Table of Contents
The Silver Lake:
“In this bold first of a new fantasy series from Canadian Patton, six gods, who originated from spirits that mated with humans and who can take corporeal form at will, rule the magical city of Anavatan. Court intrigues enrich the story, as do many made-up words that lend color but whose meanings readers must figure out in context. The smashing climax neatly sets up events for volume two.”
“The best aspect of this explosive series opener is Patton’s take on relations between gods and men.”
“From Fiona Patton comes the first volume of an exciting fantasy series about a City of the Gods and the immortal patrons that protect it. Breakneck-paced, vividly described, and thoroughly captivating,
The Silver Lake
is easily Patton’s best work to date. A masterwork of imagination, this is epic fantasy at its very best.”
The Barnes & Noble Review
“Patton begins a new series set in an exotic world reminiscent of medieval Turkey. This fluidly paced fantasy adventure belongs in most libraries.”—
“Detailed worldbuilding sets the stage for an intriguing plot ... Fans of multifaceted epic fantasy will enjoy this introduction to a unique world.”—
The Novels of the Branion Realm:
THE STONE PRINCE
THE PAINTER KNIGHT
THE GRANITE SHIELD
THE GOLDEN SWORD
Copyright © 2005 by Fiona Patton.
eISBN : 978-1-101-07813-6
All rights reserved.
DAW Book Collectors No. 1343.
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the In- ternet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
First Paperback Printing, February 2007
DAW TRADEMARK REGISTERED
U.S. PAT. OFF. AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES
HECHO EN U.S.A.
For my sister Isabelle, for the years together.
The author would like to thank Ozan Yigit and Ihsan Pala for sharing their wonderful stories and memories of Turkey, which helped Anavatan come alive, and Shihan Kenzo Dozono of the Belleville Karate School for his wisdom and training.
ANAVATAN AND THE LAKE OF POWER
IN THE AGE OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION
To come upon Anavatan, City of the Gods, from the south is to make a peaceful and leisurely journey up the shining Gol-Beyaz Lake, past its twelve prosperous villages, to the bustling wharves of the city’s Temple Precinct. To come upon Anavatan from the north, however, is to make the more dramatic voyage. The dark and narrow Bogazi-Isik Strait with its three massive watchtowers gives over to the bare cliffs of the Degisken-Dag Mountains to the east and to the high walls of the city proper to the west. Statues of Anavatan’s six Immortal Patrons, formed from multicolored marbles drawn up from the lake bed, stand sentinel along the wall, marking the position of each of its great temples. Estavia, crimson-eyed midnight God of Battles, points Her silver swords both north and west; blue-painted Usara, God of Healing, reaches out to any who might need His skills; while icy-pale Incasa, God of Prophecy, oldest and most mysterious of all the Gods, holds a pair of opalescent dice in one hand as if He were about to hurl them into the waters of Gol-Beyaz for good or for ill. Oristo, ruddy-brown, bi-gender God of Hearth and Home, carries a flaming torch in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other; while many-colored Ystazia, God of the Arts, holds a fine reed pipe to Her lips; and finally, leaf-green and earth-brown Havo, bi-gender God of Seasonal Bounty, looks out upon the fields and orchards along the western shores of Gol-Beyaz.
It’s said that to feel the Gods’ touch is to be blessed beyond words, but to earn Their love is to be cursed for They’re both fickle and dangerous.
-Anise Rostov, 11th Duc of Volinsk
“The life of a God is inexplicable even to Its most intimate followers. Its birth, however, is more easily definable and by its very nature, violent. Its midwives would do well to remember this.”
-The Chronicles of Anavatan: City of the Gods.
Book twenty-eight: The Age of
Creation and Destruction.
By: Ihsan, First Scribe to Ystazia, God of the Arts
“Gods are big, and They’ll do you if you let Them.”
-Found scrawled on a Western Trisect pier,
THE singing began just before dawn. From the hun-Tdred lofty minarets which graced the skyline of the capital city to the nine village towers which guarded Gol-Beyaz, the priests of Havo gathered to call forth the sun for another day. As their joined voices rose, the shadows which had been building in every comer like heavy spiderwebbing grudgingly withdrew. But they did not vanish. The rising wind and the heavy, concealing bank of storm clouds which had brought them from the western wild lands of the Berbat-Dunya plains whispered to them of power and potential and they stirred hungrily, impatient for the coming of night.
The strength of their desire sent ripples of disquiet through Gol-Beyaz, disturbing the vision-filled slumber of Incasa, pale-haired God of Prophecy and Probability. A frown marring the smooth perfection of His features, He opened His snow-white eyes to stare into the depths. Something was happening. Raising one delicate, fine-boned hand, He blew a line of icy breath across the pair of opalescent dice nestled in His palm, then flung them into the waters.
A dozen rippling streams formed in their wake, each one leading to a single, familiar destination and Incasa bared His silvery-white teeth in displeasure. Three times before, the shadowy spirits of the Berbat-Dunya had risen to challenge the supremacy of the Gods, and three times before they’d been defeated so utterly that their shattered potential had been reformed to Incasa’s own desire without a flicker of resistance. And so it would be. again. The great wall of stone and power erected about Gol-Beyaz when its twelve villages had been in their infancy was still strong and the champions who kept it so had been in place for more than a millennium. The spirits could not win through, not now, not ever.
As if in agreement, a cold breath of wind scored the surface of the lake and Incasa smiled. It was the final day of Low Spring, the final day before Usara, God of Healing, gave dominion over the land to Havo who heralded the coming of High Spring with three nights of violent wind, rain, and hailstorms, known as Havo’s Dance. Nothing stirred when the God of Wind and Rain wreaked havoc above the world; nothing the spirits of the wild lands could lay claim to or draw strength from. With a flick of His hand, Incasa swept the streams aside, then returned to His slumber in the depths of Gol-Beyaz, secure in His power and in His defenses.