Whatcha Want, Fiction Fans?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pathfinder Tales has been going strong for a couple of years now, and I'm happy to say that I'm still just as excited about it as when it first launched. We've gone from werewolves in Ustalav to the Outer Planes, an evil magical academy in Nidal to the high seas. In the months to come, we've got vikings and barbarians, bardic super-spies, soul-stealing in Kaer Maga, and more.

Yet we're still just scratching the surface. Which is why I want to know: What do you want to see from Pathfinder Tales? Is there a certain class or race you want to read about? Do you have a favorite nation we haven't been to yet—or one you can't wait to visit again? Are there certain types of stories you're pining for? Here at Paizo Fiction Headquarters, we're always trying to figure out what people will be most interested in—which means that our jobs are way easier if you tell us.

So sound off, fiction-lovers: What do you want to see more of from the Pathfinder Tales line?

James L. Sutter
Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

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Tags: Pathfinder Tales
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Dark Archive

My big thing about my reading is the length of the book I hardly ever buy books less then 500 pages anymore.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:
...dang Mikaze is fast. Caught me in the middle of editing where I was moving the distant worlds suggestion to the 1st post.

That's what happens when you say Distant Worlds. :)

Silver Crusade

Also, I know this dips into tricky mingling-canon-with-the-APs territory, but the Grey Maiden heroine from F. Wesley Schneider's Shattered Steel could make for some more great stories too. :)


Cheapy wrote:

And Distant Worlds!

As far as classes go...alchemists.

Maybe Norret can run free? Him and his oracle/synthesist (forget which) brother could be pretty interesting, and well, no one can say those stories haven't been very well received.

Orlin is an Oracle with the haunted curse and either the bone or ancestor mystery (I think)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

YES, TO THE FEMALE ADVENTURING PAIR BOOK! Also would like to see something with a dwarven story, and a story set in the the Darklands. Have not seen or heard of any set with these in mind?

Liberty's Edge

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I'd like a Mwangi set book that doesn't use an outsider (i.e. non-Mwangi) as the readers "in". Have the main protagonist be a local (maybe a graduate of Magaambya).

Silver Crusade

Robert Little wrote:
I'd like a Mwangi set book that doesn't use an outsider (i.e. non-Mwangi) as the readers "in". Have the main protagonist be a local (maybe a graduate of Magaambya).

YES. Especially if it gets us a good view of life in Nantambu. :D

Speaking of folks from the Magaambya, I'd love to see Elain Cunningham's Bonali Kwazeel come back, in Garund or Avistan.

Also, an Osirion novel. :)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
Lilith wrote:
Troy Taylor wrote:

Korvosa seems like an ideal locale for a sweeping swashbuckling tale.

I think we need a female adventuring pair as a counterweight to Rad and Varian.

I love this idea. :D

Me, too. Their names are Azra and Malena, and they've been waiting patiently in my idea folder since I turned in Prince of Wolves. I would love to revisit them one day, but the stars have not yet aligned.

Yes! Fourthed. Azra & Malena, and then Keren & Zae. Or vice versa. Or at the same time!

Nah, on second thought, save the team up for a sequel.


Dave Gross wrote:

Me, too. Their names are Azra and Malena, and they've been waiting patiently in my idea folder since I turned in Prince of Wolves. I would love to revisit them one day, but the stars have not yet aligned.

One day...

I want to read this, if only because I would love to see a spinoff of one of your series and that I love your work. Would really like to see what you have planned for Alase and Jelani as well, if anything at all. =3

Dark Archive Contributor

Joseph Blackhand wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:

Me, too. Their names are Azra and Malena, and they've been waiting patiently in my idea folder since I turned in Prince of Wolves. I would love to revisit them one day, but the stars have not yet aligned.

One day...

I want to read this, if only because I would love to see a spinoff of one of your series and that I love your work. Would really like to see what you have planned for Alase and Jelani as well, if anything at all. =3

Thanks for the kind words.

