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The Founding of Tirnwood

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The Founding of Tirnwood

by Master Templar

 

 

 

Tirn stopped and looked around. For days she had been wandering this desert and her supplies were almost gone. The last living person she had seen was a trader, and that had been three days ago. Now, buzzards were her only companions. The long green robes she wore swirled around her ankles. Even in the great heat of the desert, she wouldn't take them off. Tirn was a Druid, albeit an outcast one. She had been driven from her forest home by the Elder Druids, the ones who thought she was too reckless to be among them. She had lost her temper, striking at a man who was defiling the forest. He hadn't died, but he would have a vine growing from the bottom of his spine for the rest of his life. She had taken a handful of seeds from her home with her and planned to plant them as soon as she found fertile ground. The largest ones, at least a centimeter across, would grow to become the great weirwoods that the Druids used as homes. However, most fertile soil was occupied by other humans which spelled death for any forest.

 

Tirn fell to her knees, the desert heat finally overcoming her. She fell over and lay on the ground, coughing to clear the dust from her throat. She stared at a small shoot of desert grass, finally realizing to her dismay, that she could not go on. Her only choice was to either plant the seeds here and hope they would grow, or to admit her quest was a failure. She rose slowly, digging into the pouch at her side and bringing out the seeds.

"Oscailte," she croaked out, her voice hoarse from the desert wind. The ground spilt open, revealing the moist, dark earth and allowing her to toss the seeds inside. When Tirn relaxed her concentration, the ground closed again. She stared around at the desert, knowing that the seeds would not grow naturally. She had to do what the Elders warned every druid not to do. She would have to change the entire desert's climate.

 

She raised her hands above her head and started singing. The song was an old one, one that rose and fell in sharp pitches. It was a forbidden song, since it forced the world to give up what it was comfortable with. Clouds gathered over head with amazing speed, making the sky grow dark. A flash of lightning tore the heavens sending down torrents of rain. Millions of earthworms ran through the ground beneath her with a single intent, tilling the soil. Tirn kept singing, adding to the earth the things it would need to grow a forest. The clouds would stay, giving life to her new home.

 

But this was too much for Tirn. Even the Elders couldn't hold a spell for this long. The pressure was building in the back of her mind, but she didn't pay attention to that. The only things that mattered were the small seeds buried in the ground. She fell to her knees again, her voice starting to weaken. Shoots of fresh desert grass appeared around her, gorged on the limitless rain she was providing. More and more clouds were gathering, causing rivers and lakes to form. The water would stay here indefinitely. She fell to the ground as her vision became dark, and the last thought she had before dying was how her body would become the earth, and help nurture the infant forest she had created.

 

Darkness. Darkness filled her mind. Not the evil darkness of death, but the raw darkness of new life. The sun rose, and she streched her branches and leaves to catch the morning sun. Her roots drank up the nutrients of the earth. She had died and left her weak mortal body behind, becoming as powerful and ancient as the earth. Ages passed, the sun rising and falling countless times. Short-lived animals came and went, never leaving an impact. Her thoughts grew with the forest, which grew to fill acres. The weirwood tress grew, eventually reaching the height of old. Tirn found she could call on the creatures of the forest for help. More eons passed until a new creature entered the forest, one that was well known to her - the bringers of death. There were three, two wielding biting axes and wearing long black cloaks. Through the earth and trees, she heard them talk.

"We'll cut down those trees to begin with, and use their wood to create homes." The one man with an axe said, his axe hefted over his sholder.

"There is something here." The third man, who walked behind the other two and wore long, deep green robes, spoke. "Some presence that shouldn't be disturbed. I have a bad feeling about this."

"You have a bad feeling about everything." The second man said dismissively.

"Yes, but we cannot cut down any of these trees. We build using bricks." The green robed man ordered.

"That will take forever." The first man complained. "Who's going to hurt us if we cut down a few trees?"

She had heard enough. Gathering her thoughts, she gatherd a thousand insects to be her voice.

"You shall not harm these trees!" She commanded, causing the men to jump.

"Whats that?" The one man said, startled.

"It's a forest spirit." The green robed man said. He kneeled, his robe sweeping out around him. "We are at your service."

"No tree in this forest shall be cut. If you must stay here, your dwellings must be made out of brick, or carved into the trees. No tree shall fall." She said in a buzzing voice.

"As the spirit wishes." He hesitated for a second. "Do you have a name?" She had to stop and think. It had been so long since she had used it, it was almost gone.

"Tirn," her buzzing voice said. "My name is Tirn."

"This is ridiculous." The first man said. "I'm not taking orders from a tree." He swung his axe to chop, only to have Tirn react instantly. Millions of gnats swarmed him, forming a black cloud around him. When they left, his axe was gone.

"Don't be a fool!" The green robed man snapped. "We are dealing with a creature that could destroy us all if it wished. We will do as it says." He spread his arms and looked into the forest's canopy. "These woods will be Tirnwood, and they will remain protected as long as the earth survives."

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