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PZO8500-Jendara2

A Farewell to Web Fiction

For the last five years, Wednesdays have held a special place on this blog. Every Wednesday, it was our distinct pleasure to present a new chapter of serial Pathfinder web fiction. Some stories were from authors you already knew, tied into the latest Pathfinder novels. Others were from first-time Pathfinder authors, trying out new characters in front of a live audience—the entire internet.

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Tags: Eric Belisle Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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PathfinderTales

Crisis of Faith

Sandwiched between a boulder and the side of a mountain, with a burning skeleton trying to grasp at him from above, Jeddah found himself thinking of his wife and son—the two people who meant the most to him in this world—and silently said his good-byes.

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Tags: Crisis of Faith Marek Madej Michael J. Martinez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Crisis of Faith

Jed stood, his holy tankard outstretched in one hand, his rapier in another, as the zombies approached in their ponderous, shambling gait. For all appearances he might have been one of the great Caydenite adventurer-priests of old, ready to banish evil with holy power and charming wit.

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Tags: Crisis of Faith Marek Madej Michael J. Martinez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Crisis of Faith

The forests and low hills surrounding them were as bucolic as anything the bards described at Cayden's Rest, but Jed's spirits remained low as he followed his new companions over the quickly diminishing trail.

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Tags: Crisis of Faith Marek Madej Michael J. Martinez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Crisis of Faith

Jeddah Cailean tore a piece of bread off the loaf under his arm and tossed it into the vat of cooled barley tea before him. He then picked up a small barrel containing the last dregs of a previous batch of finished ale, swirled some water in it, and dumped it in as well.

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Tags: Crisis of Faith Marek Madej Michael J. Martinez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Price Paid

Akina stood rooted, a peculiar chill dousing the embers in her gut. Could it be possible? Could these creatures truly want to handle things in a civilized manner? Ever since leaving for the war, she'd only ever encountered them on the battlefield, knowing full well they sought her death as much as she theirs. What if Ondorum was right? What if these hobgoblins hadn't participated in the fighting and were just victims of circumstances? Could she damn them for the actions of others?

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Tags: Josh Vogt Marjorie Davis Pathfinder Tales The Price Paid Web Fiction

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The Price Paid

The goblin's head morphed into a humanoid skull with a piggish nose and enormous, bat-like ears. Milky eyes fixed on Akina as fangs filled a slavering maw. The beast's body expanded and hunched over, bristling with fur until it resembled an enormous wolf with clawed hands instead of forepaws.

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Tags: Josh Vogt Marjorie Davis Pathfinder Tales The Price Paid Web Fiction

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The Price Paid

Akina trailed Ondorum across the main threshold, which he said the hobgoblins had been using to come and go. The air turned chilly and musty, with an underlying reek that flared the embers in Akina's gut—a fetid mix of blood, grease, dung, and rotting meat unique to hobgoblins. It conjured up too-fresh memories of their hideous warcries and how they'd clamber over the corpses of allies and foes alike to slaughter all in their path.

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Tags: Josh Vogt Marjorie Davis Pathfinder Tales The Price Paid Web Fiction

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The Price Paid

"There!" Akina thrust her maulaxe out, pointing to the craggy ruins on the hillside. "Told you I smelled hobgoblin stink. We'll have our pay by morning."

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Tags: Josh Vogt Marjorie Davis Pathfinder Tales The Price Paid Web Fiction

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PathfinderTales

The Gem

The grootslang coiled in the ruins of its egg and hissed. Its body was thick and muscular, like a snake's, armored with red and dull golden scales and supported at one end by two legs. Each leg was as wide as Jiri, and ended in thick claws. From the heavy chest between those legs a long neck stretched, ending in a blunt, triangular head. It looked like a viper's head, with slitted yellow eyes and a wide mouth lined with fangs, but from either side of that mouth grew three sharp tusks, six in all. A forked tongue flickered out of the grootslang's mouth, tasting the air before sliding back over one of the tusks, stripping the blood and tissue from it.

