Blade Ward

“Ready?

“Of course.”

“I have this!”

The tiefling raced to the dragonborn, his sword raised. The battle shifted around them as they began to fight.

The dragonborn snarled. She wanted to fight the leader, not a mere soldier. She pulled out a dagger with her free hand, a desire to quickly end this and move on to her goal.

The tiefling’s mind raced around one thought. Give his captain time to grab the jewel. The last piece to the spell that would get them all home.

He felt the dagger’s bite before he could see the black blade. The pain shot through his leg, making him lose his balance for just a moment. But he still moved to keep in front of the dragonborn. He had to stop her.

It was then he felt the poison as a fire spreading under his skin. His hand shook as he continued to fight. Gritting his teeth, he aimed for the dragonborn’s side. One shot.

As soon as the sword made contact, he shouted the spell. The dragonborn’s eyes widened as she recognized the words. The dagger swung out again, a desperate aim for the throat.

But the last word was spoken. The dragonborn froze, her breathing heavy. She grimaced as the air around her thickened, the vibrations reaching her bones. “Damn you.”

“Not yet.” The tiefling looked over his shoulder as his captain called out, the jewel in his hand. He smiled, then felt his body start to fall.

“I have you. We’re going.”

As they dragged the tiefling toward the captain’s position, the cleric opened the bottle of healing potion one-handed. With a too-oft practiced flick, the contents slid down the tiefling’s throat. The cleric let the bottle fall and wrapped both arms around the limp form. “Almost there.”

“Can this truly be called a win? Mine is not damaged.

But it was stopped. And mine escapes.”

I shall remember this.”

Acid Splash

They nodded at each other as they sat at their gaming table, the timelines frozen before them. They placed their tokens on the selected play. Then time began.

The dragonborn smiled to himself, his voice bare above a whisper as his finger began to twirl in the air. A greenish bubble formed, the outer edge a slow swirl as the center grew still. With a chuckle he flicked the bubble with his finger and sent it straight at the half-orc.

The half-orc saw the movement out of the corner of his eye, and woefully turned to take the full impact of it in that eye. He screamed as his hand clawed at his face. He thought he could hear the quiet hiss as the acid began to eat at his flesh. He fell back against the wall. His body turned this way and that, as if to somehow move away from the pain. Then a fist shot out and knock him unconscious.

“And this was your subtle idea for how to get past the guard?” The dwarf shifted his axe as he stepped forward to look at the still body.

“Subtle? No, not exactly. But effective? Yes.” The dragonborn pulled his cloak back around himself.

“And what if he had dodged out of the way? Called for help?”

“If no one had prepared an attack by that time, then I do not know why I bother. And if they said, swore even, they could do to distract the others, keep them from hearing any cry. I see no one racing toward us.”

“Fine. Just grab the body and hide it somewhere. Sooner this mess is done with, the better.”

“I win.”

“I can use my eyes, thank you. And it is just the first. We have many to go.”

“True. But beginnings, you know.”

“Yes, I do.”

An Introduction

You won’t believe me anyway so let’s just call it a lie from the start. A story from the bottom of these tankards.

The Heir
The Spare
The Soldier
The Scholar

That’s how the rhyme goes. And that is what we had. Until me.

I was born nine years after the others. There was talk behind hands and looks from corners of eyes, of course. But it was ignored. I was a surprise, but I was not unwelcomed.

Then I arrived, dark where the others were fair. Now the talk, and looks, had to be considered. My father never had reason to doubt my mother’s faithfulness. But enemies will have their fun. So the mage was sent for and there was hurried discussion.

And when I was presented to the people, I was as fair as my siblings standing nearby. They were told I was fragile and it was accepted. If I was shown only when the ceremony absolutely demanded it while the older children were seen more often, it was understood. And if they forgot about me between times, so much the better.

Not that I was so brushed aside by my family. That I wish made clear. I see the look in your eye, you think this the bigger lie in my lie. But it is true. I was loved no less. The older ones understood the need for the deception. They knew the care taken with me was my burden and not a boon. I was a full member of the family.

It need not be said that the glamour was the first spell I learned. Oh, we all do magic in one way or another, my family. Not spoken of much, of course. And I am the only one on my path.

No, I will not show my other face to you. You don’t believe me, remember.

But I will answer your question and say why I left them. No, you didn’t ask that, you didn’t have to. That look from before, remember? Here, let me pour you some more.

No, I left because even a frail, last-born can be considered a prize by some families. And I was nearing the age that the ‘chance meetings’ would begin.

So we made the announcement that I was leaving. Off in search of better health, to better serve the family line, as it were. Made a festival of it, everyone saw me off. Few expected the figure they saw to return. But they had the four they needed, so I was expendable and there was little real concern.

And now I make my way, far from my home.

I see the look that’s in your eye now. Another one, playing at a title to impress. To give a story instead of coin. Because, you say to yourself, why share such a dangerous tale, when there must be those who would pay for it? And you would be right.

Were you to live long enough to tell it.

Ah, the surprise. Yes, my companions are most noble and would never lower themselves to this. That is why they have me.

For things exactly like this.

Good-bye.

NaNo 2016

It is day two of this year’s NaNo. 

My goal is for 60,000 as opposed to the usual 50,000. It will be a fantasy story.

Two days before NaNo started, I was trolling around the forums (in my day, trolling meant just rambling thru something, seeing what there was to see. I continue to use it in this way while conscious of its current meaning) when I came across a posting about bullet journals. 

If you haven’t heard of bullet journals, they are self made versions of store bought journals, personalized to your needs instead of you trying to fit into the proscribed formula. You decide how much room is allocated to each section and can gussy it up as you see fit.

While reading thru the posting, one Wrimo stated how they were going to use their bullet journal to track their Harry Potter word crawl. This lead to another discovery.

Word crawls are devices used to help you grow your word count. Usually in story form, you must meet mini word counts based on the results of timed word sprints, choices made, and randon acts. Here is the link to its page on the NaNo wikipage.

So I am trying out both those methods this year. We shall see how things progress and how long they shall be in use.

Flash Fiction Challenge

My first attempt at Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenge. A story in five sentences.

The killer walked into the room and looked at all his options.

Someone would die tonight, and every person there knew it.

Bribes and pleas were shouted at him as the minute hand made it’s sweep.

They saw in his eyes when the decision was made and fell silent.

His laughter rang in their ears, til it was drowned out by the explosion.

February prompt – Mr. & Mrs.

A real two of a kind, those two.

Meant to be. Everyone always said they would last til death did them part.

And they did. Side by side right up to the end.

Not sure we should’ve buried them together. What with no one sure yet which was the murder and which the suicide.

February prompt – The file

It was most talked about file in the building.

Everybody claimed  to know what was in it. Who it would hurt most when it went public.

That was the one thing they agreed on. That it would go public and blow the lid off of everything.

I just ignored all the talk. I knew I had nothing to worry about. Cause I did know what was it in. Hell, I had wrote it.

And they were right. It was going to bring a lot of people down.

Unless they accepted my offer.