A sequel of sorts to City of Secrets, Nick Horth’s short story The Old Ways once again features Armand Callis and Hanniver Toll, sent by the Order of Azyr out through the marshlands outside Excelsis to settle a dispute between two rival houses. Exploring the dangerous Ulwhyr Forest on the trail of a missing – supposedly murdered – young nobleman, Callis and Toll find themselves tangled up in not just a feud between rivals, but also a conflict between the old and the new.
Barring the occasional Age of Sigmar-ism, like giant insects for mounts, there’s a real old-school Warhammer vibe to this story, from the dark and dank setting to the feuding noblemen plot. It’s a comfortable, familiar sort of story where the enemy is largely formless and obscure and the pace is fairly leisurely as the characters are gradually drawn to the crux of the matter. It’s entertaining enough, and the setting is quite nicely drawn out, but it’s perhaps a touch predictable and lacking in real depth. In Callis and Toll we’ve got a pair of characters with the potential for something really enjoyable, but they need a slightly more exciting story before we’ll see if they reach that potential.