Her mind brushed against something, but couldn't connect. Everything was abstract, disconnect, disembodied. She felt wind flow through her leaves. Tasted earth and roots as she dug for food. Heard the hooves clashing against her hard surface thrum through her stone form.
She felt shock and pain as vines wrapped around her rib cage and spindly legs, pulling her to the ground and crushing the life from her, barbed vines burrowing into her skin and flesh as she bleated out as she die-
- Grace woke up with a start, head hitting the megalith behind her, the pain nothing in comparison to that of the deer being fed upon by assassin vines not too far away from her. The rush of her own senses coming back to her left her disorientated. She no longer had leaves, or a full belly, or broken, fragile legs. She had her plain, somewhat lycanthropic, human body again. And that was fine. She was used to changing form and senses. Just not in that way. Phantom pain echoed through her.
She'd spent months trying to connect with this dormant grove, to find out what was wrong- why it slept so deeply. There were signs that druids had been here before her. The megalith at her back, a single standing stone part of a far greater circle. Not too far east was another grove, with another circle, also deeply asleep. Far to the south, an empty circle lay, partially broken and quiet. Which was why she couldn't figure out why the grove was unawakened. If there had once been a circle of druids large and organised enough to form these signs and boundaries, why hadn't they awoken the grove. And if they had, why weren't they still here, tending to it? Why had they let it slip away from them, neglected and forgotten?
Grace couldn't imagine that that was what had happened- a neglected grove grew upset, the pain of it's decay poisoning it. She'd heard the stories. Grass that cut your feet, slipping poison into your veins with every step. Fruit that stole your will, making you tend to a grove so desperate for care. A web of cursed natural energy that seeped through the area, catching souls of the dying and encasing them in stone and wood cocoons, the trees and stones warping as the anguished souls within cry for release into the next world, only to find themselves at the bidding of the grove. Plants and trees that come to life to crush and kill, the grove too resentful and hurt to trust people to enter it again.
The presence of assassin vines was worrying, as was the unnatural presence of a chupacabra in the other grove, but they did not seem cursed. They still emanated a peaceful feeling. Here, her bear spirit quieted and felt no need to answer the moon's call. The grove was not resentful. But it was quiet, withdrawn. It pulled back in on itself, only a hint of it's energies seeping to the surface. If the grove had been abandoned, it seemed to understand and forgive. If it had been abandoned, she was at loss for what to do. A virgin grove needed coaxing and sanctifying. A cursed or defiled grove required retribution on those that had wrong it. Still it called into question what had happened to the circle here.
Haven had mentioned that he remembered the circle having many lycans among its members, and at the time, lycan hunting was popular buisness. It made sense, in a way. The Treaty between the Hunters Guild, The Druids and other factions existed long before the events Grace had been part of. At the time she had not understood why the druids would risk going to war over lycans, or why they had felt the need to make a treaty to defend in the first place. But now, with the knowledge that there may have been a circle, with so many of it members being hunted? The treaty made sense, and so too, did the lack of a strong druidic presence in the region. The circle she had encountered was a weak sapling, struggling to grow in the space left by the felled great tree that had been the circle who had made these standing stones.
She struggled to her feet, hands brushing against the old megalith at her back. Vines grew around it, it's stone weathered by time, attesting to it's age. She felt more alone now than ever. There was a likely hood that she was simply not skilled nor powerful enough to connect to these groves, and it was even more likely still that she was not ready for the duty of becoming a steward of even one of them, let alone both. Yet who else was there? The old bear stayed in his cave within the southern wilds, preaching his own form of zealous druidism. Her lycanthropy was his doing: corrective methods, to set her on the right path, after she had dared to kill a single animal. Never mind that it was the natural way of things, and when attacked by so many, one had to take measures to protect their life. Other druids were scattered few and far between, coming only when called for a gathering.
Fen, Grace's mentor, had been gone for sometime, returned to the underdark to deal with business whose term was not yet determined. With no mentor to teach her the ways, and the Old Bear deeming her unworthy of his words, Grace had to teach herself. It would take time, and much effort, before she would be able to understand these groves and why they sleep. Only now and again would she get a glimpse of a thought skimming through her mind, nearly incoherent, trying to guide her through what to do. Hopefully in time, the grove's dreaming voice would become clearer to her, and she could give it what it needed.
- Forum Sage
- Number of posts : 634
Age : 28
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2011-01-31
Character Name: Grace Fennerset
Overall Level: 30