Shayara and the Devas

The history of Dryad society that had present since the advent of the Magical Realm’s creation had always been baffling to Shayara and dryad females like her. On the one hand, the world praised what it referred to as the oldest race in the world for its progressive attitudes towards their women and indeed, one would not be mistaken by thanking the dryad race for inspiring the matriarchal societies of the Magical Realm simply by elevating the status of the dryad females such that they had the final say in all social and moral matters and their lives were valued more than the prevalent males.

Dryad females were so elevated in society  that they begun to enjoy having major control and power in everything concerning their society. At one point, the Wise Ones, a council comprising of the most respected Elders of the community (usually those of the immortal race that had existed the longest) had been entirely comprised of women.

Dryad society had flourished during the time of peace but had admittedly doomed itself by participating in the Magical Realm’s first war known as the Puritan War in the 10th Century when together with fairies and sorcerers calling themselves ‘Cosmos’, they had enslaved the races whom they deemed lesser than themselves and colonized their lands.  They adamantly refused to accept any children borne by the other races and would later come to refer to them as ‘Half-breeds’

The enslaved races fought for independence and gained it during the earlier part of the 12th Century. By then, the numbers of the enslaved races particularly those of the witch race had multiplied and surpassed that of their own and their enemies’ attacks targeted the dryad people where it would hurt them most; by destroying the already dwindling numbers of dryad females using the only attacks that could kill the immortal beings- spiritual based attacks.

Given the dire consequences of starting a war that had ultimately ended in the tragic loss of  very many fertile women and given the dangers that arose from such uncertain times after the war, the previously all female ‘Wise Ones’ Council was scrapped and replaced by an all male council all of whom were respected war generals and it was decided that all dryad males were to protect their women at all costs in a desperate effort to save their race from the brink of extinction.

In the years following the war, more male children continued to be born into the society than their female children. Previously, dryads were not accustomed to settling down with just one partner because of the highly sexual nature of the dryads like nymphs and fairies. Through thorough investigation gained mainly through observations, the new Wise Ones’ Council began to notice a pattern in certain pairings that seemed more likely to produce female children than male ones therefore, it decreed that from then on such pairings would be ‘mated’ similar to the way mortals were married only in this case, it was more irrevocable considering dryads were immortal.

This sudden decision was met with resistance and the Wise Ones realized they’d have to be smarter about their approach. They decided that the best way to convince the people to do this was to approach their spiritual leaders, the Sages. Through the Sages, the Wise Ones hoped to change the attitudes of the people to embrace marriage. Time would prove that the idea was a stroke of genius from the Wise Ones.

On their part, the Sages managed to train their people by taking advantage of the already existing belief that dryad women needed to be protected, loved and cherished by the community more than their males and managed to convince the community of how marriage would achieve this.

According to the Sages, only dryad males could truly love, cherish and protect their females therefore taking them on as life long partners was noble and socially and morally just. Females, on the other hand, were trained on their importance; that they were the life and spirit of their community and had a moral and social obligation to see to it that their people did not go extinct. These beliefs were reinforced daily so much so they automatically resonated in every dryad’s mind and their subconscious minds begun to seek to accomplish these noble missions that were so crucial for the survival of their race. The dryad race also turned a blind eye to the other wars that happened around them and refused to fight alongside any of their former allies unless it was very necessary and even then, their women were very well protected and preserved.

In a mere decade, nothing but a rain drop in the infinite ocean of a dryad’s life, the attitudes of the people had began to change and with it, more females were born into the community.Males that were not paired by their women began to envy those who were and began seeking ways to secure mates of their own. By the third decade, the dryads experienced their largest population boom in years. There were now enough female dryads that almost every male could have a mate of his own even without proving that they could produce female offspring with that female dryad, a privilege previously only enjoyed by nobles.

During the time of this population boom which happened sometimes in the late 1970s, the dryad males began to return to their old ways of not strictly sticking to one female of their race. They often left their homes in the Magical Realm to seek females of other races and were particularly impartial to the witch race which was the most fertile of all magical races. Some dryad males even went as far as to travel to the Mortal Realm and settle down with the non-magic bestowed women. During this time, more respect was given to the ‘half-breeds’ that had gone on to be addressed as ‘Hybrids’ and had spread out to occupy two states namely Pharland (formerly Medula) and Feirnon and dryad society welcomed hybrid dryads with open arms in spite of their diminished dryad abilities and mortality.

