Date Published: 5/22/21
An innocent naiad. A wounded boy. An adventure that will change their lives forever.
Plip is a naiad of the Great Waterfall, destined to one day sing the songs that send rain out into the world.
Akino isn’t destined for anything but trouble. His father long gone, his mother working on a plantation far away, he doesn’t really belong in the village below the Waterfall. And the villagers don’t let him forget it.
When Akino convinces Plip to travel down the mountain with him, for his own selfish purposes, he launches them into a world more dangerous than either of them could imagine. A world where people are not always what they seem and the rain does not fall evenly across the land.
The Great Waterfall
The village of Fells stretched up and down for nearly a kilometer on either side of the Great Waterfall. Its crooked little houses perched precariously one above the other, bolted to the mossy rock face in a manner that would seem quite miraculous to the rest of the world but was the least interesting aspect of life in Fells.
From here the weather of the world was sent out by the Weather Masters, wizened old men and women who plucked threads of water from the cascading falls and wove them deftly into clouds, guided by the song of the naiads, who danced in and out of the falls like fish in a river.
Plip had lived in the waterfall since she was no bigger than a water drop. She was now nearly grown, almost a full eight centimeters long with a powerful tail that propelled her up the falls and long, blue-green hair like her mother. But her singing voice had not arrived yet, even though she had been wrapping her throat in orchid leaves according to the exact instructions of her best friend Lua.
Plip’s mother sang the song for rain-that-would-fall-on-the-flowers. It was clear and sweet. One had to be gentle with rain that fell on delicate petals, so as not to bruise them.
Plip’s father sang the song for the rain-that-fell-in-the-woody-marshlands of the south. Mother’s gentle rain would not last long in the marshlands, Father used to say with a teasing laugh. Plip did not exactly know what a marshland was, but Father said there were great creatures with fierce teeth who swam through those waters, and fierce men who hunted them. “My rain must be strong if it is to give courage to the creatures of the Woody Marshlands.”
Plip did not feel fierce enough to sing for the Marshlands, or gentle enough to sing for the flowers. What if she was not fit for a song? What if the rain she sang came out all wrong?
“Be patient,” her mother said. “Your song will come when it comes.”
It was difficult to be patient when one grew up in a waterfall. The water certainly seemed to be in a hurry to reach the earth. Perhaps that’s why the naiads were rarely still themselves. When they weren’t singing, they were playing in the frothy fingers of the falls or chatting with the people of the village.
The Weather Masters were peculiar people, so very solemn and still, and incredibly old. They had wrinkles on their hands and around their eyes. They needed a great deal of sleep every day and only the young ones really wanted to play. But the old ones would talk and tell wonderful stories, and Mother and Father said that they held great wisdom.
This month, Plip’s favorite was a man called Tsomo. He had lost his sight several months ago but still wove the most beautiful clouds in the village through the memory of his fingers.
“Where does your rain fall today, Tsomo?” Plip would ask as she perched on his porch.
“On the just and the unjust, child,” he would reply.
“But that was your answer yesterday!”
“It is also true today.”
“You have such strange answers,” she would laugh.
“They only seem strange because you do not understand the questions,” he said with a smile.
“I am almost of age,” she protested. “But you make me feel as if I know very little of the world.”
He chuckled. “You have never left the waterfall, little one.”
“Father says that we are not meant to go out in the world. When the water returns to us from the corners of the earth, it tells us where it has been. But the water does not speak to me yet. Mother says that when I hear it, I will find my voice. Only it seems to me that day will never come.”
About the Author
E.B. Dawson was born out of time. Raised in the remote regions of a developing nation, traveling to America was as good as traveling thirty years into the future. Now she writes science fiction and fantasy to make sense of her unusual perspectives on life. Her stories acknowledge darkness, but empower and encourage people to keep on fighting, no matter how difficult their circumstances may be. She currently lives in Idaho with her family and her cat Maximus.
The Fovean Chronicles, Book 5
The surprising conclusion to the Fovean Chronicles – Randy Morden has taken on the world, and now the world is fighting back! Enemies must now become allies, and friends enemies, as Randy fights not just to appease the god War, but to keep his family intact and, no matter what direction he turns, it looks like he must lose it all.
Other Books in The Fovean Chronicles:
The Fovean Chronicles, Book One
I’m Randy Morden – welcome to my world. A world named ‘Fovea,’ where magic is real, technology the stuff of fantasy, and warriors with swords ride horses into battle, trying to stay one step ahead of their gods’ will. I didn’t ask for this life, but I promise you: before anyone ever knocks me down again, I’m going to have their blood on my knuckles, because a man can only be pushed so far!
The Fovean Chronicles, Book Two
I was brought to Fovea, a land where magic is real and justice is found at the point of a sword, with a mission from the god, War: Live a successful life.
The Fovean Chronicles, Book Three
To say that Randy Morden had an effect on Fovea is an understatement. More than ten years after his arrival, the Fovean High Council is in a shambles, the supremacy of the Uman-Chi is a memory, and Eldador is an Empire, not a kingdom.
The Fovean Chronicles, Book Four
The battle for Fovea is on, and a girl named Raven and a man named Jack aren’t even sure of which side they should be on.
I tugged on Blizzard’s reins and we turned east toward the trail that would lead to the road. It was approaching noon, and we wouldn’t be moving at Blizzard’s speed any more. We’d be lucky to make camp before dark.
I expected my son, Eric to ride up next to me, but he hung back with Nina of the Aschire. It turned out that my daughter, Dagi, was the one who rode up next to me, that shield of hers over her back and her sword in a scabbard attached to her saddle. She looked for all the world like an Andaron warrior in Volkhydran clothes.
