Preserving the Balance

Date: 10/01/2012 at 08:54
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Preserving the Balance

A traveller, tired from his long journey, made camp within the shelter
of the Aureliana Forest. As he set up his tent, he noticed a cluster of
sticky seeds clinging to the fabric. With little thought, he brushed the
seeds off the canvas, and they danced off on the breeze, propelled
deeper into forest, until at last they settled on the fertile loam of
the woods by the Spangledance. There, kissed by the sun and drinking in
the moisture of the damp earth, the seeds swelled and grew, bursting to
life in the form of a scraggly leafy spurge.

In a matter of days one plant by the spring became two, then two became
four. Four grew to eight, and then eight became sixteen. The spurge grew
with unparalleled speed, and as it did, it drew the attention of some of
the forest's druids and sylvans, who wondered what to make of this new
plant. Was this a new curative, a harmless weed, or some unknown danger?
Their deliberations would continue for days, as the spurge continued to
multiply and become entrenched.

The debate was settled by Calliope herself, spirit of the Aureliana. She
came to the druid Umbryn in his grove, and called out for his aid in
removing the blight of the spurge. Explaining that the spurge was an
interloping plant that was crowding out the native flora, Calliope
implored Umbryn to summon the other keepers of the forest to combat the
noxious plant. Umbryn called and representatives of the Ancient Circle
of Druids, the Sylvanic Fellowship, Oakstone, and Eleusis answered.

Now knowing the spurge was a threat, the convened parties debated how to
remove it. The spurge resisted efforts to uproot it by hand, quickly
regrowing. In addition, the plant's toxic properties were revealed, its
milky sap producing a poison similar to voyria. As the spurge continued
to crowd all around them, those assembled in the hasty council came to
the grim realisation that just one effective tool was at their disposal:
fire. To save the Aureliana from the spurge, they would have to burn it
out, and set the forest ablaze in the process.

Calling on the spirits of the wyvern and the icewyrm, the group
organised into pairs: one to incinerate the spurge with deadly fire, the
other to freeze the conflagration before it could do more damage. Acrid
smoke rose over the Aureliana as Umbryn, Oceana, Samakhulis, Petrel,
Dida, Verrucht, Alyssea, Lacy, Penwize, and Prythe purged the forest of
its affliction. The crackling of flames was punctuated by the screams of
Calliope as she suffered each painful blaze.

At last, the final spurge was reduced to ash, and the Aureliana was free
of the infestation. Fair Calliope was in pain, but her forest would heal
and regrow without the spurge choking out the native plants. Rejoicing
in their victory but distressed at the pain they had inflicted on the
forest they swore to protect, the assembled forestals made attempts to
soothe Calliope, and to ensure that the other forests were safe from the
spurge. No further traces of the noxious plant could be found, so it
seemed the forests were safe and the spurge had been utterly eradicated.

Penned by My hand on the 17th of Lupar, in the year 607 AF.