from the Editor
Respected Visitor: if you are really there, if you are truly alive and reading this or hearing my voice, know that I send goodwill and hope of happiness to you from Imbrethothe-Under-the-Earth. Let me give you now my one and only promise: not to lie—never to lie—to one who honours me by looking across the gulf of darkness, upon the still-darker deeds of my early life.
No lies! How terribly they have cost us: both the sordid, bloated deceptions visited on nations by kings and spies and sorcerers; and the quiet, inner lies we harbour in secret, impacted wisdom teeth of the soul! Pull them out! Good riddance! It is better for everyone to look the facts in the face.
You have come to learn something about The Red Wolf Conspiracy, and that great and terrible misadventure called The Chathrand Voyage. It is my privilege to have saved the tale from oblivion, and so it is my duty to offer what help I can to all readers, benevolent or malign. Of course some of you will prove malign: that is the way of things, and shall be, until that last hour when the Gorgonoths crack their shells of ice and emerge to gnaw the bones of the world.
I pray you taken no offence. Here is a saint, a titan of virtue with eyes that melt the soul: he might have turned left instead of right one afternoon in childhood and stepped onto a path from which their was no turning, a path that ended in bloodshed and betrayal, and the Nine Pits gaping open at his death. Here is a murderer, a woman who has profited from the death of innocents, who might have met with kindness on some morning in her youth and gone to thank her benefactor that evening, and lingered, learning, and walked unforeseen in the footsteps of the saints. Our goodness comes upon un unawares; our badness also. What can we do but tread carefully, watchfully, each footfall an act of reckless faith?
It is possible that I digress. Go and see what you will of my notes and baubles. Who knows where they may lead you? Before the end, you and I may even come face to face.