The Floating Isles
1. Quests and Quandaries
This is a tongue in cheek account of a princess forced to go on a quest, very much against her will. With the proverbial band of sidekicks, Rahni leaves the familiar comforts of home for the mysterious Eigen States, a place where, of course, nothing is as it seems. Or else it wouldn’t be much of a quest. Rahni is determined not to let the laws of the land dictate anything, least of all how seriously she has to take the whole matter. Her dearest wish is to get through the quest with as few near scrapes and mortal enemies as possible. If she has to go on a quest, she wants it to be bland, with no nonsense about holding the fate of the world in her hands. Naturally, nothing goes quite as she plans. But what else is new?
2. Portents and Poor Sense
For the first time in her life, Princess Rahni Gazi is glad to be home. She and her best friend Jak completed the quest her parents cursed her into and she is looking forward to a long rest without having to worry about good, evil and other such weighty topics. Alas, hers is not such an idyllic fate. Things have changed during her absence, naturally not for the better. She returns to find that her people and all others who call the Floating Isles home, have fallen victim to a series of portents, which run the gamut from reoccurring mudslides to horrible rash attacks. The idiots in charge of most nations respond to these incidents with a hard turn toward traditional values in part because of fear but mostly because they are a power grubbing privileged elite. So Rahni finds herself in the unusual position of volunteering herself to try to stop them from ruining everything. She is rewarded for this with the enmity of a good portion of the aforementioned idiots and a mission that involves running across the land on esoteric missions. And that’s just the beginning of her troubles.
3. Riffraff and Royalty
For the last couple of months, Rahni Gazi and her companions have been running from one end of the Floating Isles to the other, at the beck and call of the Chipboard, all in an effort to disrupt the long held and rather oppressive balance between good and evil. In that time, they’ve been locked up, beaten up and, on one memorable occasion, nearly baked into a giant pie. In the process, they make even more enemies, some friends and a number of acquaintances willing to lend them sugar in a pinch. But then the Chipboard stops working in the middle of one of the endless quests it coerced them into accepting. This leaves them in an awkward position and at the mercy of some giant bats and worse, uptight knights with common nouns for names. The outlook is no better when they finally get the Chipboard functioning for it nudges and pulls them further into the nexus of the larger conflict over the definitions of good and evil. Trapped there also is Devani, a daayan suffering from amnesia and Kai, a skinwalker with a revisionist worldview. As such things go, their non-determinative destinies happen to be entwined, for better or, far more likely, for worse.
4. Saints and Sinners
With the bossy Chipboard fully functional once more, Rahni Gazi and her companions expect things to go back to normal, even if normal happens to involve bottomless closets and being attacked by hummingbirds. If Rahni expects to be left in peace as she does her best to fight the traditionalists intent on returning the balance of good and evil to what it once was, she is sorely disappointed. Hann still thinks she is an agent of darkness and remains intent on killing her. Kai doesn’t think she is revolutionary enough and sees her as roadblock to be kicked aside. Most worrisome, Rahni’s efforts to foil the plans of the traditionalists at the last Interstate Meeting have made King Wulfric angry enough to gather an army and start marching it toward her home. When they get word, Rahni and her friends rush back to Savay only to realize they have little chance of standing against the might of King Wulfric’s army, especially as he’s recruited other gullible monarchs and joined forces with the dubiously named Council of Light. Rahni wracks her brains, pulls some strings and calls in all the favors she has at her disposal. In the end, she can do very little but sit tight and wait for the fight to come to her, something she is very much not used to.
5. Tyrants and Troublemakers
Through the help of good friends and judicious use of rotten fruit, Rahni Gazi shepherded her capital through a siege. But just because her perennial nemesis King Wulfric is now a prisoner does not mean there are only clear skies ahead for the long-suffering princess and her friends. Not only do they have to endure the most elaborate of rituals for the honor of not having to take control of the defeated nations, more battles lie in their future. This time, at least the battlefield shifts away from Rahni’s home, which is still busy recovering from the shock of witnessing their crown princess save the day. Instead, they race toward the Evil Empire, where the new leadership’s attempts to break with tradition are meeting quite a bit of resistance. The team runs into the usual sort of trouble in the form of score-keeping bigots, hungry monster fish, and airborne child abductors before finally making it to the Evil Empire to lend a hand. Rahni thinks their experience defending Savay will give them a leg up when armies descend upon the Evil Empire. As usual, she is only half right. After all, she’s facing off against two opponents who have the Chipboards she hand delivered to them. Besides which, she’s never had to contend with Moles who may or may not be moles before.
Under the Vault of Heaven