Come now, gather around the fire for tonight’s tale. What you are about to hear may seem unbelievable, but trust me friends, what I’m about to tell you is completely true.
We set out that morning on our way to Ferrendorg. We knew that our journey would take us through the Hollow Woods, and gods know what creatures exist there. By midday we came upon the edge of the woods. They were consumed by a dense fog, but gave off an odd feeling of serenity.
As we ventured deeper into the thicket, the pines grew taller. The trees had to be at least 200 feet tall, with trunks wide enough that 5 men could easily hide behind it without even the slightest bit of cloak showing on the other side. It was there, at the base of an enormous black pine that had moss crawling 50 feet up its trunk, that we encountered the witch.
Now she wasn’t your typical wart covered woman or spellbound beauty. She had kind emerald eyes, big and round like a doe. Her ears mimicked those of a rabbit, and she was missing a nose. Her dreadlocked hair a bird sanctuary. When she spoke it was as if she was in front of and behind you all at once. As her words greeted the cool damp air, the fog dissipated. We quickly realized that we had been followed by all manners of creatures.
Ten legged spiders the size of dogs, snakes large enough to swallow a man whole, and some type of cat whose fur blended in with its surroundings like a chameleon. The witch said she would forgive us for trespassing, but if we remained in the forest come nightfall, she would not protect us from her animals. With the fog removed, we could see the sun beginning its westward descent. The witch wished us good luck with a grin and within moments the fog had returned. We gathered our composure and hurried on our way.
There’s not much more I remember seeing or hearing after encountering the witch, but I do remember the smell. The sweet earthy scent of the ground, fresh from recent rainfall. The towering pines providing an intoxicating herbaceous aroma. I know that I could have died that day, and maybe that is why I’m filled with gratitude whenever those smells linger in the air.
It was quite the walk in the woods.
“As twigs and branches snap under your feet, sunlight scatters through the swaying pine trees above. A breeze carries with it the scent of fallen leaves and moist soil. Better keep moving, the camp is still miles ahead.” – A Walk in the Woods.