Saturday, June 3, 2017

The return of Sassy Saturday: Priestess at Work

Transcending Limitations has been published and that means the return of Sassy Saturday.  Every week will be an excerpt from one of my novels showcasing a kick-butt heroine. If you want read about the original blog hop the link is here.

The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Annala tells the God of Order that he's full of crap

The context for this post: An adventurer known as "Priestess" goes about her regular business of fighting spiritual monstrosities.


The ground shook and the air trembled as the Astral Oversoul roared. The people of Coral Plane screamed and scattered, but there was no escaping the terror of its presence. One little boy was too slow and one of its many spiritual hands grabbed him from behind. He wriggled like an insect as the creature brought him to its great maw.


A golden-brown blur severed the hand, then swerved in midair, back to the falling boy. Catching him in her arms, she placed him safely on the ground. Then she waved her staff over him and intoned the words of a prayer.

“Interesting times are dangerous times; boring ones safe. For now, stay safe!”

A pale gold aura encompassed the boy and she pushed him away.

“This will only hold for a few minutes. Go find your parents and don’t wander off again.”

“Thanks, lady!”

The creature whipped its mighty hand at her and she raised her staff to block it. The explosion of energy shattered the ground around her but couldn’t hurt the boy or her.

“You’re welcome. I’m here to help.”

The kid scampered off while the lady squared off against the Astral Oversoul.

It was forty feet tall and had a body like a dragon. Composed of soul mist, its body was also ghostly and transparent. It had many arms down its length and all of them were tipped with hands, claws, and feelers. Its head was a giant set of pincers with a mouth at the base.

 She herself was about five and a half feet tall. Her only armor was a fancy priestess habit and her only weapons were a bow, a quiver, a staff without a blade, and a holy paidrin necklace. The spirit monster reached out to grab her and she shouted, “Perrault, go!”

A golden-brown wolf appeared at her side and lunged at the hostile hand. Her teeth sank into its incorporeal flesh and melted it down to the creature’s wrist.

“Keep him busy while I prepare the killing blow.”

The wolf nodded and then darted up the soul creature’s main body. She bit and tore with each step, and each wound released a stream of grey gas.

Shrinking her staff, the priestess placed it behind her ear. Then she took the bow and nocked an arrow. Pulling the string back, she generated a magic circle underneath her feet. It contained routines for channeling her chaotic power in addition to her faith in Lady Chaos, along with the intended mechanical function. With the spell construction complete, she took aim at the dread beast.

“Return to the veins of Noitearc!”

She released the drawstring and the arrow struck the creature’s center of mass. There, it released its payload of holy power. Golden-brown light lanced up and down the monster’s body and disintegrated it. In its place was a towering mass of grey smoke and unearthly screaming.

Ten screams across ten thousand pitches filled the area. They came from the ten souls composing the former Astral Oversoul as they flew about in fear and confusion. Again, the arrow flashed as its secondary function activated.

From its point, a circle appeared in the air. This circle expanded until it was the size of a desk and its insides filled with a complex magical rune. It pulsed once and the writing faded to reveal a tunnel of rainbow light.

“Off you go!”

Air was drawn into the portal and the souls along with it. All of them resisted, but none of them escaped. Perrault tossed the last one in herself. Her mistress scanned the area to make sure they didn’t miss any, then she snapped her fingers. The arrow flashed a third time and the portal closed without fuss.

Perrault trotted to her mistress’ side and heeled. The priestess petted her head while rubbing her back.

“Good girl!”

“Cleaning up after your boyfriend?”

Floating behind the cleric and wolf was a demonic troll. He was squat in height and broader in bulk. His skin was pale, molting, and rotten. He wore an oversized and threadbare black robe through which ratty black bat wings emerged. The robe’s hood concealed his face except for his long and liver-spotted nose. His scythe was a worm-eaten wooden pole with a bronze blade coated in patina.

Looking at him made her sick, so she spoke with her back to him. “I wouldn’t have to if you did your job, Reaper.”

“I don’t have to until I fulfill my Final Wish, which you are preventing me from doing.”

Perrault barked at him.

“All I’m preventing you from doing is exploiting the souls of the dead for a petty grudge.”

“So much damage and so much trouble; it would be better for the world and everyone in it if you would let me kill him.”

The priestess gripped her bow tighter but still did not face him. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing her angered. One look at that ugly and smug face of his and she might launch another arrow at him. He loved illustrating how she couldn’t permanently kill him.

“You will never kill him.”

“‘Never’ is a big word, Priestess. Aren’t you always preaching about how ‘all things are possible with chaos’?”

The cleric spun around and nocked an arrow. “Including your death!

The reaper laughed. He pointed and laughed. The girl grumbled as she put away her bow and arrow. Then she knelt again and whispered into her familiar’s ear.

“Bite him.”

Perrault dashed forwards and snapped up the reaper’s left foot. He yelled and shook her to and fro, and when he finally dislodged her, it was because she took his foot clean off. The priestess laughed at him. She pointed and laughed.

“That was immature of you, Annala.”

The girl immediately stopped laughing. “Do not use my real name. You might cause a paradox. Unless you’re talking to my mainstream self, you have to call me ‘Priestess.’”

Transcending Limitations, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon as an ebook. The series is also available in Kindle Unlimited. The paperback format is available at Amazon and also Createspace.

To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.

Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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