Swords v. Cthulhu Teaser: Orrin Grey

Swords v. Cthulhu is our newest genre-blending anthology of original fiction, and as it shambles toward its summertime publication we’re going to be posting excerpts from each of the stories. Today’s teaser comes from Orrin Grey’s “A Circle That Ever Returneth In,” a very special kind of story indeed…


As you sit at your usual table in a dark corner of the Jeweled Remora in Lankhende, greatest metropolis in the West, you spy three unusual figures making their way into the establishment: a Sell-Sword, a Cutpurse, and a Doll Mage, by the look of them. They order their drinks and take a table near the hearth, though it is the Year of the Fly and the night outside is sticky and close. Perhaps they hope to disguise their voices with the crackling of the fire, for they are holding what appears to be an animated conversation, but one that their hunched postures and furtive glances show that they would rather not share with outsiders.

You are not just any outsider, however, and Nathor of the Guild once said that your ears were keen enough to detect a flea breaking wind. You edge closer and cock one of those impressive ears toward their conversation. You are not disappointed.

They speak of a treasure, a jewel. They call it something that sounds like the “Shining Trapezohedron,” but you’re unsure what kind of stone Trapezohedron is, so it’s possible that you may have misheard. Regardless, it sounds quite rare and, as rare things are, quite valuable. It seems that each of the three possesses one portion of a riddle, map, or clue meant to lead them to the jewel, but there is some disagreement as to how these tidbits should be shared. Each one believes their portion to be the most pertinent and therefore of the most value, which in turn should, to their thinking, award them the greatest share of the bounty.     

Fortunately, before the conversation can turn violent enough to draw the attention of the entire tavern, the Sell-Sword dashes her drink to the floor, calls her compatriots some choice epithets, and all three of them angrily go their separate ways. Sensing a rare opportunity, you slip out of the Jeweled Remora and into the smoky streets of Lankhende after them.

            If you follow the Sell-Sword, turn to page X…

            If you follow the Cutpurse, turn to page Y…

            If you follow the Doll Mage, turn to page Z…

For the rest, get Swords v. Cthulhu from Stone Skin Press


Orrin Grey is a skeleton who likes monsters. He’s also the author of Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings and Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts. His stories about monsters, ghosts, and sometimes the ghosts of monsters have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including The Best Horror of the Year, and he (ir)regularly writes about horror movies and other nonsense at orringrey.com. When he was a kid, he read every Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book he could get his hands on. This may have had some effect on him…

Posted in News Tagged with: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*