Original release date: April 23, 2021
In the Kingdom of Ravka, where there are people called Grisha who use various forms of power to fight in the Second Army, Alina Starkov, a mapmaker, reunites with her childhood friend and fellow orphan Mal Oryetsev while serving in the First Army. When Mal is chosen to be part of a team to cross the Shadow Fold, a swath of darkness separating East from West Ravka, Alina sabotages the existing maps so that she can go with him. A crew of Grisha and non-Grisha enter the Fold while they are overlooked by the arrival of General Kirigan, a Grisha with the rare ability to control darkness. They are attacked by ravenous creatures called Volcra who kill most of the crew when alerted by the presence of their light. Alexei, a fellow cartographer, escapes from the skiff and runs towards the other side of the Fold. When Alina is taken by a Volcra, she uses an ancient ability called Sun Summoning to scare the Volcra off so they can finish their mission. Meanwhile, in the trade hub city of Ketterdam, members of the Dregs gang Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and Jesper Fahey compete with crime boss Pekka Rollins for a job with a payout of 1 million kruge. They bring a Heartrender to Dreesen, the man who set the job, in order to win him over. Dressen has the Heartrender use her powers on a kidnapped Alexei, who reveals that Alina is a Sun Summoner. Dreesen kills Alexei and tells the trio to bring him Alina in exchange for the job.
* * *
[dramatic music playing]
[Alina] When I was young, I was afraid of the dark.
When I got older, I learned that darkness is a place, and it’s full of monsters.
I live in East Ravka, but I’ve never been welcome here because I look like my mother, and she looked like the enemy.
Alina, how can you do that in here?
Bumps help with texture.
The Fold looks different on mine.
I need to get a better view from your country.
[man 1] She grew up here. Come on!
[man 2] The Shu Han didn’t want her either.
Cartographers, listen up. We’re almost there.
Pack up and be ready to leave.
And if you lose anything, you will not be getting a replacement.
[Alina] But they aren’t the monsters. They’re just boys.
[growling in distance]
I learned about my true enemy when I was a child.
[young Alina] Is it real?
Of course it’s real.
The Fold ate your parents.
It’s the reason for many of the orphans here.
People trying to cross. Taunting the Saints.
Then why cross it? Why not go around?
Read the map.
The north want our Grisha dead, the south guards its mountains.
We have nowhere else to go.
Now work on your shading, girl.
Keep a pencil in your hand.
Or else someone will put a rifle in it instead.
[Alina] I spent years thinking I’d find a way out.
Around the Fold, to go somewhere where no one cares where I’m from.
But now, I’m old enough to know the only way out is through.
[growling in distance]
We are never going to see it go away. This abomination is here forever.
You don’t go to church.
A Saint who can summon the sun will destroy it.
I’d like to see even one person who isn’t scared of that.
[woman] I bet I know someone.
Mal. He isn’t afraid of anything.
[sighs] You’d be surprised.
Look what I found.
[young Mal] Little guy’s lost.
But I found some chewed plants in the woods to the east.
I bet his warren’s there.
Why you run from me, half-breed?
Stay away from him.
Or what? You going to draw me, rice eater?
Or I’ll cut you.
Who’s tracked in dirt on my rug? Mal Oretsev!
I know you’re hiding here!
Come out now!
Can’t hide forever.
Yes, I can!
All right, maybe you can.
But this is what you become!
A boy who hides from a fight!
Get very good at it, maybe you’ll survive to see 20.
Bring me a big rabbit before the dinner bell goes.
[people cheering in distance]
Final bets! Final bets!
Keep it clean, boys, go on.
[man 1] Yes!
[man 2] Get stuck in there. Let’s go! Come on!
It’s all right, breathe. Breathe, here we go. Come on.
He’ll be all right?
I’m sure we’ll find out. Come on, hit him! Belt him.
He doesn’t want it! Come on, chump! He doesn’t want it!
[man 3] Hurt him, now! Hurt him!
[man 3] Come on, let’s go! Let’s go now! Let’s have it. Come on!
My boy, Mal Oretsev, wins again! Who wants a go?
[man 4] I’ll take a turn.
How about it? Just you and me.
No, no, no.
If you lose, you’ll be in the medika. If you win, they’ll throw you in the brig.
