Chapter 2:

SEARCH

Cinder Roots - A Treant's Tale


Really, what’s going on? What’s this all about? The pain slowly faded away. He couldn’t feel the dragging that always had plagued him anymore. He could think clearly now. Cinderborn? What does that mean? He pondered. As if it was following a cue, a message appeared in his core.Bookmark here

Cinderborn Tree (Awakened) - This tree, born in ashes, received the blessing of fire, permeating it with curiosityBookmark here

+5 Charm AddedBookmark here

Affinity with Fire addedBookmark here

+5 Charm? That.. That fire I saw inside me. Was that normal? Other trees have it as well? I want to look at it again. It was so beautiful. He focused more, trying to replicate whatever event happened before. A coreache began. Damn it, I can feel it cracking. That won’t do, I need to find out what this is. He focused again, but not on the back of his core like the last attempt, but on the message that showed up. The message shifted.Bookmark here

Strength 0Bookmark here

Dexterity 0Bookmark here

Constitution 30Bookmark here

Intelligence 10Bookmark here

Wisdom 5Bookmark here

Charm 5 (+5)Bookmark here

Huh? That was easy enough. I don’t really know what all this meant though. I mean, some of them like Strength and Agility were quite intuitive, but what about Wisdom and Charm? Maybe I should concentrate on them directly? As he focused, more information showed up.Bookmark here

Wisdom Measurement of perception and insightBookmark here

Charm Measurement of charisma, force of personality and persuasivenessBookmark here

A bubble of excitement blew over.Bookmark here

That’s awesome! If I can do something to gain more Agility or even Strength, I may be able to finally get out of this shell!Bookmark here

As his thought finished, he sensed something new approaching.Bookmark here

---Bookmark here

Her baby girl ran away again.Bookmark here

“For Titania’s sake, this is the fifth time this month!” she cursed. Agatha was visiting her aunt’s grave with her girl yesterday, but after they went home and she woke up, her daughter was just gone.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it, you did the same as a kid,” Her husband said.Bookmark here

“She’s thirteen, Robert!” She replied, “and I never ran away” they both knew she lied, but she couldn’t afford to lose another argument.Bookmark here

Agatha stormed out of her house, stepping angrily at the ground, and after kicking a hard-looking rock and cursing her tantrum, she started to think. Maybe she just has gone to the village to visit my mother? She thought, I may be overthinking this too much. After the sudden death of her aunt, she began to overprotect her kid, and as always, overprotecting parents led to a rebellious youth. Oh Dara, why did you have to become so much like me.Bookmark here

She recovered herself, beginning to walk down the gravel path that showed the passage to Pern village. The birds were skittish, making continuous and intense chirping and clicking noises. They are making alarm calls? Maybe a Bandar is passing by, she thought. Oh well, I don’t really have the time to check it out right now.Bookmark here

Agatha could see Pern. The little settlement was quiet. Her mother moved to the village proper a few seasons back, buying her new house from an old couple that were moving out. "Times are changing. Don’t want to be near the forest when things start to happen." It was all about Dracia these days. Even she was a little apprehensive, but abandoning the wilds never crossed her mind.Bookmark here

She knocked on her mother’s door, nobody answered. She checked to see if it was locked. It wasn’t. Opening the door, she entered the wooden house. It revealed one thousand scents and one more. Smells of camomile, feverfew, valerian and countless other medicinal herbs her mother used to treat the villagers permeated her senses.Bookmark here

It was a cozy house, with plants and potions everywhere. One particular jar of bright red liquid grabbed her attention. Analyze, she thought as she grabbed the jar, and a screen revealing information appeared.Bookmark here

Potion of Enduring VitalityBookmark here

This potion, made by an insightful druid, by infusing multiple herbs, grants the drinker a capability to resist most fatal wounds for a short periodBookmark here

“Wanting to buy something?”Bookmark here

The voice took her by surprise, almost making Agatha drop the liquid. After seeing who had entered the building, she relaxed. Agatha put the jar back in its place.Bookmark here

“Oh, you startled me a little,” she said embarrassingly, “actually, I came here to ask you about Dara”Bookmark here

“Dara? What about her?”Bookmark here

“She ran away again, I was thinking I could find her here.”Bookmark here

“Again eh? Yes, she passed here this morning,” her mother said, crossing her arms.Bookmark here

Relief was apparent on her face. “Oh great! Do you know where she is?”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

