"If I could write stories, Hinfane, then I would put you in them as a character, and you would always be a beautiful Hwellwellyn maiden, or a Welfing, one of those wolf people from the unfallen realms, or some kind of absolutely beautiful, other-worldly type, both innocent and pure and completely incorruptible, and beautiful, always, oh, so beautiful. You're like a Hwellwellyn elf to me, one of the good elves. To me you're a fairy-tale creation, someone from another world, and I can't see how in a million years I could be lucky enough to have you love me; of all the men in this world, why should I be so lucky?"
Gothur loves Hinfane, but she's away, and he doesn't know when she's coming back.
And the snow-dragon is causing trouble again - burning the wood-pile, attacking travellers, stealing crops, haunting the edges of town.
As if that wasn't enough, he is troubled by another kind of monster entirely. A fire-breathing, eagle-winged, taloned creature, with the golden fur and body and tail of a lion.
A gryphon has come to the north.
This novella, "The Snow-Dragon and the Taverner", is the prequel to the Gryphonomicon Gryphon Dragon Histories by Robert Denethon, and tells some of the stories of the main characters before the first novel in the series, "Feather on the Breath of Ellulianaen."
This book is less than a novel, but more than a collection of unrelated short stories. It is rather a collection of linked, interlocking stories that give various sides of the same events. Some of them were written later, some earlier, but each of these sections tells what happened before a strand of the first novel in the Gryphonomicon Histories, "A Feather on the Breath of Ellulianaen". I've collated this collection of stories for those of my readers who wished to know a little more about the characters and the world of these stories.
If any part of this collection can be considered anything approaching a complete novella, then it is the story of Gothur, Hinfane's husband. He dies before the beginning of book I of the series, but some readers expressed a desire to know more about him, so here it is! Also included are some background about the gryphons, the story of the nameless elf-mage who makes his appearance in "A Feather on the Breath of Ellulianaen", and a small amount about the partisan, Kereth Chufire.
I have edited some of the stiltedness out - some of these were the earliest writing I did - but the discerning reader might still be able to tell the difference between what I wrote earlier and what I wrote later. I challenge you to guess! While I'm not still not sure that the book makes a complete whole - it seems to me that the sense of unity is not as strong as in most of my longer novels - I believe that this slight deficency will not stop you from enjoying, "The Snow-Dragon and The Taverner."