Pathfinder Tales: The Illusionist ePub

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by Elaine Cunningham

When Bonali, an exchange student from the magical college known as the Magambyaa in the Mwangi Expanse, is sent north to study at the Acadamae in Korvosa, he isn't sure what to expect. It's not surprising that the other students are strange, though their focus on summoning devils and other monstrosities is more than a little unnerving. Yet though he's prepared for cultural differences, nothing in Bonali's training can prepare him for life alongside his new roommate Jamang, whose pride and cunning may lead them both to an early grave.

From New York Times best-selling author Elaine Cunningham comes a stand-alone short story featuring characters from her novel Winter Witch and set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This story originally appeared as part of Paizo's free weekly webfiction series, and is available for free at

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The Acadamae Ain't for Chumps!



The Illusionist is a standalone short story, part of the free Pathfinder web fiction available here. Written by Elaine Cunningham, it's a fantastic, gripping look at what life is like for a new student in Korvosa's famed school of magic, the Acadamae. It's hard to say much else without spoilers, so I'll just say here that the artwork that accompanies the story is also great and that the story makes a perfect introduction to life in the Acadamae (or perhaps Korvosa more generally).


Bonali Kwazeel, an apprentice magician from the Mwangi Expanse, has come to the Acadamae at the behest of his master in order to expand his horizons. Kwazeel's roommate, Jamang, persuades him to attend another student's attempt to summon a minor devil, and when things go wrong and that student is killed, everyone suspects sabotage! There's a twist so clever (and ultimately so petty) that explains perfectly how cutthroat the Acadamae is that I don't want to ruin it here. Suffice it to say that this little story packs a punch and is definitely worth reading.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I've been pleased to note that this story has been in the 10 top e-fiction list for quite some time now. I suspect that has something to do with the $.99 price tage, but still, I appreciate your interest in the story.

With this in mind, I'm pondering the possibility of a rematch between Bonali and Jamang. Is this a story you'd be interested in reading? If so, who, in your opinion, should come out ahead?

Also, would you prefer another one-part story, or something longer?

That was interesting but wayyyy to short. I like to buy the epubs to read during my lunch break at work on my phone, but that took about 2 min tops. I guess I will have to start checking the length of the web fiction before buying them. I did enjoy what I would call the introduction to a good book. I love your books and have been reading your work for a long time. At least it was .99 and not 4.99...


Waylorn, "The Illusionist" was written as a short story for WAYFINDER magazine. That's why it was only a one-part story in its Web Fiction incarnation and a VERY short ebook.

I like short stories and novellas, and I find I'm purchasing quite a few of them for my Nook in the $.99 - $2.99 range. But I can understand how it would be a little frustrating to assume you have a lunch break worth worth of reading and find only a 2500-word short story.

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