Shut it down, boys! Shut it down!
You try me without that magic, huh?
It’s just air.
Come on! Anyone!
When did you get in?
Yesterday. Everyone’s getting their assignments.
Suppose cartography’s heading back south. [chuckling]
I found out ’cause they’re putting my unit with yours again.
They’re looking for a way through the mountains.
Oh! So we’re back together?
They can’t keep best friends apart for too long.
Corporal Oretsev, are you saying you miss me?
Well, I need someone to take the fall for my petty crimes, that’s all.
Oh, they moved our tent.
Yeah, it’s down that end now.
[Alina] So many First Army here.
We look like a halfway house, accepting donations.
Actually, I won’t be accepting any donations because I won this betting on a fight.
Look at you. Flush with five whole… kruge?
What will you do with foreign money? We’re not in Ketterdam.
Don’t crush my dreams.
[woman] Again! Inferni!
Nice. Nice. Good. Good. Again.
[Mal] This is why our tents got moved.
Grisha wanted more space.
Now. I’m going to do it again.
[woman] Another Inferni and Squaller.
They’re always picking on us when their general’s not around.
It’s like home all over again.
It wasn’t all bad. We learned some good life lessons back then.
[scoffs] Yeah? Care to share with the class?
One, don’t cry in public.
Hide your emotional breakdown for when you’re alone. Obviously.
Two, always carry a weapon on you.
There’s a third I can’t remember.
[soldier 1] Open her up, we’re loading!
[Alina] That looks new.
Brand-new. Grisha call it ultralight.
Made by their own Fabrikators. It’s supposed to be faster.
What happened to the last one?
Never came back.
[man] There he is!
Here we go.
I would have made a killing on you, but nah, he refused to loan me any money, so…
That’s because you’re a child in a bigger child’s body.
You’re shorter than I am.
Okay. Dubrov, Mikhael, this is Alina.
Your little friend from Keramzin?
This is her.
How is that wrong?
He talks about you all the time.
What does he say?
[Mikhael] Oh, well…
Don’t listen to these two.
They like to exaggerate. It’s what they do.
[chuckles] Look at him!
Oh, he’s so easy to rile.
Is that annoying you?
Yeah? All right. Come on, you bastard.
[Mal taunting indistinctly]
Come on, then.
Saved by the horn, Mal.
[Mal] Oh, I wouldn’t say so.
What does he say about me?
All right, listen up.
I know some of you have been on the road for a week, so I’ll be brief.
Most of you will continue north to the Fjerdan frontlines.
Or south to the Shu Han border.
The Second Army, however, has a shiny new solution to our food shortage, and it sails tomorrow for Novokribirsk.
If this model works, it means a full meal for everyone in this tent next week.
It means bullets for your guns and sugar for your tea.
[soldier] How about some whiskey?
Yes, that would be nice, but don’t hold your breath.
Of course, they need our help bringing those supplies back, so some of you will be assigned.
“There’s nothing to fear.”
“I will now be selecting names for what I call the ‘nightmare lottery.'”
For the supply run across the Fold!
Sergeant Yure Teplov.
Tracker Malyen Oretsev!
Did he… But you’re in our unit.
Rifleman Valek Tapenyov!
It has to be an error. It has to be.
Didn’t sound like an error, Mal.
And finally, Medic Nolech Barenovsky.
That’s it. Dinner in one hour.
Come back and line up by rank. Dismissed.
Well, if it does work, I’ll get to visit Ketterdam.
[woman] Come on, come on!
[gambler] Yes! I love it!
Darling, please. Drinks here. Drinks all round here, please.
Hey, you take Zemeni coin, yes?
[man] Let me see that.
The Lucky Nine casino up the block has had trouble with counterfeit coin lately.
Heavy, but brittle.
Oh, come on, now. I’ve been here for hours.
My money is good, no?
Zemeni coin can take a bullet. But the knockoff…
What does that prove?
Hey! Wait! What are you doing?
Get off me!
No loud noises at the table, Jesper.
You’ll scare off the pigeons.
Wouldn’t want that, boss.
Shouldn’t you be on the door?
Yeah, right away, boss.
Early for action, innit, Kaz?
What do you want, Rotty?
Someone stole a DeKappel from a merch’s private residence last night.
Is that so?
