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James Sutter

James Sutter's page

Managing Editor. 2,311 posts (2,342 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Ross Byers wrote:
Why didn't we get a Varian & Radovan novel in 2014?

See my previous post. Also, a novel a year is a pretty brutal pace for a lot of authors—even Dave needs a vacation now and again!

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

Hello Mr. Sutter

Dave Gross said that his new Varian and Radovan book would be out in summer 2015 but all other details would be up to you.

I noticed there are no Pathfinder Tales novels slated for june and beyond.

Could you shed some light on the matter?

Thank you in advance.

You've really done your homework!

Dave's new novel will indeed come out in June, but it comes with some SUPER EXCITING news that we're not ready to talk about yet, hence the lack of an official announcement yet. I hope to be able to reveal all in the next month or two. In the meantime, please stay tuned! :)

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Seven Swords of Sin takes place in Kaer Maga, though admittedly it's almost all dungeon crawl, and with a hodgepodge, old-school theme to it.

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xeose4 wrote:

Sorry if the Paizo book club was meant for certain people. I really love the idea and would like participate - if it's an error for me to chime in, just me know (I would also like to see discussion of the Redemption Engine next).

I would echo the appreciation for Delani - he was the first character that felt "normal", odd as that sounds. He wasn't so extreme like the Jackal and the Half-Elf, and he wasn't reserved or posturing or obsessed with position and titles. And more importantly, the moment that he does overstep his bounds, we're shown him getting taken down a peg (or several). Him getting called on his s@&# really endeared him to me, on top of the (imo legitimate) grievance of the fey.

My favorite scene was, hands down, the encounter with the Protean (while an inevitable was there as well, no less!). Previously I'd only viewed proteans as stupid, crazy, idiot-wurms that just floated around and were weird! Quirky! That scene breathed more life into them than anything else I'd seen anywhere, ever. It was really, really cool and I'll remember it for a long time.

If I could add one character that really frustrated me, it was Neila. I commented elsewhere, I think, that she doesn't seem to have a lot of purpose in the book, aside from "generic love interest". I don't want to rag on a story I did enjoy (and I know people enjoyed her), but there were just enough times that I wanted to roll my eyes at her lack of... anything... beyond the role of "female companion that always has the right support option available for the main character" that by the end I... really did not feel that their parting was an emotional moment for either of them.

If I have a single great regret about Death's Heretic, it's that we didn't get to see enough of what makes Neila a badass in her own right. If there's a third Salim book (and I hope there will be!), my plan is to bring Neila back so she and Salim can interact more as equal partners (by which I mean probably get on each other's nerves terribly :).

She's been doing some interesting things since the events of Death's Heretic...

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Thanks so much for the comments, folks! In addition to sating my curiosity, it's actually *really* useful for me to see which parts of my books folks connect with most. :)

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Liane Merciel wrote:


I kind of just want to watch Salim tour all the weirdest parts of the cosmos now. He doesn't even have to do anything. I'd happily just watch him wander around needling ultra-powerful outsiders and wisecracking at the local scenery.

Honestly, I feel the same way. Who needs plot when you can just take folks on a sightseeing cruise? :)

Thanks so much, Liane!

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Was the race that lived on Melos a known race or something that has not been stated up yet?

2)Does Dykon have a crystal based playable 0HD race?

3)Would the centaurlike race from Arkanen be a playable 0HD race?

4)So for the red skinned people of Akiton should we just use human stats or would they be modified human stats? example would be they loose the bonus feat or bonus skill points for an endure elements or fire/cold resistance or different racial mods such as hardy(+2 Con), intelligent(+2Int) but weak because of the low gravity(-2Str).

5)The People of the Stars book says for stats for Vercites use ether Elf or Half Elf as the base, so wish one do you think is closer the Elf or Half Elf?

