by Jason E. Thummel
This is a complete work of fiction presented by Black Gate magazine. It appears with the permission of Jason E. Thummel and New Epoch Press, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part. All rights reserved. Copyright 2013 by New Epoch Press.
Gunnerman Clap rechecked his safety line for the tenth time and then turned his attentions once again to the oncoming gale. The waves that preceded it were growing alarmingly large, sending punishing walls of water against the vessel. A fine mist of salt stung his eyes, which watered as they squinted toward the unnatural green and red lightning that licked along the storm front and through the clouds.
“Make no doubt about that,” he said, turning to the young mess boy, Nebble, who had been assigned to run powder for his crew, “but they’ve them a Prototempest grade mage on board, and that’s the worst there be.” He smiled at the look of uncomprehending fright that hung upon the boy’s face then burst forth with a show of mirth that he did not feel. “Nah, once we ride this here out,” he tousled the unbraided hair and continued, “that mage’ll be face down on the table. Tires ‘em out something fierce, a storm like that one.”
The I. N. Grimhold had been running the line with three other vessels of similar size and gun, keeping a blockade on the port of Grayscale. Watch to watch, day in and day out, the crews had kept a tight line and used the time to practice maneuvers, dry-running out the guns in succession to the call of the Chief as powder stores were low. The captain had not seen fit to inform the crew as to the nature of their mission, and so rumor had spread with heated debate as to what they waited for. It was a popular pastime, and most were now in agreement that they were blockading the town because the governor’s daughter had refused to give up her maidenhead to the Heir Apparent.
Although they had not yet beat to quarters, word had spread and most of the crew that could find even the remotest excuse to be on deck stood and watched the storm that had blown them off course. Extra eyes had already been dispatched into the rigging in hopes of locating the enemy vessel, or vessels, that were undoubtedly nestled comfortably within the tempest. Two snipers had also been sent aloft, their long rifles and scopes barely visible sticking out from the Nest, with orders to shoot any viable targets within range.
Preferably the Mage and then the Captain, thought Clap, unconsciously rubbing the Mermaid’s tooth talisman he wore around his neck. He was in no hurry for the Sea Maids to come claim him and take him to Paradise, that was for certain.
“One vessel, three-masted… running afore the wind afull sail,” came a distant shout from the watch. As if on cue the Grimhold’s sails went slack and the slimy oozing of unnatural magics washed over the deck, Clap’s hair standing on end. He shivered and rubbed his arms as if he could rid himself of the taint of it, but to no avail. Eyes searched into the front for a sign of the ship, but although he had an eagle’s eyes at cannon shot range he was no watchman and couldn’t see any.
The drum spoke and the silence that had prevailed on the deck was replaced with the rapid steps and vocalizations of beating to quarters. It was a well-oiled seeming chaos that ensued as Clap untied his line, grabbed Nebble by one bony shoulder, and rapidly made his way below decks to his cannon.
“Look here, Nebble,” he shouted above the din, “we’ve still some sailing to do and the Captain’ll find us some wind if he has to call on Shullum hisself. What’s important for you to mind is that you keep that bucket full with powder. Mind nothing else but your safety. To the storehouse and back, all you can safely carry, and nothing more. Got it?”
Clap’s attentions were almost immediately elsewhere and he ignored several stuttering questions from the boy. Nebble knew his job as good as any runner and he liked to ask questions when he was nervous. A mental image of what was happening above decks played in his mind as he directed his crew in checking to make certain everything was well with the big gun. He took a moment to polish a spot on her barrel and smiled. Right now the riflemen would be climbing into the rigging along with the crew. They’d be hanging about like a gibbering mass of well armed, sharp-shooting monkeys up there afore long. Old Fellmore, who was known to be far better with the herbs, stitching and drinking than he was with the magic would be on the poop, strengthening the conjured web weave that would cut down on collateral splinter injuries and trying to take a bite out of the approaching storm. The creaking, pounding and water they were continuing to take spoke of little success in that regard. The Captain would be standing calmly above it all, bellowing out orders, as confident as the gods themselves.
The crack of two rifle shots in rapid succession reached Clap through the droning violence of the storm. A great hurrah went up above. Clap started cursing, running down his usual list of damnations. He hated the waiting, all shut up in the hold with the gun port closed, knowing that something was afoot but unable to see anything. Damned but if he could just open up the port and give them a belly full.