"… No?”Bookmark here

"No."Bookmark here

They just stared at each other for a few excruciating seconds.Bookmark here

“Look, if you are done, I suggest that you leave, my granddaughter certainly isn’t here,” her face shifted in an ugly expression, “I’ve got business to do if you don’t mind.”Bookmark here

Her mother began to turn her back, but before she could even react to the previous statement, they heard a scream outside the house.Bookmark here

“Damn it, I thought I had more time,” her mother said with frustration in her voice.Bookmark here

“What’s happening?” She quickly replied.Bookmark here

“The Dracian army finally arrived.”Bookmark here

“What!? But how?” She said with worry in her face, “How did they got here so fast without no one coming to warn us!?”Bookmark here

“They must be sieging Varania right now,” her mother said while rapidly grabbing numerous potions.Bookmark here

Varania was the only proper city close to Pern village. Part of a big alliance of city-states, the city thrived on commerce, mainly providing the adventurers with goods to the various incursions deep into Sylvan. They must have been betrayed, Agatha thought. If the city falls, Sylvan may truly be doomed.Bookmark here

“Quickly! Grab that jar you almost dropped!” her mother said, exasperated. She obeyed. “We have to protect the village! Follow me,” She said as she left the house. Agatha followed suit.Bookmark here

“THE DRACIANS ARE HERE!” she heard someone shout.Bookmark here

It was truly chaos outside. Some people were trying to run, others to hide. A hay carriage was burning, along with its owner. A smell of burnt meat invaded her nostrils. She saw the invading soldiers, with their mail armor and shiny helmets. Some were running after the villagers, others were occupied burning down the houses. Carrie, the local tailor, was lying on the ground with a sword wound on her back. An old retired soldier whose name she had forgotten was courageously trying to fight an armored Sergeant. His rusted sword broke down as he tried to block a Sword Skill. He didn't last long.Bookmark here

“Don’t just stand there! Fight!” Her mother’s call shocked her out of the daze.Bookmark here

She cast the Barkskin spell as her mother shape-shifted into a huge deer.Bookmark here

BarkskinBookmark here

Gives the caster a wood-like skin, enhancing his natural defensesBookmark here

Shape-shiftBookmark here

Allows the caster to shape into a wild, non sapient animal of choice. Can be cast 1 time per dayBookmark here

An enemy archer saw her, aiming the arrow straight at her forehead. The arrow bounced off. He tried firing again, but when he was about to release the arrow, a huge deer charged with its antler straight at the man's stomach. It was too fast for him to dodge, and he was impaled. Blood came out of his mouth as the huge deer threw him with an enormous strength to two other approaching soldiers. They were sent flying.Bookmark here

As the deer was crushing full armored soldiers with its hooves, she cast another spell.Bookmark here

Greater Water SprayBookmark here

Grants the caster with an ability to shoot great quantities of water from his own handsBookmark here

She aimed the spell to the next close soldier, cupping her hands together to increase the water pressure. The water was so fast that it penetrated the man’s helmet easily, killing him instantly. She was biting her lips. Her mouth tasted like iron. One after the other they came, sword and shield ready, adapting to her movements. She wasn't trained to fight armored opponents. Of course she had to kill before; the world wasn't fair for someone who lived in the wild. Dangerous animals always came, and many times she had to resort to killing to fend off the beasts. But this... This was different for her. She hoped she would not have nightmares if she survived this.Bookmark here

One soldier managed to get close, striking her with his sword. Her now wooden skin splintered. My Barkskin won't last much longer, she thought as she jumped back to dodge the next blow. The druid's water spray faded. Agatha tried to summon another spell, Earth High Ground.Bookmark here

Earth High GroundBookmark here

Grants the caster the ability to mold the earth, forming a hill below his feetBookmark here

She cast Greater Water Spray again as her mother shifted back to her human form. The two Kindled women defended their positions with extreme devotion. The advantage was clear now. Unkindleds weren’t a match for their combined forces, as it gave them not only the abilities to cast feats that were considered impossible for normal humans, but granted them the abilities to know what they were facing. Analyze.Bookmark here

Dracian Foot SoldierBookmark here

Unkindled infantry conscripted by the Dracian ArmyBookmark here

Level (Unkindled)Bookmark here

Race HumanBookmark here

HP 30/100Bookmark here

Affliction status - Fear - is activeBookmark here

Sensing his army needed to reorganize for this new threat, the Sergeant called his troops back. They'll return, she thought, and I still don’t know where my daughter is.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.