Prologue

Orla’s Story


“The Sorbus tree is an ancient tree of our world. It is considered the threshold, between this world and otherworld, or between here and wherever you may be going, for example; it grows where it is needed and it is the threshold of both the way in and the way out. Our Sorbus is a portal tree offering you the chance of going somewhere ... and leaving somewhere. It helps the messengers to direct their travelers through their songs combining their hearts and minds to that place.

The tree is also a guide for our wanderers, it leads the paths to travelers and helps them not to get lost or off the path, and supplies the wanderers with nourishment for all travelers.

When my grandparents were young in our world the trees grew wild everywhere. It was the most important staple of our land. But as the generations grew, it was used for all the needs, the harvesting was limited as the years went by. We now have less than a quarter of the trees we had one hundred years ago, so we had been working hard to regenerate them.

The birds of our world have almost ceased from their existence, because they thrived from the berries, and also helped seed them.

I know of one story from long ago that told of worse flooding than we have had here in my time, which killed many trees. My grandparents had told of a time that other worlders came and people of our realm left with them in hopes to make better lives and to start new communities on the other side.

When the group of other-worlders came back the second time, thirty years ago, we believed we were ready to save our land. They came with stronger force, men and weapons. The wood from our Sorbus tree is strong and we could use the branches for arrows and bows. Also, we carved wooden swords and knives. But our wood did not match their iron and steel blades.

We lost many of our people that day, and they lost some. They stole most of our young plants and burnt our fields. Many of our people followed them through the gates to get our plants back and they were met with force.

Soon after, more came and they took some of our children and also hurt others. I believe they wanted the children, to teach them the language so that their trees could grow stronger and faster.

The young plants only responded to our songs, and they have been sung too for many generations. They thrived when we were in the fields and it seemed like the leaves danced in the wind of our notes. We are the planters.”

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