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Vol. 2 of the Obsidian Chronicles
Tor Books published The Dragon Society in hardcover in December 2001, and in paperback in March 2003, with cover art by Bob Eggleton. (The painting is in the ''Dragon's Domain'' gallery on his website.)
The Dragon Society isn't as long as its predecessor; I estimate it's perhaps three-fourths the length of Dragon Weather.
So here's what I've got for you...
Well, at the end of Dragon Weather I think it's pretty clear that while the main storyline may be wrapped up, Arlian's situation is not exactly stable. He knows things that have changed the way he looks at the world -- you know, it's hard to talk about this without ruining surprises in the first book for people who haven't read it! Anyway, there was plainly more story to be told, so I told it. The Dragon Society is a transitional part of the greater story, sorting out Arlian's relationship to his world; the major resolutions are mostly in the third volume.
The funny thing is that when I started Dragon Weather, I didn't really plan on needing a sequel. I always intended to keep the possibility of one open, but most of the stuff in the first book that just cries out for some sort of follow-up developed while I was writing the story, it wasn't in my original plan. The original scheme would've allowed pretty much endless subsequent adventures. What actually happened called instead for a finite series, dealing with the problems set up in the first book.
So that's what I wrote. And I can't really say what those problems were, or how I tackled them, without giving away more than I want to give away. Which leaves me without much to say here.
I can tell you that the story once again takes place in the Lands of Man, long after the last Dragons have retreated to the deep caverns. It starts a few days after the end of Dragon Weather, with certain people arriving at the gates of Manfort. We see more of Arlian, Black, Rime, Wither, and several other familiar faces, as well as some new characters. There are dragons in this one, of course, and magic, but I'm afraid it doesn't have as many swordfights as the first.
One of the swordfights it does have is a whopper, though.
I didn't write it immediately after Dragon Weather because, frankly, I was a little burned out on Arlian and company -- they can be fairly intense to live with. I wrote Night of Madness as a change of pace, to relax a little. Similarly, I wrote Ithanalin's Restoration after The Dragon Society and before tackling Dragon Venom.
The Dragon Society
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Book One: The Return
Chapter One: A Late Arrival
he wagon trundled through the gates of Manfort late at night, at an hour when all sensible folk were long abed and even the guards were yawning. Five of the seven people aboard were asleep in the back; the other two sat side by side on the driver's bench.
One, the driver, was a stocky, crop-haired man of indeterminate age clad entirely in black leather; he stared into the darkness ahead, as calm and stolid as the oxen pulling the vehicle. Beside him, alternately drowsing and starting into intense alertness, slumped a tall young man wrapped in a black cloak piped with white.
''We should have stopped at an inn,'' the driver said after his companion started into wakefulness just inside the gates. ''Dawn can't be more than two hours away. You're exhausted, the oxen are exhausted, I'm tired myself, and we still have to get to the Upper City and get everyone inside.''
The young man shook his head sharply. ''No,'' he replied. ''You know I still have enemies here. If we arrived by daylight the news of our return would be everywhere in minutes. They could have had assassins in the crowds on the street before we could get inside the gates, let alone reach the Old Palace.''
''They could have archers on the rooftops right now, Ari, and we'd never know it in the dark.''
''Only if they knew we were coming.''
Stop here to avoid spoilers for Dragon Weather!
Further excerpts from Chapter One of The Dragon Society:
''And who do you think that might be? I never did get a good understanding of who the Duke's advisers were beyond Lord Enziet, Lord Drisheen, Lord Hardior, and Lady Rime.''
''Well, you've just named the four best known.''
''And I killed two of them, didn't I?''
''You'd think whoever it is might be grateful to us for removing Enziet and Drisheen and creating an opportunity for advancement in the Duke's favor,'' Lord Obsidian suggested hopefully.
''Gratitude is a virtue that is expected more than practiced,'' Black remarked dryly.
''I've noticed that,'' Obsidian acknowledged. He looked around at the deserted streets.
Everyone was awake now, and the Aritheans lent a hand in getting Brook and Cricket down from their perch and out of the wagon.
''We're really here?'' Cricket asked sleepily, as Black lifted her and started for the postern. ''I'll really see Lily and Kitten and Hasty and Musk?''
''You really will,'' Black assured her.
She smiled happily. ''That's wonderful! What else could I ask for?''
''Feet,'' Brook said grumpily as Arlian hoisted her in his arms, the stumps of her ankles waving in the air.
And on that note, Lord Obsidian re-entered his home.
That's it; here's your list of handy exits:
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