Deep in the mountains behind the city of Cordema sat the Enclave, the work-space of the High Druid. A haven away from the bureaucracy of court.
Built into a crevice in between two of the mountainsides, it was only reachable through a tunnel built into one side of the mountain.
Inside, Draigh Sol slumped at his work table, his brown-black hair spread out around where his head rested on the rough surface. A young man in his twenties, he was old for a Druid’s Apprentice.
He cast his eyes upward, where light spilled through the vibrant colors of the liquid within the vials of his teacher,
safely ensconced in the living vines that grew downward in spirals from the ceiling.
Braced by Maesi to be stable enough to hold a sitting Druid’s study materials, the vines had been here as long as there had been a Druid here.
Draigh reached up for a beaker full of violet potion. Enlightenment and Understanding. His Teacher recited inside his head.
Violet is the color of the House of Enlightenment, the house that connects you to who you truly are; what your destiny is to be.
Men drive themselves mad chasing it outward rather than in, proving by that very action that they are not ready to know their fate. Learn from them Draigh.
But Draigh needed to know. He could not have given up life in his homeland on a feeling and not know
He strained, his fingers several feet below the bottom of the vial.
He could still see the sadness in the River Queen’s eyes as he left Albany forever, High Druid Garrett’s hand pulling him away. Separating him from his brother forever.
He’d known he did the right thing. But why, then, did he get sent away?
Sighing heavily he shoved himself fully to his feet.
Standing level with the massive bookshelf, by all accounts Draigh could surely reach the beaker now! He grinned and reached again for the beaker. It was almost eye level with him now.
There was a tinkling of glass on wood as the vines began to retract out of his reach.
“Oh no ye don’t!” Draigh dragged his stool around and jumped onto it, the bench groaning loudly at taking all of his weight at once.
Draigh strained upward as the vines withdrew, going up on his toes to try to catch even the vine before it retracted out of reach.
Suddenly Draigh felt a drastic shift in his balance as he tried once more to snatch the vine before it moved too far out of reach; He felt the stool start to tip perilously forward
toward Next-in-line Gavahn’s work-space. Throwing his weight back spared him from crash landing into his Teacher’s desk, but instead through him crashing head first into the edge of his own.
With a sickening THUD Draigh collided with the wood desk and slumped sideways.
He stared blearily up at beakers and vials, the myriad colors reflecting down over him through the windows at the top of the tower.
From this position Draigh noticed something in the vines he hadn’t before; eyes. Emerald eyes all staring down at him from the knots in the vines.
There to see that no one but the Druid disrupted the Druid’s work.
After laying there long enough for the color being reflected into his eyes to change from cyan to a painfully vibrant pink, Draigh heard the tmp tmp of one of the tower keepers approaching.
Turning his head slowly, he could not help groan when he saw which one it was. The Cucurbita. This was exactly how Draigh’s day was going.
It’s bulbous black eyes glared out from its enormous rust colored face, its short and plump body just barely able to hold it steady as it flailed and squawked irritably at him.
Roughly the size of Draigh’s ankle, it never said actual words.
But it got its point across clearly enough and Draigh had seen it cause every living thing in the room try to tear itself, and him, apart once when he first arrived.
His crime then? Moving a few books off the shelf and not putting them back. “Aye, Aye, ‘lil one I’ll clean it up.” He sighed.
He slowly got to his feet, bracing himself on his work-table while doing an internal assessment.
Aside from a ringing at the back of his head, no real damage seemed to be done, nothing felt broken. None of his primary houses more of out place than usual.
He put his study notes, his charts on to the table.
He lifted his three clock-ware creatures, toys he was working to enchant for his brother to come alive and do what his brother wished, down one by one. A piranha, a beetle and a scorpion.
Draigh touched each wistfully. He hoped he could get them working soon.
From her place inside the lamp on Draigh’s desk, a Pyre Piskie watched him carefully, the eternal blue flames about her head flickering this way and that.
Draigh touched the glass with a single, russet brown finger. “Aye, Ah’m alright. Or I will be.” He raised his eyes to the violet filled beaker, now winking tauntingly in the light. “Or I will be.