Tag Archives: the druids

‘May I know your name, Lady of the Forest?’

He bowed his head before me ironically and said

‘May I know your name, Lady of the Forest?’

‘Ailintho. Ailintho Kernal, member of the Druid Council’

‘Nice to meet you, Ailintho’, his pretty, full lips were still crooked in an ironic smile. ‘I am Wanlorn, a free warrior and I don’t belong to any councils.’

Now I got angry. I looked at him with disregard and said,

‘I can guess why. Now go!’

He turned round his back on me and went slowly ahead. ‘God and Goddess, please give me patience to arrogant warriors!’, I prayed silently and followed him still being cautious. You can never trust warriors.

Chapter 1 (4)

the mouth of serpent quote4

 

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Chapter 1 (9)

CHAPTER I

(Wanlorn)

I was watching her curiously, even with my limited dealings with druids this felt strange. My eyes were locked on her, watching every move as she went into something resembling a trance. Her body began to shake and I felt concern rising inside of me, the feeling of something going wrong was getting stronger and threatening to make me react by stopping this. The only thing that held me back was doubt, I couldn’t be sure that I wouldn’t do more damage than good if I interrupted the trance so I waited and continued watching, ready to pounce at the slightest sign of trouble. My hand was tightened around a green gem, I knew I could use it to repair even the most serious wounds. As her ritual was reaching a climax, she suddenly collapsed. With my increased speed I caught her body before she fell to the ground, gently lowering her on the soft grass. Even in my worried state I could feel her calm aura and I knew she would be all right. I spoke the incantation of my gem and moved it up and down her body to heal her but it seemed she wasn’t injured. Unsure about what to do next I looked at her face, her breathing was normal. My eyes remained on her face, there was something there that made me unable to look away. I only realized she was conscious when she called my name and I found myself looking into her eyes. I coughed to disguise my embarrassment.

‘Are you all right, milady?’

‘Yes, I am quite all right.’

‘I apologize for this situation but I wasn’t sure…’

‘People not familiar with the druids often mistake my reaction for an injury.’

‘Do you need a moment to catch your breath? Is there anything I can do to help?’, she looked at me for a moment while thinking, finally she decided.

‘There are some spots on my foot you can press to make me recover faster but you have to do exactly as I say because otherwise you might do more damage then good.’

I nodded my head and placed both hands on her foot, waiting for her to tell me what to do.

‘Press the sole and the toes gently, continue increasing pressure till I tell you to stop. Do not hurry, I don’t want to be paralysed instead.’

I did as she instructed and soon was helping her to get on her feet. She brushed herself off and informed me that she found the intruder.

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(let me know if you are the author of this picture)

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Chapter 1 (8)

CHAPTER I

(Ailintho)

I got up at dawn as I always did. I washed my face, dressed myself and went downstairs to the kitchen. Lendra was already waiting with oatmeal.

‘With dried blueberries as you like’, an old woman smiled to me as I kissed her cheek. Lendra always provided me with the best food. I have been her favourite since the day I came to the druids’ seat. Not a druidess herself but the main cook in the community, she was respected by the elders who entrusted her with bringing up the youngest children. I remembered myself as a five year old little girl walking to the storeroom or the garden holding on to her large skirt with other kids. I smiled as I realised that nothing has changed for her since then.

‘Thank you’, I said taking a small wooden bowl full of hot oatmeal and sitting at the table. ‘Has the warrior come for breakfast yet?’

‘He has’, she nodded. ‘But he didn’t want breakfast and only asked for water. He is waiting on a yard.’

I ate the delicious oatmeal, kissed Lendra again and went outside the building. He was indeed waiting and even seemed impatient. He did not say a word though, just got up and put his gear on.

‘I guess we’re ready’, I said. He did not answer so I suppressed a sigh and went directly the path leading to the forest. I remembered not go behind him though, I might not like the warrior but I wasn’t searching for an argument with him either so I walked next to him.

