Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Old Shrine

Cherryvale gets along as best it can.  The village walls are a strong grey bricks hauled from the Plain of Broken Stones and, as legend has it, magically sealed together by Father Chains (said to be an unknowing aspect of the Phoenix Lords).  Not many come through here, but from time to time adventurers wander in along the northern road - usually a bit confused and more often than not telling outrageous lies about from whence they came.

Recently, though, people are frightened.  Something is prowling in the night and scratching at the walls.  Something is sniffing around windows and stealing from sheds.  There are fewer dogs than before and several of the farmers have missing livestock.  Farmer Tinson was drinking in the Bishop's Finger last night and said he saw minions of the Devil cavorting in his field and doing unspeakable things to someone.  Jenny Barlow is missing.

While the sun is bright and high in the sky those few braver souls went out searching and followed some strange markings on the ground.  There in the grove of spade-leafed katsura trees they found tangled in vines and crawling with insects an old shrine to a god best forgotten.

They counted the eight sides and knew that is was once dedicated to the demon lord Balshamroth.  From the shadows came a low grunt and a moment later poor Rudwin was lying on his back - a crimson fountain erupting from his neck.    Del and Jasper turned and ran.  Del heard Jasper scream and fall but didn't look back.  Jasper was pleading for mercy and then pleaded no more.

Del hasn't been out of his house for days now.  His shutters are bolted and nails can be seen sticking out of his door frame.  The Yelwart farm can be seen still smouldering this morning - last night it lit the entire eastern sky as field and barn were turned to ash.

Clark has been saying that something is tunneling under his floor.  He can smell it - like sour milk.

Cherryvale gets along as best it can.  This week is worse than most, but they've seen worse.  The youngest daughter of Blacksmith Ulrich was given to the north road - always an honor to give ones self for the good of the village.  Perhaps her sacrifice will bring the help needed.