It was now apparent to the community that Yieta's actions had merely been a distraction to bide time for a more sinister purpose. Indeed, the strange events surrounding the Triiofa, the Great Tree, and the Tree of Reflections turned out to be a forest with roots of more than fifty years ago...|
Though she had always bordered on madness, living in exile after the War of the Hearts, it was after Sagu's death in the Shattering that Mupa went truly insane. At first an embittered but powerful sorceress, for ten years after Sagu's death she merely wandered the woods and the mountains, staying perfectly hidden and lost in introverted madness. In her moments of clarity, she studied and learned the dark energy of the Shattering, taking particular interest in the vile trees which had grown in Kugnae and Buya during that dark event. Around the 30th year of Yuri's reign, Mupa managed to regain what little functional sanity she had previously possessed and began scheming anew. Her mind again returned to revenge against King Yuri and his allies, for both her exile and now the death of Sagu. Formidable and untold magics brewed within her, new powers unleashed by fury.
Around the 31st year of Yuri's reign, Mupa began planting the seeds of her revenge. Her plan, though complicated, was formidable: she would grow the same kind of vile trees which had nearly overrun the kingdoms during the Shattering. However, not even Mupa's formidable magic could create such a forest, for she did not possess the limitless energy of the DarkStaff. Always pragmatic in her evil, she instead lurked as a serpent to carve out dark tunnels beneath the earth of Kugnae, so that her dark seeds might incubate for a long period of time, feeding off the earth. When her forest was ready, her trees would launch upward from the earth, swallowing Koguryo's capital in a forest of horrors.
For fifty years Mupa lived in silent exile as she fed her seeds, diligently waiting for their incubation to be complete, kept along by the knowledge that as Koguryo grew, beneath it slept a destiny of destruction.
In the 73rd year of Yuri, Mupa's routine was disrupted by the arrival of another witch: Yieta, who had fled Koguryo and her allies in disgraceful exile. Yieta too cursed of wishing revenge against Prince Mhul, and thus, although her magical ability was quite limited, Mupa took her on as an apprentice, presuming she would be useful.
Only three lurkers-in-exile in the forests have ever been stealthy enough to see the elusive Triiofa: the hermit Thane, Mupa, and Yieta. Yieta aided Mupa in the final growth cycle of her sinister saplings, by helping to enslave the Triiofa to cut down the trees to make room for their foul undergrowth. Not only would this clear room for the growth of the vile vines, but, in the case of the Tree of Reflections, provide the saplings with their final burst of energy to bring them to maturity.
But there had been unexpected deviations from the plan. The Triiofa chieftains had been freed by the energy surrounding the Great Tree when they cut it down, and Yieta, unable to capture them, had gotten captured herself. Mupa was not pleased...
...and so, though Mupa had rescued Yieta from the captivity, it was Yieta who seemed terrified, for she had outed her master and compromised her 50-year revenge. No longer lurking in the shadows, Mupa attacked the community and the people of Koguryo.
(to be continued)