Wilting Orchid

Ominous Announcement

Summary: Rivian Witches, Coven that has a treaty with a Wolf Clan.

Title: 1. ..)Wilting Orchid(.. - .:Ominous Announcement:.

Life in the great Willow Forest of Rivany was difficult for all of its inhabitants. Most of the place was populated by millions of dangerous beings known only as forest Creatures, most deadly. The forest had only been inhabited by the wolf clans until 200 years before our story begins. Only the order of guardians know the entirety of the vast mazes of trees. One coven of Witches had settled near the western lands ruled by the Red Wolf Clan. This was a risky business, as the wolf Clans were extremely reclusive and territorial. The small coven had made a pact with the Red wolves; The witches would kill none of the forest creatures -the wolves' food source- and they would coexist peacefully.

This particular coven was led by Lady Ivy, an ancient witch with seemingly endless wisdom. The settlement consisted of several dwellings carved into the massive trees, and a small shrine to Gaia, constructed from the worn sandstone collected from the nearby ocean. The youngest of the clan was a small girl called Orchid. She inherited sea green eyes from her father and fawn colored hair. She was the first child to be born in the coven for many years. Male witches were reclusive and only appeared when summoned, and then scrutinized greatly. Orchid's mother was called Sage, a highly respected witch among her fellows. She was Ivy's right hand, and a very skilled herbologist.

Each morning Orchid rose from her trundle bed of leaves, feathers, and hay all bound with coarsely woven cloth, and stumbled outside to the pond near the settlement. The pond was kept heated by enchanted stones resting at the bottom. The water was crystal clear with a faint tint of blue.

This particular morning, three others were already swimming about, giggling and splashing as young witches at play often do. Their names were Grove-43 years old- Petal- 29, closest to Orchid's age- and Tigress- 42.

Petal beckoned to Orchid, calling her over. Orchid was nude, as witches usually are when they among their own. She took a running start at the rock face that rose above the pond, her tangled hair flying behind her as she dove into the gloriously warm water. Petal quickly made her way to Orchid. She was a beautiful young witch, with sunny blond hair and burgundy eyes. As soon as Orchid had completed her Becoming Trail (a great part of every newborn witches life) and was officially a member of the coven, Petal had immediately befriended the younger girl. Orchid was glad to have a mentor and friend. At 19, she was the only one to complete the Becoming Trial so young, which caused some jealousy to arise among the slightly older girls.

Petal washed and braided Orchid's hair before they climbed from the water and made their way to the shrine of Gaia. There was a gathering of this sort every morning, led by Ivy and Sage. As Orchid took her place cross-legged before the dais on which her mother and the wisest of the wise, Ivy. All was silent as Ivy stared gravely out at her sisters.

"Hear me, sisters, and listen well for I have an announcement to make that will change all of our lives." There was another great silence as Ivy took a few deep breaths. "The territory wars between the Red and Black wolves has come to threaten our harmless existence. I spoke to Lady Stoneclaw last night, and she offered these options; Move on and settle elsewhere, live alongside the Red wolves in their city, or stay and most likely die." Ivy took another deep breath. "Stand if you wish to speak."

Several witches stood, Tigress, Grove, an older witch called Pine, and yet another by the name of Moonstone. It was a short moment before Sage stood as well. Ivy beckoned for Grove to speak first.

"I think we should move on. Wolf territory is no place for us." She fiddled with her hair, speaking nervously before sitting down again. Pine agreed vehemently saying, "We are an independent, peaceful race, and I'd like to stay that way."

Moonstone nodded, "Yes, my thoughts exactly." The two sat down and waited for Tigress to speak. She was obviously fuming with rage as she spoke very slowly, trying to keep a respectful tone, "Why should we have to leave when we could defend our home? We've not just built dwellings, we've built lives! Our gardens flourish, our shrine glows with the love and power of Gaia. Would you truly leave all that we've done here? Our home for a century?" Tigress raised her voice, enraged, "There is no way any wolf could harm us! We possess more power as a whole than a thousand wolves. I say we stay. Stay and defend our home."

A great silence fell over the coven until Orchid's mother spoke up. "We will request protection by the Red Clan. I will lead a party to the Blood Den and have an audience with the Great Mother. Ivy will stay and guard our young ones, and fortify our encampment with spells and barriers."

Ivy nodded, "A sound plan, and with logical foundation. This is the Mother's land, too." She then fell into a fit of wheezing into her robe. She was the only Witch in the Coven that wore clothes at all times, and that was due to the chills she so frequently suffered. Yards of black thred, spun by her own hand back when they did not quiver and shake, draped over her body in luxurious folds.

"At sunset we will congregate around the bonfire, and part merrily."