The rocking began to ease a bit, the howling wind to quiet, the unnatural feel of the storm quickly fade away as though he’d suddenly bathed. Ah, thought Clap rubbing his hands in anticipation, maybe one of the snipers got that storm-stewing bastard.
The far distant discharge of cannon whispered through the hull, answered swiftly by one from above. The long cannons were exchanging fire. Used at long range more for annoyance than any real damage, they had wondrous range but packed little weight. Up close and loaded with shot, however, they were ever the practical equalizer. There was a thud against the hull as a ball made impact, probably a skipper.
“Won’t be long now so make yourselves ready,” he said to his gunnery pod, making the sign of the sail and whispering words over the tooth. “Great Lord Shullum, whose will keeps me afloat from the cold embrace of the Abyss, please pass me by this day. If not, may thy mermaids quickly take me to Paradise and leave my body to rest in your eternal embrace.” Clap pretended not to hear several of his crew guffawing at what they called his `superstitious nature.’
“Lets see some rock and balls, boys,” shouted the voice of the Chief. Clap quickly pulled the oiled canvas from off the firestone and steel that sparked his cannon and the crate of various shot that sat alongside. The sponger soaked his rod in the bucket and started murmuring his own superstitions as powder, ball and wad were rammed home. An unintelligible cacophony of voices came down from above, accompanied by the scurry of many bare feet, and Clap found his stomach churning with anticipation. Nebble stood in the corner of his vision, apron already filled with a second bucket’s worth of powder cartridges. Clap winked and then sighted down the cannon once for luck.
“Starboard,” shouted the chief, “run ‘em out!”
The gun port was thrown open by the sponger and the towmen pulled on the ropes that sent the cannon’s barrel through the open port. Clap gazed down the barrel and could see the hull of the other vessel just out of range riding high and asking for it. It was a ship of similar size, two decks above the waterline, each with ten ports open and guns run out even as he watched. She was flying unfamiliar colors and her paint seemed of foreign design. The trigger rope itched in his hand, begging him for release.
“As she bears and on the roll, boys,” came the command. Clap took one last aim, hoping for the mainmast, stepped aside and pulled.
Ten sparks went off in the scant light of the hold, small strikes of lightning that were answered by enormous thunder as if the great Storm God himself smashed the big guns with his mighty club, sending them jumping backward, the wood deck beneath them groaning with the pounding. Clap had a sudden touch of vertigo and everything around him sounded as though he were below water. His eyes were burning from the smoke and it took a moment before he was able to see.
“At will,” the Chief shouted against the din.
The sponger had already taken a run down the barrel, the wet material clearing it of ash and any debris that could cause a premature ignition. Clap’s pod worked mechanically with deft and precise movements, a result of the countless hours they had spent working together. Out went the gun.
He sighted, smiled, and pulled. The great roaring gun jumped and spat, Clap hurrying ahead to get sight of the shot. It struck the hull a little high, but the impact sent a shower of splinters into the air that let him know it had gone through the hull near a port. The opposing gun did not answer.
The foreign vessel replied with another volley and Clap heard the explosion of wood and debris from down the line, men screaming out in agony as the shrapnel tore through them. There was a sound of cannon balls rolling along the decking and through the howls of pain a voice shouting to ‘get that damnable gun secured before it kills us all.’ Several more thuds could be heard and another voice yelling to man the pump. Apparently they’d taken one near the water line.
“She’s cutting across our stern,” the Chief shouted, “get to port and load.” The stern was the most vulnerable part of the ship and Clap felt uneasy knowing they would have a shot at it.
Clap’s pod pulled in the starboard gun and secured it against the rolling of the vessel. It was far too much metal to have rolling about unattended, a lesson hard learned by many a broken man. Racing across the hold, they loaded and prepared the sister gun, breathing hard in the acrid air, dripping sweat on skin blackened with soot and ash.
There were several explosions from the rear and the sound of cannon shot raining down on the deck above. While the shot would do little damage to the vessel, the grape size metal balls were hell on the crew. In reply he heard the riflemen in the rigging letting loose volley after volley of return fire and the rear long gun, which could be swiveled in a 360 degree arc, get off one shot. Another great explosion shook the timbers and a cloud of smoke drifted up from the stern. Damn, he thought, they’ve handed us a good one.
