The Horde of Hallowell Forest – #BlogBattle

Howdy!

Before we get started on today’s #BlogBattle, I have a quick announcement. The Rise of Aredor is being featured today on Inspired Writers as part of Fantasy Month. Stop by to check out the feature and help me spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!

Now please welcome back Clancy and Tanya and the pesky word of the week, Horde!

~~~

Two riders cantered down the dusty road, casting occasional glances behind them. After the successful retrieval at Lord Brooke’s house, the company had split, taking as many different roads and highways as they could to throw off pursuit.

Tanya felt her gelding beginning to slow beneath her and urged him on. She had elected to stay with Clancy as he still had the letters in the satchel at his side. She had come into contact with him several times since their first meeting two years ago and knew he was trustworthy but she was loath to let Isabelle’s freedom out of her sight. He was unusually quiet as they rode. When they first met and he had obligingly helped her out of her predicament she had no idea how deep he was in the whisperings of unrest in Verica.

The kingdom was entering its seventh year under King Malcolm’s rule. Once he was finished establishing his law, decrees began to be made against the other races that inhabited Verica. Manach dragons, already rare enough, were hardly to be found. Prevyrn, little different from humans other than their pointed earlobes, and the Drafn who grew no more than five foot tall, were forbidden from holding any other employment than that decided by a local magistrate. The Giants had almost fully retreated to the mountains, only sending out their nobles when summoned. Tanya shook her head at the injustice of it. Verica, who once throve on the combined strengths of its races, was now slowly being segregated.

“You all right?” Clancy broke into her thoughts.

“Yes, why?”

“You look like you got stung by a walla wasp again.”

“I’m blaming you and that ridiculous “short cut” for even knowing what I look like when that happens.”

Clancy laughed. “I told you, we needed to get those soldiers off our tail and that was the quickest way to do so.”

“No more detours, please,” she frowned at him.

“I can make no promises,” he replied. “How about a restful night in that forest ahead?” he pointed to a thick line of trees in the distance.

“Anything’s better than sleeping in a wasp infested swamp,” she grumbled and spurred her gelding on, missing the quick grin that flashed over her companion’s face before he followed.

The sun had begun it descent when they reached the fringes of the forest. The scent of pine was everywhere as thick trees clustered together about the path. Clancy showed no signs of stopping and rode deeper into the forest. Tanya had no choice but to follow. She notice him casting furtive glances about and began to house more than one suspicion.

“Who dares to trespass in my woods?” a bellow caught her off guard and her mount shied. However, Clancy seemed more than a little amused.

“Only two adventurers who dare to brave the horrors of Hallowell Forest!” he shouted back.

“Fool! Turn back or the horde shall scatter your bones to the four winds!”

This time Tanya caught a few smothered giggles from the trees surrounding her. She glanced around to see figures crouched in branches and camouflaged by the path.

“Are you just going to chunk them in different directions or do something more impressive like grind them to dust first?” Clancy asked.

“Um…” there followed what must have been meant to be a whispered conversation but what was amplified by the horn the speaker was holding. Tanya felt her own smile spread at the argument and the increasingly loud chortles from the trees. “Just attack!” the speaker decided and figures of all sizes leapt out onto the path with variant shrieks of “Mc’Clarrah!”

Clancy dismounted and greeted fifteen children ranging from ten to seventeen years.

“I’m sorry, Mc’Clarrah, Micah said he could do it this time!” A human boy of about seventeen said. A young Drafn looked crestfallen until Clancy clapped him on the shoulder.

“I was near scared off my horse with that first shout,” he said.

“I’ll do better next time,” Micah promised with a grin.

“Can I take your horse, Mc’Clarrah?” A Prevyrn girl asked.

“No, can I?”

“I want to!”

Shouts piled on one another until Clancy loosed a shrieking whistle.

“Oi! There’s a lady in your midst, savages!”

Tanya was suddenly the center of attention.

“Hello, ma’am!”

“Can I take your horse, miss?”

“I’ll take your packs!”

“I’m Rose. Do you like flowers?”

“What kind of a question is that? That’s not helpful!”

“Actually I do like flowers.” Tanya shielded her ears from another one of Clancy’s whistles.

“Introductions first!” he declared. “Savages, this is Tanya,”

“Ooh, Mc’Clarrah has a lady friend!” came a loud whisper. Clancy glared in its direction.

“I heard that, Kay! And Tanya, these ragamuffins are the Horde of Hallowell Forest!”

“Not really, he just likes to call us that.”

“I like it. It makes us sound scary!”

All conversation ceased as Clancy warningly raised his fingers to his mouth a third time.

“Now, please duel among yourselves for the honor of taking Miss Tanya’s horse because I do believe we made it in time for dinner.”

Micah took Tanya’s horse with a charming smile and they were escorted into the forest. She noticed that the “horde” fell into a loose formation around them, some scouting behind and covering their tracks as others flitted in and out. She saw that they were all well equipped with bows and staves and seemed fully capable of using them.

“Where are we going?” she nudged Clancy’s arm.

“To meet the leader of the horde himself,” he winked.

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27 thoughts on “The Horde of Hallowell Forest – #BlogBattle

      • Or just a fun way to combine two things you are clearly interested in/passionate about. It could be a longer, novel length tale about the life of someone who works at such a clinic and all the people he/she treats, or just random, short installments every month or so, sort of the prose version of a web comic. It’s a good idea you have, there, lots of potential.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!!

      It’s turned into a bit of a serial story. I’ve been using two sets of characters for the prompts each week and seeing where each word takes their story. You can find all previous installments on the page Crossroads to Adventure! 🙂

      I might even collect them into a book one day. Who knows?!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m liking where this story is headed! All the different races are cool, and this new band of woodland children was a fun surprise. I wonder who their “leader” is…? And as always, the humor makes me laugh. 😀 (walla wasp, heehee)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have been a busy girl, Claire! Wow! Just wanted to give you a heads up for next week’s word ’cause we miss your stories almost as much as you. 😉 next week the word is RAGE! Have fun with it. If you have time this week, still read all the stories and make sure to vote. And actually, if you want to throw in a FROG story, I’m not making the Poll until mid morning tomorrow (Pacific Standard Time), so it’s really not too late! 😉 Now, I just need to find time to come and read all your great book posts! They all look so interesting. If you could suggest one book post to start with, which should I choose? Thanks, Claire!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve just been busy with school recently. 😦 I thought I was going to get one in yesterday but that frog hopped away with all inspiration before I could find some time to sit down and write. 😛

      I will be trying my best to be back next week with RAGE! Now to figure out whose turn it is…..

      Hmmm…..I’d start with the post on Dare because I’m still fangirling about that book. haha! And I have two more this week!! #overachiever

      Thanks for checking in! 🙂 I’ll make time this week to read everyone’s entry. I didn’t get to last week and it made me sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha hopped away. Silly froggy inspiration.
        You go girl! I’m impressed by your work ethic and drive. 🙂 School obviously comes before Battle, unless I’m in a particularly selfish mood, requiring all my friends drop everything else in their lives in order to participate. 🙂 haha
        Perfect! That’s where I’ll start! Did you read all these books recently?! Wowza. Well Rage on, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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