The rain gently pours down on top of the mountains. Deep in the valley below the fog settles in for the evening. It is a fog that brings life to this valley. Frogs come alive in a chorus of croaking echoes from tree to tree, bouncing off the calm water puddles, and reflecting back from upended rock faces. Birds chirp and sing happily as their bounty of food rises out of the earthen floor to escape the water saturated ground.
The trees themselves revel in the mists, their bark absorbing the moisture, swelling into a fullness they had yearned for months prior. As they rejuvenate, the trees release subtle aromas, scents that tingle the nose and calm the mind. The smell that feels like this is where one belongs.
The tangled roots dig down slowly, as if hugging the ground, never wanting to let go. They grasp for what they can, even when there is little to be had. As it has been repeated many times, “Life will find a way.” The trees along the mid-valley ridge hold true to the phrase. The ridge’s crest is composed mostly of a protruding rocky surface. The majority of the tree’s roots can be seen above as erosion has washed away most of the soil. Roots like seeking vines have plunged down the ridge side looking for earth to dig into, the main roots already set in the few crevices the stone would allow.
Two trees provide a gateway, a natural door to the otherwise inaccessible ridge’s predominant feature: Oblivion’s Bridge. The bridge is not really a bridge, but a rocky point that extends over the valley. When the fog settles, it resembles a bridge disappearing into the mists. It is rarely taken, however, due to the fear it inspires and is said to only become active within the rejuvenating fog. Yet it isn’t the bridge that activates, it’s the doorway.
On days like these, the trees awaken and ignite like wildfire with the energy of life. How could they not? Being surrounded by life thriving and existing themselves where normal plants should be denied to take root, the bonds between the trees grow exponentially stronger and open their gateway.
It’s understandable why so many believe the bridge itself is what changes. Once one goes beyond the trees, the only real path to Oblivion’s Bridge, the sounds of the animals, the smells of the rain, plants, and earth fade away. Why Oblivion’s Bridge is feared is immediately obvious once one realizes the sounds of nature have fallen behind. In this silence, it is said, you can only hear whispers of a language unknown.
Well, it is not wholly unknown, no. In fact it is one of the oldest languages life has ever known. The Druids of old came close to speaking the language. It doesn’t have a name, it just is. This doorway is not the only one to be found either, there are many more all over this planet, but none are more prominent than the bridge.
The whispers are of the trees. Yes, my brothers and sisters of the forest! We all know of the bridge, we all know where these gateways are, and we can speak the languages of man. We can also help you return to where you unwittingly entered the gateway. Should we help you? Your people continuously murder our kind and mutilate their corpses to provide shelter and other amenities.
But a good lot of you also help us, nurture us, attempt to ensure our survival, and care for our young. If we help you, you must find the Oblivion’s Bridge. There is an old oak tree at the end with whom you could speak, but don’t stay too long. The gate doesn’t just stay open for you once you’re in and if you’re on our side when it closes… They named it Oblivion’s Bridge for a reason.
Go then, be off. You might do us a bit of good. The Old Oak has some information your kind desperately needs to continue survival after what’s to come. Now that, that will be quite the adventure.
I only wish we could be around for it after…