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Making Waves: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

Making Waves: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

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Deep sapphire, flecked with silver. Iarion’s eyes mark him from any elf ever born.

A strange, physical anomaly? Or a sign of his unique condition? Even after thousands of years spent wandering the lands of Lasniniar, the answer continues to elude him.

...Now Iarion’s eyes sweep the harbor of the Sea Elves in the hopes that his ship might finally come in.

In the Legends of Lasniniar fantasy series, this stand-alone story explores an adventure from Iarion’s deep past, before he becomes a hero of legend. (Previously published as “Legends of Lasniniar: Making Waves.” This adventure takes place between the World of Lasniniar novels Kinslayer and Soul Seeker.)

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Iarion stood on the pier as he had every morning for the past few weeks, his face turned toward the rolling waves of the ocean. A salt-scented breeze caught at his long, silver braids, setting them dancing around his shoulders. The breeze carried a dampness with it that misted his dusky skin. He ignored all this to strain his eyes toward the north-eastern horizon—the direction of Rasdaria.

He wasn’t alone, of course. Just like every other morning since the beginning of his vigil, it seemed that every elf living in the Forest of the Sea had turned up to crowd around him, each jockeying for their own position until the tension was palpable. A few spoke to one another in Elvish in hushed voices. The only other sound was the pounding of the surf against the beach. The Sea Elves’ forest loomed behind them—a host of ancient trees that seemed to stand a vigil of their own.

Is there any point in watching today?

Iarion asked himself this question every morning he had come to stand on the pier. Part of him was afraid that if he didn’t show up, this would be the one morning when his patience might be rewarded. And so, he found himself staring out at the ocean, seemingly like every other elf around him, even though he was nothing of the kind.

Yes, he had the same dark skin and pointed ears, and many of the Sea Elves had silver hair instead of white. Even the bow slung over his shoulder and the long hunting knife at his waist didn’t mark him as unusual.

It was his eyes that gave him away.

True, blue eyes were common among the Rasadar—the Sea Elves. Often they were a blue-green mix that hearkened to the colors of the sea.

Iarion’s eyes were a deep sapphire, flecked with silver.

In all the thousands of years that he had spent wandering the lands of Lasniniar, he had yet to find another elf of any tribe who had eyes like his. Whether they were simply an anomaly, or a mark of his unique condition, he had no idea.

He shaded them now against the shimmer of the morning sun on the dancing waves. His brow furrowed. Was there something on the horizon?

“It’s been weeks now, and not so much as a response to one of our gull messengers,” an elf woman standing nearby was grumbling. “What can possibly be happening on Rasdaria?”

“If only we had a ship to send, but the one in the shipyard isn’t anywhere near finished,” another woman said in response. “They’ve been working from sunrise to sunset every day, but it’s going to be weeks before it’s seaworthy.”

“How can they not have sent someone by now?” a male voice demanded. “They must need supplies… I’ve had my shipment of fabrics ready for almost a week! Commissioned by the lord and lady themselves, and no sign of payment.”

Iarion ignored the inane chatter. It was the same as it had been every morning. Weeks had gone by, and no word or ship had been sent from the isolated island where the Lord and Lady of the Rasadar made their home, along with the Learnéd One of Water, Feoras. A hot surge of disappointment filled the pit of his stomach.

He had hoped when he had sought out the Sea Elves that they might be able to help him with his problem. His own people—the Wood Elves—had no knowledge that was useful, and neither did the Earth Elves, who made their home in the caves adjoining the same forest. Iarion hadn’t found answers anywhere else in Middle Lasniniar either, so he had made the journey north to the Rasadar to discover whether there might be anything to be learned there.

Despite being a single tribe, the Sea Elves were divided into two groups—those who made their homes in the treetops of the Forest of the Sea, and the few who lived on the isle of Rasdaria.

Iarion didn’t know what those on the island were like, but the mainland elves were fiercely private, and wanted little to do with the Wood Elf that had shown up at the border of their forest. Since he was still a fellow elf, they had no grounds to turn him away as they would a human or a dwarf, but they hadn’t exactly made him feel welcome. It had taken him ages to winnow his way through the eldest and most knowledgeable living in the forest to determine they had no information that might help him.

But Feoras might.

Or perhaps even the lord and lady… But all three of them were on Rasdaria and beyond his reach, for reasons no one was able to explain.

And so he waited every morning on the pier, hoping like everyone else to see sails on the horizon.

Sails…

He blinked. Yes, there was something out on the waves! He held his breath, half-afraid it might disappear.

“Is that…?” The fabric merchant craned his neck beside him. He fumbled for something at his waist. A glint of metal caught Iarion’s eye.

The fabric merchant extended a segmented, bronze tube with a glass lens—a rare distance viewer imported from the Earth Elves. He pressed the narrow end to his eye, his long, white hair blowing around his face as the wind billowed his brightly-colored silk tunic and breeches.

“It is!” the fabric merchant crowed. “It’s not Eranbalas’s ship, but it’s flying the standard of Mar Ras.”

“How do you know it’s not Eranbalas?” Iarion asked before he could think better of it. He had heard the name of the captain of the Sea Elf fleet enough times since his arrival to recognize it.

The fabric merchant snorted. “The captain’s sails have gold-edged borders. Everyone knows that.”

He lowered the distance viewer to look at Iarion in askance. His eyes widened as they met Iarion’s before narrowing. “You are no Rasadain.”

Iarion bobbed his head in acknowledgment, as if the other elf had not meant the words as an insult. “I am Iarion of Melaralva. I have come here seeking the wisdom of the Rasadar. I hope to gain passage to see Feoras and your lord and lady.”

The fabric merchant shook his head. “Assuming they have room in the hold with all the supplies they’ll be bringing back… You speak fair enough for a land elf, but only Rasadar have ever set foot on the island. I doubt they’ll make an exception for you.” His nose twitched, as if he was trying not to wrinkle it.

Iarion’s lips twitched. “What about Feoras?” His voice was mild.

The fabric merchant waved him off. “Feoras is different. He is practically one of us. He even comes from Rasadar stock.” He puffed out his chest, as if this were some kind of personal accomplishment.

“And the Daranadar who helped to build Mar Ras?” Iarion cocked an eyebrow. He had never seen the Sea Elves’ famed island tower, but it was common knowledge that the Earth Elves had helped with the construction.

The fabric merchant frowned. “Yes, well. That was a long time ago. Now, if you don’t mind, I have a shipment to prepare.” He shouldered his way past with a sniff of disdain.

Iarion suppressed a chuckle. “But we were getting along so well…” he called after him in a mocking voice. The other elf ignored him, but he earned some odd looks from the rest of the crowd around him.

Iarion didn’t care. Finally, a ship was on its way.

All he had to do was convince the captain to take him to Rasdaria.

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