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   The dryads, nymphs and sprites of the wood had good reason to fear the invaders. The forest had never seen their kind before. Even the random dragon who passed into her territory was only a small interferance compared to the settling of an entire community. She had battled many a passing wyrm and defended her territory mercilessly from the ravages of the evil dragons. This situation was entirely new, not a single creature whose nature she understood, but a group of differently aligned people she couldn't easily classify.
   From what she had learned from Arogikur, she knew the people intended to build a grand tower in the glen, as their race was wont to do, for protection and storage. She also knew they had brought several domesticated kinds of animals and planned to domesticate several kinds of woodland creatures for their protection and for food. Limited farming was planned in already cleared regions and had begun in a few. The forest provided several new kinds of fruit and wild oat to expand their foodstores. The majority of their plans would have little effect beyond their immediate area. She thought on this and dozed until the evening, when she resumed her viewing of the woodsman's home to await his return.
   Arogikur came home just as the last of the sun's light faded from the sky. He solemnly greeted his wife, then went into town to attend a meeting of the elders. FeyMoon expanded her spell to include sound as soon as she realized the potential to learn of the plans of the truefolk. Quickly she noticed that only a portion of the leadership was as well intentioned as her friend, many spoke of an empire and expansion of power. It seemed to her that the number of good people was growing though, her own natural ability to detect the truth found a smaller portion than she originally believed had intentions to grasp at power. The truefolk were arguing heatedly since several of the elders who had agreed with razing some of the land for grazing now insisted the wood be left in it's natural state. Some of those who had wanted to hunt down and eradicate the most dangerous creatures were now more willing to listen to plans of relocation and forced migration.
   FeyMoon knew the Tree of Life had several properties, including the ability to alter perceptions and grant empathy. She hoped the settlement's proximity to the empowering Tree would curb their greed and ego, but had not expected such wholesale changes. She happily noted the destruction of the entire populace wouldn't be neccasary. It seemed to her that a show of power would be required to keep those still cold to the ideals of the others from taking the power they yearned for from those who deserved the reins of the town's future. How to go about it seemed to be her only problem. How could she reveal her presence and friendly intentions without frightening the entire populace into mindless panic and retreat. Alalantiel decided to continue her surviellance and await Leafdown's report before deciding how to proceed.

   After the meeting, Arogikur returned home and went to sleep. FeyMoon watched his home the entire night, believing he and his wife were the key to establishing a relationship with the town, which had been named Treeheart during the meeting. Late in the night her musing was disturbed by a soft footfall. She was startled for a moment, but recognized the steps of Leafdown almost immediately. The beautiful dryad was visibly disturbed, with tears in her eyes Leafdown relayed the news she had gathered. The Angelli were still within the Tree, but were in constant vigil over the dying body of the leader of their clan, who had been seriously wounded in an encounter with the scouts of the settlement. Only by the will of the united clan did his body cling to life. Even the Tree, which had sustained them and healed nearly every injury, couldn't cure the ancient pixie. The Angelli, who were skilled in the magic of the forest and knew many healing remedies, couldn't save their leader by any other means.
   It seemed to break the dryad's heart to relay such information, but it only enraged the dragoness. She threw back her head and with an ear-shattering shriek released a huge gout of golden flame. Leafdown disappeared, having teleported instantly back to the safety of her mighty oak. FeyMoon leapt into the sky. Though she had contacted no one directly and had given no warning, beyond her heart-felt cry, as she flew to the now roused town crowds of all manner of sprites flocked to her side. When Alalantiel arrived in the sky above the settlement she was surrounded by a horde of pixies, atomies and grigs who all remained visible for the truefolk's eyes to see. The villagers raced for weapons and shields as the golden form of FeyMoon swooped into view. She landed with a heavy thud into the clearing at the edge of Treeheart and raised herself on her rear legs. The sprites remained at her side hovering with tiny swords drawn and bows at the ready.
   FeyMoon allowed the townsfolk to gather before she began to speak.
   "You stand on hallowed ground. The true denizens of this wood have allowed you to settle here in peace for they did not know of your treachery. The life of the small pixie in the Great Tree is hanging by a thread, his fate will be your own. Should he die your blood will pay the debt and only ashes will remain to mark your passing. Not one living thing will escape my wrath and the wrath of the gathered pixie host. The fey of the Elderwood warned me of your presence and asked for your removal, you have remained upon my good graces alone. The Angelli pixies have lived in this glade and that Tree for centuries and have harmed no one. Now their wise and valiant leader lies dying by your hand. Who among you will pay the debt of blood? Who among you will stand forward and recieve his grave wound?" Alalantiel's voice boomed across the silent forest, causing most of the villagers to shake in fear.

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Through the long, black night the single candle of a wizard's power burns bright.

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