It’s a painting.
A landscape of Ravka. The Fold. Oil on parchment.
I know who DeKappel is.
Well, he don’t do nudes, so I never heard of him.
Get to it, Rotty.
Worth something like 10,000 kruge.
The thief had to get past four roving guards, high fences, padlocked doors,
and a security system designed by one of them Grisha witches.
The point is, either it was a group effort or a ghost.
Why does this concern me?
I’ve got a buyer lined up. Legit money.
So, uh… if you hear a whisper… [clicks tongue]
Who can hear a whisper here?
What information do you have for me tonight?
A lead on a job. A big one. Enough money to change lives.
It doesn’t take much to change someone’s life in the Barrel.
A million kruge?
What’s the name?
Dreesen. A wealthy merchant.
I’ve heard of him.
He could afford it.
The question is, what’s worth a million kruge to him?
He’s looking for a crew willing to cross the Fold into East Ravka and bring back something.
Well, of course, certain death pays a million.
He didn’t say what he wants nicked?
But he’s taking meetings tonight, starting at midnight.
Tell me you followed him.
He brought someone in from a ship.
Took a way back to his house in the Garden District to avoid attention.
I would have followed him inside, but Dreesen’s hired some private security.
I would have had to use my knives to get closer.
Anyone we know?
A Zemeni man. I think his name is Tendo. You know him?
Yeah. He gambles at one of Pekka’s clubs.
So I won’t have leverage on him.
But Pekka will.
Kaz, I got this lead from one of the girls at the Menagerie.
They tell me things in case you’d buy them out, like you did with me.
I didn’t, I’m paying off your indenture.
You know what I mean.
This one girl, Kesh, she has skill. She’s like me.
I only invest in the one of a kind.
She isn’t like you.
No one is.
So? What’s our move now?
You’re the one of us who believes in a higher power.
If we’re going to survive a round trip through the Fold, we’ll need a miracle or two.
What’s a Shu girl doing here?
I’m Ravkan. On the cartography team.
She’s half Shu. An orphan.
[line cook] Is that an answer?
Back of the line. Your friends, too.
I don’t know them.
Then you go. Come on!
[woman] You can get arrested for that.
Stealing from Second Army will get you thrown in a hole.
Maybe you should arrest me.
Aren’t you one of our escorts for the crossing?
Well, I don’t mind sharing.
Well, it’s not for me. It’s for a friend.
Some of it’s for me.
What’s your name?
I’m Mal. I’m a tracker.
Zoya. I’m a Squaller.
When I get nerves the night before, I like to have a good tumble with a stranger.
Clears my head.
That’s my remedy.
I should go.
You don’t seem like the type who does what they should.
[sighs] I found you.
[Alina] You always do, somehow.
Well, it’s not hard, you always perch.
[scoffs] I’m brooding.
Well, I have something for you.
Where did you get these?
I stole them.
From a Grisha tent? [laughs]
I thought it would get me an invitation to jail, but it just got me an invitation to tumble with a Grisha.
You tumbled a Grisha?
[chuckles] No. No, I just flirted with her.
Maybe she flirted with me.
Look, Grisha women scare me. Okay?
Did you see the lieutenant?
Well… turns out they do need me. So…
I could shoot you in the foot.
You’re a terrible shot.
Don’t cross it.
When I was young,
I had nightmares about it.
Finding my parents… still dead.
Waiting for me.
Well, orders are orders.
If it goes wrong, come back. You’ve lost enough to it already.
I’ll find my way back to you.
But first, I am going gambling in Ketterdam.
[chuckling] Without me?
I’ll write you a letter.
[Kaz] Tell us how to safely cross the Fold.
If I knew safe passage through that, I’d be wealthier than the whole Merchant Council.
You told me you brought in girls from Os Alta. The other side.
Yeah. The hard way. Lost a few to those damn volcra, too.
Nah, there’s no trick to it except how it makes people disappear from time to time.
I heard you bragging of a way to make a path.
I was taking kruge from a tourist. A little lie.
The Fold keeps those Ravkan bastards and their Grisha attack dogs in check.
Can you imagine how dangerous it would be if it wasn’t there?
[man] Just go around.
It stretches all the way north to the Fjerdan border.
Ja. So go to Fjerda. March through the permafrost.