By 1990, the Wise Ones had been very certain that their community would never be faced with the crisis it had previously suffered from again and though the female dryads cried out to them to try and make them force their males to stick to them alone, the Wise Ones simply responded that the females could follow suit and seek other partners to satisfy the dryad race’s infamous appetite for carnal pleasure.

It was not an easy task for the females to do this since the Sage’s training had been so effective. By then, every dryad female had been taught that the males suffered so much and they were the only cure to what ailed them. They were continually trained on how to please their men and ease their burden. They were taught to embrace their femininity and leave the more ‘aggressive’ tasks to the males. Women were rarely allowed to join the army even during that time when their numbers were many and even those gifted with the warrior skill were told to engage in more feminine tasks.

Come 21st November 1990, an evil Sage sorceress who would later come to be known as the evil one, the worst villain ever known in the Magical Realm, rose to power. She managed to locate what were known as the Pillars of Creation from whence all life rose. The evil one was able to access and control the mystical energies of life from the pillars and used it to enslave nearly the entire world all save for dryads and other nymphs, witches, fairies and lycans whose powers were anchored too deeply in the elements to be corrupted.

The evil one then used the corrupted ones to begin ethnic cleansing to purge the world of the races she couldn’t control. She also offered lycans, that had been vastly mistreated and discriminated against, a shot at power and being known as one of the superior races. The lycans agreed provided they’d be allowed to kill witches, their mortal enemies themselves, something that deeply pleased the evil Sage.

During this time, more lives were lost and it took half a decade for a heroine to be born that would defeat the evil one. The crisis then, had returned and the situation was far worse than it had ever been and the dryad race was never able to fully recover from it. The Wise Ones continued to strictly impose the way of life of their people insisting that females do not participate in war despite the fact that some females were naturally gifted in the warrior skill…

Shayara and other females like her were all that remained in the year 2200 when there was only 1 female to every 50 males. To lessen this very dire situation, the dryad males were also encouraged to mate with women from other magical races most especially witches who were still the most fertile women in the Magical Realm and could potentially pass on this fertility to future hybrid dryads. The Wise Ones and the Sages continued their instruction and dryad males grew very desperate in trying to secure dryad females as mates.

Shayara’s own mother had been a victim to the attitude of doing whatever it took to be secured as a mate for a dryad male. Shyla had been full of life and promise and was a gifted craftswoman. She loved to sing and dance and was a joy to be around. Shayara’s father, Byland had been a warrior and upon seeing her mother, had coveted her for his own as so many others did. He had gotten to Shyla by using his superior affinity to alchemy and concocted several potions to ensnare and enslave her until she had conceived their daughter.

Shyla had been very frightened when she first learned that she was pregnant for in those days, if found by a healer to be carrying a female child, it automatically was assumed that the male that had impregnated you was your true mate and that you shared ‘true chemistry’ with him. It was not a choice women were allowed to make, it simply must have been taken as gospel and therefore, irrefutable proof.

Shyla was examined by a healer that confirmed her worst fears and Shyla was decidedly to be tied for all eternity to the monster that had enslaved and impregnated her against her will. She was devastated and sought to run away and care for the child on her own but it had not been enough. Byland found her and used all the Sage teachings he knew to try to make her stay.

His arguments had been heard over a thousand times by all dryad women unfortunate enough to have borne female children. He argued that he was the one chosen for her and no other could love her as he did. They were meant to be together and this was the will of the goddess of the Earth, Gaia as the Children of the Earth addressed her as.  Byland  told her that she needn’t worry about a thing and that Shyla should feel blessed and happy to have found a mate at long last as it was her destiny…

Shyla resisted it so much that Byland felt he had no choice but to go to the Wise Ones. They reinforced what he had told Shyla and she was told not to try to escape and that her trying to do so was shameful and against the societal rules. She was forcibly married to Byland by the dryad ceremony known as the tying of the vine where she was forced to wear a brown-colored gown usually made by dryad females for their brides and her right hand was forced upon Byland’s who wore the biggest smile knowing his scheme had worked. Some vines then tied them together and a Sage offered a blessing for the couple, blessed Shyla’s womb that she may conceive and bear more female children and Byland’s seed to remain fruitful.

There was no redeemable quality of life for Shyla after that. Day after day, she endured agony like she had never known. She tried to be strong for her daughter but it was impossible. The joy and exuberance she had once had was all gone. Her husband’s attempt at romance only sought to make her more bitter and loathe him more. The women told her she’d eventually get over loathing as many of them had. The males assured Byland that Shyla would come around and to count his many blessings from Gaia.