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Tags: Gary Kloster The Gem Jasper Sandner Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Gem

"It's not really Dahren's boat." Khair was slimmer than his companion, and a little taller, but with their beards and clothes they looked similar. Related, or just foreign, Jiri wasn't sure and didn't really care. She sat with Fumo and Hadzi in the cracked prow of the ship, under the watchful eye of half a dozen hunters. The hunters were Jall tribe, Jiri knew, from their short, dyed braids and the pattern of their mud cloth, but they hadn't introduced themselves. They were far from their lands in the east, working for foreigners and being rude.

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Tags: Gary Kloster The Gem Jasper Sandner Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Gem

The crocodile's jaws looked as big as Jiri. Its huge tail pushed it with the flooded river's current, angling toward the drift of brush that Jiri clung to. It would slam into that loose pile of logs and knock Jiri, Fumo, and Boro into the water.

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Tags: Gary Kloster The Gem Jasper Sandner Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Gem

Outside, the children of Thirty Trees laughed and their parents talked, monkeys chattered in the canopy and birds sang to the morning sun. But inside the little house that Jiri shared with Oza, the only sound that mattered was the muted clicks of the clay pots her teacher was packing into his bag.

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Tags: Davi Blight Gary Kloster The Gem Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Diamond in the Rough

"He's resting, although not comfortably," Chakori said. She'd taken Anandi into the foyer outside Ravi's room, although they left the door cracked open. "I've done what I can for him. The rest he's going to have to do on his own."

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Tags: Diamond in the Rough Evey Brett Mike Burns Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Diamond in the Rough

An hour's walk took them to a small cave along the rocky shoreline, one exposed by the low tide and grown brown and slippery with algae. Anandi followed Ravi inside, careful of his footing. "Well?" he asked, impatient.

Instead of answering, Ravi curled his hand around the back of Anandi's neck and pulled him close. The kiss tasted of wine and pesh. Anandi let it last longer than he should have, surprised by how much he liked feeling the firm body pressed against his. Gently, Anandi pushed him back. "Is this your price?"

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Tags: Diamond in the Rough Evey Brett Mike Burns Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Diamond in the Rough

At sunset, Anandi returned to the captain's villa where a few silver coins to the doorkeeper saw him inside. The party had already begun, made lively by the musicians and acrobats in the ballroom. The human man seated in the chair covered in velvet and gold filigree was obviously the captain. A thick brown beard trailed down his chest, resting lightly on the blue brocade coat studded with golden buttons and trim. The jeweled goblet in his hand was already filled with wine and a servant stood by with a bottle at the ready.

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Tags: Diamond in the Rough Evey Brett Mike Burns Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Diamond in the Rough

No sane person would leave Jalmeray to venture to the small, lawless island of Veedesha, which lay just off the coast, but Anandi had business there on behalf of the thakur.

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Tags: Diamond in the Rough Evey Brett Mike Burns Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction
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The Patch Man

"So where do we go?" Blit pulled the hood of his cloak over his head. He wasn't used to being out at sunset. He felt exposed.

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Tags: Adam Heine Kuba Witowski The Patch Man Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Patch Man

Before Blit could reply, the worm-eaten door crashed open. An enormous green man with incisors the size of tent spikes ducked and stepped inside. Odim and two other Banshees walked in behind him. Gedrak carried nothing—he didn't really need to—but the other three held clubs and torches.

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Tags: Adam Heine Kuba Witowski The Patch Man Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Patch Man

Blit crept toward the body, fingering two vials which, when mixed, would create an explosive powerful enough to separate a person from their more important appendages.

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Tags: Adam Heine Kuba Witowski The Patch Man Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Patch Man

Seven silvers and a copper. Pesh, grit, and other drugs tossed like bread flour. One dead body, bled out on the floor of the abandoned hostel. Blit sighed. The Banshees hadn't even tried to hide this mess. They relied on him too much lately. Blit set down his pack and got to work.

