A cold-eyed man was smiling at her from so close she could kiss him. Except it was her face twisting in surprise as she looked at herself...
There was a shadow on the road in front of her. It stood before her, a hole cut out of daylight into darkness. Then, it had a face, a face of paper skin and ink black lines. “There is no way out, no solace,” said the voice. The old man smiled at her and his face changed, sliding from age into beautiful cruelty. It was a different face, but the smile was the same; it was a smile of savagery and pleasure.
There was no sky and... she could see again.
Jacqueline Fine is having visions…visions of a robed man before the crumbling edifice of a city, of bones and flesh at his feet, of blood and terrifying words. She's determined to stop this latest vision from happening, but can she change fate, or only allow herself to be swept along in the tides that come?
Meanwhile, an Arkham doctor tries desperately to save his only daughter from the hands of a dark cult, and a distraught bootlegger attempts to unravel the mystery behind the sudden silence of his fiancée's letters. Will these three strangers be able to save everything they love from a terrifying future, or has their suffering only just begun?
The Lies of Solace is the second novel in The Lord of Nightmares Trilogy, based on the popular Arkham Horror board game. This disturbing tale explores the depths to which desperation and tragedy can plunge us, and the grim consequences that await those who surrender to grief and pain.
John French is a writer and freelance games designer from Nottingham. His work can be seen in the Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Deathwatch roleplaying games. Disciples of the Dark Gods, which he co-authored, was nominated for Product of the Year and Best Supplement at the ENnies in 2009. He has written several short stories and novellas for Black Library, and his short story The Last Remembrancer appeared in the New York Times Bestselling anthology Age of Darkness.
Mr. French took the time to share his thoughts on this exciting novel:
“Unfolding a story of supernatural power, mysterious cults, and alien realms is always rewarding. Lovecraftian horror and strangeness have lurked at the edges of my imagination and it was a lot of fun to spin all of the elements of the Arkham Horror board game into a story. In particular, I hope readers enjoy the villains of the piece.
“The Lord of Nightmares Trilogy also has its fair share of cults, and The Lies of Solace is no exception, but when I started The Lies of Solace I wanted to look at these familiar elements from a very human angle. I wanted to explore the reasons why people might choose to embrace the powers of the mythos. What would drive them to that point, and what would they be willing to do? The end result is a cult called Hand of Solace and a gentleman called Joseph Lemaitre, and I hope readers enjoy learning about them as much as I enjoyed writing them.”
“You are a creature of violence, Mr. Morgan, adaptable and hardened to the suffering of the world. You have a talent for bloodshed and are an able hunter of men. You also have the added bonus of being relatively well-educated and well-traveled; you have seen much of the world. You have no ties to speak of, and no dependents. Moreover you are a survivor. It is, in fact, what you are best at–and I would like to employ your talents.”
“Really,” Morgan replied, unable to hide the scorn in his voice.
“There is a man we want you to find,” Shawcross began, unperturbed by Morgan’s tone.
As if on cue, lighting flashed, and thunder rattled the windows as the dry, grey man explained the price of freedom.
When a cursed artifact is stolen and the thief disappears, the race to locate him will force two unlikely heroes into a search neither wants a part of. Miskatonic University librarian Daisy Walker is plagued by the missing gap in her memory. Nameless dreams hint at a long-forgotten nightmare, a horrific incident that occurred upon her arrival in Arkham. It is a memory better left lost, but when her estranged friend Annabel reenters her life with tales of being shadow-stalked, Daisy must delve into her dark past to find the awful truth.
Her fate will soon intertwine with that of Tony Morgan, a bounty hunter faced with a contract with a secretive, untrustworthy corporation to find the thief. His seemingly simple job will prove far more dangerous as his pursuit is impeded by syndicate bosses, a growing cult seeking to awaken ancient powers, and a strange bandaged man.
While Morgan’s shady employer works to cover its twisted agenda, these characters will travel through New York, Kingsport, and Arkham until their troubled journey leads them into the midst of horror...and face to face with living nightmares.
Dance of the Damned is the first novel in The Lord of Nightmares Trilogy based on the Arkham Horror board game. The suspenseful ride found within its pages will excite fans of H. P. Lovecraft, macabre tales of danger, and well-written, intense thrills.
Alan Bligh is a full-time writer and game designer from Nottingham, England. His credits have included radio scripts, various roleplaying games such as Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Cthulhu Britannia, and the Imperial Armour book series of science fiction wargaming expansions for Forge World.
Dance of the Damned is his first published full-length novel. Alan Bligh took the time to share his thoughts on his experience writing the upcoming book:
“Cosmic horror, the Roaring Twenties, blasphemous knowledge, sinister cults, and dark secrets hidden under the façade of normality—the nightmarish world laid down by the old masters such as Lovecraft, Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith is filled with such strong imagery and influential genius, I can’t think of a time when their fever dreams haven’t been part of my own mental landscape!
"It’s been such a genuine pleasure and the fulfillment of a long time ambition for me to write Dance of the Damned and move in the world of mist-shrouded Kingsport and darkly haunted Arkham—not to mention the mean streets of Prohibition New York–and to bring to life my own dark tale of mystery, macabre danger, suspense, and, of course, the nameless horrors from beyond.”
The copyrightable portions of Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned and Arkham Horror: Lies of Solace are © 2011, 2012 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Arkham Horror is a registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.