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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 02 Sep 2011 :  16:59:15  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, it's Friday again. Today's story is "Juniper," a tale about the night elves of Tuscan folklore.

www.elainecunningham.com
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2011 :  12:58:54  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Today is the ebook release of CITY OF SPLENDORS, a pre-Spellplague Waterdeep novel co-written with Ed Greenwood. A short history of the writing process is posted on my website, www.elainecunningham.com, for those who like to peek behind the curtain. And here are handy links for ordering the ebook for Kindle or Nook.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005899TDW/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=081WZVJBCMFQ139C2CAX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-city-of-splendors-ed-greenwood/1103434446?ean=9780786960224&itm=1&usri=city%2bof%2bsplendors

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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
293 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2011 :  14:30:09  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Just read Juniper and enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing it!

I thought it might be useful to point out a a few small errors I noticed in passing:

- when the night elves are named "Old Ones" for the first time, the
text says "One Ones"

- a couple of times throughout the story, particularly in the case of linchetto/linchetti, the text mistakenly gives the Italian singular instead of the Italian plural (for example: "Child, no one knows where the linchetto hide from the sunís light" or "The orcuili was bending over the babe")

- near the end of the story, the text reads "...the girl who would something be strega after her", though it should probably read "some day" instead of "something", I guess

[A really tiny "error": the final "i" of malandani is not in italics like the rest of the word]
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2011 :  15:42:13  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thieran


Just read Juniper and enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing it!

I thought it might be useful to point out a a few small errors I noticed in passing:

- when the night elves are named "Old Ones" for the first time, the
text says "One Ones"

- a couple of times throughout the story, particularly in the case of linchetto/linchetti, the text mistakenly gives the Italian singular instead of the Italian plural (for example: "Child, no one knows where the linchetto hide from the sunís light" or "The orcuili was bending over the babe")

- near the end of the story, the text reads "...the girl who would something be strega after her", though it should probably read "some day" instead of "something", I guess

[A really tiny "error": the final "i" of malandani is not in italics like the rest of the word]



Thanks for the feedback. I posted the last version I had in my files, which apparently was not the edited version that made it into press.
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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
293 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2011 :  16:26:36  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pleasure. Only formal trivialities. I really liked the story, particularly its Tuscan background!
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2011 :  18:17:41  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Since this is Thursday, today's Sevrin lore post is in the Science & Magic catagory. It takes a look at one of the darker sides of Sevrin's brand of alchemy. For those of you who've read HONOR AMONG THIEVES (a bargain at $.99, available in a variety of e-formats....), this article might nudge your thoughts in the "Aha!" direction.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2011 :  15:16:30  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's that time of the week again. Today's story is "The Nature of the Beast." It's unusual in that it's, well, fanfic. I wrote it for Wayfinder, a fanzine created by Pathfinder fans. It was read and approved by Paizo editors before publication, but it's still fanfic.

This tale is a short (under 3000 words) mystery featuring Channa Ti, the half-elf druid from the serial novella "Dark Tapestry."

Hope you enjoy the story.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2011 :  19:58:12  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This week the ebook "reprints" of Elfshadow, Elfsong, and Silver Shadows were released. You can get them at Amazon.com for Kindle, or from the Nook Bookstore at Barnes & Nobles. The latter is in ePub format, which makes them readable on a wide range of e-reading devices.

Also worthy of note: Elfshadow turns 20 this month. In another year, it'll be able to walk into a tavern and order elverquisst without worrying about being carded.
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  05:43:49  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suspect someone ordering elven wine might have to show his card for a different reason.

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  06:08:12  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Also worthy of note: Elfshadow turns 20 this month. In another year, it'll be able to walk into a tavern and order elverquisst without worrying about being carded.
Whoa. Twenty-years? I suddenly feel so old.

On the positive side, I still enjoy reading Elfshadow now, as much as I did the first time I read it.

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Merrith
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  06:29:22  Show Profile  Visit Merrith's Homepage Send Merrith a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Also worthy of note: Elfshadow turns 20 this month. In another year, it'll be able to walk into a tavern and order elverquisst without worrying about being carded.
Whoa. Twenty-years? I suddenly feel so old.

On the positive side, I still enjoy reading Elfshadow now, as much as I did the first time I read it.



Would like to second that it's still just as good a read now as it was when I first picked it up 16 years ago. My first Realms novel (the number is around 100 now).
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  13:19:06  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad to hear the old gal is holding up. :)

Twenty years is a LONG time. Some of the little girls named after Arilyn are in high school now, which for some reason is even more mind-boggling to contemplate.