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Tags: Adam Heine Kuba Witowski The Patch Man Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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A Knightly Mission

Everything was black. Awareness crept back into Marra, and with that awareness came pain. Even before she dared to open her eyes, she felt it in her ribs every time she sucked in air. It took her a few moments before she realized that she could in fact breathe, that the pain was not so unbearable that it would kill her. She eased her eyes open, trying to make sense of the hazy blobs of color around her. It was green and brown with flecks of blue. As her vision cleared, she realized she was looking up at the tree cover and the clear sky beyond.

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Tags: Dylan Birtolo Jacob Walker A Knightly Mission Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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A Knightly Mission

Marra sat back in the saddle and pulled on the reins, bringing her horse to a stop. She slid her hand forward to rest on the saddle in what she hoped looked like a natural movement. The truth was she wanted to get her hand closer to the sword.

She looked up and saw two men stepping out from under the tree line, both holding loaded crossbows. They were dressed in leather, distinguishable as high quality even from this distance, and each wore an emblem of the knights of Lastwall over the left breast. Marra swallowed, trying to slow her pounding heart and hoping her voice wouldn't tremor and give away her nervousness.

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Tags: Dylan Birtolo Jacob Walker A Knightly Mission Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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A Knightly Mission

Marra paused the work she was doing: attaching a new leather strap to the inside of the pauldron that wasn't frayed and was small enough to fit her arm. She looked at Eron through strands of dark hair that had managed to work free from the leather thong she used to tie it back. Sweat coated her face from the effort of working on the armor, but even though her muscles ached for relief, she couldn't keep the grin from her face.

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Tags: Dylan Birtolo Jacob Walker A Knightly Mission Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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A Knightly Mission

Marra crept forward, easing her weight from her heel onto the flat of her foot, making sure that no branches snapped underneath her weight and betrayed her presence. She held her bow at her side, an arrow nocked in place and locked under her forefinger. It was too early to bring the weapon to bear; the distance was too great. She needed to be closer to make an accurate shot. In front of her, an elk reached down to rip up some grass with his teeth, blissfully unaware of her presence. The animal snorted and jerked its head up.

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Tags: Dylan Birtolo Jacob Walker A Knightly Mission Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Armored

Sunlight dripped from a tiny window into her cell. Brea lay on her doublet atop the cold ground and tried to remember how many days had passed. Four? Seven? A dozen or more? She had seen no one, heard only the moans of distant neighbors, and received no nourishment of any kind. The dungeons of Deagan's Hold were not a place to keep prisoners for questioning or before a trial, but a place to forget they had ever existed.

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Tags: Dion Harris Pathfinder Tales Stephanie Lorée Web Fiction

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Armored

The pyre burned for hours. Its flames seemed to lick the sky, and Brea turned her horse and troopers away from the carnage. They rode for home, though she wasn't sure what that meant anymore. Smoke rose behind them, a dark reminder of her lord's betrayal.

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Tags: Dion Harris Pathfinder Tales Stephanie Lorée Web Fiction

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Armored

Farnick rode at her side, the squadron of troopers behind them. His head was cleanly shaved. No trace of stubble lined his chin. Brea's armor hung heavy on her shoulders, the gorget tight against her throat. All was as it should be.

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Tags: Dion Harris Pathfinder Tales Stephanie Lorée Web Fiction

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Armored

The tip of her longsword carved a channel along the beachhead of Lake Encarthan. She dragged the weapon, held it listlessly in her hand. Hers were dark, dirtied hands that knew the weight of good steel, the heft of a man's heart. She remembered a time when she was clean, though she could not recall the feeling of pristine boot soles, nor of a soul unstained.

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Tags: Dion Harris Pathfinder Tales Stephanie Lorée Web Fiction

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Winter's Wolves

Jendara moved through the dense forest, following Irlu as the tracker floated through the bracken and brush. Jendara was an able tracker; the dark-haired Blackraven made her look like a novice. Despite the hill giant's size and ungainly burden—Lugh stood six and a half feet tall—the creature had left little spoor. It might be huge and ungainly, but the giant clearly knew the woods.

