The priestess waited until the original bearer had his hands on the torch, before she removed hers, spreading her arms wide. Looking somewhere above the heads of the onlookers, she called out into the silence. Beakasi signaled for the girl to be brought forward. The flame is the blessing, and not life-ending. He reached for the saddle-bow and swung up into place, feeling as if he were trapped in a fever-dream. Children should live, and laugh, and play!
His hand was on his lance; his horse jerked its head up m astonishment at the tightening of his legs, then stepped forward. His lance swung down, into the attack position. Red-priestess Beakasi swung around in surprise. Her face mirrored that stunned surprise for a few moments, then suddenly began chanting in a high, frightened voice, words Clarrin could not understand. Her hands moved in intricate patterns, tracing figures in the air.
The priestess held up her hands, as if she could ward off the lance with a gesture. The long, leaf-shaped blade impaled one of those outstretched hands, nailing it to her chest as it struck her heart. She shrieked in anger, shock, and pain. The crossbar behind the blade slammed into her hand and chest. Clarrin took the impact in his arm, lifting her up off her feet for a moment, as he signaled his horse to halt.
He dropped the point of the lance, and the priestess' body slid off the blade, to lie across the altar. Clarrin leaned down as he wheeled his horse and started back down the stairs, sweeping the young girl into his arms without slowing. The horse plunged down the steps at the back of the altar, and they were away, the child clinging desperately to him.
Clarrin held her protectively to his chest, and urged his mount to greater speed. He heard horses behind him. Close, too close. He looked back, his lips twisting in a feral snarl, ready to fight for the child's life, as well as his own. His own personal guard and fifty of his lancers, those that had served with him the longest, were following.
Esda in the lead. Many had blood on their blades. Clarrin slowed just enough for the rest to catch up with him. Esda waved an iron-banded torch—just like the ones carried by the priests. As they galloped past a rain-swollen ditch, Esda tossed the torch into the water. Green-yellow smoke and steam billowed up hi a hissing roar as they passed the place, and a vaguely man-shaped form twisted and jerked in the heart of the smoke, as if it were on fire. Clarrin and Esda spat, and rode on, letting the evening breeze carry the smoke away in their wake. The pursuit, when it finally came in the wake of blame-casting and name-calling, was vicious.
Clarrin felt extremely lucky that they crossed into Rethwellan with twenty-six still alive. Or rather, twenty-seven. Twenty-six men, and one special little girl, who could now live, and laugh, and play in the warm morning sun. Without fear, and without threat. Fifteen days later, Clarrin crossed back into Karse, his men with him, all disguised as scholars. They quickly dispersed, each with provisions and a horse, and a series of uncomfortable questions. On her way there, she spent three years in the Canadian Naval Reserve and got a degree in Radio and Television Arts which the cat threw up on.
Although no members of her family are miners, "The Demon's Den" is the third story she's written about those who go underground, and mines have been mentioned in a number of her books. She has no idea where it's coming from, but decided not to fight it. The mine had obviously been abandoned for years. Not even dusk hid the broken timbers and the scree of rock that spilled out of the gaping black hole.
Jors squinted into the wind, trying and failing to see past the shadows. Are you sure it went in there? Maybe it'll be fine until morning. Jors clutched at the saddle and sighed. No one at the farmstead had known why the mountain cat had come down out of the heights—perhaps the deer it normally hunted had grown scarce; perhaps a more aggressive cat had driven it from its territory; perhaps it had grown lazy and decided sheep were less work. No one at the farmstead cared.
They'd tried to drive it off. Just my luck to be riding circuit up here in the Great White North. Jors swung out of the saddle and pulled his gloves off with his teeth. It's just been a long day and I should never have missed that shot. The cat had been easy to track. By late afternoon, they'd known they were close. At sunset, they spotted it outlined against a gray and glowering sky.
Jors had carefully aimed, carefully let fly, and watched in horror as the arrow thudded deep into a golden haunch. The cat had screamed and fled. They'd had no choice but to follow. The most direct route up to the mine was a treacherous path of loose shale. Jors slipped, slammed one knee into the ground, and somehow managed to catch himself before he slid all the way back to the bottom. Behind him, he could hear hooves scrabbling at the stone and he had to grin. Get back on solid ground before you do yourself some damage. Here I go into who-knows-what to face a wounded mountain cat, and he's worried that I've skinned my knee.