With a new generation of readers comes a certain responsibility. When I started writing for the Realms, the target demographic was 12-30. I'm not sure that lower number is still appropriate. So one of my goals for the Tales of Sevrin novels is to write stories that long-time readers will feel comfortable handing to their kids.
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1589 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  13:24:53  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elfshadow is a classic! Not the first Realms novel I read, for I started by reading the Icewind Dale Trilogy, but the first book of Arilyn, Danilo, Elaith and the moonblades was also the first Harper book I read, and it still is my favorite fantasy book. Thank you, Mrs. Cunningham, for giving us a story so rich, loveable, intriguing and alive. And thank you for your depiction of Khelben Arunsun, Laeral, the Zhentarim, Kymil Nimesin, Myrin Silverspear... A great work, indeed!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  15:11:08  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Barastir! Glad to hear you enjoyed this tale.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  15:14:08  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's Free Fiction Friday again at www.elainecunningham.com. Today's story, "She Who Is Becoming," blends Celtic and Nordic myth in a story that considers the role of destiny in a hero's life. It's a very short tale--under 2000 words--and originally appeared in The Phantom Queen Awakes, an anthology of stories inspired by the Morrigan, the Celtic triple goddess. It was published, appropriately enough, by Morrigan Books, a small press in Sweden.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35990 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  15:35:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's only a score or two of FR novels that I reread on anything approaching a regular basis, and Elaine's books are on that list. The Kate Novak/Jeff Grubb books are also on that list, along with a handful of others scattered here and there.

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2011 :  19:26:32  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, folks. I have a favor to ask of you.

I'm thinking about making substantial changes to my website, www.elainecunningham.com/. Four months ago, I started a WordPress blog and updated at least 5 times a week. In that time, over 24,000 unique visitors have stopped by, well over half of whom stayed to browse the site. But despite the data collected by 2 different hit counters, I'm not getting a clear picture of trends and preferences.

So I'm asking for your opinion. Just a few words. What type of posts you like to read. (Fiction, Sevrin lore, writing updates, other.) How often you want to read them. (daily, weekly, monthly, less freqently?) Of course, if you are inclined to add detailed comments, or make requests and recommendations on content or format, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I appreciate your time, and understand that it is a scarce and valuable resource. Thanks for reading this, for visiting my website, and for taking time to share your opinions. If you'd rather not post here, send me a Private Message or drop me an email at elainecunningham@cox.net.

Thanks!
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  02:39:23  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm visiting mostly for the fiction and the Sevrin lore. Your site was among those I would visit daily, back when you were updating or posting new entries about Sevrin every day. Now, though, since the updates haven't been as regular, I've only been stopping by every second or third day.

Overall, I find your site to be among the most resourceful for campaign ideas and lore that I can steal borrow for my many myriad campaigns -- after some tweaking, of course!

Generally, I'm visiting your website because it offers me what I'm looking for from a favoured author. Neat articles about the worlds they write in, updates about new and upcoming projects, and "lost treasures" that might have otherwise been forgotten some place else.

So long as these trends remain, I'll continue to make this a daily stop-over point on the web.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  03:30:13  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

I'm visiting mostly for the fiction and the Sevrin lore. Your site was among those I would visit daily, back when you were updating or posting new entries about Sevrin every day. Now, though, since the updates haven't been as regular, I've only been stopping by every second or third day.

Overall, I find your site to be among the most resourceful for campaign ideas and lore that I can steal borrow for my many myriad campaigns -- after some tweaking, of course!

Generally, I'm visiting your website because it offers me what I'm looking for from a favoured author. Neat articles about the worlds they write in, updates about new and upcoming projects, and "lost treasures" that might have otherwise been forgotten some place else.

So long as these trends remain, I'll continue to make this a daily stop-over point on the web.




Thanks for the feedback, Sage. My intention was to focus on the habits and interests of gamers, so the regular Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday Sevrin posts were designed for that specific audience.

It's interesting, then, that most people who've responded suggested a weekly post.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35990 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  04:29:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to agree with friend Sage: Sevrin lore and fiction. And weekly works for me -- I've not nearly as much free time for roaming the interwebs as I should like.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  04:53:57  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
::nods:: John Locke--the guy who wrote How To Sell 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months, not the guy from Lost--recommends infrequent blog posts--only a dozen or so a year. I suspect that he might revise that number upward if he were writing for people who are accustomed to reading and gaming in shared worlds, but he does have a point about respecting your readers' time.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 27 Sep 2011 12:03:28
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  08:26:35  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

::nods:: John Locke--the guy who wrote How To Sell 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months, not the guy from Lost--recommends infrequent blog posts--only a dozen or so a year.
I'm happy with that. Plus, it allows me more time to re-read any in-depth articles you post, and set aside a moment for either further complementation or commentary.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  10:02:29  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did not know about the changes to your site. I love them. The layout is good, the header picture is brilliant...

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

http://zireael07.wordpress.com/
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  12:17:53  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zireael

I did not know about the changes to your site. I love them. The layout is good, the header picture is brilliant...



Thanks, Zireal! The header is cropped from the cover of Honor Among Thieves, my first Tales of Sevrin story, which was created by digital artist Rainfeather Pearl.

I found a WordPress template (WyntonMagazine) that has more options and better organization. It has subpages, which would be invaluable for the Books page, enabling me to have a page for each book with links to booksellers, sample chapters, and so on. Quick-reading Convenience is important in a website, but so is browsing depth. Another things I really like is the page with three columns, which would be perfect for Sevrin lore. I've been organizing that into three catagories: People & places, Lore & legends, Science & magic. Having a gateway page for all the Sevrin lore makes sense, visually and from a navigational standpoint. The template also has a full-page option, perfect for online fiction.

