Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

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Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Skjaeren on Fri May 29, 2015 2:01 am

Sotlila Verdandigren walked along the recently layed path of stones and earth. There was purpose in her step as she moved, taking care once or twice to step past and over some of the little ones who she passed. She carried in her hands a few wide layers of paper, with scrawled lines, paths, and instructions written in a dark purple ink. The paper was thick, with a course texture and a smell of cedar and pine. The ink it was written in carried the same pigment and scent as the treant who wrote it, for it was made from crushed petals of her own flowers, and others of the same namesake. Sotlila preferred to scribe in lilac pigment when she could without over trimming her own cloak of blooms, because it felt as though she was signing the parchment with each stroke of the pen. It gave her work a personal touch.

Around her, a city was beginning to take shape. Treants of many timbers worked together to lift and shift great pieces of the old stone structures into place, while others scurried to prop them up and fill in the gaps with rocks, mud, and dried lumber. Still others coaxed old trees to take root and lean on the stone wall fragments, becoming natural cornerstones for new structures. She walked through a garden plot, curving along a path that wound in between little ones tilling beds and planting flowers. Ornately carved pieces so large that most treants could not reach the top rested here and there as landmarks which she and the elder trees had decided to leave undisturbed and unmoved for now, in reverence for the ancient city or temple who's stones were becoming the foundation of their new city. This was Grimnismal, their new beginning from a tale of woe and loss.

Folk would stop and smile or wave as she passed, a gesture made more slowly here than in most places. Occasionally, someone who was not too busy would say her name, and perform the welcoming, open armed greeting that her people were fond of. She would smile back, and somewhat quickly return the gesture, before moving on. She was on her way to present the work she had drafted to the Great Old Tree ahead of her, and had a growing sense of urgency from the flickering impressions that were making their way behind her eyes.

As she approached the mound of earth and roots around the old oak's base, she could feel the calm and stillness which settled around him, slowing her breath and soothing her nerves despite all the activity of development and building she had just passed through. The only sound from within the circular plot in which he had taken root was the scritch-scratching of a pair of stone carvers, a little one and his apprentice elm, toiling together on the decorative etchings of a round stone under the shade of his canopy. She stopped before the tree and waited a few moments, tuning herself into the ambient calm and allowing herself to become part of it, before stepping slowly to the base of his trunk and placing a hand tenderly on the bark. "Havamal..." she spoke, softly.

There was in return a faint creaking rumble from the tree, as the rough bark shifted near her, stirring and knotting up into faintly raised features that slowly began to resemble a treant's face. The sound carried a protesting, weary tone that made her wince slightly as she spoke again.

"Havamal... wake up."

The groan of the bark arranging itself carried louder in a few rough bursts of sound, before forming back into words in reply. "I'VE ... ONLY ... JUST .......... DOZED OFF, ... SOTLILA."

"You've been sleeping for the whole day, Havamal."

"THAT IS ...... THE WAY OF US .... TREANTS ... WHEN WE ARE ....... GROWING OLD AND TALL AND ..... SLOWING DOWN."

"You are still slowing then?" she asked, a tremble of concern in her voice.

"I AM OLD. ....... THOUGH I WAS ABLE ........ TO MAKE THE JOURNEY .... HERE, I NO LONGER ........ HAVE THE STRENGTH TO LIFT UP ......... MY ROOTS AND MOVE ........ AS YOU DO. ....... I AM BECOMING VERDTRADGREN. ...... I WILL NEVER STOP ...... SLOWING, ..... UNTIL I STOP DOING EVERYTHING ELSE. ...... BUT THAT IS NOT YET. ..... AND SO I MUST DO ... WHAT I CAN TO KEEP ...  MYSELF ACTIVE. ... AND FOR THAT I HAVE YOU ... TO HELP ME. ... TELL ME WHAT YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO ME."

Taking her hand off the lumpy bark, Sotlila turned and sat slowly on one of the Verdtradgren's roots, and spread out the papers she brought with her so that he could see. "I've been thinking, under the west canopy houses, we could make gardens like this without moving many of the older stones. The rooting treants can sleep underneath the little ones there. It will be different, but the little ones can still come down and sleep in our shade. The same thing will work easily in Ormt, where they have plenty of wood for hanging houses."

"YES, ... YES. ... GOOD. ...... THESE PLANS ARE WELL CONCEIVED ... AND WELL SCRIBED. ....... PASS THEM ON TO THE BUILDERS ... AND MAKE USE OF THEM."

