In my series, The Riyria Revelations, there is a reoccurring reference to a fairytale character: an evil dwarf named Gronbach, the Rumpelstiltskin of Elan. My new series, Legends of the First Empire, explores the truth behind many of Riyria’s legends and myths. As with all history, the tales have been twisted and inflated and yet still hold a kernel of truth. The reality behind Gronbach is revealed in Age of Swords (the second book of the Legends series, which releases in July 2017), but I never had the opportunity to present any of the fables that made his name infamous and synonymous with evil—until now.
Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team.
In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words).
WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.
This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words, originally published in the Unfettered anthology. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends.