The Cardinal Forest has been through a lot lately. Invasions, assaults,… The list is endless, but its inhabitants have been able to overcome all of it by sticking together, or at least that’show it seemed. When the representatives of all life forms got together to discuss important matters, they always seemed to forget a part of the forest: the swamp. Maybe because it’s quite different from the rest, maybe because it’s not as beautiful and radiant, not as full of brightly colored flowers. It’s darker and it smells less fresh than on the mountain side.
Whatever the reason was,when Zahra, Talika, General Alces, and the other spirits of the forest held their meetings, they always seemed to leave out the representative of all swamp creatures: Wickah, and this hadn’t gone unnoticed to her or to anyone under her protection. So, when for the millionth time, Wickah heard about a Forest Council Meeting being held without her, she decided to show up. She headed into the heart of the forest and there they were, all the ancient spirits, all but herself.
“Oh! Is this a Forest Council Meeting? I can’t believe my invitation got lost… again. I guess the path to the swamp is just too slippery for any of your messengers to walk along.” — said Wickah sarcastically. But then she changed to a more serious tone: “You can fight alien invasions but you can’t bring yourself to approach my side of the forest? You’ve been ignoring me and the creatures of the swamp, because you are blind. You don’t know how to see beauty in decay like I see it, you don’t know how to appreciate any beauty except for the one you see in your own kind. But this is going to change. The swamp is a rich biosphere full of monsters… Intelligent monsters, strong monsters. Monsters that will no longer be forsaken or accept hiding away for your convenience.
“So you don’t like the swamp? Well that’s too bad, because it’s about to become BIG. For centuries, you’ve all allowed monsters from outside to take our lands, but I am going to reclaim them. That village on the west edge? I’ll make it part of the swamp. That vampire’s castle? I’ll cover it in moss and give it to my monsters. The swamp’s territory is going to be so wide that you won’t be able to ignore us anymore. In order to go anywhere, you’ll have to cross our lands.” — she warned them all. At this point, she had managed to attract their full attention, which had never happened.
“Now, I won’t waste another minute. You’ll hear from me, and you’ll know where to find me, so I’m looking forward to receiving the invitation to the next Council Meeting. I really hope it doesn’t get lost this time. For me it would be an insult, but for you… for you it would mean staying trapped on your side of the forest forever, so make sure you assign me your best messenger.”
Without another word, Wickah left the heart of the forest and everyone remained silent, simply breathing in the stagnant water aroma Wickah had left behind. Now they all knew they had made a big mistake by ignoring creatures of the swamp. This time, the problem had come from inside their home, and they only had themselves to blame.
- Exclusive Book