Alase is a character created by Wes Schneider for Lost Kingdoms, and whom he graciously allowed me to borrow. I can't say I haven't had ideas for further stories with her, but I'd do them only with his approval.

Ditto for Jelani. The sorceress is Liane Merciel's character, and she let me borrow her for the novel. If you haven't yet, check out Liane's "Certainty" short story, which introduces Jelani and Ederras, who also gets a mention in Liane's novel Nightglass.


Dave Gross wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
Lilith wrote:
Troy Taylor wrote:

Korvosa seems like an ideal locale for a sweeping swashbuckling tale.

I think we need a female adventuring pair as a counterweight to Rad and Varian.

I love this idea. :D

Me, too. Their names are Azra and Malena, and they've been waiting patiently in my idea folder since I turned in Prince of Wolves. I would love to revisit them one day, but the stars have not yet aligned.

One day...

I thought the two of them don't get along.
Exactly.

hahahaha - how many +1s can we give this?


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I wouldn't be averse to a revisit to Tian Xia (we've only really seen an Quain as a region in Master of Devils, and there's plenty more there to examine).

Alternatively, I think most of the "standard trope" classes have great representation in the Tales thus far, so I would enjoy seeing more "fringe" classes get spotlighted. Barbarian. Druid. Monk. Samurai.

A heavily out-of-comfort-zone traveler. The iconic Monk Sajan, for example, who is searching for his sister far away from his Vudran home. Or a samurai from Minkai who has to come to terms with the strange Osirion lands on a quest to redeem his honor. Or some such.

Heck, even a panther-raised wild druid that has to make it in the big city (Absalom) could be a hoot to read.

Contributor

Dave Gross wrote:
Ditto for Jelani. The sorceress is Liane Merciel's character, and she let me borrow her for the novel. If you haven't yet, check out Liane's "Certainty" short story, which introduces Jelani and Ederras, who also gets a mention in Liane's novel Nightglass.

AHEM. For the record, I gave the character outright to Dave and said he could do whatever he wanted with Jelani.

At the time I figured this meant he'd kill her off in King of Chaos, but I have to say I like the send-off he actually came up with a lot better.

(poor Radovan. forever. poor Radovan)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

LoreKeeper wrote:
I wouldn't be averse to a revisit to Tian Xia (we've only really seen an Quain as a region in Master of Devils, and there's plenty more there to examine).

Oooh, Amanandar fiction would be cool.


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What happens to Gods when they die? Do they travel through the Boneyard? How does Pharasma deal with their souls, assuming they even have them? What about psychopomp harriers? And the deity who doesn't want to stay dead, or the followers bent on resurrection?


Dave Gross wrote:

Thanks for the kind words.

Alase is a character created by Wes Schneider for Lost Kingdoms, and whom he graciously allowed me to borrow. I can't say I haven't had ideas for further stories with her, but I'd do them only with his approval.

Ditto for Jelani. The sorceress is Liane Merciel's character, and she let me borrow her for the novel. If you haven't yet, check out Liane's "Certainty" short story, which introduces Jelani and Ederras, who also gets a mention in Liane's novel Nightglass.

I did not realise that, have yet to pick up Lost Kingdoms and I've been slowly but steadily making my way through all the web tales here so I haven't gotten around to Certainty yet. Though now I'm probably going to have to go back and re-read Nightglass once I finish Certainty.

In either case that was really nice of them both =3


Liane Merciel wrote:

AHEM. For the record, I gave the character outright to Dave and said he could do whatever he wanted with Jelani.

At the time I figured this meant he'd kill her off in King of Chaos, but I have to say I like the send-off he actually came up with a lot better.

