The Scent of Cedar

“Cedar, you say?” The lean, pale figure asked, Jalen was tall and slim, dressed in green and gold; only his eyes betrayed the slightest hint of the weariness of his years. “And, your sure I am his grand-sire?”

The  tattooed aesthetic nodded at him and passed his hand over the freshly raked patterns in the soil, indicating a small pebble painted blue and red with a thin black line separating the two hues; it seemed to be orbiting a fist sized piece of of malachite.

“That would be Auren’s issue then, the one birthed by the girl in the Southern Kingdoms I suspect.” He said, furrowing his brow. “Given eons I would never understand his fascination with those women. Cedar?” He said the name again with a hint of bemusement, “Why is it that any time one of them spews from between her hips, any offspring with the slightest of points to its ears they rush off and name it after a tree?”

The monk gazed a nearby pool, paying little heed, as Jalen began to pace around the garden.

“It’s not as if that, when we manage to rear a half-breed among our midst we try to apply the labels of Robert, or Henry, or Ancestors forbid George; but neither is it that we even name our own sons and daughters after the local flora all that often. I have lived for almost five hundred years and I can count on my hands the number of Oaks, Ashes, or Willows, Rowans, or Acacias of our race I have met in my time; I dare say I would have a finger or two to spare as well.” He continued to rant as he waved his arms, “I do not know whether to credit her with originality for deciding on something coniferous, or was it simply first bit of foliage the witless cow happened to espy after the blessed event.”

Jalen walked toward the western arch of the garden wall, the sun would soon be setting and he was loathe to miss the view. “I do realize that the lower races do tend to refer to us as the so-called Children of the Forest; but honestly Dagden,” He said smiling at the aesthetic as he motioned through the arch to the city sprawling below the palace steps, “Does this look like a forest to you?” He sighed heavily, “I suppose we should place the fault on bards and their songs.”

Dagden did not stir from his meditation.

“Well, if you are sure that he is the one? There is no one else?”

The monk nodded slightly.

“Very well, have them prepare my horse and my hounds, with any luck they will pick up his trail quickly.” he stepped towards the blue and red pebble, and drew a dagger. Slicing into his own thumb he smeared an X of blood across its surface. “The hunt begins at moon rise.”