Of Seyshonessa and Feyn'hor

by Lessik

Within the temple of Khepri sleeps a great tree named Feyn'hor. Its leafless boughs reach far unto the heavens and its great roots form the shores of a sea long forgotten. This is the legend of how this great tree came to be as it is:

O muse, hear my humble tale and grant your blessings upon its teller and this audience so, for brief moments, we may cast off our weariness and despair as we hear this story of tragedy and hope, this story of Seyshonessa and Feyhn'hor.

In golden days long since past, before the dominion of they Ankyreans, the dryad Seyshonessa moved gaily through the many splendored eaves of the Aurelliana, her lighthearted footsteps bearing her to her whim's delight. In her carefree wandering, her eyes stole across a sight of such splendour and magnificence that it robbed the very breath even from this child of nature, the sight of the golden garden of Feyn'hor.

The oldest and only remaining Malandaanti, the grandfathers of the trees, was Feyn'hor. Long since past are the golden days of his kin who tended to the forest gardens and brought to life for the first time the lily and rose, the ladyslipper and the bellwort, the elder trees and the myriad other denizens of the green lands. Long ago had his brothers and sisters faded into the gardens they kept. Alone he stood at the center of the last forest garden, his roots deep in the soil to slowly nurture his wards, his leafy boughs stretching into the sky to scratch the bellies of the clouds and bring the needed water to his beloved garden.

So enraptured by the many splendored sights of the garden was Seyshonessa that the leaves of Feynhor's boughs turned golden three times before she moved again. When next she awoke from her rapturous sleep, Seyshonessa found herself entwined with the delicate flowers in Feyhn'or's care. For so moved was this Malandaanti by the enchanted dryad that his wards had come to make her part of Feyn'hor's garden and bring her within his care. Upon her waking, Feyn'hor lowered his branches before her so that she may climb amongst his boughs and thus she became the only living creature to sleep within the branches of a Malandaanti.

In their care, the last of the forest gardens came into its greatest splendour, for the laughter of Seyshonessa would bring bloom to the flowers in even the coldest of winters and lilies would spring from the ground wherever she trod. Yet as the garden came into its bloom, the beauty of Seyshonessa's countenance began to fade and the warmth of her laughter began to chill, for although dryads are long lived, they are not of the immortals.

Upon an Autumn morning, Seyshonessa gazed out from Feyn'hor's boughs and in the distance she spotted the glittering sun upon the ocean's waves and despair welled up within her heart. She knew then that the sea approached for her, for the even the divine had come to realize the greatness of the love between this dryad and the Malandaanti and Slyphe Herself was sending her great seas to bear the dryad away to the halls of the Underking. And everyday that Seyshonessa would gaze out from those branches she would see the ocean slowly approaching the great garden and with each day's approach the light of her eyes would dim ever more and her sprightly step would grow heavier.

For many years the sea crept closer and a quiet murmur arose from the ward's of Feyn'hor. All knew the Lady of Change was calling for their beloved Seyshonessa. When at last the sea had crept slowly up to the great trunk of Feyn'hor, the great Malandaanti let loose a howl of grief that the hearts of all animals were filled with despair and suffering. Seeking to stop the departure of his beloved, the great father of the trees poured forth all his will and slowly his great roots tangled and wound about themselves to create a great dam before the sea. But Seyshonessa knew then that even then that her beloved Feyn'hor could not prevent her passing and with a soft caress of the mighty trunk of the great tree, she knelt before the great sea and silently immersed herself in its gentle waves. In grief, Feyn'hor wept the leaves from his boughs, the greatest of which fell before the dryad, serving as a raft for her passage beyond mortal shores.

The boughs of Feyn'hor would forever on remain bereft of leaves as that day the last of the Malandaanti passed into endless slumber. Taking pity upon the grief of the great tree, the Lady Khepri descended into the garden and brought it within the confines of her great temple. Its fading splendour would there be preserved into time immemorial and any foolish enough to attempt to steal its fruits would be frozen in rapture as was Feyn'hor's beloved Seyshonessa when she first came within the garden's sight.