The half-torn page
Ilsa Wlich, a striking, mysterious woman of indeterminate age and steeped in lore, ancient and new, arrives one fateful evening in beautiful, but remote and insular Reimersberg at the end of the Adventurer’s Road. The town, deep in the mountains and wolf-inhabited forests in the Valley of the Witches, is seldom reached by outsiders and not particularly welcoming to them. Proud of their traditions, the people frown upon change and those who bring it.
Ilsa saves the life of a sick boy, Karl, but is suspicious of the cause of his sickness; a fact she keeps from the townsfolk for fear of causing panic. She earns the boy’s undying love, but also the enmity of some Town Elders, in particular the incompetent doctor and the mayor, Meister. Both feel as threatened by Ilsa as she feels wary of them.
Weary in mind and body from years of travelling, and still charmed by the town, Ilsa asks to settle in Reimersberg. Her presence there awakens a long-hidden darkness. She finds herself, together with Karl, treading paths far more mysterious, bloody and perilous than anything the Adventurer’s Road could conjure if they are to survive.
When a stranger attends an evening event in a small town’s art café, his silence and brooding presence unsettle everyone, but three old school-friends in particular. Something stirs from the sludge of their memories. The consequences of a cruel practical joke played thirty years before come back to haunt them, with a disturbing, potentially fatal outcome.
This Changed EverytHing
For Art's Sake
Arthur Du Fuss, widowed for fifteen years, ignored by his neighbours, has two secrets: one dies with him when he commits suicide; the other is the vast fortune he amassed through the creation of the board game, Chancery. Now his erstwhile neighbours receive a post mortem invitation to the offices of the charismatic lawyer, Sepp Stoehlheim, to play a final game of Chancery, the winner to be recipient of Arthur’s fortune. As they dice with the devil, the game first exposes the fragility of their relationships, then tears them apart, with tragic and horrifying consequences. But Arthur, too, must pay for taking his revenge. As Stoehlheim’s true identity and motives are revealed, the old man learns that outstanding debts must still be paid, even when you are dead.
IN THE LAPTOPS OF THE GODS
While experimenting with the possibilities of creating a thought-driven computer, a huge IT company accidentally creates three mutants devoid of all five senses but capable of extraordinary feats of programming that give the company a virtual global monopoly in the market. These insensate, empty beings provide the perfect vessels for certain ancient gods to store their waning, corrupt and dilletantish powers. As the influence of these ‘gods’ grows they become bored with the business oligarchy they have created and seek a victim to punish in a manner appropriate to their mythological status. The man chosen is, however, the keeper of a secret that could bring their empire crumbling down.
A CONVERSATION WITH CAIN
When the woman he loves dies, Troy is terrified of the void; the nothingness that follows death. The intensity of his cry of pain draws to him the lost figure of Cain, ageless and alone. Together they embark on a perilous journey, both of them haunted – one by the desire to live forever, the other by his terrible past, which has trailed him through the wonders and horrors of eternity, and seems to be catching up. Both men are in danger and each holds the key to protect the other from revenge so ancient, it is no longer even cold.
The prying game
With her marriage and career seemingly stagnating, Paula Godwin is on the lookout for anything which might point her life in another, more exciting direction. A phone number on a discarded piece of paper provides a random opportunity to make a change. When she calls it on impulse, she is indeed hurled off course, into the sensual world of an anonymous lover – a dark place where what doesn’t kill you can still destroy those around you.