‘We have to find a glade distant enough from any human seats be it the druid community or the villages nearby’, I explained to him as we were leaving the gate. I did not expect him to respond to my words but to my surprise, he spoke.

‘May I ask you some questions? Not the personal ones.’

I was astonished and didn’t know what to say so I only nodded.

‘Could you please tell me why the windows are not symmetrical in the druid hall?’

‘The windows were like that so as not to hurt the tree’, I answered, satisfied that the question was indeed not personal. ‘We used some sort of spell to make it grow this way.’

‘It looks like a safety hazard to me’, he said. ‘An attack possible from any side.’

A warrior. No need to be surprised, Ailintho. He’s a warrior.

‘We included this risk, too. What you don’t know is that the windows can be made to disappear as easy as they were made.’

‘Clever solution’, he nodded. ‘In the room I noticed a strange contrast between the elaborately decorated furniture and the simple clothes of the elders.’

‘That’s easy to explain’, I smiled. ‘Shaping and decorating wood is our tribute to nature. Trees are the monarchs of the forest and druids themselves are only servants. We protect the nature and help the villagers who live close to the forest, that’s our task.’

‘I understand.’

We were walking in silence for a moment and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. Wanlorn’s energy was calm and slow, his thoughts were hidden under his magic-proof helm and his mouth was closed. I must have admitted that although he seemed distant and suspicious, his subdued behaviour was a clear contrast to the ones of talkative, jovial and overly familiar people whom I came across everyday. It was a true relief, I could not deny it. And the fact that Nomi, our cat liked him immediately, was the best proof he was not as warriorlike as he seemed. Animals feel the vibes better than people and stay away from these negative ones.

‘Can I ask one more question?’

‘Yes, please.’

‘All the other members of the council are significantly older than you and yet Master Orthus introduced you as the chief druidess. May I know why?’

I fixed my eyes in the path in front of me and suppressed a sigh as memories returned.

‘It is custom in our community that it is governed by a druid and a druidess, a man and a woman, as a representation of the cosmic order established by God and Goddess. My predecessor died a year ago and I was chosen to take her place. In case you are wondering why such a young girl became the chief druidess’, I couldn’t see his thoughts exactly but I noticed a slight shift in his energy. ‘Well, let me just say I have condensed skills. And I look younger than my real age.’

He didn’t ask any more questions and we reached the glade soon. I looked around and noticed a poplar immediately. Perfect.

‘Now I am going to do something you will find strange but please, trust me, I know what I’m doing’, I came closer to the tree and looked at him. His eyes were dark and impenetrable. ‘I will touch the bark of the tree and it may seem that I fall into a trance. I need you to embrace and support me now because if I use too much of my energy, I may fall down.’

If he was surprised, he didn’t show it. He approached me and very carefully embraced my waist. As I felt his body close and put my arm on his shoulder, I almost lost my breath. I could feel his vibes easy now, they were so calm, clear and pure that all I wanted was to absorb them endlessly. Luckily my mind and sense of duty intervened quickly enough, after all I had a mission to accomplish. I clenched my hand on the trunk, closed my eyes and concentrated. After just a couple of seconds my consciousness raised above the tree and I could see the forest with my mind’s eye.

My inner sight was spreading high now, I was capable to see a large area but the task was to locate the intruder so I had to expand my awareness while covering the whole area and to shrink it right after whenever my inner sight caught something suspicious. It was exhausting. ‘Don’t forget to breathe!’, a voice inside was reminding me but I was too eager and determined to find the crippled creature to listen to it. With every breath out my consciousness was expanding outside my body but it was coming back whenever I was breathing in.

I was playing a dangerous game with my body, I felt it was getting too little air to breathe but I was almost done, just a small area on the edge of forest was left. My body began to tremble but I sensed the unwanted guest was somewhere there. Just as my inner sight noticed the location, my body couldn’t stand this state anymore. I felt weak and darkness fell in front of my eyes.

When I woke up, Wanlorn was kneeling next to me, keeping my legs raised on his shoulders and staring at my face with barely hidden anxiety.

