The Bog Keeper

See my original post on HitRecord Here: https://hitrecord.org/records/3918463

Based on this Remix by Bosska: https://hitrecord.org/records/3097059

She was small, for a Bog Keeper.  Always the runt, her family had feared for her when she’d set out to find her own bog to tend at the young age of forty-two.  But Arl was strong and smart, and she’d made it halfway across the continent before she had found a bog to call her own.  That, however, was when the trouble started.  And it was all because of a small, irritating wisp that wouldn’t stop following her.  

Wisps are hard to understand.  They speak softly in old languages that only sometimes translates with their spotty magic.  This wisp was no exception, and it babbled inconsistently while Arl kept walking, swatting at the creature here and there.  It was spry, and wove around her hands with ease.

“If you won’t tell me what you want,” Arl said, exasperated, “would you please leave me be?” 

But the wisp would not.  It followed Arl for five days and six nights before she noticed something odd about the annoying creature- the wisp was fading.  Dying, maybe.  Arl had never heard of a sickness that infected wisps.  She noticed that it was becoming more sluggish and less talkative,  until finally it came to rest in her hand.  

“You need my help,” Arl finally realized.  “I have been a bad Bog Keeper.  I am sorry,” she told the wisp.  She breathed a bit of bog magic into the creature, giving it enough energy to bounce around her once again. 

“Show me,” she told the wisp.  And it did.  Arl followed the wisp through her new bog until they reached a tree that was bigger than any she’d seen in the bog so far.  At the base was a crack in the bark that the wisp flew into, and it was just big enough for Arl to squeeze through after it.  The inside of the old tree was hollow, and the walls were lined with fading, dying wisps.  Arl looked in saddened awe at the number of them.  

“Why is this happening?” she asked them.  None answered; perhaps they did not know.  “What is your source of power?”  

Her wisp, the one that had brought her there, floated gently in the center of the room.  A few others joined it, and together they began to glow brightly.  It was beautiful.  Their power drew forth a stone from the roots and earth beneath them; it was large and covered in swirling runes, oozing power through a huge crack on the left side.  Arl knew that could not be natural.  She went over to the stone and held her hand over the crack, the hissing power of the wisps burning her skin.  But she steadied herself, and poured bog magic into the stone, working as hard as she could to seal it.  Vines sprouted from the ground around her, covering the stone and creating a protective barrier.  It was enough, for now.  Arl fell to her knees, drained of power and energy.  Her wisp came and laid in her hand.  “Thank you,” it whispered.  She nodded, glad the wisps would not all fade away.  But now she knew that someone or something had targeted them, and this was her bog now.  She had a wrong to right, and a bog to keep safe.  Arl’s journey was only beginning.