Written by David Tallerman and Illustrated by Duncan Kay, The Sign in the Moonlight Includes the original novelette, The War of the Rats, and 13 other haunting tales.
A doomed mountaineering expedition attempts the slopes of Kanchenjunga, following in the footsteps of notorious occultist Aleister Crowley. A young soldier witnesses omens of another, vaster conflict in the ravaged trenches of the Somme. Two children find their innocence tested and their friendship contorted by the ancient barrow upon the hill. A ghost who can’t remember ekes out an interminable existence amidst the ashes of events that can never be forgotten.
Contained within these pages are weird tales in the spirit of Lovecraft, Machen, Doyle and Wells, but shot through with a modern sensibility and a questioning of the old values. Here dwell ghosts and monsters, madmen and contortionists, lost souls and misunderstood geniuses. Collected for the first time are stories diverse and strange, spanning nearly a decade in the career of author David Tallerman (Giant Thief, Patchwerk) and including the never before seen novelette The War of the Rats.
Meet Easie Damasco: Thief, swindler and lately, reluctant hero.
But whatever good intentions Damasco may have are about to be tested to their limits, as the most valuable – and dangerous – object in the land comes within his light-fingered grasp.
Add in some suicidally stubborn giants, an old enemy with dreams of empire and the deadliest killers in two kingdoms on his heels, and Damasco’s chances of staying honest – or even just surviving – are getting slimmer by the hour.
Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.
Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.
Altapasaeda, capital of the Castoval, is about to be besieged by its own king – and where else would luckless, somewhat reformed thief Easie Damasco be but trapped within the city’s walls? Faced with a war they can’t win and a populace too busy fighting amongst itself to even try, the Castovalian defenders are left with one desperate option. Far in the northern lands of Shoan, rebels have set up the young prince Malekrin as a figurehead in their own quest to throw off the king’s tyrannical rule. One way or another, the prince must be persuaded to join forces.
Once again, all hope lies with Damasco and his sticky-fingered approach to problem solving, along with his long suffering partner, the gentle giant Saltlick. But this time it’s a human being that needs stealing, with his own desires and opinions, and events only grow more complicated as Damasco realises that he and the rebellious young prince have more in common that either would admit.
Fleeing the city of New York on the TransContinental atmospheric transport, Dran Florrian is traveling with Palimpsest: the ultimate proof of a lifetime of scientific theorizing.
When a rogue organization attempts to steal the device, however, Dran takes drastic action.
But his invention threatens to destroy the very fabric of this and all other possible universes, unless Dran – or someone very much like him – can shut down the machine and reverse the process.
You know these characters: The ranger, the fighter, the wizard, the rogue. But haven’t you ever wondered how they learned to be those things?
Three months into his studies at the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft, Durren Flintrand is shocked by the news that from now on he’ll be assigned to a party, and that his only hope of progressing beyond the lowly rank of level one is to succeed with his new companions. However, Durren has a secret that may make that impossible, and his three partners have problems of their own. Wizard Areinelimus is terrified of her own magic. Rogue Tia has no patience at all with others. And warrior Hule is just an idiot. In fact, when a disembodied, floating eyeball is your most competent party member, you know you have serious problems.
To stand a chance of succeeding, they need to work together, and that means learning to tolerate each other, while surviving a world of angry rat people, murderous sorcerers and homicidal unicorns. But even if they can somehow find a way to get along, dark and ancient forces are stirring, ones no level one students should ever have to confront…
The Black River Chronicles is a new fantasy series from David Tallerman and Michael Wills. Set in an academy for young adventurers in training, the Black River Academy, our new dungeon crawlers set out to learn the ropes. Follow them in their adventures and misadventures and see if they save the day, or flunk out of school before earning their next level.