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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. 3)

Posted February 20th, 2018 at 02:50 PM by PoochieMoo

Theorizing

The Thorn, Colonies of Rakkdar, Atoris, Exshire

The six waded to the boat anchored just before the black spikes penetrating the water, and climbed aboard by a rope ladder thrown down by the passengers. “What was that?” Cedric said, once they were safely on board.

“It looked like some sort of bomb or something,” Ariel suggested.

“Whatever it was, I'm glad that Flare gave me one. How did he get them, anyway?” Cedric wondered.

“Well, they obviously weren't normal animals when they were alive, and they especially aren't now, so maybe they have some sort of magic?” Ariel said.

“Speaking of magic, what did you do with those arrows back in that city, Cedric?” Oliver asked. Cedric had just remembered the strange wind that he had conjured back in the city. He was just as confused about that as he was the weird bomb Flare had created.

“I have no clue! I just flung my arms out, and the arrows burst away from me!” Cedric replied. He really was clueless about what had happened.

“Well, if you can keep doing that, it would really help us out in the future. I wonder if you can do other things, too? Like fireballs, and making spikes shoot up from the ground...” Oliver said, gazing into nothingness.

“Oliver, if Cedric can do it, I'm sure we can too,” Ariel said.

“Hey!” Cedric snapped back.

“I don't mean it like that, Cedric. I mean, we all have special powers, or whatever they are, so why would only one of us be able to do something like that?” Ariel said.

“I get what you're saying. If all three of us could do that, we'd be unstoppable!” Oliver said excitedly.

“We pretty much are unstoppable, Oliver,” Ariel said. This was true; the only time the three of them had felt threatened was when they were twice surrounded by archers in the city. But even then, Cedric had found a way to pull them out of danger.

Cedric looked around, and noticed that a decent amount of ships from their fleet were missing. He walked below deck to ask Lord Thane what had happened to them.

“Goodness! You've been gone for such a long time, I was worried something bad had happened to you!” He said, looking scared. “So? Is it safe to stay here?” he asked eagerly.

“No. Not even close to being safe," Cedric replied. “They had humans lure us in, in a split second, we found ourselves surrounded by orcs. It was a trap. One we were too stupid to realize,” Cedric said gloomily. “At least no one got hurt,” he finished, taking a seat at the desk in the small room. He decided not to tell him about the arrows and the bomb. Not yet, at least.

“Yes, yes, I'm glad none of you were injured,” Lord Thane said, indicating the three. “I would say the same thing to them, but can they be injured?” he asked, pointing at Flare, Shade, and Claw.

“That's a really good question,” Ariel answered, looking puzzled.

“If they can't be hurt, then you're right, Ariel. We are unstoppable,” Cedric said.

“I would assume that they can be hurt, because if they couldn't... Well, don't you just think that that's a little too, you know, overpowered?” Oliver asked.

“Yeah, definitely,” Cedric responded, examining Flare, who was perched on his shoulder. The wispy blue substance that made him up was translucent, and he could just barely make out Ariel through Flare's body. “The only thing is, how would a weapon even touch them? You can see through them!” Cedric said. He reached his hand out to touch Flare, and found that he was as solid as himself. He stroked Flare's back, and noticed that it didn't feel like anything; like touching a solid cloud. If Cedric felt anything on Flare, it was a slight warmth. He realized that it was the same feeling that he had experienced holding the strange bomb that Flare had given him.

“I know this sounds strange, but Flare feels like that bomb he gave me, back on the beach,” Cedric told them.

“How did Flare get it?” Ariel asked.

“I really have no clue,” Cedric responded.

“How does a bomb just appear out of thin air? But then again, how do arrows just conveniently fly away from us when Cedric sticks his hands out?” Ariel said. "This is really, really confusing. We just touch some statues and then we have magical powers, and these things?” she said, looking at Shade.

Cedric looked over at Flare, and noticed that he was different, more faded looking. “Look at Flare! He looks dimmer, like he's not as bright,” Cedric told them.

