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Shipwrecked: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

Shipwrecked: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

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Feoandir fights to maintain control of his ship in the midst of a magical maelstrom. The lives of his fellow elf passengers and crew depend on him—a mishmash of the various tribes flung together under dire circumstances.

Striking and opinionated, Silvariel suffers no fools. She knows someone must take charge to keep the elves united. Someone willing to listen to her advice and ready to take the blame if things go from bad to worse. Feoandir seems like the perfect choice.

...If she can convince him to take responsibility for more than his battered ship.

A stand-alone, meet-cute story from the elves’ past, “Shipwrecked” explores the origins of the Lost Elves in the Legends of Lasniniar fantasy series. (Previously published as “Legends of Lasniniar: Shipwrecked.” This adventure takes place toward the end of the World of Lasniniar novel Light Chasers.)

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Feoandir gripped the ship’s wheel with both hands until his knuckles ached. He knew it was a futile gesture. The rudder had snapped at least an hour ago, leaving them completely at the mercy of wind and wave. Now he clung to the sodden wood in an effort to remain upright as the deck bucked beneath him. A storm of epic proportions raged all around him. Gusts of wind slammed into him from different angles, and rain pelted against his skin.

The almost constant crackle and boom of thunder made it nearly impossible to communicate with the rest of the crew. His throat was ragged and sore from trying to shout over it. Instead, he and the other elves who manned the ship were forced to use rapid hand gestures to communicate during the frequent flashes of lightning that lit up the dark sky.

The rest of the fleet was a mere smudge in the darkness ahead of them. He had lost track of how much time had passed since all the ships’ lanterns had gone out. He lost sight of the other ships for a moment as his own vessel plunged between two enormous waves. As it rose again, he noticed the fleet was dwindling from sight, veering toward the northwest. He shouted a curse of frustration at his own impotence. He could do nothing to change course and follow them. Perhaps if the storm hadn’t forced him to drop sail, he could have compensated for his lost rudder... He contemplated the tightly furled sheets of sailcloth.

Using them now would be suicide.

Even with the sails bound, the ship’s mast swayed in the tempest wind. A prickle of warning traveled down Feoandir’s spine. A deafening crack of thunder sounded directly overhead.

Less than an eyeblink later, a bolt of lightning sizzled down from the heavens, blasting the mast. Startled elves flew backward, disappearing over the side to be swallowed by the waves. Feoandir could do nothing but watch in helpless horror as splinters of scorched wood struck him. The air around him tingled his nostrils with a metallic tang.

His shocked gaze was drawn southward by a flicker of movement on the horizon. Another lightning bolt lit up the churning sky, haloing a large figure in the clouds and burning it across his vision during the split second it appeared. Even after the darkness returned, he could see the silhouette shimmering behind his eyelids.

It took him a few moments to make sense of the image, but the bat-like wings and serpentine neck and tail left little doubt. He had seen a dragon.

Why was a dragon flying to the south of them? All the elves’ dragon allies making the journey were flying in formation with the rest of the fleet. Feoandir had seen them himself. He had spotted Malarin joining them with Iadrawyn and Valanandir atop her back some time ago. Even with the high winds, there was no way any dragons had managed to veer so far off course. Yet he could not doubt what he had seen.

He was distracted from his thoughts by another giant wave that slammed into the ship’s side, rolling it sideways. Feoandir’s feet slipped out from under him and he dangled freely from the ship’s wheel, his heart in his throat. His fingers ached and his shoulders strained. For a moment, time stood still. How long could he hold on?

Screams punctured the endless cacophony of the storm. They were cut short as elves tumbled from the deck into the roiling sea. Just when Feoandir thought his arms were going to give out, the ship righted itself. He stumbled and landed hard on his knees. He knelt against the ship’s wheel for several moments, his breath coming in ragged gasps. He eventually rose on shaky legs to grip the wheel once more.

How long he clung there, he could not say. Time lost all meaning in the storm. After a while, his mind seemed to wander in an effort to flee the terror around him and he stood locked in place in a numb stupor.

A bone-jarring blow against the ship’s hull brought him back to his senses. A horrible scraping sound was immediately followed by a series of dull cracks. Feoandir forced himself to move from his perch to investigate. He used the rigging to secure himself as he swung from one grip to the next toward the foredeck. He realized the ship was starting to tilt on a downward angle as he went, confirming his worst fears.

When he reached the foredeck, he found his remaining crewmates peering over the side. He slid over to join them and suppressed a groan.

The hull had been breached. The ship had struck some uncharted reef and now water was rushing in. Feoandir peered out into the darkness. With the damp of the storm, it was difficult to tell, but he thought he smelled something beyond the salt tang of the sea. He was afraid to give in to false hope, but it seemed like the earthen scent of land. Had they reached the western continent?

The ship groaned and tilted further, sending the elves scrambling for purchase. If they stayed, it would be the end of them.

“Abandon ship!” Feoandir shouted over the storm.

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