That was what they called it. The fog that rolled in from the hills some nights and sent everyone to sleep. When the sun rose, so too did the citizens of Glothe. Under the shroud of retreating mists, they picked themselves up off the street or wherever they landed and carried on with life as though it had never been so rudely interrupted. But there were some who never woke.
Rei-Hai Shaw stirred extra honey into his lumpy porridge as Lylen and Elles leant in to hear the morning’s gossip. Norvar set down his breakfast tray and slipped into a chair before continuing his story.
‘Thirty-seventh floor,’ the dark Qhoraakese man continued, cracking open his bread roll. ‘Right into a snow drift. Heard they had to dig him out of a fifteen foot hole.’
‘Third jumper this month,’ Elles mused. She tucked her straw-yellow hair behind her ears before poking at her breakfast with a spoon. ‘Must have got a weak batch.’
With last month’s release of the Gardens of War & Wasteland novella, The Collector’s Lost Things, this edition of WELCOME TO WHYT’HALLEN features a Q&A with the prequel’s central character, Rei-Hai Shaw.
Unfortunately, Rei isn’t the most forthcoming when answering questions about himself so this could be interesting … Well, let’s see how we go! But first, a mood board:
She’d been walking for hours. The ground was a soft, fine powder of crushed crystal. Before her rose a dark stretch of unexplored forest; behind, the high walls of the Colony shrank in the distance.
Kassa pushed up her goggles and crouched in the sand, looking for tracks. Nothing. The sand was rippled and ridged by the wind but otherwise undisturbed. She wasn’t quite sure what she was supposed to do and so did what she thought she should: Kassa removed one of her gloves, collected a pinch of sand between her thumb and forefinger and rubbed the grains together. Then, she stuck out her tongue.
It tasted salty, bitter, acrid—a defective meal pod with a maladjusted palate profile. Kassa spat the sand out in a wad of saliva. She gave a cautionary glance over her shoulder—no alarms had been raised—and scooted closer to the edge of the forest.
Rei-Hai Shaw was a collector, and he was very good.
Since joining the mysterious brethren of the Tower at the age of thirteen, Rei has risen the ranks to become the youngest recruit ever to receive a band.
Favoured by the masters and distrusted by his peers, Rei plans to make the most of his lonely existence. But when he is chosen to take a second trial and claim another band, he soon doubts the price of success when the latest mission strikes a little too close to home.
Sent back to the world of his childhood, Rei is painfully reminded of everything he left behind—and what he can’t bear to lose again.
The Collector’s Lost Things takes place before the events of Gardens of War & Wasteland: The Ruptured Sky, and will be available for free from March 2020.
A sneak peek will be available to subscribers on January 31st. Sign up now to have the first chapter delivered ahead of time, straight to your inbox!
Here we are again, end of another year (or rather, the beginning of a new one because as usual, I’m slow at getting this shit written.)
Actually, it’s the end of the decade, and what an eventual period of time the 2010s turned out to be. In summary: I graduated university, moved to Japan, moved home from Japan, got married, had a baby and turned thirty—all in that order and thankfully not at once.
But we’re here to talk about 2019 and everything that has transpired in what has been a pretty momentous year for me and not just because I turned the big three-oh.