Druan Episode 1 – Dawn
In the eternal night, the harvesters hunt and take humans from their villages. No one in Jayenne’s village has known anything other than the all-encompassing darkness, and the death that comes with it. When the miasma finally breaks, at first there is rejoicing – until the scattered villages realise that the never-ending darkness has left no vegetation, and the dark-loving creatures that once could be hunted for food have taken shelter, and they face slow starvation. Then, the settlements rely on their shamans, the only hope remaining to them, to lead them and keep them safe.
Druan Episode 1 – Dawn offers the kind of atmosphere of danger and uncertainty found in good dystopia and some origin stories; a tiny fragment of humanity, eking out a precarious existence in a world of which they have little to no knowledge. Author Mark Robson’s choice to tell the story largely from the point of view of an eight-year old creates an effective emphasis for this element of the plot. The mysticism of the shamans is left mainly for further development in this story, although the various shamans seem at first glance to have an intriguing range of different abilities. The writing was technically excellent, well-structured and free of editorial issues, and while this story is part of a larger arc of episodes, it manages to be perfectly readable alone. Definitely worth the read.