Shaking his head, he struggled the rest of the way to the mine entrance and then turned and waved down at the glimmering white shape below. I'm here. I'm fine. The cart tracks coming out of the mine bumped down a series of. If he squinted, he could easily make out Gevris sidestepping nervously back and forth, a glimmer of white amidst the evening shadows.
Jors chewed on his lip. He'd never heard his usually phlegmatic Companion sound so unsettled. A gust of wind blew cold rain in his face and he shivered. Go back under the trees so you don't get soaked. Storm probably has him a bit spooked and he doesn't want to admit it. The Herald sighed and wished he could go along with his Companion's sudden change of mind. I can't let it die slowly, in pain. I'm responsible for its death.
He felt reluctant agreement from below and, half wishing Gevris had continued to argue, turned to face the darkness. Setting his bow to one side, he pulled a small torch out of his pack, unwrapped the oilskin cover, and, in spite of wind and stiff fingers, got it lit. How am I supposed to hold a torch and aim a bow? This is ridiculous. But he'd missed his shot, and he couldn't let an animal, any animal, die in pain because of something he'd done. The tunnel slopped gently back into the hillside, the shadows becoming more impenetrable the farther from the entrance he went.
He stepped over a fallen beam and a pile of rock, worked his way around a crazily angled corner, saw a smear of blood glistening in the torchlight, and went on. His heart beat so loudly he doubted he'd be able to hear the cat if it should turn and attack. A low shadow caught his eye and against his better judgment, he bent to study it.
An earlier rockfall had. In the dim, flickering light he couldn't tell how far down it went, but a tossed rock seemed to fall forever. The wind howled. He jumped, stumbled, and laughed shakily at himself. It was just the storm rushing past the entrance; he hadn't gone so far in that he wouldn't be able to hear it.
I'm all right. Get a grip, Jors, he told himself firmly. You're a Herald. Heralds are not afraid of the dark. And then the tunnel twisted. Flung to his knees and then his side, Jors wrapped his head in his arms and tried to present as small a target as possible to the falling rock. The earth heaved as though a giant creature deep below struggled to get free.
With a deafening roar, a section of the tunnel collapsed. Lifted and slammed against a pile of rock, Jors lost track of up and down. The world became noise and terror and certain death. Then half his body was suspended over nothing at all. He had a full heartbeat to realize what was happening before he fell, a large amount of loose rock falling with him. It seemed to go on forever; turning, tumbling, some-tunes sliding, knowing that no one could survive the eventual landing. Calm down, I'm alive. Most of the rock that had fallen with him seemed to have landed on his legs.
Teeth clenched, he flexed his. He had no way of telling what kind of injuries lurked under the masking pressure of the rock. He could lift his torso about a handspan.
He could move his left arm freely. His right was pined by his side. Breathing heavily, he rested his cheek against the damp rock and closed his eyes. It made no difference to the darkness, but it made him feel better. I can't free myself, and you can't even get to me. There's a mining settlement closer than the farmstead, just follow the old mine trail, and it should take you right to it.
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I'm not going anywhere, he repeated to the darkness as he felt the presence of his Companion move rapidly away. I'm not going anywhere.
Unfortunately, as the mountain pressed in on him and all he could hear was his own terror filling the silence, that was exactly what he was afraid of. It was hard to hear anything over the storm that howled around the chimneys and shutters, but Ari's ears were her only contact with the world and she'd learned to sift sound for value. Head cocked, tangled hair falling over the ruin of her eyes, she listened. Rider coming. Galloping hard. She smiled, smug and silent. Not much went on that she didn't know about first. Something must've gone wrong somewhere. Only reason to be riding so hard in this kind of weather.
That's right, leave me alone. She spat once more, just because she knew the child would still be watching, then lifted herself on her palms and hand-walked toward her bench in the corner. Sometimes she thought they'd never learn. Grunting a negative, because ignoring them only brought renewed and more irritating offers, she swung herself easily up onto the low bench just as the pounding began.
Sounds like they didn't even dismount. I can't wait. The sound of hooves against the threshold was unmistakable. She could hear the creak of leather harness, the snorting and blowing of an animal ridden hard, could even smell the hot scent of it from all the way across the room—but somehow it didn't add up to horse. From the excited babble at the door, Ari managed to separate two bits of relevant information; the horse was riderless and it was nearly frantic about something. It took a moment for Ari to recognize the rough and unfamiliar voice as her own.
