“Grandfather, come see! I planted that hobnail and a weird little weed has come out of the ground!”

“Really? Ah, yes, a shoe tree.”

“That’s…well, not ridiculous but really weird.  It has bark that’s like, well, leather!”

“Yes, it’s a faerie plant.  They are often strange. The shoes it grows contain Rego vis, but better than that, they allow you to run away from anything.”

“How many shoes will it make?”

“Six, probably.  It knows how many of us are here.”

“It knows?  It’s a tree!”

“It’s a very old magic pretending to be a tree.  It’s every person’s yearning to escape, pretending.”

“So, I get my own shoes!”

“Yes, but you can only have them if when I ask you to listen to me, and not interrupt until I’m done, you agree. I need to show you how they work, to keep you safe.”

“Alright.  Will mine be red? I want them to be red. Does the tree know I want…”

“Do you promise?”

“Yes!”

“Alright, then, you may have a pair of shoes.”

“When will they be ready?”

“Oh, they ripen as quickly or as slowly as the person who planted the tree…”

“Yes!  It’s my tree! I want them now!”

“Well, then they’ll ripen as fast as ever they may.”

“Not now?”

“No. I’m guessing it will be dawn. The turning of the sun helps, I believe.  I have only seen a tree like this once before, so it is hard to know.”

“Oh! Story! Tell me about the tree!”

“Please?”

“Please! Grandfather, please!”

“Well, the tree grew in a covenant in Germany, and it was tended by the magi there. They were called Diedne magi, and they had bargained for it with creatures of Deep Arcadia. They wanted it in case the war went badly for them, and their enemies came.”

“Oh, I know this. The Tremere did come, and killed them.”

“Yes, they did. Now, when they did this, they found a shoe, which shed little seeds sometimes when you walked in it. It belonged to the Archmaga Herbaria, who had fought the shark-headed men of the Kagerrat, and lost her right foot.”

“Why could she not heal it with magic?”

“They had bitten off not only her foot, but her ghost’s foot, so that when she regrew it, it putrified and dropped off.”

“Now that’s…”

“Disgusting?”

“…disgusting!”

“So, she had only needed one shoe, and the Tremere used one to find the other and killed her, but after that, they lost track of the shoe, and somehow it was thrown in the garbage.  It floated down the river by Ceoris, and came ashore at a little inn. It embedded itself in the bank and grew there, waiting for someone who understood travel.”

“And?”

“And that was where I finally caught up with your grandmother. I’d chased her across Europe, you know. And after we’d stayed the night, there were shoes on the tree. I’ve never not had shoes from the tree, or its children, for so long.”

“So, now you have your shoes again. They’ll ripen and we’ll all have magic shoes!”

“Yes. There’s a moral.”

“Is it something to do with how it was after you stopped chasing grandmother, then you found the best shoes in the world?”

“Yes. Yes it is, it’s something like that. Now, time for my nap and your supper. Only a sleep until you get your new shoes.”

“Yay! Sleep well!”

* * *

“Where was the lie?”

“How do you mean?”

“All of his other stories have a lie in them. I couldn’t pick it this time.”

“No, this one was completely true.  Try your supper dear.”

“Delicious.”

“The best you’ve ever tasted.”

“Yes. I can’t recall…I…I can’t recall ever actually eating something this good.  I…wait…why was my supper honey for so many nights if you hate the smell of it? Did your role change because of his story?”

“No child.”

“It was always honey.  I…why can’t I remember eating anything other than bread and honey for…

“Well, it used to be your favourite”

“I never get up from the table.  I never finish my supper. Why am I so sleepy?”

“Well, it’s no cause for concern. It’s as your Grandfather told you child. I drug your food.”

“…why?”

“See you tomorrow, Rosa.”

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One thought on “How The Tremere Killed A Diedne Archmaga

  1. Ok… I really, really need to find the time to read these stories. Like always with you, there’s more that meet the eye, and this is pretty intriguing. Thanks a lot.

    Like

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