O' Bearded Tree

O' Bearded Tree

“Traveling at top speed Santa,” says Rudolph into his microphone. Santa’s sleigh streaks through the night, a silent shadow slipping silently over the arctic circle, nearly imperceivable to anyone who might have been watching below. 


“Alright, Santa, so what are we doing out here,” says Jingleman.


“Hang tight, we’ll be there soon,” says Claus, “Anyone out there with us, Jingleman?”


Jingleman pours over the screens, searching for any radio signals, electrical pulses, or thermal signatures. “Nothing out there, Santa.”


“Perfect, hang on everyone,” says Santa.


Santa’s sleigh continues hurtling through the night, when suddenly the Aurora Borealis creeps over the horizon. Santa’s company continues to fly toward the Northern Lights until they eventually are flying amongst the waves of beautiful lights. Santa pulls out a snowglobe. Inside stands a single Bearded Tree, its ornaments glistening amongst the falling snow. Santa twists the wind-up tab on the snowglobe and a familiar lilting carol begins emanating from the trinket.


“O Bearded Tree, O Bearded Tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging,” sings Santa lowly. A bright light envelops the sleigh and suddenly Santa’s sleigh disappears from this dimension.




Santa’s sleigh bursts back into a new reality. 


“Woah,” says Sugarfoot, gasping in awe.


The air shimmers with a warm, golden glow. In a seeming impossibility, snow falls beautifully through the air, swirling around the massive Bearded Tree that towers thousands of feet over the surrounding landscape. The tree’s base would span several city blocks. Hundreds of ornaments hang from the tree’s branches. Several appear to be buildings tucked away in the bushy boughs. Santa’s sleigh banks toward the glowing center of the tree, from which the golden glow that permeates the atmosphere originates. 


Suddenly a commanding voice booms, “IDENTIFY YOURSELF OR WE WILL BE FORCED TO FIRE.”


Santa raises his eyebrows, “That’s strange, this is usually a more hospitable place.”


Rudolph banks away from the tree sharply, “Moving into a wide orbit, preparing for evasive maneuvers.”


Jingleman’s fingers dance across the comm terminal’s knobs, “Come in, come in, this is Red Sleigh 2. Red Sleigh 2. We come in peace, we mean you no harm.” Jingleman repeats the message several times on various channels. 

Jingleman turns and flips through various weapon camera screens, “Santa, there are several hostiles moving among the branches. They have several cannon arrays trained on us.”


“Santa, you say the word and we’ll blast them,” says Snazzyflakes. 


“Already got crosshairs on them,” says Sugarfoot sinisterly.


“Hold your fire men, we don’t stand a chance,” says Santa, “Retract your guns.”


“Retracting guns,” echoes Candymittens, punching buttons on the sleigh’s controls to retract the cannons.


“PROCEED TO THE MAIN BOUGH,” booms the commanding voice.


“Rudolph, put us down at the designated marker,” says Santa, selecting the location on his HUD.



The Sleigh descends onto the tree’s bough and immediately Santa and company are surrounded by an army of Nutcrackers.


“Who goes there,” asks the most decorated of the Nutcrackers. This was obviously the Nutcracker captain, the voice that ordered them to identify themselves.


“Santa Claus, and this is my team,” says Claus.


“LET HIM COME,” booms a loud voice. This voice was different from the first. The stinging bark of the Nutcracker captain was replaced by a powerful, but warm timber.


Santa and the elves proceed up the large bough towards the center of the tree where the golden glow grows brighter and brighter. As they walk closer, they can make out a face in the center of the tree’s glow.


“O’ Bearded Tree, seer and keeper of all Christmas spirit” says Santa Claus reverently, bowing his head to the entity. The other elves bow, awkwardly following Santa’s lead. “Thank you for granting us an audience.” 


“The pleasure is all mine,” says Bearded Tree with a jolly warmth, “It has been a long time Kris. I know why you have come, and your quarry has beat you here.”


“Slay Bells has been here?” asks Santa, stunned. 


“Yes,” confirms Bearded Tree, “His stealth sleigh allowed him to sneak past my Nutcracker guards and steal the Prism Dimension Ornament.”

Santa’s brow furrows in worry, “This is not comforting news.”


“He’s assembling a band of the coldest Christmas rogue any dimension has ever seen, some you have seen before but there are others that you could not possibly imagine their power” explains Bearded Tree.


“He’s using the transport beam to pull them into the Prism Ornament and transport them to my dimension, and then he’s going to use them to destroy the North Pole,” says Santa, finally putting everything together, “We’re going to need help.”


“I may be able to provide some assistance,” offers Bearded Tree, “But it will come at a cost.”


Santa stares on, listening to Bearded Tree’s proposition.


“Guardian, the Supreme Angel that protects this realm, will accompany you. I foresee there is no other way for you to defeat Slay Bells. However, for me to allow him to go with you and leave this realm unprotected, I require your loyalty. You will be a defender of Christmas in all dimensions, forever. This is my offer,” says Bearded Tree.


Santa strokes his beard, thinking. “Me and my crew,” says Santa quietly.


“This can be arranged,” says the Bearded Tree.


Suddenly tongues of golden glittering cloud circle Santa and the elves. The cloud swirls faster, getting thicker and thicker, until it departs as sudden as it appeared. Though physically, Santa and the elves appeared the same, their hearts were strengthened by Christmas Spirit. 


Then another bright and shining light descends from the top of the tree and lights on the bough next to Santa. The glow fades to reveal the Guardian angel. His golden beard matches his golden armor that shines like a bright star. His jewel encrusted sword hangs from his hip.


“We must be away,” says Guardian, “We have little time to assemble the rest of your team.”


“And I know just where to start,” says Santa.

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