How long would that take?
From here? Four months.
We don’t have that kind of time.
Either you take your time or you take your chances.
[boxing bell ringing]
Here’s what I don’t get.
We’re going to be here all night.
Why haven’t they tried going under it? Just dig a tunnel.
Tried that. More than a century ago.
Something… heard them digging.
It was made hundreds of years ago by that crazy Grisha…
The Black Heretic.
The one who controls shadow. They’ve got one in their army now.
[Inej] Your point?
[Jesper] If one of his kind made it, can’t he unmake it?
Have you ever put out fire by adding more fire?
Then what’s the opposite?
A Sun Summoner.
[Jesper] Right, then, one of those.
Doesn’t exist yet.
Dreesen comes into town, doesn’t waste a minute.
Sends out for a crew to steal something but doesn’t specify what.
Is it heavy, large, worth more than a million on the black market?
Maybe he doesn’t know.
We can let this one go, Kaz.
Sounds like a trap, anyway.
[Kaz] A trap would sound easy.
This is something else.
[man] Boss, boss.
We intercepted a note from Dreesen.
Did you, now?
It’s for the owner of the Orchid.
Says they require the services of a Heartrender. Tonight.
A Heartrender? Why?
Doesn’t say. Just they need it before midnight.
You don’t bring in a Heartrender unless you need an answer out of someone who isn’t willing to talk.
That’s how we get this job before anyone else.
Bring Dreesen a Heartrender.
[man] Boss, just one problem.
Pekka Rollins knows.
[chuckles] Pekka Rollins.
So, you know who I am. That makes things easier.
[man] You lead the Dime Lions.
My men tell me that you run this club.
I do. [wheezing]
And the brothel next door.
Fine girls there. Boys, too. Whatever you like.
Abram, get in here!
Hmm. Abram wouldn’t let us talk, so we did the other thing.
I’ll jump straight to it. I’m in a bit of a rush.
I’m in need of a Heartrender tonight for a million-kruge job.
And you got one. At the Orchid.
[man] You want Milana, then.
I can get you a good rate for her by the hour…
No, no, I’m not renting her.
It’s for a job.
If I bring her back, she’ll tell you about the job.
Next thing you know, everyone is talking about the job.
[breathing heavily] My indentures are discreet.
[Pekka] Hmm. Because they work for you, right?
So here’s the deal.
Work for me, give over this dump and the Orchid, then I’ll give you 10% of whatever business comes in.
[chuckling] That’s a shit deal. I already get 100%.
[Pekka] Yeah, okay.
The other option is…
I’ll carve you up and leave you in a barrel for the rats.
So… how about ten?
Cheer up, Dubrov.
The Black General’s here to save the day.
Oh, is he going to tear down the Fold?
No, I was being sarcastic.
He’s a Grisha, not a miracle-worker.
Is it him?
The leader of the Second Army here to grace us with his presence?
He must believe the new skiff will be a shining success.
[man] Or a spectacular failure.
Do you think he’s coming with us?
If he does, then you know what he believes.
Are we children, or are we soldiers?
Get to your posts and pack your gear. Skiff launches in 20.
Sergeant, get your crew ready!
Mal, you’re with me, son. Chin up.
I’ve crossed it three times without incident.
You’ll get your first soon enough.
I’ll be back before you know it.
And I’ll be here the whole time.
Me and the cartographers, I mean.
[young Alina] We can’t hide forever.
We can run. Together.
Petya, how did this happen?
We don’t know. We were extra careful to secure all the lanterns.
And what was damaged?
Just some records of the western coast line, Os Kervo and the river system that runs through it.
It’s really not…
Geographical data of the territory on the other side of the damn Fold?
Yes, but I’m sure that the First Army on the other side has an…
You think I trust anyone else’s intel?
Now someone will have to cross the Fold, to redraw these maps.
I’ll go. Put me on the skiff, I’ll go.
Yes. You will.
Your whole unit will.
I don’t understand. We were going south, now we’re going west?
What did you do?
Leave her alone, Raisa. You want everything to be her fault.
I’m usually right.
What the hell are you doing here?
We’ve been assigned with you.
No. Turn around right now.
Orders are orders.
I could shoot you in the foot.
I like my feet, thank you.