1) Ain't tellin'. :)

2 & 3) Sure, why not? Again, though, I try not to state definitive decisions about things unless the answer is about to be published anyway, because if someone else at Paizo someday stats up those creatures and they're not 0 HD, I don't want folks to tell them they're wrong. :P

4) I'd modify them. Variety is the spice of life!

5) Hmm... I'd probably go half-elf, though of course that's only for the ones that haven't augmented their meat-bodies. :D

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Guang wrote:

Hi James

I have a few Triaxus questions for you.

1. With an orbital year of 317 years, and "many" generations of each summer and winter, and "a single" generation of fall and spring, what is your definition of generation? It's obviously not lifespan, as 80x4=360.

2. Are there any plans for Triaxus (or Verces) in the foreseeable future? Do you have more details on the creatures of Triaxus all figured out, or will you wait to fill in details when needed?

3. How, specifically, would Spurhorn and Ivoryglass be different in Summer from the way they are presented in Frozen Stars? It seems to be implied that the Vahara glacier never completely melts.

4. What does the Triaxian language sound like?

1. I was thinking of generations in the sense that your parents and grandparents are all different generations than you. So in that sense, I was pegging a generation at something like 20 years.

2. No plans yet! I don't think it's too much of a surprise that I'd love to write a novel set there someday, but that day is still far off, if ever. :) And no, I try to make a policy of not coming up with a bunch of "head canon" beyond what gets published in a given sourcebook. That both makes sure that other designers don't accidentally introduce "conflicts" (which of course aren't really conflicts, if the details they're conflicting are only in my head), and it also ensures that I have plenty of questions to answer and room to play if I revisit the subject later!

3. Spurhorn and Ivoryglass are really Rob's babies, so I cede that part of the map to him. :)

4. I'm not sure! My first guess would be something fluid and kind of twittery, humanoid with hints of ferret or birdsong, but I'd want to consult with folks who know way more about linguistics (like Paizo editor Judy Bauer) before I nailed anything down.

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I know I shouldn't barge in, but since it looks like folks are almost done, I wanted to ask...

*Who were your favorite characters?

*What was your favorite scene?

I rarely get a chance to ask readers questions directly, and I'm really curious. :)

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Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

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Liane Merciel wrote:

Salim Ghadafar - Death's Heretic

Almost as soon as I started to consider this character, one answer leaped out at me: Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain. Obviously. It could be nothing else.

L'Air du Desert Marocain is an interesting composition. It's a dry, spicy Oriental that harkens back to an earlier age in its style. This is an intense, complicated, powerful scent that can easily become overwhelming if not applied with care, which I think mirrors Salim's personality quite nicely. It doesn't make any attempt to be nice or accessible in its first impression -- there's no gentleness in its opening and very little sweetness until you get to the drydown. Instead it hits you immediately with a full-force gust of arid desert spice and resinous woods.

I actually didn't care for Desert Marocain the first time I sampled it. The intensity was overwhelming, and there's really no compromise with this one; you either accede to its presence or you don't. But on a revisit, the complexity and nuance of the fragrance won me over. This is a powerfully evocative scent, and what it evokes is the archetypal image of a dusty, sun-baked city of the ancient Middle East, all spice and exotic smoke and fragrant, carved screens of cedar and sandalwood shading windows overlooking the market square, with a whispery tumble of dried rose petals blowing over the flagstones.

So that one seems like a fairly easy pick to me.

Wow, that's awesome!

*crosses out his own guess, which was "sweat, dust, and ghoul entrails"*

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I'm loving this thread. While it's true that (as far as I know), Erik didn't have a specific meaning in mind when he came up with the word, the idea of it being elves from Castrovel's name for the planet would probably be my explanation of choice.

(As always, this is on the messageboards, and thus not canon... though if I had thought to put it in Distant Worlds, it might be. ;)

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Personally, I've never been a fan of the "undead = evil" trope--to me, it's always seemed unnecessarily prejudiced. So I think the idea of a non-evil organization that protects undead and helps them deal with their weird existence sound pretty awesome!

