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Trial by Fire: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

Trial by Fire: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

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Fire sorcerer. Abduction victim.

Traitor.

The Learnéd One Lysandir bears many titles, given to him by the people of Lasniniar. But only a unique and resourceful elf named Iarion dares to call him by the most powerful title of all...

Friend.

Lysandir can only hope it proves enough to save him.

A stand-alone story of mystery and adventure from Iarion’s past in the Legends of Lasniniar fantasy series. (Previously published as “Legends of Lasniniar: Trial by Fire.” This adventure takes place between the World of Lasniniar novels Kinslayer and Soul Seeker.)

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Lysandir’s raw fingers probed the brick wall of his prison, desperately seeking the hidden latch he had created. Why couldn’t he find it? After countless years of living as a captive, he finally had his chance to escape... His heart hammered in his chest and blood seeped from beneath his fingernails as they continued their scrabbling search.

I don’t have much time! Saviadro will return soon.

As far as the Fallen One knew, Lysandir had become his willing guest and ally. His Forsworn Ones had kidnapped Lysandir from his home among the Light Elves when he was only a child, and Saviadro had raised him as his son. Lysandir had rebelled at first, hoping to hold out until the Light Elves sent a rescue party, but no one came—or at least no one survived to reach him. He eventually realized if he was going to escape, he would have to do it on his own.

Direct confrontation was out of the question. He and his brothers had been created to stand against Saviadro’s Forsworn, not Saviadro himself. Not for the first time, he berated himself for being fooled into entering the Forsworn Ones’ clutches, and for not being strong enough to stand against them. He was older now, and far more powerful, but he was in the heart of the enemy’s stronghold, where Saviadro’s power was strongest. Making an overt move against Saviadro or his minions here would be tantamount to a death wish.

And so he had waited—biding his time by appearing to be won over by Saviadro while plotting his escape. It had taken decades to create the secret tunnel that led outside Mar Valion. Opportunities to work on his escape project unobserved had been few and far between. Even when the tunnel was finally complete, he had to wait for a suitable distraction that would draw Saviadro and his Forsworn from their lair. Now the critical moment had arrived, and he couldn’t even find the trigger mechanism he had created! His stomach performed a nervous backflip.

Does Saviadro know? What if he found out about the tunnel and blocked it somehow? I’ve been so careful...

Lysandir continued to probe the wall with a growing sense of urgency. A bead of sweat slithered down his back beneath his robes. He tried to ignore his rising panic, but he heard a malicious chuckle approaching behind him, echoing off the tower walls as it drew near. He tore at the bricks now, ripping off a fingernail in the process. The latch continued to elude him.

“Looking for something?” an amused voice asked from behind him.

Lysandir whirled. Saviadro stood before him, orange eyes gleaming from beneath the shadows of his hooded robe. Lysandir’s mind raced, fumbling for a plausible excuse for his behavior and coming up short.

“You didn’t really think you could escape, did you?” Saviadro asked, shaking his head. “Lysandir, I know you better than you know yourself. I raised you. I did you a favor, you know. Your brothers are still stuck under Iadrawyn’s thumb. Is this how you repay me?”

Lysandir’s only memories of Iadrawyn were from his childhood, but none of them portrayed the Lady of the Light Elves as a tyrant. Still, Saviadro’s opinions of elves in general were hardly based on logic. His hatred had been forged long ago, before the elves had even made the journey from Ralvaniar to the shores of Lasniniar. Lysandir knew there was no reasoning with him, so he remained mute.

“You have nothing to say?” Saviadro’s eyes narrowed.

The air wavered, and a heavy despair descended, numbing Lysandir’s thoughts. He struggled against the outside force, even though he knew it was no use. After all these years together, Saviadro knew exactly how to subdue him.

“I’m sorry, Father-Khashad,” Lysandir gasped, folding under the pressure of Saviadro’s dark power while hating himself for being so weak. He hoped Saviadro’s favorite term of endearment would placate him.

“There will be no other attempts at escape,” Saviadro said in a stern voice. “From now on, you will be kept under guard at all times. I can only hope you will eventually come to see the opportunity I have granted you by keeping you at my side, and learn to be grateful for my generosity. Come. We have much to discuss.”

He turned and began to walk away, fully expecting Lysandir to follow. Lysandir considered attacking him, but another wave of despair hit him like a physical blow. He bowed his head in bitter defeat.

“Yes, Father-Khashad.”

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