Ahead of its release later this year, Aconyte Books has revealed the synopsis and cover art of the first in a new series of books based on the Descent: Journeys In The Dark games.
Written by Robbie MacNiven, The Doom of Fallowhearth releases worldwide in October and is the first title in the new series of Descent: Journeys In The Dark books
When the Baroness of Forthyn’s daughter disappears, she calls on the legendary orc hero, Durik, to find her. Durik enlists his old questing partners – the dwarf alchemist, Ulma Grimstone, and roguish Logan Lashley – in the hopes of reliving their glory days. Together they journey to fear struck Fallowhearth. But instead of clues they uncover necromancy: graveyards emptied of corpses, with trails of footprints leading into the sinister Blind Muir Forest. But the forest holds more than just the walking dead: between its boughs lurk treachery, a sorcerous ally turned to darkness, and a shocking infestation of giant, murderous monsters.
While lockdown may still be in place, Aconyte managed to get a few socially distanced words with author Robbie about his new book and we have the scoop here.
You’ve written a lot of grimdark stories over the years. Descent is more of your classic fantasy dungeon crawler and as such the tone is quite different. How, if at all, did you need to adapt your writing style to fit the Realm of Terrinoth?
I didn’t feel like I had to make too many changes to my writing style. While it might not be traditional grimdark, there’s a reasonable amount of bleakness, grit, and tragedy running through the story. That’s very much born out of which corner of Terrinoth this takes place in – Forthyn is a hard, rugged land, a frontier place where survival can be challenging even for the barony’s more privileged inhabitants. That being said, I enjoyed cutting loose with different fantasy tropes and elements I’ve not been able to utilize in my writing before, including things like having the orc of the group be the biggest voice of reason in times of conflict!
Your story centers around a well-known group of characters from the Descent games. How prepared did you feel to give these characters a voice, what experiences did you draw on to create them?
When I first took on writing a novel for the Descent setting I trawled through every character mentioned in the games. I considered a few combinations and thought about creating my own, but eventually settled on the heroes from the Labyrinth of Ruin expansion. I thought it would be good to flesh out characters that players may already have used in their games, and picking a “pre-set” group gave me what I felt was a solid foundation to build an adventure on. I especially enjoyed the Labyrinth gang because they’re such a blend of the familiar and the unusual – the aforementioned orc who’s stoic and protective, the rogue whose greed and cowardice are constantly in competition with one another, the dwarf who just wants to try out her latest madcap experiments on whoever is closest. They’re a great bunch to build a cast of secondary heroes and villains around, and as the story went on they increasingly developed a life of their own. I feel like, ultimately, this is a character-driven story.
Terrinoth is a world of forgotten lands and lost legacies with a lot of pre-existing lore. Does having a lot of this background information make it easier or harder for you to create a story set in the pre-existing world?
I find that it’s a positive thing. I’d certainly rather have a lot of lore while seeking out a somewhat less-developed area to expand into than have to build everything from the ground-up. I guess that’s part of the fact that I’ve always been a tie-in writer first and foremost, but I enjoy showing readers new aspects of something that’s already been established. It also helps that the Descent lore is a lot of fun, painting in those broad, classical fantasy brushstrokes while leaving room for fresh interpretation. Hopefully, I’ve brought something interesting and new to that well-stocked table.
For more information about the latest releases from Aconyte Books, visit https://aconytebooks.com/