Tales of the Dark Eras for Chronicles of Darkness
Edited by Matt McElroy
Written by Howard Ingham, Malcolm Sheppard, Pete Woodworth, Renee Ritchie, Jess Hartley, Monica Valentinelli, Danielle Lauzon, Matthew McFarland, Michael “Hollywood” Tomasek, Jr., Eric Zawadski, Meghan Fitzgerald, and Dennis Detweller
Creative Director: Richard Thomas
Art Direction and Design: Mike Chaney
Purchase the PDF or Softcover book at DriveThruRPG.
Tales of the Dark Eras is a collection of short stories that connect with the Chronicles of Darkness. The short stories tie into each of the genres that Chronicles of Darkness hosts. The collection is set in chronological order, starting before recorded history and ending with the current era. Each story plays heavily on the theme of the setting in which it is written.
If you enjoy the Chronicles of Darkness, you will enjoy reading these stories. Each story has its own sense of horror, though it does skew toward the ‘fight to live or die trying’ aspect. Several of the stories have a psychological horror twist, make for a thrilling to read. It is a quick read as well; I was able to finish it in several plane rides.
The weakest story of the whole anthology was the first one, “Hoarse”: (Chronicles of Darkness 450 B.C.E.). The story took place so early in human history, it was hard to connect with the characters. It felt disconnected and jarring, and had no hook in the story for me.
My favorite story was “No Signal”: (Chronicles of Darkness 2015-2016 C.E.). This was a psychological paranormal story that focused on the God Machine in Chronicles of Darkness. It was a wonderful take on how easily mortals get pulled into the workings of the paranormal without ever wanting to. The ending was a great twist, and not the twist I was expecting. This was a wonderful end to the anthology.
Another highlight of the book was Jess Hartley’s “Ravens and Roses”: (Changeling: the Lost 1600-1700 C.E.). It takes place in the elite social circles of Paris. This story was a personal favorite of mine because it held all the makings for high fantasy, with a Changeling: the Lost twist, making it into personal horror.
You should look into this anthology if you enjoy Chronicles of Darkness or fantasy/horror stories. History fans will enjoy the settings of the stories, as they all take place in different eras across the globe. Storytellers will find many ways to tie plots into various chronicles they may be running. The quick read and captivating short stories will keep you entranced and horrified at the same time.