I heard you wanted to know about the tree.
So be it.
Knut and I were sent up the last night of the forum.
There was a report only one prisoner was there where four should still be.
It was late. Muddy paths, we were just about to go to sleep when the messenger found us.
We could hear sobbing in the distance. Slowly growing louder and louder.
It was but one voice.
She stood alone chained to the tree. Surrounded by a field of…
She begged us to take her. Anywhere. She would do no wrong again.
She… oh she made my heart ache. I know fear. I use it when I need to but she was beyond the pale.
Eventually we got her talking and like a flood it just came out.
Of the people who were “imprisoned” there, she was the only one left.
The tree ate the rest.
/Sigurd takes a drink from a bottle/
As we stepped away from the tree with the girl in manacles a voice spoke out.
“Kanut, where are you going Kanut”
I froze. It was not I speaking. Kanut looked at me. As if to ask what I had said.
“Did you bring this large one for me”
We were looking at each other. Neither of us spoke those words.
The poor girl just started screaming. I took her several paces away as Kanut spun looking for the voice.
I’ll spare you the details. Mostly I do not want to relive that conversation.
That tree. He? Is. Was?… the first man to starve chained to the tree.
We thought people had been set to watch over the prisoners.
The first to starve opened his eyes and found food. Chained to him. He was trapped where he had starved to death.
And he began to eat.
The poor girl. She was there for the whole time. Drinking what she could.
Eating what she could.
The Tree… leaves quiet a mess.
It’s hungry. It..
He starved. Chained to a tree.
I almost feel sorry for that…
/Sigurd raises a hand pointing at the hill in the distance/
Now you know…
I will leave you to your meal.