Another option is to scrap WordPress altogether, separate the blog from the website, and go back to a WYSIWYG program to customize a website that has everything I need. Because no WordPress template is exactly right.

Right now I'm getting more traffic to the website than I'd expected. And as J.A. Konrath observed, "The best advertisement for your writing is your writing." But I've been wondering if the amount of new content I've been putting on the website is more of a deterrent to picking up my books ("No need--there's lots to read right here...") than an inducement.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  12:21:31  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And the time element is a major consideration. I used to subscribe to blogs by marketing guru Seth Godin and social media dude Chris Brogan, but for me, thinking about these topics every day was more mental real estate than I was prepared to commit.

So I've been coming to the conclusion that in my desire to provide lots of new content for readers, though done in the best of intentions, might have been making unreasonable demands on their time. It's a tough line to find. I've heard people who apparently know their stuff argue convincingly either way.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 27 Sep 2011 14:53:45
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  12:27:32  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

::nods:: John Locke--the guy who wrote How To Sell 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months, not the guy from Lost--recommends infrequent blog posts--only a dozen or so a year.
I'm happy with that. Plus, it allows me more time to re-read any in-depth articles you post, and set aside a moment for either further complementation or commentary.




That's a real consideration. When you're posting 5 times a week, no one has the time to comment on every post. In fact, the amount of commentary on my website is completely disproportionate to the traffic. There have been over 24,000 unique visits, but fewer than 50 comments, and at least half of those are my answers to comments/questions. The purpose of a blog is to connect, to create community. I seem to be doing okay at creating blog READERS, but not a community where there's give and take.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 27 Sep 2011 15:13:56
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35990 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  14:27:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

But I've been wondering if the amount of new content I've been putting on the website is more of a deterrent to picking up my books ("No need--there's lots to read right here...") than an inducement.



I, personally, have never found enough material on a website to keep me from wanting to pick up the associated books -- unless I didn't like the free material, of course. Watching a trailer is not the same as watching the movie, though a trailer can certainly make or break one's interest in the movie.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  15:05:22  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

John Locke must be right. Though the reason for my own infrequent blog posts is not that, but my incurable slothfulness.

Every beginning has an end.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  15:11:40  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

But I've been wondering if the amount of new content I've been putting on the website is more of a deterrent to picking up my books ("No need--there's lots to read right here...") than an inducement.



I, personally, have never found enough material on a website to keep me from wanting to pick up the associated books -- unless I didn't like the free material, of course. Watching a trailer is not the same as watching the movie, though a trailer can certainly make or break one's interest in the movie.



Good point. A sample can make or break a reader's interest.

One thing that concerned me about Honor Among Thieves is the SmashWords information on the ratio of people who purchased the ebook to people who downloaded a sample. It's a lot lower than I'd like.

Some of the reasons for this are things I should have realized up front. For example, I have a very long acknowledgement section, which, depending upon the settings of a person's ereader, might take up several pages of a 20-page sample. Also, I started with a short excerpt from The Book of Vishni's Exile, which is a collection of tales the exiled fairy is required to gather to fulfill her sentence. Starting a book with a prelude to a book-within-a-book is an interesting device, certainly one that appealed to me. But then, I grew up reading 18th and 19th century fiction, which gave me a mental template for pacing that I consciously have to adjust for the more frenetic 21st century mind. And while "interesting literary devices" is enough to make me hit the "Buy Now" button, most readers of fantasy adventure are looking for, well, adventure.

I also didn't take into account a cardinal rule of writing: Lead with your strengths. People who've read my Forgotten Realms books seem to like these elements: humor, the conflicted anti-hero Elaith Craulnober, Liriel's chaotic and fun-loving nature, and my approach to elves. Elves and the possibility of an antihero are in chapter 1, but the sample section has very little humor. Vishni, the exiled fairy, is a bit like Liriel, minus her particular brand of logic and the multi-layered plotting that's a fundamental part of her mindset. Many of the comments I've received fall along the lines of, "I really liked the fairy!" But Vishni doesn't appear until after the sample is finished.

So I'm rewriting Honor Among Thieves, which will start with events that are current take place offstage--the attack in the Starsingers glen, the caper gone wrong that resulted in Delgar's capture. Action, battle, humor, betrayal, tragedy, pratfalls. All that.

I'm fairly certain that readers who've already purchased the book will be able to download the new version for free. But I'll also post the new chapters online. I'm writing them so they'll work as a stronger intro, but also as if they were short stories--prequels to add detail and depth to what people who've read the ebook already know. This way, people who've read the book won't feel that they need to reread it in order to get up to speed for the next two.


Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 27 Sep 2011 15:21:34
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2390 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2011 :  14:53:42  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"There's a fine line between mischief and malevolence...."

What would cause a fairy to be exiled from the fey realm? This topic is introduced in a short Sevrin Lore post on http://www.elainecunningham.com/.


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