"The Murder Poet": Having taken up residence deep in the swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, Swamp Thing is quite surprised when a woman finds him there without his knowing, and begs to be saved by him. When he asks who she is, she simply shouts "
- No. The Green is mine to control. I am the Avatar!
- -- Swamp Thing
Appearing in "The Murder Poet"
- Crispus (Dies)
Synopsis for "The Murder Poet"
Having taken up residence deep in the swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, Swamp Thing is quite surprised when a woman finds him there without his knowing, and begs to be saved by him. When he asks who she is, she simply shouts "Sanctuarium Folium Viride!" Confused, Alec suggests they try again, and she calms enough to explain that her name is Capucine, and that she has come to invoke the right of Sanctuarium Folium Viride. Though he professes not to know what that means, Alec has the sense that The Green, might. She explains that the phrase means "The Sanctuary of the Green Leaf", and it means that she is requesting his protection, as she was promised eight hundred years ago. Before Alec can get more explanation on that, a shotgun blast takes his head off.
The blast came from the guns of a pair of men who claim to have been searching for Capucine for years - ever since having heard the legends about her. Supposedly, she has ten centuries of life, and if a warrior finds her and kills her, he can take those years for himself. She warns that they are certainly not the first to come for her - and she is obviously still alive. To their surprise, she leaps at them unarmed. After killing one, she disarms the other, and though Alec tries to stop her, she runs the man through with his own sword. Surprised at Alec's displeasure, Capucine claims that it is her right to kill those who try to kill her. Still wanting answers, Alec asks why she needs his protection at all, if she can kill like that. She responds that she needs his protection for after she is dead - and he owes it to her, thanks to the promise.
Confused, he asks her to wait, turning to the grove of young trees that now make up the remainder of the Parliament of Trees for explanations. They are well aware of the Sanctuary of the Green Leaf, and they offer to show him to the former Avatar who started it, if he enters the Green.
In the Green, Alec finds himself in an unexpected time and place. He watches what appears to be a witch-burning in progress, in a medieval village. Not willing to let the likely innocent victims perish, Alec cries out, but he is surprised when the wooden stake they are tied to sprouts branches, and an army of plant-soldiers emerges from the nearby forest. An Avatar of the Green follows, warning that he will not allow them to be killed, as they have invoked Sanctuarium Folium Viride. He warns the inquisitor that it is fear that leads he and his followers to attack the followers of the Green, but the Green will never die, while humans are mortal.
With the scene played out, the Avatar turns to Alec and asks whether he has learned from the vision he just saw. He explains that this was a scene of France, nearly 800 years ago. In his time, he explains, those who worshipped nature were persecuted as heretics and witches because of superstition and fear. He considered this to be wrong and offered the Sanctuary of the Green Leaf to any who asked. The avatar explains that Alec is not required to offer the same protection. Each Avatar may serve the Green in the way it sees fit. However, the Avatar is suddenly destroyed, and Alec realizes that something is sapping energy from the Green, and it wants him, too. This must be the work of the Seeder. Reaching out, he pulls himself from the Green with some difficulty, finally emerging back in the swamp next to Capucine.
Alec is reluctant to offer her sanctuary, given that all he knows of her is that she has a name and is very good at killing. Even so, he does not intend to turn her down just yet. Before he learns more of her, he intends to seek out the Seeder. While in the Green, he traced the source of the draining power to the Seeder's location. He is in Scotland, and as Alec travels there, Capucine warns that her own time is very short - and someone is coming for her.
- This book was first published on June 5, 2013.
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