As the warning bells began to toll, Dantera took the longbow off her horse’s saddle and then left her mount near a large rock as she trotted away from the shore. Inside her pack, she reached for a rune she had there.

It only had so many uses, and now would be a time for her to use up some of the stored magical energy within. But first she had to string her longbow. It took some effort, and since Dantera wasn’t overly tall or stout, she had some minor difficulty—not in the matter of strength, but rather reach.

Once the bow was strung, she picked up the rune stone and commanded its activation by speaking the incantation written on the painted symbol. The stone instantly heated, then projected fire forward.

And it was no normal fire, but a magically enhanced fire that could burn even wet wood. With the rains having passed just the day before, and such a thick damp fog hanging over the encampment, Dantera would need this rune stone to make certain her arrows would be effective.

Pulling her quiver around to her front hip, she slid an arrow out, knocked it, and then lit the end. She raised the bow. She couldn’t see the encampment though the fog, but she knew it was there—had seen it before—and loosed the arrow.

Then she knocked another, fired it, then loosed it into the fog. She did this until her quiver was empty of the twenty-five arrows she held there.

She was no archer—so she was not depriving herself of a weapon she might need in a fight.

As she slid her empty quiver to her back, she heard the front gates open and men begin to shout.

Smiling, Dantera returned to her horse and rushed out in search of the attackers.


About the author


Bio: Some believed me to be a wandering samurai, or a vagrant, or possibly a ninja—though perhaps in my infinite mystery, I am none of these things. Whichever the case, I wander home as Odysseus did after the great Trojan War in some realm unbeknownst to our world. And—by direct theft of a quote from a certain dwarf named Varric Tethras—"I occasionally write books."

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