The Artist

There is a place in the west where all things grow. Flowers and trees, yes, but so much more. I have seen crimson wolves sprout from the soil beneath my feet. Songbirds with feathers of bronze emerge from the wood of strange trees, and if you listen closely, sometimes you can even hear the fruits of this peculiar meadow speaking to you. The things that grow here do not bloom like normal plants, either. No, in this place things may grow up and down and forwards as well as backwards; in this place, space and time are playmates, and they love to misbehave. We owe this to the gardener.

The gardener is remarkably kind. All may enter her Orchard and she will greet them with joy and hospitality, yet kindness is not her greatest virtue. Before all else, you see, this gardener is an Artist, so much so that art consumes her. All day, each day, she plants the bulbs that sprout into new and curious life: wolves and birds and talking fruits, and some things too odd for words. The Artist will lose herself in her creation entirely, meticulously sculpting for days on end the next novel creature to flower from her enchanted soils, delighting in its completion for only a moment before inspiration moves her again. She sings while she plants and prunes, and her song rings throughout the domain: the sound of dawning and beautiful life.

There are dark things in the Orchard as well. Horrors made for horror’s sake, and terrible beasts painted from a twisted muse. Yet just as she looks after all wonderful souls that she crafts, the Artist does not forsake these creatures, for just as she learned from her own mother, all one makes must be loved and protected, that it may prosper and grow in peace. This much she knows, and though she knows also of those terrible things born of love and kindness in the shadows below, those wretched, writhing souls in the dark, she cannot bear to wound her own creation. She is the Artist, and she guards all her art.

Her name is Sulhanna, the genesis dragon, goddess of art and creation, and firstborn of the God Beast herself. May she gift you with sunny skies, lovely songs, and a trail of flowers in your wake, my friend.

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