A tree knows the moon better than any man. They feel her pull at all times, despite mist or cloud, in darkness as surely as light. They tell the seasons in her embrace and choose the path of their growth by her guidance. They are as close to the moon as they are to the sun above and the earth below. It is a wondrous thing to hear them speak of her like an old friend remembered fondly.
In the years since leaving Mierani, my powers have grown by the moon’s blessing. I now can speak to the wilderness in ways I could only imagine when I first set out on my journey. I can become more than animals, I can root myself like a tree or recast myself as the elements themselves. And just recently, the moon has taught me a spell that allows me to raise an oak into a friend to travel with us. What a thing to see. What a gift to cherish.
The trees of the forest have always made pleasant company for me. Now though, the forest has become a place of incredible conversation. The voice of a tree is like a soft tremor through the ground. They speak slowly but with great meaning. They know truths that cannot be expressed in spoken words. I could listen to them all day.
Now though, we are deep in the Hooktongue Slough, far from the enchanted forests of the Narlmarches. We have come here to explore and make safe wild lands. I’m not sure I care for the idea of humans coming to settle these fens, but I care less for the idea of Boggard tribes striking out from them to raid and pillage surrounding lands. Coming here we have found and subdued a young gold dragon known as Scroch. The beast had been tormented for years by an undead presence until it had become a hideous mockery of its true nature. Now though, we seek a way to heal the creature. I pray to the moon that we will rediscover the light within him.
The Slough is not what I expected. There is a deeper silence here than at home, a greater peace. There are no human lamps here, no songs at night or braying of husbanded animals. I miss my friends in Tatzlford, but I love this stillness crafted from the twining of frog calls and cricket song. I walk with my feet uncovered, feeling the soft earth yield beneath my feet. The rain falls and I let it cascade over me. The others complain of the cold. I feel only warmth.
Tomorrow we will set out again and my friend the oak will walk beside me again. I will tell him of what I see and he will show me what he feels. Together we will follow the direction of the moon wherever she may take us.