Deep Roots

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The dream seems to never end. It replays as a steady constant. You see every moment
spent watching over the clutches, as the magic warpeds itself into reality and flesh.
Your people took stock of each living creature, whatever kind of thing creature it was-
bird, plant, reptile, bug- always , deciding what would be kept or culled. If it had a place in
this world, you would trust the orcs to protect the thing life while until it found its
niche. If any of those things creatures became corrupted or dangerous, your people
would rise to protect the orcs in their fields and rid them of the threat. This was our
situation endured for eons. The long- lived orcs were constant and steady companions,
never faltering in their tasks and or duty.
When the call came out;. When the need arose to defend all that we were, and all that we
could be, came. Your people answered. Your hands reached into the dirt and brought forth
a shield of stone. Caressing the trees, you reached into it them and were given a cudgel of
the hardest ironwood. When you reached the place of destiny, you stood outside the great
circle. The protective shielding dome behind you, and along with others you prepared to
defend the ritual. along with the other protectors.
Here you stood made a stand with the best the realm had to offer.Dragons. The
Dragons , pillars of creation and destruction, but stood as defenders of the land they
wrought. The Dark Elves, with the sun at their back, prepared cannon and other implements
in across their fleet in the sky. You could hear The Celestial chorus with their songs echoed ,
empowering the great crystal batteries. Selunari stood in families within the dome
behind you, communing with their great crystals to fuel the ritual. The wardens placed
themselves just outside, guarding them, their armor and helmets seeming to almost meld
with their skin. The Hoblings, were spaced further out with the initially non-combatants,
were ready to assist should anything go wrong. The Librahms were spaced within each unit,
each clutching a blood stone, and were spaced with each unit to record this victory for
posterity. Secured behind rocky terrain and crouching behind layers of traps, the Harbingers
were waiting. Their spells and cunning had been indispensable against their former
masters. Standing tall and proud, the Giants stood in their gleaming armor, their beards
braided but not quite able to and slightly muffling their mutterings about visions. They
claimed this battle was necessary, but they would not join the front line as we
the coalition wished, and the giants were the only people to have prepared a retreat. This
unsettled you, something unseen in your mind through a subconscious voice whispering that
they may be right. The Jade Pact, the elves of the forest, stood in a line around the dome.
Their casters were preparing to unleash powers that were rumored to have gotten
been received from the Fae. As always, the Orcs stood shoulder to shoulder with you. They
were farmers and cultivators. However, you have had seen them at both work and war, and
they could turn almost anything into a weapon for the right cause. They had earned their
place here.
You heard it before you saw it. That sound of space and time tearing, just as the ritual
began behind you. The invaders did not approach as you had expected. Instead, they tore
through reality itself, rifting into the field before your assembled forces with a horrible sound
that deadened part of your spirit: “ VREEEEEEEEEEEeeech!”.

The battle itself was a blur, with pain and blood and the sound of your cudgel coming down
again, and again, and again on the waves of invaders. You remember standing there, the
corpses of friends and foes surrounding you, your feet planted as if rooted, calling forth
strength forth from the earth itself to push back and crush waves of foes. It was there that
you first felt the choking and weakening of the world as the first great dragon fell. These
invaders, these Vreech, swarming over the unmoving body, devouring its flesh and very
essence in great gulping swallows. There was no glory here- just horror. With each life
extinguished, little pieces of you were breaking- shattering. You allowed your shield to fall
away, and as it did the stone returned to the earth, but seemed brittle. You grimaced, asking
the cudgel to extend to a great maul. You are were the will of the earth, the rage of the
world. You waded through the battle, striking down foes with anger and grief, finally coming
to stand next to the Dragon of Life. The battle raged on as the ritual continued inside the
circle. Your vine wrapped sinew, taut and corded, creaked as you pulled hefted the maul to
bring pain to those who stood before you.
You remember bringing the maul back from a wave of execution, spinning it in your hand
as there was a moment of respite. However, Before you could catch your breath
though, shade fell upon you. as you turned, eyes darted behind searching for the threat,
only to wince at the unworldly crackling scream of the thing approaching the great dragon.
Even after the eons of culling monstrosities, you had no words for this thing. Yet it
rose, a being of nightmares and horror, a writhing terror that had no place in this world.
Quickly, it closed the distance to the dragon. In a flash, the abomination met the dragon in
an onslaught. These mere seconds of battle seemed like hours. The monstrosity ripped and
sheared the dragon relentlessly, but her injuries healed as soon as they appeared. If When
she the dragon tore pieces from this creature, they fell crackling to the ground, and, to your
shock, each piece member formed a monster of its own, attacking the dragon with equal
ferocity before it even had sprouted anything claws or teeth to injure her with. It was one
such creature that drew your attention. As the desiccated flesh hit the ground,
shivered, and sprouted too many legs, some useless, some strong, it began to hurtle
towards you.
You raised your maul to meet it as a chorus of screams, a searing cacophony unlike
anything you had ever heard, encompassed the field. The magic was wrong. The world
shifted beneath you as you felt, deep in your spirit, the ritual had failed. As your gaze swung
wide, the Vvreech swarmed like mountainous seething waves over the mountainous bodies
of the great dragons- defenders, the life-bringers, your lords. Righteous fury numbed every
other possible thought. Reaching as deeply into the earth as you could, bringing forth the
power of the world that always had ran through you…….. Nothing. The battle seemed to
slow and stop in this moment. Your ears rang, your mouth went dry, there was no breath to
be had, and your heart seemed to seize. The connection was severed. You…. were
severed. The broken thing attacking you had now grown a maw and was falling upon you.
Your maul met the thing with the same speed and force, but as the thing screamed and fell,
your body trembled at the sudden cost. You could feel everything that you are, or were,

