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 bought a finding-things-lost potion, and set out to track down a stolen magical stone–they’ve found a river, ride across one at a time, with a rope around their waist in case of daggerfish attack, and as Auber crosses last, something attacks the horse, and Auber ends up in the river.

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The rope hauled Auber sideways, against the current, making swimming difficult. But it went quickly, so the water-logged fighter tried to be grateful as rope dug painfully into throbbing ribs, and the daggerfish made another attack. Auber fended the chimera off with a foot, dealing another glancing blow that slowed but didn’t dissuade the fish.

Gratitude faded as the rope caught a snag, a branch barely jutting from the river, and Auber jerked to a halt. The daggerfish bumped  the gelding, who had stopped swimming as soon as rider parted from saddle, jaws snapping audibly as it tried to get a chunk of Nemesis.

Whinnying, Nemesis lashed out with his front hoof, and for a moment, to the two watching on the shore it seemed like he might have hit Auber. Reagan’s horse picked up speed, and the rope pulled taut, vibrating from the strain, before the the branch snapped. With a rush, Auber was hauled unceremoniously, rear first, onto the shore churned to mud by the horses’ hooves.

*   *   *

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.

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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.

30 responses »

  1. Sarah W says:

    I’m glad Auber was saved (nice near miss with the hoof!) and I’m especially glad he was saved rear-first, because that boy needs an ego-check. 😀

    This story continues awesome, caitlin!

    (Is ‘chimera’ a general term for the daggerfish?)

  2. Thrilling in eight. You are one terrific writer, Caitlin. Edge of the seat reading right now.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    Wow, great imagery! Action packed scene, well done!

  4. Frank Fisher says:

    A lot of action in this snippet, which almost had me wincing. Nice job!

  5. K. (@ScrivK) says:

    Horse and rider will live! Or so it seems. 😉 Great snippet this week.

  6. OK, heaving a deep breath of relief at the end of that intense snippet! Very effective writing!

  7. Alexis Duran says:

    Great action! I’m still worried about the horse, though.

  8. Botanist says:

    Thrilling action. These daggerfish don’t sound nice. BTW – just wondered if the reader might have seen them in action previously, to help set up the suspense with this encounter?

    • caitlinstern says:

      They first show up in a list of possible chimera dangers as the group leaves the city–and then again at the beginning of the scene, when the group sees the river.

      But the Shield keeps them out of the city, so they can’t really show up at the start.

  9. Fabulous 8! Love the action and the sense of humour. I still hope Nemesis will make it;).

  10. Christina Ochs says:

    Fantastic action and tension! I think I was holding my breath. Glad it was only eight sentences. 🙂 Now I’m rooting for the horse.

  11. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’m glad he’s safely out of the water, even if it took a lot of frightening drama.

  12. chellecordero says:

    We writers really do “test the waters” (pun intended). Very tense situation indeed. Glad Auber is out of the water but I am so nervous for Nemesis – bad@ss or not, I have a very soft spot for animals…
    Great snippet.

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