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!)

*** I was out of town last weekend, and couldn’t get to other people’s blogs as I planned, but I’ll be participating fully this week, for sure***

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, 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 questions to assemble potion ingredients (Shan was handed a crystal to hold and think of the lost item).


“Here, please,” the mage scooped up the cauldron in both hands, and held it out to Shan.

Hastily, Shan dropped the now-hot crystal, which hit the bottom of the metal container with a soft thunk.

“Let me see,” Reagan grabbed Shan’s hand, “Does it hurt?”

“No,” Shan pulled back the hand, which smarted painfully.

“Why didn’t you warn–” Reagan turned to the mage, and paused, eyes wide with disbelief. Half of the neat line of vials and jars had disappeared into their respective cabinets or shelves, the mage currently measuring a fine pink powder with a tiny silver scoop, and transferring it to the cauldron a few grains at a time, stirring with a silver whisk.

When the ingredients of the last vial, a dried leaf, crumbled into the cauldron, the mage picked it up again. Carefully, moving as slowly as if the small cauldron were a heavy stone, the Stonespeller shuffled out of the room, down the halfway, and out of sight.

*   *   *

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 currently working on some world-building and character development so I can figure out where the story goes next.

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.

26 responses »

  1. Eleri Stone says:

    Really like the pace and flow of this. Seems very effortless and makes me want to keep reading. The only thing that made me stumble was ‘up’ and ‘it’ in “picked up it again.” Swap?

  2. I read somewhere to get rid of the which’s. Intrigue galore in this eight. I hoped the potion would yield a salve to heal the burn.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’ll look at them, thanks. The potion is the finding-something-lost one, that they’ve been working on for a few snippets now.

      Shan isn’t actually burned–the crystal got pretty warm, but not enough to do damage, just enough to feel uncomfortable.

  3. Jenna Jaxon says:

    This sounds like a wonderful quest story. I’m especially worried about their friend Jamie who’s holding down the fort. I hope they can get the mage to cooperate. Nice snippet.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Jamie is in some big trouble, if they’re not quick enough–hence the hurry. But they’re getting there, you can’t rush magic if you want it to work!

  4. Loving this story and the world building and all the details! Great snippet!

  5. alexissduran says:

    I really enjoyed all the details about the potion. Also it leaves me thinking the mage might be more dangerous than he first appeared. Nice work!

  6. Gemma Parkes says:

    Wonderful detail, great story!

  7. Sarah W says:

    I like the hand grabbing—it reminded me that these characters are still pretty young.

    And I love the stonespeller, too. Why waste time looking powerful when you can be powerful?

    • caitlinstern says:

      I don’t give their ages specifically, but they’re in their teens–that golden age when they’re old enough to be alone for awhile, and too young to realize what they’re doing is *not* a good idea.

      I’d say the Stonespeller is a middle-level mage, and seriously quirky, hence the chatty statues and… well, you’ll see. 😉

  8. Love the housekeeping.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Couldn’t we all use shelves and cabinets that magically recall their contents?

      With so much stuff crammed into an area, I don’t see how the mage could work otherwise!

  9. burnsmillie says:

    Oh, I just love this mage…so clever : )

  10. Frank Fisher says:

    Nice pacing and I hope that potion works. The only thing that threw me off is when you had ‘hastily’ at the beginning of the sentence. I’m used to seeing adverbs at the end or in the middle of sentences. Just my thought. Great 8!

    • caitlinstern says:

      If the potion doesn’t work, the story ends pretty soon! (And they were all eaten by wyrms. The End.) 😉

      One of the nifty things about adverbs is how movable they are–so I think I can get away with it, for the sake of sentence variety.

  11. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love the mage, and his magic shop!

  12. Love how everything disappears back into its place. Can I buy one of the mage’s cupboards? Great snippet;).

  13. Evelyn Jules says:

    This had a real Mary Poppins feel to it when everything is magically put in its rightful place. Very fun snippet!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Hah, I hadn’t even thought of that movie. But you’re right, it is a bit similar.

      All I thought was–how long will this take by normal means, and the answer was ‘too long.’ Finding all those ingredients in a room that’s basically all shelf and cabinet would be difficult.

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