Gods in the Lianreida is a short story taken from Shadow’s Fall, the third novel in the Shadow series. It is currently available as a chapter in that novel or a stand-alone story, but will be eventually incorporated in An Anthology of Gods and Older Magic, and the collection, Short Stories and Poetry from 2013.
When Larias, god of problem-solving and secrets, flies over the forbidden lands of the elves, he only hopes to discover what force is powerful enough to breach the elven magic protecting the forest. What he finds, instead, is a battle in which he is compelled to intervene, but, regardless of intent, when gods meddle in the realms of other gods, there is always a price to pay.Gods in the Lianreida is available from Smashwords, Amazon-Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and CreateSpace.
First Pages: Gods in the Lianreida
It hadn't been a cataclysmic event in the realm of the gods, unheard of yes, and a matter of urgency, but not yet a cataclysm. The enemy had grown strong enough that a Messenger, one of the gods' untouchable servants, had been injured protecting Aravare, chief of the gods of man.
Now, Larias, problem solver and finder of secrets, flew the heavens in a chariot of his own invention seeking a cure. He did not begrudge the need to fly over the realm known to elves as the Lianreida, and to men as the Forbidden Lands. There was something he needed to see.
He wheeled the chariot over the forest, searching for some sign of the battle that had begun near the time Aravare had been attacked. Senar’s Watch, Larias recalled, had been established a hundred and fifty years ago when the men of Thargood had first intruded into the forest. It had been designated the farthest point the elves would allow men to walk—and still allow them to live.
Larias turned the chariot further to the east. Senar’s Watch would be close now. He could see the vague shimmer of light signifying the protection of elven magic over the portion of the Lianreida that they reserved for themselves. Larias frowned, wondering.
What could have been powerful enough to break through even the edge of that magic? He shook his head, annoyed at himself. It wasn't as if he had to ask. There could be no other explanation but Beauwallin or his minions—that he had divined for himself.
A sudden geyser of smoke and flame gouted out of the forest canopy ahead, and Larias dipped the chariot into the cover of the trees. He had no wish to be seen by mortals—even those as long-lived as the elves. He bent his magic to his need, and knew the chariot was cloaked. A brief feeling of relief washed through him; he had no desire for his latest creation to be destroyed before he had been able to give it life.
Larias landed at what he guessed was a couple of miles from the smoke and flame, dropping below the canopy, before a flight of grey-winged griffins burst from the trees over the elven fort. These griffins carried riders wearing a motley of dull-colored clothes. Occasionally the sun reflected softly from the dirty metal of a helm or corselet long uncleaned.Had Larias not been ensuring his chariot was hidden, he would have seen a second flight of griffins follow the first. These were gold in color and the helms of their riders gleamed brightly in the afternoon sun. They wheeled after the first flight in a perfectly disciplined formation, before their riders rose in the stirrups of their saddles and flung a hail of long-shafted arrows after their dark-winged prey. The sunlight glistened momentarily off the arrowheads, but the missiles could not reach the fleeing griffins and the arrows fell harmlessly into the trees below.
END FIRST PAGE
If you want to read more, Gods in the Lianreida is available from Smashwords, Amazon-Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and CreateSpace.