I reach up into a spruce tree. A conifer branch‘s needles scratch at my hand. I carefully break off the end of a branch. The strong smell it secretes tinges the air. Using a blade of grass I tie the end and place the bundle on a flat rock. I look at the burning Sun then focus on the bundle. Thoughts of warmth and greed pollute my empty mind.
From the immaterial a form emerges. A burning sensation spreads through the individual cells in my arm. I wince from the pain. My cells start feeling as if the moisture starts boiling. I gasp for air. The feeling calms down a little and I begin focusing on the bundle again. The spruce needles move back and forth as if by the wind.
A spark sets the bundle ablaze. The smell of spruce fills the air even heavier now. I clear my throat and begin chanting a few words:
“The way is lost. We pay the cost of nature’s host for a toast. By the very circles and forlorn passages we come bearing the words of men. Must we be lost or can be found? The way remains lost. We ask the ghost of the forest to guide us. Hear us.”
A form materializes from the smoke. It beckons to me like a beautiful woman. My legs move without my consent and the smoke touches my cheek. I loosen my muscles up, the thick air shimmers around me, Daefyr watches from a few yards away, and daylight cascades through the treetops. The spirit dances for a few minutes.
“I hear thee. The lost. Seekers of the West caught between elven sorrow and human wrath. Will you cure the wound or infect it? The blood in you tastes sweet yet sour like berries. To prove yourself as not poison walk through these forlorn passages. Where brambles doth recede for soft feet to tread.” her mystic words choke the air and burn in my chest.