Tell them you’re too sick to go.
I’m never that sick.
Lie if you have to.
And what’s your lie? I’m with you.
Get off this boat now, or I’ll carry you off.
[Sergeant Yure] Raise the gate!
Ready to lock up.
I’ll make it, promise.
Sergeant! What now?
The Grisha will tell us.
Not her. The Inferni.
[claps hands] Here’s how it goes. We go into the Fold, it gets dark, but we like it dark.
That keeps us from drawing attention.
That’s how we travel.
The only light we use is the blue one at the mast.
It’s weak but safe.
[Raisa] But you’re an Inferni, right?
Why are you here if we’re supposed to keep things dark?
For when the dark comes to keep you.
Where’s your general? Kirigan?
[sailor] Ready for launch!
That’s our cue.
Right, listen to me, cartographers.
Until we reach the western dry docks, you are to remain at your station.
Do not, I repeat, do not leave the skiff during the crossing.
In we go.
[growling in distance]
[growling in distance]
How many more are there?
Blow it out! What are you doing?
[soldier 1 screaming]
[soldier 2 screaming]
What do we…
Come at me! Come at me, you coward!
[Alina] Alexei, no!
I’ll meet you at the meadow.
[growling in distance]
General Zlatan. Your orders?
It’s been too long.
They should have emerged two hours ago.
[soldier] Sir! Look!
Where is the rest of your crew?
So… new management, gents.
Here’s the deal.
The Heartrender is gone, boss.
Someone else got her.
I really appreciate new business, but you’ve only paid for an hour of my time, and I have to be back at the Orchid.
[Kaz] The Orchid isn’t safe tonight. Your life’s in danger with this job.
Make yourself scarce for a few days afterwards.
Mr. Brekker, are you threatening me? Really?
Even if I’m nice, my boss will call the stadwatch on you.
It’s not me you’re in danger with. It’s Pekka Rollins.
My boss would call the stadwatch on him as well.
Which is why your boss is already dead.
[man] Who are you lot?
We’re here to see Dreesen.
[man] You’re not with Pekka’s crew.
And you’re not in Pekka’s pocket anymore if you don’t owe him.
Hey, where did you get that coin?
[man] Hey! One of these has a hole in it!
One look and I can tell. Criminals.
I’m not meeting anyone ’til midnight.
We heard you needed a Heartrender.
All right, she stays, the rest of you, out.
And we have an exclusive on this job.
No businessman worth his salt hires his first applicant.
[Kaz] No. No, I understand.
Of course, I will have to report you to the guild for kidnapping and harboring a prisoner without chain of title.
No businessman worth his salt bargains for what he can take.
I have to be back in an hour.
All right, come on.
So you don’t know everything after all.
This… is Alexei Stepanov.
Two weeks ago, young Alexei here crossed through the Fold on foot.
They’re keeping it quiet, but allegedly he was one of a few witnesses to…
What kind of event?
[Dreesen] I know an expedition was swarmed by volcra.
Should’ve been a total loss, but something happened.
Some device detonated.
Obliterated the volcra,
lit up the dark like a forest fire.
I know it wasn’t a fire or else no one would have survived.
[Dreesen] This was some invention no one had seen before.
But he doesn’t seem to be able to articulate his account of events.
Some form of traumatic lapse.
[Milana] You’re safe now.
[heart beating loudly]
Now you can just speak and I will just listen.
Tell me what happened in the Fold.
What saved you?
[Alexei] You won’t believe me, but… it was a Sun Summoner.
Who was it?
If I tell you, you’ll set me free?
You have my word. I’ll set you free.
You’re in Ketterdam now, Alexei.
You can go anywhere in the world from here.
Her name is…
[heart beating slowly]
[Dreesen] Alina Starkov?
Show me the manifest.
[heart beating slowly]
You’ll set me free now?
Thank you. Of course.
[gasps and screams]
We are now the only people west of the Fold with this information.
My ship sails for West Ravka at dawn.
If you can prove that you have a way through the Fold and back, I’ll put you on that ship with an advance.
If you don’t, I’m giving this job to Pekka Rollins.
Give me a day. I’ll have a plan.
You have until sunrise, then your ship will have sailed, Mr. Brekker.
The prize is one million kruge.
Now bring me Alina Starkov.