From the beginning to the great deluge, men and women lived, loved, fought, and died. Those were the days of the Vaporous Realms.

Rival clans and city-states vie for supremacy. Earthly lords war over lands of shadow and mist. Empires span vast steppes and deserts. Vicious raiders menace coastlines from the tundra to tropical isles. Conspiracies and cults abound.

In the Vaporous Realms, generations of mortals and immortals contend for power and souls across a young world. Strange and terrible beasts, and stranger and more terrible beings, roam the land. Life is fleeting, but when the kingdoms of heaven and earth hang in the balance, every breath counts.

Encompassing seven epochs and five clashing civilizations, the story-cycles of the Vaporous Realms—Dustsong, Northsong, Southsong, Eastsong, and Westsong—are epic in scope. Yet every snippet comes from a profoundly human place.

I write “clean” (PG to PG-13), somewhat dark fantasy. I’ve taken to calling it “sword and spirit”: most of the particular stories fit best in the “sword and sorcery” subgenre, but supernatural power in the Vaporous Realms is spiritual rather than magical in the usual sense. Taken together, though, these little stories fit within an epic whole—so the story-world includes aspects of high fantasy.

Subscribe to Vaporous Realms today!

Free subscribers receive a) weekly “Flash Fiction Friday” posts, b) any “Tuesday News-Day” updates, and c) access to an assortment of permanently and temporarily free posts—including recent and select story snippets. You may have access to teasers of certain other paid content. And I’ve made the original Dustsong: Len the Wanderer novella ebook free to all subscribers!

The weekly story snippets used to be serialized drafts of novellas in progress. But from April 2024 onward, the weekly, free snippets are non-consecutive snippets featuring a variety of Vaporous Realms characters, geographic settings, and epochs. Many snippets will eventually find their way into full-length novellas, but in general, the snippets are now the snippets while the books are the books.

Becoming a paid subscriber (annually, for a steep discount) gets you access to the full archive of story snippets, serials, and other posts. New content for paid subscribers includes a weekly “Worldbuilding Wednesday” article with background info on some aspect of the Vaporous Realms story-world. You’ll also get an exclusive first peek at new Vaporous Realms illustrations we’ve commissioned.

Vaporous Realms at War tabletop content will be integrated with the weekly snippets and articles. Physical products (books and miniatures) are available via links to our online shops—and at in-person events.

Founder-level subscribers have access to the latest, updated Vaporous Realms at War pdf books as they’re released!

Besides the weekly content here, my focus for the rest of 2024 is on updating and expanding the catalog of Vaporous Realms at War tabletop resources and miniatures. Revised editions of Len’s story, as well as a Kaelii novella, are on the docket for 2025.

In the meantime, please enjoy the new content and (for paid and complimentary members) past story snippets. Feel free to explore, comment, and join me in Chat. Send your most pressing and perplexing Vaporous Realms questions my way, and I’ll answer to the best of my non-spoilery ability.

Together with you, our readers, we'll immerse ourselves in the ever-widening array of heroic (and unheroic) folk, far-flung lands, and perilous adventures the Vaporous Realms have to offer. Thank you in advance for becoming a subscriber so we can all continue this epic journey (writ small) together!

About the Author

Vaporous Realms author M. B. Heywood is a wandering storyteller and editor from a little ways south of the Mason-Dixon. He loves his Lord, his wife, their kith and kin, coffee and pie, fantasy fiction, miniature models, and historical anecdotes.

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"Sword & spirit" epic fantasy writ small. What happens when the world's chosen ones have fallen from grace? We offer conflicted warriors, primitive kingdoms, and oversized critters. Find serialized novellas, flash fiction, tabletop tie-ins, and more!


I offer practical editorial advice to writers and editors. I also publish "sword & spirit" fantasy stories set in the Vaporous Realms: "The chosen ones have already fallen. Now mortals and immortals contend for power and souls across a young world."