The Miscellaneous Writings of Clark Ashton Smith gathers together the adventure, juvenile, and other non-fantastic fiction of Smith. While he is known best for his fantastic work, these adventure and mainstream stories shed light on the development of Smith’s writing and his constantly evolving style. The Miscellaneous Writings is a perfect companion to the five-volume Collected Fantasies set. As with that set, editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith’s notes and letters in order to compile this volume’s definitive set of texts.
1767: In the three years since defeating the Tharyngians at Anvil Lake, the Crown Colonies of Mystria have prospered. Colonists, whether hunting for new land or the Promised Land of prophecy, have pushed beyond the bounds of charters granted by the Queen of Norisle. Some of these new communities have even had the temerity to tell the Crown they are no longer subject to its authorities. To survey the full extent of the western expansion, the Crown has sent Colonel Ian Rathfield on an expedition, accompanied by Nathaniel Woods, Owen Strake, and Kamiskwa, into the Mystrian interior.
They discover a land full of isolated and unique communities, each shaped in accord with the ideals of the founders. Conflicts abound among them, and old enemies show up at the least useful moments. Worse yet, lurking out there is a menace which the Twilight People only know from folklore as the Noragah; and westward penetration stumbles into their lands and awakens them.
Alerted to this threat by his men, Prince Vlad petitions the Crown to send troops and supplies to destroy this new and terrifying enemy. The Crown refuses, citing massive debts from the last war. They dismiss Vlad's claims as fantasy, and impose a series of taxes on Mystrian trade to finance their own recovery.
Faced with fighting an inhuman foe in a land seething with resentment against the Crown, Vlad must unite the Colonies in a common cause, or preside over their complete destruction.