(poor Radovan. forever. poor Radovan)

Of course you know now I'm going to have to go back and read the aforemention web tale Dave mentioned to catch up on Jelani's first appearance. That was gracious of you to give him the character, though I gotta say I'm glad he didn't kill her off. Her ending was far more enjoyable the way it wound up playing out (poor Radovan)

On a seperate note, enjoyed your work in Nightglass. Look forward to reading more of your work as it comes out =3


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Some areas I'd like to see stories unfold in would be Lastwall (Vigil, Belkzen), the Crown of the World (what the heck is up there?), the Mwangi Expanse, the Five Kings Mountains, Qadira, Osirion, and especially the Mediogalti Islands. Classes I would like to see include a thief class, spell casters, a druid, or a ranger.

It would also be fun to see a story that started with a humble character as they get drawn into the life of an adventurer or Pathfinder at a young age. Ideally we could then follow that character as their adventures increased in scope and challenge.

Other classic Golarion ideas would include political intrigue, the double agent, the coming of age story, or more about the inner-workings of the Pathfinder Society. A family drama steeped in local lore would tickle my turtle, too.

Strong female lead characters would also be interesting.


Male Heroic Protagonist, preferably Cavalier/Paladin/Fighter with a strong female Co-Lead, not prissy "damsel"

Belkzen Orcs getting put in their place

Groups of 4+ Heroes

+1 To Taldor Politic Intrigue

Stories about new classes coming in ACG >.>

Sczarni

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  • Gnome protagonist
  • Fey
  • women authors (, more)

It has been great so far, keep it up!


Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
Groups of 4+ Heroes

This - I forgot to include this in my own list. The "ensemble casts" have been very good so far.

Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
Stories about new classes coming in ACG >.>

Not this (for me) - every mention of an APG+ class has seemed very forced to me, with the possible exception of Dave's Kemeli. If Alase had simply been a "God-caller", it might have worked. (Based on King of Chaos - where is Lost Kingdoms from? I'm behind on AP fiction).


I would love to see a book containing:

Locations: Qadira or Katapesh, or Mawangi Jungle

Classes(Race): Magus (Suli); Druid of Seranrae (Gnoll)

Etc...

MORE...MORE ...MORE!!!


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In order, I'd like to see:

More on the Aldori Swordlords. Maybe a tie-in to the "Inner Sea Combat" book coming out in April, which is supposed to include more about them.

Something about the Sovyran Gate and the connection to the city of El on Castrovel. Supposedly that's where elves came from and El is the first city they ever built, so the place must be unimaginably ancient.

Absalom. There's a huge amount about the city in adventures, particularly for PFS, but not a lot of fiction.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.

KAM writing a Norret novel.

Big Damn Heroes!

Silver Crusade

I really enjoy Pathfinder Tales Fiction. I like the novels, and I also like the fiction in the adventure paths. I haven’t read too much of the web fiction.

My favorite novels were Death’s Heratic and The Winter Witch and Citadel of the Fallen Sky.

I also liked David Gross’s Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Queen of Thorns and King of Chaos.

What would I like to see? I guess I think it would be interesting to see some more of Cheliax. I would also be interested in seeing stores set in Qadira and Vudra.

I also think an story might be and ensamble storey about an adventureing party…..maby a group of pathfinders?

Just a thought.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Great Old Ones. Darklands. Ancient evils. Anything with Radovan. I love all the books so far. Your fiction line is top-notch, and it helps me keep my head in the world, even when not playing in a game right that second. Good work; keep it up.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

7 people marked this as a favorite.

As several people have suggested, I'd like to also see a book about a group of adventurers. Ideally, a group that had both arcane and divine magic as well as non-magical types, since most of the novels feature a main character or two only and therefore have an atypical RPG party, with missing capabilities compared to the standard in game party. Also, a plot that featured the characters wanting to adventure for the more "cliché" reasons of wanting more wealth and power, rather than the main characters being compelled through circumstance to adventure.

It's odd that gaming fiction in general steers so far away from a typical gaming experience. I love that many of the books have a unique voice and avoid stereotypes, but occasionally it would be cool to read fiction that more closely mimics actual gameplay experience. Some of the fiction in the APs actually does this a bit, but it would be great to have a full length novel do so.

