Part One

Many songs were once sung through the ages, a testament to things of Beauty and Wonder; minstrels wandering blessed their audiences with the tales of adventurers, heroes, gods, demons, conquest and failure, romance and tragedy. Many songs were lost during wars, replaced by gory recountings of battles, generals, and emperors taking the place where simple men had once been elevated by music. Where there were once epic tales of the Forest Before Time, the Banished Gods, or songs Beyond the Westerling Seas, there are now only tiny little flashes that children know in sing-song skip-rope rhymes.

Medowin could not stand the thought of such loss, and woke in her high tower, coming from dreams of memory unto a clear day, a single name held in her mind. She was growing older, but not old in the sense of wrinkled hands and brow, for it was true that Medowin had passed far more seasons than any other mortal, but she was still fair and of young seeming, and her eyes were still clear and fierce, a blue that made skies pale with envy.

There was coming a time where the songs that were lost would be of use again, and because the world had grown so, and what was once a seeming handful of people had become races in the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands, Medowin foretold that she alone would not be able to find the one who would prove to be the next catalyst, the one who would be reknowned into the next Age. She would send a squire of her own choosing, to walk the world and bring to her the news of the time of troubles, and call forth the old songs to be made new once again.

Her voice was wind and water, the sound of storm, of rain and breeze, the chatter and babble of streamtalk and river, and it carried across the world in windy fronts and fingers of blue, seeking. There were many who might hear, and so many who, in hearing, thought themselves mad, that there were fewer still who might answer. For a time, Medowin knew fear, that she had slept too long and would not find someone who might sing with her.

When the ringing answer finally came, Medowin rejoiced and all but flew to the spot where a young man lay in his sickbed, in feverdreams. His family was none too happy to give him up, for even though Medowin was a child of the gods, to be obeyed, they begged her to spare them their only heir, and heaped her with what little gifts their poor estate could manage, hoping to have her take their sacrifices instead of their son. She declined them all politely and touched each–mother, father, three little sisters–upon the middle of their foreheads, and let them forget the son she would take. Indeed, they woke the next day richer and stronger, and remembered nothing of the boy who had lain dying only hours ago. And if the mother knew a loneliness, an emptiness in her, at such times as when she recalled the lullabye she did not remember having sung to him when he was small, it was nearly filled by husband and daughters, and she questioned herself for her grief, not knowing how she had been robbed… but knowing she had been, for it was sung once, in the very beginning, that a mother’s love of her child cannot be forgotten or lost, and not even Medowin, in her ancient wisdom, who had never borne a child nor could, would understand such a thing.

The boy, for he was yet a boy, was reclaimed to Medowin’s realm, where he was healed and washed and put into a heavy sleep beside the woman who had called for him. There, she took his name, David, and instead, placed a story, a song of discovery, a myth of how she came upon him in the forest, in a copse of trees, left to the wild. She found him in a circle of nine aspen, whose leaves whispered in the wind like a thousand tiny drums, and that became his name. For years, Nine Trees stayed lost in sleep, fed on songs and drunk on dreams, until it would be time for Medowin to wake him again.

Part One — Part Two — Part Three — Part Four — Part Five — Part Six — Part Seven — Part Eight — Part Nine — Part Ten — Part Eleven

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