Art of Adair and an excerpt from book 1 (Colorweaver)


Look at this amazing art that perringdraws did of Adair! This just makes me grin so much because that is so Addy and his adorable dork self who's constantly setting free the light elementals the antagonists keep summoning and forgetting about. I've been poking at the current draft of book 1 (Colorweaver) and I'd like to share an excerpt from the chapter that inspired this picture.

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"Is that what they are? Elementals? Are they like your shadows from before?"

"In a way, yes. Mostly, however, no. They are perhaps an opposite."

Etri's answer wasn't much of one, so Adair went over to the jar to see for himself. If he didn't know any better, he would swear they were just oddly-shaped fireflies. Their glows were steadier, maybe, and they didn't look like any bugs he was familiar with, but bugs or not it was cruel to leave them in a jar. There were much brighter things the thief could have been using for a lamp, so why did he put these poor things inside? Adair tentatively brushed his fingertips against the glass and smiled when the lights swarmed to where his fingers rested on the other side. The shadows had been kind of frightening. These were just pretty and left his fingers a little warm in a way that wasn't scary at all.

Etri stepped up behind him and reached to catch his arm, only to pull back before they touched. The no-yes-sometimes touch thing was starting to get more than a little frustrating. What was that supposed to mean? Adair took a guess based on the previous times Etri allowed himself physical contact with him. "Are they dangerous?"

"They can be if you do not have care. They do not take well to being summoned or confined." When Adair picked up the jar and headed for the door, Etri hurried after him. "You should not take them. They will hurt you if-"

Adair spun around. Did Etri really think he wanted to keep them? "They're alive, right? You made it sound like they were living things."

"Yes, but please, do not do this." Etri looked as though he wanted to grab Adair or possibly grab the jar. For once his lack of touch played to Adair's advantage and Adair was able to slip past him and out the door.

That yes confirmed what Adair had to do, despite the first yes confirming that they could be dangerous. "They're living things that don't like being confined. I can't leave them here, so I'm going to set them free."

"You are going to... Wait!"

By the time Etri caught on to what Adair planned, he was down the stairs and heading towards the water. He wanted to give the lights open space in case being let free near a building scared or confused them. Creators knew a lighthouse terrified Adair. The light creatures probable wouldn't like water, either, but it seemed the better option. The soft sand slowed Adair's pace in a way that it didn't for Etri and his longer legs. Normally Adair would admit appreciation for those legs, but not now. He knew how Etri felt about shadows and if his feelings about lights were anything like that, Adair wanted to be the one to handle this.

Etri caught up with him and wrapped his fingers around the jar. "Atty, you will be hurt. You must let-"

Shrill shrieks filled the calm evening air and Adair snatched back the jar to hug it to his chest. The cry broke off, although he could feel the lights frantically beating against the side of the glass. "What was that?"

Adair's ears still rang and it was a little difficult to hear Etri's muted voice. "As I said, they do not like being confined."

"Which is why I'm setting them free. What I mean is, why'd they start screaming?" When Etri didn't respond right away, Adair wagered another guess. This was why they'd vanished from the rooftop weeks ago, wasn't it? It hadn't been Adair seeing lights where there were none, it had been Etri scaring them away when he approached. "It's because of your weaving, isn't it? You're shadow and they're light. The poor things are probably terrified of you."

Etri's face fell; it was more expression than Adair had ever seen from him and he felt awful for saying that. Adair wanted so badly to give him a hug, but between the distressed elementals and Etri's touch aversion, he knew it wouldn't be appreciated by anyone else involved. "They're not very smart, right? They don't realize that you're not scary and that you were only trying to keep me safe."

Etri mumbled something at his boots. Adair still couldn't hear him. Thinking Etri might want assurance, he said, "I don't think they'll hurt me and if they do, Blythe is nearby. I'll be okay."

A nod from Etri was the best response Adair could hope for, all things considered. He gave him a smile even though he wasn't sure if Etri could see it from behind the hair that had fallen into his face, and walked a little down the beach. When he was far enough away that he didn't think the lights would be able to see Etri, but Etri would still be able to see him, he unscrewed the lid.

He held his breath as the lights drifted up and out of the jar. If they were dangerous, what would they do? Bite him? Burn him? Shriek at him again? When they did make a sound, it was more of a hum that soothed Adair's aching ears. Feeling kind of silly talking to something that might not have a sense of hearing, he whispered. "Do you know I won't hurt you? He wouldn't have hurt you either. He has shadow weaving, yeah, but he's sweet and kind and only wanted to make sure you wouldn't hurt me. He would have set you free, too."

Etri hadn't said this, but as Adair spoke it he knew it was the truth. Even if Etri didn't like elementals, he wouldn't go out of his way to hurt ones that weren't a threat. Etri just wanted to protect him, rather like a sentinel... the thought made heat rise to his face and he was glad that Etri wasn't here to see.

The lights were all free of the jar now, the last lingering ones seemingly to be guided by a few of the others. Floating in the air against the dark sky, they looked almost like distant stars. Warmth tickled Adair's skin; a dozen spiraled around his arms and hands before drifting up to join the rest. Pretty didn't even begin to describe these...

Adair watched them float away over the sea until they were long out of sight and wondered if he'd see them again. If he did, he hoped it wouldn't be in jars. His attention was pulled back to the beach by a hand resting lightly on his shoulder. "They are beautiful, yes?"

A soft expression was on Etri's face and he didn't immediately pull his hand away when Adair turned around. "Yeah. I'm glad we found them. Where will they go now?"

"They should return to where they originated."

That was a relief. Adair hated to think that someone would catch them and bottle them again.

CONVERSATION

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