Join the Hunt for the Spear of Shadows
Today’s new release from Black Library is the start of a new Warhammer Age of Sigmar series that sees a disparate group of heroes plucked from obscurity and sent on a dangerous quest across the Mortal Realms on behalf of a god. It’s called ‘Eight Lamentations: Spear of Shadows’, and it’s written by Josh Reynolds, who was kind enough to answer our questions about the book, and the series. Here’s what he had to say:
Warhammer Community: Thanks for talking to us, Josh. Tell us, just what are the Eight Lamentations of the series name?
Josh Reynolds: The Eight Lamentations are eight mystic weapons – one for each of the Mortal Realms – created during the Age of Chaos by the Forgemasters of the Soulmaw, Khorne’s weaponsmiths. At some point, the weapons were lost and scattered across the realms. But now, they’re beginning to resurface. Marrowcutter, the Sword of Fire, was the first to reappear (as seen in my novel ‘Fury of Gork’) but the others aren’t far behind.
‘Eight Lamentations: Spear of Shadows’ is about the hunt for the second of the weapons to appear – the eponymous spear, known as the Huntsman – as various parties, both mortal and otherwise, scramble to secure it for their own ends. Among those searching for the weapon are the Forgemasters of the Soulmaw, the skaven, Neferata, Grungni, and even Archaon himself.
WarCom: Who are the interesting group of heroes on the cover? If they even are heroes…
JR: In the centre is Owain Volker, Gunmaster of Azyr. Volker is the main character, to all intents and purposes. Calm and steady, he’s a consummate gunman and a skilled engineer, with an affinity for duardin culture and language. He’s drawn into the search for the weapons when an old friend, who happens to be one of Grungni’s agents, goes missing.
The duardin is Lugash, a Fyreslayer from Aqshy, of no particular lodge. Lugash is belligerent, unpleasant and possibly a little mad, most likely due to whatever experiences caused him to become a Doomseeker in the first place. Lugash serves Grungni in return for an unnamed reward, of which neither will speak.
The vampire, Adhema of Szandor, is a Blood Knight from Shyish and a servant of Neferata. She seeks to acquire the weapon for her mistress, regardless of the cost. That said, she isn’t above joining forces with ostensible enemies in order to achieve her goals. Adhema first appeared in my novel ‘Nagash: The Undying King’.
But these are only three of the characters in the book! There’s also an opportunistic Kharadron merchant-turned-smuggler, a demigryph-riding knight, a Freeguilder-turned-sellsword, a disturbingly serene Sigmarite priestess, a cunning Khornate Deathbringer, a philosophical Tzeentchian sorcerer, raven-assassins, a lunatic skaven warlock-engineer and possibly the stupidest Verminlord ever spawned.
Also, there is a giant, flying shark.
WarCom: What part does Grungni play, and how was it writing this iconic god?
JR: Grungni believes that he can reforge the Eight Lamentations, and transform them into powerful tools for the forces of Order. But first, he must acquire them. To that end, he utilises a vast network of agents to seek out any trace of the artefacts across the Mortal Realms.
He was great fun to write – probably my favourite character in the book. Grungni is by turns comforting and terrifying, as a god of fire and metal should be. He’s a duardin’s duardin, in many ways – and something eldritch and incomprehensible in others.
WarCom: How does the recent short story ‘Auction of Blood‘ tie in to the novel?
JR: The protagonist of ‘Auction of Blood’, Palem Bok, is, like Adhema, one of Neferata’s agents in the Mortal Realms, as well as a bookseller of ill-repute. In the story, he finds himself at the auction in question, bidding on what may – or may not – be one of the legendary Eight Lamentations. Unfortunately, a Khornate cult gets wind of the proceedings and, well, hijinks ensue.
WarCom: What’s next in the series?
JR: Besides ‘Auction of Blood’, there are a few more short stories planned, to tide readers over until the second book comes out, including one for this year’s Advent Calendar. Until then, folks could also check out ‘Road of Blades‘, from last year’s crop of Advent stories. It serves as a quick prologue to the series and introduces one of the major antagonists, the Khornate warrior, Ahazian Kel.
Thanks to Josh for answering our questions. We can’t wait to find out more about the flying shark… And you can find out soon, or even now, as the hardback of ‘Spear of Shadows’ is available to order now, and you can download the eBook (from blacklibrary.com, iBooks and Amazon UK) and get reading straight away! Both ‘Auction of Blood’ and ‘Road of Blades’ are also downloadable now, so you can get your hands on the whole series so far.
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