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This blog contains my progress on the Exshire Chronicles (a series I'm writing) and the evolution of my fictional world: Exshire!
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An unfinished book I wrote in 7th grade (Pt. 2)

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 02:48 PM by PoochieMoo
Updated February 20th, 2018 at 02:51 PM by PoochieMoo

Brothers of Iron

Providence, Empire of Ferrin, Atoris, Exshire

Cedric woke much later than he usually did. He noticed that food had already been brought up to his chamber. He got out of bed, dressed in his usual red and gold armor, and ate the food that Lord Thane had delivered. As he was eating, he heard several knocks on his door.

“Rise and shine, sleepyhead!” Oliver's voice called through the door.

“I’m up, I’m up! Let me eat, alright?” Cedric yelled back at him. He hastily finished his meal and walked out the door with Flare, where he met Ariel, Oliver, Shade, and Claw. He walked throughout the castle, and finally found the exit (It was a very large castle). The six of them walked throughout the city, and headed to the docks again. Cedric and Oliver hadn't seen the sea before yesterday, and Ariel had only seen it one or two times before.

“I still can't get over how big it is,” Oliver said, entranced.

“That's the biggest sea in Exshire, the Abyssal Expanse. It's incredibly deep, too,” Ariel told him.

“What’s on the other side of it?” Cedric asked her.

“I have no clue. It hasn't really been explored too well, seeing how far away it is,” Ariel said.

They walked around, looking at the boats, and finally headed off of the dock. They walked through the city, and noticed that it was incredibly wealthy. There were almost no areas of poverty, and the areas that were considered poor were just average for most other cities.

They were walking back to the castle for lunch when they heard the drums. They were extremely loud, and not long after they started, there were horns. They ran up to the walls, where they saw archers assembling, and swordsman and spearmen gathering around the gates.

“Orcs!” all three said. They ran up on the walls to see the enemy. They were not expecting what they saw.

At least five battalions of orcs stood facing the wall. In each one, there was a flag bearer, and the flag was an anvil with two swords crossed above it. They looked much bulkier and stronger than the orcs that had attacked at Havenford. Also, instead of daggers, they wielded longswords. The orcs in the front had no weapons at all, but a metal shoulder pad, with enormous spikes protruding from it.

A few minutes later, everyone was assembled and in their positions, with Cedric leading the archers, Oliver leading the warriors, ready to charge if the orcs broke through, and Ariel staying back in the city, ready to heal wounded soldiers. Then the arrow was fired. An orc shot one at the archers on the wall, but missed. The human archers responded with a volley of their own, and took out several orcs. The orc's horns started playing again, and their drums, and the orcs in the front line charged at the wall with their spiked shoulder pads. They ran into the wall, and surprisingly, shook it quite a lot.

“Shoot the ones charging the wall!” Cedric yelled to the other archers. They directed their fire on the orcs charging the wall, and due to their incredibly thick and bulky armor, did little damage to them. The orcs were charging at the gate, thrusting their swords through it, in an attempt to knock it down. The scariest part about the orcs, was that unlike the ones that had attacked Havenford, these ones had no concern for their personal safety; they would do anything to accomplish their goal, which was to take the city.

Cedric heard a deafening BANG, and noticed that a battering ram had been thrust at the gates. It broke open the gates, and killed most of the soldiers trying to hold them. The orcs started to run into the city, but were stopped by the small company of men that Oliver was leading. They were all highly trained fighters, and they held off the orcs well. It was a constant battle for the gates, and Cedric directed half of his archers to help Oliver’s company, and the other half to fire at the orcs trying to rush through the gates.

Ariel was busy at work now, healing so many soldiers that she was practically running throughout the battlefield. She would occasionally strike down the orc that broke through, but other than that, she wasn't doing very much fighting.

