Words and Character Art for a Fantasy Adventure Story.

This site contains text and images for Aether Torrent: an action-adventure fantasy novel of 108,000 words, currently in the process of beta reading. The story's themes include found-family, capitalism, religion, and millennial malaise -- as played out through magic, monsters, and adventure.

I started writing Aether Torrent in May of 2007 simply for the amusement of myself and my friends. Eleven years of refinement and half a million words across various versions later, here we are.

So, what's the story about?

Tori, an atheist who makes a living by stealing treasures and working retail, wants to turn her black-market boss's ill-gotten treasures into a legitimate, life-affirming museum. Avani, a devoutly religious fugitive blamed for her temple's violence, wants to evangelize safely distant from the influence of her temple's zealots. The girls' paths cross, and they help each other fight their way out of their respective bad situations. Tori then claims to have a distant contact -- the identity of whom she keeps to herself -- who can grant both of their wishes.

Over five days and nights, Tori and Avani travel between city-states and wilderness. They are joined by Cirrus, a flying, shape-shifting tiger woman who once hunted Avani but had a change of heart. The party battles other monsters and helps other people on their brief journey. All the while, they race time; if they take too long, more of Avani's pursuers will find them, and Tori's "museum" treasures will disappear before the world can appreciate them like she does.

Magic exists in their world as a natural force. Ordinary people wielding the proper tools can draw out elements of the omnipresent aether and use them to supplement the world's early-20th-century technology. Those who do so frequently are called elementalists.

Recent Updates

1 July 2018: After constructive rejection, the work continues! Additional updates will come as events warrant, such as with new commissions. Luckily, there's one to show: a portrait of Avani by longtime friend Maqqy!

1 June 2018: Aether Torrent is now in a good enough shape to seek agent representation for publishing. In celebration, here's a commission of Avani from the esteemed GhostGreen, and an absolutely outstanding group image of our heroes from Lalou! Also, though it breaks my heart to do it, I've removed all the illustrations of characters not appearing in Book 1, so as not to confuse newcomers. The imagery will return someday, I'm sure.

1 May 2018: Happy May! Work progresses. That is all.

1 April 2018: While the beta is being beta-read, enjoy this image of the protagonists by AnushBanush!

Thanks for reading, and please look forward to future developments!

2007-2018 Jack Duffe, all rights reserved. (Site code designed by Emry Harris. Side images by Marianne Lauzon.)