After completing "Fiera's Beginning", I got a lot of feedback from people demanding a sequel. I started one, intending for it to become a full-length novel but soon realized I didn't have the discipline necessary to complete it. This is an unfinished snippet of the sequel to "Fiera's Beginning" and it's based on events that took place in the Mystic Forest roleplay I'm involved and in which the character of Fiera was created. I may complete it someday, I may not. It depends on my motivation, really.
The rays of the brightly burning sun caressed the many trees of the forest and left soft patches of light on the leaf-strewn terrain in areas where the trees did not cover the sight of the soft blue sky. Fiera Lightfoot moved silently through the thickets and forestry, being true to her name. Her long, elegant elf’s ears twitched slightly at passing sounds, intent upon each one and alert for a sound that didn’t belong, which meant possible danger. So far, she had heard nothing but the twittering of birds and the scurrying of burrowing forest animals. She had sensed nothing alarming as of yet.
Squinting up at the sky with her large almond-shaped grey eyes, she deduced that it was most likely mid afternoon. She had been patrolling the forest since early morning and the sun was beating down on her heavily, causing her to push a strand of dampened hair from her eyes. She stopped for a moment to retie her long single braid down her back, otherwise her calf-length, flowing silver mane would become more of a nuisance to her than a lovely attribute to her tall, willowy figure. As the Commander of the Mystic Forest’s army, she couldn’t afford nuisances hindering her abilities.
Shrugging her bow, arrow and quiver higher up onto her shoulder, she continued on. As she took in a large breath of air and reached skywards in a graceful stretch, a sound which didn’t belong caught the attention of her sensitive ears and they pricked up, immediately attentive. “Fiera! Are you near? I need your assistance!” a female voice, commanding and precise to the point of being sharp rang out through the thickets and brush.
The Commander breathed a sigh of relief and shook her head slightly, moving in the direction of the voice. “I’m coming, Duvessa!” she answered in a fluid, lilting voice characteristic of elves but with a forward and direct tone more attuned to her training as a fierce warrior and military leader.
The young woman pushed her way through vines and entangled branches, stepping into a small clearing where her dearest and closest friend, Duvessa knelt in the foliage, one hand resting on the torn flank of a young fawn. Fluttering her faerie’s wings anxiously, Duvessa looked to her friend with troubled eyes. “She’s been hurt, but I’m unable to communicate with her.” she explained. Fiera nodded. Faeries couldn’t speak with non-mythical animals, however elves were born with this gift.
Fiera knelt down in front of the fawn and looked her in the eye. She recognized her. Her name was Mulberry. What happened? she asked the quivering animal through the connection in her mind. She could feel the fear radiating off of the frightened animal.
Dragons… they swooped in while we weren’t expecting it. I got away, but Helena is dead, Commander Fiera. I’m sorry… Mulberry whispered sorrowfully, closing her eyes and hanging her head low to the ground. Her words had struck at Fiera’s heart with vicious force. Helena was a close friend to her; she had rescued the orphaned fox at her birth and had a hand in raising her. Now her soul was in the Realm of the Dead. Fiera bit her lip and looked away for a moment, composing her grief. There was no time to cry. Dragons had invaded the Forest once again which meant that her home was in danger. She had to put all personal emotions to the side at the present moment and defend the Mystic Forest as was her duty.
Thank you, Mulberry. she replied monotonously. Duvessa will make sure you get to the Healing Tree promptly. Standing up and turning to face Duvessa, the Commander relayed the message. “There’s been another dragon attack. Helena is dead. Take Mulberry to Granny Oak. I’m issuing a state of emergency upon the Forest and assembling the troops for battle right away.” she told her briskly. Duvessa’s ruby red eyes widened in fear but she nodded and immediately took upon her the task of leading the injured deer to the Healing Tree.
Fiera’s eyes and ears were on high alert now, craning for the slightest hint that danger was coming. She couldn’t hear or see anything alarming yet, but dragons were known for their ability to destroy entire villages without so much as a sigh of warning. She raced through the dense woods like an eagle catching a breeze and riding upon it. Her feet became the limber hooves of a gazelle with the speed, fluidity and grace at which she flew through the Forest.
As she arrived at the main village of the Mystic Forest, it was clear that the state of emergency had been announced. No one was seen outside save for her and the seven Guardians, along with the hundreds of troops filing their way to the battle field to await Fiera’s direction. The villagers were in hiding underground, the safest place for them. As for Fiera, she had a job to do. “ALL TROOPS TO THE BATTLEFIELD!” she bellowed, none of the elven grace which was present in her voice before was there now. Now she was the fearsome and formidable Commander the Mystic Forest knew so well.
She made her way to the battlefield and could already hear the faint rumblings in the distance of mighty dragon roars. Fiera’s eyes blazed with protective fury and she gritted her teeth with fierce determination. She despised dragons from the very core of her being. They were responsible for all the pain she had suffered in her life and she would protect the only home she had left to her even at the cost of her very life. That was the promise she had made to the Mystic Forest, the Guardians and to the Lady herself so many years ago and she would not break that promise. She faced her troops and started barking out orders, sending the spell casters to stand behind the warriors, putting the warriors in front with the healers on the sidelines. The faerie and pixie troops took flight to battle in the air as the ground troops with ranged weapons aimed upwards at the sky.
