War and Despair

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Chapter 3

The Geomancer stepped out of her cottage and let the morning light wash over her rich earthy brown scales. She dug her talons into the soil and listened. The trees were upset about something.

“What is it?” she whispered.

“Something is very, very, wrong. Something that should not be has come into existence.” The roots whispered back.

Who has done this?” The Geomancer asked.

“Spell-Woman. The wrongness has come too close to the heart tree.” The roots answered.

The witches have been meddling again, have they? The Geomancer asked herself. Whatever it was must have gotten very close to the heart tree if the trees are worried. I shall have to investigate this.

The Geomancer promised the trees that she would check the situation and concentrated hard. It took her body several moments to completely change from dragon to human. When the change was complete the Geomancer was no longer an earth colored dragon, but a girl with rich earthy brown skin, moss green eyes and long silky dark brown hair. She stepped onto a tree root and whispered a few words in the language of the trees. She shut her eyes and held her breath as the root pulled her beneath the soil.

As soon as she was fully beneath the dirt, the roots pulled her along at lightning speed. In a matter of moments, the Geomancer had arrived beneath the soil outside the clearing of the heart tree, where the earth spat her out. The Geomancer brushed the loose bits of soil out of her hair and clothing and strode into the clearing.

It looked exactly the same as it had the last time she’d been there. The ground was still covered in emerald green moss, the tiny brook still trickled over the heart tree’s roots. The aspen, the maple, the hemlock and the oak were all thriving. The heart tree itself was just as breathtaking as ever. The ancient tree towered over the clearing, its golden-brown limbs spreading high above her head.

“Hello, Geomancer.” Said a voice behind her.

“Hello, dryad.” The Geomancer greeted, turning to face the beautiful pale-blonde haired dryad.

“What brings you here, Geomancer?” The dryad asked, circling her, her slender limbs moving gracefully.

“The roots fear for the heart tree.” The Geomancer said evenly.

“They are right to fear for the tree!” Another voice said. The Geomancer turned to see a second dryad, this one with raven tresses braided with white flowers.

“There is something that should not be alive moving around!” cried a golden-haired dryad with deep red leaves woven into her hair.

“We are perfectly capable of protecting the heart tree by ourselves! We don’t need you, enchantress.” The final dryad, a tall broad shouldered and brown-haired nymph said.

“Aspen. Hemlock. Maple. Oak.” The Geomancer said. “It is your job to protect the tree. But it is also my job. I am allowed to check on the heart tree if I deem it necessary. What happened to upset it?”

“There was a creature moving last night. Something that should not exist, one of those magic made.” Hemlock explained, practically spitting out the last two words.

“The witches have been dabbling where they were not supposed to!” Maple called angrily, tossing her red and gold hair.

“This defies the laws of the world! The creature must die!” Aspen shouted, raising one slender hand.

“Yes!” The other three chorused.

“And since you are so eager to stick your nose into matters that do not concern you, Dragon.” Oak hissed. “You can be the one to take care of it.”

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