In addition to your suggestions, I could honestly see a lot of gods being willing to support this sort of thing: Shelyn, because she's all about love and sees the potential even in Zon-Kuthon. Sarenrae, to try and redeem the redeemable. Abadar, because hey, maybe you've got a contract, and here's folks trying to find a way to make the undead productive members of society. Really, it's only Pharasma who has a direct doctrinal edict against the undead--most other gods can be swayed (hence the reason Geb hasn't been wiped from the map).

Note that this is all just *MY* opinion. No single staffer gets to speak for the gods in an official capacity unless it's in a published book. :)

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Rysky wrote:

And yes, Proteans are awesome, though this book made me like Inevitables a little bit more as well.

Inevitables don't put a lot of energy into their public relations.

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Itchy wrote:

A few thoughts:

The Clever Endeavor reminds me of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

There are two "Faithful Servants" in this story: Salim and Connell. One unwillingly serves a (presumably) deserving mistress. The other willingly serves an undeserving master. I can see why Ceyanan wanted them to work together.

Connell is deliberately made likeable. He is compared to a puppy. Who doesn't like puppies? He obviously cares deeply about his master. Can eidolons love? The title of Chapter 4: The Greatest Gift, puts in mind John 15:6 - "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.NLT" I would say, yes, in James Sutter's view, an eidolon is capable of love. This is further supported by the two outsiders in the Clever Endeavor who are engaged in a relationship that is somewhere on the spectrum of lust to love.

Salim is initially made somewhat unlikeable. He is violent, gruff and rather unsympathetic. He gets somewhat more likeable over the course of the story.

I'm going to attempt to read Death's Heretic with a very critical eye on Salim. When I read the book the first time, I liked the character. However, he is a VERY bitter man. I generally find that bitter people are unpleasant to be around because the bitterness that fills them tends to spew out as they interact with others. Case in point: Salim's comment about Percinov's mother. He theorizes that she is dead. He confirms this hypothesis in a way that is very emotionally painful for Father Adibold. We don't notice it right away because we tend to want to like the main character in the story (especially if the story is from their POV) and because Father Adibold is portrayed as a rather unlikeable person.

I am theorizing that Salim is an unreliable narrator (I know that Varian and Radovan are unreliable because Dave Gross has said as much). Let's see how my theory holds up to scrutiny.

I love everything about this post.

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Just wanted to drop a link here for anyone interested in the fan-run Pathfinder Tales Book Club's read of Death's Heretic and its webfiction prequel. There's still time to get in on the discussion!

Pathfinder Tales Book Club

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It's been so long since I wrote this one that I only kind of remember what happens, which makes reading this analysis even more fun and surreal. :D

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Karazh in Casmaron is also a good spot, as it drew a fair bit of influence from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. So far, it's only been detailed in the web fiction story Boar and Rabbit.

So far. :)

Karazh = Cambulac?

Not exactly! The capital (such as it is) of Karazh is Ular Kel, but while I drew inspiration from all over the region, I didn't have a direct analogue for the city.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Karazh in Casmaron is also a good spot, as it drew a fair bit of influence from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. So far, it's only been detailed in the web fiction story Boar and Rabbit.

So far. :)

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Kajehase is right! (Sorry I didn't respond to this thread earlier--I thought it was the same one.)

It was necessary in order to turn our full editorial might on some print products, but we'll be back in action in January!

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Drejk wrote:


In a completely unrelated announced, I would like to see more about Kaer Maga.

I know we're entering Shameless Plug Town*, but did you Kaer Maga fans know that THE REDEMPTION ENGINE is set there? I do a fair bit of expanding on the details from CITY OF STRANGERS in that one, as well as in Pathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone.

Spoiler:

*Welcome to Spoilertown! Population: Me.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I like places that are more questions than answers.

Hear, hear!

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I saw these at Gen Con, and can confirm that they are totally delightful.

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Yay! These are so cute!

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W E Ray wrote:

Absalom.

