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gnarled, this Dryad lives in an old Oak just inside the Gate.


"Paracelsus is of the opinion that the universe is crowded with powers, spirits, who are not quite immaterial. They fill up the air, the woods and the water...

"There is one class of spirit for each of the four elements - mermaids for the water, elves for the earth, fairies for the air and goblins for the fire. It is thus that we derive the name for all such beings - 'elementals.'

"The world inhabited by these beings is not the world we inhabit. It is another world entirely, and it is enclosed in this one. This other world is composed of a series of concentric rings, which as one penetrates deeper into the other world, grow larger. The further in you go the bigger it gets. Each perimeter of this series of concentric rings encloses a larger world within, until, at the center point, it is infinite.

"Around the inner perimeter of this circle which is our daily world are many, many ways - call them doors - by which we can enter the next smaller, that is larger, circle of their world. Here the inhabitants appear the size of ghost-birds or errant candle flames. This is our most common experience of them, because it is only through this first perimeter that most people ever pass, if at all.

"The next-innermost perimeter is smaller, and thus it has fewer doors; it is therefore less likely that anyone will step through by chance. There, the inhabitants will appear fairy-children or Little People, a manifestation correspondingly less often observed. And so on further within the vast, inner circles where they grow to full size are so tiny that we step completely over them, constantly, in our daily lives, without knowing that we do so, and never enter there at all - though it may be that in the heroic age, access there was easier, and so we have the many tales of deeds done there.

"And lastly, the vastest circle, the infinity, the center point - Faery. This circle is so tiny that it has no door at all."

So be this.


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