One of the questions I get asked most often about Pathfinder Tales is: "When are we going to see some fiction from the Paizo staffers?" While there can be no question that our other Pathfinder Tales authors have done a bang-up job so far, many folks are eager to see stories that come directly from the source, the products of the same vibrant (and sometimes twisted) imaginations that gave the campaign setting life in the first place.
It's a curiosity we understand quite well—after all, we published four of Gary Gygax's novels for the exact same reason. Yet the sad truth about working at a game company is that you don't have nearly as much time to write as some of the freelancers you hire. The job is already more than a normal nine-to-five, and even those few hours you scrape out to write aren't always yours to write what you please. Maybe a freelancer crashes and burns, and suddenly you need to come up with half a book. Maybe there's a product on the schedule that only you can write, because only you know the subject matter in enough detail (a frequent occurrence, when your world is as new as ours). There are a million reasons why a staff member might not have the capacity to write fiction.
Illustration by John Stanko
Erik Mona knows this better than anyone. Since we launched Pathfinder Tales, Erik has had a couple of characters knocking around in his head, begging to become the heroes of a short story. Yet no matter how often he described them to me, or how much loving detail he put into his outline, it seemed that something always came up to keep him from writing the story. Maybe there was even a touch of stage fright there, too—despite having written or worked on enough game books to build a fort in his office, he hadn't written fiction in a decade. As the editor of the line, I was confident he could turn over something great, but it seemed that one emergency after another kept delaying his story. So after about a year of waiting, I did the only thing I could.
I made an emergency.
True to form, when Erik heard that there was a hole in my web fiction schedule that no one else could possibly fill in time, he stepped right up and wrote that story he'd been thinking about for so long. The result is "Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver," a new five-part story that begins this week, and I couldn't be happier. It's got sword fights. It's got cannibalism. It's got a cyclops. It's got a wisecracking swordsman with a Lemmy-style trucker mustache.
Most importantly, it's got Golarion, in a way only Erik could write. There are dealings with Nex—a nation Erik invented. There's information regarding Durvin Gest—from the only person who knows his secret history. There's—well, I don't want to spoil any more. But this is a Pathfinder story from start to finish, and we're proud to have it.
Of course, Erik doesn't have time to read this blog post, as he's been locked in his usual slew of meetings all day, and probably will be until late into the night. But I'm sure that, through the conference room door, he can sense our approval.
Wait, that picture... Did Cosmo's mustache escape!!
That's actually much closer to Jeff Alvarez's mustache than Cosmo's. But to answer your question, sadly, no. Cosmo's mustache is still firmly and hauntingly fastened to his face right above his creepy smile.