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Tags: Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction Wendy N. Wagner

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Winter's Wolves

The hill giant stepped over the smashed remains of the trees. It wore a vest and skirt made of filthy hides, and a necklace of raccoon skulls dangled between its two drooping and half-covered breasts. Its hair hung in clumpy strands the color of dirt, damp and clinging to its jowled cheeks.

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Tags: Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction Wendy N. Wagner

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Winter's Wolves

Jendara dropped onto a fallen log and eyed her companion. "Are you ready to give up?"

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Tags: Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction Wendy N. Wagner

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Hunter's Folly

At the warning cry, Aberny looked back and noticed the crude frame of branches that propped a large rock pile above the tunnel they'd emerged from. Even as he did, a scrabble of talons alerted him just before the beast burst upward, jaws snapping every which way. It clamped onto the ledge with one claw and swept the other out.

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Tags: Glen Osterberger Josh Vogt Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Hunter's Folly

The trio hiked along the base of a scraggly knoll under the midday sun. Tali had at least stopped complaining about the dirt soiling her dress, and now joined Aberny in eyeing the skies for any sign of their foe. Ralynn kept an easy, if steady, pace ahead, one blade always out as he scanned the wild brush and every dip and curve of the earth in case the chimera crouched in wait.

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Tags: Glen Osterberger Josh Vogt Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Hunter's Folly

Aberny gaped at the body for a moment, blood staining the earth at his feet. Then the scene around the campfire snatched his stare away.

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Hunter's Folly

Aberny chuckled at the sight of the gnome squaring off with the half-elf, paintbrush crossed with a short sword. The campfire cast the dueling partners into bronze-and-shadow relief. Ralynn glowered down his sword, while Tali glared back up at him, both as riled as if one had slandered the other's parentage.

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Tags: Glen Osterberger Josh Vogt Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Cloak of Belonging

Mortil spun only just in time to let loose a spell. Colors ravaged Gull's eyes, and he felt dizzy, as if a full drunken night were compressed into one heartbeat.

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Tags: Chris Willrich Glen Osterberger Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Cloak of Belonging

Old Cassomir was like a stately anchorage of petrified ships, and in the case of Madame Velm's domain, one strewn with harbor lights.

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The Cloak of Belonging

Gentlemen adventurers needed to mind their steps, especially on roofs. Gull discovered that hard lesson—as well as that cold, wet, and muddy lesson—when he slipped off the mist-slick summit of Skua Croon's Curiosity Shop and toppled into the mud.

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The Cloak of Belonging

The clank and whir of infernal machinery called Gideon Gull back from the music of the spheres. At first he thought the din was dragging him down to Hell, but in a way it was worse. He woke up on the Dog's Teeth.

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Tags: Chris Willrich Glen Osterberger Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Inheritance

The camp's last remaining healer had died two days before, infected by some foul colony of demonic parasites. Learning further details prompted Zae to add "never pray barefooted" to her list of life lessons.

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Tags: Gabrielle Harbowy Kelly Perry Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Inheritance

The next town, Bladswell, wasn't so much a town as a ferryboat station that happened to have an inn and some farms attached. Still, the inn had vacancies and Zae appreciated spending a night in privacy, in something resembling a real bed, after days on the trail. They treated themselves to something resembling a real meal and then a real bath, as well.

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Tags: Gabrielle Harbowy Kelly Perry Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Inheritance

Zae took care of cleaning Keren's home and procuring supplies for the journey, while Keren trained Appleslayer to be a riding hound. In just a few busy days, bags were packed, and homes and infirmary were closed up. Keren secured permission to ride along with a party of crusaders patrolling the Virlych border. Zae had wanted to strike out on their own and "rough it" through the Hungry Mountains, just the two of them, but Keren had been resolutely against that plan. It was just as exciting, Zae conceded, to be riding with a squadron of five knights. It certainly made her sit up straighter in her borrowed white-and-gold military saddle.