A stunned silence fell, and she felt the eyes of her extended family turned on her. Her chin rose and her lips thinned. And he's white. And his eyes are blue. And horses don't got blue eyes. It's not a horse, you rock-headed morons. Can't you recognize a Companion when you see one?
The Companion made a sound that could only be agreement. As the babble of voices broke out again, Ari snorted and shook her head in disbelief. And did you figure that out all on your own? Ari rubbed at her stumps as various members of the family scrambled for jackets and boots and some of the children were sent to rouse the rest of the settlement. When with a great thunder of hooves, the rescue party galloped off, she beat her head lightly against the wall, trying not to remember.
Tell him about Companions. Tell bun about the time spent at the Collegium wishing her Blues were Gray. Tell him how the skills of mind and hand that had earned her a place seemed so suddenly unimportant next to the glorious honor of being Chosen. Tell him of watching them gallop across Companion's Field, impossibly beautiful, impossibly graceful—infinitely far from her mechanical world of stresses and supports and levers and gears.
Tell him how she'd made certain she was never hi the village when the Heralds came through riding circuit because it hurt so much to see such beauty and know she could never be a part of it. Tell him how after the accident she'd stuffed her fingers in her ears at the first sound of bridle bells. You saw them up close when you were in the city. The distress in his Companion's mind-touch helped him pull himself together.
I'm okay. As okay as I was, anway. I just, I just missed you. He hadn't realized he'd been thinking of it in such a way as to be heard. A very equine snort made him smile. Therefore, this is how Heralds behave trapped in a mine. The Companion's tone suggested he not argue the point so he changed the subject.
Once they saw where you were, they understood. Some have returned to the village for tools. All the able-bodied who hadn't followed the Companion ran for jackets and boots. The rest buzzed like a nest of hornets poked with a stick. There was a rumble, deep in the bowels of the hillside, a warning of worse to come. But they kept working because Ari had braced the tunnels so cleverly that the earth could move as it liked and the mine would move with it, flexing instead of shattering.
But this time, the earth moved in a way she hadn't anticipated. Timbers cracked. Rock began to fall.
Someone screamed. I can hear them digging. This hillside is so filled with natural passageways that when the winds are strong, they can't keep anything lit. Shame on you. Eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves. I can't make them go back in! They say it's too dangerous!
In his mind Jors could see the young stallion, rearing and kicking and trying to block the miners who were leaving him there to die. He knew it was his imagination, for their bond had never been strong enough for that kind of contact. He also knew his imagination couldn't be far wrong when the only answer to his call was an overwhelming feeling of angry betrayal. The damp cold had crept through his leathers and begun to seep into his bones. He'd fallen just before full dark and, although time was hard to track buried in the hillside, it had to still be hours until midnight.
Nights were long at this time of the year and it would grow much, much colder before sunrise. Ari knew when Dyril and the others returned that they didn't have the Herald with them. Knew it even before the excuses began. What's left of the tunnels could go at any minute. We barely got Neegan out when one of the last supports collapsed. It wasn't a question. Not really. If they'd been able to get to him, they'd have brought him back. Someone tossed their gear to the floor. Ari heard Dyril sigh, heard wood creak as he dropped onto a bench. Maybe when we can see.
Oh, sure, they'd feel better if they thought the Herald was dead, if they could convince themselves they hadn't left him there to die, but she wasn't going to let them off so easily. The Queen'll understand. The Den's taken too many lives already for us to throw more into it. It almost seemed as though she were suddenly alone in the room. Then she heard a bench pushed back, footsteps approaching.
Wasn't that enough? It was three too many, she wanted to say. If you think I'm grateful, think again. But the words wouldn't come. She swung down off her bench and hand-walked along the wall to the ladder in the corner. Stairs were difficult but with only half a body to lift, she could easily pull herself, hand over hand, from rung to rung—her arms and shoulders were probably stronger now than they'd ever been. Adults couldn't stand in the loft so no one bothered her there. She supposed she believed him. He was a good man. They were all good people. They wouldn't leave anyone to die if they had any hope of getting them out.
She was trapped with four others, deep underground. They could hear someone screaming, the sound carried on the winds that howled through the caves and passages around the mine. By the time they could hear rescuers frantically digging with picks and shovels, there were only three of them still alive. Ari hadn't been able to feel her legs for some time, so when they pried enough rubble dear to get a rope through, she forced her companions out first The Demon's Den had been her mine and they were used to following her orders.
