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The forest bled, or rather ashed, and Gorm sifted through the burnt remains hopelessly. He was too late, and the orcs had made swift work of burning the grove. He gazed at the trees around, aspens and oaks and maple, but not a single of the magically grown trees remained standing. Slowly, the binds that held the forest together in spite of the weather in this region would unravel. The creatures here will die, Gorm thought to himself. There's no stopping that now, not for another hundred years when new trees will sprout.
But then a fluttering nearly sent Gorm's hand to his blade. The voice that followed, a feeble hooting of a mother-owl looking for her child, stilled him. He reached out and offered his hand, muttering ancient words of friendship that only the creatures of woods and earth knew. She alighted on his hand, and he queried the noble lady on where she last saw her son.
Hope, he thought as they found the chick under a nearly rotted tree, is good to come upon.
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