The mid grey pavement of the forum disappears from under your feet. You were on your way to Downtown to enjoy the buzz and excitement from the games. But now, you are no longer in the forum. Did you perhaps take a right when you should have taken a left? Or maybe you are having a glorious daydream of autumnal wishes.
Reality hits you when a burnt orange leaf twirls down from above and brushes against your right shoulder. No. This is definitely not Downtown. Leaves of orange, red and yellow litter inamongst the plush green grass. You find yourself in a space between two rows of dense, tall trees, with a handful of steps ahead.
Climbing the soft incline, you find yourself in a wide open area. The edges of the space are flanked by the same trees, and as you turn to look back to the grey of the forum, the trees creep and knit together behind you.
You are in the glen. Alone.
Only soft buzzing noises and a gently bubbling brook accompany you. You feel welcome in this glen; the fates did bring you here for a reason after all. Fairy tales spring to mind as you wander the faint worn paths through the glen. Tales of fae creatures, of hags, brownies and spirits. How they all communicate with the human world through fae circles. Perfect circles made of mushrooms or other things. Circles that did not look natural in their construction...more like they were planted purposefully by magical hands.
As if the glen was listening to your thoughts, your gaze is tempted towards a cluster of green mushrooms
perfectly planted in a circle. A small puff of dust erupts from the mushrooms, and you swear you can feel a cool breeze beckon you closer. Was that a bell you heard or was it just your imagination?
As your footsteps move forward, you hear a new noise. A thick, bubbling sound. Your forehead creases before discovering the source of the noise. There is a small black cauldron
, bubbling with purple and green goo. The goo has breached the rim of the cauldron and formed...another perfect circle.
There, in another small alcove of the glen, are those chittering fluffy creatures or are they flowers? As you creep closer to investigate, you notice that the puffballs
are all crowded in a circle. The faint smell of pumpkin pie wafts from the inside of the circle.
Your stomach rumbles as your eye lands on a collection of twisted appealing mushrooms
. With every step closer, you feel the temperature drop. Was that a voice you heard, whispering by your left ear, or cold fingers brushing past your right shoulder?
The light of the glen appears different as you continue down the path. Is the sun setting or is it the blue glowing mushrooms
to your right? A faint melody, accompanied by singing, drifts from the circle of mushrooms that appear to sway in a non-existent breeze.
You nearly miss the next circle; the mushroom almost look like glass. As you wander towards them, you feel like the moon itself is shining through the mushrooms. The smell of ink and parchment reaches your nostrils as you ponder the circle of translucent mushrooms
Further down the path, a circle of burnt orange lights
dances into view. As you peer at the circle, you feel like every light has a different picture flickering in its warmth. You spot familiar letters, time and time again...RPA.
As your feet stumble forward, you catch a glimpse of a circle of bright pink flowers. The magenta foxgloves
sway gently in the breeze, and you swear for a moment that a voice echos from their bell-shaped petals. A sweet voice that charms you, alongside the sound of a crackling fireplace.
The scent of roasted marshmallows leads you to a red toadstool circle
. Just like the ones you remember from those fairy-tale books. These ones feel different, though - it looks almost like blue and pink paint has splattered onto the tops of the mushrooms.
The sun is starting to set, and a warm glow beckons you further down the path. An impossible circle of floating candles
bobs before you. The white wax drips to the grass below and you can hear soft laughter, conversation and music. As you gaze at the candles, you feel a sense of invitation swell in your chest.
Will you dare to cross into the circles? Who knows what lies within...