6.4 – Silence of a Startled Wood

Allene R. Lowrey

At least, Einarr thought, the ground in the forest was not sucking mud. It was, however, one of the few hopeful prospects about it, and most of the issue was a result of how ridiculously dense the wood was. Most of the trees they passed were of insufficient girth to serve as a mast.

Here and there the wood would open out into a meadow, where the sun could reach the forest floor and where underbrush had begun to grow up – only to be viciously cut back and trampled over by whatever creatures lived here. It was almost as though rutting stags had been induced to rage and kept there to battle the whole year through. Or perhaps, instead of stags, there were mad bears loose. Einarr struggled to think of what else could have caused the massive gouges marring earth and trees alike. They were far too large…

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