Meeting the Blight King

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It is said that in all forests there is a natural flow of water in the roots. Rain falls, and it channels itself into the waiting alms-hands of the trees and weeds. But, in the damp low places of the woods, sometimes water will pool out of the reach of even the deepest tree-tongues. In the cruelty of food held out of reach, where trees above can taste the slow molding of the world below them, a blight is sometimes born.

Part plant, part cruelty, part something else: maybe even something human. These creature were obsessed with keeping their own, expanding their shallow pools into caverns beneath the forest. It always happened, when the Blights got too greedy stealing water from the trees above them, the roots which formed the roof of their lair would struggle and groan. The trees, starving, cry out to their shepherds for help; usually their cries came too late. The dead trees would then form the cieling a growing blight would wake up to see. If being born in privelage that soaked the life from those near you wasn't enough, waking up to a roof their corpses certainly was. 

Not long after this the blights learned gnawing on the roots of trees caused them to grow stronger, strong enough to walk in sunlight. The strange, fungal and tangled beings crept through the gaps in their roofs and blinked with black corneas at the world above. They've been a trouble to druids and adventurers ever since. 

But then one day, a party of adventurers met the Blight King. A strange, sad being; the Blight King wore robes of colors that matched to the human eye and spoke eloquently of sorrow and the cruelty of his existence. He fondled the scalps of trees that he'd drunk dry, sad that he could not drink from the streams of their world to allow them life. The adventurers, who happened upon him by mistake, immediately thought to flee; or else thought to throw some flaming thing into his chest. But then the Blight King did something unexpected: he offered them a flower. It was odorless and a sickly pale color, but it was a gift to the humanoid races, undheard of in our times. He smiled sadly, and then stood up and was gone. The smell of lingering mold intermingled with fresh rain wafted into them as the adventures carried on, confused and wondering. 

Even those creatures who've crept into privelage from the roots of those before them can learn to be kind. 

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