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The Writings of Briar Rosethorn
I enjoy writing. Plain and simple. I plan to make it my career so this journal will hold anything I write, whether good or bad. A scrapbook of both rough and final work, if you will. I will try to keep is as organized as possible.
Fiera's Beginning ~ Chapter 8...
Chapter 8 - Rising to the Call

"Where am I?" Fiera demanded angrily, once she was lying in carved wooden bed covered in freshly spun sheets. She had been so exhausted, she hadn’t taken in her surroundings the previous morning as Pierce and Duvessa had helped bring her to this Granny Oak that Pierce had spoken of. The moment she had felt her body being laid on something soft, she had immediately fallen into a deep slumber despite her best efforts to stay alert.

She had slept for twenty hours straight but now she was wide awake and extremely aware of what was around her. She wanted answers! As she looked around, she realized she was inside a massive hollow tree with herbs and bandages lining the walls on the shelves with a spellbook here and there amongst the remedies. Duvessa was the one to step forward and speak.

"You’re in the Mystic Forest. The Healing Tree, to be exact." she told her as casually as if she were describing the weather. Fiera suddenly felt dizzy. She was in the Mystic Forest? She had found it after all her years of searching? After all she had been through, everything she had suffered, the Lady had led her straight here. "No outsider has been able to penetrate our barriers in centuries... you must be the one She sent." Duvessa breathed as Pierce poked her hard in the shoulder, his wings fluttering in aggravation.

"‘Vess! Keep quiet! You don’t know that!" he snapped. For all their bickering, it was clear to Fiera that these two faeries were very close with each other. They fought as though they were siblings.

"Who is She? Why do you think She has sent me?" Fiera demanded, her heartbeat quickening. Could it be who she thought it could be?

"Here we go..." Pierce muttered, running a hand through his hair, shaking his head in exasperation. Duvessa frowned and pinched him.

"Oh hush, Pierce!" she scolded. Sitting on the edge of Fiera’s bed, her eyes glimmered with excitement and passion. "The Lady told us She would send help to the Forest. A brave warrior She had hand-chosen Herself from conception. That was well over a century ago and we had begun to lose our hope... but then you came to us, the first outsider in hundreds of years and I’m certain you are the one She has sent to us." Duvessa whispered dramatically, gripping the edge of Fiera’s bed with white knuckles to keep herself seated. Fiera was beginning to feel dizzy again.

"She has appeared to you? The Lady?" Fiera gasped in wonder. Both Duvessa and Pierce exchanged knowing grins and this time, it was Pierce who spoke.

"Duvessa and I are two of the seven Guardians of the Mystic Forest." he explained. "Our duties are largely political. We keep disputes to a minimum, try to rule fairly and generally keep peace... however, we are also bound to this Forest by our very hearts which enables us to speak to the Lady. She councils and advises us and at times, Her aid is difficult to understand but that is Her way." Pierce finished reverently, making the Goddess’ circle on his chest as Duvessa imitated him just as sombrely.

"She has appeared to me!" Fiera blurted out. "She spoke to me and told me that She had chosen me, but for what, She would not say. She was the perfect Being..." Fiera’s voice drifted away in remembrance of Her. Pierce and Duvessa exchanged shocked looks before smiling radiantly and Duvessa looked as though Yule had arrived early that year.

"You see? She is the chosen warrior, Pierce! The Lady has not abandoned us!" She exclaimed. For the first time that Fiera had witnessed, Pierce was nodding in agreement with Duvessa.

"It would appear so." he said thoughtfully. "What is your name, Chosen Warrior?" he asked.

"Fiera." she immediately answered. "Although Chosen Warrior does have a certain ring of appeal to it." she added with a twitch of her lips which was the closest thing her face ever made to a smile. Not used to Fiera’s seemingly cold personality and dry, sarcastic humour, which was fleeting at best, Pierce stared, not sure whether she had made a joke or not. Duvessa however, burst into peels of laughter and nodded to Pierce.

"I really like her." she told him as he rolled his eyes once again.

"Of course you do..." he repeated, reluctantly chuckling.

Fiera was about to interject with another comment when a deafening roar echoed throughout the Forest, followed by terrified screams from outside the Healing Tree. Duvessa’s and Pierce’s glowing faces immediately fell to fear and Duvessa ran off and took flight into the air once she was in the open. Fiera would never forget those roars. They were dragons and many of them.

"Come quickly! There is a safe place for you!" Pierce shouted, practically dragging her into an underground chamber beneath the Healing Tree. It was nothing more than a dark hole dug into the earth with the roots of the Healing Tree crisscrossing above their heads, but they were in a damp place where they could not be seen which meant they were safe. Soon, an old woman who seemed to be part tree herself, most definitely a nymph, shuffled into the hollow, looking quite frazzled. Fiera assumed this was the Granny Oak Pierce had spoken of the previous day.

