You hear a lonesome bird call as you wander out of the forest. It is dull and misty. The sky is concrete, you can taste rain in the air.

Fell it on the breeze.

But you don't care, you keep waking. Walking into the opening where the trees grow ever more sparse. Where the woodland meets the grassland and all that remains are the twigs and trunks the forest had coughed out. Your bate feet slide over the greenest dewy grass. And here you arrive with a sense of peace despite the chilly drizzle that has just begun to fall. A few more steps have you standing in the center of an earthy ring. You are surrounded by stumps of all shapes and sizes. Some are spindly, white, and knobby with think fingers that seem to swirl the mist. Others are thick, rough, and deep brown. Some are smooth and tan and seem to reach the sky as if they want to touch the stars as badly as you do. And others have been tampered by the faefolk. These are mostly the tall and tan ones. They carve intricate and swirly runes into them. You haven't learned to decipher them. And at the topmost part of the tree, wood of other trees (pine, willow, fir, and birch) are tethered in such a fashion that has them looking like a wooden version of a feathered war bonnet.

The land is very nearly empty of everything else, save for a boulder or two. You don't even pay the boulders much mind, but you notice the twin-protector seals. Three vertical slashes and a horizontal line through the middle with a dot on the bottom corner--the day protector. And on the other rock are four horizontal lines with two diagonal slashes through the middle and a dot on the upper corner--the night protector. They glow faintly orange. Someone has left the feather of a white faced owl--bound with the stem of heather--at the foot of the stone. You have arrived at your destination.

A few early rising fireflies are already gathering at the base of the stumps. These are said to be the spirits of the faefolk. Of the elven. Of the nymphs and druids. And of the trees themselves. That makes sense, after all, that's what this place is...

A graveyard for the kin of the forest. For natures purest creations. You know this because the fairies have told you. You had followed them here.

But they have not told you why.

Somehow you get the feeling that the forest and the magic are dying. For more and more skeletal structures seem to be pooping up on the hillside with their billowing smoke and grating noises. And with them more woodsy structures erect here in the clearing. You breathe in, resin fills your nostrils, you can practically taste it. But there's something else.

Something is laced in the mist.

It's poison.

The old world is dying and you're standing on its resting ground.



The drizzle grows into a shower.