76

The wind sighed through the trees, sounding eerily like distant screams as the leaves rustled and the tree bark creaked like old joints barely capable of functioning anymore.

The Hounds that guarded the Forest’s boundaries wailed and laughed.

The Xhlëndïr that were its shadows chirruped and clicked, the sounds a counter-melody to the Hounds they played with.

The Oiki that enticed prey to come in and explore were flashes of iridescent color where they twirled around the Xhlëndïr.

The Forest chittered because for the first time in so very long, a Greywalker lived and breathed in the Worlds and had a full qahllyn Triad tethered to one of the Sanctuary Cities. It was glorious and sweet tasting like köqanya fruit.

And if the Forest shivered with delighted anticipation as its kè registered that his ancestral home had been infected by disrespectful, uninvited Dhaoine, well who could blame it?

After all, ’twas not every day — or millennia, for that matter — that a Greywalker the likes of one Rhyshladlyn Ka’ahne became the living embodiment of Chaos.

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