Hollowness of the Silenced

There are many stories about how Cerulian plains were deserted, some say it was the wildlife that drove people away, and some said it was a curse that poisoned the lands. But in fact, you can say it was a song that started it all. This is a grim story that might frighten the small ones.   It started out as a bit of fun.   3 Frenes brothers, Tesin, Hes, and the youngest one Samin, asked their father if they could use the abandoned barn outside the town to have friends gathering to celebrate the end of harvest before the winter time was coming. Their father Bosan wasn't happy about their idea, but he knew from the past, that his boys would go there anyway and have their feast, that's how they were built, stubborn and adventurous as he was. At least he would know where his boys are during that evening.   Brothers gathered 8 other young ones from the small town to join them. The whole day went cleaning out all the rubbish from the barn, so it was close to sunset when they finally had their long wooden table set up for everyone, huge boar roasting on a spit, and pints were filled with ale. Sooner than later everyone started to get a bit tipsy. Sam Kenes started playing his flute and Valso Sandos his lute while others started dancing. Candles were bouncing on the table in the same rhythm as the music. Henair Valoras jumped onto the table. She was waving her blue dress from side to side, danced around the table, and started singing an old folk song everybody knew by heart.    
An old woman's portrait is hanging on the wall
The poor old hag is ugly as a hag can ever be
Don't summon her in the night
as she may have a ritual for you to fight
We don't care as long as we're more
than the hag can ever be in this world

Oi! Master woodsman! Give us your spirits and enchant us with your might
For sure as tomorrow morning comes we are the brightest scum!
Hey ho, hey ho, We are indeed the brightest scum!
  It was a moment that everyone loved. All their sorrows are lost in the rhythm of the music. Until everything stops when the barn door shatters into deadly splinters in an instant.   A shocking wave of screams fills the room when they see Henair clutching her throat as blood is spilling out from two huge wooden splinters in her throat. She collapses onto her knees, gasping for air with sheer terror in her eyes like she was seeing straight into the abyss of the bottomless darkness. She was drowning in her own blood in front of their eyes and all they could do, was just watch and scream in terror. Henair's eyes dimmed, arms dropped to the sides and she collapsed face down on the table lifeless.   Henair's friend Saral Ines was in utter shock and could not even notice, that she had also got hit with splinters all over her body, but not as deadly as Henair. Sam's flute was on the ground laying next to the now-dead flute player. He was hit really badly as his stomach had been cut in half. It was a blessing he had died quite instantly with the wound he had got. It was also a blessing for Valso who had been right behind Sam as he only got a few scratches on his hands.   Next came total silence. Everyone who was screaming could not hear even the faintest whisper from their lips. Something was binding their voices and they felt horrible pressure against their bodies. They all started hovering a bit over the floor. It was maddening. Inari Kenes was already shocked to lose his brother, but losing all the voices around her and any possibility to move, pushed her over the edge. Tears were falling down her cheeks simultaneously as sanity escaped her mind. She became a hollow shell, broken beyond repair.   Valso looked around and saw that all three Frenes brothers seemed calm, but displaced from the present moment. Saral was bleeding heavily and she was unconscious. Sira Lindos, the youngest of them all, seemed totally calm, even though she was floating over the floor like the rest of them. Falen Viennas seemed to be the only man conscious with Valso, but he seemed as frightened as others. Iris Pitos was lying on the floor dead, she seemed to have her skull cracked from something Valso could not comprehend.   They started hearing a howl from outside and it was growing more powerful. The sound was not from any canine. It was more of an eerie high pitch sound, that kept drilling inside everyone's mind painfully. It kept growing and growing until it suddenly stopped. Everyone came back to consciousness. It was all too quiet again and pitch dark outside the barn. Minutes passed and they were just hanging there in the air helpless without a voice. They could feel the sweat run down their bodies from pure fear.   After a long time, they heard a faint whisper.   "How does a centuries of pain feel to you?"   Terror hit them even more as they noticed, that Henair's body was standing in front of them, talking in a strange voice, splinters in her throat and eyes full green. She was possessed by something, something haunting that none of them had seen before.   "You shall be the first of many, my harbingers of silence. None shall ever again sing a song about the old hag without a punishment. Just like you are punished today. Three of you will wear red and spread a curse through the Cerulian plains that will poison the lands and drive people away. Three of you will hunt down all the bards and storytellers and kill music from Cerulia. You shall ruin them, as they ruined me. After that, you shall come back to me and serve as one of the Silenced."   After the long haunting whispering, Spirit moved Henair's possessed body next to each and every one of them and cut their tongues out, except for Inari.   "You shall be my prophet, my voice. Your lunacy will be the abyss where people will look to embrace the madness. You shall spread the hollowness of your mind for a century until your fragile body collapses."   Then came silence. Spirit left them from its grip and they dropped to the ground.   The next morning Bosan came looking for his boys from the barn.   They killed him in total silence. Bosan died at the hands of his own son's and without even knowing why.   He became the first, but not the last victim of the Silenced during the next 5 months when Cerulian plains changed from a haven to a cursed land with only silence to offer for hollow souls.


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