The Grimhold changed tack, the port side coming up as the starboard lowered in the water. Clap unconsciously rolled with the changing pitch, inspecting the cannon as he had the brother gun. He sighted the barrel and waited.
There would be a great deal of activity on deck, he imagined. The crew in the rigging would be struggling to keep the sails viable, to repair the rigging as it took damage, and to keep from getting shot. Both vessels could rake each other mercilessly at this range, and the foreigner was bound to have riflemen aloft as well. Both would also be liberal with the grape he imagined. The deck would be awash in blood and splinters by now, small fires crackling as bodies were hurried below decks where the surgeon-mage Fellmore would mend them as best as he was able.
“First shot at will then I want odds ball, evens chain and grape,” shouted the Chief as he walked down the aisle clapping a few on the back and murmuring words of encouragement to the younger ones. “And I want to see those damned masts down, hear? Port, run ‘em out!”
The gun pods were screaming now, a mix of enthusiasm, encouragement, battle mania, and fear. She was closer than he had expected when the port flew open, her starboard side rolling up from the sea bringing cannon to bear. He used his hand-hook to make a slight adjustment with his gun and then pulled the rope shouting, “Give ‘em to the Abyss, brother!”
The impact of his ball was lost in the smoke from the enemy’s cannon as they returned fire almost simultaneously. The hull was now filled with a vast gray darkness, voices piercing through its smoldering veil, screams and curses threatening to overwhelm the Chief’s constant stream of profane reason. Clap was more concerned, however, with the fact that his gun was sitting idle. He turned to one of his towers and shook him by the shoulders watching as the wide eyes slowly seemed to focus on him and the present and the panic fade.
“Damnation, boy, load that gun,” he shouted.
“Can’t. No powder!” shouted Tyb, rubbing a thin corded arm across his forehead, smearing the ash and blood while his other gestured to the empty powder bucket.
Clap looked around hurriedly but Nebble was nowhere to be seen. Of all the damned times to go missing it would have to be now, he thought. If that boy is alive I’ll skin him myself. My next shot would’ve brought down the Main for a certain. He threw down the trigger rope and hurried up the aisle to grab a packet or two from the next pod when something hit him hard in the back, knocking him to the ground and leaving him unable to take a breath. His heartbeats were loud in his ears and he could hear nothing else. His hand went instinctively to the tooth, eyes frantically searching for the maids that would come. Too soon, he kept thinking, too soon.
The Chief’s face came looming into his vision, one large hand shaking his collar like a dog worrying a bone. Clap blinked, the fire in his chest releasing as lungs sucked in a chest full of the blessedly hot, stinking air and not the water he had been expecting.
“Get off yer arse, Clap, they’s things to be done,” Chief grinned and yanked him to his feet.
The hull had been blown away near his gun, which lay on its side and askew, wheels and rails bent. Several forms moved in the distance like shades in the twilight, but Clap was unable to see clearly enough to know if they were his pod or not. One man, at least, was down, a leg kicking the deck to punctuate a continuous stream of groaning and profaning. His own arm burned where a three inch needle of wood was run under the skin while several much larger chunks still hung suspended in the air where they had stuck to the web weave. Clap would have to remember to thank Fellmore for that.
Clap looked out the gaping tear in the hull and saw the enemy vessel, almost at pistol shot, and cursed his luck, his pod, Nebble, and several other things before the curses turned to elation. The Main mast on the other vessel gave a great creaking and then split near the deck, falling toward the port side of the other ship.
A large booming came from overhead as the Grapplers were fired and Clap watched the retractable lines arc overhead, the grappling hooks anchoring themselves deep into the enemy ship. The crew would be cranking away now, slowly closing the distance between the vessels while the rifles kept up a reduced but continuous stream of cover fire. Several enemy crew were across the way, attacking the lines with small axes, flickering purple sparks erupting as they encountered the reinforcing dragon hair. They would never sever the stout line in time.
“To the deck,” came the call, “the Captain wants to board her.”
Clap shook his head again to further clear it and gave himself a brief visual inspection. Scrapes, bumps, splinters, a little bit of blood here and there, but nothing that looked or felt near as bad as what he was preparing to hand out. At the end of the aisle he grabbed a basket hilted cutlass and buckler from the weapons crate and headed to the deck, one man in the frenzied mob that poured forth from the depths of the Grimhold. He looked around and saw there were fewer of them than he would have preferred.
