Consent. Erm. Content.

You may or may not know that one of the many things I tend to do, aside from gaming and mast…er of puppets, is writing. I have read plenty in my day and seeing that I do tend to… well, create stuff (as evidenced by lots of comics and 3D models) I wrote a few short stories over the past few years. Maybe I’ll post some of them someday, but that is not the point.

I had an idea. An idea which I don’t even know where I got it anymore. It was the idea of a forest, with a lot of trees and another lot of people with beards. Well, there’s more detail to it, but I won’t give anything away. I took the time to rewrite the prologue to incorporate a few changes to the last draft. So here you go, content without pictures. Knock yourself out.



Somewhere in the center of Itgart, there is a forest. Not just any forest with trees and rodents and the occasional deer. This particular forest is big, so big that a man’s life is too short to walk even half the way around it. Countless trees – quite literally, not too few have died trying to count them – stand close together and their branches and leaves form a solid roof that barely any light can pass.

Many a story and rumor surrounds this forest. Stories of people who enter and never find the way out (which are true), stories about people being killed and eaten by the forest dwelling folk (which are false), stories about the forest folk themselves being the trees. The last kind always made Entrisk laugh. After all, he had no leaves growing out of his arms, no roots sprouting from his feet and no birds trying to build a house in his hair. Many of these rumor originated from within the forest – visitors were kindly asked to spread them in order to keep people away.

The sages – a name they did not choose themselves – were by no means a violent or even just rude people. Visitors were welcomed with food and drink any many a tale from far away, but the sages were very busy and their work should never be delayed, so whereas they treat every visitor with the greatest kindness, they wanted to keep their number as low as possible, hence the terrible stories.

Their work? When the people now known as sages first settled in the forest, long before history even began, they chopped down trees left and right to build houses, farms, roads. It wasn’t until much later that they noticed the trees weren’t just oaks and pines. Every single tree and every single branch and every single leaf had strange symbols on it. It took them centuries before one, his name is said to have been Timbar, got behind their meaning:

The trees are the living memory of every country, city, house and person in all of Itgart. Each and every leaf tells the story of one person. The sages always liked a good story and thus quickly started tearing off leaves to take them home and read them. As a result, many trees were robbed of half or even all their leaves and the remaining foliage started to read like a horror story: People dropping dead on the spot without any indication for sickness or injury, cities and even countries void of life and streets littered with carcasses. A connection was quickly made: The trees don’t just tell stories – they are the stories and by tearing off a leaf, that person’s life ends immediately. Upon learning this, the sages swore to never pluck another leaf or even chop down a tree and rather than destroying, they devoted their lives to conserving.

In fall, as the leaves fall, hundreds and hundreds of sages would stroll through the forest and pick up as many leaves as they could carry, to bind them to books and study them carefully. The other sages, who were either too old to collect or too young, stayed home all day, reading one book after another. The leaves would rot in a matter of months, the people’s memory was the only way to conserve the stories for decades, sometimes centuries.

Despite his long, white beard, Entrisk was far away from being too old to collect. Still, he wasn’t out there, picking up leaves. Rather he was sitting at his desk, which had a large piece of cloth spread over it. What was drawn and written on it puzzled Entrisk. For all he knew, it was entirely impossible and he needed time to think about it.

So yeah, there you go. That’s not even the full basic premise yet, actually. Maybe some day you’ll get to read a chapter. Maybe not. Or even maybe-er you’ll one day buy the book. Hehe.

    • CJR
    • July 4th, 2011

    Well I enjoyed that. Are you planning on posting any more of it?

      • Althir
      • July 4th, 2011

      Not quite sure. Maybe chapter-wise, maybe not. All depends on if I ever finish any more, I guess. Hehe.

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