Search The Forgotten Realms Lyceum

Friday, January 29, 2021

Review: Lord of the Darkways by Ed Greenwood

 Lord of the Darkways is a short story from the digital Dragon Magazine issue 390 from August 2010; it can be found on pages 55-77. It can also be found in the anthology Untold Adventures from 2011, but for your pleasure you can read it from the Internet Archive here.

the cover for issue 390

The tale is about Manshoon, vampire of Greenwood fame. He often appears in Elminster novels, and this is  a sequel of sorts to the story "So High A Price" from 1994's Realms of Infamy but also a prequel to Elminster Must Die. It takes place in 1334 DR, the Year of the Blazing Brand. Manshoon moves to block control of the Darkways, portals in Zhentil Keep in the hands of wealthy merchants that allow quick movement of people and goods to mansions in Sembia.

After the prelude of Manshoon's master plan is enacted we are then brought to Elminster who is in Innarlith on the Lake of Steam. He is in a funny situation that actually had me chuckling. 

story art by Kekai Kotaki

This short story is not all of over the place and hard to follow like some of Greenwood's writing. The Yavarla thread was a nice addition, and from it we get to see Storm Silverhand for a moment. The story is about double the length of most short stories I've read so far, and that gives it a good sense of round completeness.

Not surprsingly, Greenwood's story is full of tiny bits of Realms Lore you won't really find any information on; are Darklash and Painclaw official positions in the Church of Loviatar? Who is Tanthar of Selgaunt? Does this painting of the Spaerenza and Lord Wizard Uldimar Bronneth still exist? What happened to the Sembian cabal, the Vigilant Ravens, who opposed Manshoon's rise to power?

Overall this is a fine tale with good meat and lore. It is Good.


You can track my current progress here.

No comments:

Post a Comment