David Guymer contributes the twentieth story in Black Library’s 2015 Advent Calendar with Godless, an Age of Sigmar short story dealing with the search for the missing Chaos god Slaanesh. The decidedly ambiguous Shahleah leads her fellow champions and their collective warriors to seek out a daemonic oracle, whose guidance leads them to a seemingly abandoned temple where they hope to find a trace of their absent deity. Despite its outward appearance the temple proves to still have its guardians, while the oracle’s trustworthiness is definitely in question.
It’s an odd story this one – right from the outset it’s elegantly written and structured, with detailed descriptions that really suit the decadence of the Slaaneshi, balanced against an intriguing narrative, but at the same time it’s a little opaque (Guymer is definitely not telling us everything) and feels like part of a wider story that isn’t fully explained yet. It definitely rewards multiple readings to make sense of exactly what happens, but despite this it does a good job of piquing interest in what must surely be a major story arc to come. Shahleah and co. are suitably engaging characters, sufficiently different to the cliched one-dimensional pleasure seekers of old, and there’s a nicely different feel to the rest of the Age of Sigmar stories we’ve had so far. It’s definitely a grower, but worth the read.