Dark, pine-colored tresses fell over her shoulder as she knelt beside a tiny forest. In this form, the trees barely reached her ankles, not like the oaks and the pines of Quercus’ Great Wood. The Wood followed his grandiose style — tall, with full leaves shading the forest floor below. A living temple, built in his own image. But this tiny grove, constructed from the conifer’s distant cousin, the Princess pines, this was all hers. To shape as she wished. To give stewards in her own likeness. Procera sat back on her heels and pulled out a simple, well-made knife and held it to her arm. As she drew it across her flesh formed of dense fir, she felt a tickle, smelled a hint of pine. She peeled up the piece of outer bark and began to carve, taking a little off here, a larger chunk there. She hummed quietly to herself, as her first daughter took shape.
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