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The day magic died in the desert [FOR Epaphroditos]

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LovellaTorendo Offline

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Dustfinger is feeling rather tired and grumpy by this time and it seems Epaphriditos is not fairing very much better.  His snappish responses would have gotten the pale stallion’s back up if the plan he put forth hadn’t made so much sense.  The starry coated male is off on his search before Dusty has the chance to respond so he simply nods at the other’s quickly disappearing back side then turns to consider the choice he was left with.  Find more help or guard the tree.  

He eyes the tree thoughtfully debating whether or not it really needs guarding.  It didn’t seem on the immediate verge of parishing from the trauma it had undergone and even if it was what good would guarding it do?  No, guarding would only help against an external threat.  Dustfinger sees no such looming threat but, still… he is absolutely certain that Anevay, if not Epaphriditos, will put the blame on him should something happen to the tree because he left it alone just now.                    
In the end he goes with a compromise.  He trudges his way to the top of the nearest tall ridge in the sand.  From there he can check on the tree by glancing back over his shoulder and he can see down over the other side to watch for wandering Quirlicorns who might be of assistance. 

So, there he stood…

And stood…

And stood…

The sun went down and the chill of the desert night, while refreshing at first, would have made him terribly stiff if he hadn’t started pacing.  He was hungry and trusty and even crappier than he had been when Epaphriditos left.  It seemed he might just be stuck there forever, alternately pacing and staring off into nowhere.  The sun is up again by the time a voice suddenly snaps his drifting mind back to attention.

“What are you doing up there?”

Dustfinger looks down to find a sturdily built Quirlicorn stallion making his way up the ridge.  This stranger has a tree bark pattern to his coat and little bits of greenery sprouting here and there across his body.  This looks promising.  His voice is dry enough from thirst that he chooses not to answer immediately and instead simply observes the other’s progress towards the top of the rise.  It isn’t long before the stranger joins him.

“Yep, as I thought.  No food, no water, no nothing.  This is a real, real odd place for a lone Quirlicorn to just be standing around and you’ve been up here at least as long as I’ve been able to see this rise.”  

The stranger looks back at his tracks which seem to come from the direction of the plains region.  He has probably been able to see Dusty on top of the rise for several hours.

“So, what are you up to buddy?” 

This time the inked stallion does answer and the relief in his croaky voice can not be missed.

“Waiting for you.”

The other stallion seems slightly taken aback because, of course, Dustfinger couldn’t possibly have known he was coming this way.

“Explain yourself!”

Dusty has already turned to start back towards the dew tree sapling but he replies as he is moving.

“Do you know plants?”

The bark patterned male tips his head in a slight show of interest at this.

“Why yes, as a matter of fact I do.”

Dustfinger only smiles and thinks to himself, what luck!  The stranger, now clearly overcome with curiosity, hurries to catch up and follows along behind him. 

“Hey!  Pal!  The name’s Woody, what’s yours?”

The inkheart stallion calls his own name back and then refuses to speak further until they reach the tree.  At which point he bobs his head towards it.

“That is a sacred dew tree sapling.  It has had some trouble with unfriendly magic.  Anvay wants it healed.  Can you help?”

Woody considers this while taking a few circles around the young plant.  

“Hmmm… hmmm...”

He changes direction and makes a few more circles then stops.

“Well, maybe.  If Anevay is the one who wants it done I suppose I’m kind of obliged to try.”

He steps up to the small tree, sets his horn gently against it’s rather spindly trunk, closes his eyes and seems to forget Dustfinger’s presence entirely. 

Dustfinger is now distracted from his new helper anyway because he sees others approaching from the direction that Epaphriditos originally left in.  He places his body between the new arrivals to the scene and the tree, taking a defensive position until he spots Epaphriditos in their midst.  He relaxes immediately, and the bright smile that shines in his eyes shows quite clearly how pleased he is to see that his companion has in fact chosen to return rather than abandoning him.  Stepping aside he allows the two additional helpers full access to the tree and watches their methods in bemusement.  He has never seen the like.

At this point Epaphriditos starts in with his water magic again and Woody, eyes still closed, starts talking at them. 

“You know this isn’t the best of places for a tree, even a magical one.  We should really… what?”  Here he pauses seeming to listen intently. “Oh!”  He opens his eyes and glances down at the fine new soil piled around the roots. “Yes, that will do nicely!  The tree thanks you all.”

Woody breaks contact and steps back so that Dustfinger, at the suggestion of Epaphriditos, can start properly burying the roots.  He is not done talking though…

“I’ve fed it a sizable chunk of my magic, that’s rather exhausting by the way I’m going to need food and lots of it.  Anyhow, if it works the way it should the tree’s roots ought to be growing themselves nice and deep as we speak and expanding as well.  Then it ought to be able to focus on healing the damage it has sustained.  In a day or two it will have nothing to do but grow itself nice and tall.”

The group seems quite pleased with their efforts, hopefully Anevay is as well.

1016 words (4 chimes for word count)
Total thread word count ; 6063 : 24 chime total
^^^ I copied all the post text over to a google doc for a double check so that should be an accurate final word/chime count. ^^^
[b]Other Group Members: 1946 Epaphroditos[/b]

*** Also featuring Group Horse 189 Woody (in this post only) ***

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