"Blessed Lady, there are more of them this time!" she gasped, her grey hair flying out in whisps from her bun at the top of her head. "All the poor children..." she wept bitterly as Pierce led her beside Fiera and sat her down gently.

"We can only hope they will pass quickly." Pierce told her anxiously. "I must aid the other Guardians." he announced, leaving the hollow. Granny Oak muttered a prayer to the Lady to keep him and all the others safe under her breath.

"We can only hope..." Fiera muttered to herself. Something was confusing to her. Her head snapped towards Granny Oak with an intense stare. "You don’t have an army?" she asked incredulously. Granny Oak sniffed and shook her head.

"No." she answered. "At least... not an organized army. We gather the strongest-looking villagers to fight if an attack occurs." she explained, her voice wobbling dangerously. Fiera’s jaw dropped in disbelief! They were being attacked by dragons on a regular basis and yet they didn’t have an army? No wonder the Mystic Forest was being destroyed so easily! No one was fighting back!

"Who is your Commander?" Fiera demanded. Surely such an ineffective leader would have been stripped of her or his position by now?

"We do not have one." Granny Oak sighed, and Fiera slapped a hand to her forehead in aggravation. Her infamous temper was beginning to bubble and boil within her until she was on her feet, despite Granny Oak’s protests about her health, she had thrown the sheets off of her and was on her feet and dressed in less than a minute, throwing her hands in the air and yelling.

"And you wonder why you are being defeated so easily? You are allowing yourselves to be destroyed! How do you expect the Lady to aid you if you are not willing to stand up and take your own action? Where is your pride? Your passion? Your fire? Where is your fight?" she yelled, causing Granny Oak to shrink backwards in intimidation.

Overhead, the screams of the Forest’s inhabitants echoed louder into the still morning and the beating of reptilian wings intensified. Fiera knew what she had to do. She spun around, her steely grey eyes blazing with passion and fire.
"Where is my bow? I need arrows." she demanded. Too frightened of the infuriated youth to object, Granny Oak hastily grabbed her bow with Zanzibar’s tail hair as the string and placed it in Fiera’s hands, along with her quiver which still had a plentiful supply of stone-tipped arrows. With only a nod of thanks to the wise nymph, Fiera bolted up the narrow stairway cut into the dirt of their shelter. Granny Oak called after her.

"Where on the Astral Plane are you going, child?" she asked, her eyes wide and fearful. Fiera whirled around, her steely grey eyes as cold and deadly as ever. There was no hint of doubt on her face.

"If you are not willing to stand up and defend your home, then I must do it!" she snarled. With that, she was up the stairway and outside the Healing Tree, surveying her surroundings, scanning for the best strategy of defense. She observed civilians of all races running and screaming for their loved ones amongst the chaos. There was a small cluster of able-bodied people, about evenly split between males and females holding frail-looking weapons and looking unsure of themselves. Dear Lady, they’re useless... Fiera thought to herself in exasperation, running to a spot of open field to deter the dragons from fighting in the villages and destroying them.

She had allowed her home to be destroyed by the vile creatures nearly a century before. She would not run away this time. If this was the Lady’s purpose for her, then she would rise to the call. She began shouting for the warriors to follow her. "Come! Spell casters take cover under a fighter! Flying races take flight and loose your weapons! Archers follow me!" she ordered. The people stood and gaped, not believing this stranger who was barking orders at them as though she owned the Forest. Who did she think she was, anyway? It wasn’t until Duvessa and Pierce flew over that they got themselves in gear.

"LISTEN TO HER! DO WHATEVER SHE TELLS YOU TO DO! SHE HAS BEEN SENT BY THE LADY! TRUST HER!" they both bellowed furiously. The warriors were not about to outwardly defy two of the Forest’s sacred Guardians, so they followed Fiera and her instructions.

"Listen! I want all of you to make your way to the field, and take the positions I told you!" Fiera shouted amongst the devastation. People were already dying. She had to finish this battle as quickly as possible to spare as many lives as she could. It took the untrained, weapon-carrying civilians some time to organize themselves but Fiera could not worry about that right now. She needed to work with their lack of skill for the present moment.

