Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Work in Progress: Naval Battle

The action is heating up in my YA high fantasy work in progress. Here is a peek at a little magical naval battle I'm sketching out.

The first drops of rain splattered onto Shiloh’s face. The swells grew higher, and the ship began to rock. Shiloh’s stomach lurched in time with it.

“You know Kirkland’s spell of revelation?” Hatch asked.

“Yes, sir,” she replied.

“I'll calm the seas. You look for their vessel,” Hatch ordered.

She looked up to the crow’s nest. She knew it would take her an age to climb up there, but it would give her the best view in all directions. She sighed, hating to reveal one of her new tricks so soon, but there was nothing for it.

Holding her wand aloft, she bent her knees deeply and called out a spell in Estan as she leapt. A moment later, she landed lightly in the crow’s nest. Looking down, she saw Hatch throw back his head and laugh, then turned her attention to her task.

She began on the starboard side, aiming her magic in a line that began just off the deck rail and extended into the distance several hundred yards. When nothing appeared, she turned about ten degrees and repeated the process. It was exhausting work, sustaining the magic for so long. At least Hatch had been successful at calming the water, so her precarious perch ceased its, frankly, terrifying lurching.

Luck was with her, and a small, swift vessel appeared out of thin air. Quickly, she bound it, lest it disappear anew. The ship shuddered as cannons began firing beneath her, now that they had a target.

She pulled up the hood of her cloak, but her hair had already been soaked by the pelting rain. She turned her mind to setting a ward, assuming the fire would be returned. The water between the dueling vessels was lit by the curses now flying back and forth, as every sorcerer on board took aim at their attacker. She could make out Lord Mosspeak himself throwing curses off the starboard bow, his burgundy hat perched precariously on his head.

Remembering her riding instructor's advice, she cast the ward she had modified to dissipate energy. The ship the barely rocked when her shield lit up with the impact of incoming curses and cannonballs. Whoever was casting wards for their opposition had not been so thoughtful. She watched the smaller vessel rock so far over on its side that its mast nearly touched the water. She felt a twinge of pity as she watched men tumbling helplessly into the water.

Trusting her ward would hold, she continued to probe for another vessel. When she found it, it was just off the port bow, casting hooks to board while all were distracted fighting off the attacker on the starboard side.

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