The Barbarian and the Sorceress is a 2019 Heroic Fantasy Short Story by English writer Patrick Thornton.
Rom, a Barbarian Hero, is travelling a desolate wasteland, almost out of food and water, when Barnabus, a mysterious old man, appears before him offering him food and shelter for the night. Although suspicious, Rom accepts the old man's offer and follows him to the long abandoned temple where the old man is staying with Kira, a beautiful young woman who he claims is his daughter.
Rom joins the pair for a meal, but it soon becomes apparent that neither are exactly who they appear to be...
The Barbarian and the Sorceress contains examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Rom's sword, up to cutting an Eldritch Abomination.
- Ancestral Weapon: Rom's sword.Rom: It was my father's blade, and his father's before him. And so on and so forth. Its been in the family for a while.
- Badass in Distress: Rom, a Barbarian Hero, gets captured by Barnabus and chained to a stone slab as a Human Sacrifice to an Eldritch Abomination.
- Bad Samaritan: Barnabus. He offers Rom food and shelter, while planning to sacrifice him to an Eldritch Abomination.
- Barbarian Hero: Rom, complete with Barbarian Longhair and Beard of Barbarism, albeit he's a bit more of a Deadpan Snarker than most.
- Barrier Warrior: Kira is able to conjure a mystical barrier to defend herself and Rom from Barnabus' sorcery.
- Beautiful Slave Girl: Kira is described as quite attractive, and revealed to be Barnabus' slave.
- Big Bad: Barnabus, an evil sorcerer planning to sacrifice Rom in a ritual, is the villain of the story.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Barnabus, who pretends to be a kindly, if eccentric, hermit is really a crazy Eldritch Abomination worshipping Evil Sorcerer.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Barnabus' eyes turn black when he uses his sorcery, as do Kira's, though in her case it's subverted as she's doing good.
- Black Magic: Barnabus' sorcery, including using it to inflict pain, choke someone, and to summon a Eldritch Abomination, for the intent of gaining more power with a Human Sacrifice.
- Blood Magic: Part of Barnabus' ritual involves cutting Rom's chest.
- Braids of Barbarism: Rom's long hair and beard are both braided.
- Collapsing Lair: After Barnabus is killed and the Eldritch Abomination is driven back, the ancient temple collapses as Rom and Kira are forced to flee. In a few seconds, it's like it was never even there.
- Deal with the Devil: Barnabus made a pact with the entity who he'll bring into the world in return for more power.
- Distressed Dude: Rom is chained to a stone slab as a Human Sacrifice to an Eldritch Abomination.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Rom's horse is called "Horse". It wasn't intentional, he just didn't name his horse due to not wanting to get too attached to it, but found himself starting to think of Horse as its name.
- Eldritch Abomination: The creature Barnabus attempts to sacrifice Rom to.As Rom watched in horror, something began to come through. His senses screamed as they attempted to process exactly what was there, before deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and giving up. All Rom could make out was tentacles and teeth, the sound of a high-pierced, inhuman screech, and the sickly sweet stench of rot.
- Evil Sorcerer: Barnabus, a sorcerer who tries to let an evil entity into the world by sacrificing Rom.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Barnabus plans for Kira to become "mother to his million spawn".
- Gender-Restricted Ability: Barnabus tells Rom only men have the intellect to learn sorcery. He's quite wrong however, as Kira picked it up while helping him learn from ancient scrolls.
- Hot Witch: Kira. She's the Sorceress of the title, and rather attractive.
- Human Sacrifice: What Barnabus intends to do to Rom.
- In the Back: Kira stabs Barnabus in the back.
- Magic is Evil: Rom reacts violently on learning that Barnabus is a sorcerer, since his people believe this, because of ancient sorcerer overlords who lusted for power. It turns out this isn't true however. Barnabus does use his powers for evil, but Kira doesn't, rather undoing his work.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: After Rom looks her over, starting from the feet up, Kira scathingly asks whether he had a good look.
- Off with His Head!: The fate of Barnabus, thanks to Rom.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Barnabus, who's not only Kira's owner, but claimed all women lack the intellect to learn magic (Kira later proves him wrong).
- Sword and Sorcerer: Rom and Kira, by the end. Rom kills Barnabus with his sword, while Kira uses her sorcery to banish the Eldritch Abomination he's summoned.
- Temple of Doom: The long-abandoned temple where Barnabus and Kira have been living.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Kira gets one after banishing an Eldritch Abomination.Rom looked into her eyes. They were back to normal, but there was something there, a distant look that Rom had only seen before in old warriors.
- Thunderbolt Iron: Rom's sword is made of thunderbolt steel. It's even capable of cutting an Eldritch Abomination and making it feel pain.