This got buried in another thread aeons ago, but I think it's worth dusting off and actually submitting:
Fury Of Trees
Jorad stopped to stoke the forge. It was cool outside tonight, the usual Lower Ward miasma giving way to a light brimstone-scented breeze. He stared thoughtfully at the iron in the fire, trying to lann its secrets. Not time, yet. Lammin had gone to bed already, the good-for-nothing, so he would have to do all the work himself. A dwarf knows his standing with the gods by the children he rears, Jorad thought sourly, and I must have sinned. He continued sketching the delicate ornaments he'd need to win the business of Jeremo the Natterer; the sod might be barmy as a Bedlam mazerat but his jink was good and his eye for detail unparalleled. A contract with the Jester King would mean regular trade, an increase in reputation and maybe the chance to hire a real sodding apprentice. Oh, and the ability to repay Kyrio for that hundredweight of Shalman heartwood. A dwarf can be in debt for only so long.
The breeze chilled further. The makings of a thick mist curled outside, a real Xaosouper as the old'uns called it. Someone must've opened a portal to Minauros or the Noisome Vale by mistake; these things happened in the Lower Ward, though not as often as in the old days. A Hardhead patrol outside called out the ninth watch, reassuring him that indeed all was well. He paid them no mind: the intricacy of the iron leaves was all he saw. How to hammer, how to twist, when to quench and when to strike; this was a job no mere apple-chaser could possibly hope to accomplish, especially not that hezrou Turmigont down on Brandy Lane. Humans had no business with stone or steel. Never mind the flashy filigree, customers who wanted true craftsmanship shunned Turmigont's "emporium" and eventually found their way to Jorad's Family Forge for quality goods at a reasonable price. And if he told himself that often enough, he might believe it.
A crackling from the furnace and he knew within his bones. It was time. Lifting the iron out of the fire, he placed it on the anvil with reverential care. Without thought, he lifted the hammer and began to strike. The clanging of the anvil was a holy knell, announcing to all that the master was at work. Sweat poured freely as he hammered the iron into its first shape. The work he was attempting was tricky, requiring a delicate balance between heat and cold. This was going to be a very long night.
The fog settled in, keeping him cool, allowing him to maintain his furious pounding. Slowly, painfully, the iron took shape. A delicate wrought iron fence in the shape of a dabus' head crowned with laurels, perfect for an entrance to a whimsical garden; the Jester King would surely find it to his fancy. Everything had to be precisely controlled to produce the craftsmanship required.
Now the tricky part, a move that Turmigont for all his airs would never have foreseen: a blast heating. But he had done his research, he had prepared carefully, he had measured a thousand times before making a single cut and he exulted at the beauty of it all. This was work to make his forefathers proud. He placed the iron into the fire, stoked the forge again, and threw in the heartwood. The furnace roared, surging to a temperature far above anything that cretin Turmigont could know.
There was a man in the forge.
Startled, Jorad dropped his tools. "What in the Nine Hells do you want?" he swore. "Who are you?"
The man didn't speak. On closer inspection, he wasn't a man at all. One of them bloody gith. 'Zerai or 'yanki, Jorad didn't know enough to tell and didn't care enough to know.
And the same was true for this berk. "Get the pike out of my forge," he spat, "Or the Hardheads'll scrub you so hard you'll bleed blex for weeks."
The gith still didn't move. That was never a good sign. Beings that stood around not doing anything tended to be wild, unpredictable or just sodding dangerous. The metal-like staff didn't help. It melted and flowed in ways no metal should, and Jorad had spent his life working metal. The robes didn't help either; they were tattered, with spikes stabbing haphazardly from the fabric.
What really didn't help, though, was the burning lunacy in the gith's eyes. Jorad had seen Bleakers on the Grim Retreat with more sense in them than this slaad-dancer.
The fire screamed, seeking life. Jorad smiled nervously at the gith and reached for the poker. Seeing no reaction, he stoked the fire once again. A hunk of wood sizzled and popped. Turning, Jorad saw the gith's eyes had narrowed.
Of a sudden, the gith spoke. "Do you hear that?" he said. The voice was high and cracked, like someone who has not spoken for many a year.
Jorad listened carefully, while watching the gith more carefully still. The Hardhead patrol was long past; the dankness of the fog muffled everything, made the Cage seem very far away. "No," he said.
Jorad waited, tense.
Still nothing happened.
Then something did.
A whispering sussurated outside. There was a horrible splintering and the walls of the forge began to crack. Razorvine thrust rapaciously through the holes, buzzing like hornets, seeking the startled smith. The wall shattered. The fog drifted in like a cold blanket, muffling his shrieks. Outside, Jorad could see the harmless old oak that had stood across the way. It was no longer harmless. It no longer stood across the way.
The vines gripped him tight, began to lacerate, began to squeeze.
The gith stood by him. Jorad hadn't even seen the barmy move. His vision darkened. He couldn't breathe. He tried to wish, to pray, to do anything, but the oak had him now and the pressure was excruciating. The world was far away. Soon it would be gone.
The gith leaned low.
"That," he said, "is the fury of trees."