The Story of Lady Hemlock

Lady Hemlock is one of the few residents of the Habaran Forests on the continent of Dartha.

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1. Lady Hemlock

Lady Hemlock awoke, her cat was mewing on her bed, he was obviously hungry. Outside, the sun was shining and the high-pitched tweeing of the birds put Lady Hemlock into a good mood. She pulled back her covers and stood up, Templeton, her cat, named after her late son, happily jumped down and anxiously paced around her legs.

"Calm down, you crazy cat!"

Hemlock walked to a dresser in the corner of her room, on it sat a large silver canister. She opened the lid and a fishy smell hit her, cat food. She had made it the night before so it was fresh, she made it with her special recipe, which consisted mostly of fish she had caught down by the stream yesterday morning and dried in the baking sun. On the side of the canister was a plastic scoop which she dipped into the pellets of dried fish and poured into Templeton's bowl below. He ate happily and purred as she bent down and pet him, Hemlock closed the canister and walked into her bathroom where she looked into the mirror. Her unmanageable black hair was frizzed out in all directions, her hair always did this when she slept, she had no idea how it happened but wasn't going to question it. Hemlock grabbed a brush from a drawer and tried to tame the hair. She got most of it under control but the part that almost always stuck out and never went down correctly.

Once she was through with her hair, she put on her gown. It was green and satiny, it matched her emerald eyes, on the  sleeves were her family crest. The Crest of Hemlock, it was a drawing of an actual stem of hemlock. The gown flowed over her feet so it was as if they weren't there, which made walking hard but she was used to it by now. 

Hemlock walked into the kitchen and grabbed a silver watering can, the kitchen itself was rather small, which she didn't mind as she lived alone. 'Room for me is enough room,' she would say. She opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch. The cool spring air hit her with a sense of serenity and freshness, she walked off the porch onto her lawn which she kept under control. There were many types of plants littering her yard, there were Gast Trees with their wispy leaves, Gyrus Trees who grew circular orbs of leaves piled on top of one another, Glowshrooms which were pretty self explanatory, Cube Fruit Flowers that produced cube-shaped fruit that was edible and rather delicious and one large Fire Root which had leaves that occasionally caught fire and didn't affect the other plants around it or the plant itself, it was rather lovely to watch at night. There were many other plants that Hemlock had a hard time remembering. She nicknamed her garden, "Fleetwood Gardens".

She reached the brook and dipped her watering can in until it completely filled with water. In the water, small fish swam around with their newly-born babies. The bottom of the brook was lined with various stones, some of them being precious stones, amethysts, jaspers, quartzes, and many others that Hemlock liked to collect but only when they washed onto the shore of the brook. None had washed up so she took her watering can and was on her way to the Talking Tree. 

The Talking Tree was a tree that Lady Hemlock had raised from a small sapling. The tree has a large mouth on the front as long as a gigantic eye, the eye itself looked like a snake, amber around it and a dark black pupil.  As you can tell by it's name, it's a very talkative tree, it's Hemlock's best friend. She approached it as it slept and poured the water from the watering can onto it's roots.

"WAGH!" The tree shook and a bird's nest fell from it, thankfully nothing was in it. "Was it that?"

"It's me, Maurice" Hemlock said, she laughed and Maurice glared at her.

"That's not funny, I could've hurt something in my branches"

"I know, so how ya been?"

"Oh same old same old, just being a tree, I do have a new friend though"

"Oh?"

"Yea, he's a tiny squirrel, he moved his family into a hole near the top of my trunk"

"That's so cute, how's Old Root" she asked, Old Root was a gigantic tree that was also a Talking Tree, he had lost the ability to talk years ago when a tornado came through and ripped a large chunk out of his trunk. Now a gaping hole sat in the middle of the tree, two smaller holes were above the large mouth hole. He was much taller than Maurice and towered far above her house.

"Yea, so how have you been these past weeks?" Maurice asked, Hemlock laughed.

"When have I ever done anything besides maintain the library, house and garden?"

"I was just wondering, have you really not done anything besides that?"

"I haven't..." Hemlock comes to a realization, she had not talked to anyone but Maurice for so many years. No one had wandered through the forest aside from a few people who took books from her library. They always did return them though, the forest was full of friendly bandits like those in the Sidihara Desert except the forest bandits wore green instead of tan cloaks. Lady Hemlock was experiencing a medley of emotions, so many that she began to sink to the ground.

"Hemlock? Are you okay?" Maurice asked, Hemlock sunk down and sat on the ground, the grass around her was soft and comfortable, covered with dark blue and magenta flowers that smelled of honey, Lapenta Flowers. She felt calmed by them, which was their main purpose, Lapenta Flowers contained many of the same things that lilac and lavender did. Lady Hemlock was calm again and started to stand once more. 

"Hemlock, what's wrong?" Maurice asked, 

"I'm fine, Maurice, I just thought too hard about things, I'm going to go lie down"

"Ok, I'll see you later then" Maurice shifted his position and leaves fell from his branches. Lady Hemlock walked back to her house. Her vision was slightly off, she would probably need to go see a healer, Lord Brier, to fix it. She walked into the house and into her study, the entire room was covered in papers and books were stacked on every available surface. Most of the books had been written by Lady Hemlock herself, books mostly on gemstones from the brook which had gemstones actually implanted into the covers of the books and the plants of her garden which had leaves and other plant parts pressed inside.

She retrieved a small book from one of the stacks and sat down in a chair, she opened the book and flipped quickly through the pages. The book was full of maps, some of the forest, some of places around the forest and some were of many other different lands. She stopped at a page, it was folded down into fourths which she unfolded into a rather large map. A red X indicated where she was and a star indicated where the healer was, Lord Brier was deeper within the woods, deeper than she liked to go. She had to get to him though, she had no idea how to fix what was ailing her. She needed to rest before going out into the woods, she closed her book and left the study, got back into her pajamas and climbed into bed. Soon she was dreaming again, dreaming that she was swimming through the clouds, closer and closer towards a spire-like structure.

 

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