These stories of varying length occur in the world of Areaer and Alaer and can be read as standalones. Some of them are also prequels or spin-offs, telling the story of events relating to the unfolding of the setting of the various ‘main’ series, or telling the story of other characters who, however briefly, appear in the series. Some of them will be further removed yet, providing insight in the world and setting, but without having any direct connection or impact with the ‘main’ series: so far, Return of the Dragonriders and Legend of the Singer.
Due to the nature of this page, it will be updated whenever I release a new standalone, though I may sometime split it into two pages (possibly one for the full-length novels, one for the novellas and short stories, though for now I don’t have that many and it is both) as I think it’s likely to get pretty long before it is over.
Gryphon’s Escape is a short story set on Ellenesia about half a century to a century before the events related in Kindred of the Sea and the Legend of the Singer duology. It is the story of Sisel, an Ellenesian gryphon, an animal with telepathic empathy, who is shown a tortured prisoner and asked to do something she doesn’t really understand, which is to figure out what he’s hiding. But when she tries to obey her rider, hoping that will make her world make more sense, she discovers that her humans are completely crazy and forms a bond with the prisoner, who she realizes she has to rescue. But while Sisel is a very intelligent gryphon, rescuing and then taking care of a hurt human is sometimes more than even the most intelligent and boldest of gryphons can manage on her own.
This is the story of Sisel and her new family, and I just want to share it with everyone, because in my opinion Sisel is the cutest thing ever (as well as being really beautiful, too), and it is a story both rough and true to the harshness it deals with, but one that is fundamentally about hope. Hope in the simple things, in common people’s lives. To my mind, this story is hopeful in a way no epic fantasy, however victorious, can be.
Gryphon’s Escape (free from most retailers)
Kindred of the Sea is a 100k novel, following two characters who make a brief appearance in Sorceress of the Dryads (Legend of the Singer Book Two). It was inspired in part by the events in Sorceress of the Dryads, as I saw some scenes involving some very minor characters, and thought about the responses other people might have to the actions of Tara-lin and Elethri. Perhaps, the greatest inspiration in the story Kindred of the Sea is, was my desire to see a leading relationship that is very close, very intimate, loving, and warm, but that is platonic rather than romantic and never leads anywhere near sexuality (regardless of what ignorant and external observers might infer). Also significant is the fact that I have been wanting to write a story about magic dolphins for a very long time, and I’ve actually started and then discarded quite a few “Dolphin WIPs.” Then I created Alaer, Areaer’s sister planet but covered in oceans, and this was a great way to start the setting of Alaer and create a bridge between the two worlds. (Thus, in a way, Kindred of the Sea is a prequel to all the stories I intend to write in Alaer). That actually ties into the inspiration from Sorceress of the Dryads, because the portal that forms between Areaer and Alaer is related to something that happens in Sorceress of the Dryads, too.
Kindred of the Sea follows the journey of two asexual lovers who, in terms of their relationship to the plot and the ‘great happenings’ of the story and the time would be considered side characters. They don’t have no part in what happens and the direction things go, but they are very much supporting characters, when they are that and not simply chasing their own dreams and hearts – like Corostomir teaching interested youngsters how to swim and holding informal swim races. They aren’t particularly exceptional in any way that stands out, apart from the rare relationship they have. Perhaps, the biggest impact they have is highly indirect, mediated through their unconscious impact on a specific individual or two.
Kindred of the Sea is about different kinds of closeness, and how the lack of one kind of closeness can bring about or be an effect of another closeness, that is not any less. It’s about how those friendships can affect those involved in or touched by them, and the freedom and courage to challenge one’s prejudices and fears that can be fostered by the trust and devotion of a committed, absolute friendship.
Corostomir and Aderan are two ordinary footsoldiers in the Valor Army, and when the Valor Army is sent against Elethri and driven back by an enchantment of sleep that does no harm to those caught in it, their devotion to each other gives them the freedom to question what they have been told. When they are sent back to attack Elethri by sea and dragons threaten the fleet, Corostomir and Aderan use the distraction to jump overboard and swim to shore. They soon find themselves involved in far more than they bargained for, when Eldazìn, an elf Night’s Edge who has something of a spy organization, takes an interest in what they are doing and insists on coming along to work his own ends for the good of Elethri. An old friend and an underground cult that practices the old sea magic of the North become involved, and Corostomir, along with his newly-hatched dragon, Aglarath, found in the forests of Elethri, has to decide what he’s willing to do and what he thinks right as he faces new challenges. When they sail through a portal into Alaer while fleeing from the Valor Alliance, Corostomir and his dragon Aglarath become a source of comfort and safety to bewildered people for whom the legendary dragon is the only thing they have left of their home, while Aderan is friends with an influential sea-mage. Under the pressures of life and a new world, and with the help of their dolphins, they have to work out what they want and what they believe is their just contribution, and how to make the time for their relationship in the midst of more unexpected challenges.
The Gifts of Faeri is a 23k novella that tells the true story of Faeri and Chrysanthemum, of which a corrupted legend appears in Chapter Three of DragonBirth.
In The Gifts of Faeri, Faeri uses her song-magic which hitherto she has only used to enchant items to help deliver a child, and experiences terror over what could be done, on purpose or by accident, with her magic if it is used to enchant a human’s body instead of only an object. She wrestles with fears and doubts that are made stronger and more pressing when the dreaded Nightmare, the Unforming Shadow, shows its hand and tries to conceal its touch beneath her enchantments. Faeri fears that, what she meant to do for good, she should have never done and was instead evil, but the obsidian dragon Chrysanthemum tries to encourage her that one must ever try to do good as well as one sees it. Faeri and Chrysanthemum find a way to ward her enchantments against the Nightmare using Chrysanthemum’s fire. That is only the beginning of a solution, since where before she was considered sancrosanct and unaffected by the petty wars and feuds of rival peoples, now people make war over her gifts and cast out those who wish to use or keep them, so Faeri sets out to ward all the gifts she has already made, and to gather as many of those who want to continue to benefit from her power and are not afraid of it and find them a haven to live in peace. But the Nightmare will never leave those who stand it be.
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