Geis of the Gargoyle (Xanth, Book 18) by Piers Anthony

By Piers Anthony

For the reason that Xanth started, the gargoyles of that magical position were less than a paranormal compulsion to guard the purity of the Swan Knee River which flows in to Xanth from dreary Mundania. yet lately the pollutants from the surface international has grown ever higher, and younger Gary Gar, most recent in a protracted line of gargoyle guardians, is discovering it ever more challenging to meet his responsibilities.

So Gary does what any brilliant Xanth resident with a dire issue could do. He is going to work out the great Magician Humfrey, who sends him on a unusual quest--to rework himself into human form, educate a precocious baby with greater than her proportion of untamed magical skills, and discover a philter which may fix the river to its earlier pristine state.

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They are in the pool? " "Of course. Do you think they want to wait in the regular realm, getting older every moment? " "She does? What's wrong with getting older? " This time Mentia's right side shrugged in one direction, and her left side in the other direction. Gary did find that interesting, especially when her eyes passed each other on the return trip, overshooting the mark. "But Iris is ninety-three years old. " "Ninety-seven, technically. But he was youthened to about twenty-five last year, and is now one handsome hunk of human.

He couldn't bound very well underwater, but he made sufficient progress by slowly flapping his wings instead. He climbed out, shook his body and wings dry, and turned back to thank her, but she was gone. The surface of the moat was rippling as the storm eased; the fish were already into their playoffs. He bounded to the inner side of the drawbridge, and to the castle gate. It opened as he got there, admitting him. A human young woman of about twenty stood there. "Hello," she said, looking past him.

This must relate. But what did it mean? He looked around-and spied another mountain, with another boulder. More balancing. But he still didn't know how any of this could help. He bounded between the two mountains, hoping for some clue. He saw that the sunlight fell across this region in a checkered pattern, interrupted by the shadows of the mountains and stones. Halfway between the balanced rocks was a square that seemed to have been etched into the ground by the pattern of sunbeam and shadow. He wasn't sure how it had happened, because normally shadows did not stay still very long.

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