Aoskar’s Folly
Aoskar’s Folly

Aoskar’s Folly

There I was, tramping through the underbrush in the Hinterlands, searching for this damned orchid I’d heard tales about. I was weeks away from anywhere I wanted to be, and I was beginning to think the whole search was a waste of time. Then something truly remarkable occurred:

“Pike this damned flower,” I shouted to the skies, “I just want to go home!”

“You only had to ask,” said this voice, rustling like hands crunching dried leaves.

I looked around in shock, for I thought I was alone. Nobody was in sight, just this tumble-down ruined city, overgrown with weeds and ivy.

“I’m right in front of you, leatherhead!” said the voice.

“Don’t you call me a leatherhead, berk,” I growled. “Come out from behind that ivy so I can see who I’m about to nick.”

“I am the ivy, addle-cove.”

Well, I was so surprised I let the insult pass. There’s not much you can say when a plant answers you back. “What…errr…who are you?” I stammered, looking and feeling a fool for talking with a bush.

“Like I said, I’m a clump of ivy. You couldn’t say my name if you tried, berk, and I’m not going to waste my time trying to teach you. You can call me Aoskar’s Folly if it makes your sodding job any easier. Listen, do we have a deal, or what?” asked the plant, petulantly.

“What deal?” I asked, worried my voice was rising into a whine.

“You want out of here, I want you out of here. Simple, really.”

“And how do you intend to get rid of me?” It was probably a foolish thing to ask, I knew, but this plant’d started to intrigue me.

There was a rustle, and I raised my buckler, half-expecting to be attacked by a man-eating vine. Instead, a glowing portal opened with a sparkling, resonant sound. Through it, I could see a baking, parched red plain.

“Abyss? Baator?” the plant chirped merrily. “Or somewhere less friendly?” The scene changed to one of miserably drizzly streets, menacing spiny buildings, and mud-slick bashers: the Hive.

“You’re a regular dryad now, aren’t you!”

– Aoskar’s Folly to an astonished planewalker.

“You can open portals?” I exclaimed.

“Three cheers for the scholar!” rustled the ivy, irony in its leafy voice. “Will you get lost now? Please?”

“Tell me how you do it. Then I’ll go.”

“Pike it berk, that’s my dark!” It rustled at me menacingly, and the vines near my feet made definite moves towards my legs.

The plant was clearly beginning to resent my presence, so I kept my peace and stepped through the portal. Sure as Sigil, I appeared from a doorway wreathed in razorvine in the Hive, safe and sound – well, safe as any trip to the Hive could be. The portal slammed shut behind me, leaving only the memory of the bizarre encounter. As for it’s self-proclaimed name – Aoskar’s Folly – it makes a blood wonder whether the plant, the dead power and the Lady of Pain are somehow linked. After all, I thought only She was able to open portals into the Cage…

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,


    1. This one was pretty simple:

      /imagine prompt:watercolour in the style of fantasy planescape artwork, beautiful orchid in front of a magical glowing doorway, background wilderness –s 50 –niji 5

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