Then the earth moved again and the passage dosed. She lay there, alone, listening to still more death carried on the winds and wishing she'd had the courage to tell them to leave her. To get out while they still could. Brandon tried to bring him into the stable and got a nasty bite for his trouble. Ari moved across the loft to the narrow dormer and listened.
Although the wind shrieked and whistled around the roof, she could hear the frenzied cries of the Companion as he pounded through the settlement, desperately searching for someone who could help. She dug through the mess on the floor for a leather strap and tied her hair back off her face. Her jacket lay crumpled in a damp pile where she'd left it, but that didn't matter. It'd be damper still before she was done. Down below, the common room emptied as the family headed for their beds, voices rising and falling, some needing comfort and absolution, some giving it.
Ari didn't bother to listen. It didn't concern her. Later, in the quiet, she swarmed down the ladder and hand-walked to where she'd heard the equipment dropped and sorted out a hundred-foot coil of rope. Draping it across her chest, she continued to the door. The latch was her design; her fingers remembered it. The ground felt cold and wet under the heavy calluses on her palms, and she was pretty sure she felt wet snow in the rain that slapped into her face. She moved out away from the house and waited. I'm the only chance your Herald has left. You've probably called for others—other Heralds, other Companions—but they can't be close enough to help or you wouldn't still be hanging around here.
The temperature's dropping, and time means everything now. The Companion snorted, a great gust of warm, sweetly-scented breath replacing the storm for a moment. She hadn't realized he'd stopped so close, and she fought to keep from trembling. But I won't need eyes in the darkness, and you don't dig with legs and feet.
If you can get me there, Shining One, I can get your Herald out. Ari held up her hands. You've got to believe me. I will get your Herald out. But then, she wouldn't be having this conversation with a horse. A single whicker, and a rush of displaced air as a large body went to the ground a whisker's distance from her.
Ari reached out, touched one silken shoulder, and worked her way back. You must be desperate to be going along with this, she thought bitterly. Never mind. You'll see. Mounting was easy. Staying in the saddle as the Companion rose to his feet was another thing entirely. Somehow, she managed it.
He leaped forward so suddenly he nearly threw her off. Heart in her throat, she clung to the saddle as his pace settled to an almost gentle rocking motion completely at odds with the speed she knew he had to be traveling. She could feel the night whipping by her, rain and snow stinging her face. The Herald coughed and lifted his head. He'd been having the worst dream about being trapped in a cave-in. That's what I get for eating my own cooking. And then he tried to move his legs and realized he wasn't dreaming.
You went away! Please forgive me, but when they wouldn't stay. Even some Heralds were unable to mind-touch clearly. Jors swallowed and took a deep breath. It's too dangerous. There's already been one accident. I don't want anyone dying because of me. The Companion's mind-touch held a tone Jors had never heard before. I don't think she's doing it for you. When they stopped, An took a moment to work some feeling back into each hand in turn. Herald's probably going to have my finger marks permanently denting his gear. Below her, the Companion stood perfectly still, waiting.
Go past the mine about fifty feet and look up. Five, maybe six feet off the ground there should be a good solid shelf of rock. If you can get us onto it, we can follow it right to the mouth of the mine and avoid all that shale shit. The Companion whickered once and started walking. When she felt him turn, Ari scooted back as far as she.
Stretching her arms down and around the sleek curve of his barrel, she pushed the useless stirrups out of her way and clutched the girth. Ari held her uncomfortable position until he stopped on the level ground at the mouth of the mine. All right, Shining One, I'll have to get off the same way I got on. His movement took her by surprise. She grabbed for the saddle, her cold fingers slipped on the wet leather, and she dismounted a lot farther from the ground than she'd intended. A warm muzzle pushed into her face as she lay there for a moment, trying to get her breath back.
There's enough of me left for that" She tossed her head and turned toward the mine, not needing eyes to find the gaping hole in the hillside. Icy winds dragged across her cheeks, and she knew by their touch that they'd danced through the Demon's Den before they came to her. At the risk of sounding like a bad Bardic tale, how about one whicker for yes and two for no? First of all, we have to find out how badly he Ask him if he has any broken bones. Well, she'd just have to deal with that when she got to it.