“You're right, he doesn't look as bright as Claw, or Shade. Is he okay?” Oliver said. Flare didn't seem any different, other than the slight loss of brightness.

“Maybe that bomb that he gave you drained him. Like, used his energy. Sometimes when Shade supplies me with energy, he gets a little bit more faded than usual,” Ariel told Cedric.

“Yeah, maybe. Actually, come to think of it, I felt a little tired after I deflected those arrows," Cedric said. Just then, an idea came into his head. “I think I might know why Flare and Shade get darker when they use magic. When you use it, you feel tired, right?" Cedric asked Ariel. She nodded her head. “Well, like I said, I do too, so maybe it's the same for them?” Cedric said. “Whenever they use too much energy or magic, they get fainter and fainter and fainter, until they... die,” Cedric said. He hadn't planned on saying that last part. That wasn't even part of his theory originally, but as he was talking, it just made sense that that's what would have to happen.

“So they aren't invincible,” Cedric said, slightly discouraged.

“Well, I never thought they were,” Ariel responded. “It just wouldn't make sense. Why would they even pick masters if they couldn't die themselves?”

Cedric never really believed that they were invincible either, but it was still a blow to his morale to know for sure that Flare could be killed.

“Well, that's just a theory. We have no way of knowing for sure, unless...” Cedric didn't want to think about what happened next.

“A theory that makes perfect sense! Cedric, if magic drains us, then why wouldn't it drain them? We even have proof that it takes their energy!” Ariel said. Again, Cedric didn't believe what he was saying; he just didn’t want to let go of the fact that Flare might just be invincible.

“Well, if they are only killed by doing magic, then aren't they kind of invincible? I mean, if they just fight normally, without magic, then they can't be killed, right?” Oliver said.

“I'm not sure. I see what you're saying, but since they're solid, weapons might be able to harm them. It's only an idea, but it makes a lot of sense,” Ariel said. Cedric just remembered why he had come down in the first place.

“Lord Thane, why are so many of the boats missing from our fleet?” Cedric asked him.

“Oh, well, my boat didn't have any captains or navigators on it, so we really didn't know how to sail it, or where we were going. We were just following behind the others. When we went to sleep, the boats with navigators were still aware of where they were, and sailed to Draycott. Meanwhile, us boats without navigators or captains sailed right into the trap,” Lord Thane told Cedric.

Trap... Cedric thought. Another theory popped into his head.

“Wait... what if this thing was all set up? What is the attacks on Havenford and Providence were all part of some master plan? To kill us? Listen: First, they somehow know that we are in Havenford, and then attack it kill us, or drive us out. If we'd escaped, they'd assume that we'd flee to Providence. Because Providence is lodged in between two mountains, we'd have to sail away on the boats to survive. This part is a long shot, but they knew we would sail to the Thorn, and we'd be trapped there. They sent that attack ship to distract us, lead us to that fake city,” Cedric told them. “But, I bet they didn't expect us to be able to throw fire bombs at them, or magically deflect their arrows,” Cedric said. “Even the note makes sense! It said that we were being herded to the slaughterhouse! And, it said that we would do the work for them, meaning that we'd go to the trap city all by ourselves, with the only orc interference being the attacks. Come to think of it, we practically did just walk into that trap. Plan C, or whatever, must have been seiging Providence, attacking our boat, and tricking us into going to that trap city. We were being tracked all along, and that city was the slaughterhouse!” Cedric said, getting excited.

“The only problem is, how did the orcs know that we were druids? And where we were?” Ariel said. The room fell silent.



Draycott at Last

Draycott, Empire of Ferrin, Atoris, Exshire

Cedric walked up to the railing of the boat. It was dawn, and he was watching the sun rise above the horizon of the Abyssal Expanse. They were finally headed towards Draycott, and Cedric was glad to be able to set foot on land again. Safe land where they wouldn't be killed, at least.

Cedric stroked Flare's feathers, or whatever he was made of. They were taking longer than expected to reach Draycott because of the current that had carried them to the Thorn.

