The Quintessence of Absence
Can a drug-addicted sorcerer sober up long enough to save a kidnapped girl and his own Duchy?
In an alternate 18th century Germany where magic is real and paganism never died, Lothar is in the bonds of nepenthe, a powerful drug that gives him ecstatic visions. It has also taken his job, his friends, and his self-respect. Now his old employer has rehired Lothar to find the man's daughter, who is in the grip of her own addiction to nepenthe.
As Lothar digs deeper into the girl's disappearance, he uncovers a plot that threatens the entire Duchy of Anhalt, and finds the only way to stop it is to face his own weakness.