The track continued past the strangler fig, and then began to turn south so that it was no longer headed straight at the short escarpment that marked the western and north-western edges of the royal preserve. The mixed trees of the western edge of the woods gave way to hammurucks, a native tree traditionally associated with kings. At first Liavan simply noted that, presumably through the heavy shade cast with their large soft swathes of needle-like leaves, they discouraged the other plants, but then she found the carpet of nunquils, palest pink and blue in the shade of hammurucks so old that they were tall, squat, hollow stumps sprouting the trunk leaves of senescence. The ancient stumps marched along the track in pairs, marking what must have once been a grand approach to something.( Collapse )
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