When Verodicia, Goddess of the Woods, had finished filling in the green places, having planted the coiled-up spirit in the seed, having lured the twining waters from deep within the rock, having sworn the sun its full attention to the growing things, she realized that her own time had reached its end, and like one of the leaves whose fate she had imprinted in the seed, she would fall without seeing the fruiting of her dream. It pained her to leave the world bereft, for the sprouts had not yet broken through the soil--and they would be tender and vulnerable to every sort of harm. She found in her seed pouch one last seed that she had missed in the sowing. She spoke a single word into the seed and swallowed it as she fell. Her vast body decomposed throughout the long winter, becoming the humus that would feed the seedlings in the spring. And on the morning of the vernal equinox, before the rest of the forest had begun to wake, that last seed ripened and burst in an instant. From it stepped Tequoia, Nature's Prophet, in full leaf, strong and wise, possessing Verodicia's power to foresee where he would be needed most in defense of the green places--and any who might be fortunate enough to call him an ally.