Really, Absalom is my my top 5 -- then, in order: Korvosa, Egorian, Augustana, Nisroch, Ilizmagorti, Magnimar and Katapesh.

But it's a shame the designers seem to refuse to do much with the Flagship Location of the campaign setting. Absalom needs so much more development!

That's because Absalom is destined to be Erik's opus, and he refuses to do anything in half measures. One day he'll reveal his glorious city-child, and all will quail in love and fear...

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*stuffs ballot box*

*whistles innocently*

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While I know staffers shouldn't play favorites, it really warms my heart to see all the Kaer Maga love in this thread. :D

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Varian and Radovan will be back with significant fanfare this summer. :)

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Kajehase wrote:
So, how come there's been no new web fiction for about a month?

We ran into a major crunch between the holidays, a bunch of key projects, and some people being out of the office for extended periods, and rather than risk lowering the editorial quality, we decided to take a brief sabbatical from web fiction and focus on print products.

At the same time, we've also transferred responsibility for the web fiction from me to Associate Editor Chris Carey—he's actually been in charge for the last few stories. The gap is also to help give him time to get everything up and running on his watch. Developing web fiction is no easy task!

All of that said, we'll be back with more web fiction starting in the new year. Thanks for your patience!

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Narquelion wrote:

This is very nice thank you for sharing!

Anyway, I was contesting the much wider assertion that the planets "behave according to normal scientific principles". Liavara and Bretheda have moons with liquid oceans - of water, on their surfaces. Triaxus doesn't get as cold as it should traveling so far from its star. Verces laugh in the face of meteorology. Etc Etc.
Thankfully it's a fantasy world with magic and Shantaks and Aucturn so we can come up with explanations.

Actually, I designed Verces to be consistent with an astronomy paper I read once about tidally locked planets and how the weather might not be as extreme as you'd think, though I sadly no longer have the link.

But yeah, there's certainly still a fair amount of magic and handwavium going on in the setting. I was heavily *inspired* by real science, but ultimately, "how much fun would it be to adventure here?" was my primary concern. :)

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Yeah, it's a rounding issue, since I tried to base Golarion and its sun on our own. Sorry for the confusion! (Honestly, I'm a little surprised that I rounded that much, but oh well... perhaps I was working from older/less accurate information...)

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I'm not sure when exactly it'll be announced, but very soon we'll be able to tell you about the comic plans. Which is good, because this is the most excited I've been about a comic project in... well, ever. :)

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As has been mentioned, Opparal from King of Chaos is an LG paladin and one of the three POV characters, and I think of Drelm from Stalking the Beast as lawful good, so there are definitely some folks around already who likely fit your bill.

That said, I've already purchased a novel starring an LG paladin and a GG* cleric from Gabrielle Harbowy, so if you're willing to wait a little bit, I think I've got the novel you want pretty much made to order. :)

Spoiler:

*Gnome Good

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Rysky wrote:
On reading through a bunch of the Tales: Why is there always a gnome on the ships?

I think it just pairs well with their interests. Gnomes are naturally in a constant search for novelty and exploration, so what better way to see the world than to become a sailor? Plus, their small size makes them extra useful in the cramped spaces one finds on ships, from making repairs down in the bilge to taking up slightly less space when hanging a sleeping hammock.

Really, the question should be "Why don't captains hire *more* gnomes?" (I presume the answer has to do with the problems that come with an overabundance of curiosity and distractibility...)

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Kajehase wrote:

If you could pick anyone you wanted, regardless of their fee, to paint the cover for your next novel, who'd it be?

** spoiler omitted **

Oh man! That's hard. Michael Whelan at his best (the cover to Dan Simmons' Endymion) would be a childhood dream, but I'm also a huge fan of folks like Stephan Martinierre who do such highly detailed and imaginative worldbuilding. (If Stephan were a little less monochrome, he'd probably be a slam dunk.)

Fantasy and SF landscapes are by far my favorite type of art (contrary to many folks' ideas of what makes a good book cover), so there are probably also a ton of concept artists used to doing that sort of thing that I'd want to check out.

