57w, 3dLiving the Dream fan-club
~5,000 B.D. Rays' family household~
"I hope ya' don't mind the small space miss, we do get visitors often in a small town such as ours." Said Blade rays sunny's father as we entered their simple abode.
"Do not concern yourself with such frivolties. Let us just enjoy the night together" I respond with a warm smile.
"That's mighty kind of ya' to say miss" said Earthen clay Darkened's father who was already seated at the table.
"Always first to chow down aren't we Clay? Even when we have pretty lass accompanying us?" Blade chuckles.
"You know the work I put in those fields requires the amount of food i eat! So instead of standing around lets dig in." And with that we took our seats and started eating. It was magnificently prepared much better than all of those berries and wildflowers i get every morning.
'Just because its easier to get doesn't mean its tasty' I think to myself between bites. We continued eating in silence like this until we had our fill. When we finished Sunny took Darkened up to one of the guest bedrooms for the night.
"So tell me miss why might ya' be travelling to these parts with the winter storms coming in soon?" Clay asked with an odd tone.
"I have business to be done in a forest past this town, i was on my way there to get it done tonight when i found your foals." I respond flatly.
"You wouldn't happen to be talking about the Iron-Oak forest to the south of here would ya'?" Clay responded accusingly.
"Yes I am. Why? Is there something wrong with that?" I ask confused.
"Well for starters-" clay began before blade interrupted. I was at a lost at what was going on. Clay looked like he was ready to kill. Blade whispered something in his ear and he went for a walk.
"Please excuse him, he's a little sensitive to the subject of that forest. As ya' can probally tell by the size of our farms you saw on you way in we can produce more than our fair share of food to sustain our families. However, in recent days we've been having a unusually large amount of timberwolf raids making amount stocks dwindle by the day. We've sent hunting parties out to try and reduce their numbers but so far every one attempt we've made has failed. Clay lost a dear friend of his in one of the attempts. Those woods are bad news to anypony who goes near them and whatever business you have can't be important enough to risk your life for." he ended with a few tears in his eyes for those the town had lost.
While i was listening i was trying to figure out why the timberwolves would attack.
'Timberwolves are supposed to be neutral creatures. They wouldn't go out of their way to disturb another creature unless they were desperate. Which would mean something is messing with the timberwolves food for them to come steal the towns folks. I'll need to deal with this when I head over there or else I'll be neglecting my duty of "caring for all iving creatures" '
"I can assure you that my business will not harm the citizens of your fine town. In fact I may just end up fixing your problem along with mine. Now if you don't mind i believe we should get our sleep while we can. Again i thank you for allowing me to stay with you." I responded sincerely
"And we don't mind having you miss, and if you can take care of the timberwolf problem the entire town will be indebted to you. By the way, i never caught your name?" he responded
"I'll tell you tomorrow" I said as I enter my room for the night.
~The next day~
As I made my way downstairs i was greeted with the site Sunny and Darkened playing in the corner while Clay and Blade were discussing problems over breakfast. When the noticed i had entered the room grew silent.
"I hope you explained my situation to clay here." I asked blade
"With reluctance yes, he's agreed to trust you for the time being but he's asked me and 4 guandsponies to watch over your actions until your "business is over." he responds
"That's perfectly understandable and i'll gladly allow it. In fact I was about to ask if the two of you would accompany on the trip." At this the two of them looked at me confusedly but just shrugged and went with it. "Now if you don't mind I would like to leave as soon as you are able so that i may get on my way to my other bit of business elsewhere."
"If you'll allow me to gather the rest of the squad we can leave immediately." responds Clay who I noticed was wearing metal armor. He quickly got up and sped out the door heading for the town barracks.
'squad? Huh, he must be the guard captain' I think absentmindedly.
Blade and I met back up with clay and his squad near the south end of town. Clay's squad was made up the 4 burliest looking pegasi ever. Each of them stood a good 5 feet off the ground with wings rivaling that of the royal alicornian family's wings. Each one was suited in thick leather padding around the shoulder blades and most of the neck. These stallions were built to go in and finish things fast. While each seemed to be in a relaxed state of mind you could tell they would be ready for battle at the snap of a twig.
"These raids must have been terrible to have need of such warriors as these. I am sorry for your loss." I said mournfully.
Clay looked depressed at the mention of the raids. "It was not your fault they happened and i am sorry for snapping at you last night but, if you wouldn't mind may we stay off that topic until if you fix the problem?"
"Of course i apologize for bringing it up."
And with that we took to the skies. The Iron-Oak forest was a few good miles from the town and the flight there was spent in silence. As we aproached the forest I immediately sense something was wrong. It was as though dark creeping force had descended on the area stealing away at the life energies of the plants. The trees themselves were showing signs of the decay nearly all of the forest was turning a sickly brown and their dead leaves had been blown miles away from the forest itself. Amongst all of this that wasn't what had given me the dark and evil feeling, what had was the one tree in all of the forest that wasn't dying. What looked like one massive oak tree rivaling that of the original gaian tree stood giving off a dark aura that, only to the trained eye, was siphoning of the life of everything around it slowly killing the forest off.
I looked over at Blade and asked "Tell me, do you know how long that massive oak has been standing there?"
"For nearly 100 years now if i remember correctly why? Do you think it might have something to do with the timberwolf raids?" Blade responds.
"I don't know, but what i am sure of is there is something very sinister and very powerful in those woods." I say with a hint of fear in my voice as we touch down about a quarter of a mile from the forest. "I've been going over how I'm going to take care of this problem of yours and the only way i can think of is going in and taking care of the direct source. That means however that you'll have to come along to keep an eye on me."
"I will follow." responds Blade surprising the rest of the guards. "The rest of you set up camp to await our return." he orders. Clay and the rest of the guards begin to make a make-shift fort as we head for the forest.
"So tell me miss, what is this plan of yours for dealing with the timberwolves?"
"Quite simple really, I hope to go in and find the timberwolves Canus tree and uproot it killing off all of the timberwolves at once. While it sounds simple they will try and defend the tree with their lives. The tree itself, going off of the number of timberwolves you say come in these raids will be pretty big to have created that many of them." I explained.
"That sounds rather suicidal, but than again we've playing cautious and look where it got us." he reponded.
And with that we started to make our way into the dying forest.
A/N I would like to say that the idea that timberwolves actually coming from a certain tree came from the author "blackwing" Also thanks to "killjoy" for editing and and story tips. ~Vinetion