“Welcome to Necrolopolis” the sign read. Beneath those big, bold letters lay the subtext: “Home of four million souls looking for a way out! Won’t you join us?”
I looked at Mina, whose blonde ringlets bounced about her face as she ran from one corner of the welcome center to the other. “Are you sure you want the sign worded this way? It sounds a bit… ominous.”
“It’s accurate, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but it doesn’t sound like something I’d want to join willingly.” Then again, how could someone sell this place in a positive manner? Necrolopolis was nothing more than one big, smelly mooring post for those still bound to this mortal coil, a place for the undead to wait until they could have their issues resolved by Mortus, the god of death. With a current wait time of about seventy-two years, that was a lot of decades to spend “looking for a way out”.
“Don’t be so negative.” Mina fixed me with her red-eyed gaze for a long moment, then she reached into an open crate next to her. “Now, help Ferryman hang these streamers from the walls. Festive! We want a festive atmosphere here!”
“The sooner we’re done, the sooner it’s pint time!” Ferryman called, frosty breath streaming from beneath his dark hood. “I hear ol’ Molly is about to tap into this season’s batch of red apple ale. We don’t want to miss that!”
I snatched the crate. “I’ve got this corner here.”
Mina sighed. “You men and your ale.”
“Whatever makes the time pass.” Ferryman looked at me. “Speaking of, Addy, you never did explain what happened on that one case you were on recently. It was… Oh, what happened again? You were up all night writing the report, and you missed our usual meet-up time at Mad Molly’s.”
Way to narrow it down. I racked my brain as I hung a set of streamers up along the storefront window. “Well, there’ve been a few…”
“Choose Your Adventure” Time!
Adelvell Brightmere has had his share of run-ins with the undead denizens of Necrolopolis. Choose whatever suits your fancy below and be prepared for battles of wits, wars of witches, and for the clash of sword against shovel. It’s never a dull moment in the fetid streets of the undead megalopolis!
Lost in the Mail – Young Adelvell’s future as a “summoner” literally hangs in the balance as he tries to track down a pair of extremely important letters. It’s the pilot short that started it all! Available in digital, paperback, and audio through Three Ravens Publishing’s “Necrolopolis Collection: Volume 1” anthology!
Included in that same collection are the following:
Treasure of the Aether – the first of the “in-city” Necrolopolis tales, it is here where Adelvell contends with a mummy king and a rather unreasonable list of “requirements” needed for him to properly settle in the city.
A Salt on the Rise – The mummies and the ashlings are at each others’ throats, and it’s up to Adelvell to sort it out. Preferably without too many burned bottoms or petrified urns.
Meatful Monday – a flash piece about an unexpected guest in the kitchen of one of Adelvell’s favorite restaurants.
Another Day in Necrolopolis – Adelvell is late for a meeting with the Clockwork Vampire, and it just so happens that a pair of skeletons are at the root of that delay…
Other tales that are “out in the wild” include:
Asheater – Adelvell hunts a soul-devouring monster through the streets of Necrolopolis. The creature has a taste for ashlings, the risen remains of cremated people. Why? It’s up to him to figure that out, and to stop it before any more can get eaten, urn and all. One of ten finalists for the 2018 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, it found a home in the anthology “And Then It Got Weird“. It is also available for free for those who join the mailing list!
The Philosopher’s Tongue – The leader of a popular philosophy has died and entered the city as undead, bringing his followers with him. An opposing ideology has also come into the city, and now the leader’s tongue is missing! Adelvell has to hunt it down before things can come to a head, but the question remains: Who in the Eighteen Hells would steal a ghoul’s tongue? Available in the anthology “Onward, LibertyCon!” edited by Christopher Woods and Toni Weiskopf and released by Baen!
Hanging By a Thread – Ghouls are getting hacked to pieces in Necrolopolis, their limbless bodies left to rot in the sun. Adelvell, a pixie doctor, and the city’s two constables must work together to determine what’s going on, and to save as many ghouls as possible from sharing the same fate. Available in the anthology “When Valor Must Hold” and soon to be available on its own and in a collection!
On a Wing and a Train – Adelvell and the succubus Lilana infiltrate an elfin root way train to rescue a ghost from Lilana’s past. The elves do not take kindly to necromancers, demons, or ghosts, so what could possibly go wrong? Available in the anthology “Songs of Valor” and soon to be available on its own and in a collection!
Cold Hands, Warm Heart – Adelvell is dispatched to a remote coal mining village along with his boss’s personal gyrocopter pilot and crew. Their mission: rescue a little girl who’s recently awakened as a shiver, a ghoul infused with ice magic. When he arrives, he finds the mine on fire and she’s being blamed for it. He wants to take her away, but even if the village has rejected her, she hasn’t rejected them, and she won’t leave until she can save them all. Available in the anthology “Talons and Talismans” and currently being expanded and included as part of the first novel!
To the King – Adelvell is once again dispatched from the city on a special assignment. This time, the prince of an allied kingdom has succumbed to an ailment and returned as undead. Before he can be exorcised, it is up to Adelvell to rescue him. But again, he will not leave until he can be assured that his infant niece will sit the throne. Available in the anthology “Keen Edge of Valor” and currently being expanded and included as part of the first novel! It and the events in “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” may be more linked than Adelvell realizes…
A Right Mess – Discontent is brewing in the Caravaner’s Corner quarter of Necrolopolis, a roaming neighborhood made up of traveling merchants who just can’t quite hang up the trade, even if their wagons are falling apart faster than their bodies. A troll merchant band has arrived, and now things–and people–are going missing. Is there a correlation, or just a case of prejudice? Read it in the anthology “It Came From the Trailer Park: Volume 2” and find out!
Severed Bonds – An entire village’s worth of ghosts arrives in the city all at once, all saying they woke up like that one morning. Stranger yet, their bodies were missing when they woke up. Adelvell, another necromancer, and an ashling healer are dispatched to the village to sort it all out, as this is no natural occurrence. It will release in the anthology “Bonds of Valor” in March 2023!