Tales From the Magician's Skull #09

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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"The Skull sayeth: Jones the Managing Editor informs me that this is the first regular issue with more than fifty percent of its contents supplied from our open submissions period during the 2021 year. Yet more treasures were discovered during that time period, marvels which I will one day share with you, so long as you send me the praise I am due and spread word of my glorious magazine!” It’s the newest issue of Goodman Games sword-and-sorcery fiction anthology series!" Featuring an all-new story starring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser—Pawn’s Gambit, by Nathan Long Includes stories by Enge, Lindberg, Teng, Ritzlin, and others. Cover art by fantasy legend Sanjulian. Seven new sword-and-sorcery stories from some of the top talent in the industry.

Editor’s Introduction by Howard Andrew Jones

Three Festivals by James Enge
A Tale of Morlock Ambrosius • Kalx, brazen defender of the city, had left a trail of ruins in his wake. Morlock followed the trail until he passed the border of the city — the line that Zlynth had called the pomerium. By the time Morlock caught up to the brazen monster, Kalx was already outlined in scarlet f lames, fighting a cloud of Furies.

The Raven-Feeder’s Tower by Philip Brian Hall
The skeleton was held upright by a tall stake driven deep into the ground, to which support its spine was f ixed by leather bonds. The breastplate covered bare white ribs and the helmet’s visor protected merely the empty eye-sockets of a morbidly-grinning skull.

Blue Achernar by Tais Teng An
Homage to Clark Ashton Smith • Lady Magida had slept in the tombs of magicians so feared that their names had never been written down, walking into their death-dreams, leafing through their grimoires that had long ago turned to dust. When she strode through the necropolises the ghûls fled like whimpering hares.

Pawns’ Gambit by Nathan Long
A Tale of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser • The monks howled at this violation of their sacred place, and Mouser saw he had been incorrect when he had thought them all unarmed. From every sleeve sprang a dagger, and they held them high as they rushed to encircle him.

Orphan Maker by S.E. Lindberg
Dyscrasia Fiction: “It is her time to sacrifice,” Ingrid explained while adjusting her mother’s hair. “Ma resisted. She escaped from the Bleeding Tree.” She laughed while shrugging. “But her blood is stronger than her faith!”

The Necromancer and the Forgotten Hero by D.M. Ritzlin
The wound was still fresh, but not a drop of blood escaped from it. Hyallbor wondered what sort of necromantical energies were sustaining him.

The Glass Dragon by David Gullen
Rhayder staggered grey-skinned from the mouth of a labyrinth of seventy-seven turns wielding a felling axe with a head of star-forged iron.

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. The Skull Speaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by The Skull Himself

INTERIOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Chris Arneson, Randy Broecker, Samuel Dillon, Jason Edwards, Tom Galambos, Doug Kovacs, Aaron Kreader, Brad McDevitt, Stefan Poag