Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Realms of Shadow


The main basis for this collection of short stories edited by Lizz Baldwin is the appearance of the Shade Enclave from millennia of exile in the Plane of Shadow, with all the land of Faerûn consequentially open to its dark motivations.

“Trial by Ordeal” by Lisa Smedman – This short story deals with an arcanist being on trial for a capital offense, with the commentary of magicians being legally responsible for their sentient creations.

“Assassin’s Shadow” by Jess Lebow – Lume hires Cy to assassinate the archwizard Shadow, although the target’s tower is difficult to break into.

“Too Long in the Dark” by Paul S. Kemp – Zossimus seeks to take on the dragon Ascalagon, with his familiar Pleeancis yearning for his freedom.

“Darksword” by Troy Denning – Melegaunt helps bog-people deal with dragonmen in exchange for directions to his destination.

“Liar’s Game” by Jessica Beaven – This short story is divided into chapters, which makes it readable in brief bursts, with a female druid who likes to collect and experiment upon various creatures romancing a man.

“That Curious Sword” by R.A. Salvatore – Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle, the latter believing he can get the former into a paladin’s order, with the two visiting the apartment of an individual named Rorli to steal back a statue stolen from someone else.

“A Little Knowledge” by Elaine Cunningham – A resident in the forest of Halruaa named Gnarfling meets the magician Landish the Adept, who uses a spellfilcher ring in a magical battle.

“Astride the Wind” by Philip Athans – The titular character Astride the Wind belongs to a tribe of kenku, anthropomorphic avians who try to survive against human attackers.

“The Fallen Lands” by Murray J.D. Leeder – This short story is told in first person by Arklow of Ashabenford, who fights nagas with a barbarian.

“When Shadows Come Seeking a Throne” by Ed Greenwood – Involves a coup against the Queen of Cormyr, with several characters hearing hissing voices behind the scenes.

“King Shadow” by Richard Lee Byers – A knight named Sir Ajandor Surehand and his squire Kevin face off against shades led by the eponymous adversary.

“The Shifting Sands” by Peter Archer – Two men, Garmansder and Avarilous, find themselves captives of excavators of possible treasure of the Netheril beneath desert dunes.

Overall, I enjoyed this collection would gladly read more in the Forgotten Realms universe.

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