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Tags: Gabrielle Harbowy Kelly Perry Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Inheritance

Keren Rhinn, Knight of Ozem and Vigilant Defender of Lastwall, stood sputtering in the doorway, her face turning fascinating shades of crimson.

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Tags: Gabrielle Harbowy Kelly Perry Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Fencing Master

As Vencarlo Orisini led Orkatto's men on a noisy chase, I strolled out the front doors with my "bodyguard." In the darkened museum, and without his mask and cloak, which I carried folded under my arm, Master Raneiro did somewhat resemble the younger man who had accompanied me into the museum. I placed my hope in the bravo's topknot and the noisy diversion behind us.

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Tags: Dave Gross Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Fencing Master

Vencarlo retreated, turning to free his blade. I stepped behind him, pulling the scabbard and sword out of his grasp.

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Tags: Dave Gross Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Fencing Master

A Chelaxian by birth and breeding, Domina had come to Korvosa to rule. Her earliest proclamations had halved both the city's bureaucracy and its coffers. As part of her civic improvement efforts, she had reversed the ban on trees planted within the city walls—the result of a predecessor's shortsighted reaction to the destruction wrought by windstorms over a century earlier.

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Tags: Dave Gross Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Fencing Master

Several onlookers cursed the driver as he forced the Red Carriage into their midst, but the crowd parted. My footman opened the door, and I stepped out.

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Tags: Dave Gross Ian Llanas Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Weeping Blade

Larem raised his hands to shield his face from the stone and bone fragments that were sure to hit him—yet rather than the satisfying crunch of an undead monster smashed to bits, there came only a muted thud and a hiss of displeasure.

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Tags: Mariana Gomez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Weeping Blade

The Weeping Blade by Josh Vogt Chapter Two: Touch of the Grave Larem hissed and dropped the silver piece, yet his fingertips burned from the frigid contact. ... The person remained before him, and Larem could sense its silent mockery. He reached for his dagger. ... Who are you? ... His tormenter shifted with a creak of leather. Its every movement groaned and crackled with age. ... No, not age, Larem realized as he caught another whiff of grave dust. Death. An undead creature leered at him,...
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Tags: Josh Vogt Mariana Gomez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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The Weeping Blade

Larem winced as Dargley spouted his usual gibberish. He leaned over and nudged his fellow beggar.

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Tags: Josh Vogt Mariana Gomez Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Best Served Cold

Marcov spotted the modest hut to which the priest had directed him, spent a moment invoking the haunting spirits, and broke into a sprint. He leaped, hurling his whole weight against the shuttered window nearest the front door. Wood burst inward, splinters flying—all in utter silence, for the ghosts of that long-dead village had spread their intangible substances through the surrounding air, muting all sound.

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Tags: Ari Marmell Damon Westenhofer Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Best Served Cold

Loursa moved to Draeven's side, limping, sword dragging point-first through the dirt. "I thought you said there'd only be a few of them!"

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Tags: Ari Marmell Damon Westenhofer Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Best Served Cold

The faintest shower of sleet, scarcely more than an icy fog, began to fall over the battlefield that had been the town of Kelbran. Just another instance of the peculiar freezes and unnatural weather afflicting eastern Touvette in recent months, but this time—as visibility grew cloudy and the churned muck of the earth thickened—it almost seemed a harbinger of the oncoming stranger.

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Tags: Ari Marmell Damon Westenhofer Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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Best Served Cold

Rattling shutters and gaps between the wooden slats of walls allowed a faint breeze into the store. The establishment smelled of dust, mildew, and the acrid aroma of burning leaves that kept the ubiquitous mosquitoes and flies from riding the weather inside. It wasn't that much of a store, all in all; but then, it wasn't that much of a town, either.

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Tags: Ari Marmell Damon Westenhofer Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction

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A Matter of Knives

Boots went, hastily.

From her hiding place behind a stack of shipping crates, Tantaerra leaned forward, trying to get as close to the conversation as possible without being seen. Bendrar was Loryn Garldrake's son, and the woman giving orders had to be Semdeira Sarpent.