Shield Bearer: Sneak Peek 4

While I work through the second round of development notes, here is another glimpse of Shield Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 2. After year’s of preparation, Lilian is about to try for Mastery of Adelaide’s Discipline.

Lucius’ heart swells at the sight of the warbelt and Lilian’s soft-spoken words. While Lilian dons the black mask and applies a thin polymer sheath to her thorn, he examines the discipline master. A fierce warrior of sixty years who tops Lilian by three inches, he has the broad-shouldered, well-muscled build of one who spends his days at combat. His square-jawed face supports a nose that has experienced numerous breaks. Deep-set eyes are crowned by a heavy forehead with bushy black brows, the only hair anywhere on his head.

Lucius has not forgotten or forgiven that two years gone, the man exploited a competency confirmation to attack Lilian with the force of a mastery trial. Had Lilian been less skilled, the blow that bruised her jaw would have broken it.

A sigh of excitement erupts as the discipline master adds a blade guard to his thorn. Unlike Lilian, he is not masked. Apollo has declined to anoint the man as a Thorn. Whether it is that slight or lingering despite of Gariten’s daughter that twists the man’s features, Lucius knows not. What is certain is that the discipline master intends not a demonstration, but true combat. If he can, he will injure Lilian.

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