Chapter I: Serentiy’s Sorrow
Beneath the eldest sun-sprent shades
of the far-off Emerald Forest deep,
amid those hallow’d, ancient glades,
a band of Woodnymphs keep.
When eternal youth and beauty fail
to bind a heart immortal rent,
thus begins the hapless tale:
A Dryad’s dark descent.<
Copyright � 2002-2017 by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: Decemberrd, 2017]
¶I. Deep within the Emerald Forest of Faelore there lived a tribe of thirteen Wood Nymphs, whose names were Faith, Destiny, Justice, Glory, Charity, Prudence, Felicity, Solace, Harmony, Grace, Ecstasy, Charisma, and Serenity. They frolicked and played through the greenest of holts, napped by cover of dark forest glade, and made love by hot kells in lush glens. Never was there thought of worry or concern to burden their merry hearts. Until, one day, poor Serenity was forlorn.
¶II. There in the clearing amid the tall ferns sat Serenity, crying into her knees under pied shade of ancient yew and oak, alder and ash.
¶III. Troubled deeply by their sister’s sorrow, the Wood Nymphs went to Serenity and asked her why she was so sad.
¶IV. “I will never have a mate,” said Serenity, “nor children.”
¶V. This very much disturbed her sisters, for this was not the way of Nymphs.
¶VI. The tribe explained to Serenity that only Destiny, being their Alpha Dryad, was fertile of all among them. They explained that by lying with Destiny, and by servicing her, Destiny would be able to seed her own womb and bear for the tribe a caul, from which after one and one half decade a Nymphet would be born. This was the way of Nymphs.
¶VII. Serenity knew all of this, for she was neither a dullard nor mad, but did not grow irate at her sisters.
¶VIII. Serenity longed to do as their ancient Elven ancestors had done millennia ago: to mate herself to a man, and to rear her own bairn. Yet even if Serenity were somehow to become an Alpha Dryad herself, and to bear her own caul, Nymphets emerged from their cauls nearly full-grown.
¶IX. Seasons passed, and the tribe had great merriment frisking about the woodlands, entertaining Satyrs and Fauns who with them would travel for weeks and then part ways.
¶X. But the tribe had also learned caution, for some Satyrs had revealed themselves to be exceedingly cruel, and cared only to use the Wood Nymphs for their own carnal pleasures.
¶XI. After many years Destiny became gravid, and after six weeks she birthed to her tribe a caul. The tribe placed this caul in an apple tree, and cared for it daily as its roots nourished from the tree’s sap. Each day the caul grew larger as the child-Nymph grew within it, until after fifteen years the Nymphet named Prosperity was hatched.
¶XII. Thus the tribe had grown too large, and so split into two tribes of seven. Destiny remained the Alpha Dryad of the first tribe, as Faith, the first tribe’s Beta Dryad and Shaman, became the Alpha Dryad of the second tribe. And so Destiny, Glory, Felicity, Prudence, Grace, Justice, and Solace remained in the first tribe, while Faith, Charity, Harmony, Ecstasy, Charisma, Serenity, and Prosperity became the second tribe.
¶XIII. Faith’s new tribe was a joyous one, whose days were filled with laughing, singing, romping, and playing, and whose nights were graced by visits from the Pixies. At all times they pranced and reveled throughout the Emerald Forest, stopping only to nap or make love.
¶XIV. Each few years Faith bore another caul, and each caul was placed in a fruit tree where it would grow until it was ready to hatch.
¶XV. In the next fifty years, six more Nymphets were borne, whose names were Affinity, Passion, Trust, Divinity, Radiance, and Purity.
¶XVI. Yet even with her twelve sisters, Serenity was still lonely.
¶XVII. Serenity went then to Charity, her tribe’s Beta Dryad and Shaman, and pleaded with her for anything she could do to ease her loneliness.
¶XVIII. “I shall spell for thee a rite,” offered Charity, “that wilt make thee more content.” And to this Serenity agreed