Witcher Sting

FF.wasp-nestPhoto © Janet Webb

Barallae stirred the liquid slowly, smoothly.

In town, the drovers burned the spellbooks, confiscated the wizards’ expensive components.  His sister’s Guild would be almost helpless, shorn of their weapons.

Here they let the villagers wander, to farm and make their food.  And Barallae needed no book.

He stroked the empty wasp nest.  The luckiest of lucky finds.  Pouring three drops into each hole, he sang the spell until it glowed.

To think, what this tiny army could do against their drover infestation.

Barallae smiled, imagining returning his sister’s chiding for following the old ways, daring to hope she yet survived.

Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge. Big thanks to  our wonderful hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields!   Click here to see the other stories written inspired by the photo above.

For those of you keeping track of the history, the drovers are the bands of dispossessed soldiers returning from the great war that destroyed the Pyanni Empire, who savaged already war-torn lands, contributing to what would later be called the Age of Chaos.   Witcher is the term used for those who follow the old witching ways, versus the more “modern” wizard techniques.  You can read more about how one wizard in particular fought off the drovers during this same period in Eneana history here: From the Table’s Eye—Table 5.



25 thoughts on “Witcher Sting

    • Thanks Lynn! Yes, that’s the advantage of having so much history already written for my backstory. (The disadvantage being keeping track of it all!) And thanks for noticing the title, too. You know I have a soft head — I mean, a soft spot — for clever titles. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love the title – very evocative already, even before you read the story. It’s something I’m not very good at. I often give my husband stories to look at and he always comes up with better titles than I do 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I often start with a very direct title and then switch words around and try to think of synonyms until I find something I like, especially something with a double meaning, if at all possible. For this one, I started out with “Wasp Spell” and “Witcher Wasps”, for instance. I have even been known to consult a thesaurus (although not this time).


    • Thanks, Bjorn! I’m glad to hear it works on its own. There really isn’t any reason or order to the short stories I put up here, and this is a new (probably one-off) character. But I figure if anyone’s trying to piece together the world and its history cumulatively across all these stories, I’m happy to help them out!


    • Thanks Gabi, I’m glad it stands alone. But for this Eneana backstory, what are you thinking, a gigantic history book? LOL, that would be a big seller — I could market it as, “Like the Silmarillion, but for a world you’ve never heard of.” 🙂 Well, hopefully you’ll be satisfied with bits and pieces of history as they crop up in various stories and novels. Once I get back and finish the Tables stories, for instance, those tell a big chunk of history. But the Corwallen Manor novel has almost nothing about the rest of the world. Just a bunch of people in a haunted house. I feel I am leading you all astray and will disappoint horribly with my first novel…

      Liked by 1 person

      • First comes what you work on now, like The Hobbit. Then the children get into a big adventure where you draw all registers, with plays and songs and tales, all needed as clues to save the world. That’ll be at least three, better more books. Then you put the backstory in a book, something like Tales from Middleearth. How’s that for a plan? Questions?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ali! I like to remind you all that this is a magical world. 🙂 And yet to me, the most important part of the story is still not the spell, but the rivalry between brother and sister about their magic schools, and his hopes that he’ll see her alive again, and can tease her like the old days by saying, ‘I told you so.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amanda! I couldn’t fit it in the story, but the magic wasps created with this spell are deadly poisonous. He plans to let them free in the drovers’ barracks. and kill off as many of the drovers as he can. Then hopefully the villagers can rise up against these oppressors who invaded them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s obvious from your story that you’ve delved deeply into the history and culture of the world you’ve created. But, as you say above, the story still stands without knowing all the historical detail. Barallae’s thoughts and actions let us know nicely what is happening in this piece. He’s evidently a powerful man. Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! I suppose every story has a lot of backstory that isn’t included directly, and here people picked up on more of those hints. I’m not happy with the ending — wanted it to be more clear that he was fantasizing about telling his sister “I told you so” primarily because it meant she would have to still be alive to continue their friendly teasing. But I ran out of words, and out of time to finagle them. Ah well.


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