The Strange Fellows of Fenhork: On the Run is a dark comedy fantasy adventure in 90,000 words that marries the wry humor of Discworld with the conspiratorial politics of The Princess Bride, then puts them through an eldritch filter.
It begins several weeks after Jack Orion has fled the capital. He is hiding out in Fenhork, a small pirate haven, and he's taken up drinking to drown the ghost of the man he has killed. He’s anxious — forever looking over his shoulder, now — but he wasn’t always this way.
Even just a few weeks ago, he was happy. In love. A renowned minstrel to the court of King Pepin Gauss. And while Jack is a capable fiddler, he’s mostly known for his words. You see, Jack is, and has always been, good with words. It isn’t that he’s good with words in the sense that he’s articulate, which he is, or clever, which he also is. Jack is good with words as a fundamental magic of the universe — a classic fantasy bard. He can weave magic into poems and songs to enthrall his audiences, including the King. He considers himself a success; a performer of upstanding character and moral fiber. And he’s fallen in love with one of the court’s ladies-in-waiting.
But when she was driven to take her own life by one of Jack’s closest friends, he committed a crime of passion: murder. Changed forever, his life became a life on the run, hiding out as far away as possible from the King's court and the capital city.
Now he is in Fenhork, scraping to get by. He pays for his drinks, and the bed he rents above the bar, by stringing together odd jobs and performances — still a bard, but barely. Despite his past sins, he still looks down on his new company, the town’s denizens of smugglers and cutthroats. That is, until a job he can’t refuse thrusts him into working with a pirate crew. And while these pirates are not above looting, extortion, and even killing, their feats of loyalty and bravery culminate in a decision Jack must make: serve this crew as a lifelong pirate, or risk the stockades.
The Strange Fellows of Fenhork sits on the shelf next to Eames' The Band series and the McElroys' The Adventure Zone graphic novels — twists on the classic fantasy formula whose characters are so relatable, they might have been played by your friends in your home role-playing game. Full of dry humor, it takes comedic inspiration from Goldman's The Princess Bride and Prachett's Discworld. And its magic and pulp violence flirt with the eldritch overtones of Gaiman's Sandman.
Dark comedy fantasy. New adult audience. 90,000 words.
On the Run - Sample.pdf
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