His fingers were so numb he could barely feel it. She wants to know if you turned left around a corner, about thirty feet in from the entrance to the mine. Mean-brother, do not go to steep. Think, please, were you close to the comer? He remembered seeing the blood. Then stopping and looking into the hole in the side of the tunnel. I think no more than twenty feet. We're in luck, there's only one place on this level where the cave system butts up against the mine.
I know approximately where he is. He's close. A hundred feet of rope would reach the place where the quake threw him out of the mine, but, after that, she could only hope he hadn't slid too deep into the catacombs. Turning to where she could feel the bulk of the Companion, Ari's memory showed her a graceful white stallion, outlined against the night. He whickered once and nudged her and she surrendered to the urge to bury face and fingers in his mane.
When she finally let go, she had to bite her lip to keep from crying. I'm okay now. Using both arms at once, then swinging her body forward between them, Ari made her way into the mine, breathing in the wet, oily scent of the rock, the lingering odors of the lanterns Dyril and the others had used, and the stink of fear, old and new. At the first rockfall she paused, traced the broken pieces, and found the passage the earlier rescue party had dug.
A biting gust of wind whistled through a crack up ahead, flinging grit up into her face. Tell him to keep flexing his muscles if that's all he can do. He's got to keep the blood going out to the extremities. It wasn't like he hadn't been paying attention when they'd been teaching winter survival skills, it was just, well, it was just so much effort.
Gevris somehow managed to sound exactly like the Weaponsmaster, and Jors found himself responding instinctively. To his surprise, his toes still wiggled. And it still hurt. The pain burned some of the frost out of his brain and left him gasping for breath, but he was thinking more clearly than he had been in some time. With his Companion's encouragement, he began to systematically work each muscle that still responded. The biggest problem with digging out the Demon's Den had always been that the rock shattered into pieces so small it was like burrowing through beads in a box.
The slightest jar would sent the whole crashing to the ground. Her eyes in her fingertips, Ari inched toward the buried Herald, not digging but building a passageway, each stone placed exactly to hold the weight of the next. Slowly, with exquisite care, she moved up and over the rockfall that had nearly killed Neegan. She lightly touched the splintered end of the shattered support, then went on.
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She had no time to mourn the past. Years of destruction couldn't erase her knowledge of the mine. She'd been trapped in it for too long. Again the strange tone the Herald didn't recognize. Startled, he curved his left arm up and around his head just in time to prevent a small shower of stones from ringing off his skull. A moment later he felt the space around him fill, and a rough jacket pressed hard against his cheek. Teeth chattering from the cold, he strained back as far as he could but knew it would make little difference.
There wasn't room for a cat to turn let alone a person. To his astonishment, his rescuer seemed to double back on herself. From the sound of her voice and the touch of her hands, she had to be sitting tight up against his side, her upper body bent across his back. He tried to force his half-frozen mind to work. Trust me. You're at the bottom of a roughly wedge-shaped crevasse. Fortunately, you're pointing the right way. As soon as I get enough of you clear, I'm going to tie this rope around you, and your Companion on the other end is going to inch you up the slope as I uncover your legs.
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Shadow Grail 1: Legacies. The Robin and the Kestrel. This Rough Magic. Burdens of the Dead. A Tangled Web. Magic's Pawn. The introduction of a fourfold deity Tarma's Goddess was something of a novel idea at the time of publication. Kerowyn is the granddaughter of Kethry from the Vows and Honor sub-series. These are set in pre-history, some — years earlier.
They describe the events which set off The Mage Storms. It involves gryphons, creatures created by the mage Urtho Mage of Silence. Co-protagonists are Skandranon Rashkae, a princely but proud ebony gryphon, and Amberdrake, a Healer of spirit and mind called a kestra'chern. It covers the founding of the Heralds' Collegium. The book was published in May Anthologies and other publications Various anthologies were published from onwards featuring some short stories by Lackey and other authors she invited to write about the Valdemar universe.
A companion book was also produced about the universe. It includes two stories and an essay by Mercedes Lackey, one story each from Ellen Guon and Rosemary Edghill, and nine from a variety of other authors. When reading the series in chronological order, Music to My Sorrow follows directly from Mad Maudlin. Diana Tregarde The main character, Diana Tregarde, is an American witch, practicing a fantasy version of Wicca; by virtue of her position as a "Guardian" Diana has access to more magical power than many and she is required to give her help when someone asks it of her.
