Dust and Death
Introduction and Navigation
Dust and Death
The Second of The Tales of The Lesser Evil
In a land of dust, there are some things best left buried, secrets that go far beyond fear—testing the very sanity itself.
After four years away, Dhinal is nearly home, carrying with him the means to save his people. He also brings Strings, who is hoping to find a home of her own. Together, they prepare to enter the hidden canyon city of Av.
Strings has had many months to prepare herself, but everything she thought she knew is going to be thrown into question—and what they discover in Av changes everything.
In a land of dust, there are some things best left buried, but Dhinal and Strings must venture deep below the desert, to his people’s biggest secret. What they discover makes the horror that forced Dhinal to leave his people pale into insignificance.
And some secrets strain the balance of the mind; fear is one thing, but what Strings shall learn goes far beyond fear—it shall test her bond to Dhinal and her very sanity itself.
Demonstrating the power of love and trust, Dust and Death continues the story of Dhinal and Strings, pushing them and their relationship into a place they never dreamt possible. To learn dark, dark secrets and desperate truths is a strain—and the truths Dhinal and Strings uncover are truly terrifying in their scope.
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Following the first novella I shared here on Substack, Only One Death, the novelette Dust and Death continues the tale of Dhinal and Strings. As I originally wrote this story, I had begun to piece together the much larger story of The Tales of The Lesser Evil, and this particular tale leads neatly into the larger work to come…
Each Tale (there are currently six, with a final two on their way) is essentially standalone, but each also features returning characters or locations which give the reader a deeper experience when read in order. They are a part of what essentially became a rather long prologue to a trilogy of epic fantasy novels, outlined and currently being tentatively drafted.
Each chapter of Dust and Death will feature an original photograph which fits the story, taken by me. I think it makes sense to have one image per chapter.
The serialisation (I’m from Scotland, hence the spelling) of this novella was released over September 2023, with weekly episodes. As with all my fiction, it was initially free to read but, once complete, the archive was paywalled for paying subscribers, with additional download options also soon to be made available.
The next Tale, Death and Taxes, followed in October 2023.
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