The Gales of Shiezderan

By Azzandra

The legends have forgotten.

The legends have forgotten how we took three hands of earth and two seeds and created Shiezderan, the Dryads' Forest.

We made ourselves gardeners, when mere children we were. We played in the dirt, small hands gripping the earth, tainting it with magic. Laughing, we did not take heed at the importance of what we were doing.

We took turns and bowed at the seeds, asking them-we, three goddesses in miniature-asking them to grow.

We picked up sticks and shooed clouds above out small garden, smothering the rain out of them.

The seeds grew. The two trees intertwined and melded as one. Laughing, always laughing, and singing, we made ourselves wings of leaves and dresses of petals.

Then, Fire got angry at us. He was jealous. He unleashed a mighty wave of burning water that swept over our tree.

We stood terrified and watched as the flames licked over the mighty branches and it collapsed.

Crying, we went to Father Light. He banished Fire to stay forever with Darkness in the underground.

We cried over the tree. Where it had been, we made a circle and wrote in it our most arcane incantations.

Around the circle, a new garden grew. We called it Shiezderan, "From the ashes".

Play we would, around and in the garden, our magic impregnating so deeply into the bark, that it attracted others: dryads and hamadryads.

They were kind and gentle forest spirits.

But the winds were not kind. Children we were and did not understand.

The coldest breath the skies could summon brushed above us and the skies were torn in the rage of crimson wound and the fabric of reality would never be the same.

The youngest of us had understood what we did not. When we looked up, we saw what no other could see, yet our sweetest sister and companion understood what we did not. What she did had dire results.

Night turned into day, moon into flaming sun and reddest sky into azure heavens.

But our sister was lost. Without her, the warmth that was always there slipped us. Wings of leaves withered into brown, specked with the red of her blood, and silvery petals rusted.

But the dryads came to us and said: "Child-Goddesses, have mercy on our home. Do not fall in grief's claws and rescue us from malevolent spirits."

We did not dare leave them to the mercy of others. We were to protect out garden. We turned into Shiezderan's eternal guardians, the Gales.

We turned into small birds, and during summer, when twilight rolled along, and the sun would spill its blood only to slip lower, under the horizon, we would sing for all that was, and all that would be.

We would sing for we were the Nightingales.

The End