“Hey, Cedric,” Ariel said from behind him.

“What are you doing?” Oliver asked.

“Nothing,” Cedric answered. “Are we almost to Draycott?” Cedric asked them.

“Yes, actually. Lord Thane was going to tell you also, but you woke up too early. He said that we would be there in a few hours. I don't think I can stand another night on this boat,” Ariel said. Cedric didn't think he could either. Being on this overcrowded boat was one of the worst times in his life.

A few hours later, after the three had eaten a meager breakfast of raw fish, they finally saw Draycott coming into view.

“Yes!” the three shouted together, pumping their fists in the air. The villagers of Draycott were looking out at the boats, waving. They had obviously been alerted that there would be more boats coming by the citizens of Providence who had already arrived. The dock was immensely crowded, but they eventually found a spot to dock. The villagers were in a great hurry to get off the boat, and it was a challenge getting off. When the six successfully walked onto the docks, and for the first time since they left Providence, felt safe.

“Finally. Solid ground!” Oliver said happily. Cedric couldn't help but smile; he was just as happy as anyone to finally be back on land. Ariel and Shade were already walking towards the city, looking awestruck. Cedric looked up at the city and immediately noticed why. Sitting in the middle of the city was an elaborate, spiraling castle. It was unlike anything Cedric had ever seen before. Providence had been magnificent, but not very large. Draycott was probably twice the size of Providence, and they liked to display their wealth. A lot. As they walked in through the golden gates, they saw that the wealthy houses were positioned in front, so that they were the first thing that a visitor would see. Cedric, with Flare on his shoulder, entered the city and found himself just as awestruck as Ariel had been.

The wealthy houses that Cedric saw were probably fifteen times the size of his. They were enormous, and made of a white stone that looked even more pure than marble. There were strange plants that Cedric had never seen before displayed outside of them, and magnificent courtyards with elaborately sculpted fountains of the same, white stone that had made up the houses. The streets were not dirt, not cobblestones, but a smooth grey stone that like the white one, Cedric had never seen. He was awed by the wealth of the homeowners. What kind of job do you need to afford a house that large? he thought to himself.

Eventually, they reached the center of the town, which was crowded with market stands and shops. It was then that they realized that the city was not made up entirely of wealth. Beyond the endless, sprawling streets, were alleyways that lead to the poorer parts of town. These streets lead to houses made of wood, with hay thrown on the top to serve as a makeshift roof.

After exploring the city for a while, they stopped in the local tavern for lunch. Their mouths watered uncontrollably at the sight of food, and they were more than happy to be able to eat something other than raw fish. They sunk their teeth happily into potatoes, beef, bread, mushrooms, butter, and cheese (they passed on the fish). As they ate, people uncomfortably stared at them, but they were used to it. They were stared at wherever they went, and couldn't even avoid it by leaving their animals behind, for people still recognized them and their armor. They left the tavern with their stomachs pleasantly full, and started to roam the streets again when they were unexpectedly stopped by Lord Thane, walking along the street.

“Oh! Perfect. Just the people I wanted to see,” he said, beckoning them forward. They followed him along the streets, their animals following close behind.

"”Lord Fletcher would like to see you three. He said that his advisor sensed you. Whatever that means,” he told them.

Sensed us? What does that even mean? Cedric thought to himself. He followed Lord Thane throughout the winding streets to the castle. Once they reached it, they entered the extravagant front doors into a maze of beautiful hallways and passages. They wound throughout the corridors until they reached a staircase leading into the dungeons. The only light provided was from torches mounted on the walls, but they didn't much affect the veil of darkness encasing the dungeon. They walked throughout the passageways, Flare Shade and Claw giving off at least a little bit of light, until they finally reached a tall, wooden door.

“Lord Fletcher wanted to meet you here. Alone. Well, I should be off then,” Lord Thane told them, hurrying away from the door.

“Should we open it, then?” Cedric asked, noticing how stupid the question was after he said it.

