“Have you any idea who you even are?” Neurovek asked.
The survivor in ragged clothes only giggled erratically as he looked at his amputated arm, “Mr. Stump, for I have a stump for an arm!”
The vren shook his head. Getting details from this mangy man would require a lot of patience.
Rumors and Suspicion
Blackrot is a dark and foreboding land that’s talked about by scholars who study the Nameless Host. It is believed this malevolent entity rules over it in a very discreet way. The abomination does not make its presence known directly, only that it is felt through its influence.
What is known from the survivors is that they often come back just as damaged as the wildlife from that land. Their mind is usually disturbed and broken. Whatever their hobby or profession was, they cling to it as their sense of identity fades with prolonged exposure. Often, these survivors mention that the night is when your life is in the most danger. The things that lurk out there are always ravenous and looking to kill on sight.
Paulus, the Survivor
Paulus is one case study. This Viennese human male was found mindlessly hacking at trees. His axe broke about midway through cutting the tree and resorted to using his bandaged arms to knock it over in a futile attempt. The Doctrine Society took the opportunity to abduct him and question him further.
Light was the core answer behind his obsessive need for firewood. Apparently the abominable creatures have a harder time finding a way in like a predator trying to sneak on its prey.
Paulus was unsure how he wound up in Blackrot. He was alone on a road and the trees had become a twisted and dying shape instead. From there, he saw an abandoned village where he would find his refuge in. The path to home was uncertain and he feared never returning. Thankfully, he did wind up back in Florenelle. With a little aid from the Doctrine Society, Paulus became a functioning member of society again. Though, the nightmares of what lurked at night still give him sleep troubles.
There are only forests and they are out to get you. Everything once peaceful of the woodlands is warped into a cruel and disturbing mockery. What should be smooth rocks from weathering are instead jagged and bumpy. Lakes are far from crystal clear in coloring yet they are the only reliable water source compared to the fast-flowing rivers you’ll find.
Maps haven’t been effectively made due to a pattern of inconsistency between recovered survivors. So it’s theorized that a new environment of forests is to be expected should someone be taken in. Though small groups of two to three survivors have come through from the same area, others have had different areas within.
What has been recovered from survivors is that the plants look healthy enough but with a hint of wilting to them. Animals look familiar to a trained eye but someone who isn’t aware of the type of animal would have some difficulty. If someone has never seen a fox before, for example, a recovered corpse would look more like a malformed dog and cat put together.
Therefore, it’s concluded among scholars that the environment itself is not suitable for living things to develop in a healthy and standard manner. Prolonged living within this domain will result in your body becoming malformed gradually overtime.
Blackrot didn’t come into awareness until people who have mysteriously disappeared had returned. Their flesh had been smudged like a canvas and things warped where they naturally shouldn’t. Naturally, news of this drove the Doctrine Society’s magistrate’s curiosity wild. Interviews and case studies with these disturbed survivors concluded a consistent pattern of where they went. A gloomy forest, abominations come lurking out at night, and the insistent need to keep a light on.
“Blackrot” was one name a survivor mentioned of the place. It stuck as the only identifying term scholars could use when talking about it. From there, finding a reliable means of getting in and then getting out have been near impossible as predicting when someone gets abducted is unreliable and when they are released is seemingly at the whim of the master.
The next major breakthrough were the signs of the Nameless Host’s presence from what the survivor’s mentioned. A mass of shadowy darkness and a circle with four inner spikes which is the sign of the Black Gateway, are just a few signs of the abomination’s presence. This confirmed the fear of many scholars of who runs those cursed lands.