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The Forest Bower III

Sun Apr 25 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

He awoke with a start. Had it been all a dream . . . or a nightmare? No. The morning dew lay thick around him and a strange voice beckoned to him. "We rise early and travel soon! Come, the Principia wishes to see you before we move. Arise!" Rubbing his eyes the lad, lept from his hammock and made his way through the dawn to the courtyard of the previous day. His own vigor surprised himself . . . could he have rested that well in such a short time?
When arrived at the courtyard, he noticed the furnishings of the yesterday had been all removed and it looked liked little more than a rough clearing in the wood. It was filled not with mourners but with persons with packs upon there back .

A shrill voice ran from the far side of the space, "You are awake! -- t' always does takes awhile the first morning. You will come with us, no?"

"Ahh, yes, of course" the lad replied, not knowing what he was saying.

"Thank-you kindly, you do us great service."

Forgetting his cowardly reasonable self, he didn't ask about the service, "Where are headed, he just asked?"

"We travel north today, here shoulder your burden, I can inform you once we set out." The lad found his pack quite light; far lighter than its size suggested. And, without even breaking there fast they set out.

"You must wonder who we are, fallen one" the Principia asked as they strode along.

"Yes, indeed"

"We are the unfallen ones. Like your people we were made to pass a test. But though we did not fall ancestors did, we must still exist awhile upon this earth before we pass to eternal rest."
My own tribe is now wondering the forest due to some . . . unfortunate events. See though the we are not corrupted as you, misunderstandings and the winds of this some wretched world sometimes set us against each other. It so happens that we fell pray to these fates. Some far relations of ours were turned out of there homes, and they in turn have wandered into our habitat. There power is greater than ours, so what can we do but bow to them? It would be folly to fight them. So we wander in search of a place we can stay, but there is little empty land in this region anymore"

"Why do you value me so much though? I certainly cannot help you in this predicament!"

"Ah, but you come from the fallen men, who are accustomed to fights and tumults. It happens that many of our own cousins object even to are passage through there lands. Even a youth as you could help us with these confrontations."

"You want me to lead you? I will gladly, but I don't know what I can do, my own nation considers me a youth, and the wisdom in the eyes of you and your people far surpasses me."

With a hint of annoyance and firmness, the noble lad objected to him, "No in all seriousness, we have never lived with the confrontation a fallen man might see. Your little experience will do my people well. Trust me, I beg of you."

This where the lad should have high-tailed it out of there. Afterall, he obviously knew it was not his place. But being the ambitious child he was, he didn't resist her pleadings. His mark would be made and the next year would tell if his imprudence woudl be punished.