We stayed silent for a while. I think she might have been waiting either for Shela, my wife, to replace her or for me to send her back, but neither happened and Shela was actually pretty deep in discussion with our daughter, Lee.
“My mother married a Long Manes warrior,” Dagi said, finally. “She has two sons.”
I nodded. “Have you thought of adult names for them?”
She looked at me. “So you know our traditions?”
“Hard not to,” I said.
She nodded and was quiet for a while. We were coming up on the main road.
“Did she stay with Chesswaya’s mother after her tribe dissolved?” I asked. Chesswaya was my daughter as well, by another Andaron woman.
“After you destroyed it, and formed your Wolf Riders, you mean?” Dagi accused me.
“Yes,” I said, looking straight at her.
She met my eyes. Hers were every bit as cold as I knew mine could be. She was going to feel me out and decide if I was worth staying with. That’s what I would have done as a kid, too.
“No,” Dagi said. “Chesswaya’s mother went to the Sure Foot, then the Hunters when they had no women. I met Chesswaya at the Long Manes’ tribe last year, when she came to learn her craft. We didn’t know that we were sisters until the demigod Steel told us.
Whoa – didn’t see that one coming.
“Steel?” I asked. “The Savior. Steel came to you?”
“In a dream?”
She shook her head. “While we were playing chunkee with Nanette and Thorna,” she said.
I looked back at Nantar’s daughters, riding side-by-side with spears in their hands, just ahead of Eric. If there were a fight, they were positioned to come charging into it.
We turned onto the road. The sun overhead gave me a little warmth, but not much. I was going to need to go somewhere and buy furs.
“What did Steel have to say to you?” I asked. “Can you tell me?”
Dagi was silent for a moment. She looked up at me from her horse and she said, “He came to see the daughters of the Daff Kanaar. I thought that He meant Nanette and Thorna, and He said, “No, the other daughters. He meant Chesswaya and me.”
I nodded and stayed quiet.
“He told us that it was a new age, and that we needed to go north and to learn a song from a Druid in Volkhydro. He warned us that nothing would be the same.”
That was news.
“We waited for the men to come back from Toor, and most of them did. We went north on strong horses and we found our brother, Agtani Chewla, and then our other brother and his wife.
“We saw the war come to our land, and we heard Eric, whom we named Usdi Waya, tell us that if Chatoos fell, then our land would never be the same.”
Usdi Waya meant ‘Little Wolf’ in Andaron. Eric had a lot of foresight.
“Then we met you, our father,” she said. She was looking straight forward now. “We would have known you, if Steel had never met us.”
She nodded, still not looking at me. “Chesswaya has your eyes,” she said. “I have your lips and your nose. Mother had described you without naming you – and Chesswaya felt your presence before she met you.”
“Chesswaya has great power,” I commented.
That got a look from Dagi. “As does Lee,” she said. “Vulpe can sing, and singing is important. Lupennen speaks with animals – I can’t imagine a more powerful gift.”
“And Eric is Daff Kanaar,” I said, “and you wonder, ‘What of poor Waya Daganogeda? What does she inherit from the Emperor?”
She looked up at me again, and this time I thought I could see some hurt in her eyes.
“Yes,” she said. “What of Dagi, who has nothing but her mouth?”
An Andaron who ‘has nothing but her mouth,” is usually a woman who’s a gossip, or a complainer. It’s a derogatory term for a spinster, or one who is going to be a spinster if she doesn’t change her ways, because no one wants a woman who’s always giving her opinion.
“Maybe you’re more my child than any of them?” I told her.
She regarded me but said nothing.
“I can’t speak to animals,” I said. “I can’t cast spells. I can’t stun a crowd with my song, and I had to go to Conflu to get the mark of the Daff Kanaar – no one clashed swords with me and put it there.
“I’ve never had anything but my mouth,” I said. “It served me well.”
“You forget the horse you ride,” she said. “The sword you carry. You forget the stories about you, sung in every language.”
I nodded. “But I got them without magic,” I said. “Without song.”
She wasn’t looking at me, so I reached down and I stroked her long, brown hair. She looked back up at me and I asked, “Do you want to learn these things?”
She frowned and looked forward.
Finally, when I thought I wasn’t going to get an answer, she said, “Yes. I want to know everything.”
Good enough, then!
About the Author
Born in Connecticut in 1964, he graduated from University of Connecticut in 1986.
He worked his way through college as a construction worker, an infant swimming instructor, a bartender, a waiter, a secretary, the manager of a dry cleaning store and a security guard.
While in college, he began the first version of the ‘The Fovean Chronicles.’
After college, he lasted exactly three months in the insurance industry as an Assistant Annuities Analyst, and then enlisted in the Naval Nuclear Power Program.
He served in the Navy from 1987 – 1994, receiving the Navy Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Southeast Asia Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal during the Gulf War. He was certified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, a Reactor Operator, a Radiological Controls Shift Supervisor and achieved a rank of Petty Officer First Class while serving onboard the USS Truxtun, CGN-35 and the USS Cape Cod, AD-43.
He has two children, Billy and Jennifer. He and both of his children are born on the same day of different months. Billy enlisted in the US Navy, following in his father’s footsteps.
Since leaving the Navy, he’s been in sales, pest control, auto repair and .Net programming. He ran his own company specializing in add-on software and then sold it to focus more on his writing.
He’s very involved in animal rescue, and has two dogs, a cat and several horses which he’s rescued and rehabilitated.
Although born in Connecticut, he has lived in Orlando, FL; Bremerton, WA; San Diego, CA; and then for fourteen years back in Florida. He currently resides on a horse farm in Tennessee.