Decline Of An Old Tree
, on FlickrThe Wandering Bog was not only just floating bits of earth and plant matter in murky depths; most of it was actually marshland. Between Minten and the depths of the bog was a vast stretch of marshy swampland where plant life and fungi thrived in the humid air. Trees were not an uncommon sight, but rare enough to invoke curiosity. Traveling this filthy land was not for the inexperienced or weak willed, and the bog as a whole was known for swallowing up the naïve…
Having abandoned their boat when the waters became far too thick to traverse, the party continued eastward towards Minten. Ryan and Holly enthusiastically headed the crowd, with Scott close behind. Just behind Scott, a trembling Harold followed, brandishing his sword and skull-emblazoned shield. Scott and Ryan had asked him about the ominous heraldry, but Harold said little to nothing of it. George backed up the rear, growing increasingly worrisome. His beaming smile had dissipated, as the land around them grew dense with vegetation.
Dusk drew near, and the land around them began to blur into a dark panorama. They had spent a single night on the boat, which was comfortable and secure. Out here, however, the party worried for their safety if they were to set up camp unsheltered in the marshlands. Who knows what lurks in the depths below or the grasses surrounding them?
“Hey, I see something!” Ryan excitedly shouts, pointing to a speck on the dimming horizon. Holly barks before sprinting to the structure, with Ryan close behind. Both of them dance across the marshland, oblivious to puddles and vines that could easily hinder them.
Scott trots behind, mindful of the thickets of grass below his feet. Harold sighs before marching at a faster pace to catch up with them, and George is left with a perpetual look of curiosity as the group pressed forward.
The object of their fixation was a massive tree with a wide trunk, set on a patch of solid land. Puddles were littered about it, and the grasses were tall, save for a path that seemingly led to the giant hole at the tree’s base. It had the appearance of a small hut, built into the tree. Ryan stood just outside, grinning from ear to ear.
“Our shelter problem is solved! We’ll just make camp inside the tree and set up watches, and at dawn we’ll continue moving east!” Ryan exclaims, proud of his accomplishment. He pets Holly, waiting for a response from the rest of the crowd.
“I don’t know about this. It seems very suspicious that there would just be a path leading to what is practically a tree house. We may be trespassing on some swamp person’s home.” Harold states. He adjusts his shield and shrugs, expecting approval from the remaining two party members.
"Well, it doesn't seem like we have much choice in the matter. We could try to sleep in some clearing, but the ground under this tree is clearly quite firm. It may be the best option.” Scott replies, before shuffling into the tree. “The trunk is wide enough for a few of us to sleep relatively comfortably. I say we set camp here.”
“Well, I happen to agree. That’s a 3 to 1 vote to sleep here! Sorry Harold, but if it makes you feel any better, you can have first watch!” George says, before a laugh bursts forth from his lungs.
The sun sinks below the horizon in the west, and the party retreats into the tree. While calm and composed on the outside, every member is on edge on what is to come in the night ahead of them…Brickshelf, when moderated, has an overall view.
Another chapter! The party is less talkative this time, probably because of the disturbing nature of their surroundings. The tree is pretty convenient, almost too convenient...
I'll be working on the next one soon enough.