"Matari younglings."

"Matari master," they called back.

I leapt of my branch, swinging on a branch of the tree and landing nimbly on the school platform. It was large and circular made of wood with glowing, floating cedar spheres lighting the area.

"Children, look around you..." we all looked out from our perch. Through the foliage of the great Willow we could see the forest spanning for many leagues outwards, we could see more Dryad treehomes, the cedar spheres glowing like will o' wisps in the sanguine sky, "...glimpse upon our humble home, but how, may you ask, did we come to be this way," I ran my hand over my green skin and eyes, my long dark green hair.

"The story of our creation!" one child smiled innocently.

"Indeed, though it was not a creation, simply how we came to be the way we are. But there are two conflicting ideas. The humans claim that Dryad came from men who came so close to nature that they could no longer live in the human realms and so they moved heree, there skin changing colour and gaining power over nature, but we see it differently. We believe that man came from Dryad, Dryads that were not content with living in the forests, they wanted to expand and grow, make great cities and have empires. But we are humble and so we rejected these ideals, so the Dryads moved away and lost their way. But we do not get angry at these men, no, we pity them, for they have lost what once made them special."

I lifted my hand into the air and a firefly flew onto my palm. I blew gently and it flew to the pupils who each took turns holding it.

"Our proximity with nature makes us strong. It is a beautiful thing that we have my children, remember this," I nodded and gestured to the female that sat at the back of the class.

"Thankyou for coming to visit us I trust however, you have some important things to attend to?" I nodded gravely.

I leapt onto a willow branch and slid to the bottom of the tree. A long way.

I found my stag grazing on some foliage, "rest well Élathan, we have much journeying to do soon, the ancients stir and I must greet them," I pattedhis head and left him.

"Melethorn" I heard a shout and looked up, a Dryad leapt down a branch towards me, "Melethorn I was sent to find you, the Chief requests your presence, there is a human come to our home, they require the knowledge of the Loremaster."

"I see, then I shall come Ashan, do lead the way."

To save time he leapt onto a branch and began to climb.

"I hear many stories about you Loremaster, they say you are over 500 years old, that you can command more than just nature magic, that you have conversed with the ancients and fought in the first war..."

"Is that all they say?" I laughed up.

"Oh no, there is so much more, you had become only a myth... since you disappeared people thought you were a divine being sent from the heavens and thus returned, of course that is silly but there are such stories, so many stories."

"Indeed there are, but I shall not tell any this day, I grow weary."

Eventually we reached the entrance of a grand hall, the vines and wood arranged in intricate patterns depicting stories. It was embarrassing to see I was in some of them. At the same point a female appeared with teal eyes and hair. My heart soared at the sight of her.

"Lilayth it has been so long!" she looked up at me with moist eyes and wrapped her arms around me like a daughter.

"Old fool," she pulled away, "where in Elysium have you been?"

"That's the thing, I have not been in Elysium," I winked at her as she gave me a you-will-tell-me-all-about-it-later look, "but for now, we must deal with other matters.

The End

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