For the fifth Call of Archaon short story, The Trial of the Chosen, Guy Haley returns to the tale of Khornate champion Ushkar Mir. Following on from The Solace of Rage, Mir finds himself in the lifeless realm of Shyish, and faced with a series of tasks to prove his worth before he can go any further on his quest to reach Archaon. There’s precious little blood to be shed on the Bone Sands, but plenty that will test Mir and his warband, not just physically but mentally as well.
With the characters already familiar from the previous story, the focus here is on putting them – especially Mir – through their paces. It’s a little less characterful than The Solace of Rage, with fewer opportunities to dig into anyone’s backstory, and less of a real sense of danger. There’s still plenty of variety and all the enjoyable action that you’d expect, though, and Haley’s take on Shyish and its dangers is worth checking out. The one time Haley really gets under Mir’s skin does provide a bit more depth and detail to the character, not to mention a welcome sense of humanity, and it’s worth the entry price for that moment alone.