Shayara was born a very healthy, bouncing, baby girl but it was clear to her even at a young age that something was not right with her mother. A young Shayara watched her mother continually fall apart and watched Shyla struggle with depression while trying to maintain a false facade of happiness. She felt helpless and did not know what to do to help her mother.

One day after school, Shayara returned home and immediately began to feel a deep void in her soul. She searched for her mother and found the letter that would change her life for all time. Her mother wrote that she loved her very much and she had tried her hardest to live for her but she could no longer keep up the facade. She told Shayara that her spirit was weary and she sought rest in the land of the spirits and she would watch over her from there. She also praised her daughter’s intellect and strong affinity for alchemy and potions making and told her that she knew she’d go very far with it. Shyla also apologized that she would not live to see her adorable grandchildren and her grandchildren’s grandchildren. She then urged her daughter to be brave and strong and above all, to take care that she didn’t fall prey to the deceitful ways of their men as she had…

Shayara had run out screaming from their tree home in Ambrosia, one of Mialand’s cities, still clutching her mother’s letter and wailing in sorrow, her mind retaining some false hope that her mother could still somehow be alive  though also thinking that it had been too late for her mother to still be alive. Her father learned of his mate’s passing from a friend that had tried his best to convey the message gently but Byland became even more distraught and just before Shayara’s 21st birthday when she became a legal adult, he choose to release his own spirit into the land of the spirits to reunite with his wife in the afterlife.

Her father’s passing had not come as a surprise to her considering he was barely there for her after his wife died. Shayara had had to have been strong or she’d not have survived. Perhaps, as she reasoned later, it was the dominant warrior skill in her that made her resolve as strong as titanium or maybe because since her mother’s passing, she had known no other way than to embrace strength.

Schooling for dryads was primarily structured on their Earth based gifts as well as their customs and beliefs and a child was consistently monitored by his or her teachers to identify which of the three core skills of a dryad (which were crafting, healing and warrior skills) they possessed.  The teachers had been very worried when Shayara displayed very strong warrior skills and excelled in every task requiring her use of those skills, surpassing even her male peers.

Shayara was especially gifted in wielding swords and daggers and could easily fight and win against anyone she was paired up to duel with. To discourage her from sharpening these skills, the teachers encouraged her to focus more on her secondary skill; crafting especially in alchemy which like her father before her, Shayara was exceptionally gifted at. She went on to win several alchemical competitions emerging first place in nearly all of them. However, as much as Shayara enjoyed brewing her poisons and potions, she felt at greater peace on the field wielding a sword than in any mad scientist lab concocting the next cure for whatever evolved virus threatened the first plain of existence at the time.

She tried several times to enter dueling competitions and to join several law enforcement junior clubs to no avail. It got to a point where Shayara was even given several warnings; both verbal and written from the school as well as being suspended twice for sneaking on the grounds to watch the young Warriors club training. She was also often found following the army around whenever they went on patrol in the vast woodlands of the city.

Shayara realized that the only way she could ever realize her dream of becoming an accomplished warrior in her own right was if she could somehow disguise herself as a man. However, she knew that simply cutting her hair or using a shape-shifting enchanted mirror would not be enough since everyone had a distinctive scent and she didn’t have a prayer of fooling the warriors in those ways.

She realized that the only way she could become a warrior was to find a way to entirely turn into a different person with a unique scent. Shayara then began to experiment in her make-shift mad scientist alchemical lab and by 2220 when she was 30 years old, she finally had her eureka moment by inventing the Magical Realm’s first true Androgynous Potion. Using her proficiency in alchemy and Potion brewing, she was able to modify the androgynous potion to suit her needs by shedding her female gender and transforming into the male gender and back at will.

As the male persona she created for herself, she was finally able to practice the warrior skill in peace as she had a totally different scent and set of physical features. For four weeks at a time, she was able to train and go on missions assuming the identity of a youth from a Mortal Realm dryad Kingdom named Mariamne. As Sulu the male persona she invented for herself, she was finally able to become the warrior she had always dreamed of becoming.

As she grew in skill, she began to see women like her who wished to join the army get rejected. One tenacious female Gael, always kept coming back for more, not perturbed by the rejection she faced daily. On one such trip, Shayara ran after her and told her about her secret. However, it took actually turning back into her female form in front of Gael’s eyes for the latter to believe that such a thing was possible.

