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When the World Was Young

Written by Kit Campbell

When the World Was Young
by Kit Campbell

 

In the early days, when the sky was clear and we were still part of nature, there were no mountains and no valleys. The world was flat and unmarked, unscathed by the passage of time. The first people spent their days next to quiet rivers and hunted across verdant plains, and life was peaceful and meaningful.

I know what you are expecting, child. You are expecting a classic creation myth, full of gods and the forces of nature, pulling at the land and mankind until what we know now comes into existence. This is not that sort of story. Oh, I wish it were, but alas, our past cannot be explained away so easily.

In those days, we had few cares. We hunted and scavenged when hungry. We slept when tired. We admired the scenery around us and, at night, watched the streaking of the stars across the sky. In the winter we gathered together for warmth, and in the summer we lay out in the flowers.

Who can say when things began to change? Who can say when exactly it was that they came?

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

Written by KD Sarge

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

In the daytime a fire was just more light, but at night it could draw things from unguessable distances, so the group had slept cold. By the time Flame helped Ryahled into the camp, though, a tiny fire blazed fiercely. A small kettle of water sat in the middle of it, sweet herbs drifting in it. Tolor came from the fire to take Ryahled's arm.

"I'm beginning to wonder," he said with a soft laugh, "if you elves are worth the trouble you find."

"I too," Ryahled muttered, and stumbled but Flame didn't have to hold him up because Tolor did.

"Lie here," he directed, helping Ryahled to do so as Flame got out of the way.

Lory stood in the opening of her tent flanked by Okon and Kessa who watched with wide scared eyes. Bran wasn't there, nor Satak. They must have taken watch, knowing Kessa would not keep her focus.

"Flame, get the kettle," Tolor ordered, cutting Ryahled's shirt off.

"I'm no--"

"Flame," Tolor said, "get the kettle."

Flame bit her lip on further argument and got the tongs, took the kettle from the fire and set it by Tolor's hand.

"Bathe the wound," Tolor ordered, putting a blanket under Ryahled's head.

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Changeling: The Faerie Dance

Written by Erin Zarro

Changeling
Part 2: The Faerie Dance
A free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Part 1 is here if you'd like to catch up.

 

When the world solidified around me again, I was no longer in the forest. I was inside a large structure with walls covered in flowers of all colors, so bright and vivid. Tiny faeries that looked like twinkle lights flew all around, surrounding me in their ever-shifting light. They filled me with warmth and love.

Lanterns hung from the ceiling, illuminating the many couples who were dancing to soft harp music. I recognized some of them from the forest.

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate III

Written by KD Sarge

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate III

A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

Ryahled had found the campsite she’d planned to use. The group was setting camp already, with an eye to defense rather than comfort. Tolor never was dumb. Flame dropped into the middle of the group; all but Ryahled grabbed for weapons. Flame smirked at the dwarf brothers.

“Nice watch you keep.”

“Sneaking elf,” Satak grumbled. Okon snorted and turned away. Tolor stalked to glare down at Flame.

“Where in the hells have you been?” he demanded. “Ryahled said you were off chasing a smell. Do you think we have the time—”

“You’d better make the time,” Flame snapped, her eyes searching out Lory in her tent—the only tent—which Bran carried. The woman liked her comforts. “Hey, mage, listen up. I don’t want to tell this twice.”

Tolor was counting under his breath. “All right,” he said when Lory had come to his side, “what did you find?”

“Five mages in a circle around a fire, twenty soldiers around them.” Flame told every word, every movement, until she came to the demon-dogs. “When the things started out, I figured I couldn’t learn any more and I came back.”

"And you're quite certain they are between us and Synto?"

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Kit Campbell

Kit Campbell used to be an aerospace engineer, but it turns out that there's a lot less launching of awesome things into space and a lot more paperwork than one would think. More

Siri Paulson

Siri Paulson writes all over the fantasy and science fiction spectrum, including (so far) secondary-world fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, historical paranormal, and things set in space. Maybe someday she'll pick one and settle down. More

KD Sarge

KD Sarge writes for joy and hope, and works for a living. She has tried her hand at many endeavors, including Governess of the Children, Grand Director of the Drive-Through, and Dispatcher of the Tow Trucks. More

Erin Zarro

Erin Zarro has been a poet since she was 11, when she discovered free verse poetry. She has been published in literary magazines such as Prism Galliard, Lucid Moon, Pen & Ink Magazine, and Nomad's Choir, among others. More