Majetag, 12th day of Darkember, 432 AC
Eighth Watch falling 14
Shoikan Trees For Sale
by Carteeg Struve, Staff Writer
Palanthas – Two weeks after the Shoikan grove was pruned back by mages and road repair crews, several street merchants were reported selling saplings extracted from the ground during the project. Once a wizard verified that the sapling he purchased was indeed from the grove, an investigation into how these plants got to venders was immediately put in place.
Black Robe Jenner Brace expressed his anger publicly. "The city informed us these plants would be under tight lock and key until the Orders were ready to transport them back to Wayreth for examination. Now not only is the inventory showing that most saplings are missing, but it seems they are becoming the latest home botany fad!"
Captain Varil Helith responded, "There were two wizards overseeing the inventory along with the City Guard. If something happened, I am sure blame will be shared. In the meantime, it is highly encouraged vendors stop selling them and citizens stop buying."
Most merchants state that they had already sold out. Only a few interviewed said they still had any saplings unsold. "It wasn't because those last few wouldn't sell," said vendor Norn Mathus. "I'm keeping the few to grow and make more. 'Don't kill the supply.'" When asked about the city forbidding their sale, "There is no law on the books preventing me from selling them. And if they make one I'll sell them elsewhere. I have a wizard cousin. He told me that if you uproot a tree away from a grove, it loses its magical whatevers. People were afraid of those trees for generations. Now they can laugh at it with a small piece sitting on their sills. What's the harm?"
"It's ugly, but in an adorable way," said Marni Hessipter, quarter-kender student at the University. "I've had it by the window in my room for a week now, and it seems to keep the small pests away: pigeons, rats, and this one chipmunk that kept waking me up every morning. I think it's small enough that the fear aura doesn't bug me or any other student, but it does scare off the little varmints. Even the gnats aren't coming in at night, even if I leave the window open. I can't wait for Yule. Hopefully it will be bigger by then, and I can decorate it up." Other owners are also claiming to see similar effects.
"The magical properties should fade away," said Brace. "I hope they are just witnessing the last of it. But the truth is that the grove should not have begun pushing at its boundaries as it did. These saplings simply should not have happened in the first place. For that reason alone I don't trust them."
Noone knows who put them on the market to begin with. So far all vendors have remained tight lipped to both the Herald and the City Guard. The Guard states they will be detaining a number of merchants for questioning soon.