The constant and monotonous sound of rifle fire continued, a melody against the creaking of timbers. Clap watched as one of the desperate men who had been hacking at the rope clutched his chest and fell into the depths of the sea. There was a brief cheer then silence reigned on the deck, each man left to his own. More damned waiting, thought Clap, continuing to pray and bargain with his god. That be one more for you, he signed himself, and I’ll send along aplenty more, your halls will be filled to overflowin’, so long as you steer clear of me, Shullum, Great Lord of the Deep.
A group of pikemen had taken to the rail of the enemy, the area where the Grimhold was most likely to board becoming a prickling mass of short spears. Two or three riflemen in what remained of their rigging were giving them some cover fire, but not enough to keep all the Grimhold’s rifles quiet and the odd man in the bunch went down.
“I’ll not be goin’ over first into that prickly pear,” grumbled Clap to any near enough to hear, “and were it me, I’d be doin’ somethin’ about it right quick. We’ll be touchin’ up soon enough.”
“Long arm,” came the booming shout of the Captain from somewhere to the rear of the ship, “some shot if you will.”
The long gun swiveled and discharged into the mass of pikemen, reloaded, and did so again. It was devastating to see at less than pistol shot, great bursts of gore exploding like breaking waves of flesh and blood. Another hurrah went up from the crew and then the vessels were within planking range and the cheer turned to a war cry en masse.
Clap was quickly over the side and on to the other deck. The Chief Gunner was in the lead of his small group, his great bulk taking up room and preventing Clap from getting into the thick of things. He scurried over some block and tackle that had fallen from above, almost losing his footing on an arm that stuck from underneath the wreckage, and took up a position alongside where he could mind the Chief’s back.
A sailor came at him, swinging a club with one hand and a short sword with the other. Clap ducked the club and lashed out with the buckler. It hit the man in the arm with enough force to knock him off balance and Clap took the opportunity to step up and slash him across his throat. The sailor dropped both weapons and wrapped his hands around his neck to staunch the flow. Unprotected, Clap stuck him through the stomach and then kicked him out of the way, fighting hard to stay even with the Chief.
A hand reached out and grabbed his ankle and Clap fell to his knees, his buckler knocked free as he caught himself, sliding away and out of reach. The face that was looking up at him was twisted in a smile, intensified by the blood that stained the lips, and Clap smiled back before bringing the cutlass arcing down through the wrist. Already turning away to catch Chief, he missed the new facial expression but caught the curdling scream. He realized he was still smiling.
A group of ragged looking crew hands had massed in front of the door that would, most likely, lead to the enemy Captain’s quarters. With the wall that supported the raised deck behind, it was going to be tricky to rout them. Clap gave them a good looking over, their almond eyes and olive colored skin marked them for foreign, probably from Teklos or thereabouts, and he couldn’t understand what in the devil they’d be doing way up here, trying to break through a blockade from Grayscale.
The Chief grabbed a barrel and lifted it overhead to hurl into the defensive line and Clap readied himself to charge in behind its chaos. As quick as a blink, a pikeman shot out from the shadowy hatch which had cloaked him and speared the Chief in the stomach. The barrel fell and knocked aside a fellow crewman, the Chief’s now feeble hands unable to hold the weight, to do anything but wrap helplessly around the shaft. His eyes rolled over toward Clap and he looked like he was about to ask a question, but his lips moved soundlessly a few times and then he fell heavily to the deck.
Shullum filled Clap then, as if a great anger overtook him, a great voice shouting out for souls to serve the God in Paradise and he charged the line of men. The cutlass seemed to rise and fall without effort, the line giving way before it, great gouts of blood spraying into the air in its wake, a warm mist that trickled down his face and arms. Comrades kept pace and the line suddenly broke and those whose fearful faces had turned to flee were cut down where they stood. Shouts of challenge came from behind and most turned to confront the new threat; Clap continued through the portal into the cabin, breathing hard, ignoring the bullet that sent splinters flying inches from his head.
The first room appeared empty, filled with crates, a small table with a few chairs, and a map with a course already charted. Clap paid it little mind, he was no good with navigating and maps. There was what appeared to be an unopened bottle of drink on a shelf that would definitely require further attentions, however. A cough sounded from the next cabin and Clap proceeded cautiously, hand reaching out quickly to stash the bottle behind some crates. He slid the door a crack and peered through.
