I'd like to identify a fantasy novel I read, probably somewhere from the mid eighties to early nineties.

One problem is that I have read a lot of fantasy novels and it is highly likely that I will conflate parts of several novels if I say too much. So, here is the one thing I remember that I want to know the story for:

A character on a quest of some sort got ill. He had a cough that was accompanied by greasy smoke coming from his mouth. He eventually died because of this.

Here are some other things that I believe came from the same story, but I cannot be sure.

  • Swords and sorcery story.
  • The ill man and his party were travelling by boat at the time.
  • The character was a villager (possibly a farmer or blacksmith).
  • He was a major character, or at least a long standing character.
  • As the illness progressed he may have had mushrooms appear on his tongue.

Thanks in advance for any help working this one out!



That's from Hugh Cook's The Wizards and the Warriors, first book of the Chronicles of An Age of Darkness. The man in question was Blackwood, a hunter. He contracted the smoke-sickness while travelling on a raft along a river in a tunnel, a journey which seems to have taken several days, if not weeks. Ultimately, he had the sickness cured by drinking a draft composed of human blood and dragon blood.

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