In the revolution-torn nation of Galt, not even a war hero is above suspicion. After being blown halfway to bits, former grenadier Norret Gantier returns home, only to find that those he knew have all been executed for treason or changed by the weight of years. One thing remains, however: the boarding house that was once the manor of Madame Devore, the town's duchess and head alchemist, before she fled the revolution. Yet perhaps the manor isn't as abandoned as the townsfolk think. As Norret struggles to rebuild his shattered life, he's drawn steadily down into an alchemical mystery that will take all his esoteric knowledge to solve. But can he find the duchess's lost legacy before the local officials make him a date with the guillotine?
From fan-favorite author and alchemical scholar Kevin Andrew Murphy comes a fantastical mystery set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Itchy's review says everything I wanted to say about the story itself. I was thoroughly entranced by the story, and was almost grateful that I only came upon it well after its release so I didn't have to wait 3 agonizing weeks to get the whole story. I don't recall how I came upon it, but I believe it was the first Web Fiction story I had ever read and it's what turned me onto the web fiction segments of the blog in general, as well as the story that persuaded me to pick up 4 or 5 of the Pathfinder novels to read.
I truly look forward to more adventures with Norren as well as the future writings of Kevin.
Meet Norret Gantier, a wounded veteran grenadier from the Galtan military. He has returned home from the war to find that everything in his hometown has changed.
Kevin Andrew Murphy brings Galt to life. Yes, there is constant revolution. People live in fear of being accused of being an enemy of liberty. But they are still people just trying to get by in life. Kevin Andrew Murphy's tale gives alchemy an underlying order such that it is almost believable that, with the right reagents, you can augment your strength, improve your senses, or even heal old war wounds.
Not only does Kevin Andrew Murphy bring some measure of sense to alchemy, he weaves his story over a detailed backstory (some of which only he still knows) which allows him to combine art, theatre and science into an allegorical alchemical quest.
If you ever plan to play an alchemist, I strongly recommend that you read this tale. If you are setting an adventure in Galt, read this one. It will help to bring your world to life. I have stated elsewhere that I have yet to read a Kevin Andrew Murphy story that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. The story oozes research and reading that the author puts into all of his stories.
This is one of the best pieces that has appeared in the Web Fiction.
A fabulous tale, world-weary yet full of mystery, in which the elaborate symbolism of alchemy meets its perfect partner in the ornate writing of Keven Andrew Murphy.
Norret returns home to find his family destroyed and his hometown defiled. He embarks upon a secret quest to unveil the alchemical wonders lost to the eternal revolution.
The tale is not only a riveting mystery and character study, it also gives a terrible glimpse behind the curtain of official propaganda and into the tainting misery of the Galtan revolution
The tale is one of secret magics constructed amidst the terrible sufferings of perpetual war and the author proves himself a true literary alchemist by writing brutal truths in fabulous prose. The tale and the telling are thus satisfyingly matched.