Ashes on the Winds

There are ways to survive in the wilds, for beasts such comes naturally.  For me, it has always been a struggle.  Cast aside as an unwanted child mere days after my cycle began, I was set into a bundle of driftwood and sent down river towards the falls.  By some miracle of fate the wood upon which I floated got caught in an eddy and I lingered in a circular flow of water long enough for a woodsman to hear my cries.  He would tell me years later that he pulled me from the waters because "All life is sacred, and any stain upon a person can be cleansed and balance restored in their life if they truly desire it."

I speak those words to myself in my daily prayers to this day to remind myself why I risk the dangerous journey that lies before me.  My guardian raised me to respect nature, to adhere to the ways of Eldath and Chauntea, the Oakfather and the Forest Maiden.  While not part of his circle, I was taught the ways but not the language of the druids.  And when I was old enough I sat out to discover my place in the world.

My path has been wrought with trials.  From being chased away by angry farmers with torches and pitchforks, to evading the hunters who came across my camp within the Wealdath.  But as I had been raised, I never took a life that could be spared, and I only raised arms against someone intent on my harm, or the harm of the land in general.

It was not long past I noticed an unusual migration of the forest stags and their fawn, and I packed my meager supplies and headed north out of the forest depths, tracking the smell of fires and rot in the wind.  As the lush greens of the Wealdath fell way to expanses of open fields and roads beaten into the earth by heavy wagons and hoofed feet, I began to see the signs of the blight.  Trees that should have stood tall and defied gravity with their branches instead seemed to sway a bit too much in the winds.  Their branches drooping heavily as if laden with winter's snow and not the rains of spring.  Creatures that once frolicked or stood proud among the woodlands now seemed sickly and slow.  Which later gave way to those who bore the stench of rot and undeath.

I tried to return these blighted beasts to the cycle, but they were in numbers greater than I could handle on my own.  And so I waited, and when a man passed heading further into these tainted lands I followed.   His armor and sword were of greater effect than my simple sickle and patchwork hides.  And so I kept moving along seeking those who would have the means to combat that which was fouling the earth and the streams.  By Eldath's will alone I must continue, for something is afoot in this land of Tethyr.  And it must not be allowed to fester and infect the rest of the Wealdath.

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