Chapter Four: The Evergreen Forest
"There.....It lies just beyond The Evergreen Forest....."
"..... Surely you jest..... There is no keep as such that you have described....."
"..... No Duncan. Not a keep, for it is too large to be but a keep..... It appears to have been within the ranges of the Mystic Mountains themselves....."
".... Not man, nor beast can carve such a structure from stone..... I feel rising foolishness may fast expire my patience Merek....."
"..... W have come this far Master of Arms..... Shall we quit, or will you continue?"
"..... Returning to the king empty handed does not make my list of needs..... Aye Merek, we will continue..... I pray you are not leading us wrong....."
"..... What of the Evergreen Forest Duncan? What dangers might we face within?"
"..... We have nothing to fear of this forest Merek..... This wood is a place that is protected by white magic..... It still resides mostly within the light hemisphere..... the many souls of the fallen that do dwell within the forest, their spirits prevent the rise of The Serpent....."
"..... Hiss? Raiden Hiss?"
"Silence your tongue boy! Never think to speak the name of the serpent when you are so near to influences of magical influences white..... Such evils by name, they are best forgotten....."
"..... My most humble apologies Master of Arms..... It is a tale of which I do not recollect....."
"..... Yes, and for good reason..... Fear not lad, it was of my own fault..... Let us not speak any more of serpents. The thoughts of them, they chill me to the bone....."
"I will call the men forward..... do you wish the garrison to rest before we continue?"
"Aye, that I do lad..... Let us consider all of our options..... the men must be made aware of the dangers that lie in wait beyond the Evergreen Forest....."
Eyes aloft watched closely the procession of the Master of Arms and of his garrison, a great falcon finding curiosity of their interests. The majestic avian perched high upon one of the strongest branches of an elder-wood tree to continue its diligent surveillance in silence.
Down below, within the heart of the wood, a long-eared rabbit is ambushed. the animal now struggling, is taken quickly from its den. the eyes of The Serpent now fell on the garrison of humans entering the forest.
The Serpent, at present; in a size of no real significance, as many of the snakes natural to the lands do grow. it being only about seven feet in length with the head in size comparison to a large piece of fruit- a melon or a grapefruit.
The Serpent maintained constant cover beneath the high risen foliage and brush of the wood, as it stalked its new prey. Its tail rattling from sheer exhilaration of the hunt.