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Thanks, Philip! And yeah, we would love to bring back Planet Stories someday, but at the moment the opportunity cost for us is just too high. We're very proud of the books we were able to put out, though!

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Hey, thanks Darkborn! I hope you enjoy the novels--I think I'm honestly better at those than adventures, though I'll admit that I had a lot of fun designing my Emerald Spire level. Once you read Death's Heretic, you'll know why I absolutely *had* to have proteans in my level... :)

Also, to the book club as a whole: A book club should absolutely be an author-free space so that people can voice their honest opinions without feeling like jerks. That said, if the book club covers a given author's book and has questions, I suspect that many of the authors who hang around these boards would be happy to stop by and answer them, provided they're in a separate forum so we're not stepping on toes.

Have fun, everyone!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am super supportive of this sort of thing! Good luck, Darkborn!

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Alayern wrote:
Is it safe to assume that the same requirements for Tales writing for newer authors also applies to the webfiction? I.E. the 'having been previously published' caveat?

At the moment, yes. But if you don't want to wait until you've published elsewhere, there's always Wayfinder and Pathfinder Chronicler, both of which are awesome fanfic communities!

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Justin Sluder wrote:
What are the chances of a Tales novel with a bugbear as the main character?

Fairly low in the near future, I'm afraid. There are a lot of other popular races to get through first!

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Wow, that's awesome! Thank you to everyone who's posted reviews--you keep our creative fires stoked. :D

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8 people marked this as a favorite.

I also think it's worth noting that Associate Editor Judy Bauer, like all our editors, has had significant influence on the development of the game and our setting. Speaking as someone who's been both a developer and an editor (and a customer service person, and a website person...) at Paizo, there's a lot more overlap between the jobs than people might think. And Judy has extra influence in that she's in charge of hiring all our freelance editors—folks like Lyz Liddell and Christina herself, who you may have seen in the credits in the last year.

This is not to say "Oh, we have some women on the team, we're covered." Not at all. We're still a long way from gender parity (and even farther from an ideal racial distribution) on our creative staff, and it's one of the reasons we've been trying so hard to get the word out to people who feel underrepresented in the industry. I just don't want the contributions of folks who are already here to get overlooked.

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Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:

http://i.imgur.com/5P9MvbL.jpg

Sorry not very good at this can someone let me know if this works?

RAD!

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

Just noting that I read the title of this thread, and my head immediately began putting it to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.

If I were a Razmir... yubba deedle deedle deedle deedle deedle deedle dum..."

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leo1925 wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

@ Leo - Mummy's Mask Book 6, yes.

Ok, do we know if this was an intentional change on what we knew before (mainly from death's heretic) or if it was another instance of bad communications?

Wes and I worked together closely on that article, so it should match up with Death's Heretic pretty well... I don't remember anything in there that conflicts. What in particular are you wondering about?

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If you want to hear a Rahadoumi explain it in his own words, you might want to check out Death's Heretic...

Spoiler:

THE SHAMELESS PLUGGER STRIKES AGAIN!

*vanishes in a swirl of cape*

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Congratulations to all of the finalists, and kudos to everyone who participated! It take courage to sit down and write a story, and even more to submit it for critiquing, so everyone who wrote for this contest clearly has that first and most important part of being a professional author.

As always, it was an honor to be involved. And though this is my last year as final judge, it's *not* the last year that the final round will involve a special Paizo judge. Stay tuned... ;)

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Oh man, I'm super excited to see what shows up on this thread! :)

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havoc xiii wrote:
So I'm rereading this book and I notice Lissete a song about a certain "hero" and his halfling brother. That was awesome to see.

I was wondering how many people noticed that particular Easter egg. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

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It's like Fight Club.

The first Law of Man is: "Let no man be beholden to a god."

The second Law of Man is: "Let no man be beholden to a god."

Spoiler:

If this is your first night in Rahadoum, you have to reject the gods.

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