If you want some information about the world to better understand some of what is going on here, check out some of the links on this page (Power and Madness would be the key ones for now). However, the excerpt could probably be read without a lot of prior knowledge and be understandable.
This is the first time I’m sharing this much of my novel with anyone outside of family or others who have been somewhat involved in the process. Any comments, questions, or constructive criticism are welcome.
By the time Naolin got back to the inn, it had finally stopped raining. It was dark out, but he wasn’t tired and didn’t want to spend the rest of the night holed up in his room. So instead, he sat down on a bench outside of the inn. He didn’t care that it was wet. He was wet too. A person or two walked by, but nothing interesting happened.
Then two people came flying around the corner of a nearby building, shattering the quiet of the street. Naolin was surprised to recognize his traveling companion as one of the two people, and he jumped to his feet when he saw the frightened look on their faces.
“Missy!” he yelped. “What’s going on?”
His question was answered when a tiger scrambled around the corner behind her. He didn’t know why there was a tiger loose in the city, nor did he care. He jumped up, drawing his sword, and ran to meet Missy and her friend. Blackthore had already turned back to attack the tiger as Naolin reached Missy. Naolin grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him, at the same time stepping past her.
“Ow! What are you doing?” she protested. She yanked her arm out of his grip, and he turned to face her.
As the tiger knocked Blackthore to the ground, Naolin insisted, “You can’t fight this thing. It’s probably maddened, and you only have common training.” Without waiting to see if she would listen to him, he ran over to the tiger and found a nice, open, fleshy spot to insert his sword.
The tiger didn’t like that very much, and it quickly turned around to swat at Naolin with its huge paw. Naolin dropped low to the ground, narrowly avoiding its attack, and then scrambled to the side of the beast. Meanwhile, Missy had gone to help Blackthore up, and then she drew her own dagger. Before she could rush at the tiger herself, Blackthore buried his blade into its rump. It roared in anger and lashed out at the first person it saw, which happened to be Missy. It knocked her down and stood over her.
Blackthore kicked the tiger in the face in an attempt to distract it. It wouldn’t take long for the beast to seriously injure or even kill Missy. Fortunately, Blackthore was successful in his attempt to refocus the tiger’s attention on him, giving Naolin the chance to come around and pull Missy out from under it.
“Just go and find us some help,” he demanded. He refrained from pointing out that he’d been right. Fortunately, she listened to him that time and ran toward the inn. He turned back to help the stranger, who was deftly avoiding the tiger’s paws and teeth while trying to find an opportunity to strike.
Missy reached the inn just as two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were coming out the door. Evidently they had heard what was happening outside because they were leaving the inn in a hurry. As soon as he stepped outside the door, the boy raised his hand toward the tiger. Looking back quickly, Missy saw the tiger struggling against what looked like rope wrapped around its feet.
Blackthore noticed that the tiger was stuck, and took the opportunity to attack from the side, out of the tiger’s reach. Naolin was oblivious to the new circumstances, and Missy saw that he was lying on the ground near the tiger’s front. His sword lay at his side, and blood pooled on the ground next to his head. The girl who had also come out of the inn took a wide berth around the ensnared tiger on her way to Naolin’s side. Missy followed closely behind her.
While Missy was going for help, Naolin had been caught in the side of the head by the tiger’s large paw. If the beast had not been stopped when it had, it likely would have finished the downed Naolin. As Missy approached her traveling companion, she almost had to look away. Long gashes ran down the side of his face, and blood was still streaming out of them. However, the girl who’d gotten there before Missy had already knelt next to the injured Swordsman. Missy was grateful to realize that she’d somehow managed to come across a Cleric right when she needed one.