“Well, why else would someone want to see us here?" Ariel said. “Of course we should open it! There’s no one outside the door to see us, is there?” She said in a smart tone. She walked over to the handle and pulled on it. The door swung open, and there was a man that look about twenty greeted them.

“Oh! You must be the Druids,” the man said to them. The three nodded. It was blatantly obvious that they were the Druids; their glowing, blue, animals stood next to them, staring at the man. “Lord Fletcher, at your service,” he said.

“Cedric, at yours.”

“Ariel at yours.”

“Oliver at yours.”

“Well, now that we have introduced each other, I have someone who would like to see you." Some one? Didn't Lord Thane say that Lord Fletcher wanted to see them? Cedric, Ariel, and Oliver followed Lord Fletcher down a smaller series of passageways, and into another, bulkier door. Lord Fletcher shoved a key into the lock, and opened it. The room had a sickly green glow. It seemed unnatural, otherworldly. What Cedric saw next made his stop in his tracks; a man levitating above the ground, green light emitting from his very being.



The Oracles

Draycott, Empire of Ferrin, Atoris, Exshire

The three stumbled back in fear. They had no clue what... it was, but they didn't want to get any closer.

“It’s okay! It’s okay,” Lord Fletcher said, his voice echoing throughout the passages of the dungeon. “This is Serill. He's an Oracle. Not many people know about him,” Lord Fletcher said. Despite the brief explanation, everyone was still extremely confused. The levitating man had deep lines on his face, as if he had been working very hard non stop.

“What is an Oracle?” Ariel asked, a note of fear in her voice.

“An Oracle is a type of magician, just like you three. But their magic is different. Instead of moving objects and fighting with it, they can predict the future, give prophecies, sense things, and do afflection quite well.”

“So why is he here?” Oliver asked.

“Well, you see, my dad got sick and died before I was born, and my mom died not long after I was born. By default, I became Lord. I was a baby, and the city was ruled by officials and nobles until I became old enough to rule. I was still almost clueless about how to rule, and without Serill, this city would probably have fallen already. He has been my chief advisor, and his ability to predict the future made almost all of the decisions I made, the right decision,” Lord Fletcher said. Cedric, Oliver and Ariel still looked confused, but less so. The levitating man still had his eyes closed, seemingly unaware of the other's presence.

“Wait, how did you know that we were magicians?” Cedric asked, unnerved. “Did Lord Thane tell you?”

“No, no, I didn’t know until Serill told me. He said that he felt a ‘strong magical presence’, whatever that means. Anyway, I’m going to leave you four together now, Serill wanted to talk to you. Bye!” And he was out the door.

“Wait! No!” Ariel said, banging on the door.

“You have nothing to fear from me,” a mystical voice said from behind them. “I knew you'd come. I sensed it. I felt your magic, or maybe it was theirs, but I knew it was magic. It had to be the Druids, because besides Delphina and I, they are the only other magicians in the world that I am aware of,” he continued. “But never fear, never fear, you should be glad that I am still alive, for I can teach you. The ways of the Druids were complicated. They were masters of omnius, yet were also powerful in the ways of transus. You see, the term ‘Druid’ does not refer to a magician who does a specific type of magic, but rather a magician who is connected with nature in some way or another. You three consider yourselves Druids, when there is no type of magic specifically affiliated with being a Druid,” Serill said.

Cedric, Ariel, and Oliver stared blankly at Serill, unsure of what to do or say, and completely clueless about what even half of what he said meant.

“What is omnius, afflection, transus, and who's Delphina?” Oliver asked.

“I would like to know the exact same things,” Ariel said.

“I think we all would,” Cedric replied.

“Young ones, I know you have been forced into a role you did not want or ask for. Therefore, it would be assumed that you didn't know the ways of the arcane. I will teach, and explain to you everything you wish to know," Serill said. "Like I said previously, I wish to teach you. If our first session was to start now, we would be interrupted by Lord Fletcher, in 27 minutes and forty-three seconds. Forty-two, forty-one, forty, and so on. That is not nearly enough time to teach and explain everything that I wish to accomplish in a first lesson, so shall we hold one tomorrow at noon? Lord Fletcher will want to meet with me at five, so we should have enough time. Noon tomorrow, no later, no earlier. If you follow the most predictable chain of events, then none of you will be late. Farewell,” he finished at last, closing his eyes once again, and not paying attention to them any longer.

