Matthew Graybosch
a cynical idealist, sf author, and full-stack developer

Without Bloodshed

“All who threaten me die.”

These words made Morgan Stormrider’s reputation as one of the Phoenix Society’s deadliest IRD officers. He served with distinction as the Society’s avenger, and specialized in hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan wants to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends and his music.

Despite his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider. A dictator’s public accusations made Morgan a liability to his organization. He must put everything aside, make his way to Boston, and put down Alexander Liebenthal’s coup while taking him alive to prove he is not the Society’s assassin.

Despite the gravity of his task, Morgan cannot put aside his ex-girlfriend’s murder, or efforts to frame him and his closest friends for the crime. He cannot ignore a request from a trusted friend to investigate the theft of designs for a weapon before which even gods stand defenseless. He cannot disregard the corruption implied in the Phoenix Society’s willingness to make him a scapegoat should he fail to resolve the crisis in Boston without bloodshed.

However, the words with which he forged his reputation haunt him still.


Want a taste before you buy? Check out the following excerpts.

“Devil in a Black Dress”, Part 1
In this excerpt from Chapter 9 of Without Bloodshed, the sorceress Ashtoreth devises a test of Morgan and Naomi’s mental fortitude and gets unexpected results.

“Hammer to Fall, Part 3”
In this excerpt from Chapter 15 of Without Bloodshed, gun-runner turned whistle-blowing dictator Alexander Liebenthal learns discovers that the devil-killer rifles he’s been selling live up to their name.

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Author’s Notes

This novel arose from my first attempts in 2011 and 2012 to rewrite my original Starbreaker novel and get a publishable work out of it. It was supposed to be part one of a wider series published by Curiosity Quills Press, but that didn’t work out and the rights to the novel have reverted to me.

Instead of writing a sequel, I got side-tracked on a supporting character’s origin story. Then other things got in the way, and as a result this novel turned out to be akin to an old album called Phantom’s Divine Comedy - Part 1 – neither ever got a “part two”.