We last saw E.E. Knight’s hero, The Blue Pilgrim, in the acclaimed “The Terror of the Vale” — one of the most popular stories we’ve ever published. He first appeared in Daniel Blackston’s 2004 heroic fantasy anthology Lords of Swords; here’s Todd McAulty’s review from Black Gate 8:
The real payoff in Lords of Swords comes from three long pieces by three different writers, any one of which could stand alongside the work of the masters mentioned above — and all of which deliver on the promise of the best adventure fantasy: strong characters, fast action in colorful settings, and genuine flair and wit…
Finally, we have what may be my favorite piece: “That of the Pit,” by Vampire Earth novelist E.E. Knight. The Blue Pilgrim is a rebel against the cruel rule of the Sayhrae, and a practitioner of The Way, an ancient devotion that gives him considerable martial prowess and subtle mental arts. But he is virtually alone in his battle, and when he’s captured he discovers the dark sorceries of the Sayhrae are not all masquerades. The climax of this tale is one of the most effective I’ve read in a long time.
We’ve long been fans of “That of the Pit” and we are pleased and delighted to be able to present the story to you in its entirety online for the first time, as part of our Black Gate Online Fiction library.
E.E. Knight is the author of the Vampire Earth series, which began with Way of the Wolf, and the six-volume Age of Fire books. He is a frequent blogger for Black Gate.
The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Vaughn Heppner, Howard Andrew Jones, David C. Smith, David Evan Harris, Janet Morris and Chris Morris, John C. Hocking, Michael Shea, Peadar Ó Guilín, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, C.S.E. Cooney, and many others, is here.
“That of the Pit” is a complete 6,300-word short story of heroic fantasy offered at no cost.