by Matthew D. Ryan
In the mystical realm of the Cavern, Akarra is Shardshaper to the quartzian people who inhabit it. Fashioned from quartz and filled with enchanted light, the quartzians are a strong and hearty people. Akarra is no exception. But when destiny intervenes, she must choose between the he-quartz she loves and the life path she lives for. Which shall she choose?
Akarra cut off the deathlight and lowered the Heartshard to the floor in front of her. She passed a cursory glance over the icosahedron, pleased with her work. Then, she expulsed a ripple of joyful golden lifelight. She’d never formed an icosahedron before, and was quite happy with her success.
Yridia smiled then doubled over as she was seized with a round of violent shimmering and coughing again. Her body flickered through a dozen colors, many not from the standard spectrum, but instead a mix from those basic colors. After a moment she straightened, cleared her throat, and said, “You have done well, student. Now name the five perfect solids, describe them, and tell me what they represent.”
It was an easy question, but Akarra bowed her head once again, and dutifully responded, “The first is the tetrahedron; it has four triangular sides and represents fire. The second is the hexahedron; it has six square sides and represents earth. Third is the octahedron with eight triangular sides; it represents air. Fourth is the dodecahedron; it has twelve pentagons for sides and represents ether. Finally, there is the icosahedron which I have just formed here—”she gestured toward the crystal. “It has twenty triangular sides and represents water.”
“Excellent,” Yridia said. “You have done well, student. Now, tell me: Which element can form a dual only with itself?”
Another easy question.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” (http://matthewdryan.com/a-toast-to-dragons-the-blog/) a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels “Drasmyr,” “The Children of Lubrochius,” and “The Sceptre of Morgulan,” as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.” His latest work is the stand-alone novella “Prism,” a startling fantasy story of unique character.
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