His eyes burned with a fierce intensity. His craggy features were battered and scarred, his cheeks rough, his nose lumpy and crooked. He was middle-aged, in his forties perhaps, his thick brown hair streaked with grey along the temples. And there was a tightness to his movements, a sense of barely restrained power. He looked like the kind of man who could erupt into violent action at any moment if provoked.
Because he was that kind of man. The kind whose reputation preceded him wherever he went, be it within the borders of the Union or on any foreign battlefield anywhere in the world. His name was known far and wide as the name of someone to be reckoned with. He was Major John MacNeal of the 42nd Marine Special Forces.
The year is 1954, and in a dark and violent alternate history, the Great War never ended. The forces of the Reich, led by the occult-obsessed Kaiser, have sold their souls to demonic powers as they scour the earth in search of paranormal weaponry. Meanwhile, President Edison has sanctioned the use of potent alien technology recovered at Roswell, in hopes of aiding the beleaguered Union in its fight against tyranny. As the war rages on, can anything – or anyone – tip the balance of power?
Enter the Shogunate, a far-eastern warrior sect with their own shadowy agenda. When a small force led by “The Daimyo” Iroh Minamoto sets out toward the evergreen peninsula of Kamchatka, Union Major John McNeal and the 42nd Marines must discover their plans before it’s too late. But to make matters worse, the nefarious Hermann Von Heïzinger of the Reich’s Obscura Korps seems to be in league with the Shogunate. Can the elite soldiers of the 42nd beat the Shogunate task force to Kronotskaya Sopka, the active volcano in the heart of a verdant wilderness? And what ancient powers will they unearth within its molten heart? The race is on to control a weapon that could finally bring the Great War to its climactic end!
Rising Sun, Falling Shadows is a gripping novel based in the war-torn alternate history of Tannhäuser. Fans of the action-packed tactical board game will find favorite characters brought vividly to life, and newcomers will be drawn into a war-torn world where science and the supernatural clash to determine the fate of humanity.
Robert T. Jeschonek is an award-winning writer whose fiction, comics, essays, articles, and podcasts have been published around the world. His characters include warlords, cannibals, serial killers, mad scientists, demented super-heroes, and robotic messiahs, and he has published work with DC Comics, Simon & Schuster, and DAW Books.
Mr. Jeschonek took a moment to share his thoughts on Rising Sun, Falling Shadows:
What one thing does all my writing have in common? One way or another, it's all "out there." As in "outside the box." That's why I jumped at the chance to write a Tannhäuser novel. Because Tannhäuser is crazy cool and outside the box to begin with. The setting is unique--an alternate reality in which the Great War (World War I) never ended. And the alt history doesn't stop there: each faction is armed with outrageous weapons, whether technology-based (thanks to Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and a crashed spacecraft) or spawned by sorcerous artifacts. Add in a twisted bunch of villains, a hard-core team of Marines, and the possibilities are endless.
Inspired, I tore into this one with teeth bared, heart racing, and keyboard smoking. I wanted to bring the Tannhäuser world alive for everyone who already loves it...and every newcomer who's looking for an awesome new experience. Most of all, I wanted to do justice to the amazing new expansion dreamed up by the Fantasy Flight Games team. Meet the Shogunate--obsessed with honor, hungry for conquest, masters of every form of warfare. They're the deadliest new threat to storm onto the battlefield, thanks to a demonic blue-skinned warrior, an unstoppable war machine, and a secret technology that could bring every other fighting faction to its knees. It was an honor to write the story of their first clash with Major John MacNeal and the heroes of the 42nd Marines.
The copyrightable portions of Tannhäuser: Rising Sun Falling Shadows are © 2012 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Tannhäuser is a trademark and/or registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.