"The Quest for the Elementals - Part III: Dead Tribes and Forgotten Souls": Across the world, The Grey is taking hold, converting life into decay and its fungus. Mercifully protected under the canopy of the Parliament of Trees, Swamp Thing tries to teach his y
Appearing in "The Quest for the Elementals - Part III: Dead Tribes and Forgotten Souls"
- Chang Arhkaw
Synopsis for "The Quest for the Elementals - Part III: Dead Tribes and Forgotten Souls"
Across the world, The Grey is taking hold, converting life into decay and its fungus. Mercifully protected under the canopy of the Parliament of Trees, Swamp Thing tries to teach his young daughter Tefé some new words. Wandering the Brazilian rainforest together, they come across Tefé's mother Abby Holland sitting in the Garden of Bereavement.
Abby has chosen to hide there, because elsewhere within the Parliament, she hears faint whispers that unsettle her. She believes they are the voices of all of the natives whom she died alongside. After six weeks, she is still clearly shaken by the fact that she was killed by ranchers, and then resurrected by her own daughter. The child's power frightens her now, and she remembers how she had seen only dead animals on their return to the forest. She is afraid that she may be the last human on earth after Tefé's anger killed everything in sight.
Uncomfortably, Swamp Thing admits that all animal life outside of the Parliament, within 22 miles, was eradicated - including 68 species now extinct, and two Brazilian townships totalling in nearly 6,000 deaths. He hopes that in teaching Tefé to speak, they can teach her right from wrong as well, and hope they are good teachers.
Yggdrasil summons the family to the Inner Parliament and warns that Matagno is beginning to penetrate The Green. He attempts to persuade Swamp Thing to resume his search for those founders of the Parliament who were trapped by Matango during the Great Migration in order to fortify their defences against him. He reveals that during the six weeks Swamp Thing and his family have been inactive, Matango has extended his influence.
Swamp Thing travels alone to the Himalayan mountains, where he discovers a lost, frozen city. He senses the presence of someone connected to The Green, and follows the trail. Inside a cave, he encounters a being called Ohtehrah. He explains that he was once the reigning protector of The Green when the new race of man came to kill the old race of man.
After his people were killed in mass genocide, Ohtehrah left his duties to The Green and took those who remained of his people with him. However, those few people were killed when armies from the east came with plagues and diseases. However, the spiritual rebirth of the old race of man is foretold to take place through Tefé, a being of both The Green and flesh. When she takes a human mate, a new race of elementals will begin. This will make The Green too strong for The Grey to overtake, which is why Matango has been spurred into desperate action.
In his Chamber of Dreams, Matango senses that Ohtehrah is about to break his vow of neutrality by revealing the secret of The Grey. He gathers together some of his dreamers to find and convert Ohtehrah and his guest to The Grey's influence.
Ohtehrah shows Swamp Thing the Chang Arhkaw, a growth comprised of both plant and fungal matter. Within it are trapped three elementals. Before Swamp Thing can attempt to free them, Ohtehrah attempts to explain what he has learned of The Grey. The Grey adds to itself by absorbing other life forms, possessing hosts rather than eating them. It changes the victims' cells into its own fungal form, adding to Matango's consciousness. Matango's elementals are merely former members of The Green, who were possessed by the fungal growths upon them.
It is a collective consciousness, meaning that Matango is not necessarily its master. It is his strength of will which makes him lead, but he has trapped those elementals of The Green who might have stronger wills rather than assimilating them in order to maintain that rule. He reveals that the fungus that has taken half of Yggdrasil's helix trunk is part of Matango, and as such, what Yggdrasil knows, Matango knows.
With this knowledge, Swamp Thing reaches into the Chang Arhkaw and tries to free the elementals trapped within. Suddenly, though, the fungus inside explodes, and overtakes the elementals within. Alan Hallman and other emissaries of The Grey appear, and mock the Swamp Thing's efforts. They reveal that all of those whom the Parliament has sent to free the trapped elementals have also been captured, trying to lure him into joining them as well.
The Grey knew of all of the Parliament's efforts in advance, and has its army stationed outside the Parliament, waiting to attack in one day's time.
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