I think I’ll pass, thanks.
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The Treeman of Roses – by Tamra
Goewyn Nic Mannan wandered deep into the forests of her homeland in the southwest of Avalon. Every inch of these forests were known to her… all except for this one. The forests were dark and deep, dangerous to those who didn’t know their way. Goewyn however knew the tricks of the forests, and wandered unafraid. The elf-maid, who was known as an experienced woodswoman and skilled in her talent of plant magic, was armed with her short sword and her harp over her shoulder.
Soon she came across a tall hedge of thorns. They grew almost to the tops of the trees.
“How strange, I don’t remember anyone mentioning this.” said Goewyn.
Goewyn found a small space in the hedge and crawled inside, pulling her harp in after her. Once she was through she looked in wonder. Around her was a garden unlike she had ever seen. Each bed was a work of art, a magnificent mix of companion plants in a rainbow of colors, a bower of Morning Glories sang their song answered by the trumpets of the nasturtiums.
Goewyn wandered through the garden listening in marvel to the voices of the flowers, all their languages she knew. Most beautiful of all were the roses. A thousand different kinds and colors, all breeds of the “king of the flowers” bloomed around the center of the garden. The air was heady with the scent of the roses and the drone of bees. A lane ran through the roses to a throne made of willow branches and roses. It was empty, but Goewyn walked around it, examining it from all sides.
“A kingdom of flowers. Whoever owns this place is quite good at what he does.”
Goewyn stopped to think. She had heard of such a garden before, sitting at her mother’s knee. The old song of Meridian floated through her mind, singing of a time long ago, and of a dryad of great power.
“Rhodon. The King of the Flowers. But that’s impossible!”
On the other side of the garden, a treeman listened to what the flowers were saying. He was an ancient creature, so old that he could remember King Finvarra the Second, had even fought by his side. His were eyes that had seen war, beauty, joy, and grief, and for them were wise. A tremble in his beloved flowers let him know that there was someone in his garden. He held up one hand and quieted the plants.
Long strides brought him to the place where the person his flowers sensed was. Kneeling by the stream that ran by his roses was a young Elf-girl. Her hair was golden and her skin milk white. Her eyes were blue as the sky. She looked just like his friend, so long gone, Lady Solana of Meridian. Perhaps she was from Meridian? Is that why his garden let her enter? If he was going to say hello to her he would need to be presentable.
Goewyn got up from her knees and decided to find her way out.
“You do realize that you’ve been trespassing.” said a resonant voice from somewhere.
“Oh! My, I’m sorry, it was just so beautiful, I had to investigate.” said Goewyn.
“I understand, that’s why I put up my fence.” said the voice, it’s owner gliding into view.
He was a tall creature, taller than an elf, with green and brown skin that was the texture of bark and green eyes shot through with amber. He wore moss on the upper portion of his body and a woolen kilt on his lower half, complete with sporran. Goewyn knew his species, he was a tree man, but she didn’t recognise his kind of tree.
“Your pardon sir, I meant no harm.” said Goewyn with a curtsey.
“I could see that, you came only to look, not to touch. You showed respect for me and my flowers, and therefore I granted you to visit my garden.” said the lordly tree man.
“What is your name, elf’s child?” he asked.
“Oh, prince of the trees, I am called Lady Goewyn Nic Mannan of House Meridian.” said Goewyn falling into the old fashioned speech that some tree men still used.
“Few of your kind have set eyes on me in these many long years. I am Rhodon.” That name Goewyn knew.
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