The battle had been going on for quite a while, and it looked like Providence was losing. There were too many orcs, and Providence had been caught badly off guard. Cedric was now just firing his flaming arrows into the sea of orcs. Oliver and Claw were fighting the best they could, but there were just too many. Shade was supplying Ariel with energy, because healing took some of your own, as Ariel just found out. Lord Thane, standing behind the lines with his personal guard, called, “Retreat! There's just too many! Everyone, get to the boats!” The soldiers abandoned their posts and ran to the docks. The orcs were now flooding through the city, and arrows were being fired at the soldiers as they ran. Cedric, Oliver, and Ariel met at the docks, happy to see each other unscathed.

“So, we’re getting on the boats, then?” Ariel asked.

“We don't really have a choice! Even if we tried, three people, Druids or not, couldn't hold off an entire army! Besides, if we wanted to leave, it’s not like we could just walk out the door!” Cedric said. The six boarded the biggest boat, in which Lord Thane himself had boarded, and set said. The orcs were firing arrows at the boats, and a few even boarded them. But, luckily, the number of orcs that boarded the boats was nothing compared to the amount of soldiers on them. They were quickly killed.

Then the thing that Cedric had been dreading happened. The orcs started throwing bombs at the boats. Many of them missed, and many of them were thrown in the water before they blew up, but a few blew up their targets. There had been eighty-five boats in the docks, and every single one was filled up. After the bombing, there were eighty boats left.

"Well, we lost five whole boats and many, many soldiers,” Lord Thane said, troubled, taking a seat next to Cedric.

“At least we managed to get on the boats. It would have been a lot worse if you haven't called everyone back. Almost everyone would have been killed then," Cedric told him.

“Cedric, do you know what those orcs were?” Lord Thane asked him.

“Um... I don’t know. They seemed different from the ones that attacked Havenford, that's for sure,” Cedric said.

“Oh, they were very different. Very different indeed. Those were part of the Brothers of Iron. They were an elite group of orcs who are all rage and aggression. All they care about is weapons, armor, and war. They were formed before the Druids came the first time, and they were one of the toughest enemies we had to face. My family has been ruling this city for hundreds of years, and I am proud to be the sixth ruler in my line. My grandfather fought when the Brothers of Iron attacked Providence the first time. He was killed by them, although, my father always told me that him and the general of the Brothers of Iron were locked in an epic combat, and they killed each other at the same time. This allowed Providence to win the battle, because without a leader, the Brothers of Iron were less organized, and scattered into small groups. Not that they are very organized with a general, though,” Lord Thane told him.

“I didn’t know that they were a part of the first war with the orcs. I could tell when I first saw them that they were a tougher breed than the other orcs I’ve encountered,” Cedric told him.

“Yes, and they will be one of our greatest enemies in this war. One that will need to be defeated if we are to have a chance. Of course, our chances are much higher this time around, starting with the Druids, and all, but that does not mean there will be no struggle. Wars are not easily won, Cedric. You must understand that a war is not just one fight, but many smaller battles that shift the power to the victor of each one,” Lord Thane told him.

“Hey, Cedric?” Oliver said.

“What?”

“Um... aren’t we sailing on the biggest sea in Exshire, the Abyssal Expanse, the one that hasn't been explored on the other side?”

“Yeah, I think so... And you're exactly quoting Ariel now,” Cedric responded.

“Well, doesn’t that mean that when we find land, we are discovering new territory?”



Abyssal Boredom

The Abyssal Expanse, Wild, Exshire

“I officially hate the ocean,” Oliver said, throwing up over the side of the boat for the third time.

“I can tell,” Ariel said, walking up behind him.

“Can I heal seasickness? Let’s see,” she said as she placed her hand on Oliver's stomach.

“Better?”

“Not at all,” he said, looking green.

Since they were forced to board the ship at such short notice, there were no supplies and absolutely nothing to do. They were just in the middle of the ocean with nothing.

Cedric walked down the stairs and into Lord Thane’s room. He knocked on the door and waited for a response.

“Come in!” Lord Thane responded. Cedric walked in and took a seat next to the small desk next to the bed. Cedric skipped right to the point.

“Where exactly are we sailing?” he asked him.

“We cannot afford to risk sailing near the shore, for fear that some more orcs will see us. The main question remains, though. Where are the orcs coming from? They might be coming from the Thorn, but we cannot be sure, seeing as no one lives there,” Lord Thane told him. Cedric had absolutely no clue what the ‘Thorn’ was.

