Brand and his shipmates face dread sorcery on a strange isle in John C. Hocking’s “The Bonestealer’s Mirror,” the sequel to “The Face in the Sea” from Black Gate 13.
We searched the labyrinth of sea-caves for hours, finally emerging in early afternoon, wet, hungry and tired. Asbjorn decided to return to Mord’s steading to collect Vali and Asdis, and to ask if the isle had more sea-caves in which the demon might lair.
We knew something was amiss as soon as we came over the ridge and could see Mord’s home below. Vali and Asdis sat on the low roof of the longhouse, but of the dwelling’s owner there was no sign. As we approached they stood, and I saw Vali held his sword.
“Where have you been?” yelled Asdis. Anger made her voice hard. I felt she was speaking to me alone and could not have uttered a reply for a chest of gold.
“Just taking our ease,” said Asbjorn, “walking about in the black belly of a mountain hunting a demon out of Niflheim.”
“The Bonestealer’s Mirror” appears in Black Gate 14, coming in February. You can read an excerpt here.
The complete Black Gate 14 Sneak Peek is available here.
John C. Hocking is the author of Conan & the Emerald Lotus (Tor, 1995). The first tale of Brand the Viking, “The Face in the Sea,’ appeared in our last issue, the second, “Vali’s Wound”, was in Daniel Blackston’s anthology Lords of Swords (Pitch-Black, 2005). “The Bonestealer’s Mirror” is the third installment.
Art by Storn Cook.