The Root of Evil [ORI2016]
On a dusty hill in the middle of nowhere stood a tree. It was a popular location for migrating birds to rest their weary wings. Every evening, as the
sun slowly dipped behind the horizon small groups of animals would gather beneath the huge branches. The lone tree was a source of both shelter and
food. There was plenty for all and at this time, before human beings...no creature had to sacrifice it's life to sustain another.
Much later in the story, after the arrival of people and the invention of language...it would be referred to as "The Tree of Life". Years of peace
on earth would eventually transform into chaos and turmoil, and the first inhabitants would be forced to adapt.
But in the beginning everything was different.
All life was sustained and protected by the Elementals. The Gnomes cared for the earth, Undines guided water, Sylphs guarded the air and Salamanders
controlled fire. The four groups kept everything in perfect balance.
After thousands of years without strife or stress the first human emotion manifested itself, presenting as boredom in Garod, one of the elder Gnomes.
He questioned the others, wondering why he suddenly felt a need to 'disturb the status quo'. As the other Gnomes grunted and shrugged, a playful
Undine sprinkled raindrops onto Garod then pointed to the ground.
Dropping his gaze Garod noticed that the hardened soil had become soft and pliable from the water. He cautiously placed one finger into the 'mud'
and slowly swirled it around, eyes transfixed. Suddenly he grabbed a handful and started frantically molding it between his hands. Soon a crowd of
animals and fairies were surrounding the Gnome, watching silently with mouths open and eyes wide.
Oblivious to his audience Garod scrambled to his feet. Glancing up he was taken aback to see himself completely encircled by the silent yet staring
crowd. He carefully picked up his 'creation' and held it up for all to see. Dangling from his pudgy fingers was a figure of a man. Not short and
round like the Gnome, or wispy like the Undine...this was what would later be known as a "human".
With a sense of concern rather than interest, the other Elementals joined them under the tree. Holding the clay figure flat in his small palm, Garod
looked to the Undine. She waved her long fingers over his hand and rained tiny drops upon it. Then she bowed her head and backed away into the
crowd. Next the Salamander, being of fire...shot a small flame at the clay man and instantly dryed the water. The Sylph floated down from a
low-hanging branch and placed her lips gently on the 'man' blowing a soft breeze over his now warm body.
What happened next is a secret. That is the story of the origin of man.
This is about the tree.
When the clay man had become mortal, and more clay men and women had been 'created'...the human beings began to overrule the flora and fauna
surrounding the tree. They were eating the tree's fruits faster than she could grow more and the animals were becoming hungry. Eventually the
earth's creatures started to turn on each other.
The humans became bored with their food (thereby confirming 'boredom' to be the first human emotion as stated above). The larger animals were
getting aggressive with the humans for eating all the food. The Sylphs were moaning as the tension in the air was palpable, and the tree's mighty
branches swayed in sympathy.
The pressure built until the moment came, that would once again change the world as it was. An angry hungry animal attacked the man...and he killed
it. Time stood still and everything stopped except for the slow seeping of the dead creature's blood into the soil beneath the tree of life.
As the blood soaked farther down it reached a tree root and pooled around it. As the blood dried black so did the root. As the starving feral beasts
above ground fought to eat the barely dead carcass, the black root pulsed and started to grow. Over time and with enough carnage...the root became
the most powerful force on earth.
For that is the root of evil.