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A New Kind of Magic: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

A New Kind of Magic: A Legends of Lasniniar Short

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Paige trudges along the Great North Road and does her best to ignore her misery. An autumn rain pelts her face and soaks her to the skin.

A lone dwarf woman wandering Northern Lasniniar in search of adventure. A part of her wishes she never left her warm, comfortable burrow with Barlo.

But Paige knows she needs to find her own way in the world if she wants to become something more.

...A hero in her own right.

A stand-alone story that opens a door to new possibilities in the Legends of Lasniniar fantasy series. (Previously published as “Legends of Lasniniar: A New Kind of Magic.” This adventure takes place between the World of Lasniniar novels Wave Runners and Godmaker.)


Paige trudged along the Great North Road, doing her best to ignore her misery. The skies were completely clouded over, and a steady rain had been falling since sunrise, soaking her to the skin. Her blond braids dripped over her shoulders like a pair of soggy tails, and her fingertips resembled shriveled prunes. She had long since given up trying to keep the hood of her cloak raised. She couldn’t take more than a few jingling strides without a gust of chill wind blowing it back from her face.

Ugh. It’s going to take days to get the rust out of my chain mail...

This was not the grand adventure she had imagined. She tried not to think too hard about the comfortable burrow she had left behind on the outskirts of Melaquenya. A memory of Barlo came to her unbidden. She saw him sitting on the grass outside their home, sipping a hot cider with Iarion, basking in the warmth of the Quenya.

Barlo would always be a hero to her for saving her from a life of slavery and helping her kill Lord Waterbrook, her former master. Actually, the brave, crusty dwarf was more than that. Over the years Barlo had become a surrogate for the family Paige had never known. Leaving him to strike off on her own was perhaps the hardest thing she had ever done. But she knew Barlo’s place was with Iarion. He and the elf were bound by a friendship that spanned multiple incarnations. It wouldn’t have been fair to expect Barlo to traipse after her as she wandered Lasniniar in search of excitement, and unlike most other dwarves, she was too restless and curious to want to settle down. She knew the time had finally come for her to find her own way in the world, instead of being Barlo’s tag-along.

And here I am in glamorous Northern Lasniniar, slogging through a week’s worth of rainstorms. What was I thinking?

She didn’t even know exactly what she was looking for. She was traveling the lands, hoping to find someone to help, or maybe even a pack of ogres to slay. But Lasniniar was at peace, which was largely thanks to the actions of Barlo and Iarion, who had stood time and again against those who would subjugate the Free Races. Paige had helped on their most recent adventure, which had brought them face to face with Saviadro, who had managed to breach the veil separating the land of the living and the realm of the dead to return as a self-made god. That particular escapade had only solidified Paige’s determination to follow in Barlo’s footsteps. She had already traveled across Middle Lasniniar, visiting both Dwarfhaven and Belierumar along the way, but no one seemed to have any problems for her to solve, and most of the dark creatures had gone into hiding.

She had continued north at a leisurely pace, and now the Barrier Mountains lay far behind her. Nal Huraseadro held nothing of interest, so she had decided to move on to Nal Nungalid. She did not want to wish anyone ill, but part of her couldn’t help but hope the human city’s proximity to the lands formerly held by Saviadro and his minions might hold something of interest.

At this point, I’d settle for just about anything—as long as it gets me out of this blasted rain. I feel as if I’ll never be dry again...

She forded the Silvershroud River, hardly noticing the swirling water around her booted feet. The hissing rain spattered the surface of Sky Lake to her left in a staccato beat. She saw flickering lights in the distance and forced her short legs to move faster toward the promise of shelter. Night was falling—although it was difficult to tell in the constant gloom. The city was unwalled, and the guards let her pass after only a few brief questions, eager to return to the comfort of their hut near the road. They were used to seeing dwarves with Dwarfwatch so close by, and a female dwarf traveling alone from the south was hardly a threat to the city. One of the guards paused before entering the hut, squinting back at her through the downpour from over a crooked nose.

“If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Dancing Dog is a decent inn,” he said. “The prices are fair too. It’s right on the main road, three blocks west of here. Just tell Vesta I sent you.”

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