Sotlila smiled and stacked her papers together again, before looking wistfully over at the stone sculptors and their project. It always made her feel well inside when the elder trees approved of her plans and efforts, and now Havamal was the oldest among them. She came to speak with him frequently, taking instructions and managing the resources that could be found. His wisdom was invaluable to Voluspa now, and she dreaded the day when he would stop speaking. She hoped that she herself would begin to slow before that day came.

"WHAT ELSE ....... IS TROUBLING YOU, ..... LITTLE SOTLILA?" Havamal's deep rumbling voice stirred her from her thoughts. "YOU WANTED ... TO ASK ME ABOUT MORE ... THAN THOSE PLANS."

She breathed a sigh. "I've been ... seeing visions lately. Little figments of places, people, directions. Sometimes it's been treants and little ones who I know, settling elsewhere in these woods, and I've been telling myself ... that I am just thinking of them. But sometimes ... I've been seeing little ones in other places too. Little ones with wings like birds, meditating on mountains, and child-like little ones among giants made of stone and clay instead of wood. Just today, I keep seeing glimpses of one of those children walking into these woods from the northwest."

"THESE VISIONS ... ARE A BLESSING OF THE LIFE TREE, ... SOTLILA! ... YOU ARE BECOMING MORE ...... IN HARMONY WITH THE FORESTS ... OF THIS WORLD. ... IT IS ENCOURAGING THAT WE ARE ABLE ... TO BE SO. ... REMEMBER THE THINGS THAT YOU SEE AND ... BE MINDFUL OF THOSE VISIONS THAT ... STRIKE YOU THE MOST. ........ SOMETIMES, KNOWLEDGE COMES TO US THROUGH THE OTHER SPROUTS ... AND SAPLINGS GROWING IN VARDTRAD'S BARK ... WHEN WE MOST NEED IT. ... OR WHEN WE ARE MOST NEEDED BY OTHERS."

Summary:
Sotlila helping Havamal manage the final building of the new city and villages. Sotlila is manifesting the abilities of a seer, and Havamal offers her council.
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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Skjaeren on Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:33 pm


((Mood music, Original Composer: Koji Kondo, Arranged and performed by: Merryberrymusic, yeah I went there.))

Life continued slowly in the woods of Voluspa. Skydda reflected back on the last couple of weeks. Their gnome visitor was getting to know them better, and they were beginning to understand what sort of a people she represented. That was a good thing. Sotlila had spoken often with her, along with some of the crafts folk, and it looked as though a mutually helpful trade agreement could be made. Skydda did not fully understand, she was not used to her people needing to travel to foreign lands to exchange goods. It worried her, and she had been spending most of her efforts since on scouting out the routes her people would take for such a regular journey to make sure that the land was safe. But she understood that for the first time in an age, Voluspa was going to have to change in order to flourish. This was a new forest, in a new world. She only hoped that they wouldn't have to change too much. She already missed some of the Vardtradgren in their old world very dearly, and she quietly shed a few tears as she looked on at the scene before her.

The elder tree Havamal had been like a mentor to her and Sotlila for years, and they knew when he took root in this grove that he was unlikely to ever lift up and move again. He slept often, dreaming memories of long forgotten places and events as his roots grew ever closer to the Life Tree. She and Sotlila had been repeatedly invited to rest in his presence when they were tired from their duties, and she felt both honored, and awed to do so. Judging by the way her dreams felt when she did... she suspected that he was beginning to graft already, a living branch of Vardtrad in the new world, and a direct source of it's power and wisdom. But the ceremony enshrining him as such was about to take place. Skydda knew that once this was done, he would share his wisdom with the treants even in his sleep, and that his instructions and knowledge would radiate to them in the gentle quite of his grove. But she hoped that he would still wake up and speak to them with his voice now and then. She knew that it was right for him to slowly let go as he grew old, and to be content with the life and experiences he had accumulated, but she did not feel ready to let go yet.

She stood near the front of a gathering of treants, who formed a ring around the grove as they watched. Sotlila stood further down the ring. Both of them were near to one of the nine large, inscribed, natural stones which lay in the path, circling the loam in which Havamal was planted. He had asked them to be part of the ceremony, along with a few other treants to whom he felt close, and one young little one who had recently kept him company as he slowed. The little one would have help pushing his stone, but he was honored to be part of the enshrining. Skydda's eyes scanned the ring for their gnome guest, who had been invited to witness the ceremony, but she was not sure if Dewna was here. It was sometimes difficult to find the very little one, and her thoughts were too clouded to thoroughly search at the moment. It was time.

