I had heard in their haste to escape the wrath of Morka, the subtle cousins left some treasures scattered in the fields of our late fathers. I hadn't been back to those fields since I was a youngling and our family migrated to the towns. My memory of leaving was that f being huddled together with my first brother Ent (who is younger) on our fat pony, listening to the stories of our uncles who promised us success and comfort when we reached the towns. I remember looking upon the shrinking starlit horizon and mentally waved fair well to the sky, the ground, and the deer watching us from the shadows. In my youngling voice I whispered a promise to return like a prince one day.
That was at least 100 years yonder, and this day I sit huddled with Ent in a tight ditch under one of many Wailing Trees at the egde of the Temple Experimental grounds. No fat ponies or spring breezes...and no Wailing from the Trees either. All sentient and insentient beings sat quiet as stone, weary of being heard or seen by Temple spies. The Wailing trees could be trusted for they did not align with anything and their long creeper like branches hung low to conceal our aura's in its shadow. No good or evil thought could escape its leafy insulators...to the spies eyeing the grounds, we did not exist.
"Remember when the uncles told us we would live like princes?" I whispered into Ent's ear. He let out a small laugh and nudged me to be quiet. Suddenly we heard something scrambling towards us, and I could feel Ent stiffen beside me. They must have heard me whisper, they must have found us; I held my breath waiting for the sound to come closer and closer and...
Lot's face burst through the branches, eyes wide and full of urgency. "GO!" And he turned around and ran. We too pushed out of the Wailing tree's protective shadow and followed Lot to the very edge of the grounds border-wall where a small opening had been blasted- by what we did not know, and there was no time to ask how Lot discovered it- but we were grateful and plunged through the melted metal, scraping our feet on shards of crystal glass.
Any other day, we would have been caught. Though hidden from the eye of Temple spies, the Wailing tree could not hide us from the gnawing rats, bread to hunt and maim any humanoids. But the rats had been driven away by Morka in his rage. Morka was the son of the highest Temple experimenter. He was raised with tools of destruction and pain, and we, younglings of the humanoid clans, were his play things. His stood above us all in a tall subtle form, with luminous skin and bright green eyes, and he petted our auras with keen interest. He was gentle at first, then his mother would come in behind him, pick up a tool, and strike us where pain was felt in every part of our body. And he would giggle in a childish way and watch us fold up in spasms.
Morka seemed to be groomed for our internal destruction and torture. He became an expert at subtle science and pricked our minds in ways that made us run mad with hallucinations and fear. Then one day Daggot, a humanoid from the Reliyot clan, talked to Morka. Not with words, but with his thoughts, and whatever he said it pierced Morka in his heart. He suddenly felt the remorse of generations of Temple experimenters and his agony was so much that he curled up in a pool of mentally projected blood. When his mother came to see what was the matter he took her by the throat and throttled her, screaming his agony all the while. And when he saw her die he was so satisfied that he went about murdering one by one his subtle kindred, and in the process broke us free.
Morka's gang of cousins supposedly escaped in the direction of our fathers fields, leaving precious gems and metals along the way...at least this is what the Temple birds whispered to us when we scurried beneath the Wailing Tree's shadow three weeks ago. Before we could escape the grounds completely, Morka was captured and executed, and so we had been sitting silently in hiding, listening to our unlucky friends be recaptured and punished before they could reach the walls.
But now, with Lot's direction, we escaped beyond the walls, running, batting natural branches from our faces, listening to the coos and rahs of forest creatures we hadn't listened to in over 100 years.
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.