No one remembered how it had started, how it had come to pass, how the change had occurred. Like so many things that creep unnoticed across the far horizon of the periphery, it simply hadn't seemed significant to those who dwelt within the land of routine, to those that followed the monotonous path of habit, to those who plowed always a deeper and darker rut within the soil of their souls.
It might have happened gradually--with tiny saplings quietly sprouting from the abandoned earth, curiously nurtured in the tender hands of sunlight and neglect. Or perhaps it was more startling--with towering giants of bark erupting from the ground in the darkest hour of night, rending stone and earth in their path. Not that it mattered. No, not that it mattered, for such things are unpreventable, being beyond the intervention of the ephemeral.
But however it started, however it came to pass, however it occurred, the trees had come; and with their coming they overtook the land that monarchs once claimed, engulfing the barren landscape with vine and bark, with shadow and substance, and creating an impassible barrier to the East.
The realm of the forest had risen, and it stretched its mighty arms towards the city of Stormpoint, though whether for good or ill, none could say.
© 2001 Stormpoint Writers Guild
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