Gender: Male Age: 54 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: A visit to the great tree|
I held my son and watched as Silky and the girls whispered with the other dryads in the warm water of the spa. They had learn loud talking always seemed to wake Samuel easily. I glanced at the fur robbed dryad walking out of the forest and frowned when I didn’t recognize her, “Silky?”
She turned as her sisters went quiet, “she isn’t from our grove.”
I nodded as the strange girl stopped and looked at me, “you are the dryad’s mage?”
I smiled and glanced at Samuel as he squirmed. She looked at him before bending to move the way I was holding him. She caressed his face and whispered, “sleep little one.”
He sighed and held his fist to his mouth. I blinked and looked at her as Silky came out of the water, “sister?”
The dryad glanced at her and smiled, “sister. I came to ask your mage to come with me to the great tree. My tree has told me it needs our help.”
I looked at Silky as she and her sisters gasped, “great tree?”
She looked at me, “it is the tree all our trees came from.”
I nodded and glanced at Simon as he came out with his daughter in his arms, “I will be leaving again.”
He nodded, “and I have what I need to build my own home.”
I stood and gave our son to Silky, “I will let Merlin know.”
Silky shifted Samuel, “ask him to pack for all of us.”
I looked at her as her sisters walked out of the spa, “we will come also.”
I looked at the new dryad, “we might be awhile.”
I headed towards the front door and walked across headed towards the library, “Merlin!”
I kept moving as he floated after me, “we need packs and bags for the whole family. What do you know about the great tree?”
I was looking around at the shelves and glanced at him as he cleared his throat, “on the world of Dray a single tree grew, from it all trees have come. It is said to be a thousand paces tall and as wide with leaves that stay green all year. It is also said the tree is sentient and can speak to those that know how to listen.”
I was pulling a few books out before finally finding one I wanted. I caressed the cover as I closed my eyes to remember everything I had read. I nodded when I was done and returned the book, “so this tree also has magical powers?”
Merlin nodded, “it is believed so since it has sent seeds to other worlds.”
I headed for the door, “all the dryads are coming so please add a few extra things just in case.”
He vanished as I went to find Silky. She was in the girls room trying to get them dressed. I gestured and my struggling daughters stopped moving as the clothes crawled onto them, “Samuel?”
She smiled, “sister Misty is holding him.”
I nodded and went into the kitchen and the pantry. It was two hours before the other dryads returned and I gestured to the packs and bags as I led the way downstairs. We appeared on the very edge of a wide valley and in the center by a stream was the biggest tree I had ever seen. All the dryads started walking and I glanced at all the bags they left.
I shook my head and gestured as I took my son from Silky and she smiled before headed towards the tree. It took almost an hour to reach the huge tree and five were spent walking under its branches. Merlin’s description of a thousand meters tall was a bit of an underestimate. The trunk had to be at least a couple of hundred meters in diameter.
I let the packs and bags settle to the ground and looked around. Besides the dryads that had come with me there were at least another dozen up in the branches. I turned to our pack after setting Samuel down in the soft grass. I put up a tent beside the stream and made camp. I glanced at a dryad I didn’t know when she walked to Samuel.
She picked him up before holding him to her breast to nurse. I looked up into the tree to see Silky with the girls and smiled as I sat. I closed my eyes and relaxed as I tried to listen to the magic around me. It was both roaring like a river and gurgling like a brook. I kept listening and then I heard the tree.
I turned and tilted my head as I listened to it and finally opened my eyes. All the dryads were out of the tree and around me waiting. I smiled at Silky before standing and walking to the tree. I touched it and whispered and chanted and slowly stepped into it. I continued to move slowly as I took another step and then another and slowly walked to the tree’s heart.
I put my hand out and murmured another spell before slowly closing my hand. I pulled and turned as I began to chant. The walk out was much harder with a lot more resistance. When I stepped out of the tree the dryads looked angry. I looked at the strands I held as I started walking, “who is the senior dryad?”
Silky growled, “William...”
I gestured, “quiet, the senior sister.”
One stepped towards me, “you have...”
I continued walking, “removed the blight spreading from the heart. Now I need six sisters to come with me. Each strand must be planted and cared for and they will be its guardian.”
She froze, “blight?”
I stopped, “I don’t have a lot of time. I will explain later.”
She took a breath before turning to call out names as I began walking again. Several kilometers away I separated a stand as I knelt. I touched it to the ground and began to murmur a spell and it shivered and thickened as roots grew and reached into the earth and tiny budding branches started to grow up and out.
I released it a minute later and stood and looked at the dryads that had followed, “which will care for it?”
One stepped forward and I reached for her hand and knelt with her. I put her hand on the tree and listened before whispering another spell, this one from the great tree and not one I knew. There was the rushing roaring sound and then a tingling as the dryad sighed. I let her hand go before standing and starting for the next site.
I planted three strands down the stream and three up stream before returning to the great tree. I was extremely tired as I sat in the grass by our tent and closed my eyes. I opened my eyes to night and my daughters snuggled on and against me. I turned to see Silky sleeping with our son and closed my eyes as I listened to the tree.
When I opened my eyes again it was morning and full of birdsong. I shifted and moved my daughters before standing. I stripped and walked into the stream and let the magic come as I murmured a spell. There was a flash and it was almost like flames raced up and down the stream. I sighed and laid down to let the now clean water wash over me.
I stood and looked at the dryads lining the shore as I walked towards Silky. I gave her a kiss before whispering a spell to create a chair and bring my clothes. I sat and leaned back after dressing and looked at the dryads around me, “there was a taint in the water that caused a blight to grow in the tree’s heart.”
I looked at the senior dryad, “it normally can fight these kinds of sickness but this one was very aggressive. It needed help and asked me to reproduce itself so it would continue. The six new trees are part of the tree still and will grow like it. It will drop many old leaves in the days and weeks to come and they are to be placed around the others.”
She nodded and I smiled as I looked at my son, “and it has a special seed for my son that is to be planted here in the valley.”
Silky looked at him in her arms, “but...”
I held out my arms for him, “he is a dryad’s son and will return here one day.”
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