Each of the large stones had a slightly different shape, and on the outer and inner face of each was carved a delicate ring of seemingly decorative designs with a large symbol or image in the middle. The symbols were scribed from the dreams of some of the first Vardtradgren, and referred to each of the worlds which rested in the Life Tree's boughs and roots. On the stone Skydda stood next to, the center of the ring was left blank and uncarved. Allis was no more, and Vardtrad now had only eight worlds to nurture. They had talked with Havamal about only using eight stones, but he said it would not do to erase Allis from their memory, for memory was the only place where that world still lived. Remembering would help their people heal. She had chosen this stone for herself, because she did not want the burden of pushing the first blank stone to fall to any other treant. As she took hold of it, the weight of it on her heart felt truly enormous.

"MY ROOTS ... GRASP AT A BRANCH .... OF THE LIFE TREE. ..... " Havamal's deep voice quietly resonated through the grove and surrounding paths. A pall settled over all of Grimnismal, as even those folk who had not gathered here felt that the ceremony was beginning, and stopped to look towards the Great Old Oak. "I FEEL ..... HER DREAMS ...... CALLING TO ME. ....... I AM BECOMING ......... ONE .......... WITH HER ............ A NEW ................ BRANCH."

Around the ring, a treant took hold of each stone as Havamal spoke. On the west side, a thin smaller figure rested his weight on his stone, while a tall birch maiden took hold of it higher up to help him. As the old oak finished speaking those words, all of the stone-bearers heaved forward. Timbers flexed and their foot-like roots strained against the path as the stones were pushed inward to sink down a few inches into the soft earth of the grove. As the last of the treants released their stone and wearily stepped back, the whole city felt the earth vibrate gently. Leaves stirred in the wind as a sudden breeze momentarily disrupted the calm. Then those gathered around felt in their hearts, rather than heard Havamal's voice.

"I ............. AM ............................ VARDTRADGREN."








Skydda knelt in the loam next to her stone, where she remained for some hours after the crowd had mostly dispersed. A quiet tear trickled down from her eyes once every few minutes. She felt his presence still, but his spirit could only comfort her while she dealt with her grief. She remained there until a few minutes after Sotlila came and lay a hand softly on her shoulder.

Summary:
Skydda, Sotlila, and many others attend the enshrining ceremony. Havamal becomes a monument. Skydda mourns the loss of Allis, and the continuing gradual passing of her old mentor and friend.
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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Skjaeren on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:44 pm

Skydda stepped carefully through the woods and wild, glancing up and down constantly as if she feared stepping into a trap. There was something wrong with the wood here. She could smell it. She could feel it in her timbers. After she'd first found the grove, and scouted the areas around it, she'd advised her people to avoid this place. Now she was returning against her own advice. Knowing what she was entering made the shock bearable, but it did not assuage the chills in her timbers.

The change in the forest was subtle, but this time she noticed it immediately. Her memory returned to when she first stumbled on this grove. It had seemed like a small paradise within the wood. The trees at first glance looked tall and strong, with thick uniform timbers. The ground turned to a soft loam beneath her feet that felt rich and nourishing, all but inviting her to take root and rest for a short while. Glad she was now that she had not given in to that temptation.

Above her, a gentle buzzing could be heard as insects busied about their day, but even those seemed to be steadily abandoning this place, as she had found them building new homes for themselves elsewhere. They did not seem to carry the sickness of this place with them, which was a relief to her and Havamal. But as she looked up, she confirmed to herself that several of the hives here were abandoned and empty. Hanging from dry, dead branches.

The trees here were not as healthy as they appeared at first glance. The timber was thick and strong, but their leaves fell and rotted into the soil out of season. Their bark, when one looked closely, showed signs of strained growth. Some of them had shed their leaves for the last time. Many of them showed signs that they had started down this path. When Skydda had first found this place, she fled when she realized the extent of the death surrounding her. But now she had to know the cause of this blight. She had to confront this threat, and be certain at the very least, that it would not spread to the rest of the forest. Her gut told her that perhaps it was not too late for the trees here to be healed, but that was unfortunately all that she could understand of the situation. She was a protector, not an herbalist or healer. So she had brought help.