“Er... what’s the Thorn?” Cedric asked.

“The Thorn? Well, it's at the very end of Atoris, and nobody lives there, because it is a vast jungle, very thick, and the weather is extreme. One day it will be raining and freezing, and the next it will be sunny and sweltering hot. No one could live there if they wanted to,” he told Cedric.

“So... Where are we going?” Cedric asked him, getting impatient.

“Ah! Yes, well, we aren’t too sure. See, Providence is the last city on the coast of Atoris, so we are mostly just looking for a place to dock. There have to be some places, we just haven’t spotted any yet. But, since we used every single boat in Providence, I obviously don't own every single one. We might try to stop at Draycott, a tiny little city on the coast, but it would not have enough room in the dock to support all of these boats, and not nearly enough supplies to support the passengers,” Lord Thane told him.

“So how much longer until we find a safe place to dock, then?” Cedric asked. “Or until we find Draycott?” He couldn't wait to get off of the boat.

“Well, we are trying to find a safe area as fast as we can, because our fisherman can only catch so much fish, and we don't have very much fresh water, only the things we found on the boats. We are thinking about maybe one and a half more days? That's how long it is to Draycott, but we can't really estimate when we will find a place to dock. We're trying our best,” Lord Thane said.

“Alright. Thank you for the information,” Cedric said, leaving the room. Because there was nothing on the boat, not even food or water, all Cedric could do was sit and talk with Oliver and Ariel. He told them what Lord Thane had said about their destination, and Oliver did not seem pleased.

“Wait. So we have to go one and a half more days without anything but some raw fish?” he asked.

“I guess,” Cedric replied. He was not happy about their conditions either, but knew that complaining would not make them any better, a concept that Oliver still failed to grasp.

The rest of the day was one of the slowest that the three had ever experienced. They were stuck with nothing to do on a boat in the middle of the ocean for almost two days. They were so bored that they started to debate whether or not Shade and Claw could swim.

“You know, when I first saw the ocean, I thought it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen,” Cedric told them. “But now It's one of the things I despise the most.”

As night fell, everyone on board climbed under the boat to sleep. There were about four hundred people on the boat, and it was a very cramped space to fit in. Obviously, no one could sleep on top of the boat, for fear that they might roll off and into the water.

Oliver, Ariel, and Cedric were crammed in a corner, not able to move much. Shade, Claw, and Flare had to spend the night above them, because they took up so much space. They laid on the hard, wooden floor, and tried to sleep. They were still in their armor, and it was extremely uncomfortable.

Everyone on board was woken by a huge CRUNCH, and a huge lurch of the boat. The three instinctively ran up to see if their animals were okay, and they were not.

Accompanying their animals were orcs. Many, many orcs, all streaming onto the boat from their own, which was slammed into the side of the one Cedric, Ariel, Oliver, Flare, Shade, and Claw were on. Claw was fighting them tooth and nail, Flare was clawing them with his talons, and Shade was running around, distracting them. The three ran back down to grab their weapons and warn the passengers. The warriors who were on the ship grabbed their weapons as well, and followed them up on deck. Cedric fired arrows into the crowd of the orcs, Ariel stayed back with Shade, and Oliver was swinging his broadsword in every direction.

Still groggy from just having been woken up, the three were not exactly fighting their best. It took them longer to kill five orcs than it should have, but they were trying the best they could.

Cedric fired an arrow and hit an orc in the mouth. His head caught fire, and he jumped into the water. He hit another in the chest, and he fell to the floor. The floor of the boat immediately started to set fire. It didn't spread fast, but once it had enough fuel, it would spread like wildfire. Because it was fire.

“Oliver! Fight next to Claw and push them back onto their boat! We need to get on it! This one's on fire!” Cedric yelled to Oliver. He nodded, and ran over to where Claw was. Together, they made a noticeable difference. Ariel, once again, was busy at work healing the wounded soldiers.

