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The Midnight Isles

In every Pathfinder Adventure Path featuring devils or demons there comes a moment when the party, which is always presumed to be essentially good and heroic, must ally with an evil ally to defeat something more (or differently) evil. At this moment it is decreed that the writer will tie themselves into knots to try and justify this railroading.

At least in this issue a NPC gives the PCs a magical trinket which warns them when they are making bad-good deals and when they are making bad-bad deals.

Whatever, Pathfinder has already published justifications of rail-roading and their better authors don't do it. This isn't one of their better offerings in term of plot lines and ironically there is no need to railroad here, the main NPC that they are meant to ally with would help them whether they seek her aid or not.

The plot is quite interesting with the PCs doing a dungeon raid to close a portal and prove that they have found a reliable way of doing so. If they are successful the possibility of closing the Worldwound is opened up so these are good epic stakes on offer, in keeping with the mythic nature of the Adventure Path.

The PCs must conduct their part of the ritual on the other side of the portal and then venture on to stop production of the magical elixirs and devices that have caused such grief during the Adventure Path. Their means of doing so is of course to murder everyone, hey its alright, their demons after all right?

The opportunity to rescue the paladin Yaniel is a nice side-quest and the anti-paladin Graveknight Kestoglyr Mantiel is very spooky with some nice backstory.

There is some nice foreshadowing with the manifestation of Baphomet at the end of the scenario but then it all gets wrapped up with a bit of deus ex machina anyway.

The setting and some of the NPCs are good but the central plot as conceived is very pedestrian with an ending that is ultimately disempowering and dull.

There's a lot excellent interior art in this issue and one artist who is providing the opening and closing images in on fire. There doesn't seem to be any easy crediting but I think its Diego de Almeida, whoever it is there is some serious atmosphere in the illustrations.