October One Day
They say that she was born a babe,
Much as were you and I,
They say she had a heart, a soul,
But that she now denies...
Her first cries within her mothers arms,
Beneath the old oak tree,
The tree back then her only friend,
For they grew as one you see...
They started out as saplings,
The queen and tree, then just a sprout,
The old oak aged less gracefully,
Our fair queen would find out...
Her youth obtained through magic,
She ruled her lands for years,
But she no longer rules with kindness,
But ruthlessness and fear...
A curse she laid across the lands,
Were her deeds so well intentioned?
She tried in vain to save her folk,
And was met with apprehension...
The pumpkin queen, they called her,
Her temper hot as embers,
The rancid queen, a queen of rot,
Her people she dismembered...
A mist of death and fast decay,
Came rolling cross the lands,
Engulfed her kingdom and it's folk,
Such death by her command...
She said that she would save them,
From a plague of blackened breath,
But left them sprawling in their fields,
To writhe twixt life and death...
The twisted lot then found their queen,
For she was weeping in her field,
They charged the witch to death, you see,
For black magic she did wield...
They brought her to the old oak tree,
Twine round her neck and head,
They swung her from her only friend,
Yet, her reign, it did not end...
Far beyond, in Blackpool, the fogs had finally reached its borders. Rolling decay hurtled down the road, filling every crack in the cobblestones with vines and mold. Rotting vegetation melted away from the sides of cottages and taverns as though fire had been laid to the plant life, falling away like ash. The Duchess only having just caught wind of what was happening, ran for her stables in the wind and rain. As she saddled her steed, her handmaiden arrived with the Duchesses child, as well as the other child she had been raising, in her arms. Signaling to one of the other horses, they saddled up and prepared to outrun the storm. Thunder cracked across the sky, but it was not thunder of light, this thunder was black, as if somehow darkness darker than the sky itself were cracking through it, swallowing the stars in it’s effort.
The Duchess knew what had to be done. She needed to gather her people, her adventurers, and even her commoners. Having no idea what was causing this malady within Tyrra, there was one place she and her people could take refuge, at least for now. Port Rowena, specifically a protected lighthouse in Port Rowena. Something deep within her heart told her, the port, named for her mother, an icon of life, would be their best bet. Galloping down the roads she yelled for an evacuation of her people, her handmaiden hot on her heels as the green fog and black pitch smoke grasped at them from behind, rolling in like thunder. Looking over her shoulder the Duchess kicked in and dug her heels into her horses sides as hard as she could. She needed to save them. Her hand maiden, the baby, and most importantly, her people.
The sun is shining, a gentle breeze flows through the chilled morning air as you see fall's first cold breaths draw from your lips like dragon's smoke. Birds in the nearby tree are chirping to one another, no doubt discussing this seasons trip south for the cold, Ravenholt winter. Hearty crops for the season are bright in the fields of orange pumpkins, golden corn, and a myriad of squashes. The fall always smells so particular in this part of Tyrra this time of year, fresh and crisp. Despite the chill in the air, the sun is warm on your face as you leave your home, the tavern, or the forest.
Many of the local adventurers have headed south for a mass gathering of adventurers. But some, yourself included, have chosen to stay behind, perhaps to attend to your keep, barony, homestead, farm. Some just to be sure the city is safe. With that thought, a feeling of unease settles in.
As you look into the stunning autumn sky of pinks and purples you notice a color that is not always there. It couldn't be. Green? The sky's beautiful, calming hues are rolled back by clouds painted in greens, deep browns and blacks, roiling towards the center of Ravenholt like a thunder storm, yet no rain or thunder come to relieve the unease this storm brings with it. In the distance, trees appear to be wilting as if they are but flowers; the distance looks dank and full of unlife. Not undeath either, simply decaying, rotting. Thick viscus, smokey ropes of black spores whip through the air. Outstretched tendrils of pitch overcome the wildlife and leave only rotted flesh behind. It's as if the world you are looking at is aging and the sands of time are passing more quickly than reality would allow you to believe. A simple look at the sun tells you that time is not passing you faster, but life itself is rotting away by the fog's touch.
Vines and thorns creep from the woods rolling over homes, farms, and forests the,y seem to take over anything in their path, leeching the nutrients from the ground beneath them and sucking the life out of anything in their path. A brown sickness is settling over the land, and it’s headed for you. Only one thought rises in your mind, run!
Far off in a secluded glenn, the three Unicorn Wardens, those of the North, South, and the West, convened for a meeting in secrecy. Not knowing where the fog and decay was coming from was bad enough, but not knowing how to solve the problem? Well that, in and of itself, was perilous indeed. Not often were there matters at hand that the Wardens were not privy to. The grove they met in, despite the rolling, molding rot around them, was lush and green. Trees lined the sky, tall and vibrant, and full of life. Around the tree trunks grew flowers of lush colors, bees and butterflies pollinating and flitting about as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
Sable had called them all to meet, as he knew what had to be done. “We must locate the Warden of the East if we are to aid in the defense against this…sickness befalling the land.” His brow was furrowed deeply in thought. Being uninformed felt unnatural to him. The unicorns knew they would be safe there, in the Grove of Untold Travails, but there was only one place they could awaken that could aid the rest of the lands. “We must gather the rest of the unicorns. The Keeper of the Haven must be found, and the Haven must be opened. The Haven he spoke of, the rest of the wardens knew to be The Grove of Tranquil Refuge, but had been lost to time and overgrowth, having no heart within it to keep it alive. “We will need all the help we can get….For if we can not open The Grove of Tranquil Refuge...I fear there is no hope for any of us.”