Book One: Ordered by Gods
CHAPTER FIVE:

Where Lizards Weep
From Pillars to Grove:
DM's Closing Words

Folha threw Tiberio a dirty look after his flaming arrow plunged into the thick tangle of black thorns and bramble that made up Garasoth's hide. Then, she did a double take.

No sooner had she commanded the woodling boar thing away than did she approach the laconic bard, "I love you," she smiled. "For what you are setting out to do." She blushed. Several in the party exchanged glances themselves.

"Do, Madam?" Domaldi began.

"Well, my trees and some of the animals asked to hear you play your lyre," She said, her attention never leaving Tiberio. "It speaks to the Wild and has the smell of the Olympians about it. Apollo's sister has disappeared beyond the Big Wall and you're an awful long way from cities. He must have asked you to look for her. I may be cute but I'm not stupid."

The healing had begun, but Folha's word left a wash of questions, most particularly, what was this place?

"An order of Elven Druids once guarded this place. That's how I got here. An age has passed since the last Druid died. They were very serious. They swore to protect Sentar from the secrets buried in there," she pointed at the cave. "As the world pressed in," she shrugged, her gaze finally leaving Tiberio, "it grew easier to destroy intruders than to try to hide from them. They constructed the barrow grove and trapped me here, to help create a Convergence Point with my trees.

" Those poor mad creatures were the products of the magics they used to guard this place. The swamp is full of such aberrations. I'm afraid living in such proximity to the cave without the Druids has corrupted them further.

"When the Ley Lines collapsed, a great deal of the Druids' protections and shackles disappeared, including my own. Since teh first fluctuation a short time ago, I worried that a total coolapse like this might happen. I am happy to be free, but I do hope that it was worth the price... a lot of tree-hurting things must be wandering freely again through this world."

Her words hung in the air, weightier than the sylvan tones that delivered them. Thalazzar inquired further about "the price."

"Where else would the magic have gone," she answered playfully, "if someone had not used it all up? Whatever it was used for, it must have been very important.

"I will stay here. I like my grove. Now that I am free, I hope to spread its influence," She turned then to look again at Tiberio, "I do hope you find Her. Please be careful and be sure to come back and visit and tell me all about when you are done. You could stay as long as you like," Her smile gave Tiberio the creeps, not because it was anything less than perfect, but because of the 'as long as you like' of which she spoke, certainly held in it the age of trees.

"Would you mind playing a song for me and my trees before you go?"

Now it was Tiberio's turn to smile, it had better be good, he thought, because it was going to have to last her. "Milady," he responded, " it would be an honour." Tiberio tuned his lyre, and then he began to play...

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Domaldi & Company Dungeon Delve!

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