Prologue – In The Land of Dodona –
In the land of Dodona, there lies an Oracle shrine to the god Zeus. The Oracle is centered upon a sacred grove of mystic trees. The priests and priestesses listen to the whispers of the trees, which have insight into the world and the way of things.
There is a particular tree off to the side. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this tree. Its branches are gnarled and worn by the ages, its leaves broad and vibrant, rustling in the wind. What interests us is the screaming. The screaming and the pain. Pain. Pain and suffering. Biting pain. Slicing pain. Chopping, slicing, gnashing, steel-edged pain. So is the wound of an axe upon my side. For I am the tree.
I scream. I beg. I cry. But she is relentless. She came to me, a goddess, into our grove. She explained of witches and princelings and vile kings. She explained of goddesses and jealousy and anger and the need to teach respect. She explained. And I listened. And I understood. I un