Well, the rest of the Elder’s prophecy is pretty much bog-standard for the trope. Once the heroes get the seed to sprout and start growing into a tree…that’ll somehow fix everything. The specifics depend on the situation, but don’t really matter all that much in the end. The rejuvenation/rebirth metaphor requires a sapling to be somehow able to fix everything that’s wrong with the world, either for eternity or at least for the duration of one ‘cycle’ of whatever description.
Anyway, the route for the party is now clear – despite the utter hopelessness of their current global situation, they still can turn everything around by performing a minor act of gardening within convenient walking distance. That’s one of the boons of living in a fantasy world, of course – the easy outs from impossible problems, courtesy of magic.
But of course it won’t all be that easy, in the end – some challenges are sure to lie on the way, and the fuzzy spot in the Elder’s prophecy is sure going to be meaningful, too. Prophecies are convenient for laying out upcoming developments, naturally, but they require gaps so the writers can continue to play their cheap tricks – therefore it’s convenient, again, that magic can be readily claimed to be inherently unpredictable and just not work when it’s supposed to not work. The Elder goes the extra mile by providing a more mundane reason for his crystal ball’s failure to perform flawlessly, but that might actually do more harm than good. >_> Some things are meant to remain mysterious.*
The bottom line remains, however, that THERE STILL IS HOPE!
More on Thurs…uh, Monday.
*Yeah, but on the other hand? That cheap (name withheld) window cleaner really sucks, leaving streaks everywhere. >_>