Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 9 – Remnants

Rogue Wizard’s Journal: January 25th, 2019

Of course, the weather would play havoc with my plans.  I mean not much other than as snow and freezing rain hit western Michigan in various waves the plan for a field trip to the Red Tree Grove, was postponed until yesterday. The temperature was pretty much the same just below freezing with snow and ice everywhere.  Whoever the pixie Winter Queen is right now, I imagine that she is happy with the results.

So yesterday after assessing the weather wasn’t going to be a problem, we set out to see the Grove.  Not a long trip, I used to ride my bike or walk back in the day. The trip from the House of Venus mansion was a little longer and we had to cross the battle lines which during the day were peaceful enough  Amber and Lunette flanked me as we went along. Lunette walked instead of flying as we were heading deeper into pixie territory and were not expecting any trouble from the war at least.

I left with a feeling of dread and that increased the closer we got to the grove.  Lunette seemed distant too.  Amber tried to make small talk but eventually quit realizing her two companions were in no mood.  As a mage, she began to get more nervous the further into pixie territory she got. I was sure nothing was going to happen in regards to the war. The Pixies would steer clear of the grove if it was truly as bad as Lunette described and the mages couldn’t get to it.  Well, unless the protective magic was gone which it might be.

When we crested the hill that overlooked the Grove, my heart sank into my shoes.  It was for all practical purposes gone.  The bright red leaves and whitebark were gone from the tree.  There was no life I could see at all and the branches were gone. Only a grey large trunk remained which disappeared into the forest below – twisted and evil looking.  The forest itself no longer looked magical but all too ordinary.  The crunch of snow under my feet and the cold air just added to the grey picture forming in front of me. There was no threshold to cross on the edge of the grove.  The protective magic simply no longer existed.

I looked over to Lunette and I could see the tears running down her face. I took her hand and tried to say something but the words didn’t come.  We simply walked hand in hand until we reached the base of the tree.

It was still largely shaped like I remembered.  The trunk that was left was still easily ten times as tall as me and I am well over six feet.  It was just wrong.  It was no longer white but grey and dark and twisted.  The ‘throne’ of roots where Elpis used to sit was still there, just very ashen. I looked to the right of it and the two large roots which formed a ‘V’ where Elpis and I would go to lay in the soft grass, talk and make love was also still there.  Now covered with snow, cold and lifeless.

To the left of the throne was where the three large scars had been.   I had helped heal them but now they were ripped open even wider than before – dry and jagged. I walked forward, crouched down and touched one of them.  The sadness of what magic was left almost overwhelmed me as I felt its pain and sorrow. Still ambient magic there, but wrong as well. Nothing was right anymore in the grove.  I felt that feeling of childhood memories that have been stripped away, never to be recovered.

“She did this herself.”

The words formed in my mouth as the truth and revelation of it crossed my mind. Damn.  What the hell was she thinking?  Was she really in that much pain?

“Lunette, there is still ambient magic here. Enough to be used.”

Lunette looked at me, her eyes were filled with tears.

“That was true last time I came here Edward, it is just there were still branches and a few other trees left. Now they are gone.  It is fading fast.  Just the core magic remains.”

“Which could be used for really shitty purposes.”

She nodded.  I looked at Amber.

Amber looked sad, but she understood what I was saying as a mage. If the Council and in particular the Death Angels got ahold of this tree, they could harness what energy was left and use it to do only the gods know what. Amber looked me in the eye.

“Ed, it needs to be destroyed. It is going to be of no use to the Fae and if our kind got a hold of it…”

“I know.”

I stood up from my crouched position in front of the scars.  The next thing I said was like a dagger to the heart.

“Only one thing to do. Burn it. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Lunette looked away from me but nodded.

“It has to be magical fire so Amber you are going to have to help me.”

She nodded and walked to the opposite side of the tree.

“Just as a warning, this is going to be a magical beacon so bright that everybody is going to know that the Red Tree Grove is finished.  There will be no hiding this from anyone once it catches fire. Amber I will let you know when to start.  Don’t hold anything back.”

I stood there for a moment waiting for Amber to be the opposite of me.  I looked at Lunette and she was crying still. Sobbing on her feet.

“I am in position Ed. Just give the word.”

I felt the fire form in my hands.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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