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Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver

From PathfinderWiki
Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver
Cover Image
Book - Short Fiction
April–May 2011
August 2011

"Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver", a Pathfinder Tales web fiction story by Paizo publisher Erik Mona, was serialized in April and May of 2011 and released as an eBook in August 2011.

Roguish swordsman Korm and his cyclops companion Aebos are no strangers to death, yet neither would have expected that starvation on the high seas would be the foe to eventually lay them low. When a beautiful spellcaster in a magical ship arrives just in time to save them from being roasted alive by mutinous sailors, it seems like their luck may finally be turning around—yet are they jumping from the frying pan into the fire? For there's more to both woman and ship than meets the eye, and in exchange for their salvation, the pair may be forced to use both wits and steel against an enemy of ancient legend, to whom time is no barrier...


  1. On a Stillswept Sea - April 20, 2011 - link
  2. Breaking Fast - April 27, 2011 - link
  3. Beyond the Demon Lens - May 4, 2011 - link
  4. Across the Plain of Pools - May 11, 2011 - link
  5. Home Fires Burn - May 18, 2011 - link


For an alphabetical listing of all the relevant terms in this story, please visit its Index.

Author's discussion

Fiction and RPGs are different things, of course, and I needed to write a story that worked on its own without all of the complicated background I'd invented to challenge my players. So I set the Spire of Nex aside and began working on that simpler story, which I called "Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver." The story introduces my old Spire of Nex protagonists, the cunning swordsman Korm Calladan and his cyclops companion, Aebos. It also ties in other bits of continuity minutia I slipped into my Pathfinder work as early as Pathfinder Adventure Path #1. And, of course, Nex himself is also involved, just to bring everything full circle.
— Erik Mona, discussing his web fiction story1

Paizo fiction editor's discussion

One of the questions I get asked most often about Pathfinder Tales is: "When are we going to see some fiction from the Paizo staffers?" While there can be no question that our other Pathfinder Tales authors have done a bang-up job so far, many folks are eager to see stories that come directly from the source, the products of the same vibrant (and sometimes twisted) imaginations that gave the campaign setting life in the first place.

It's a curiosity we understand quite well—after all, we published four of Gary Gygax's novels for the exact same reason. Yet the sad truth about working at a game company is that you don't have nearly as much time to write as some of the freelancers you hire. The job is already more than a normal nine-to-five, and even those few hours you scrape out to write aren't always yours to write what you please. Maybe a freelancer crashes and burns, and suddenly you need to come up with half a book. Maybe there's a product on the schedule that only you can write, because only you know the subject matter in enough detail (a frequent occurrence, when your world is as new as ours). There are a million reasons why a staff member might not have the capacity to write fiction.

Erik Mona knows this better than anyone. Since we launched Pathfinder Tales, Erik has had a couple of characters knocking around in his head, begging to become the heroes of a short story. Yet no matter how often he described them to me, or how much loving detail he put into his outline, it seemed that something always came up to keep him from writing the story. Maybe there was even a touch of stage fright there, too—despite having written or worked on enough game books to build a fort in his office, he hadn't written fiction in a decade. As the editor of the line, I was confident he could turn over something great, but it seemed that one emergency after another kept delaying his story. So after about a year of waiting, I did the only thing I could.

I made an emergency.

True to form, when Erik heard that there was a hole in my web fiction schedule that no one else could possibly fill in time, he stepped right up and wrote that story he'd been thinking about for so long. The result is "Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver," a new five-part story that begins this week, and I couldn't be happier. It's got sword fights. It's got cannibalism. It's got a cyclops. It's got a wisecracking swordsman with a Lemmy-style trucker mustache.

Most importantly, it's got Golarion, in a way only Erik could write. There are dealings with Nex—a nation Erik invented. There's information regarding Durvin Gest—from the only person who knows his secret history. There's—well, I don't want to spoil any more. But this is a Pathfinder story from start to finish, and we're proud to have it.

Of course, Erik doesn't have time to read this blog post, as he's been locked in his usual slew of meetings all day, and probably will be until late into the night. But I'm sure that, through the conference room door, he can sense our approval.
— James L. Sutter, discussing the genesis of the web fiction story2<


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona. (April 27th, 2011). The Nex Step, Paizo Blog.
  2. James L. Sutter. (April 20th, 2011). You Asked For It!, Paizo Blog.