Cedric looked around for more boats, and to see if the huge amount of other boats were being attacked. The only thing he saw were the passengers of the other boats watching in astonishment. There were no other orc boats to be seen. Why did they pick our boat? Well, probably because it had us on it. But how did they know? Cedric thought to himself. Oh. When we left Flare, Shade, and Claw outside, they could see them glowing. That was a dumb move.

Still, where could they have come from? Cedric looked around once more and saw a thick green mass floating in the ocean. When he looked closer, he realized that it was not floating at all; it was land! The orcs must have a dock there! Cedric thought. Oliver and Claw had successfully pushed the orcs back onto their own boat, and his soldiers were boarding it. It was not long until they had cleared out the remaining orcs.

Cedric gathered everyone together and had them board the orc's boat. It was not nearly as big, but they only needed it to get to land. Just then, Lord Thane came running out, with his personal guard, and stared at the mass of green that Cedric had seen.

“Cedric, do you know where this is?”

“No, I really have no clue where we are. I've never really been outside of Havenford,” he told Lord Thane.

“Cedric, we've just arrived at the Thorn.”



The City on the Shore

The Thorn, Colonies of Rakkdar, Atoris, Exshire

“The Thorn?” Cedric said, surprised.

“Yes, Cedric. The Thorn. We wanted to stop much farther back than this, but we must have drifted much farther than we wanted to last night, and look where we ended up,” Lord Thane told Cedric. “Draycott must have been closer than we thought.”

Cedric looked over the railing at the Thorn. It was just as Lord Thane had described it; a vast jungle with no visible clearings. There was not even a place to dock the boat because of the jagged, black rocks sticking up out of the water. As Cedric looked down at the water, he saw that it was crashing against the small orc boat that they had stolen. It seemed to be going faster than normal, and Cedric realized that there was a strong current in the water, which was still slightly pushing them in the direction of the Thorn. A current, Cedric thought. That's why we drifted so far last night. Ariel, Shade, Oliver, and Claw walked up by Cedric to look at the Thorn from over the railing.

“Do you see those dark shapes? I think they might be buildings. They could be rocks, though. I can't tell from here,” Ariel said. Just then, they saw some humans walking on shore. They looked at the ship curiously, and ran back into the village, or wherever they lived.

“This seems suspicious,” Cedric told the two. “Lord Thane told us that the Thorn was uninhabited. Why would there suddenly be people running on shore?” Cedric asked them. They both shrugged, and looked again at the shore where the people had been.

“You're right. It seems weird. But, on the other hand, if this is a real village or town, they could really help us,” Oliver suggested.

“I see what you mean. Maybe we should just investigate it ourselves, and maybe take a few soldiers with us, just to see if it's safe,” Ariel said. The three walked over to Lord Thane to tell them their plan.

"By yourselves? Well, if it is safe, it will be a huge relief having somewhere to dock for the night, but if it’s a trap... What will happen then?"

"We'll fight our way out,” Oliver said.

“Um, I don’t think it will be that simple, just fighting our way out of a city meant to sabotage you,” Ariel told him. Just then, the note that the orc messenger had been carrying popped into Cedric's mind; They are being herded like sheep to the slaughterhouse.

“Well, if you think it's worth it, then go,” Lord Thane told them.

They grabbed their animals and walked to the edge of the boat. “You are going to have to jump. There is no dock, and not even enough room to get any closer to the shore, thanks to these,” Lord Thane said, indicating the black spikes jetting out of the water. Shade, Claw, Oliver, Ariel, and Cedric jumped off the side of the boat, while Flare gracefully flew to shore. With their wet armor weighing them down even more than it should, they waded to the beach.

“Land! Finally!” said Oliver, extremely excited. He kissed the sand, and found it plastered to his lips. He was then scrambling back to the water to rid his mouth of the grains.

The six walked, wet, sandy, and uncomfortable, into the forest. It was tremendously dense, and they had to whack branches out of the way with their weapons just to see ahead of them. At last, they caught a glimpse of brown, which was a wooden tree house.

“Finally, we're in the city,” Oliver said, after five minutes of walking around blindly in the forest. The same people who had seen them from shore came out of a small clearing up ahead to greet them.