Her magical abilities do not pay the bills, however, and so Diana makes her living by writing romance novels. In the stories, Diana must protect others from angry deities, vampires and a sorceress who intends to remain eternally young. The books were published under Tor's horror imprint rather than its fantasy. At the time of publication, positive depictions of what Wiccans and, more generally, neopagans believed and did were rare.
In the mid-nineties, Lackey's books generally were regularly cited as examples of pagan-friendly fiction. Lackey has written that she has no plans for further books in the series because they did not sell well; nonetheless, she incorporated several elements of the Guardian mythos, including the apartment building where Diana lived, into later books in her Bedlam's Bard series.
In the collection "Bedlam's Edge" Lackey notes that she placed the Diana Tregarde world with her SERRAted Edge and Summoned to Tourney world with the intention of forcing anyone who believed Diana Tregarde and the Guardians were real to also have to believe in elves, dragons, and other patently fantastical things. The unification of Lackey's worlds has had an odd effect: in Summoned to Tourney the main character, Eric, associates elves with "telepathic horses" as in her Valdemar books and "Aztec Gods rising in Oklahoma" referring to one of the Diana Tregarde books.
This leads to canon-inconsistency, because Tannim, another character from SERRAted Edge , lives in both worlds, and Eric ends up living in the same building or one nearly identical to Diana Tregarde lived in. Eric references what will later become part of his own book series. In the fictional series, the Light court elves try to bring Elizabeth safely to the throne, while the Dark court elves hope for the misery of religious persecution from her half-sister Mary. The main character, Jennifer Talldeer, is a private investigator. She is also Kestral-Hunts-Alone, an apprentice shaman learning modified tribal magic from her grandfather.
She is called in to investigate possible sabotage at a local construction site where Indian artifacts have been found.
Initially a run-of-the-mill investigation, it quickly spirals into a mess involving an old flame, Medicine and Native spirits running amok and an ancient evil once defeated by Jennifer's ancestor that has come back seeking revenge. Much like Diana Tregarde, Jennifer is an independent woman and a powerful magic worker who also has mundane problems.
There is no formal connection stated with Lackey's other contemporary fiction, but it fits better here than with her other novels. However, Sacred Ground also did not sell well, and Lackey took a break from dark fantasy. Although there are plans to set future works in different eras, Invasion is set in the present-day in a world where "metas" short for metahumans, that setting's term for superheroes first appeared during World War II and now play an important role in keeping the world safe.
In Invasion, the world is invaded by a mysterious force of armored Nazi soldiers, some of whom are subsequently found not to be human. Beginning in , the series continued to be read by voiceover artist Veronica Giguere. In Spring , the series was sold to Baen Books with a publication date of The Halfblood Chronicles with Andre Norton This series of novels is set on a world where both elves and dragons arrived from dimensional portals onto a world where humans were native.
The dragons remained hidden and elves subjugated the humans. The story follows the exploits of a group of half-blooded humans attempting to fight the elves. The Elvenbane Elvenblood Elvenborn Elvenbred this has not yet been released and is in question due to the death of Andre Norton.
The Elemental Masters Set in an earth where magic exists during the early 20th century, these stories follow magicians who control the powers of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These stories are based loosely Although these books all take place in the same "world" and all include the same established system of Elemental Magick, the first book, The Fire Rose, can be distinguished in that the story takes place in the United States rather than in England, and the set of characters are not interrelated as are those in the following books.
The Wizard of London can be considered a prequel to the other stories set in England and takes place during the Victorian Era. In the Five Hundred Kingdoms almost certainly a literal name , the destiny of witches, knights, princesses and such are regulated by The Tradition, a magical force that is one of the primary sources of magic. Fairy Godmothers, Champions and Wizards are responsible for ensuring that The Tradition is upheld with a minimal loss of life. As with The Black Swan, place-names suggest that these books are set in a fantasized version of late-medieval Europe. The Ithkar series did not continue after its second volume, so Lackey rewrote, changed, and expanded the story into a setting of its own in The Lark and the Wren.
Bardic Choices A Cast of Corbies The Dragon Jousters The books primarily follow the story of Vetch or Kiron, from the second book onward , and centers initially around a war between the neighboring countries of Alta and Tia, both of which use Dragon Jousters as their most powerful weapons. The books are based on the predynastic period of Ancient Egypt and very loosely the myth of Atlantis. This short story was later expanded into the following series with the first novel holding the same name as the short story that began the series.