Song of the Elements: Air

Plot Summary

Plot Summary

Aera, the Goddess of Wind, has foreseen a great cataclysm looming over the land of Alcyone. Soon, the elements which govern the world will devolve into chaos, and an evil force will rise to claim their power.

A courageous air Fae named Zephyr answers her Goddess's call for help. Zephyr gathers three other elemental magic users—one of fire, one of earth, and one of water—and ventures to the land of Kaelin, where the source of elemental imbalance grows ever stronger.

Along the way, the four companions face power-mad sorcerers, murderous eidolons, and treacherous rulers, but nothing prepares them for the final sacrifices they must make at journey's end. As trusted friends turn traitor and prophesies take on frightening new meanings, Aera's champions must fight—and kill—to save everything they love.



Clever, sweet, and relentlessly cheerful, Zephyr is a newly-created fae of Aera. Gifted with amazing air powers and the ability to shape-shift from fairy to human to air itself, she is firmly loyal to her friends and always enjoys making new acquaintances.


Ever since Tristan was orphaned at a young age, he's felt only bitterness toward the Goddesses. Despite his reluctance to use his earth magic, his powers are remarkably strong, and his sense of justice is even stronger. Quiet, withdrawn, and pessimistic, Tristan finds purpose in Zephyr's noble quest.


The icily beautiful Evadne Naiad has devoted her entire life to the water Goddess Hydra, and now she serves as a teacher to many faithful apprentices. Her strong hatred of men and her staunch belief in her element's superiority make her a fairly unpleasant companion, but her magical skill is invaluable to Zephyr's cause.


Like his fiery element, Jey is flashy, volatile, quick, and energetic. He enjoys confrontation and relishes attention. He is also a dual sorcerer, able to manipulate both fire and water, a fact which he flaunts as openly as his licentiously bisexual tendencies.


The Bloomingtide is here once more!

The earth gives life, the air is pure.

The sun burns bright with springtime glow,

And melts the lakes from ice and snow.

Oh, thank the Four for all rebirth!

Water, fire, air, and earth!

Thanks be to Them for life and care,

Earth and water, fire, air!

The songs of the Bloomingtide resounded through the bustling streets of Nusku. Though the sun was near to setting and the evening breezes had begun their nightly frolics, nearly every shop stood open, and the inns overflowed with carousing customers. Every other corner served as an impromptu stage for jugglers and musicians, and many empty supply- crates became poets' or orators' podiums. The village was intoxicated with the promise of springtime, eager to cast off the last vestiges of chill and snow.

"Honestly, Fae," Evadne huffed as yet another group of celebrants roughly shoved past her, "how long must we wander through this crowd? It's been nearly an hour, and I haven't seen anything even resembling a fire cleric."

Zephyr smiled with perfect confidence as she strode forward.

"We'll find him soon," she said, pitching her voice above the bustle of the crowd. "The power's getting stronger by the moment. It's here, somewhere."

A small cabal of children scampered past Tristan and sent him into a sideways stumble; his shoulder collided with Evadne's, and the water cleric glared at him.

"Sorry," he muttered, averting his eyes.

Before Evadne could utter a disparaging reply, Zephyr came to an unexpected halt ahead of them.

"There," she said, and she inclined her head towards an ale-stand huddled against the side of an inn. "Our fire sorcerer is there."

The stand was manned by a middle-aged, balding innkeep, and a few chatting men and women stood to either side of the posts. The members of the milling crowd seemed relatively nondescript, each of them bearing the same colorless farmer's garb and mildly intoxicated grin.

"Where?" Evadne mumbled as her eyes roamed over the scene before her. "I don't see anyone who..."

One young man stood apart from the other customers, his elbows braced against the edge of the bar and his hands splayed against its wooden top. His dark-blonde hair was artfully unkempt, the end of each strand dyed with unnaturally bright fuchsia. He watched the barkeep closely, his eyes like a hungry tiger kit's: dark, darting, and keen.

"Him?" Tristan finally questioned, his voice mystified. "The one in the long black coat? And with the...the hair?"

Zephyr nodded. She could sense the fire magic all around the odd-looking young man, its presence strong, energetic, and unmistakable.

The barkeep passed a flagon to the sorcerer, but his fingers slipped, and the vessel fell on its side. Immediately, the gold-and-fuchsia-haired boy pointed toward the fallen vessel, almost as if admonishing its disobedience.

And as Zephyr and her two companions watched, the spilled water smoothly slid back into its flagon.

"He...he's a..." Evadne sputtered, and Tristan completed her thought.

"He's a water sorcerer."

Zephyr's smile faded, and she once again focused on the boy's magical aura. For a moment, it flashed with an odd purple twinge, and Zephyr blinked in confusion; when she opened her eyes again, she could see nothing but the pure, unaltered red of Pyra's power.

What in Alcyone is happening here? she mentally asked herself. The warmth of fire-magic still pressed against her senses, but there was something else deep beneath that magic-sense, something cool and slippery as a glacier stream...

"You've brought us all the way into this town to find a water sorcerer?" Evadne was demanding, her eyes focused on Zephyr's profile. "I thought that we were trying to gather a balanced group."

As Zephyr searched for a reply, a rather shapely barmaid emerged from the inn and walked to the ale-stand, a small lantern dangling from her hand. She reached up to hang the lantern on the post's hook, her arm stretched above her head and her tightly-laced corset straining to contain her ample bosom.