Dark Archive

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The story of Aroden, as a man, then a god, and what actually happened when, well, you know.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

JoelF847 wrote:
As several people have suggested, I'd like to also see a book about a group of adventurers. Ideally, a group that had both arcane and divine magic as well as non-magical types, since most of the novels feature a main character or two only and therefore have an atypical RPG party, with missing capabilities compared to the standard in game party.

This, a thousand times this.


The Pool of Radiance: Assault on Myth Drannor was a pretty pissy game, but the book version was actually a bit more than decent. The action was what you'd expect, where it shone was the description of the intra-party dynamics. There were four characters, who did not truly trust one another, yet they did manage to find ways to work together.

I agree, it would be fun to see a book with a proper adventuring party. It's kind of difficult to pull off, though.

Dark Archive

JoelF847 wrote:
It's odd that gaming fiction in general steers so far away from a typical gaming experience. I love that many of the books have a unique voice and avoid stereotypes, but occasionally it would be cool to read fiction that more closely mimics actual gameplay experience.

This right here.

A party of four, getting drawn into trouble (perhaps when the town they are passing through is attacked by displaced humanoid raiders, who, it turns out, are displaced from their native grounds by something more wicked that they adventurers must deal with).

They can start out as locals, or be passing through, or a mixture of both (a couple passing through recruiting some local talent), but an actual 'adventuring party' sized group of protagonists.

Queen of Thorns did this, with Rado and the Count being joined by the Inquisitor and Paladin, but that's more of an exception it seems, than a rule. (and the 'party' won't necessarily be staying together)

.

As for the notion of both a female adventuring pair *and* some Iconic fiction, I wouldn't mind seeing Imrijka and Lirianne, the iconic Inquisitor and Gunslinger, adventuring together. But they are both niche, in their own way. Merisiel and Seoni (or Feiya) might be a more conventional pair.

.

Seconding or thirding stuff mentioned above, I would like to see a group of Aspis Consortium agents (or Darklight Sisterhood agents, or *ex* Darklight Sisterhood agents, who stuck together after Cheliax abandoned that experiment and officially disavowed them), more Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser-ish (or Conan-ish) and less conventional 'heroes.' They aren't raiding the Tower of the Jade Elephant to upset the plans of the Sanguine Sorcerer who lives within it, but just to steal stuff!

Inspired by characters like Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, Conan, Elric, the dwarves from the Hobbit, etc. it seems like it would be pretty natural to continue on with characters who may end up drawn into 'heroic' adventures, without necessarily setting out to be heroes, but have more mercenary intentions, at the start, only to find heroic circumstances thrust upon them, and having to rise to the occasion. (Again, something Dave Gross handles well, as his protagonists aren't exactly wandering around the world intending to right wrongs, only having 'wrongs' tend to get in their way and need to be dealt with...)

.

One or more protagonists who serve to highlight how different races and cultures are indeed different would be neat. I feel like there hasn't been a lot of definitive elven or dwarven characters yet, to help give a voice to Golarion's elven or dwarven people. The gnomes I've seen have come across a bit flighty, and I know that's part of their thing, but I also think the gnomes take themselves pretty seriously, and don't see themselves as a joke or a caricature, and might even consider humans to be 'flighty,' lacking their unique gnomish 'focus' on whatever subject matter interests them, and finding elves, etc. to be, by comparison, distractible and unfocused, lacking discipline and almost child-like, compared to their laser-like (obsessive...) ability to concentrate on a single topic of study. It could be kind of funny to see a gnome getting impatient with an elf for changing the topic or losing interest in a conversation, wondering how a creature that could live for centuries is unable to stay on topic (and not get bored) for mere hours...

Halflings also seem to get short shrift. Pun intended.


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More Iconics.

Specifically Amiri and Seoni. I just introduced someone to Pathfinder this weekend and she really liked the art for those two characters. Even to the point of wanting to play Amiri in the Beginner Box intro dungeon that I ran for her and my cousins.

