Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sassy Saturday: The Danger of Dark Staff

Welcome to another week of the Sassy Saturday Blog Hop. Its purpose is to showcase excerpts from our novels about kick-butt heroines. Every Saturday is a new post. If you want to join, the link is here.

This week's post connects with the last one. It's not a perfect connection because of the 800 word limit. I had to cut out about 187 words between this week's post and last week's. It was basically Eric running to Tiza, telling her what he saw (the last post) and her expressing her glee about such an opportunity.

“Uh . . . I don't think we should go without Nolien and Basilard; it's too big for us.”

“I know!” Tiza said excitedly. “And that's why we'll get a big reward when we succeed!”

 What's all this confidence based on?

“Do you have a plan?”

“‘Course I do,” Tiza replied. “Spider Daylra's an expert on rescues and she drilled her knowledge into me. Here's what we do . . .”

The sounds of battle at the center of the stadium grew fainter and fainter until silence reigned. Eric couldn't hear anything other than his own breathing and that of Tiza’s right next to him. The artificial darkness almost hid her from view. Despite all this, Tiza didn't appear lost.

Of course, she was pretending. It was the same thing at the Dragon's Lair; Women's Intuition. She even closed her eyes as if that would make it work better. At least she's prepared . . . Eric saw her holding her sword out in one hand and shield close by in the other. For one reason or another, she said she saw two suspicious humanoids guarding the path ahead.


“What have we here?” Tiza whispered. “Cries for help beyond obviously evil minions in black cloaks? All right, Dimwit. Let's put my plan into action.”

Apparently, the guards were as blind as everyone else in the Dark Fog. The two mercenaries flanked and knocked them out, the Dark Fog muting their attack. They entered just in time to see the princess stuffed into a sack. More luck . . . or was she right about Women's Intuition?

Whatever their leader did to her had worn off, but it bought them enough time to make her helpless with rope. She shouted something muffled and the sack was pulled over her head. The leader hauled the bag to his shoulder when mana bolts pelted him and he dropped her. Tiza rushed in under Eric's cover fire and darted for it.

A mage stepped forward and thrust the staff. The mana bolts splashed against its barrier. It dimpled as Tiza collided before repelling her like a rubber ball. She flew backwards and crashed on her back. Eric took aim, but they were faster. A force like a mule kick hit him in the chest and drove the breath from his lungs.

 Eric couldn't see the mage’s eyes, but the smile was a wicked grin. “Is this it? A pair of rookies?” a feminine voice asked. “The princess might not be worth stealing . . .”

Tiza jumped to her feet.

“And you; you look like you barely know how to use that sword.” Tiza lunged, but her enemy blocked with the staff. Tiza swung overhead and was blocked again. Right, left, thrust, cross, the mage casually blocked every strike. “See what I mean?”

She swung her staff at the left side of Tiza's head, but Tiza blocked it and was struck on the other side when the rogue reversed the staff. Stunned, the staff came down on her head, then jabbed her stomach. Tiza collapsed, gasping for air and blinking back tears. Dark Staff stomped on Tiza's sword hand and kicked her weapon away.  

“Dark Staff!” the leader called. Over his shoulder was a squirming sack. “Stop playing.”

“Oh, all right . . .” The bottom of the woman's staff grew a blade of blue light. “I never get to have any fun . . .” she muttered as she plunged the point on Tiza's neck.

Eric could only watch. This woman was more powerful than both of them were and he still couldn't breathe properly. He was just as helpless as the girl being carried away, not a foot from him. Useless! Tiza rolled out of the way and jumped to her feet. Why am I so useless!? It's Laharg all over again. The leader slipped into the darkness. This is real. We're really going to die! Tiza choked down tears. Her hands glowed with the blue light of mana bolts.

“So you want more, huh?” Dark Staff said. “I guess I can spare a little time.”

Tiza fired. Dark Staff didn't budge. She didn't need to; her barrier stopped them for her. Tiza lunged for her sword and fired again. With a spin of her staff, Dark Staff reflected them all back at her. One, two, three and Tiza was knocked to the ground. Dark Staff chuckled as Tiza struggled to her hands and knees before falling again.

“It’s been fun, Wannabe, but—”

“Take. That. Back.” It was soft, but also a growl, and so cold that Eric felt a chill. Even though she was on his side, and even though she was face down in the dirt, he was afraid of her.

The next Sassy Saturday entry is

The previous Sassy Saturday entry is "Kasile vs the Black Cloaks"

To learn more about Tiza and A Mage's Power, visit Tvtropes at

A Mage's Power, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, are available for purchase at
Brian Wilkerson is a freelance book reviewer, writing advice blogger and independent novelist. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).


  1. This new adversary is really tough. I wonder if or how Tiza can defeat her?

    1. The answer opens the way into Tiza's series long subplot.

  2. Noooo! Tiza can't go down! I hope she and Eric find a way out of this.