"I don't like this place, Skydda. There is a foreboding feeling here. This is the grove you warned us of?" the lilac treant some strides behind her asked, knowing the answer already. She was wary of accompanying her protector companion to a dangerous place outside of the safety of the wood where Voluspa had already settled, but Skydda had insisted that she wanted her to look into the matter. Now she could see why. "The trees here are definitely sick with some kind of blight, we should not linger long. Hopefully the cedar bark we rubbed ourselves with will protect us."

"It was a good idea, Sotlila. But I don't think the blight is insect-borne. We should hurry and learn what we can of it, and then be gone from this place." Skydda advised, her hands tending toward her sword, her instincts telling her that there was an enemy near, albeit frustratingly one that she could not see and fight.

"I agree." With that, the gentler of the two treants selected a pair of trees. One of them was just beginning to struggle against whatever ailed the forest here. The other was barely holding on to life. She took another piece of cedar bark and crushed it, rubbing its crumbling splinters on the palms of her hands, before placing her trembling palms against the bark of the trees. Closing her eyes for a moment, she opened her mind to see where the trees were suffering, and what manner of creature or blight tormented them...

It took a few moments, before Sotlila opened her eyes with thoughtful look on her face. "I've learned what I will. This blight will not spread quickly as long as our people do not provide it with a carrier. The rest of the woods should be safe for some seasons yet. As for this place... let us leave here. I need time to think on what I have seen."

Summary:
Skydda enlists Sotlila's help investigating an area of the forest that suffers from a strange blight. It's creepy, and they don't like it. Also, BEEEEEEEEEES!
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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:58 am

A Natural Wonder


News of Deptimaya's Golden Tree caused great consternation among the forest folk. The first pilgrims rushed to see it, returning with stories of its amazing beauty and enormous girth. Single, golden leaves and small pieces of bark - always gathered from around the tree, never taken from it - were treasured as relics. Clearly this was a natural vardtradgren, perhaps the only one in the new world.

But along with this joyful event came grumbling and other concerns. Why should the Littlest Folk have the tree and not them? What if they damaged or destroyed it? How would they protect it and care for it? Surely they, as the children of Vardtrad, were the proper caretakers of such a sacred tree. Many treants spoke such, and pushed their leaders for action. They should seize the tree for themselves, or at least insist on measures to care for and protect it. This would be for the good of both peoples in the end; surely the littlest folk of all were not up to the talk of protecting such a relic themselves.

------------------------------------
Jealousy
Many treants believe that the Golden Tree is rightfully theirs and a site sacred to them. They are pushing the current government to declare war and seize the tree for themselves, or else to demand concessions from the gnomes to make sure that it is properly defended.

Go to War
The Golden Tree should be protected by folk who understand it. We will be doing the smallest folk a favor - surely they do not have the strength or knowledge to protect it.
-- Declare war on Deptimaya with the intention of seizing control of the Golden Tree
-- The clear purpose and cultural significance of the tree appeals to many treants. All regiments in the war will receive a bonus to morale.
-- 1 Population will become available for immediate recruitment as volunteers join the army.

Demand Concessions
The little folk do not understand trees as we do. We should insist upon some precautions so that this great wonder is properly cared for.
-- Demand Deptimaya allow Voluspa to Build an Outpost in a hex neighboring the tree and maintain a military presence there to protect the tree.
-- As part of the agreement, Voluspa pilgrims must have unhindered access to the tree at all times.
-- Agitators are appeased if the conditions are met.

Do Nothing
It must be Vardtrad's will if the small folk found the tree before us. Let them keep it.
-- Diplomacy with Deptimaya is not disturbed by the domestic demands.
-- The faction pushing for greater control of the tree is unhappy, and may take action or make further demands at a later date.

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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Skjaeren on Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:47 pm

Havamal dreamed of the Life Tree. His consciousness wandered through her branches. All of the experience and stories he knew from his life amounted to a drop of water in a stream. There was so much knowledge here, so many stories, and he had only begun to hear them. Every great tree that became a branch of Vardtrad brought their wisdom and experience with them, and he was no different.

Sharing his wisdom had become nearly effortless. He could still hear them, the treants, as whispers in the back of his mind. He could still answer them in knowledge and impressions without needing to forsake the dream and wake. And so the hours turned to days, and the days into longer periods of time, as he was only beginning to scratch the bark of Vardtrad's ancient awareness.

