This week’s Tuesday Teaser is a throwback to Bloodlust: A Shield Maiden, the third Domains of the Chosen Novel. It features Bosh, who is an… interesting character, a more traditional archetype that my other male leads.
“Black Sails!” the shout echoed across the water.
Bosh eagerly tightened his grip on his heavy bladed sword and axe, eager for the fight. The fat war-barges and ships of the Sudran pirate fleet moved far too slowly for his liking. It also rankled him that the plan called for them to run from the enemy, at least initially.
“Fucking tactics,” Bosh muttered, mostly to himself, “always getting in the way of a good fight.”
Chosen Brightloch wanted to cripple the pirates that infested the waters around Sudra’s Horn, the northern tip of the continent Sudra. The pirates were a thorn in the side of the expedition, one that needed to be pulled now that they were underway. It would not do for them to be able to raid the expedition’s supply vessels at will.
“Try to look frightened Bosh,” said the First Shield beside him. “Logistics crewmen usually don’t drool at the prospect of being raided.”
“Don’t matter, Arturo,” said Bosh, savouring the frown that his insolence purchased from the First Shield. Ol’ Arturo would hardly punish him with a fight looming, and Bosh cared less about what happened after the action. “Them son’s o’ whores see red now. Any one of ’em breaks off or shows caution and the others will brand them cowards and hunt ’em down later. The blood is in the water and the sharks are in a frenzy, lads.”
Bosh thumped his chest. The First Shield shook his head but said nothing.
Their fleet, made to look like heavy-laden stragglers from the rear of the main expedition fleet, consisted of a dozen ships and a pair of plausible looking escorts, heavy ironclads with powerful cannons.
The pirates had well over a hundred vessels by Bosh’s reckoning, although they were a mixed bunch. They likely planned to swiftly swarm the Krassian ships while their tougher ships ran interference against the deadly Ironclads. Many of the ships were little more than oar propelled war- barges that were fast moving, but barely seaworthy. Others were small, agile, single-sailed ships that rode the water with enviable agility. There were a few that looked to be warships stolen from The Domains, and several others that Bosh didn’t care to identify. His eye was drawn to a behemoth of a vessel at the back of the bunch.
“Is that thing made of bone?” asked one of the men.
Bosh is big and bold, and does what he wants even though it tends to constantly bite him in the ass. To some of his compatriots he is a hero, a man’s man, and the backbone of the Warbound. Others see him as a bully and a reckless screw up or just a weapon to be unleashed and then put back in his cage. Having Bosh as a perspective character allows the reader to get inside his head, and form their own opinion as to his character.
I often treat the Shield Maiden as the bastard child of the series because I made a horrific branding error when I released it. For some reason I decided that calling it Warbound: The Shield Maiden would be a good idea. The thought was that the Warbound moniker would help readers get in the right mindset for the first book in the Domains series that did not happen in the arena. I stuck with this idea, even when my dad advised me against it, because it was in a very dark time in my life and I just had to stick to the plan and keep going or drown.
Which is why, of course, later in the same fight, Bosh punches a sea monster, which is just over the top.
Bosh plunged deep, aided by the weight of his armour and the stoneskin spell he had cast. He looked about him as he sank and kicked towards the nearest war-barge. A shadow cut towards him, something large and swift. He turned to meet it, catching sight of a mouthful of jagged teeth closing around him. The teeth clamped onto his armour. Bosh felt a pain in his leg as one tooth penetrated. The stoneskin would not hold up. Plunging his hand into the maw he channelled hard, casting a fireball down the beast’s throat. The explosion blasted Bosh out of the maw. The beast, a real monster, lit up from the inside out as it died. Bosh kicked to the surface. He saw the cannons of a ship above him go off, a remarkable sight from under the waves. The fire of the guns was magnified even as the furious sound was muted by the deep.
Yeah, I would love to see that on the big screen or in a video game 😛
Interestingly, other than Vintia (the titular Shield Maiden). Arturo and Bosh are my favourite characters in this book.