Feeling a strong sense of kinship to her, Shayara shared her potion with Gael and together, they continued to grow in their warrior skills. The two became as thick as thieves often covering for each other when they inevitably had to return to their true forms. However, their clever scheme had its expiry date when some warriors were sent to Mariamne to corroborate their stories and it was found that they were impostors.

Upon learning of the possible threat to their people from two strange men with no true origins, the warrior class attempted to arrest the two strangers. Shayara and Gael fought bravely and fearlessly but were outmatched by the warriors who arrested them and brought them before the Chief Warrior of the Prince of Ambrosia’s army who immediately demanded that they reveal their true identities and purpose of such terrible deceit.

The two women decided that death was a preferable option than the indignity of having to admit to the reasons they had turned themselves into men but of course, they would not have their wish, being imprisoned and watched around the clock to ensure they did not so much as seek rest in the land of the spirits which was so easy for dryads to do.

Inevitably, the potion’s effects wore off in four weeks and where there had been two fierce and brave male warriors stood two fertile, unmated dryad females. The transformation was initially perceived as a kind of dark illusion cast by the two warriors and they were inevitably placed before the Chief Warrior once more who was as flabbergasted as the young warriors were capable of such powerful magic.

Of course everything done in an attempt to convert the shape-shifting warriors back to their ‘true forms’ was unsuccessful and by the time they were done interrogating the suddenly ‘mute’ warriors, the news had spread faster than Greek fire and they were soon identified by villagers as the Houdini Shayara and Gael respectively.

The Wise Ones, to whom the case was referred were astounded to have to decide a suiting punishment for the two rebellious females. They, of course, could not have the women sentenced to death when their people were suffering so much without them.

However, they were afraid that the actions of these women would inspire similar instances of their unique perversion of societal morals and so the only punishment they saw fitting was to place the two women under permanent probation- where they’d be monitored around the clock to ensure whatever means they were using to transform themselves into men would not occur or if it did, that their actions would inform the Wise Ones of what the means was and how it could possibly be countered.

The warriors assigned of this very noble task were beyond the roof with excitement. It was a chance to exclusively follow the lives of two unmated dryad females, an advantage most males were willing to kill for. For Shayara and Gael, it only further proved the paradox of their society; one that called itself progressive for its attitudes towards women and for their embrace of sexual freedom and yet one that was unwilling to allow these same women to excel in the skill they were especially gifted in.

Shayara and Gael were also meant to be separated as much as possible so that they could not plot and scheme together. Other women were either astounded by their daring and inspired by it or else frightened of the ‘freaks’ these two outcasts were. The only true time Shayara and Gael did see each other or even speak to one another was at the crafting stations craftswomen usually congregated usually over the babble of the stations.

However, the two women would not so easily concede defeat. They continued blending into the crowd as best they could in their present circumstance while they crafted the sophisticated attire the Magical Realm and Mortal Realm’s wealthiest could not get enough of and the other women who tended to avoid them as a principle, slowly but surely began giving them more avenues to speak to each other. They could then easily see that their next line of strategy involved selling their own wares, under the strict probationary conditions imposed on them but a way of getting means to fund their secret and unforgotten agenda to escape their imprisonment.

The crafting stations and markets also enabled them to keep abreast on the community’s gossip and they gathered invaluable information about some of the other women who had suffered Shyla’s fate. Shayara managed to fool all but Gael of the true depths of her anger and hatred of hearing such stories that were happening very often in those days.

In no time, the male warriors that guarded them began their own demands on them. They were never shy to remind Shayara and Gael of their responsibilities towards furthering their dying race. They were quite ironical in their approach of the ladies,  throwing everything they could at them from flattery and other means of seduction to reinforcing their need to cater for the needs of the males and their social and moral responsibility to their people, hoping to see what would induce the compassion dryad females were so famous for having in both Shayara and Gael.

Control of their nature was also exceedingly difficult for the women considering their nature. Shayara and Gael knew it was only a matter of time before they gave into the demands made by their males from their own natures which were working against them and that only increased the likelihood of falling prey like other females were and it was a frightening thought that the ‘vessel’ that carried the spirit as dryads were fond of thinking of (since they saw themselves as spirits with bodies) had the power to determine their eternal fate.

As the days passed and turned into months, it became exceedingly hard to overcome their natural urges and without the means to craft a nifty potion to help them cope, it was not difficult to give into their males. However, once this was done, it got slightly easier for Shayara and Gael since the males were willing to relax a little bit and allow them some kind of room.