But now he felt a tugging at his mind. Something about the questions his little saplings had been asking called to him. They were concerned because of another tree. Perhaps another Vardtradgren. He was not sure if it was or not, for if it was, it was not nearby in the Life Tree's branches, or perhaps it had been one with her for so long that he could not distinguish it. But despite the counsel he was sure he had whispered back to them, still they came to him filled with worry and discontent. His little saplings needed him to wake up, and so he was making his way back through the branch to which he had grafted,
... up through his roots.

Waking was no longer a thing that Havamal did quickly. Perhaps if there was a dire emergency, he would wake with a start as he once did. But on this occasion, the bark that made up his face shifted and contorted into his features slowly, over the course of most of a day. By the time he was truly waking up and possessed of his faculties well enough to express them, it was late evening, and a good number of treants and a few sylphs, elves, and humans had gathered around him. Many of them were those who's jealousy and concerns had reached him, but some had also simply gathered because if Havamal was waking up, he likely had something important to say. Sotlila was there, seated on one of his roots, scratching away on some pieces of parchment. She looked happy that he was waking up. Squinting his eyes slightly, he searched for little Raenn. He was there, sitting near the edge of the circle, accompanied by the same young birch who had helped him push his stone at Havamal's enshrining. Good. thought Havamal. He has found new companionship. And this will be easier with his help.

A reverent hush fell over the gathered audience as his timbers groaned and creaked in protest for a moment, then his voice echoed softly through the grove. "MY LITTLE SAPLINGS ......... I HAVE BEEN HEARING .......... YOUR WOES AND WORRIES ............ IN MY SLEEP. ................. TELL ME WHAT IS ........ SOWING STRIFE AMONG YOU."

He remembered what it was, but he wanted them to say it in their own words. He wanted them to hear themselves saying it. "The gnomes of Deptimaya have found a Vardtradgren from this world!" one of them excitedly told him. "And they plan to ... enshrine it themselves!" another older treant added. Havamal listened patiently as some of the treants held up golden leaves. "And her leaves are made of gold. People will want to take her leaves, or cut her down for them! The gnomes may mean well, but how can such little ones who have only just discovered treants and our ilk even properly enshrine and care for such a Great Old Tree, much less protect it?" There was a general assent and nodding amongst the others. "They should have given ... this Golden Tree to us to protect, ... since we'll be able to hear its wisdom. ... They're little ones, not treants. ... They won't hear what she's saying unless she wakes up ... to knock her advice into their heads." Havamal noticed a pained look cross the faces of some of the little ones gathered at that remark, including Raenn. He decided it was time to answer, and silenced the saplings with a long pronounced "HHHMMMMMMM. ..."

"IT IS TRUE THAT ....... LITTLE ONES FROM OUTSIDE ........... THE WOOD DO NOT HEAR .............. THE VARDTRADGREN SPEAK IN THEIR ............ LONG SLEEP. ....... BUT OUR LITTLE ONES HAVE LEARNED TO LISTEN ....... HAVE THEY NOT? .................. THOUGH THEY MAY NOT HEAR MY WORDS ......... DIRECTLY, ..... MANY HAVE LEARNED TO TAKE COMFORT .......... AND WISDOM FROM THE RUSTLING OF THE ........ LEAVES IN MY BRANCHES ...... AND THE SHADE OF MY GROVE. .......... AND I AM GRATEFUL TO THEM ..... FOR THEIR COMPANY. .................." he was relieved to see the faces of the little ones, particularly his friend of the last few decades, uplifted and smiling. They were like little saplings to him, and he would not hear them being put down as lesser members of Voluspa. "THE LITTLE ONES ............ TEND OUR ROOTS, AND HELP ........... US WITH TASKS TOO SMALL FOR US, ............ JUST AS WE PROTECT THEM ..... FROM THINGS TOO TALL ........ OR TOO MANY. ........... THAT IS THE WISDOM BY WHICH ....... VOLUSPA HAS ALWAYS .... LIVED, ..... AND IT HAS NOT CHANGED ........ IN THIS NEW WORLD."

