This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Shield of Namarr is a sword-and-sorcerer type fantasy WIP, set in a kingdom that suffers from magically-created, vicious creatures. Three friends have gone to a mage’s house in order to purchase a potion, are led into a room crammed full of cabinets and shelves, the mage takes out and lines up several vials, jars, and a cauldron, and asks what they have lost.

I skipped over a narrative explanation that, to avoid panicking the citizens, the mages are sending a team to recover the Shield on a scheduled caravan trip in four days–but the group can’t wait so long.

(The punctuation got pretty creative this time, sorry.)




“You don’t have to tell me,” the mage said into the silence, “but I do need to know a few things–such as, who will suffer the most personally, for its loss?” The mage turned, just as Auber and Reagan glanced guiltily at Shan.

“Hold this tightly,” a small, clear crystal appeared in the mage’s hand, passed to Shan, “and think of why you need to find this item.”

Before Shan could respond, the mage whisked away again. “Is this item living–like a person or animal–dead–like a piece of wood cut from a tree–or never lived–like metal?”

“Never lived,” Reagan said.

Three glass jars clicked onto the counter in front of the cabinets, and the mage asked, “Is this item magical or unmagical?”

“Magical,” Shan said, thinking of the missing magical battery that Jamie was currently replacing,  trapped, until the spell pulled too much magic and burst the the apprentice mage’s heart.

*   *   *

Originally, Shield of Namarr was intended to be a very short snippet, but some things I wrote at the end raised some questions–which led to more story. I’m trying to decide whether I want to do some world-building and character development so I can keep writing, or drop it.

Shan, Auber, and Reagan visit a Stonespeller, a mage who works mostly in animated stone, to buy a potion that will help them recover a lost stone, the Shield of Namarr, which powers a shield that keeps magically-created, dangerous creatures from entering the city they live in. Failure to return the Shield quickly will have deadly consequences for their friend,  Jamie, whose life-force is currently powering the shield-spell.



About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

31 responses »

  1. Like it. Did I hear right that you’re not sure if you’ll continue with this? Would be a shame, since this one scene is already a decent hook. I like the flow of the dialogue, and how the action advances the plot, but would be interested to know more about the characters (although eight lines isn’t really a lot to play with). Looking forward to reading more, I’ll follow with interest.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Originally, I had a short snippet, ending with the group entering the house, because they needed to find the Shield of Namarr and save Jamie.

      And then I wondered what the Shield was, and why Jamie was in danger.

      So I have plotting to do, but I do plan to keep going. 🙂

  2. Sarah Cass says:

    Very nice snippet. It’s like a game of 20 questions. I hope the mage is able to help.

  3. Yes, I loved the “twenty questions” vibe as well, but so much at stake here! This world is simply entrancing me, need more!!! Great snippet!

  4. Gemma Parkes says:

    Great atmosphere and imagery in this snippet!

  5. Magical moments with the mage. I’m caught up in your fantasy.

  6. Botanist says:

    LOL! Sounds like we’re in for a game of twenty questions! From what little I know, sounds like the answers to a lot of questions would be a giveaway anyway. “Who will suffer for its loss?” … “Everyone”

  7. I really like the last line, it shows just how much is at stake here, and that their journey is a lot more dangerous than just adventuring around for a shield. I am wondering why it is that Shan has the most at stake? Did I miss something, or is that coming up? Can’t wait to see more! 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      You haven’t missed anything. But I’m not sure the answer will make it into the snippets.

      So… Shan and Jamie are either close friends or involved, I have to decide which.

  8. burnsmillie says:

    How clever is the mage? Will he know what they have lost? Looking forward to more : )

  9. alexissduran says:

    I’m really enjoying this story. I hope you keep going with it. Great snippet!

  10. Sarah W says:

    Wow! Talk about high stakes!

    I like the custom-spellwork, here, too.

  11. I love how the mage works with the situation and you’ve raised the stakes again. Well done.
    I would very much like to read more, so I hope you keep going;).

  12. Sounds as if the mage is used to working with clients who don’t want to tell him what they’re looking for.

  13. Frank Fisher says:

    I like the mage’s tactics in this situation. Very clever and quick-thinking.

  14. I was a little confused at the end, is the mage endangered because the friends are seeking help? The questions help maintain interest, well done.

  15. Carrie-Anne says:

    I like how the mage has so many questions for them. He’s not selling his wares easily.

    • caitlinstern says:

      It got a little lost in the trimming to snippet form, but the questions are helping assemble the ingredients.

      Finding a magical item, use this herb, nonmagical uses that one.

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