Three short stories in the can, three others ready for the editor, and six more in various stages. My next release, an anthology to introduce the world of my fantasy novel, is setting up nicely. Twelve stories so far, each set in this new medieval world of shadows and emerging war. Here’s the finished (but nothing’s ever really finished) prologue:
The Maw of War has opened.
After a century of peace, the world is being twisted and bent by the ruthless egos and dark ambitions of man.
Across the Eastern Sea, a horde of monstrous evil drives the brave Dwarven warriors of Wendthairne into the ocean in a desperate flight for refuge, hoping for solace from their former enemies, the long-silent Elves of Ahmrael.
The north of the Realm has frozen into a wasteland. Deep in the ice-encased mountains of North Elan, creatures stir that the world has never seen. Their hunger for ruin is absolute as they are borne from the shadows, seeking to bleed humanity. Enslaved by a new God, they exist only for his revenge and the destruction of mankind.
In the west, Archduke Lierdstiern schemes for the fall of a nation and the usurping of order. His swelling ambitions seduce him to concert with madness under the corrupting power of a new religion. His lies and merciless drive seduce him to new depths of unspeakable evil.
The kingdom of man, tethered together by the dream of peace in the Hall of Kings, is crumbling. Betrayal and deceit erode the carefully constructed foundations of a centuries’ serenity.
Darkness shrouds the evil work of deceit and murder. Horror and madness are creeping out from under the shadows of the night.
The Age of Peace is dying.
The door to ruin has opened. These are the stories of the destruction of hope. The seduction of sanity. The revenge of the forgotten. The wrath of bones.
The Wrath of Bones will be available this November.
Meanwhile, I’m approaching the halfway point (Chapter Nine, Scene One) of To Drown in Ash, the sequel to Sand. Issep and the Boddies are in desperate times, surrounded by imminent death and unrelenting evil. The sequel has a much darker tone. The central theme emerging is loss.
THAT sounded foreboding.