We continued west. The shade of the forest has done us great favor in blocking the stifling heat that has come about amid the summer months. I pray that Erastus brings forth a bountiful harvest. Shouts break my concentration. The forest forests contain all manners of wild creatures and I should be more aware.
Loggers are in the area.
They have selected well the trees they have chosen to cut. We quicken pace to aid what may have beset these men. The forest opens up to a glade containing a small pool. Trees lay on the ground around the pool and two loggers stand in the edge of the waters guarding a small, green-skinned creature with hair the color of seaweed and decorated with shells. Its head barely peeked the water. An excited lumberjack, full of swagger, cursed at the creature to release his men or he would kill it. Seeing our presence, the creature rose in the waters revealing a female form.
“You have intruded into my realm and cut down my trees. Many of which were close friends. I will not release your men until the trees you have murdered have been replaced.” the nixie spoke softly, but her voice carried with authority and purpose.
“You there!” the logger addressed us. “You look more than capable. Help me kill this creature so my men and I can go back to harvest this rich wood.”
“Calm yourselves.” Katara stated. “I’m sure we can come to an understanding.”
“Who are you? Where are you from?” I demanded of the man.
“Me? I’m Corax, lumberjack from Dhunmoor. Now are you going to help me or not!?” the man stated.
“Why not replant trees for each that you cut down, so the forest may keep in balance?” I asked.
“That would add unnecessary time to our business and the new trees would not be ready for harvest for many years to come.” Corax retorted.
“My little fey friend, what is your name?” Katara asked politely.
“I am Melianse and this is my glade. I have known many of these trees since they were sapling. I have cared and tended them, until this brute came and chopped them down.” the creature explained.
“How may we help rectify this slight against you?” Katara inquired.
“I want a new tree for each one cut down. All six they cut down! And not saplings either. A druid to the west may know of something to aid you.” Melianse was clear in her demands.
“Very well, and upon us doing this for you, you will release these wayward men?”
“Yes. As long as they intend me no harm and leave my lands.” She added.
“You hear that Corax? We will save your men if you leave this area of the woods. If you don’t, I’m very good at tracking. I will find you. I will not be nice. Do you understand me?” I stated solemnly.
“Yea, yea big man, I hears ya. But I have a demand as well. You have three days on we take our men back by force and this creature.”
Demands noted, we did not stick around to rest. We had our task set before us. We traveled further west as instructed, but nightfall halted our advance. There are horrors out there during the day to risk the shadows of night.