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Shield of Namarr is a sword-and-sorcerer type fantasy WIP, set in a kingdom that suffers from magically-created, vicious creatures. (This bit is a good several pages from the last snippets.) Three friends bought a finding-things-lost potion, which will last several days, drank it, and set out to track down a stolen magical stone–travelling under the magical guidance of the potion, they have spent the night outside the monster-repelling shield, and started again at dawn.

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They found a river, glinting in the afternoon sun, and deep enough that they couldn’t see the bottom.

“We’ll look for a shallow spot,” Auber reined the gelding to ride upriver. The others followed, feeling the spell tugging away at them as they moved in the wrong direction, but a half hour’s ride away, and an hour returning didn’t prove fruitful.

“We’re still fairly far south, the river might be clear of daggerfish,” Reagan said hopefully, staring at the fast moving current.

“But what if it’s not?” Shan asked.

“We can’t waste any more time,” Auber said, “There was a shallow area a ways back, we’ll ride across there, one at a time. We’ll tie a rope to the rider, so we can pull them to safety… in case, and hope for the best.”

*   *   *

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.

32 responses »

  1. This sounds pretty dangerous. What if they can’t pull?

  2. I don’t understand why they rode in the wrong direction. Hmm. I must be missing something or Cailtin, did you leave out an ingredient here?

    • caitlinstern says:

      I squished together a couple sentences–I guess it didn’t work.

      The long version was a half hour away, an hour back–so they have an upriver and downriver survey of the best place to cross. Because their path goes diagonal to the river, following would mean going out of their way, especially if they find an impassable area.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    Exciting, tense snippet, danger all around, great snippet!

  4. Carrie-Anne says:

    Sounds like danger is afoot. River crossings can be so perilous if you’re not at the right spot.

  5. I like the tension in this piece, but I do wonder why they wouldn’t ride in the direction the spell is pulling them. It’s likely that I missed this in an earlier snippet. The stakes in this scene do leave me wanting more. Great snippet!

    • caitlinstern says:

      See my answer to Charmaine–basically, they’re looking upriver and downriver for the best spot.

      This is the start of a new snippet section, so it stands pretty well on its own, minus some background.

      • Got it! I thought it stood very well on its own and my question about why they would travel away from the direction the spell was pulling them in didn’t deter me from wanting more. I can’t wait for the next part!

  6. Well at least they tried to be cautious and sensible first. An interesting excerpt…

  7. Crossing rivers can definitely be a problem–especially if they hide predators. I take it a raft is not a solution?

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’m not sure the amount of time it would take to build a raft large enough for three horses–or one horse and three trips. But I think it would be quite a while.

      It would be a good solution, otherwise.

  8. Don’t like the sound of the daggerfish! >_< Can't wait to see if they make it across smoothly.

  9. Sarah W says:

    GPS spells don’t care much about travel hazards, do they? 😀

    And I love daggerfish. Or the concept, anyway—wouldn’t actually like to meet any. 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      It’s kind of like a compass, with the lost item your ‘North.’ So it will lead you off cliffs–it’s your responsibility to negotiate a safe path.

      Many of the chimera aren’t too friendly–they fall into three basic categories: attack/guard animals, pets, and work animals. You might like the petalmice–small, flower colored and floral scented, herbivore rodents.

  10. Whoa, daggerfish?! That doesn’t sound good. Great snippet. I love how you included their reaction to the spell. Well done.

    • caitlinstern says:

      The name isn’t meant to evoke warm feelings. 😉

      I skipped over the bit of the spell starting to work, but I tried to bring up how it works a couple of times.

  11. Frank Fisher says:

    Auber is right…they must move forward. I like how he isn’t afraid of what lies ahead. Hopefully they make it through safely.

  12. Evelyn Jules says:

    Daggerfish?! Eep! I hope they can make it across safely. I don’t wanna know what one of those suckers looks like. *shudder*

  13. Daggerfish and petalmice! I love how creative you are with world building. The shallow place–if they knew where it was, they must have already passed it once? Your writing is very fluid, Caitlin, and that’s probably one of the reasons that the shallow place confusion tripped me up so quickly. 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      This is what I get for smooshing a few sentences together to make the limit!

      In the original, they ride the wrong way for a half hour, then turn around and ride for about 45 minutes, find a little bridge that’s too narrow for horses–and Auber decides they’ve wasted enough time, and to go back to a spot they passed.

      I tried to condense it in a way that made sense, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. *sigh*

      I don’t have a spot for the petalmice yet, but I’m determined to work their adorable fuzziness in somehow. 😉

  14. Eep! Scary stuff is about to happen…bring on the monsters! Daggerfish sound cool 🙂

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