Monday, April 17, 2017

Diamond in the Rough [RPG]


Evey Brett's Diamond in the Rough (free web fiction available here) is a fantastic addition to the Pathfinder Tales short story line.  Anandi, a courtesan in the fantastical land of Jalmeray, is sent to the island of Veedesha to recover a magical artifact.  This is a story about character, love, and redemption rather than monsters and violence, and the result is something special.  Sexuality and sexual orientation are handled extremely adroitly, and Paizo's commitment to real diversity should be lauded.  Unless you're looking for an action-packed hack n' slash story, this one is must reading.


Anandi was the lover of one of the nobles of Jalmeray (the exact hierarchy I didn't quite understand), but had to be sent away from the palace due to courtly intrigues.  Now the instructor of an instructor for courtesans, Anandi is sent away again to Veedesha on a dangerous mission that is quite clearly (to him and the reader) a trap.  He learns that the artifact he's sent to recover is in the possession of a pirate captain, but he doesn't know exactly where it's hidden.  In a bid to discover that information, Anandi befriends a streetwise prostitute named Ravi.  When all goes to hell, Anandi escapes with Ravi, having failed in his mission but having accomplished something far more important.  The story is written with real maturity and avoids the stereotypes and cliches that often bog-down stories involving gay characters.  It's a perfect example of the real range of stories that RPGs, including Pathfinder, can tell--they don't have to be all about monsters and treasure.

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