‘Are you all right, milady?’, he asked.

‘Yes, I am quite all right’, I nodded. I was still feeling dizzy and weak but I was coming back to my normal state. His strong, clear energy was flowing to my body through feet and I felt better much quickly than usually.

‘Is there anything I can do to help?’

I smiled. Most of the community was accustomed to me losing consciousness while performing clairvoyance but being a stranger he must have been shocked. And judging by his vibes he was clearly worried about me. I smiled widely. It was nice feeling to know he did care for me and I hated to admit that instead of searching for the intruder I’d rather stay like this with his hand on my shin and his dark eyes fixed in my face…

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Chapter 1 (7)

CHAPTER I

(Wanlorn)

As I was waiting for my guide in the morning, my mind went back to the meeting. The druid hall was situated inside an enormous tree, standing at the entrance I could feel waves of positive energy. Ailintho was smiling widely so I assumed she felt it as well but it could have been simply because she was happy to be home.

A small black kitten was sitting on the fence, observing the life around carefully. When her eyes reached mine, she curled up and looked at me even more intently. But then she straightened up, jumped down to the ground, came to me boldly, meowed quietly and started to rub against my leg. Ailintho looked at me surprised.

‘She does not normally come to strangers’, she said with disbelief.

I spoke nothing, just smiled and scratched the kitten softly behind her ear. She closed her eyes and purred with pleasure but Ailintho didn’t let it last long.

‘We must go’, she turned around and walked ahead. ‘The elders are awaiting us.’

The great wooden doors opened soundlessly as if by magic. As we entered I noticed a slight drop in temperature compared to outside, the living tree provided cooling in the summer and warmth in the winter. The decorations were beautiful, almost everywhere I looked there were wooden carvings of various animals. Something else caught my eye as well, the placing of the windows, they weren’t symmetrical as one would expect in the city but rather placed at seemingly random distance from each other. This really made me curious but before I could ask Ailintho about it we reached the council of elders.

They were seated at a great oak table with ornate wooden chairs that wouldn’t seem out of place in a King’s hall. Their clothes were in stark contrast to this, each of them wore plain shirts and pants. I made a note to ask Ailintho about this as well later.

During the meeting the elders showed respect towards me and were courteous but I still felt an undercurrent of being interrogated. Mostly I listened and answered them while asking very few questions myself. As the meeting was coming to an end, they assigned Ailintho as my guide until we get to the bottom of this. After shaking hands with each member of the council I went to the room that was prepared for me, ate the dinner that was left there and went to bed.

Now it was early dawn but I was already prepared for today’s task, I only needed to wait for Ailintho to appear.

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Chapter 1 (4)

CHAPTER I

(Ailintho)

Spring was approaching. Earth was not frozen anymore and the air was getting milder and milder. Very well. No more trudging through snow, no more breaking ice in the river to get some water, no more frost paralysing life in all the places, no more chill hurting lungs while breathing. I hated winter. Druids have been teaching us that each season of the year was blessed and each was bringing gifts of its own kind but still I hated winter and could not wait for spring to come. It was not just that the Nature was renewing, it was a change in the atmosphere, in energy, in aura and even in characters. People were getting more serene and behaved better towards one another.

‘We are running out of coriander’, Orthus interrupted my pondering. ‘We will have to wait for the new plants to grow.’

Orthus was the chief druid in our community and a sage respected in all the villages nearby. We were sorting herbs in preparation for the spring, with his position Orthus did not have to do that but he volunteered for that task himself. ‘It calms me down’, he said and we did not object.

The door opened suddenly and Daile entered like a storm. That’s how she usually got into the room, pressing the door handle abruptly and running like the wind.

‘The villagers called a monster hunter’, she exclaimed. ‘He’s in the inn now!’

Orthus and I looked at each other without a word. A couple of weeks ago inhabitants asked the druids for help when the third person disappeared from the village. ‘It must be a monster!’, they muttered. Druids checked the tracks carefully in the forest but found nothing suspicious. Whoever was kidnapping people from the village…if anyone was kidnapping them at all…was neither an animal nor a monster. Apparently, mayor and his people did not believe us.