Just as the lantern's wire met the hook, however, the candle lost its sputtering flame, and the girl sighed with annoyance. Before the maid could pull the dark lantern from its perch, the odd fuchsia-haired young man moved beside her, served her with a charming smile, and lightly touched the lantern's glass. Instantly, the candle within flared into life.

"How did he..." Tristan began, and both he and Evadne turned to face Zephyr.

"He's a dual sorcerer," said Zephyr smoothly, as if she had known all along. She summoned a faint smile to her lips and shrugged. "He possesses both water and fire powers."

"That's impossible," Evadne snapped.

"Well, evidently it's not impossible," Tristan ventured.

Evadne's eyes narrowed with catlike persistence.

"It's impossible," she iterated, hands clenching at the fabric of her purple skirt. "Hydra would never grant her holy powers to some strange-looking, scruffy vagrant. Perhaps Pyra keeps such obvious freaks in her chosen few, but never Hydra."

Zephyr raised an eyebrow. "Well, how would you explain what we saw, then?"

"It must be some sort of trick. It's sleight of hand, or illusion." Evadne looked to Zephyr, her fervor turning hortative. "Whatever it is, Fae, you know as well as I do that it can't be natural. The Goddesses simply do not work that way."

Zephyr considered, idly twisting a lock of hair around her finger.

"Well, just because the Goddesses don't usually share their sorcerers doesn't mean that it's impossible for them to do so," she returned, then waved her hand in blithe dismissal. "Anyway, it doesn't really matter where he got his powers, just so long as he's willing to add them to our group. Let's just go over there and talk to him."

"Zephyr, I really must protest this decision," Evadne pronounced gravely. "I truly do not—"

Evadne's words ended in a sudden yelp as a small gout of fire appeared in the center of their trio. A chuckle drifted on the evening breezes, and Zephyr turned around to see that their huddle had gained a new visitor.

The strange young man stood just before the startled trio, one hand resting on his hip. His unbuttoned coat clung to the lines of his arms and torso, then flared into a sort of cape at his narrow hips, extending almost to his ankles. Tiny lines of orange embroidery decorated the hem of his coat and the edges of his sleeves, their pattern creating accents of fiery color. Beneath the coat, he wore an equally snug, orange shirt which didn't quite meet the top of his sable breeches, and a thin black choker circled his neck.

"So," he said after a short pause, regarding each of his observers with salacious interest, "which one of you will it be?"

Neither Tristan nor Evadne seemed capable of an immediate reply, and so Zephyr jumped to fill the stunned silence.

"Which one of us?" she echoed with as much pleasantness as she could manage, and the sorcerer favored her with a sly smile.

"Ah, so you mean to occupy me all at the same time? Interesting. I haven't done one of those since...well, since early last week, I guess."

Finally, Evadne found her tongue. "What in Alcyone are you babbling about, boy?"

The fire sorcerer turned to her. His dark eyes smoothly traveled along her body, from plaited hair to gossamer skirt.

"Impressive," he murmured. He met her stare, his expression one of profound approval. "You don't need to bother being coy, Raspberry. You three have been watching me, and I've seen your looks. I know enough to recognize travelers in search of a good time."

Evadne's mouth opened slightly, and the pale ice of her complexion reddened.

The sorcerer looked to Zephyr, his eyes bright with a thousand possibilities, like a hungry child in a confectioner's shop.

"In any case, I'm quite willing to oblige," he said. "I don't know if I've ever seen a trio as delicious you three. Two lovely nymphs...and a bit of crumpet for dessert."

Tristan's eyes widened, and he raised his hands before him. "Er, I...but I'm a—"

"I know exactly what you are, Crumpet," the sorcerer chuckled with a quick wink.

"Sir Sorcerer, I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding," Zephyr explained, her voice thick with laughter. "We were indeed watching you, but not for the reasons you seem to believe."

The young man paused, pensively nibbling at one fingernail.

" don't want to come to my room, then?" he asked, his tone hinted with disappointment. His smirk returned for a moment, and he glanced at the still-seething Evadne. "I assure you, it would be well worth your while."

"As intriguing as that sounds," Zephyr blurted before Evadne could summon a reply, "I'm afraid we have to decline. We need to speak with you about a very serious matter."

The sorcerer crossed his arms over his chest, his expression a mix of curiosity and impatience.

"Will this take long? Because there are plenty of boys and girls over there who would be more than happy to entertain me, and I'm not planning on sleeping in a cold bed tonight."

Zephyr shook her head. "Just give us a few moments to tell you our tale, Sir Sorcerer. I'm sure that you'll find it interesting."

The sorcerer tapped his fingers on his arm in thought.

"All right, but you'll have to buy me a drink or two." He glanced over his shoulder at the small, stone-façade inn, then jerked his thumb in its direction. "Follow me. I've a table reserved in there."

Before any of the three could protest, the fire sorcerer turned away and decisively strode across the street.

"Well," said Zephyr with growing enthusiasm, "I suppose we ought to go with him, then!"

Tristan nodded, looking significantly less certain but nonetheless compliant. Evadne, however, was not nearly so trusting.

"Zephyr," she said from between very clenched teeth, "I really must protest this decision. Again."

The Fae rested her hand against Evadne's arm.

"Look, Evadne, I know that he's a bit strange. But you have to give him a chance, at least. What can it hurt to tell him our story? And aren't you just the least bit curious? Don't you want to find out why your Lady bestowed her powers on him?"

Evadne swallowed, her light eyes shining with unwilling thought.

"Right," said Zephyr, nodding once. She turned from her two companions and headed towards the inn's opened door. "Let's go!"


© 2005-2008 Rachael M. Haring