They call me the Woodwose.
But they know that I am the forest; I am the canopies and the wind and the soil underneath. I have been, ever since I inhabited its heart long ago, and settled in another still, in the heart of the Great Tree.
“I have come,” she says in a voice far too large for her frame, “to purge you, fiend!”
To that I sigh, and pay no thought to the years that the exhale holds. I have heard it a thousand times, from kings and knights and furious farmers alike. I have made their water and their wealth mine, and so have I their harvest and lands.
Their yield is poor this year. Not the fault of rainfall or the sun, but mine. I grow more able to bring suffering upon them, season by season.
Her father owns a nearby land, she says. Her anger…
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