A fearsome dragon, blue in colour with gleaming black eyes gave a mighty roar and took Fiera’s bait. It was following her and the other warriors to the open field to fight. Fiera swallowed her upsurge of fear as she remembered the last time she had come in contact with dragons and replaced it with fury. If they wanted a fight, they would most certainly get one! As its enormous shadow darkened the entire field in an eclipse-like effect, her soldiers began to tremble in fear. Well, she would fix that. "ATTACK NOW!" she screamed, making half of them jump, but nevertheless they obeyed, loosing arrows, spears and damaging spells alike. Fiera’s own expertly aimed arrow managed to find itself firmly embedded within the dragon’s eye, spewing blood all over her and those around her. It screeched in agony and lost course in the air, zig-zagging wildly. Fiera had always had an uncanny knack for predicting the exact movements of another at any given time and she used this ability to warn her troops to duck as the dragon lashed out with a blanket of fire. Some were not quick enough and quickly perished, but most managed to survive with only moderate wounds.

In the distance, Fiera could hear the weeping of mourning parents, children and spouses along with the pillaging of the other dragons coming from the villages. Everything would be destroyed if she did not end this now. Taking in a deep breath, she made one last order. "CEASE YOUR ATTACKS!" she yelled! "DO NOT FIRE A SINGLE WEAPON!" All eyes looked at her incredulously! Don’t attack? Did she want them all to die? What was she thinking? However, it was still an order and they could not disobey. Reluctantly, every warrior stopped their attacks which had exactly the effect Fiera wanted. The dragon stopped in midair, looking around in confusion. It could not understand why the Forest dwellers had suddenly stopped fighting. Perhaps they had surrendered?

"Excellent..." Fiera breathed, using that split second of hesitation from the monster to fire her last arrow. Again, her aim was flawless and her arrow hit its target: the beast’s jugular. With a screaming roar fit to kill the living and wake the dead, the hideous demon plummeted from the air. "LOOK OUT!" Fiera screamed to those who were in the way of its descent, but of course many of them were so untrained and slow that her warning could not help them.

The beast was dead, its many wounds turning the grass around it a bright scarlet. Unfortunately, many of her fighters were dead as well and even though this stung her heart, Fiera knew that she had helped save so many more.

Overhead, the other dragons seemed to realize one of their numbers had been defeated and were retreating back to their lair in surrender. The soldiers that were left milled around quietly, unsure of where to go from here. Some were weeping for a lost friend. They were waiting for Fiera’s direction. "We’ve won." she announced. "Rejoice, for no one here died in vain today." They were weak words of comfort, and yet profoundly true. This was the first battle in which the Mystic Forest had triumphed in centuries. "Go home to your families and be proud of what you’ve accomplished." she finished, yet her tone was sombre.

Walking back to the villages with a slight limp from a minor injury she had not noticed during the battle, Duvessa and Pierce were the first to come to her. "You’re covered in blood!" Pierce gasped in concern, but Fiera merely waved it off with a shake of her head. It was not her blood. It was unimportant. Duvessa was smiling, though her leaf green eyes were filled with a certain bitter-sweetness Fiera could not put her finger on at the moment.

"We won, didn’t we?" she asked as a rhetorical question. Of course they had won. The dragons had left and the Forest was still somewhat intact. Fiera nodded numbly as the faerie’s eyes brimmed with moisture that did not escape the confines of her lids. Instead, she caught Fiera completely by surprise with a fierce hug, leaving Fiera wide-eyed and at a loss for words. "Thank you." she whispered. "You’re our miracle." With that, she walked away to spread the good news to the rest of the Forest. Pierce looked just as stunned as Fiera.

"She actually hugged you and said something sentimental..." he mumbled, not quite believing it. "She must be losing it." he grinned, shaking his head.

"Why do you say that?" Fiera asked, stomping the mud out of her left boot. Pierce just chuckled and crossed his arms with an amused smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

"Duvessa isn’t exactly what you’d call a sentimental person. The two of you would get along, I think." he winked, going to catch up with his friend, leaving Fiera standing alone, lost in her own whirling thoughts.

From somewhere near her, she thought she heard a soft, tinkling laugh coming from the trees surrounding her, but she couldn’t be sure.

User Comments: [3] [add]
Community Member
commentCommented on: Thu Nov 22, 2007 @ 03:43am
...I love it, but one correction needs to be made... Duvessa has blood-ruby red eyes, not leaf green... twisted (if anyone comments after me telling me I shouldn't be correcting her characters, Duvessa is a character I created and am letting Rosethorn use for her story, the same with Pierce and the other guardians.)

commentCommented on: Thu Nov 22, 2007 @ 08:24pm
Lol, yeah I couldn't remember the colour of her eyes so I made it up. Thanks for the correction. wink

... and it's Rosethorn on the internet now, remember?

Briar Rosethorn
Community Member
Community Member
commentCommented on: Thu Nov 22, 2007 @ 10:28pm
oops sorry. I edited it! sweatdrop

User Comments: [3] [add]
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