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To see a sylvan sorceress at work is to risk losing one’s heart. The
way they move, the sounds they make, these memories will haunt
my dreams to the end of my days. From gently weaving the trees around
them into shapes and forms limited only by their imagination, to summoning
the fury of a mother bear defending her cubs, there are few
who can match their skill.
Other spells at their command will confound an intruder, invade his
mind and make him hallucinate, driving some to suicide or worse.
Those lucky enough to enter a web of lesser enchantments will merely
perceive the passage of time at a much slower rate and believe days or
weeks have passed instead of hours. Myriad are the sorcerous dangers
lurking on the approaches to elven groves, with these tales and more
whispered to me by the lost children.
But the true power of these forest wizards lies in the charms they cast
upon the lands in which they dwell. Spells older than time stop the
passage of the seasons in their glades and groves: pockets of eternal
spring scattered through the forests of the world. In the heart of my
first winter of captivity, during a long hunt, I was permitted to rest for
a time in a clearing, watching snow falling from overcast skies, never
reaching the warm, flower-strewn glade. Dumbfounded, I wondered
how bountiful would be the harvests of Equitaine if our damsels possessed
this knowledge. Yet such powers are not without danger and
stories of eternal winter are used to warn the rash and callous from attempting
to harness these secrets before their teacher’s approval.
Yet the strangest power I came to know was performed by a sombre enchanter
when time came to return to my captor’s court. Calling upon
secrets bound to his kindred, he summoned a fog from nowhere, into
which I was led. The sensation of walking through cloud was astonishing.
I felt my feet leave the ground and all sense of orientation was
lost. When next I felt earth beneath my feet, we had returned to Yshwythal,
the Lord’s hall, a return journey of days accomplished in mere
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