[Lanen Kaelar 01] - Song in the Silence

BOOK: [Lanen Kaelar 01] - Song in the Silence
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DragonAshe; Proofed by DragonAshe and Beauty_Karova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the glory of God

and to

 

Alan Bridger

heart’s-friend and support

and survivor of many years of rewriting

 

Deborah Turner Harris

treasured friend, longstanding and patient mentor,

terrific writer ans top-notch kicker-in-the-pants

(bare in the back without a brother)

 

and

 

Margaret Lynn Harshbarger

dragon-souled friend, moral support,

ace plotter and desperately needed teacher

of the realities of being an artist

 

I dedicace this work

 

 

 

PROLOGUE
 
AS LEGEND HAS IT

 

BOOK
ONE              
INHERITANCE

 

I      
DREAMS IN THE DARK

II     
LESSONS

III    
JAMIE’S TALE

IV    
THE GREAT FAIR AT ILLARA

V     
RIVERS

VI    
CORLI AND AWAY

 

 

BOOK TWO            
THE DRAGON ISLE

 

VII     
T
HE
DRAGON ISLE

VIII    
VOICES BY MOONLIGHT

IX      
LESSONS

X       
T
WILIGHT

XI      
THE WIND OF CHANGE

XII     
THE WIND OF SHAPING

XIII    
COUNCILS

XIV    
RAKSHASA

XV     
W
IND
OF THE UNKNOWN

XVI    
IN THE DEEP NIGHT

XVII  
THE LOST

XVIII 
THE WINDS AND THE LADY

XIX   
THE WORD OF THE WINDS

XX     
L
ANEN
THE WANDERER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

AS LEGEND HAS IT

 

The powers of order and chaos are in all things,
and in the life of all races there comes a time when they must learn there is a
Choice to be made. When
Kolmar
was young there were four shakrim, four peoples, who lived there: the Trelli,
the Rakshi, the Kantri and the Gedri. They all possessed the powers of speech
and reason by the time the Powers were revealed to them.

This is what the Four Peoples made of that
Choice.

The Kantri were first. It seemed to their EIders
that although chaos is the beginning and end of creation, it is order which
decrees this. Thus they decided to serve order, indeed to become the
representatives of order in the world. For this, they were granted long lives
and a way to remember all that had gone before.

The Trelli chose not to choose. They did not wish
to be governed by such Powers. They had only the merest beginnings of speech,
but managed to convey their denial of both chaos and order. In that decision
was the seed of their ending, for to deny the great Powers is to deny
existence.

The Rakshi were already of two kinds,the Rakshasa
and the smaller less powerful Rikti. Both unhesitatingly chose to embrace
chaos. In this they balanced the Kantri; but chaos cannot exist in a world of
order without the two destroying the world between them. The Kantri were
eldest, so the Raksi for their choice were gifted with length of life to rival
the Kantri, and a world within the world for their own, with which they were
never content.

The youngest race, the Gedri, discovered after
great turmoil that they could not reach a single decision, but unlike the
Trelli they did make a choice. They desired Choice itself, giving each soul the
chance to decide which to serve in its own time. Thus they had the ability to
reach out to either Power and bend it to their own wishes; and although both
the Kantri and the Rakshi were creatures of greater power, it was the Gedri who
inherited the world.

A prose rendering of the opening

verses of the Tale of Beginnings,

as transcribed by Irian ta-Varien.

 

 

 

 

 

 

INHERITANCE

 

 

 

 

I

DREAMS IN THE DARK

 

And the Dragons’ song, so wild and strong,

fell from the sky like rain

upon my soul; which, watered well

bloomed with a joy no words can tell

where once was a dusty plain.

 

My name is Lanen Kaelar, and I am older than I
care to remember.

I have heard the bards call me Queen Lanen in
their tales, and that I fear is the least of their excesses. I cannot stop the
songs they sing or the stories they tell, but at least I can write with my own
hand a record of those times, in the slim hope that anyone might be interested
in the truth.

Now I put my hand to it, I would I knew how the
trick is turned. Where should I begin? Wherever they start the tale seems the
only possible place, no matter how much has gone before. I suppose the only
sensible beginning would be at Hadron’ s farm.

I was born at Hadronsstead, a horse farm in the
northwest of the Kingdom of Ilsa, which was the farthest west of the Four
Kingdoms of Kolmar. The stead and the village nearby were a few hours’ ride
from the Méar Hills to the north, and two weeks to the south and east lay
Illara, the King’s Seat. Farther south yet the fertile plains of Ilsa began, a
land full of farmers and crops and little else, and west over field and mountain
lay the Great Sea.

Ilsa does not encourage women to go beyond the
narrow boundaries of home, but from my earliest memories that was all I ever
wanted to do. As a child I lived for those times when I managed to escape for a
few hours, taking my little mare north to the Méar Hills, walking among the
great trees that marked the southern edge of the Trollingwood, the vast forest
that covers all the north of Kolmar. But always I was fetched back to the farm,
and a closer watch kept on me.

Hadron was a good man, I do not say otherwise—he
simply did not care for me. My mother had left him soon after I was born, and
for some reason I decided that his close hold on me was because he feared I
would do the same. When I came of age the summer I turned twelve, I asked to go
with him to Illara, to the Great Fair in the autumn. By then I was grown nearly
to my full height, and since I was clearly no longer a child—I stood nearly as
tall as Hadron even then—I thought I was due some of the privileges of being of
age. Instead, Hadron brought my older cousin Walther, his sister’s son, to live
with us. When autumn came; Hadron calmly announced that he and Jamie would go
to the Great Fair, and that Walther would look after me until they returned.
Hadron never understood why I yelled and fought with him over that decision; to
him it was obvious that I needed a keeper, and Walther was enough older than I
to make sure Hadron’s words were obeyed. Needless to say, I hated Walther from
that moment.

BOOK: [Lanen Kaelar 01] - Song in the Silence
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