Monday, May 15, 2017
I'm a huge fan of James Sutter's work after reading the City of Strangers (Kaer Maga) sourcebook, so I was looking forward to reading Faithful Servants, his free four-part series of web fiction (available here). I wasn't disappointed, as I was instantly thrust into a harder edged, darker part of the Pathfinder mythos than usual. Faithful Servants starts with a scene set on another plane of existence (Axis), and it really seems like an alien place. Not knowing a lot about the cosmology of the Golarion campaign setting, there were some elements I just didn't understand. But, it's good to be challenged and I stuck with it and enjoyed the tale overall. A major character from the story apparently appears in Sutter's novel, Death's Heretic, so this would be a good one to read before that. I should also make mention of the artwork, which is a cut above what usually accompanies these stories.
The main character in Faithful Servants is a worshipper of Pharasma named Salim. In a bar on the lawful plane of Axis, Salim is approached with a curious request for aid: the eidolon of a powerful summoner on the mortal plane wants Salim to intervene because the summoner has unwittingly donned a cursed artifact and has turned towards evil necromancy! This was the first time in Pathfinder fiction I've seen a depiction of the bond between an eidolon and a summoner, and I really appreciated the angle here that Sutter took (even if I'm still not a fan of the class). There's some interesting stuff about Salim's relationship with Pharasma and her servants that I didn't completely get on a first read-through, so this is one I'll have to revisit just before reading Death's Heretic. Anyway, if you like planes, curses, summoners, or necromancy, this might just be the story for you!