“They call it meldwood because it’ll meld with anything it touches. Other trees. Animals. Men.”
In the first years following a brutal war, residents of the Deel Valley struggle to recover. They rebuild their homes, replant their crops, and attempt to reconcile the past they long for with the reality they’re stuck in.
Most of them seek, above all, a return to some semblance of “normal.”
Others seek profit and adventure.
Mercenary boss Riss Chou finds herself in prime position for both, summoned by the local Baron to work a job so dangerous his own men—including his heir—vanished at the scene.
Calay Maunet ran the streets of Vasile once, a charismatic lord of the slums—until he was betrayed, humiliated, and outed as a blood sorcerer. With his loyal bruiser Gaz, he flees Vasile and signs on as a medic with Riss’s team. The goal is to keep a low profile til the heat dies down. He can manage that, right?
Together with an ensemble cast, they are given one task: venture into a cursed swamp to find a missing heir. But the trees in this swamp aren’t sedate foliage—they are mobile, predatory, and consume everything they touch.
The marsh is dark and poorly mapped. The terrain swallows horses, so the journey must be made on foot. Deep in the muck, Riss and her company must brave a place where the rules of nature no longer apply.