A Night in the Lonesome October —
All is not what it seems…
In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff – gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.
Some have come to open the gates. Some have come to slam them shut.
And now the dread night approaches – so let the Game begin.
Snuff and Greymalk have a conversation that serves as an infodump bringing us up to speed on the current situation. The vicar has been taking potshots at the players with his crossbow, the Great Detective is prowling in the area and we discover that the players not only have familiars, but each is in possession of at least one magic item; Jack’s blade, Jill’s broom, the mad monk’s icon ( stolen from a Mad Arab…I think I can guess what that must be), the Count’s ring, the Druid’s scythe and so on. The conversation doesn’t just provide us with more depth on the game though, it moves the plot along to the next level when Greymalk announces she has found a body.
We discover that Snuff’s mental map is more magical than we thought, in that in some cases it might allow him to track backwards in time along the lines to find out what was going on in the past. Not this time though; the body Greymalk takes him to see is that of a policeman up from the city. His throat has been cut, his eyes pecked out by crows. Snuff cannot allow it to be discovered so close to Jack’s house and resolves to drag the body to the river and drop in it where it can be carried far away. It’s going to take him a while though, and at the end of the day he has to hide the body in a copse and return home for some well earned sleep. He’s only got halfway to the river.
We’ve had a lot of info given to us in that chapter, all skillfully woven into snappy dialogue to make it palatable. And the death of the policeman means that the stakes have just got that much higher for everyone; the players have, up till now, been mostly minding their own business. I suspect that’s all about to change. We’re into the meat of it now; the chapters are getting longer, the cast are moving about more frantically and interacting more often. I expect some mayhem soon.
William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with more than thirty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries.
He has books available from a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, Crossroad Press and Severed Press, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines.
He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company.
When he’s not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.
The Green & the Black —
A small group of industrial archaeologists head into the center of Newfoundland, investigating a rumor of a lost prospecting team of Irish miners in the late Nineteenth century.
They find the remains of a mining operation, and a journal and papers detailing the extent of the miners’ activities. But there is something else on the site, something older than the miners, as old as the rock itself.
Soon the archaeologists are coming under assault, from a strange infection that spreads like wildfire through mind and body, one that doctors seem powerless to define let alone control.
The survivors only have one option. They must return to the mine, and face what waits for them, down in the deep dark places, where the green meets the black.