to the Queen that she was being held in Citadal Volshyenek, and so the unfortunate girl was taken to Castle Korvosa to meet her fate
In front of a packed courtyard, the legendary hero of the people, Blackjack, appeared and rescued Trinia (with some help...).
Time passed, and a reward was posted for Trinia and Blackjack, although none came forward to collect it. Life returned to normal in Korvosa, until Grau Kirton, Sable Marine, came calling at Edmond's house. His neice was ill with a mysterious sickness. Could anyone help?