The six walked out the door, and through the winding passages of the dungeon. Once they finally reached the castle halls, the ran into Lord Fletcher, waiting for them.

“Oh, good, you made it out alright. I was going to check on you in about fifteen minutes to see how things were going. He's something, isn't he?” Lord Fletcher said. The three nodded their heads. Serill was definitely something.

“Yeah, something, I guess,” Cedric said, unsure how else to describe him.

“Well, anyway, I have rooms for you three in the castle. Follow me, and I'll show you to them.”

The six of them followed Lord Fletcher up many staircases and passages until they reached a series of rooms near the top of the castle. “Well, you three, or six, can stay here as long as you need to. I'll assign each of you a servant, which will bring food and new clothes for you. Farewell!” And he was off.

Cedric walked into the large room, and found that it was similar to the one he had stayed in at Providence. There was a large bed and bathroom, and many luxury features. This room is worth more than my lifetime earnings, Cedric thought. Like the room in Providence, Flare had a small perch to sleep on. It was already getting late, and it had been a long day for the three. Cedric laid down on the bed and fell asleep.

Cedric awoke to find that he had slept much later than he usually did. He got out of bed and had Flare perch himself on his shoulder, like he normally did. Together, they walked out of the room and into the castle. As he was wandering the seemingly endless passageways, he ran into, much to his surprise, Serill.

“Hello, Cedric. I knew you'd be coming out here, so I thought I'd have a word with you,” he said.

“Uhhhh... Sure, I guess,” Cedric replied. Serill beckoned Cedric on, and he followed behind him. He was leading Cedric back into the room they had first seen him in yesterday. After navigating the hallways into the dungeon, they arrived at the same door that they had entered before. Serill walked into the center of the room, and sat down, cross-legged. He slowly began rising off the floor, and the sight was immensely strange for Cedric.

“You are a skilled magician, Cedric," Serill said. “I know about the arrows you deflected. I can sense magic, and this was a particularly strong feat. It takes a lot of power in the ventus region of the arcane to do something like that.” Cedric didn't know what to say. All of what Serill was saying caught him off guard, and he had no clue how to respond. Even more unsettling, Serill knew how Cedric would respond. Cedric decided that asking a question would be the best way to talk the least without just standing there.

“Er, what's ventus, and arcane?” Cedric asked. He wanted to make it as general as possible.

“Ventus is the art of wind magic. It includes manipulating and controlling wind. Together with terra, ignia, and aqua, it makes up one fourth of omnius."

That was as clear as mud, Cedric thought. Glad for an excuse to ask more questions he asked, "What's terra, ignia, aqua, and omnius?"

“Terra: The art of earth magic. Ignia: The art of fire magic. Aqua: The art of water magic. And omnius. Omnius is a type of magic that refers to all four types of elemental magic. All of the magic types I just named make up omnius. Omnius is a great skill to have, because those four elements can be found almost anywhere. And you asked earlier what arcane was? Arcane refers to magic. All magic,” Serill said. “I know you are about to ask about the other types of magic, so I shall tell you. Afflection: Moving objects with the mind. Transus: Transferring some of your power into an animal or object. The Druids used transus to give their animals the power they had. Animation: Like transus, but giving an object the power to move and think for itself. Summoning: Summoning unnatural and dangerous creatures from other realms. Those are the main types of magic, but there are countless other branches and versions of those types of magic.” Cedric understood a bit better, and was actually quite interested in a few types of magic. “Now, you must go. I wanted to see you because you are a strong magician, Cedric. If you do not leave soon, your friends will find out you were here, and get jealous, don't you think?"” It was supposed to be a joke, but the way that he talked, Cedric could never tell what the man intended.

