Into the Blight

Into the Blight by Jonathan Ward
Cover Art by Kieran Walsh

It is a time of turmoil and uncertainty.

For decades the Bask have ruled over the six clans of Arran. Now they rule no longer: overthrown by a creature from legend that wields terrifying power, and seeks to remake the land according to her own inscrutable designs.

Fearing that the creature might turn her attention their way, the rulers of the neighbouring kingdom of Taleria seek anything that could stand against her might. They find it in the past: in the tales surrounding a cursed land and an ancient power buried there. An expedition is mounted to claim this power for Taleria.

But there are some things in the world that should very definitely remain buried…

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Prologue
The Kantor Pass

The mountains were wailing.

Dana had never considered herself particularly imaginative, but even she had to admit that was how it sounded. It
had been coming and going for hours, and despite its increasing familiarity the haunting noise never failed to make her shiver. Of course, that might also have had something to do with the iciness of the wind, to be expected this high up. It was easy to see why the locals had nicknamed this place the Pass of Ghosts.

She was lying flat at the top of a steep slope, overlooking a winding gorge that opened up into the pass proper about a mile further to the east. Over two dozen scouts had accompanied her, though as she cast a quick glance to either side of her she could only see the nearest two. Even then they were hard to spot; each wearing concealing cloaks dyed the shade of the mountain rocks all around them. They were all Black Wolves: this whole area had been part of their lands for a long time, and nobody knew it better than they. If any had objections to being led by a woman not of their clan, they had thankfully kept them to themselves.

Dana shook her head, frowning at her lapse in concentration. Things had been chaotic ever since Saramanth had
risen to power over the six clans almost a season ago, and she couldn’t remember the last time she had actually had a decent night’s sleep.. That was no excuse, though. If her party screwed up here many soldiers could die, and she wouldn’t allow that to happen.