54.

The tree on the hill was always dying. From spring to spring it endured autumn’s curse; old leaves puckered and fell, new leaves unfolded on naked limbs, gilded and rusty-veined. The house it eventually embodied was ever in disrepair, and a procession of frustrated owners impotently combated its sagging frame and withered windows. From the ashes of the abandoned hovel now grows a golden forest, a site of holy pilgrimage for lovers of Mischief and Death.

grh

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