The Renewal of Gaia, Part I

EVENTS NEWS #422
Date: 02/03/2013 at 12:28
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Renewal of Gaia, Part I

Deep within the Northern Ithmia, an aged, cloaked druid slowly made her
way across the twisted foliage. Leaning upon her staff, she paused, head
tilted as she listened to the call of the wilds. With a brief nod, she
continued her journey, breaking through the dense foliage and arriving
at a secluded clearing beside the rolling waters of the Zaphar River.
There stood a woman, her eyes quickly fixating upon the cloaked figure.

"Are you lost? Need you my help?" she asked, taking a step forward.

The aged druid peered at her. "... Eleusian?"

"I am. My name is Oceana Dawyn, the Lady of the Ancient Circle."

"Well. It seems that luck is on my side."

Leaning upon her staff for support, the druid took a step toward Oceana,
her hands fumbling within the depths of her robes. From a deep pocket,
she retrieved a small, translucent flower, and pressed it into Oceana's
palm.

"From the queen," she druid quickly added.

Oceana inspected the flower and, with a small nod, asked the druid's
name.

"Druala," came the reply.

With a small gesture, Oceana encouraged Druala to continue. The old
woman sprung into motion, pacing back and forth as she explained her
concern to the Lady of Nature. The xorani plague, she said, was far more
than it appeared: if it spread to any aspect of Nature, there would be
irreversible consequences.

At once, Oceana called to Eleusis. It took no time at all for Nature's
faithful to gather, eagerly listening to the words of the wizened druid.

"The disease... it is from the foreign land," Druala intoned. "Such an
anomaly can only be cured by something permanent, constant... something
that has been in existence since the beginning."

The crowd began to murmur, "Nature?"

A small smile tugged at the Druala's lips. "Nature, indeed."

The druid continued, "We shall perform a natural, holy ritual. It is the
only way."

The gathered devotees nodded, and listened to the instructions of
Druala. They were tasked with locating a select choice of ingredients,
each representing a different aspect of Nature. Ireth, Erikka, Laila and
Yae travelled to the Northreach to retrieve a thistle; Sowen gathered
the skin of a sidewinder found within the Mhojave Desert; Mina and Tukio
plucked a simple pebble of granite from atop the Vashnar mountain range.
Logistics travelled to the icy tundra, procuring some wendigo fur before
quickly navigating the depths of Riparium and returning with a living
urchin. Meanwhile, Oceana set sail to Prin to obtain scales from the
ailing xoran.

Druala placed each ingredient into a wooden bowl and, with determined
resolve, informed the group of the final two ingredients. The first was
the blood of three willing devotees: Delphinus Windancer, Logistics
Ta'sa, and Ireth Ryndel. Using a sharpened quarterstaff, each pricked
the very tip of their index finger and allowed a small drop of blood to
fall into the bowl.

At this, the druid placed a silvery strand of hair into the bowl. "From
the spirits of the forest!"

The druid paused, beckoning the group to gather into a circle.

"Focus, now... Cast your gaze upon the bowl!"

A low, guttural chant erupted from Druala's throat, and her eyes glazed
over. Her withered fingers carefully traced the rim, and in an instant
the bowl glowed with eerie light. Despite the simple outward movements,
the great effort she expended to maintain the ritual, soon became
apparent. As Druala shook from head to toe, a single, crimson drop of
blood seeped from her nose and dripped into the ritual bowl.

At once, the ground heaved, and great beams of light radiated from the
bowl, caressing the surrounding foliage. As the light intensified,
growing into a blinding luminescence, the druid slowly leant forward.
Extending her arm, she allowed her touch to fall upon the wooden bowl
once more, and at once the light flashed throughout the grove, before
dying into mere memory.

In the midst of the clearing stood a youthful dryad, her form caked with
a slathering of mud and foliage. Druala quickly moved to the dryad's
side, her countenance gripped by awe and fascination, and announced the
task was complete, before wearily departing the group in search of rest.

Questions were many, but the words of the mysterious dryad were few, and
she, too, soon departed forestal company to rejuvenate and rest.

Penned by My hand on the 19th of Valnuary, in the year 617 AF.