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The Side Quest Row Series

A Rival Most Vial: Coming Out in 2023

When Eli Valenz opens a potion shop across the street from Ambrose Beake’s vastly superior potion shop, Ambrose resolves to bear it with grace. He’ll stay calm, have faith in his wares, and maintain a professional distance from the obnoxious new owner. 

Several weeks later, they nearly come to blows in the middle of the street.

The close-knit merchant community is a flurry of gossip and concern, urging the rival potioneers to resolve their differences. But just as the two men agree never to speak to each other again, the mayor forces their doors back open.

He commissions them to brew a potion together.

A Rival Most Vial is a cozy fantasy, rivals-to-lovers romance in the vein of Legends and Lattes.

Meet the Characters

Ambrose Beake

Ambrose Beake, CPM

Certified Potion Master and sole owner of The Griffin’s Claw Potions and Tinctures. You won’t find more advanced potions this side of the Deepriver.

(And POV #1 of our dual POV!)


Without fail, Ambrose is up at dawn. By the time the weak blue sunrise has turned golden in the shop, he’s dusted every bottle, checked every expiration date, and refreshed his security spells over the front window. He could do this in his sleep if he needed to—his old master had made sure of it during his apprenticeship—but he’s wide awake every time. He enjoys this. The simple routine, the safety in knowing everything is in its place. 

When his customers arrive, he’ll be standing at his usual station. Behind the counter, spine straight, long hands neatly folded on the polished wood. Ice-blue eyes not welcoming, yet not repelling, either. He’ll answer every question of theirs in a soft voice, his words just as precisely measured as his potions. No one ever doubts his answers.


Eli Valenz

Eli Valenz

New owner of the old gardening shop, now renovated as Eli’s Elixirs. Grand opening coming soon!

(And POV #2 of our dual POV!)


Eli hates mornings. By the time he’s opened his eyes, the sun’s streaming in, the street’s bustling, and he’s got half a minute to stuff food into his face and unlock the shop.

Most mornings, he skids down the stairs with some fruit sticking out of his mouth and one arm jutting partway through his sleeve. He gives the potion expiration dates a once-over—not like he needs to check, he remembers what’s where and when—then flicks the lock on the shop door and slides behind the counter.

The customers come in not a minute after, and he greets them with a wide smile. How are they? What are they looking for? Are they interested in any potion chasers today? He’s got a new flavor that works great after those particularly nasty healing draughts.

As the customers cycle through, trading questions for purchases and gossip, Eli tells himself this is a good life. He’s finally got things handled. Money coming in. He could do this for a while.

The stone walls always feel a little bit tighter when he tells himself that.


Dawn Kerighin

Dawn Kerighin

Sole owner of The Whirling Wand Emporium at the corner of Rosemond and High Vine. Always taking new commissions!


Dawn feels lucky that her apartment faces the morning sun. At least, that’s what she tells herself after a late night at the tavern. Lucky. That’s it.

She spends the early hours shrugging on her bangles and arranging her hair. She organized the shop last night, like she always does. Makes the mornings more peaceful. 

Her morning luck might feel forced, but her pride in her wares is genuine. Her bracelets clink softly as she sips coffee with one hand and dusts the wands with the other. Some of the more volatile wands spark as she brushes over their enchanted glass cases. She smiles at them and keeps going.

Most of her customers already know what they’re looking for when they arrive—many of them are long-time regulars. But the new ones? The ones who wander? Those are her favorite. They’ll listen to her ramble, answer questions about what they need—then leave with the perfect wand. Another regular in the making.

When the shop is quiet, she’ll just smile at it from behind the counter. All the wood and gems and twisted metal and sunlight. She feels lucky, she really does.


For more art, check out the Artwork page!

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