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The Treeman of Roses – by Tamra (Resubmission)
Goewyn wandered deep into the forests of her homeland in the southwest of Avalon. She was on a mission of exploration; living around the forest-bordered House Meridian all her life had not dampened her passion for going for rambles in the woods. Goewyn knew every inch of these forests… all except for this one. The forests were dark and deep, dangerous to those who didn’t know their way. Goewyn knew the tricks of the forests, but kept her wits about her, her sword in hand and her harp on her shoulder. On her right ran a creek with high banks and low places where little waterfalls bubbled over the rocks, to her left, dark deciduous woods.
Soon she came across a tall hedge of thorns. They grew almost to the tops of the trees.
“How strange,” mumbled Goewyn to herself. “I don’t remember anyone mentioning this.”
Goewyn found a small space in the hedge and crawled inside, pulling her harp in after her. As she crawled, a smooth lawn of grass opened before her eyes, and the very air was saturated with the smell of green things and flowers. Putting her head out of the tunnel she looked around and was amazed. Spreading as far as she could see was a garden, so beautiful and vast it took her breath away.
Goewyn walked 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 and the sound of the drone of bees. A lane ran through garden 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. The caretaker of this garden is quite good at what he does.”
Goewyn noticed the stream ran by the rose garden, being careful not to touch anything, she knelt down by the water for a drink. Then she remembered, 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!”
Goewyn rose to one knee, deciding that if this was the garden of Rhodon, it would be wise for her to leave. He might not take kindly to trespassers.
“Are you aware that you’ve been trespassing?” said a resonant voice from somewhere.
Goewyn jumped, sitting down heavily and looked across the stream. The voice’s owner glided 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. He looked at her with a mixture of curiosity and caution, like someone who had been hurt before.
“I apologize, it was just so beautiful, I had to investigate.” stammered Goewyn getting to her feet.
“I understand, that’s why I put up my fence.” said the Treeman, walking toward her and through the stream.
“Your pardon sir, I meant no harm.” said Goewyn with a curtsey.
“I’ve been watching you, you came only to look, not to touch. You showed respect for me and my flowers, though you didn’t know I was there. It would have been easy to pick some flowers and no one would know.” said the lordly tree man.
“I wouldn’t like it if someone came into my garden and took my flowers without permission.”
“A wise answer.” remarked the treeman “What is your name, elf’s child?”
“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.” said the treeman, for a moment looking far away. “I am Rhodon.”
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