Lillee could see daylight breaking through the trees and she had never been more grateful for dawn in her life. The events of the previous night had shaken her to the core and she had a dire need to rejoin the daylight world.
Lillee had never liked the darkness and this forest held a level of dark so deep even the brightest lamp only lit a few feet around you. The mist sucked all life and light from the air, leaving a dank, cloying and foreboding journey for anyone unfortunate enough to travel through.
It had never been Lillees intent to traverse the forest at such an hour but being the only healer in a land as large as hers often meant long journeys at unwholesome hours, but never before had she had the need to travel this particular path alone, and at such an hour; but she never shied away from her duty and today the old king would pass. An event that her status dictated she must attend.
Lillee had set out on the journey upon receiving word on the winds of the old king’s plight. Her gifts allowed her the foresight to already know the hour the king would pass and it was her duty to be there to perform his ascension when the time came. It was an honour every generation of her matriarchal line had held for as far back as knowledge allowed. A history she was immensely proud of and one she had no intention of allowing to fail due to her own fear.
The locals of the land knew to avoid the forest after dark, they knew it was a mistake. Many who entered never came out the same if they came out at all and rumours were rife about the horrors the forest held. men had returned mauled and bitten, some lost limbs or eyes but none would ever tell what it was that attacked them, all rendered mute by the sheer terror of the event. Lillee knew this could be a huge mistake but she had no choice if she hoped to make it to the king’s chamber in time to perform the rites.
The forest knew she was coming. It was waiting, plotting. So rarely did anyone dare venture into her playground that the loneliness built up until it became a burning rage. Tonight would be her night to show the world how much she hated them. Tonight would be her chance to enact revenge for the old king’s ancestral curse that bound the witch in the etheral form to the forest she once called home; a forest now bereft of life and dying.
Lillee knew little of the witch, none did. She was a mere bedtime story told to children as a way of keeping them out of the forest. No-one actually thought the tales were real, so long ago was the curse enacted. Even the king, whos own ancestor had cast the spell, had little belief in the tales. But everyone knew they should fear the place, and everyone knew if they went in, they would be lucky to manage to escape.
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