Goats of Glory is a short story by Steven Erikson, appearing as the first story in the sword and sorcery anthology, Swords & Dark Magic. It has subsequently appeared in the Swords Against Darkness (2017) anthology. Although the story does not share any characters or locations with the Malazan novels to date, Steven Erikson has confirmed that it takes place in the Malazan world, "just south of Shal Morzinn on the same landmass as Seven Cities".
Plot Summary Edit
Five weary mercenaries, Captain Skint, Sergeant Flapp, Wither, Dullbreath, and Huggs, travel on horseback through a mountain pass into a river valley. Members of the Rams, they are now five where once they were a thousand after a year of fighting on the Demon Plain. Arriving in the sleepy hamlet of Glory, notable only for a ruined keep looming above the edge of town, they seek cold drink, food, and a room for the night. The local tavern can provide the first two, but there is no inn. Why not shelter the night in the ancient keep on the hill as recommended by the barkeep? As the sky darkens, the soldiers trudge up the hill to their new accommodations. Meanwhile, the town's gravedigger has eagerly prepared five new plots in the local cemetery...
The Ram MercenariesEdit
Townspeople of GloryEdit
- Flowers, a young girl
- Graves, a gravedigger
- Herribut, a cobbler
- Slim, an aged prostitute
- Snotty, a gravedigger's assistant
- Swillman, a barkeep
- Widow Bark
Ever since this story was announced there was speculation among fans whether it was a Malazan tale. In answer to a fan question, the anthology's editor, Lou Anders, blogged in 2009 that it was "not a Malazan story, but an amazing one." But a year after publication, Steven Erikson confirmed that the story was indeed set in the same world.
Other hints at the wider Malazan world:
- A coin with "three faces" likely refers to The Three, a trio of sorcerer kings, while another coin with a "Castle in the sky" is likely a reference to a Skykeep.
- Rustleaf is in the coin tray at Swillman's tavern.
- Sergeant Flapp has a sword of Aren steel.
- The description of the moon as "broken" places this story after The Bonehunters.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ HarperCollins.com
- ↑ Tor.com - Ask Steven Erikson Your Memories of Ice Questions
- ↑ Louanders.blogspot.com
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Swords & Dark Magic, Goats of Glory, Eos (Harper Collins) p.11
- ↑ Swords & Dark Magic, Goats of Glory, Eos (Harper Collins) p.22
- ↑ Swords & Dark Magic, Goats of Glory, Eos (Harper Collins) p.17