✤ When the woods come marching in . . .

∴ Millennia, that is how long it has been. Thousands of years of corruption, blood and death. And now, resting at the crown of their writhing, depraved tree lies plastic, and pollution. Nothing good ever comes from them . . .

Thus now, we move. For millennia we have stood by, and watched. In truth, we rarely move, and when we do it is never quick. Our siblings, the water and the winds may, for their ravaging fury comes in bursts. But we are the Earth, the Flora – and our wrath is unrushed, yet cataclysmic.

Steadily, I raise my roots – it does not take long for the soil’s cries to permeate my fibers. It echoes through my leaves. My bark creaks, together with them – when one of us weeps, we all do. It has been so long… One by one, I touch my others. Ancient, and young trees, their eyes open as slowly as mine and in them, I see the the same fire blazing.

I raise a branch to meet one of my sons. I had never seen him grow, though I have always felt his presence – that is, until recently. But where I expect to meet bark, I meet … nothing. I look down, and see a rotten, broken stump stare at me blankly. My wrath grows, shattering and searing – the howl I release into the skies quakes the Earth. Somewhere, in the distance, their stone houses break, and screams of anguish mark the death of many. But no amount of their life can make up for my son.

I reach a clearing, and from behind one of my others I see a glimpse of light. I recognize the eyes from which it comes. The forest faes had always been a close companion to our ageless barks, and we have always been their home. It is easy, then, to understand that they, too, feel our anger deep within their bones. With slow movements, I reach into my own core. Bundled up in torn branches, shining without pause lies my wrath – I pull it out, and hand it to her. I speak to her of what I have seen, and she listens, quietly. Her wings flutter, but that is a sound I know. In my paced tongue I weave the story of our kind, and how we came to be – these are all things she knows, but she understands our need to reaffirm the depth of our roots.

I speak to her of my gift. She is to plant it beneath their stone roads, in behind their stone walls, between their stone houses. And once she has, the signal is to be given – a single cry from a place only her wings can take her to. That signal shall mark our coming – and make no mistake, human who is reading this: when we shall come, the Earth shall shatter. Your homes will crumble to the ground in dust. The might of your armies, your proud cities, they will all kneel in despair at our arrival … and soon after, only the stumps of your existence will be left to tell the tale. A story of ones who were too proud to coexist, and instead fed off that which nourished them, until they nearly bled it dry. You will all cry … when the woods come marching in.

Shot on Location at The Seventh Valley – Sponsored by The Realm of Rosehaven

CREDITS:  
✘ Head & Branches ◆ BeSpoke ◆ Treant Conservator @ Fantasy Faire 2021 (Khol Dracys)
✘ Skin ◆ ~JJ~ ◆ Sinew Male Skin (Wood) @ Fantasy Faire 2021 (Mithlumen)
✘ Ball of ‘Wrath’ ◆ Petrichor ◆ Silyn Magical Orb

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