During a public holiday in the small town of Wyrmbersch, the Mayor is accidentally killed by a statue which falls from the roof of the Town Hall. As shocked spectators crowd around the body, they discover that the Mayor, at the moment of death, shape-shifted into a squat, stunted humanoid figure, it's grey skin dominated by bony ridges and lumps. How long was the Mayor an imposter? And who else in the town isn't what they seem to be?
One morning, the sun does not rise. It seems that a great darkness has settled across the kingdom - at first, it is merely an inconvenience, but as time passes and plants begin to sicken and die, some action must be taken. As the deluded King plans the sacrifice of fifty tender virgins in the name of the Sun God, rumours spread of an ancient barrow uncovered in the hills...
In the Temple Square of The City, where the nine Greater Gods have their houses of worship, a sudden flash of light blinds (perhaps permanently) all those who are nearby. When the light has faded, a tiny, naked baby is lying in the doorway of each Temple. The Gods, it seems, have come into the world - but why?
The nations of the Kolm surpasses all other barbarians in their wilderness of life. Thoug they do just bear the likeness of men, of a very ugly pattern, they are so little advanced in civilization that they make no use of fire, nor any kind of relish, in the preparation of their food, but feed upon the roots which they find in the fields, and the half-raw flesh of any sort of animal. I say half-raw, because they give it a kind of cooking by placing it between their own thighs and the back of their horses. They fight in no regular order of battle but by being extremely swift and sudden in their movements, they disperse, and hen rapidly come toghether in loose array. They spread havoc over the vast plains and flying over the ramparts, they pillage the camp of their enemy almost before he has become aware of their approach. They are the most terrible warriors for when in close combat with swords and flails they fight without regard to their own safety, and while their enemy is intent upon parrying the thrust of the swords, they will entangle him with their chains so that he loses all power of walking or riding.
Excerpt from "The peoples of the world" By Taklamarian court-scholar Guliman Amon.