“Those Who Walk in Darkness,” written at the same time as Oath of Gold, and published in the now out-of-print Baen collections Lunar Activity (1990)and Phases, is now posted on the Paksworld website.
It did not fit in Oath of Gold, but it was a story I had to write, and it is, in a way, a connection to the new books…a sure sign that I was destined to write “paladin fallout” stories later on.
It took awhile to put it up. I had to find the file (luckily converted earlier to an approximation of Word), clear out the rest of the old WordStar coding from the converted file, fix some typos, realize I hadn’t found them all (webguru did, we both hope)…and then my webguru put it up this afternoon.
The original introductions to stories in Lunar Activity were my favorites–I got to write them, and I wasn’t rushed. So here’s the original intro for “Those Who Walk in Darkness”….
Fantasy, unlike science fiction, is expected to have weather. It arises from the depths of the mind, those tectonic impacts when buried axioms clash and thrust new mountain ranges up to poke holes in the mind’s atmosphere, to change climate into stormy chaos, star-crowned. Don’t be surprised when the mountain ranges, explored, show ancient fossils around every corner. The mountains are new; the rock itself is not.
Those who have read The Deed of Paksenarrion will recognize instantly which night a frightened boy wanders the streets of Vérella. For the rest of you–be careful. Some of these fossils have undergone extensive metamorphosis.
I hope you enjoy it.