She asked later if there was any fiction with these two, and I unfortunately had to tell her no...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd love to see the following:

NUMERIA (more!)
Gnome and Hafling main characters.
A peek into the poltics of the various nations.
Galt and how it works, or doesn't.
Ustalav
Focus on other novel characters than the Count and his Bodyguard. (getting sick of them)


This may not be in the vein of locales and characters, but what I think would be terrific would be a trade paperback style anthology of Golarion and its locales and inhabitants. A few years ago Marvel comics and Berkely Boulevard put out some excellent prose collections, such as Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Hulk, Ultimate Super-Villians and more that were just fantastic, and you could do anything with Pathfinder anthologies. You could have an all-goblin anthology, or solo exploits of the iconics, or dungeon delves into the famous dungeons, or a Distant Worlds anthology, or even an all evil anthology which could debut the back-story of the iconic anti-paladin... Top it off with a tasty cover, (maybe by Mr. Reynolds?) and I think that would be just fantastic! Some of the ideas mentioned previously in this thread would go great in an anthology format! Thanks for letting me toss in my two coppers ;)


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I’ll have to admit that I’m more of a web fiction person than one for the Tales line itself, mainly because I’ve always got enough reading to catch up on that it makes more sense to me to restrict my Pathfinder habit to things I would actually use in my games. That said, I’ll be reckless and offer some ideas for ways for Paizo to tempt me further, over the protests of my poor, suffering student’s purse. :)

One thing that I would like to see is more non-human perspectives, stories told from the elfiest or dwarfiest point of view that an author could come up with. One of these days I’ll probably bite the bullet and actually get my hands on “Queen of Thorns,” but though Varian and Radovan’s adventures in Kyonin seemed promising from what I could tell of the sample chapter online, I did wish we had a native perspective: while the half-elf count is appalled by the triviality of the elven court’s entertainments, for example, I wonder what the courtiers would have to say for themselves. I would love to see a competent character that’s also whimsical enough to see something of value in courtly spectacle.

I chose that example because I’m an unabashed elf and fey fangirl, so a natural extension would be that I would love to see a bit more detail about what makes the Mordant Spire elves so strange, or the differences between what sorts of unearthly creatures pop up in various woods and other unspoiled places across Golarion. But like I said, more non-human perspectives in general would interest me, something to get my imagination going about how dwarves or half-orcs, for example, tend to think, given the niches they most commonly occupy in Golarion.

Apart from that, I enjoy seeing authors’ and characters’ differing descriptions of how magic works, from bardic song to an urban druid’s connection to her city, to other divines' prayers, either utilitarian or ecstatic. I think it might be fun to see a clash of attitudes in a story, a couple of spellcasters who have a hard time appreciating the approach the other takes in thinking about what they do when they do magic.

Lastly, for now, could I commend the fiction team’s work in offering a range of female protagonists and ask that they continue their efforts? I would be delighted, personally, to see another stern heroine like the Gray Maiden in “Shattered Steel,” or a story that races along despite complex structure that might give us a glimpse of how a dangerously intelligent wizard or the like sees her adventures. Something more light-hearted would also be great, like a counterpart to men like Valeros - someone who also finds herself looking for “soft company” after the quest is over, like Charles de Lint’s Aynber – or more of the almost exasperatingly sweet Keren and Zae, since I did love “Inheritance” once the buzz on the messageboards got me to read it.

Just some idle thoughts!

Dark Archive Contributor

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So many thoughtful opinions here, I hope some of you will also weigh in on my blog's Question of the Week concerning fight scenes in fantasy.


I'd like to see defictionalized books, particularly holy texts (e.g., the Acts of Iomedae) and in-world fiction (such as Alison Kindler's works). On a personal note, I'd also like to see From the Minds of Monsters (aka Sorshen's lab notes; Pathfinder #62, p.36).


