(IP) The Druid’s Deed
He’d been searching for this creature since he’d first heard the legend as a child.
The villagers were terrified, but he could sense the being’s thoughts: it was confused, afraid, desperate to find a home of its own.
The druid had just barely managed to stop the townspeople from slaughtering the gentle giant.
Even now, they clamored into the clearing, their footsteps and shouting echoing like thunder.
“Kill the beast! Look at how big it is! It will destroy the village, take our children for its dinner!” One man shouted, brandishing a pitchfork.
“It will take us all!” A woman cried passionately, holding her babe close to her breast.
The druid frowned silently, then turned away from the beast, standing in front of it, trying his best to hide it from the hysterical villagers’ gaze.
“Enough,” He murmured quietly.
He waved a hand, and the forest quieted, as though a thick blanket had muffled all sound. In reality, he’d cast a spell to silence them.
“Have you all gone mad?” The druid said, swallowing around a lump that was forming in his throat. “This is naught but a nature spirit, a guardian of the forest.”
Perhaps it wasn’t entirely their fault; he knew that few people were privy to auras, energies, and things that weren’t precisely human. But it still didn’t excuse the senseless violence.
Lips were moving, people were clutching their throats, staring at the druid indignantly for taking away the power of their speech. But he had long stopped caring.
“The reason that she attacked you was because you murdered her children.”
The dark, ominous proclamation dropped on the villagers like stones in a still pond.
The druid’s hand swept the clearing again, and one by one, the villagers again found their voices.
“Its children? What do you mean?” Someone asked, a young woman who had pushed her way to the front of the crowd.
“The trees,” The druid snapped, his patience leaving him for the first time. “You have been taking the trees. To build houses, to stoke your fires, to make roads for your horses and carriages.
They might just be resources to you, but to this spirit, they were her children. Her family. And you hold her at fault for attacking you? What else would you have her do?”
This was one of the reasons he’d become a druid in the first place; to harness magic, yes, but also for the coveted ability to speak to nature.
Everything had a voice; one only had to be open to the idea in order to hear it.
“Would you not all do the same to protect your own kin?”
It began slowly: axes, pitchforks, knives, bows and arrows, all were lowered.
Several people even began to weep, for they now understood the ‘monster’s’ plight.
The nature guardian pressed its head to the druid’s palm, grunting softly, its heaving breaths fogging in the cool autumn afternoon.
“Soon it will be winter,” He murmured softly, stroking its cheek with gentle, calloused fingers. “And you and your children will be able to relax and regrow when spring comes again.”