Everlaen:Story:Everlaen Gardens

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Date Uncertain - best estimate, late Ches or early Tarsakh, Year of the Staff


Tarli woke with the dawn, as was her custom. A quick set of ablutions and some hastily donned clothes allowed her to catch the rising sun`s delicate pink radiance washing over the treetops. From her vantage point, nestled on a branch well above her house, she could see the village`s surroundings with with ease. It was difficult to beleive that the arboreal settlement was only a few years old. It was a testement to their hard work and dedication as well as the grace of the Seldarine that they had accomplished so much.

Spreading out around her she could catch sight of the shaded walkways and delicate running ropes which joined the wooden platform and formed the paths and roads of Everlaen. Camouflaged into the canopy she could hardly make out more than a handfull of the dwellings in the weak morning light, but she knew they were there. Some carefully wrapped around the trucks of trees, some growing over the branches and some built directly into the trees themselves. The marvellous blending of elven style with natural beauty was a tribute to the Treeshaper twins and their architect friend who had designed and had a hand in building nearly every building in the settlement.

Yet it was not the buildings Tarli was looking at today, it was the gardens - her own project, albeit one she shared with Tanith Sweetvine. Tanith had other matters to take care of now though, and in truth had been distracted by her pregnancy even before the arrival of her twins - the first children born in Everlaen! The gardens, like the village itself, were suspended a mimimum of thirty feet above the forest floor, in some places rising to sit far higher on the canopy. Each garden was small and carefully placed, a wooden platform of varied shape bearing no less than a foot of earth, in some cases more. In theory each was placed in the best possible place to gain enough light and water for the crop planted there. The theory was yet to be tested though as the gardens were newly constructed and had not yielded a single harvest as of yet.

But they would, Tarli thought to herself. They had to ease the problems of hunting and foraging before the community began to permantly damage the surrounding forest. So far the hunting parties had been careful and the foragers had ranged far and wide, but something needed to be done. Perhaps not all of the crops would take, but Tarli felt certain that enough would survive to encourage the village to adopt the scheme as a matter of course and soon everyone would have their own private gardens as well as larger and more productive communal ones.

It was a shame that more space could not be given over to agriculture. The miniaturization of the plan was one of the major drawbacks about it - and probably the major difference between other similar elven projects enacted elsewhere. However, the Council had agreed - unanimously, for even she couldn`t argue with the other councillors reasoning - that security was the main issue to deal with. The gardens must be invisible from the ground, as nearly all of the rest of the village was, yet not be exposed from the air either. Practicality had given way on that last point slightly, for some of the gardens could be seen from the air, particularly if one new what to look for. Their greenary would help disguise them, blending them with the rest of the forest, but someone on the escarpment to the South could conceivably spot them and locate the settlement. However, it had been judged that was unlikely due to the remoteness of their location and the forwarning their patrols should give them if anything approached from that direction. Not that anything should. All contact had so far been from anywhere but the South, the Sisters forming a solid wall of mountains to guard their backs. In any case, further camouflage nets had been created and stached in emergency points to further conceal the gardens.

As these thoughts passed through her head, the elf watched the rising sun burn the mist from the treetops, turning it into moisture to trickle down into the gardens and the light steadily grow. She smiled. All was going as it should. It was time for breakfast and soon enough her other responsibilities would press upon her. Some of the community wanted to discuss trade with the Gnomes of Sandybank, others were concerned at the lack of clothing materials corrently available to the villagers and others... Well, that could wait till after breakfast.

With a final nod of satisfaction, Tarli Trueveins, one of the six councillors of Everlaen, slid down from her perch and returned to the waking world below her...

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