Cinder Roots - A Treant's Tale
The ground was hot, and the little sapling could feel the energy being leaked from the sky. What a wonderful day.
He didn’t like the nights. Too cold for his taste. But the sun… Oh, how he loved it. He could feel his warm blanket covered him, like a mother holding her newborn child.
The wind is loud today, the sapling thought. For him, the wind was a mystery. Sometimes it was strong, roaring like a wild beast, threatening to rip him apart. Other times it was calm with a pleasant breeze that touched him, making his tiny leaves shift like they were dancing.
Weird fellow. Well, who I am to judge. Maybe he only needs a friend! One like mine! He thought happily.
His friend. The only thing that kept him sane in this darkness.
It was a presence, beautiful and full of hope, like a song in spring. She was the only real thing he knew, other than the sun and the wind. Nothing except him grew here. Not in this tiny scarred spot in the forest he called home.
He felt the wind changing directions. What are you trying to tell me, bud? He shifted his focus.
I knew this was going to be a good day!
His friend had come. They didn’t talk to each other, but he could feel the connection between them.
He met her on the same day he was born. The sapling didn’t know if it was destiny that made her come to his glave that day, or pure coincidence. I don’t really care. I’m here for her and she’s here for me. That's all that matters.
They spent the entire day together before she left.
He was alone again. It was a comforting feeling, having someone to be alongside you, but it was gone, and he needed to work. It was a tedious task, slowly stretching your roots to find minerals and water, but it was a necessary one if he wanted to grow. He knew he was lucky he found a veil of water close to the surface, as the subterranean river he could feel the vibration of was meters deep, and his roots were too tiny to reach for now, but the tree didn’t worry, this was something to drive for, a goal.
He needed something to do; he needed to stay active. He could feel a weird sensation on the back of his core dragging him, trying to make him lose consciousness, and something in him knew if he accepted the feeling he was done for.
So he worked, growing faster and faster, trying to not lose himself to whatever happened to him.
The seasons went by, year after year, the same old routine, gather water and nutrients, feel the breeze, and grow.
The presence went by sometimes; he tried to communicate with it, shifting his golden leaves in his now large canopy to send some kind of signal, but of course it was impossible. He couldn’t describe the feeling that plagued him every time he tried.
That’s enough. I’m tired of this. This is the day.
He concentrated, shifting his focus to the back of his core, his most obscure place, where he never tried to look, and the familiar feeling of being dragged away slowly crept over. He resisted. I need to know this, he thought, I don’t want to be like this forever; I want to communicate; I want to see; I want to wander around; I need to discover what’s out there! As he focused more and more, a pain he never felt before rained over him. But he didn’t give up.
He didn’t know how much time passed by the time something finally happened. As the pain became almost unbearable, he saw something inside his core.
A tiny flame. Just looking at it was intoxicating.
Congratulations, you became kindled!
Race - Cinderborn Tree (Awakened)
Class - Unavailable (Unlocked at Level 5)
Rain fell over her aunt’s grave. Tiny droplets were forming on her clothes. She shifted her dress uncomfortably. I miss her so much; she thought sadly as her head rested upon her husband’s chest; him hugging her softly and caressing her hair with all the care in the world. A rockfall had crushed her. On a rainy day much like this one, she still couldn’t believe it.
“Honey, it's time to go,” Robert said.
It really was. The sun was going away, and she knew everything would be pitch black in a few hours. Grabbing her husband's hand, she walked without adding a single word. The ground was soft, but not muddy, she could smell the petrichor released from the ground, the familiar scent calmed her, always there before the rain.
Agatha looked over her shoulder and she saw that lonely tree again. It was close to the burial site her mother selected for her aunt. How could she, she reflected, she didn’t even come to her grave, she just sat there and told where we could bury her. At least she promised to look after Dara. Only Titania knows how much my daughter needs a rest. Her daughter was inseparable from her aunt, much like she was as a kid. She cried so much when we told her… But even so, my mother should have been there.
Her husband respected her silence, and they walked home together without muttering a single word. The wind was talking enough for both. He was a sturdy type, never to talk too much, tall and wide as a barrel, with a kind expression on his face. In comparison, she was a genuine beauty, with her auburn hair brighter than ever, fairer than most, but wilder than all, a feature that her daughter certainly inherited.
It was getting dark. They could only see a few meters ahead. Agatha conjured a Light Ball. It shone bright with a green hue over their heads. She wasn’t afraid of the woods, but she respected their dangers, and in the nighttime, every care was necessary. Most creatures of the night stayed clear of her Light Ball. They won’t be getting close, at least not in this depth of the forest, she considered. She saw a few owls passing by, flying so quick it was just a blur. She heard bats making clicking sounds as she got closer and closer to her house. Just a house… never my home.
Dara, her daughter, was already sleeping, hugging a deer toy the local tailor had given her. Her mother was sitting by the fireplace.
“You really took your time, eh?,” she said with a serious expression, “look Agatha, I need to talk to you.”
“What now?” Indignation boiled over her, “first you don’t come to pay your respects to your sister, and now you sit here all condescending?”
“Dracia,” her mother said, “Dracia is advancing”
“So WHAT?,” she was getting angrier by the second. Robert walked to the kitchen trying to hide away. “I don’t give a damn about those blasted dracians, let them come! I will show them.”
“Is different now, they have a new emperor, and he promised them the forest,” she said serenely, “a messenger from Varania just left.”
“Why do they want the forest, anyway?” The anger was fading. Doubt covered her face as she began to understand her mother's statement.
“Hah, you go there every day and you don’t know?”, her mother laughed, "Just look over, the forest is a pure gold mine to them, Sylvan is easily the biggest forest left in the whole continent, if it weren't for the Fey and the Elves, they would already arrived, or do you think us druids can take care of a whole army of Kindleds? Not even the Treants or the blasted Huourns would stand a chance.”
She didn’t have an answer for that.
“I just wanted you to know.” she said as she left, not even bothering to close the door.