Skylands: Large Living
©2011 by Sylvan Scott
Smashwords Edition

Macaferty Jahn didn’t understand newcomers and hated their slang. He knew it probably wasn’t universal but they all seemed so … insulting. They were as bad as the terrmorah and trolls even if the newcomer in question had been transformed into a member of a much smaller race such as his own. He’d met tahvic newcomers and they all possessed perplexing ways of speaking and thinking. Most of them didn’t even put their family name before their given name. It was insulting to one’s lineage and disrespectful to the adopted tahvic race. While charging into battle, following the ill-conceived tactics of a newcomer wizard, he resented them even more. Accidentally, his feet crushed a wooden wagon as he launched himself at the enemy line.

Like all tahvic, Jahn understood the role of relative size. Only three feet high—under normal circumstances—he constantly had to deal with creatures larger than himself. Of all the Twenty Peoples, only the thaylene were smaller than a tahvic. But despite the elemental arcana that could warp and twist the status quo into virtually any configuration, no tahvic worth the name would ever resort to growth incantations. Regardless of size a true tahvic would eagerly confront any of the bull-like terrmorah in a fair fight. More times than not, the tahvic would win. Trolls, if not so damnably proud—a trait that the tahvic shared—were also no better off for their hulking height. To one of Jahn’s ferret-like people, size was merely an indicator of challenge, not something to be overcome with spell craft.

With one spell, the wizard newcomer, Aaron, had sucked all the honor out of the fight.

Snarling, Jahn kicked at a calf-high terrmorah and sent him sailing a dozen feet into a tree. It was completely unsatisfying.

What kind of name was “Aaron” anyway? It sounded like one of those effete names that the serpentine jessai’id took. It didn’t have enough vowels or consonants to be a faerie name but sounded just as pretentious. Almost all newcomers to the floating islands and continents of Talvali had stupid names.

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