A Discourse in Steel: A Tale of Egil and Nix is the second tale of these intriguing “heroes.” The first book, The Hammer and the Blade, introduced our world to Egil and Nix, and A Discourse in Steel makes their tale more epic. This time around, our erstwhile heroes having retired yet again, are wrapped up in a complex plot involving the most powerful thieves’ guild in town, two dear friends, and an ancient civilization. To solve their problems, they decide that kidnapping the leader of the thieves’ guild is a good idea, and high adventure ensues!
In the fantasy genre, turning forty is akin to a death sentence . . . well, it is young for a wizard or a sage, but for someone who aspired to be a knight, you might as well box them up and bury them deep. Angst wants to be remembered for his heroic deeds, not as an archivist working for the queen. Angst knows magic, which would be a good thing if magic wasn’t feared, regulated, and repressed. Just when Angst thinks he has hit bottom, he unexpectedly finds himself wielding an ancient intelligent sword in defense of one of his friends. The ability to wield this sword should make Angst a knight of the land, but instead it gets him involved in a complex plot by the queen designed to see him fail at every turn. In spite of the queen, her trusted advisors, and most importantly the odds, Angst sets out on this fool’s errand in search of adventure and glory and finds himself deeper in that “forty-year-old knight wannabe” hole than he ever could have dreamed. This is a formulaic book that somehow still manages to not feel conventional.
Eight years after the first intergalactic war, known as the Sol War, unemployment amongst veterans is rampant and that percentage is even higher for troops known as Specials. Specials are a breed of veterans with superhuman powers. Not knowing what to do with these “break open only in case of war” people, the government has chosen to restrict and disenfranchise them. These fallen gods among men sometimes take offense to that treatment and decide to operate outside of the law and societal norms. It is this deviant behavior that draws the attention of the government and forces them to establish a unit full of Specials to hunt down the deviant Specials who have gone off the reservation (for one of them, quite literally).
Part of the Popular Culture and Philosophy Series, Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom attempts to apply the cerebral and lofty concepts and theories of philosophy to an iconic roleplaying game. A review by David Gerding says that there is a chance that you’ll dig this book. I think he should have said that there is a 2d10 percent chance that you will like and understand all the concepts presented in this book. I have never formally studied philosophy and after reading this book, I know why. There is some real merit in philosophy and in this book, but it seems like you have to dig around to find those useful nuggets.
We just saw a couple of great reviews from Endzeitgeist over at Paizo.com, and wanted to wave them at you!
First, he calls Dark Roads & Golden Hells “One of the best planar sourcebooks ever made”.
As if that weren’t enough, he also deems Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds: A Dark Roads and Golden Hells Supplement “a stellar supplement at an unbeatable price”.
We’re big fans of fantastic adventures across the planes here, so it’s gratifying to see the wonderful reception that Dark Roads & Golden Hells and Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds have gotten. Want to see more like this? Let us know!