The Le'enle: Four Short Stories

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     • For the Love of Mortals (Smashwords)

     • Useless Tears (Smashwords | Amazon)

     • Breaths Long as Years (Smashwords | Amazon)

     • Not Now, Not Ever (Smashwords | Amazon)

So, the Le'enle. Immortal, nearly omnipotent creatures made up entirely of magic, making the transition from creatures with bodies to creatures immaterial... angels. Not very well, either. When you were so lately mortal, what do you do with endless power? And what kind of problems can you have when you can solve them so many with a flick of your will?

I wondered, and evidently found complications enough, because the Le'enle stories range from epicy fantasy to melancholy to straight horror. "For the Love of Mortals," the free story, introduces Distant Song who must make a choice over whether to let hundreds of people die in the face of a storm she can turn aside. "Useless Tears" is the horror story, about a Le'enle who goes seeking the murderers of his extinguished mate. "Breaths Long as Years," one of my favorite short stories, is an understated meditation with deep undercurrents, predicting the feel I gave the Kherishdar stories; and "Not Now, Not Ever," returns to the storyline of "For the Love of Mortals" and shows us some of the epic powers—and consequences—of the species. From that story:

     "Damn it all... help her!"

     "I can't."

     "You can't?" Silent Chain looked over his shoulder. "I thought you said you couldn't lie!"

     "I'm can't," Argent Star said. "Lie," he said as an afterthought, to clarify. "Or help her."

     "You're the healer. All the Le'enle look to you for the healing arts." Silent Chain turned from her, hands clenched at his sides. "She needs you."

     "I said I would not save her from her indiscretions if she left the Paths again, Roderic. She chose her way... and I cannot help her."

     Silent Chain glared at him, and Argent Star met his gaze. Perhaps in time, when the younger man was better versed in his own mantle, he would Know how much Argent Star regretted making that promise, that prophecy—for him, they were the same—but it had been done. He was the North, and Truth, and words became his prison walls.

     Silent Chain bent to gather the Empress into his arms, her white hair hissing as it slid off the stone.

     "Where are you going?"

     "Why don't you ask yourself?" Silent Chain snapped, and strode away. Argent watched them go: the newest Le'enle Emperor, raised by mortals . . . and Analeil Distant Song, Empress of the East, Justice and too-fond lover of mortals, slack in his embrace.

For a very long time, the Le'enle were my main roleplaying species, so there's a lot of art. A lot. I've chosen a few pieces, but you could probably spend quite a while looking at Le'enle art (and in fact, here's a link to do so if you want to do so).

To Outlast Eternity Argent Star Heals Love Stronger Than Fate, Finished Agile Storm in the Harbor, continued Guardian of the West North and South Blue Willow

I had vague plans to write epic fantasy about the Le'enle, more in the style of "Not Now, Not Ever" than the other stories, but never really got to it. I am still fond of the Le'enle, but sometimes I think I enjoy them more as RPG characters and the subjects of art/graphic novel-like stories than I do writing about them. Even if I still think "Breaths Long as Years" is one of the best short pieces I've written, where I writing them to suit myself.

So there it is. Have a look, if you're so inclined. And as always, you can pick up my other stories in print and in e-book form, including many free and 99-cent nibbles, at Smashwords and Amazon. Please, if you like what you read, drop back by and give it a few stars or a review. Your opinions help other readers make their purchasing decisions! Help an independent author out. :)

© 2012 M. C. A. Hogarth