The end game...
‘You will travel to dark places, Nevarin. Of that I am sure.’ Avian Dale
This week sees the release of the second book in the DestinyQuest series, The Heart of Fire. To get the celebrations off to an explosive start, I am uploading (at last) the final bonus quest from The Legion of Shadow. It was always meant to be a free download, promised to those of you who bought my original edition of the first book. I know it has been a long time in coming, but I hope you enjoy it – it should whet the appetite for what is to come…
To give you some background, this quest was originally entitled ‘The Four Generals’ and was intended to be little more than four ‘boss encounters’ with the Lorcan episode at the end. Then, when Gollancz approached me about doing a special edition of The Legion of Shadow, my editor asked if I could make it into a mini-adventure, as an exclusive to that edition. Of course, this was great news – but meant I had to go back to the drawing board and expand what had originally been a loose set of encounters into something more narrative-focused.
I remember writing this at the same time as I was working on Act 1 of The Heart of Fire. It was quite a jump to go from a hero starting out on his adventures, to one who is essentially at the peak of their power – almost a god-like force of wanton destruction. Getting into that mind-set again was quite a challenge, but made me consider the Nevarin in a new light. Would this character still know fear? Were they capable of understanding remorse? How might other characters react to their burgeoning powers? I tried to touch on this in ‘The Betrayed’ – to give a sense that our hero might be starting to become detached from their humanity, struggling with the burden and power that they now possess.
I had a tight deadline on this quest, so I when I look back at it with the benefit of hindsight I have mixed feelings. It encapsulates the best and worst of The Legion of Shadow. On the positive side, I think it perfectly captures the frantic over the top ‘video game’ action of Legion's third act, but sadly I think the narrative and choices are little too linear for it to be considered a gamebook classic.
Having said that, it is still a complex quest – which interweaves a number of different outcomes. It also allows you to experience the quest multiple times over with different heroes (mage, rogue, warrior), as there are enough encounters to make each play unique.
And, of course, the loot is ridiculously overpowered. Enjoy it while it lasts. ;)
Even if you don’t have a chance to play through ‘The Betrayed’, I would strongly urge DQers to give it a read. It introduces a very important character who we will be seeing a lot of in the future….