Under the guise of romanticism, the two women were able to convince the males to leave Ambrosia for other cities in Mialand and they cleverly took advantage of  the sunk cost fallacy, a cognitive bias which even dryads were susceptible to. The further away and the more time they convinced the warriors to spend on them, the easier it was to ask the warriors to do the same thing over and over again and some.

Turning the males on each other while on one of their calculated ‘romantic’ trips that saw them in Denary, the closest neighboring country to Mialand was very easy to do because each male fantasized on gaining one of the females for his own. The women had been carefully planting the seeds of discord among the males by subtly praising one aspect or another about them to make it seem as if each male was better than the other. All they had to do was spark a disagreement and it escalated into battle and by the time the males were any wiser, the masterful females had escaped from them eventually finding themselves in Pharland, which was formerly known as Medula. They had achieved this feat in just one year!

Pharland in the 23rd Century was a former shell of itself when majority of its natural resources for mining had nearly been completely depleted. There were very many ‘ghost towns’ and the two escaped convicts were easily able to acquire one of these ghost towns under different aliases. The cost of acquiring this town was not difficult to meet and they settled in quite well. By night, the two women used the architecture of underground mining caves and their natural gifts to influence soil and rock to intricately curve and design their very own inner city while during the day, they continued raising funds for the new city…

Construction of the city was completed a mere two years later, in 2223 but it was far from being complete for they knew it was only a matter of time before their evasion tactics wore off and they were finally traced by their people. The two women required one helluva boundary spell that would not only repel unwanted persons to their newly made underground city but one that would enable them to stay invisible in a way that no tracing magic could find them.

To get such a powerful boundary spell to work, they’d require a very powerful caster, a sorcerer no less. There was no place that sprang to mind having such an abundance of such casters than a country in the second plain of existence named Avala. Getting there required travel to the magical enclave country of Great which had several doorways into the second plain of existence and beyond having once belonged to the second plain before mysteriously shimmering into the first plain in the year 1998.

Once in the country referred to as the Land of Great, they were able to cross over into the second plain of existence easily and found themselves at the Lake near the border between Avala and the cursed lands of Avena, in the Weeping Forest which had once been a vibrant and promising witch nation that had fallen prey to a terrible curse affecting the local population by turning them into murderous, irredeemable monsters called ‘Weepers’ for the sound they made during the night when they would emerge from the forest and mercilessly murder anything that breathed or moved.

From there, the women approached the Budding Lake which connected the two lands, from whence a large enchanted traveler boat from Avala magically floated towards the two ladies who boarded one of them, paid the standard fee of two copper pieces each by feeding the coins into the end of the boats that looked like a dragon’s mouth which opened further to allow the coins to be inserted and then subsequently ‘swallowed’ the coins and allowed the two ladies to command it towards the magical country by mere will alone. Once there, the two women were greeted by Avala’s own Protectors, both women who were able to tell merely from their stances that Shayara and Gael were warriors like them. They greeted each other using the ancient warrior greeting before Shayara stated their business and presented their required documentation.

The Protectors verified this information before allowing them into the Island state that had replaced Terra Sapienta as the country with the most powerful casters in the world. They were guided by maps provided by the Protectors and finally went up to a Government building known as the Magical Cartography Department, similar to the Mortal and Magical Realms Government buildings which dealt with boundary spells for .

Once inside, a bubbly male receptionist inquired the purpose of their visit before asking them to remain seated as he checked if there were any available agents from the department that usually addressed such matters. He then helpfully ushered them into a brightly lit office where a busy, stony-faced agent asked the two women to sit without looking up at them from his computer.

When he did look up, he was utterly distracted by the mere beauty of the ladies and had to hold onto a physical charmed pendant to ensure he wasn’t being duped by the powerful, seductive charm of the dryads. The charm was working well but he was still very awed at the two women, a testament to the sheer beauty of the dryad race.

Shayara spoke of their purpose briefly and concisely but was unsure of whether the man was listening to her or not. After a few awkward pauses after her explanation was over, the man, who had not introduced himself formally to them but was a C. Pullman according to his name plaque, asked to see their legal permit confirming that they owned the city they wished to enchant with a powerful boundary spell.

Upon examining the document and searching through the database, he frowned and rechecked whatever it was again and again on the database prompting Gael to ask, “Mr. Pullman, is there a problem?”

“I’m… I’m afraid so, my lady. You see, every year our country reviews its contracts with your country, that is, Pharland and well, this year, the contracts were not renewed so I cannot legally assist you in… um… casting the boundary spell,”

“Are you certain?” Shayara asked a little rougher than she’d meant to.