‘Daile, perhaps you can find us more coriander?’, Orthus said aloud but our young disciple was still excited.

‘They say he’s one of those famous warriors whose deeds are narrated in the chants’, she kept talking and talking. ‘Oh, I would like to see him, he must be handsome!’

‘Go search for coriander, please’, Orthus repeated and Daile had no choice but to follow his orders.

‘Ailintho, I want you to go and check this man’, the chief druid said when we were left alone. ‘It’s not a monster but something IS happening in the forest and I don’t like it. I don’t want that warrior to come here and sniff around, we may end up with the King’s people and the army invading our territories.’

‘Understood’, I nodded and put herbs back. ‘In this case I will go immediately.’

‘Ailintho!’, he shouted when I was opening the door. ‘Be careful in the forest!’

‘Of course, Master’, I smiled. ‘I always am.’

Indeed, I knew forest as if it was my own house. I have lived here with the druids for so long that I didn’t even remember my life before I had got here. I was an orphan and druids adopted me when I was five years old. They and the forest were the only family that I had.

He was close, I could already sense him without going into a state of trance or deep meditation. Thanks to my telepathic skills I immediately tracked the place where the stranger was and ran there immediately. I found him surrounded by the wolf pack and I laughed quietly. He was not as good as Daile claimed. I asked the wolves to go away as it was a matter between two humans, they did and I put the entangling spell on the man. After he was tangled up, I approached him.

He did not look like one of those rich warriors striding around the lands of the kingdom. In fact he seemed rather poor although his gear was first class, I was not familiar with various types of weapons, but his looked mighty. His clothes were not expensive but rather comfortable. But in one things Daile was right, even in such an embarrassing situation for a warrior, he did look handsome. He was tall and slim, had straight short black hair under his helm, pale skin and dark eyes staring at me angrily as if they were burning coals.

‘Thank you for your help, milady’, he spoke first. His voice was low but melodic. ‘Now you can release me, I’m not here to hurt you.’

‘I know’, I answered without confusion. ‘What I am trying to determine is WHY you are here. Alone in the winter forest endangered by the wolf pack…this is not the place for you.’

‘I have my own issues to resolve’, apparently he did not want to speak.

‘Then the druids and I will be glad to help you, that’s what our duty is, to help people. All you have to do is to come to our community and tell us what the problem is. ‘

‘It’s my business and you have nothing to do with that!’, he said angrily trying to free himself from my entanglement spell. I sighed. Why were all the warriors arrogant jerks?

‘Sir, let me put things clear’, I got impatient. ‘You are here immobilised by my spell. If I wish, I can go away and leave you like this, cold, hungry and endangered by the forest animals. Sure, you can break this spell yourself’, I added quickly, feeling that this is what he could be thinking about. ‘But it will take time and energy and you don’t have much of them. So what’s your decision? Will you come to the druids with me or not?’

He sent me an angry look but nodded his head. I stretched my hand and released him from my magic, he straightened his stiff legs and I had to admit they were really nice, long and finely toned, that much I could guess from the shapes hidden in the trousers.

‘We may be searching for the answer to the same puzzle’, I said looking him straight in the eyes. ‘Now walk before me and don’t try any magical tricks to escape, the forest is my ally and will not let you pass without my permission.’

He bowed his head before me ironically and said

‘May I know your name, Lady of the Forest?’

‘Ailintho. Ailintho Kernal, member of the Druid Council’

‘Nice to meet you, Ailintho’, his pretty, full lips were still crooked in an ironic smile. ‘I am Wanlorn, a free warrior and I don’t belong to any councils.’

Now I got angry. I looked at him with disregard and said,

‘I can guess why. Now go!’

He turned round his back on me and went slowly ahead. ‘God and Goddess, please give me patience to arrogant warriors!’, I prayed silently and followed him still being cautious. You can never trust warriors.

Published under Creative Common License

enchanted forest