"THE GNOMES OF DEPTIMAYA ARE ......... CONTEMPLATIVE ARTISTS. ....... IF THE GOLDEN TREE HAS WISDOM ............... TO SHARE, .... THEN I SUSPECT THEY WILL ......... LEARN A WAY TO DIVINE IT ............ FROM THE NATURAL BEAUTY ..... OF SUCH A TREE. .............. IF YOU ARE STILL CONCERNED ...... ABOUT THE TREE'S ENSHRINING ........ THEN WE SHOULD SEND SOMEONE .......... TO OFFER HELP TO THEM. ..... AND ADVISE. ..... THE LITTLE ONE WHO CAME WITH GIFTS ........ BEHELD MY OWN ENSHRINING. ........ AND THEY WILL NOT DAMAGE A THING OF SUCH BEAUTY AND AGE ........ SO MISTAKES THEY MAKE .... WILL BE MISTAKES THEY CAN LEARN FROM. ....... IF YOU VISIT THE TREE ....... AND MEDITATE THERE BEFORE THEM, .... I EXPECT OUR NEIGHBORS WILL LEARN TO HEAR ........ OR SEE HER ..... AS OUR LITTLE ONES .... ME."

The Great Old Oak finished speaking, and rested his voice, listening to hear how his saplings would react to his wisdom. Some of them were still not satisfied. He knew that there would be a few who would remain unhappy. "But... they're so small. They're even smaller than our little ones, Havamal Vardtradgren!" some protested. "If other nations come for the tree..." "What if those cruel animal-twisted monsters from the southwest hear of it, and decide to chop it down?!" "Even if they can learn to appreciate it and care for it, how will tiny artists defend it? With their tiny metal sticks?"

"HHHHMMMMMMMMM ......... I BELIEVE OUR VERY LITTLE NEIGHBORS ....... ARE MORE CREATIVE ..... AND RESOURCEFUL .... THAN YOU HAVE YET SEEN. ........ BUT THEN AGAIN ..... THEY ARE VERY SMALL. ....... PERHAPS YOU ARE RIGHT .... TO WORRY. ....... BUT YOU SHOULD WORRY FOR THEM, .... AND OFFER THEM AID. .......... LITTLE RAENN .... AND BJORKA. ........ WOULD YOU DO VOLUSPA .... A SERVICE?"

The little elfen man and his birch friend looked at one another, then back to Havamal. "Anything you ask of me, old friend."

"I WANT YOU TO GO ........ TO DEPTIMAYA. ..... TELL THEM OF OUR WORRIES ....... AND OFFER OUR AID. ..... TEACH THEM TO LISTEN TO THE TREE ...... WITH THEIR HEARTS. ..... IF THEY DO NOT ALREADY KNOW. ..... AND LEAD THOSE TREANTS ..... AND LITTLE ONES FROM VOLUSPA .... WHO WOULD HELP PROTECT THE GOLDEN TREE. ...... AND PLAY YOUR LITTLE INSTRUMENT ... FOR HER AS YOU HAVE FOR ME."

There was some stirring amongst the assembled crowd as the two of them accepted their task and prepared to depart. Sotlila had remained quiet, happy to listen to Havamal again. But she noticed that not all of the murmuring was in agreement. As it quieted down, she overheard one of the treants bitterly sigh "The Golden Tree should be ours..." Havamal heard it too.

"'VARDTRAD IS CONTENT TO OFFER SHADE .... TO ANY BEING WHO RESTS ......BENEATH ITS BRANCHES, ...... TO BEAR FRUIT FOR ANY WHO HUNGER, ...... IT IS ..... AFTER ALL .... A TREE. ............. LIFE IS A GIFT ... NOT TO BE PILFERED ... OR PLUNDERED.' ...... DO NOT LET JEALOUSY FESTER ..... IN YOUR ROOTS .... FOR THE GIFTS GIVEN ....... TO OTHERS."

The grove grew quiet, as many treants fell into contemplation and introversion at Havamal's words.



Summary:
Havamal wakes up from his dreams of Vardtrad to preach to his people about friendship and jealousy. He concedes/agrees that Voluspa should help Deptimaya protect the Golden Tree, but cautions them against possessive thinking. Raenn and Bjorka are introduced more, and sent to talk with Deptimaya about establishing an outpost near the Golden Tree.

Demand Concessions
The little folk do not understand trees as we do. We should insist upon some precautions so that this great wonder is properly cared for.
-- Demand Ask Deptimaya allow Voluspa to Build an Outpost in a hex neighboring the tree and maintain a military presence there to protect the tree.
-- As part of the agreement, Voluspa pilgrims must have unhindered access to the tree at all times.
-- Agitators are appeased if the conditions are met.
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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

Post by Skjaeren on Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:01 pm

The Golden Tree was even more beautiful than the rumors had given it credit. Its smooth, white bark rose up like a marble pillar too natural and unique to have been carved from stone. Its roots spread little beneath it before delving deep into the soil. Sunlight filtered down through its leaves, making them glitter and gleam in the shade provided by its canopy, and creating pretty patterns of reflected golden light scattered amidst beams of pure sunlight that found a clear path. Despite some of the bustle of the surrounding gnomish village, the grove was undisturbed and serene. However, it was not completely quiet.

