Man-Eating TreeMature

But she wasn,t here to remember, she was here to make sure that n3t was ok. She was tending to him, but she remembered the time, they made a deal with the power hungry dryad of this tree. Provide it with food and it would provide it with a home.

Short of the enclave of the house of the iron tree on the other side of the forest, their tree was one of the highest in the forest. Actually, no it wasn,t it was an average tree. Overshadowed by the trees of that spiraled high into the canopy. Locked into darkness, it yearned for light and nutrients, so the dryad suffered and starved.

Its, growth stunted. It could reach no higher, no matter how how desperate it could reach.  No, it would want to get up there.  Only some massive forest fire or the dearth of the one of the older trees could unlock this valuable sunlight and let the dryad grow. The cycle of things.

And then they came, those little insects. One, a dragon beast with pearl like skin, one long and lanky, Carted TO A life support machine, and a rottin monstrosity with drooping wings. Promising her food with teir new type of human magic.

Grey goo. And the essence of other creatures and plants. Eyeing the tall trees and the shunken sproutlings trying to make it to the top. The dryad rattled its branches angrily, rattling and alerting the other plants that grew on it, the vines that dared to intrude on it, rape it, taking advantage of its height before it grew onward to higher and better things.

Parasites. All of them. But the flesh of trees can only move so much. And the fae that lived on it, rattled and chirped. Crying out in fear and alarm. Mommy. Meeep. Crreeee. Kraaaa. Happy fae were not happy.

Neia, the dragon, flew up to the heart of the trunk, a luminescent aura swirling with pale greens. Her claws clicking on the dark, moss tattoed ridden bark. She gripped it and the dryad glared at her through the knots of the tree. The wind around the tree swept down her, wooshing, gushing. The winds spiraled through the air, threatening to knock her off.

Her silken fur that ran down her back, fluttered in the air, but she was not cold. Her magic kept her warm, and her fluff-tiped, fuzz-ridged tail, wrapped itself around a tree branch. And her claws dug deeper into the bark, trying to hold on, little droplets of amber necter oozed out. And the dryad felt stinging pain, and little brochelid fae, mistletoes plants. Annoying little sprite things flew down to it, the dragon thing merely watched in interest in and fascination.

The sprite things tumbled down the air, wrestling in the mid-air, the trunks, rolling down the side of the trunks from the branches below. It was crazy . yep. One tossed down its opponent down into the undercanopy, but that didn,t work, it only flew up. With angry flapping of its insect wings, it rushed up back to the area of the wrestling, a branch of the that stuck out of the area where the precious delicious nectar oozed out, it paid the dragoness no attention.

The fae, that flew up, the spirit of a mistle toe plant, had a build of a climbing lizard, green, with leaves running down its back and tail, long branchlike legs and arms, that let it crawl down and up trunks, its wings were green, branch things with oversized mistletoe leaves that enabled it to fly clumsily and hover. It zoomed behind the the insect fae that had tossed it down, and with a vicious cry, ripped off the insect fae,s wings. It was only a simple bee. The mistle toe fae, yanked off the stinger, about to devour bee and nector alike.

 Aethyr infused blood spurting everywhere, and some of it got on the Dragoness face, still studying them, a tongue slithered out of her mouth, swiped over the mess, and withdrew back. Delicious. Sprite stew founded good for the night, her right foreleg swept down the face of the tree, and grabbing all three of the sprites, a third one had hidden itself but was still seen by neia,sspirit  spectrum sensitive eyes.

And she stuffed it into the side bags that she carried often, the bee thing went into a preservation capsule. Sprite stew tasted best when the prey was boiled alive, so it went into hibernation, while the mistletoe went into a simple cage that gagged and restrained it. And the invisible one went into a primitive glass jar, being weak but stealthy. The bag was self automated and stuffed the fae with its simple programming. Oh grat dryad, Neia went.

Please forgive my intrustion. P[leae forgive my friends intrustion. We have come from far way, great dryad and seek shelter under with inyou under your forigiving and peaceful leaces.

Oh great dryad, hear our plea. We see that you starve while more inferior trees rise above you, stealing the nutrients that you so dearly deserve. Great dryad, I neia, Queen of Life And Death, offer you a solution, my friends and I know of a way for you to feed, and starve nevermore again.

The dryad merely stared at her, now this was interesting, and wondered how the this lowly creature could fulfill its promise.

It leaves, shook, and rattled, its branches swayed, and the wind blew.

I will grant you shelter…but this better not be an empty promise, little dragonling. The bones of those greater then you rot below my roots, feeding me, and nourishing me, little dragoness…”

The pearl dragon,s lips curled into a smug smile for a second before being replaced with a reverent and awe faced expression with respectful awefilled eyes.

Her left forearm snaked its way into her bag, producing a small pill box. She withdrew a nanite capsule. With this oh great dryad she began. It can change things, oh great mistress, mother and lady of this great tree. We call it nanite magic, my lady, and this my lady, it carries the essence of carnivours plants, it will change you my lady into something far more powerful and grande, you will be able to devour flesh, like the animals do, and use it grow stronger and rise farther then any of these inferior trees around you. Trees that at the moment that are choking off the sunlight that you desperetly need to grow majestic and become queen of this forest.

The dryad,s hunger and greed drove her to agree. Her knots spiraled into greedy and envious green eyes and that stared and neia. Her leaves rattled once.

Yes, give me. Give me all of that. You may seek shelter for as long as you wish.”

As the agreement went, so it was done.

Neia slid down the tree, her claws leaking the information of network, a signal that this tree was claimed. Invisible to all, a speelwork that would keep others away. Any invaders would be marked as food and devoured by her new base. A fang glinted in the dim light as she smiled herself. Missions accomplished.

The goo crawled over the dryad, coating her bark off the trunk, oozing and sliming up her branches, coating her precious green leaves. Borrowing into the dirt In order to reach the tangle of her grear tgrear great tangle of ancient network of roots. Trimming off the dead ends, lengthening them so to reach deeper groundwater, the bones of dead elridtch, then choking the trees around them as the nanolengthend roots strangled and interweaved itself with other root systems, killing them. Putting a stranglehold on the other dryads, sucking the life out of them. The trunk widened, becoming bigger and nastier, grey metallic bark, before being hidden and comoflauged with moss and natural bark. The branches bread, nope, spread, forking itself, becoming thicker and resting on the other trees. Eventually the nanites stopped. N3t had programmed in boundary limits, while Morgue stidoed the forest, after a;; all he didn,t want to choke the entire place, he wanted the tree grow big but not dominate the entire ara.

As an upholder of the cycle, no matter how twisted and bent out of the shape the great wheel of life and death was now, some lines couldn,t be crossed.

Time for change two.

The genetic information that the tree devoured and was injected by the nanites was insane. Its leaves now curled around whatever landed around it, the branches were sticky with grey good, and the vines that had snaked around it, feeding off it, becoming parasites, had been converted being part of tree, transformed into feeding tendrils.

The vast upgreaded network of roots now ate and devoured any burrowing animals in the area. Dragging it to it mass mouths and underground stomachs. A monstrosity, Morgue loved it. Neia was uneasy about it but they did need a place to live.

Little mouths like that of the plant known from Before… the venus flytrap was all over the tree, massive pheromones attracted vast amounts of prey, this part of the forest was now known as the killing fields, the rest of the forest spirits were in shock, rumors of crazed infernals moving in the area terrified them…and N3t fed the meme viruses, demanding tribute.

After all, they,re base needed to eat. Nom nom.

And a false legend was a good way to do it. The forest was isolated, far away from thrall cities, devouring eldritch, and human enclaves. Nothing to fear.

The End

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