JoelF847 wrote:

As several people have suggested, I'd like to also see a book about a group of adventurers. Ideally, a group that had both arcane and divine magic as well as non-magical types, since most of the novels feature a main character or two only and therefore have an atypical RPG party, with missing capabilities compared to the standard in game party. Also, a plot that featured the characters wanting to adventure for the more "cliché" reasons of wanting more wealth and power, rather than the main characters being compelled through circumstance to adventure.

It's odd that gaming fiction in general steers so far away from a typical gaming experience. I love that many of the books have a unique voice and avoid stereotypes, but occasionally it would be cool to read fiction that more closely mimics actual gameplay experience. Some of the fiction in the APs actually does this a bit, but it would be great to have a full length novel do so.

I'm thinking that's quite a challenge for an author (a single person) to pull off effectively. A typical 4 person adventure group in play is developed by 5 people - a player for each PC and a GM for the situations and NPCs. It's quite a feat for a single author to give equal weight to 4 PC's rather than have the story about 1, with the others as secondary characters.

Silver Crusade

Well perhaps one possible way is to do a story with 4 points of view characters and as the story unfolds you shift from one character to another's point of view, over the same adventure.


History of Golarion pretty please! History gives us the context in the present to shape the future. And there are so many secret things in Golarion's history that would make for great reveals. Why not have a few in novels?


Something exploring the ties between Kyonin and the elves on Castrovel.


More planar travel. Since you guys made Golarion's countries to be archetypes of fantasy stories we've all kinda already been there just with different names. I really liked Salim's part in Death's Heretic where they are walking around Axis and later the First World. Not saying the stories and world are not amazing. I just feel like I want a vacation to the most exotic parts of the Pathfinder Universe.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
One thing I'd like to point out is that listing elements like nations/classes/races/types of adventure is *way* more useful to my idea-harvesting than plots or distinct combinations

Well then, I'm a big fan of the pseudo heist novel that was Pirate's Honor, especially the character of Celeste. It was great to see some of the more intelligent monsters show up on the good guy's side. I would love more of that, especially with some of the more iconic fantasy monsters (Medusa, Satyr, the various Fey).

Grand Lodge

lordvargon wrote:
I'd like to see the further adventures of Eando Kline.

+1. Yes, please, sir. Much, much more EK.

Grand Lodge

I'd like to see a more prominent role for the Pathfinder Society in the novels. They have all been great reads, but too few characters have any association with the Society at all. I love the Eando Kline concept/character/stories and all the tales of Varian and Radovan.

I'd love to see a bildungsroman about a character or characters who join the Society, undergo training at the Grand Lodge, and join various factions as he/she/they embark on their first adventure(s) as field agents.

Hermea seems a rich vein to mine for setting, themes, protagonists, and antagonists.

I'm very much looking forward to The Dagger of Trust and wish the work and its author Chris Willrich great success. I pre-ordered the novel as soon as it was posted.

Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

Raef13 wrote:
More planar travel. Since you guys made Golarion's countries to be archetypes of fantasy stories we've all kinda already been there just with different names. I really liked Salim's part in Death's Heretic where they are walking around Axis and later the First World. Not saying the stories and world are not amazing. I just feel like I want a vacation to the most exotic parts of the Pathfinder Universe.

Got you covered on this one. :D

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

"Let's be bad guys."

Re-reading Death's Heretic, I realzied I'd enjoy reading some fiction about the bad guys. A young Akhom or his organization working, Sczarni fiction etc.

Might be better suited for web fiction.


More of The Irregulars by Neal F. Litherland

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I'm curious what Varian Jeggare would make of Hendregan (the pyromaniac from The Worldwound Gambit and Blood of the city).

Dark Archive Contributor

Ross Byers wrote:
I'm curious what Varian Jeggare would make of Hendregan (the pyromaniac from The Worldwound Gambit and Blood of the city).

I'm curious what you think they'd make of each other.

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