Fantasy

Hag of the Iron-Wood

It is not the dead of winter you find her.

No, it is the point of fall where things are at their most in-between.

There is warmth, chill, wet, dry. Unknown things squelch beneath your feet, but deeper in the forest you go. Farther from where the sun gives warmth, and further into where it’s dappled light. Where the wet turns dry, as the branches block out the sky.

Yet warmth isn’t unknown here. The world has it’s own smell. Musk and fur, wood captured in flame. The soft smell of something earthy, loam. And something else. There are no words to describe it as anything but what it is.

Magic. Ancient, unending, raw.

Patience. The passion that burns long and low, surging when the time is right. Consuming as a wildfire, if needed.

Tradition. Experience. Youth. Improvisation.

It all occurs here, in its own patterns. Rituals happen when they need to, when they should. But that is not the magic of life. No, that is simply living. Surviving. Choosing.

To exist is magic of its own.

And you don’t need to hear her voice sound with the pack to know when she speaks to you. You don’t need to hear it whisper secrets on the wind, nor in the rustle of feathers, or the shiver of leaves.

She is there, hissing the world’s knowledge to you.

You don’t need to hear. Just listen.

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