bleeding from an invisible wound, sinking into the now foreign dirt beneath your feet. A great
roar pierced your shock, nearly deafening you as the all-powerful dragon of life fell
underneath the countless gnashing maws tearing at her. With dulling senses, your body
acknowledged a scythe-like talon coming to end you. “Not this day.”, a familiar voice
rumbled as the talon was deflected into the ground beside your heaving form. Turning
slowly as if the very air resisted you, you watched as a bloodied orc drove the Vreech
back, heaving it away from you and holding it to the ground. As it writhed and screamed, the
Orc only needed one arm, strengthened from decades at the plow, to keep it steady as the
pitchfork pierced its the abominations skull and twisted with a sickening crack. The world
dimmed and swayed as the Orc approached you. You fell to your knees, feeling as if all that
remained of you was the flesh clinging to your bones. The world was now dark, the last
things you remember were the feeling of rough hands lifting you and a low murmur in your
ear: “It's alright, old friend. I’ve got you.”
The world you knew has ended, in every possible way. All that existed for you were the
endlessly fragmented dreams. Of the slowed images,Sluggish dreams of the Dragons
dying,. Again and again. Empty dreams of the powers of creation and the ways of
protecting it, seeping out of you, leaving a hole. So many images of pain and regret rolling
through your mind.
Until recently.
Your dreams have been become more clear as of late. Hope welled wells within you and
presented presents as images of verdant forest and wildlands interspersed with. Dreams
of ruins and old grudges. Familiar flashes of landscapes are slowly overtaken by fleshy
growth that resonated with undoing.
You felt feel that who you were, what you are... is changing. As you sleep, your body has
adjusted to this new world. The tethers and old oaths have fallen away, but your
spirit itself has bonded to these lands and given oaths unsung. All you knew was that
everything has changed. And soon it would be time. Soon you would be called again. Now
was the time for the ancients to rise and be reborn.
All at once your reverie ended.
You sat up and began to cough. Your skin was slick with...dew? Around you, moss glowed
with a sullen blue light. You were on a mound of earth at the corner of some well prepared
room. Odd flowers and foliage were shaped around you, like well maintained bedding.
Before you was an Orc, a farmer, no doubt. In his shock, he reflexively the squeezed a
trigger on some sort of watering can contraption he had been apparently been using and a
cloud of water vapor poured forth around you. His bottom jaw worked for a moment before
roaring… “SHE IS AWAKE!!” The sound was half horror and half reverence. This orc
seemed familiar somehow, but you could not place it.
You pulled for the support and strength of the earth as you stood and found the source

empty. This forces you to rely on your own tired and weakened muscles were all that was
left to rely on. Everything hurts. You could not hear the whispers of life around you and
somehow, that hurt more. A familiar face coming down the hallway presented itself as an
orc in dark clothing, slightly soot covered. Why were we in these damn caves anyways…
you hate cramped spaces. This orc has the bearing and structure of the one who saved
you. You grinned and stepped forward on unsteady legs, but as torches were
brought in and unfamiliar arms steadied you, you realized that the face was not the same.
Nor were any of the orcs that poured in with them. Relatives, perhaps?
The orc with a glowing crystalline staff drew back her cowl and smiled in a mixture of pity
and awe. “Old friend. We are glad you have awoken. We have much to discuss. Our
parents, theirs, and many yet before them have told us of you. We have kept our word
and duty. We have defended, cared for, and fed you. You have awoken...just in time.”
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