Tales From the Magician's Skull #08

Tales From the Magician’s Skull is a fantasy magazine dedicated to presenting all-new sword-and-sorcery fiction by the finest modern crafters in the genre. These stories are the real thing, crammed with sword-swinging action, dark sorceries, dread, and ferocious monsters — and they hurtle forward at a headlong pace.

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A gong shivers… the mists part to reveal a grisly visage lying upon a mound of rubble, dead but for one glowing, malefic eye… It speaks, in a voice of cold command: 

Silence, mortal dogs! It is time now for Tales From The Magician’s Skull #7!

Praise me, Mortal Dogs, for once again I bring tales to terrify and delight in equal measure! Oh, great was my pleasure when these stories were presented to me, and I only wish I might witness your first reading of the wonders herein. Doubtless you shall spring forth to cavort in glee and windmill your arms in reckless abandon!

Tales From The Magician’s Skull is a magazine of all-new swords & sorcery fiction. Let’s look at the table of contents!


Dakagna, Queen of Swords by W.J. Lewis

Dakagna tried to keep her balance on the sludge of the floor, as the leviathan’s tail lashed towards her. She slipped, went with the movement, and dived. She felt something tear at her back, felt the familiar sensation of her blood flowing free. 

Sky Pirates of the Savage Clouds by James Enge

A Story of Morlock Ambrosius • “Abandon ship!” shouted Morlock, and leapt into a nearby schooner. Eye-searing spearpoints of light bristled at him. He gripped Tyrfing with two hands and hewed at them, as if they were a field of wheat.

Pipes of Clan Maclaird by Sean Crow

“I am Cayden MacLaird!” he shouted over the pipes. “Today I walk the path into the Dark Veil, and the Shades sing a merry tune honoring my arrival. Who amongst you wishes to join me?”

The Lovers of Essail Pass by Jeremy Pak Nelson

Hot blood covered my hands, the man’s ale-and cheese breath close to my ear. He would be alive for a moment, yet, but a man with two knives under his ribs cannot scream.

To The Darkhouse by Chris Wilrich

A Tale of Gaunt and Bone • The taper of the lighthouse recalled some immense green candle with a thousand grotesque faces formed of drippings. At the top the tower flared like a confluence of tropical fish fins, and a green translucent dome covered all like an immense emerald egg. The sickly green beam of light spun through the crystal, continually cast by some looming shadow within.

Head Haunter by C.L. Werner

From the Tales of Shintaro Oba • Oba had to be careful of his footing as he moved among the graves, with chipped stones lying hidden in the tall grass. The shadows continued to writhe and distort in eerie ways, suggesting furtive movement that he could catch only from the corner of his eye.

Wings of Heat by Daniel J. Ouellette 

A swarm of white moths burst forth from the corpse. Pristine. Like ghosts in the starlight. The moths spiraled upward, freed from that hideous prison. An incredible sight, but one that shook Acheron to the marrow.

The Darkness and Ralshaa by Alexander James 

Acclimating to the subterranean luminescence, he was able to make out the murals etched into the walls. Pictures of small, pink, man-shaped creatures with infantile over-sized heads and large saucer-like eyes graced the hallway, engaging in acts too foreign for him to comprehend.

The Martyr’s Cloak, The Fury’s Blade by Robert Rhodes 

Gabriela lifted her eyes to the bright air above the sea. She saw herself high on the mountaintop — balanced on an outcrop of stone or, impossibly, flying — as she defended the world against the hellfont, striking down devils as swiftly as they burst forth on wings of bat-leather and bone, her blade wreathed in fire like the invincible sun.

The Monster Pit by Terry Olson

Enter the monster pit! Down here in the pit, we provide tabletop RPG fans with playable DCC RPG game statistics for the creatures in this issue of Tales From The Magician’s Skull.