With the release date of Plague of Shadows, the new Pathfinder Tales novel, coming up fast, I thought it might be a good time to start stirring the pot with a little sneak preview in the form of a sample chapter as this week's installment of the weekly web fiction.
I really can't overstate how excited I am for this book to come out. Not only does it have what may be my favorite cover yet for the line, but it's also an old-school adventure in a way that Pathfinder Tales hasn't really seen so far. In Plague of Shadows, a team of adventurers featuring a Forlorn elf ranger, a civilized half-orc guard captain, an untested young noble, a retired bard, and a country bumpkin of a wizard must set off on a quest to retrieve an artifact in time to save their friend/father/liege lord who's been cursed. Sound familiar? It should—it's a classic quest setup that any gamer should recognize, and over the course of their adventure the party will be forced to deal with the chaos of revolutionary Galt, standoffish Kyonin elves, and the mysterious Vale of Shadows deep in the Five Kings Mountains. And yet while it's a time-honored trope with a generous helping of sword-and-sorcery flair (hardly surprising, given author Howard Andrew Jones's status as one of the foremost living editors and scholars of pulp fantasy), there's also plenty here that's new, and enough twists and turns to satisfy those readers with more complex tastes.
Illustration by Eric Belisle
In addition, I'm also pleased to show off this brand-new illustration of one of the novel's main characters: Captain Drelm, a half-orc raised from his base roots by the glory of Abadar and determined to prove himself as a man of honor. I think you'll agree that artist Eric Belisle (the same man responsible for our excellent Radovan and Jeggare illustrations) has done a beautiful job capturing both aspects of Drelm's character. As we continue to introduce more novels in the Pathfinder Tales line, we're looking forward to ordering brand-new illustrations like this to go along with our sample chapters, giving you one more reason to check on the web fiction each Wednesday.
So get to it, already! Click here to read the new sample chapter of Howard Andrew Jones's Plague of Shadows, then scroll down to the comments section and let us know what you think!
Yeah, I like that Belisle illustration, too. Looks like a guy who's gonna pound some civilization into ya, the old-fashioned way.
We had an ordination at the Cathedral last night, and this reminded me of the role of vergers. The lead verger was carrying a really massive looking mace, and in the Episcopal Church, vergers wear about that shade of light blue scapula or chimere.