The Dark Arts

So, this is a bit of an odd feeling.

Nagash (available now) marks something of a milestone in many ways. For one, it’s the first time in at least ten years Games Workshop has moved the Warhammer settings forward, with bleak consequences for pretty much every character, race and realm.

(If you’ve not seen it yet, it’s definitely worth taking a look at, as is the incredible piece of artwork from the book – seen on this page. Seriously, it’s the most awesome piece of fantasy art I’ve seen in years.)

Whilst I, of course, sympathise with all those folk getting ground beneath the boot heel of fate, it’s not why Nagash marks a milestone for me, personally. Thing is, it’s the first book that I wrote (co-wrote, actually) to be released since I left Games Workshop. As I said at the start: feels a bit weird, that. It won’t be the last. In fact, the book I’m hands-down proudest of is yet to come, but as with killing people (I’m talking about characters, I swear) the first time is always the hardest.

The occasion of Nagash’s release also gives me a reason to break my self-imposed rule about not talking about Games Workshop. Or, more accurately, a reason to talk about why I have that self-imposed rule.

 Simply put, there are so many moving parts in worlds as large as Warhammer and Warhammer 40k that it can often be difficult to talk about even quite small ideas (and the processes that create them) without wider context. Not a problem in itself, but I always worry that in providing context I’ll spend loads of time discussing something that really isn’t that interesting, or accidentally dip into something that isn’t my secret to tell – which, other factors aside, just wouldn’t sit right with me.

The latter part is the biggest danger. It’s no secret that products in the creative industry are worked on a long way in advance. What’s less well recognised is that after a few years in that world, you can start to lose a sense of what’s been released/is common knowledge, and what isn’t. I was there for more than a decade – I’m completely dislocated; I’ve no confidence in my ability to filter between them. Maybe this’ll change, at some point. For now, I find it easier to say nothing at all.

(Why say even this much? Well, a few of you have been asking questions in the comments sections of earlier blogs – entirely reasonable questions, I might add – and you at least deserve an explanation as to why I haven’t answered them).

I can say that it’s been a blast writing for the worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. I’ve gotten to do all kinds of things that I never honestly believed I’d have the opportunity to do. I’ve no doubt that those worlds will keep getting bigger and better – their futures are in the hands of some fantastically talented writers, artists and sculptors, and I already miss working with them.

For myself, I’ve of course moved onto other things (which I hope to be able to talk about in the not-too-distant future). And I hope those amongst you’ve who’ve enjoyed my writing will stick around to see what I get up to.

Anyway, something lighter/more interesting next time. Promise.

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