The room looked to be empty save for one person. A woman lay on a table in the center, fiery red hair pulled back from her fevered face by a tiara scribed with arcane symbols of witchery and magic. A similar array of symbols was tattooed on her forehead as well. A flowing white sheet covered her body. Blood had seeped through the fabric, whose rise and fall showed labored breathing, and she tossed uncomfortably as if in great pain. That would be the mage, thought Clap, spitting once on the floor and rubbing his tooth for protection against her magic. She was younger than he would have expected and would have been quite attractive had it not been for the warts, extra nipples, and all manner of unnatural things for use in communing with demons and foul spirits that Clap knew lurked beneath the cover of the sheet.
Taking a deep breath, repeating the name of Shullum as a mantra, Clap stepped into the room and approached the mage. Her tiara began a sinister glow. There was a searing heat as the tattoos burned red and swollen against the white skin; the smell of lightning filled his nostrils as blue light crackled along the evil crown. Rising into the air like the ghost lights that lead many a ship to their doom upon the open seas, the newly formed ball of crackling light quickly drifted toward the gunnerman.
Clap, who was in no mind to dally with the apparition, deftly avoided its path as it sped past, losing sight as it went behind, unable to pull his eyes from the mage for fear that she might wake and catch him unawares. He felt more than heard a strange thunderous rumble at his back, followed by footfalls upon the planking. Trick or not he had little choice but to turn and he cursed his damnable curiosity and poor luck that he had ever entered the cabin.
Its form was that of a sailor. Wet hair lay plastered along its face and neck while sodden tatters of seaman’s clothes hung heavy upon the stout frame. A sword dangled from a meaty hand. Many a time had Clap seen its likeness, cold dead men dredged up from the salty sea, their mottled green and black flesh swollen near to bursting–the waters were not kind to those that Great Shullum spat back. The cracked, discolored lips split in a malevolent smile, a trickle of salt water running down the chin, while black eyes that twinkled with human intelligence regarded him. He had no doubt whose evil intelligence he faced.
“Not so tired or hurt as you let on, foul hag,” Clap mumbled, angling to get through the portal and back to the deck. Better that he trust his fate against the arms of mortal men. This creature was something best dealt with by a twelve pound ball of hot lead. Sensing his intent, the drowned specter moved to block the cabin’s only exit, bloated arm raising its weapon as it came at him.
The blades danced with deft and deadly strokes. Clap was hampered by the close confines and unable to force the creature from the exit. But the gunner was no dandy turf-buster, and his cutlass moved with a seaman’s skill, slashing and parrying, as unyielding as the endless waves. She would have to do better than some hell-spawn sailor too poor at his trade to keep himself from death. On and on the steel clashed, Clap refusing to give ground even as his arm grew tired against the barrage of the foully magicked and untiring corpse.
The next exchange was doubly fierce and with the last of his strength Clap trapped the dead man’s blade and grabbed the wrist with his other hand, gripping hard into the rubbery flesh. Shoving with all his might he strove to knock the creature aside. It stumbled and Clap felt sure that he would make the portal at last. The drowned man’s other hand wrapped around his throat and lifted him from the ground.
Shoulda seen that comin’, thought Clap, unable to talk or breathe against the vice-like grip. His legs kicked frantically into the putrid body, but the grip was unwavering. His cutlass fell from numb fingers as his other hand found the Mermaid tooth talisman. Shullum, he prayed, give me the strength to save your servant, for I have sent aplenty to serve in my stead and have always kept your ways.
A desperate notion came upon him then and Clap tore the tooth free and, gripping it like a dirk, began ramming it into the drowned man’s eye. Again and again like the rolling tides his oar-strengthened arm rose and fell until, at long last, the thing stumbled drunkenly and collapsed. Clap gained his feet, grabbed his weapon, and set about making certain of its demise.
“I send ye here this gods-awful, twice dead pet, Great Shullum. May you chain it well and beat it regular,” Clap said. A putrid air filled the room, the stench of a hundred Great Fish landed and rotting under the unforgiving sun, and the body dissolved into a gray puddle of decay. He spat against it and made the sign of the sail. From behind came a shuddering intake of breath.
