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Black Gate Online Fiction: “The Daughter’s Dowry” by Aaron Bradford Starr

Sunday, October 14th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

daughters-dowry-cropA famous explorer relates one of his earliest adventures, an exciting sea journey to a sunken tower where a legendary treasure awaits:

I inserted the key into the lock, amazed at how free of corrosion or accumulated grit the inner mechanism was. Yr Neh cocked his ears forward in surprise as well. Our eyes met, and we smiled to each other as I turned the key.

It didn’t open. I felt the tension in the key, then its complete freedom of movement. Puzzled, I put an ear to the side. It was ticking softly. Yr Neh backed away warily, and I had begun to do the same when the box jumped into the air before me.

Flashing and turning, the box changed shape as it fell, landing again on the floor completely transformed. It was now a complex faceted spike of brightest gold. The point pounded into the floor and continued through the stone.

I lunged for the rope, diving through the shallow water on the floor. There followed a moment of silence, broken only by the squeak of the rope from which I still clung, soaked to the skin. Yr Neh sighed in relief, and I joined him. Then the shattered floor collapsed.

Aaron’s first published story was “Mortal Star” in Black Gate 8, which SF Site called “complex and fascinating in design… A very fine story that is impossible to predict.”

You can read the complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including last week’s 25,000-word novella of dark fantasy “The Quintessence of Absence” by Sean McLachlan, and Jason E. Thummel’s adventure fantasy novelette “The Duelist,” here.

“The Daughter’s Dowry” is a complete 9,000-word novelette of heroic fantasy offered at no cost, with original art by Aaron Bradford Starr.

Read the complete story here.

8 Comments »

  1. [...] Gloren Avericci and Yr Neh were last seen seeking a legendary treasure in a sunken tower in “The Daughter’s Dowry,” published here on October [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Tangent Online on “The Tea-Maker’s Task”: “An Entertaining, Tongue-in-Cheek Fantasy” - January 3, 2013 12:17 pm

  2. [...] Trade” by Mark Rigney (Three Stars) “The Daughter’s Dowry” by Aaron Bradford Starr (One Star) “Godmother Lizard” by C. S. E. Cooney (Three [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Tangent Online 2012 Recommended Reading List - January 14, 2013 10:53 am

  3. [...] Hunters Gloren Avericci and Yr Neh, last seen in “The Daughter’s Dowry” (published here on October 14), accept  a dangerous commission to investigate a deadly [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction: “The Tea-Maker’s Task” by Aaron Bradford Starr - February 26, 2013 12:48 am

  4. [...] and Yr Neh, last seen in “The Tea-Maker’s Task” (published here on December 30th) and “The Daughter’s Dowry” (October 14), find themselves drawn into a deadly conspiracy involving a powerful kingdom, [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction: “The Sealord’s Successor,” Part I, by Aaron Bradford Starr - March 4, 2013 1:45 am

  5. [...] Yr Neh were last seen in “The Tea-Maker’s Task” (published here on December 30th) and “The Daughter’s Dowry” (October 14). Of “The Daughter’s Dowry,” Tangent Online said, “A [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction: “The Sealord’s Successor,” Part II, by Aaron Bradford Starr - March 11, 2013 2:39 am

  6. [...] such as this deserves a world of its own and more adventures from its hero.” The second was “The Daughter’s Dowry” (October 14), which Tangent called “an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek fantasy.” You can [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » “A Gripping Tale of Fantasy, Mystery, Murder and Intrigue. A Must Read”: Tangent Online on “The Sealord’s Successor” - March 15, 2013 2:54 pm

  7. [...] “The Daughter’s Dowry,” by Aaron Bradford Starr [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 20 Black Gate Fiction Posts in July - August 28, 2013 5:19 pm

  8. [...] Hunters Gloren Avericci and Yr Neh, last seen in “The Daughter’s Dowry” (published here October 2012), and “The Sealord’s Successor” (March 2013),  accept  a [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 20 Black Gate Fiction Posts in April - May 30, 2014 11:15 pm


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