He left the dungeon though the winding passages, thinking I'm a magician? I knew I did some strange kind of magic, but I had no clue the 'arcane' or whatever It's called was this diverse! Cedric was starting to get excited; he wanted to tell Oliver and Ariel everything that he had just learned. “You know what Flare? I think we just might have a shot against the orcs.”



The Way of the Arcane

Draycott, Empire of Ferrin, Atoris, Exshire

Cedric met Oliver and Ariel walking along the streets of Draycott, visiting the local shops. The shops were similar to Cedric's old one in Havenford, but these ones were much larger and had higher quality goods. Cedric had told the two all about what Serill had said to him. They both seemed just as fascinated by it as he was, which made the lesson later that day even more exciting. They wound their way down to the dungeon, and there they met Serill.

“Hello. As I predicted, all of you have made it here on time. Which, gives us more time in our lesson.” Serill walked over to his usual spot, and levitated once again. “I am aware that Cedric told you two what I told him earlier, so there is no need to start with magic types. So, let's start with practicing, shall we?” This took the three by surprise; they were not expecting to jump right into doing magic. "But, you must know this before you start: Mana is the energy that magic feeds off. Each individual person has a different amount of mana, but it is generally not that much. Once your mana depletes, the magic starts to feed from your own energy. I your energy level gets too low, then you will faint. Your mana will slowly regenerate, though, so don't be afraid to use it. Now, let's get started. Each of you, name a type of magic that you wish to learn.”

Cedric, Ariel, and Oliver thought hard on the matter, but finally they all reached the type of magic they wanted to learn.

“I want to learn animation,” Ariel said.

"Afflection," Oliver told Serill

“I want to learn omnius,” Cedric said.

“Interesting choices. But I shall teach you all you wish to learn. Magic is a powerful tool, and can be one of your greatest weapons if you learn to use it right. Now, let's get started.”

The three of them spent the rest of the day learning the type of magic that they wanted to learn. Oliver seemed thoroughly enjoying himself, and by the end of the class, he was sending rocks flying across the room. Ariel was having difficulties animating things, but as Serill told her, it was a hard type of magic to learn. But, out of all of them, Cedric was having the most trouble. He was trying to take on four types of magic at once, and it was extremely hard. He had only managed to make a slight breeze, make the fire of the torches waver, move the water part way out of a cup, and create a very tiny shake in the ground.

“For your first day, you three have made more progress than I could have hoped for in a week. Good job, all of you. I expect you three to be here again at the same time tomorrow,” he told them. The three left the dungeon and came back again at the same time the next day. Ariel and Oliver were making extreme progress; Oliver could lift himself an inch off the ground, and Ariel could make rocks dance around the room. Cedric wished he was as successful as them. He could just barely make water swirl around his hand, make a spark form in his palm, and make a slight bump appear in the ground. Although, he was making progress in the ventus region, with conjuring a strong breeze to blow away some pebbles thrown at him.

One day, while practicing, Cedric asked, “How can I do ignia if im in the middle of a battle, with no fire? Same with aqua. What if there’s no water around?”

“Well, Cedric, then you must summon the element. Do you recall creating a spark in your hand? That was summoning fire, just not very powerfully. If there is not the element you wish to use around, then you must create it out of thin air. It is much harder than using already existing materials, but it can be done. Watch.” Serill grabbed a cup sitting on the ground next to him. It was the cup that Serill filled with water when Cedric was practicing aqua magic. He pointed his fingers at the cup, and water shot from the ends of them, filling it to the brim. “Like I said, it is much harder than using existing material. It requires large amounts of energy, and will eat up your mana very quickly. Oracles like me have a large amount of mana, and that is why I am able to lift myself off the ground for so long without fainting,” he explained.

Cedric looked around the room to see how the others were doing. Ariel had managed to make a small golem out of pebbles, and it walked around the room, trying to find something to fight. Oliver had made tremendous progress, and he could almost lift a boulder off the ground (Serill had created it using terra magic). Cedric began to feel frustrated; he had hardly made any progress from his first lesson.