Clap turned quickly to the mage, a rustle of cloth and the oily feeling of magic sending his hairs on end. Her eyes were open but unfocused. She struggled into a sitting position and the sheet fell away from her alabaster skin, exposing her chest and the tightly wrapped poultice and bandages that had soaked through. Emerald green eyes locked on to his and Clap saw awareness and recognition enter them. Her hands came up, whether in modesty, pleading, or conjuring Clap would never know, for as her lips started to speak he took his basket hilt and clipped her on the jaw, sending her crumpling to the floor.
“You’ll not magic me again, sea conjuring bitch!” he spat. She had obviously had time to work some kind of glamour, though, because her skin and body looked normal and almost, he hated to admit, enticing.
Clap quickly glanced back, sighing with relief. The noise of battle had drifted away, and the room still appeared empty. He knew he’d best act quickly. Tearing some of the cloth into long strips he bound her hands first: right hand to the left thigh in the front, and left hand to the right thigh behind her back. Then he tied her legs together at the ankle, the knee, and mid way up her thigh. Lastly he gagged her, rolled her up in the sheet, and secured it around her as well, nothing save her head visible.
“That’ll keep your foul magic under wraps, as it were,” he chuckled to himself mirthlessly and with more bravado than he felt.
There were several footfalls behind him and he quickly turned to confront the danger.
“At ease Gunnerman Clap,” said the First Mate, “she has struck her colors.”
Clap immediately took the knee and brought his hands to his forehead, head bowed, eyes focused on the floor where he could see the First Mate’s smartly shined leather shoes and brass buckles. The pool of putrescence had disappeared.
“Sir, yes sir,” he said nervously.
Someone else approached and Clap found himself staring at four brass buckles. He was suddenly keenly aware of his dirty, disheveled appearance, bare feet, and that most of his hair had come unbraided and was hanging in his face.
“Captain,” said the First Mate.
“Get some men in here at once, if you would be so kind. I am very happy to see that she is alive. Orders were specific that it was preferred she be so, if at all possible. They have many questions to put to her, I suspect.” The Captain continued to address the First Mate in a whisper that was inaudible and Clap breathed deeply and tried to be as small as possible. The shoes turned and headed toward the exit, Clap sighing in relief prematurely as they stopped near the door.
“Gunnerman Clap,” said the sonorous voice of the Captain, “good work. First Mate, take down this man’s name for the service he has rendered us this day.”
“Yes Sir,” said the Mate.
“And put that down as Chief Gunner Clap, if you would.”
The incoming footsteps and obeisance covered the quiet ‘Thank you Sir’ that Gunnerman Clap nervously muttered at the floor.
“You can get up now, Chief Clap,” said Tyb smiling, “they’re gone.”
Clap stood. “How fares the pod, Tyb?”
“Cuts and scrapes mostly. Could have been much worse I reckon. Course Stobby’ll lose a leg for sure, maybe more.”
“Took quite a wallop in the head, sent him down to Fellmore.”
“I told that boy to watch hisself. Never listens, though I suppose being poked, prodded and doctored by Fellmore’s punishment enough. So,” Clap cleared his throat uncomfortably in what he hoped was an officious way, “you heard the Captain. Let’s get ‘er aboard.”
The six crewmen who had entered lifted the mage warily and a bit roughly. Her eyes sprang open and she looked directly at Clap, the emerald green boring into his soul as her mouth struggled to say words it could not form. Never look a mage in the eyes, he thought, staring at her nose and smiling from ear to ear as she was unceremoniously carried from the cabin. A bit more ration, a bit more grog, a couple of hairs more space to hang his hammock but most of all, Chief Gunner Clap. He liked the sound of that.
A great hurrah for the Captain came up from out on the deck and Clap laughed to himself and, thanking Shullum and grabbing the bottle of liquor from its hiding place, hurried to the deck to take part.
Jason E. Thummel’s work has appeared in Black Gate, Flashing Swords magazine, the anthologies Rage of the Behemoth and Magic and Mechanica, as well as many other venues both online and in print. Some of his Sword & Sorcery and heroic fantasy is collected in the titles In Savage Lands and The Harsh Suns, and the first two novels chronicling the supernatural adventures of occult detective Lance Chambers, The Spear of Destiny and Cult of Death, are now available.
Jason’s first story for us was “The Duelist,” published as part of our Black Gate Online Fiction line on September 30th, 2012. Read the complete story here.
He can be reached at: feedback2jason(at)gmail(dot)com.