The first Age of Sigmar story featuring the vampire Neferata, David Annandale’s The Dance of the Skulls sees the Mortarch of Blood waging war on her enemies on a battlefield suited to her specific skills. Attending a grand ball held in her honour by the scheming rulers of two rival kingdoms, Neferata uses all of her guile and experience to spring the obvious trap, confident in her ability to turn the situation to her favour. To the ancient vampire, navigating such political currents is second nature, though she knows she will need to be on her guard throughout.
As a taster for Annandale’s upcoming Neferata novel the signs here are good. This isn’t an in-depth exploration of her character or the politics of Shyish, but rather a small, satisfying vignette which shows enough of Neferata and the undead lords of Shyish – this bit of it, at least – to set the scene and give a glimpse of how different things can be when the protagonist is more than just a warrior. While the plot feels character-appropriate, a few things are a little on the nose – the titular dance is perhaps a touch blunt in its imagery, while Nulahmia is hardly a subtle kingdom name. Nonetheless it’s a fun story, and an enjoyable reintroduction for Neferata.