“Why am I hardly making any progress?” he said.

“There are two main factors. The first one is that you are taking on four different types of magic at once. Ariel and Oliver are only practicing one, and they can put their full energy into that one type they are learning. With you, you are dividing your energy between four different types, so when you practice, they will grow slower, but together. The second factor has to do with the type of magic you ae learning. Ariel and Oliver are learning magic that has uses off the battlefield. Omnius is more offensive magic, and it is harder to do when you are not fighting. You see, you have to truly want what you are trying to do. That’s why deflecting those arrows worked so well; you really wanted, needed, to deflect them, to live. With offensive magic, you need to be in a position where the magic will help you, or where you need to use it for some dire reason. Again, you have to want it to make it happen. Ariel and Oliver’s magic is not offensive, and they are progressing so well at it because they don’t need to want it, they don’t need to feel as passionate about it as you do. They just need to visualize it. You, on the other hand, need to visualize it to do the magic, and want it to follow through with it. When you visualize it, the spell will form. When you want or need it, the spell will cast. As for them, when they visualize it, the spell will form and cast.”

“But why do I need to follow through with it, and they don’t? I know that it’s offensive magic, but why does offensive magic require that extra step?”

“That, Cedric is a very good question, and one that must be answered for you to fully understand the way of the magic you are learning. In the early days of magic, when people didn’t understand it nearly as much as we do, they were reckless. They couldn’t control it very well, and were scared that they would hurt someone the cared about. Ulfias, an extremely powerful magician, had a father that taught magic. He was killed by a student, and Ulfias was devastated. He tapped into the very way of the arcane to prevent such tragedies, and made omnius the way it is today. It may hinder our practice of that sort of magic, but in the end it saved many lives. If it was not this way, the castle would be half collapsed, on fire, flooded on the inside, and have a tornado raging outside. So, that is why offensive magic works best on the battlefield, or when you truly need it to happen.”

It was a lot to take in. Cedric pondered over the information for a minute, and then nodded his head. He could see why someone modified the magic, but how unfortunate that that was the type he had chosen.

“Aqua and ventus magic is easier to practice, while terra and ignia is much more difficult. That was why I was able to make the water appear just now.”

Cedric heard a gasp from the opposite end of the room, and wheeled around to see what had happened. Ariel was looking at two small golems that she had created out of pebbles, and they were bashing each other with their miniature fists made from pebbles, occasionally sending chips of stone flying through the air.

“Why are they fighting each other?” she asked.

“Ariel, it is in the nature of golems to protect their masters. They saw each other as a threat, and started to attack each other. As your power at animation grows, this problem will become obsolete, as your creations will recognize each other,” Serill told her.

The next few lessons, Serill switched the types of magic they were learning. Cedric started with afflection, Ariel started omnius, and Oliver started animation. Cedric proved to be much better at afflection than he was at omnius. He could lift rocks and make them float around his head, and even get an inch or so off the ground. It was, as Serill said, much easier to practice. Ariel was having just as much trouble as Cedric had, though. Oliver proved to be not very good at animation. He could only make a rock roll pointlessly around the room.

“Magic is complicated. Most people cannot learn the simplest type in their entire life. You three are different, though. Those statues you touched were enchanted. They had transus magic on them, and when you touched them, the druid’s power flowed into you. You three have the same power as the Druids did, you just haven’t learned how to use it yet.”

There was a sharp banging on the door. Cedric looked over to see a dark shape through the small pane of glass at the top. The banging continued, until the door finally fell, exposing a charging brown shape: An orc.

Cedric held out his hand, and felt spark form. It soon became a ball of flame, and he hurled it at the approaching orc. The orc burst into a ball of flame, and fell to the floor, melting.



Meetings

Draycott, Empire of Ferrin, Atoris, Exshire

“Good job, Cedric,” Serill said from behind him. He seemed calm, and unconcerned.

“But—I—an orc—shouldn’t we do something?” Cedric responded.