Within moments, frighteningly large and ominous shadows shrouded the battle field as the bodies of several dragons swooped over the Mystic Forest’s army, their roars causing the earth beneath them to rumble and deafen those troops around them. Fiera and her army were ready for them. “ATTACK!” she screamed and right on cue, thousands of arrows were loosed from their bows as her many warriors let their weapons fly. She herself was in the thick of battle, pulling back her own arrow and releasing it along with her troops. One of the dragons gave a shrieking cry of pain as it zigzagged in the air. The arrows had torn through its wings and it was losing flight fast. “LOOK OUT!” Fiera yelled as her brave warriors scrambled to run out of the way of the massive body plummeting towards the earth. With a trembling thud, the dragon hit the field, causing everyone around it to fall over, losing their balance. A few managed to get out from underneath the monstrous beast in time, but the majority didn’t.
Fiera forced herself to put her lost troops out of her mind for now. Many of them had been her friends but she would grieve later. At the moment, she needed to focus on the battle at hand and doing her best to protect the Forest as well as the troops she had left. As she looked up at the sky, she counted three more dragons, circling ominously over the bloodshed. Examining the largest of the three for a moment, she sensed its next move. “IT’S GOING TO BREATHE FIRE! MOVE!” she screamed to her troops to the far left. She had given the warning in time. Many of them sprinted to safety with only minor to moderate burns, however there were a few whose blackened bodies now served as empty shells of the people they had once been. With a sorrowful sigh, Fiera turned away. No matter how long she led the Mystic Forest’s army, she would never become desensitized to the sight of people dying before her eyes. It was something she had learned to handle over the years, but it had never ceased its ability to cut her deeply.
In a sudden burst of anger for the lost lives of her comrades, Fiera pointed to the dragon who had just scorched part of the battlefield. “ATTACK!” she ordered as arrows and spears flew through the air. This dragon was much tougher than the one lying dead on the ground. It merely thrashed its head in fury and took a swipe at a line of troops with its thick, spiked tail. Thankfully all the warriors in this attack’s range managed to drop to the ground as the lethal tail blades sliced centimetres over their heads. Fiera breathed a sigh of relief, but soon her face was the picturesque example of concern. This dragon wasn’t about to go down easily. Faintly, she registered the familiar crushing thud of the other two dragons behind her. Her troops had managed to overrun them with arrows and spells until they could no longer keep airborne. Now they were down to the crucial ending point, if only they could fight off the last remaining enemy.
Running to higher ground where she could have a clearer shot of the monster, Fiera scanned the flying beast’s body for a weak point. A victorious grin slowly etched itself onto her face as she pin-pointed its jugular. Raising her bow and aiming perfectly, she pulled back and released with precision and grace. Her arrow soared through the air in an elegant arc and with a faint crunching of scales, it found its target. Blood spewed from the entry wound, spattering the warriors beneath the dragon in dark crimson. A coppery smell permeated the air, making Fiera’s sensitive elf’s nose wrinkle slightly. The dragon screeched in agony as it thrashed wildly in the air, causing those below it to scatter out of its reach. With a last echoing cry of torment, the beast spiralled towards the ground, head first as a sickening crack of its neck made Fiera’s army cringe.
Silence wrapped itself around the battlefield for a few fleeting moments as everyone stood, stunned. They were taking in the information that the fight was over and that they had won, just as they had ever since their Commander had taken her title amongst them. As suddenly as the hush fell over the troops, a thunderous uproar of cheering followed. The news had sunk in. The fight was over. They had won. The Forest was well once again. Fiera nodded in approval of her troops, males and females of all land-dwelling races who had risked their lives in order to defend their families and homes. Her heart remained heavy still for the hundreds more who had lost their lives for the same courageous purpose. Never again would they rise to see the great outcome of their sacrifice.
As was expected of her, Commander Fiera stood in front of her loyal warriors, healers and spell casters to deliver their victorious speech. She was known for the brevity and directness of these speeches and today was no different. As she looked out into the sea of bloodied and scarred faces, along with the mangled and charred bodies of the unlucky troops, Fiera stood tall and held her head up high. “This battle has been won! Our homes and families remain safe because of your skill and bravery! Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and go home to your families!” she announced.
“YES COMMANDER!” came the unified shout of her faithful army. As she made her way to the main village to reissue a state of calm upon the Forest, she was greeted by many troops congratulating her on the battle and praising her for her leadership. She thanked them graciously, but it came as something she ought to do, rather than truly listening to them. She had lost so many of her comrades and friends today. The helpers were most likely hauling them away to the Mourning Tree at that very moment, in preparation for the Farewell Ceremony which would be held that night.
“You did well, Commander.” Duvessa said quietly, falling into step beside her friend. Fiera gave a twitch of the lips which was the closest she often came to succeeding in a smile.
“Thank you, Duvessa, but we lost so many today,” she sighed, lifting her blood-smeared face up to the breeze. Her friend put a soothing hand on her shoulder.
“Yes, but you saved so many more. Don’t forget that, Fiera.” With that, Duvessa Nightstone was gone. Fiera sighed and continued onwards. She knew exactly where she was going. She needed to make sure that Helena would have a special mention at that night’s Farewell Ceremony and that her troops she had lost would get the farewell of honour they deserved.
As she approached the Mourning Tree, Brona, the nymph in charge of the dead, looked up from her preparations and nodded gravely. “It seems you have protected us once again, Commander Fiera,” she said in her characteristically sombre tone. Fiera gave a curt nod but didn’t respond to this.
“I came to make sure that my warriors will be seen off to the Realm of the Dead as heroes. They fought as heroes today. I also wish to request that Helena be mentioned at the ceremony. It was her death which alerted us to the attack, but we were unable to recover a body.”
“I am deeply sorry, Commander. I know you and Helena were close. As for your warriors, they will be honoured properly, I can assure you of that. It is my job, after all.” Fiera reluctantly chuckled for merely a second in response.
“Very well.” Fiera replied.
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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.