There were occasional whispers from between the gnomes who had come to visit, or gather the fallen leaves. There were a pair of artists set up near the edge of the grove trying either to render the tree's likeness onto canvas, or to create a painting inspired by its majestic aura. One of them was taking his time, while the other, dissatisfied with her work, had cleared it away and started over a few times. A treant or two, pilgrims from Voluspa, knelt in the loam looking at the tree, quietly meditating and listening, but they would occasionally stir, making as little noise as possible with their heavy footsteps. They were not putting down their roots in the soil. That was not an honor they would presume to claim.

At the moment, where Bjorka knelt in the earth near the tree's trunk listening, two sounds predominantly greeted her ears. The first was a gentle tinkling from above. It came as the breeze blew through the Golden Tree's branches, rustling its leaves with a sound less like most trees would make, and more like tiny, flat wind chimes. The second was the soothing melody coming from Raenn's clay ocarina. It wasn't a repetitive melody; he played from memory and improvised connections and soothing trills between bits of songs that he blended together. He had been playing off and on for the last hour, sitting next to the tree's roots. But not yet comfortable enough to lean against it as he had done for years when he would play for Havamal, she noted.

His melody slowed to a conclusion, then he stopped and closed his eyes for a moment, and tucked the ocarina away in one of his bags. The tiny instrument was painted on the outside with patterns of red, orange, and yellow that looked like leaves in the fall. Raenn still remembered the time when he had actually lost it in the autumn leaves in his old friend's grove, and spent nearly an entire day looking for it. That was the time when he and his current companion first met. Bjorka had stopped to see what the matter was, and rather than suggest that he make or purchase a new ocarina, or council him with "It will turn up eventually, once the leaves are cleared away" as some of the others had done, she had stayed to help him search. They had become friends quickly after that, but since Havamal's enshrining, the two rarely went anywhere without each other. The elf was grateful for her company, and she, his, it seemed.

"Anything?" he asked quietly.

Bjorka sighed softly. "Aside from the feeling I know we both felt since we came here... no. She's a very beautiful tree, and very, very old. If she was once a treant, she may have been sleeping for ages. She may not have had anyone to talk to for long enough that she's forgotten how, or she might not talk the same way we do. If she's simply an old majestic tree, or a natural Vardtradgren ... I don't know if I'll be able to hear her, or understand her. She may just have little to say at the moment."

Raenn thought about her answer for a moment, craning his neck to look up the trunk of the tree and at its upper branches. "Do you think she liked the music?" he asked.

"I liked it." she answered, a smile curling her lips. "And I haven't felt anything to say it was unwelcome. She is asleep."

"Hm." he sighed. "I suppose it seems a bit odd to me to feel nothing but the awe and beauty of it. Like when i first saw Vardtradgren back in Allis. With Havamal, even when he was asleep I could..." he stopped.

"You could feel him smiling on the inside." she finished for him. "You've been part of Voluspa a long time, and you and Havamal have been friends since he was beginning to slow. It is rare among little ones, but not unheard of, to learn how to feel or hear a Great Old Tree. It does take some time though..." her attention returned to the alabaster trunk before her.

"Well. At least, if she does decide to stir, or even wake... there will probably be someone here to hear what she has to say." Raenn said. An older hickory treant who was among those helping to build the outpost came into the grove to ponder under the Golden Tree for a while. He nodded to the pair as they stretched and quietly departed to return to the task that they were responsible for overseeing. It wasn't an organized system of watches, or any widely spoken arrangement, but the Voluspans who had come to Surya Tevana tried to be sure that the Golden tree always had someone keeping it company, without disturbing the reverent stillness of its grove.

Summary:
Raenn and Bjorka visit the Golden Tree in Deptimaya, and begin making a habit of joining the treants who spend time listening there, to see if the tree has any wisdom to share and understand its nature. Raenn plays his ocarina for the tree. The duo departs to finish overseeing the construction of Birch Branch outpost.
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Skjaeren

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Re: Voluspa - remnant of the Great Forest

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