Deciding that this is too novel to miss, you step in the clearing

All of the sudden you notice how quiet it is. No rustle of the leaves, no chirping of birds, nothing. No place outdoors could be that quiet, not even in this cold!

A sense of calm comes over you.  As you trudge toward the boulder.  The sky is unobstructed and tinting towards the same pink as the rose-petals that made the path.

You reach the boulder and notice that it is covered small symbols, rows upon rows of vertical lines and occasional diagonals and diamonds crossing one ongoing horizontal lines.  Something tickles the back of your mind and you are reminded of the Ogham, the Celtic woodlands alphabet.  In more modern times, some even used it as an oracle, like the Norse runes or the I-Ching.  But this seemed unlike a tool for divination...  Each character seemed painstakingly carved, with such precision...

"The Lady told me you wouldn't come."  A gravelly baritone said, startling you back from the rock.  You look around, wildly, but the owner of the voice was hidden.

"Oh, please!"  the voice said.  "Your time among them can't have made you that dull-witted.  I'm up here."

You look up.

Perched atop the boulder was an slim man with long blond hair tied back in a loose ponytail.  He wore dull earth-tones, but his eyes were of the sharpest green.  He wore a silver clasp with celtic-knotwork inlaid with precious stones that matched the color of his eyes.

He gave you the same once-over you were giving him.  Though his appraisal seemed to leave him unsettled.  "Well,"  the man said after a studied pause.  "I'd heard you'd turned your back on us.  Is this true?"

The End

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