“Welcome to our humble city, Vroldoch,” the woman said. The other two people were beaming at them. Their smiles were too happy. Something seemed off.

"Hi! We were on that boat you saw earlier, and were wondering if we could stop here for supplies? Our city was just attacked, and we need to get some things before we head to the capital," Ariel said to the woman.

“Ah! Yes, we can lead you to our king, and he will be able to assist you further,” the woman responded in the same, suspiciously cheerful voice. The six of them followed the woman through the strange city. The buildings were made with the same dark wood as the treehouse that they had seen earlier, and they were centered around a huge bonfire. Behind the bonfire was a large building that looked like a town hall. The woman led them to the building located behind the bonfire, and opened up the doors. They walked in, and immediately noticed the throne sitting at the end of the room. But the seat was vacant.

“So... where is he?” Cedric asked.

“Oh, he'll be here shortly,” the woman responded. Cedric heard a rustling outside of the building, and looked towards the sound. He instinctively started to walk towards the open window, but was stopped by the woman. “You don’t need to go over there. Our king is here, not outside,” she said, incredibly suspicious now.

“Alright, then. If he does not come within five minutes, we’re leaving,” Cedric told her.

“Oh, it'll be over in less than five minutes,” she said. She pointed a finger at the six, and orc archers pointed their bows at them from every window. Even the doors had opened, revealing even more archers. There was no escape.

The orcs in the windows released their strings, and let the arrows fly at the group.

“NO!” screamed Cedric, thrusting his hands out to the side, as if it would stop the arrows. As he made that motion, a huge gust of wind blew in a circle around them, blasting the arrows back and away from them. He felt more tired than usual.

Ariel and Oliver had just opened their eyes to see why they were not yet dead. Cedric was too shocked and confused to even move. The arrows had burst out in all directions, hitting some of the archers that had fired them. They had even hit the woman who had escorted them into the room.

A rough voice behind them caught their attention. They spun around, and saw an enormous orc brandishing a sword with some sort of brown gemstone in the pommel and guard. He was speaking in a strange tongue that they could not understand, but they got the message when the remaining archers fired upon them again. Cedric made the same motion with his hands again, and the arrows flew in all directions. The huge orc grunted in frustration, and charged at the group. Had his sword pointed straight at Ariel, and Cedric fired an arrow at him. It hit his arm, lighting it on fire. He looked at his arm in shock, and continued his attack. Oliver charged at the orc, and they met in a flurry of blades. Claw joined the attack, and started swiping paws at the huge orc. Ariel, too, ran in to help Oliver and Claw fight the orc.

Cedric was firing arrows at the archers in the windows and doors, and Flare was swiping his talons across the faces of the archers. It was not long before all the archers had fallen, and Cedric too could direct his fire upon the orc. He landed a few more arrows, and the orc fell unmoving to the floor. Oliver had a large gash in his shoulder, and Ariel was pressing her hands to it, healing it.

“I'm surprised the orc lasted even that long!” Ariel said after healing Oliver.

“I don't care how long the orc lasted, we just need to get out of here!” Cedric said. The six ran out of the building, and into the clearing. They saw orcs surrounding them, and Cedric fired arrows at them, striking a few dead. The orcs started to chase after them, but they were met with an arrow to the throat every time they got too close. But, there were soon too many for the six to take on by themselves. They ran at full speed to the beach, but by the time that they were there, they were surrounded by orcs, with no cover, and the ocean behind them. To their dismay, there were archers among the orcs surrounding them. They began nocking their arrows, and pointed them at the six. The largest orc stood in the front of the crowd, and had saying something in the same, rough speech that they had heard the other, bigger orc speaking in.

“Flare, please, we need your help,” Cedric whispered to the phoenix. He stared back at Cedric, and tilted his head.

“Please, please help us, Flare,” Cedric said, now pleading. Flare flew up above everyone, spread his wings, and Cedric felt a pleasant warmth in his left hand. He looked over and saw a blue ball of flame about as big as his fist, and hurled it at the orcs about to shoot. When it came into contact with one of the orcs, the beach exploded with spectral blue fire.
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