“That was no orc, Cedric. It was a test. You showed a large amount of interest in omnius, and I wanted to see just how powerful you were at it. I think it is safe to say that you passed,” he told Cedric. “Back at the Thorn, you feared for your life. You would have died if nothing had been done. That was an extreme scenario. I wanted to I wanted to test your power in another one of those situations. It is safe to say that you passed,” he explained. “That was just an animated pile of mud with armor.”

Cedric still felt somewhat jumpy for the rest of the day, but he was at least relieved there wasn’t an orc invasion.

After the three roamed the town a bit longer, they returned to their rooms to eat dinner. When they approached their doors, they noticed small slips of paper slid in between the door and the wall. Cedric pulled his out and read it.

My advisors and I are holding a meeting tonight at five o’clock. As one of the Druids, I hope to see you there, as your opinion on the matter is just as important as mine. Meet us in the main hall.

-Sincerely,

Lord Fletcher

Cedric looked over at Oliver and Ariel and saw them reading their notes. It was almost time to leave, so Cedric walked into his room and dressed into the nicer clothes that had been brought up to him, no doubt for the meeting. He put them on and walked down the stairs to the main hall where the meeting was to be held. Cedric, Oliver, and Ariel opened the large, ornamented doors, immediately noticed the low hum of conversation stop as all of the faces swiveled in their direction. Feeling awkward, they walked over to the three open seats next to Lord Fletcher and sat down.

“Ah, hello. Have a seat,” Lord Fletcher said to them as they walked over to him. They sat down and waited for him to speak. “As you all may know, Exshire is in grave danger. The orcs have come back, and they have already taken Havenford and Proidence because of the element of surprise. No one expected those attacks, and we must do all we can to eliminate this threat. We do not know how long the orcs have been preparing for this, but they seem to have come back with all of their previous strength. The Druids shine as a beacon of hope for us. I, as lord, say that we attack where they are coming from. If they have a capital city, that is what must go.”

There was a small murmur of agreement, and then the room fell silent as Lord Fletcher raised hand. “I thought it would only be fitting if the Druids had a say in the matter. What do you suggest we do as a course of action?”

The question had caught Cedric off guard. He had no idea what they should do, much less where to attack. “If you haven’t forgotten, I didn’t even want this position. I have zero clue what we should do.”

“Well, do Oliver or Ariel have an opinion?” Lord Fletcher asked.

“I agree. I think that we should attack the orcs, not wait for them to attack. We should eliminate them before they cause any more damage,” Ariel suggested. The rest of the advisors nodded their heads, and they seemed to like the idea.

“I think that’s a good idea. We should notify the king for more support. We can’t possibly take down an entire nation with the army of one city,” one of the advisors said. Cedric and Oliver just listened, not really sure what to say.

“Good. Someone must travel to the capital to inform the king,” Lord Fletcher said. "I nominate Cedric, Ariel, and Oliver. The king really has no choice but to believe them. Word has probably reached him about the attacks, but he would probably want to hear the accounts from the Druids themselves. Of course, you don't have to go if you don't want to, but it would increase the chance of getting help from him."

"I'll go," Cedric said. He had always been compelled to visit the capital, but never seized the chance. This was his opportunity to travel to new places, discover new sights, and break the bindings that had been Havenford. Havenford was cheap, and one of the only places that Cedric could afford to live and own a business. Now that money didn't matter, he was finally free.

"If he's going, I'll go," Oliver said.

"I really don’t have a choice, do I?" Ariel replied.

“Alright! So, the Druids are heading to the capital, then!” Lord Fletcher said.

“I shall go too,” a mysterious voice said from the other side of the room. Everyone looked around, and saw Serill standing there in the doorway.

“Well, that’s even better. I shall assign you twenty warriors to escort you there. I wish you the best of luck. You’d best depart two days from now,” Lord Fletcher said.

The meeting had come to a conclusion far sooner than any of the people present had expected, so they were all dismissed early. Cedric, Oliver, and Ariel walked back to their rooms in the castle. As they opened the doors, they were greeted with Flare, Shade, and Claw.
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