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Field of Ruin

"I pity the poor farmer that once dwelled there. It was a simple life, I'd wager; one of rising early in the morning and retiring at sundown after a long day of hard work. Now, I fear, that he has gone quite mad"
- Milton Berwick, Private Investigator: Report No. 2
 

At a Glance

  Wheat, by now, has been harvested across the ward and yet the fields before you stand well over five feet in height, significantly taller than the previous farmer's just down the road a few miles. The wisp of a breeze breaks the numbing silence for but a moment, parting the field to allow one to espy a homestead atop the clearing of a hill. Rather unexpectedly, a man clasps his hand upon your shoulder; he is dressed in fineries from the city with a long coat, hat, and tall boots. "My friend," he begins, looking into your eyes with his tired ones, "tread not any further. I am afraid that this place was seized by the hands of madness not long ago- What happened to the farmer is beyond me; rather beyond comprehension. I suggest you turn back and go about your way." His tone is not threatening in the slightest, for he seems to be offering a warning.   

First Impressions

  The smell is what sets this stead apart from most: it reeks of mildew and rot despite appearing rather healthy. Those foolish enough to venture deeper within to the crop find nothing unusual at first. Seemingly bereft of life, the only noise to be heard is your disturbance of the wheat. And then, skittering. Something low to the ground perhaps a small beast. It only startles some as you dismiss it. Reaching the home atop the hill unimpeded is an easy task to be sure. The house itself looks to be in disrepair: the windows sag with melancholy, the door hardly hangs upon its hinges, the floorboards of the porch groan uneasily as you climb them, and rot seems to be eating away at some facets of the outer wall.   
  "The farmer once known as Gregor has not been seen in some time. I'd wager that he either abandoned the stead or died under... mysterious circumstances"
- Milton Berwick, Private Investigator: Report No. 1
  The door, as it is pushed, alarms the rest of the house to your presence by howling on its rusted hinges. In its day, you would wager this place was rather nice. No simple farmer could ever wish to afford such a lovely two story home. It is evident that the walls were once painted a vibrant yellow that has now begun to fade. A small staircase clings to the easternmost wall, dangerously climbing up at too narrow an angle to fit an entire foot upon each step. Before the stairs is an open entryway that leads into what appears to be a sort of parlor or smoking room with upholstered furniture eaten away at by mold and moths alike.   To the west appeared to be the kitchen. A simple iron stove sat empty and the lingering smell of wood ash clung to the room as to compete with the stench of mildew. Cast-iron pans and utensils, dirty with the previous meal remained to appease the flies and maggots. The water pump was just visible from the dirt-caked windows and the tapestries surrounding these windows were faded and eaten by moths. Nearby sat a dining table and a handful of mismatched chairs blanketed with dust.   Turning back to the stairs, you must cling to the railing and walk sideways as to not fall. Uneasiness falls over those who may be afraid of heights as each step seems to make its own sound of protest. At the landing, there are two rooms: one to the east and another to the west down the hall some.   Behind the easternmost upstairs door was the beginnings of a study. Books had hardly begun to fill the many niches made by the shelves put there and a desk sat in disarray with scribbled notes, open tomes, and plenty of dried ink. Behind the desk was an old leather chair, faded only to time and worn thin by use on the arms. A peculiar line of text draws your eye: it is written in a script so unusual that the mind can hardly comprehend it. It is as though four different quills were writing at once. You feel strangely compelled to take said tome, shutting it and stowing it away for later.   In the room behind the westernmost upstairs door is a fine bedroom with a four-post bed with ruined curtains hanging about it. The master bedroom had all manner of clothes strewn about the floor all seemingly discarded or destroyed by insects. From the window, you could easily view the field that lay before the home. Within all the muck, it seems that someone had began drawing upon the glass. It is rather difficult to make out what it says in the afternoon light. To your surprise, the bed looks almost untouched!  Awakened by a strange sound and a glowing umbral light, you are drawn to the window once more. There is a thin mist of violet emitting from the field, seeping ethereal tendrils that reach towards the home. Sudden movement draws your eye as the wheat is twisted and trampled by some dark figure. The smudged drawing on the window catches your attention as a low ominous rumble begins to throttle the home.   "GODS FORGIVE ME FOR WHAT I HAVE DONE"
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This article was written by the creative and talented Sols & Duun and edited for world and game use by Graylion. To see more writing and world building by Sols & Duun, visit Vhosparus.


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