Reduce Font SizeIncrease Font Size
Book 27: Vampirium [New Order series]
page 1


Within the hour, you find yourself standing beside Lord Rimoah at the deck-rail of the sleek flying ship Cloud-dancer, watching the Kai Monastery melt away into the distance as the craft soars into an azure sky. The weather is fresh and clear, and you are blessed with a strong tail wind that will assist your long journey south to the land of Bhanar.

Rimoah has already charted a course for Sunderer Pass, and as his young Toranese crew attend to the running of the skyship, you settle back into the plush comfort of the captain’s cabin and discuss with him the details of your mission. After a delicious supper, you retire early and rise late in order to be best prepared for the task ahead.

By noon of the next day, you have already crossed the Tentarias and entered into Southern Magnamund. You spend much of the early afternoon standing at the bow rail, lost in your thoughts as an endless panoply of rolling hills and grasslands pass silently beneath Cloud-dancer’s gleaming keel.

When the forbidding peaks of the Darkwall Mountains are sighted on the horizon, Rimoah takes charge of the helm and steers the skyship on a southeasterly bearing to avoid them. These mountains mark the northern boundary of the Doomlands of Naaros, and Rimoah is anxious to avoid this notoriously stormy region. Skilfully he navigates a course around the eastern boundary of the Doomlands until, late in the afternoon, you see the snow-capped tips of the Southern Dammerdon Mountains soar into view.

Rimoah passes the helm back to his bo’sun, and then he hurries to join you at the bow rail. ‘Keep your eyes peeled, Grand Master,’ he says. ‘Sunderer Pass is a narrow gorge. It’ll be hard to spot from here.’ Aided by your ability to magnify your vision, you are the first one to see the tiny pass. Rimoah praises your keen sight and he signals to the bo’sun to bring Cloud-dancer around to the southern slopes of the Dammerdons, to a place where the pass emerges from the mountain range. Here you notice a pale cross of sun-bleached boulders laid out on the dark, dusty ground. It is a sign Rimoah has been hoping for, and excitedly he calls for the bo’sun to steer the skycraft towards it.

Cloud-dancer is brought to hover directly above the cross. You leave the rail and accompany Rimoah into a boarding cage located at the stern, and together you are winched to the ground. As the cage touches down, you push open its iron gate and step out. Your pulse quickens when suddenly you see four shadowy figures emerging from the surrounding rocks.

To continue, turn to 225.