The man nodded ashamedly. “I’m sorry, ladies. You see, people are moving away from Pharland rather than towards it and- and the government of Pharland doesn’t get any more requests like this one… I am very sorry,”

Shayara and Gael shared a look of disappointment and nodded to each other, leaving the office feeling and looking dejected. They bumped into a woman in the reception area and left without a second glance. They returned home to their city and did all that they could to mask it but knew it would not be nearly enough.

One month later, their theory proved true when they sensed the presence of another at the entrance of the cave to their city. Not willing to give up without a fight, the two women geared themselves up for the fight that would surely come, grateful for their knowledge of the cave system that they knew would come in handy.

The other did not seem to want to come in and instead offered her surrender. Surprised that the attacker was a woman, Shayara went out to meet her and found it was a sorceress dressed rather impeccably and bearing no weapons that she could see.

“Who are you?” Shayara asked her curiously.

“My name is Rhea and I mean you no harm,” she said with an accent that was unmistakably from Avala.

“Are you from… are you Avalian?”

Rhea nodded and smiled. “You’re very perspective. I am sorry that I used my magic to follow you but once Bard told me about you; (he’s the receptionist you spoke to today), I felt compelled to come here and meet you,”

“You were that woman at the reception, weren’t you?”

Rhea smiled and nodded. “I am a sorceress and I can help you,”

“Why?”

“Because when I saw you and your friend leave the office… I knew you’d been rejected and I… I honestly just want to help you. Please allow me to,”

Shayara was highly suspicious as was Gael but they were desperate and took Rhea’s offer readily. She cast a very powerful boundary spell and seemed unperturbed by the fact that it was illegal. Rhea stayed with them all night but come morning light, she was gone as quickly as she’d come, with an air of mystery in her wake.

Shayara and Gael, were however, safe and secure for the first time in months and they were finally able to begin their true mission of rescuing as many women from their fate and bring them to their safe haven there in Pharland. Using their seductive charm and power, they were able to cultivate a network of lycans from Denary to infiltrate and gather necessary information in Ambrosia and further used these lycans to get through to the women that needed their help then smuggled them into Pharland and into their secret city.

Their sneaky tactics and winning strategy did not go unnoticed but was never truly hindered until some of the women who refused the freedom Shayara and Gael offered them and choose instead to be forced into unions with males as their social and moral obligation, choose to reveal their scheme. The search for these women resumed in earnest with the best warriors being selected for the task but of course they could not find them in their nifty hiding place underground which repelled anyone in the vicinity of the boundary. This of course, made rescuing the women harder but by then, Shayara and Gael were not alone.

As dryads continued to be more suspicious of the women’s lycan agents, the women freed from captivity continued to grow their network of allies enlisting even the help of witches. It was easier when witches were involved since it was hardly considered suspicious to see witches lurking around the Crafting Stations and Marketplaces and since most of the trading done at Ambrosia was between witches and dryads, it was easier for the females not to censor themselves when witches were around therefore gaining more useful information for their cause.

Furthermore, their agents could be used to conduct trade for them since it became too risky to do so themselves in time which gathered more funds for the cause. While in the city, they could freely practice and impart knowledge of their skills to each other. The freed women who would otherwise have been forced into unhappy unions were able to raise their daughters in peace. It was a Utopia of sorts for the women and they were eternally grateful to Shayara and Gael.

The Wise Ones were truly shaken by the success of Shayara and Gael’s scheme and it was clear that they needed to make an exception to the rule with these women who were reducing the number of fertile women in their society and turning them against their culture and norms. These women, for the first time in the history of their race, were classified as public enemies and were labelled dark dryads similar to those males who had chosen to forfeit goodness and instead embrace a life of wickedness. A death penalty no less was imposed on them if they did not repent and immediately settle down in marriage with eligible dryad males.

However, Shayara and Gael’s city grew and became a society. Eventually, Rhea, who revealed herself to be a Chosen One, came to them on bent knees and begged to live in their society. Shayara who’d become like the undisputed leader of this underground city could hardly say no to her offer. The powerful Chosen One continued to create more avenues for their mission to continue even as Shayara and Gael continued being sought after by the army back in Ambrosia.

In time, Shayara and the other females who lived in that City decided to name themselves ‘Devas’ a term that had originated in the Mortal Realm used to by non-magick folk to name the nature spirits, a term synonymous with dryads, they felt were so powerful and strong and one that elevated their status to being powerful, respectable beings that would go down in the history books as defiant legends, unafraid to go against regressive practices they felt had no place in their present.

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