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The Island

To a newcomer, it was a rather unsuspecting and forgettable place. The dark castle on the island lay in ruins, it's bricks crumbling from the years of abuse at the hands of hurricanes and thunderstorms. To this newcomer, it was just a relic of the past, a casualty of history, but the locals knew better.   Rumors flew around the town from time to time, the type to make children shiver in their beds, and to make young boys go out in search of it, to try and prove that they were not afraid, even if their hands were sweating and their mouths becoming dry. They were drunk, intoxicated with alcohol and confidence, their inhibitions were relaxed, their common sense was out the window. Mothers stare out the window, praying their boys come home safe. The rumors were just rumors, of course. Everyone who had dared cross the moat to that damned place had come back alive, if shaken. The only thing vaguely threatening within those crumbled walls was the wind, carrying the souls of dead, and maybe a few rats, but that was all. But, the dread, the growing fear in the pit of the resident's stomachs whenever they get near, that couldn't be chalked down to rumors. No. There was something different, something that wasn't quite....human. Many witches and mages alike had gone to find the source of this energy, but all have come back without an answer, it was as though the entire building, if you could still call it that, radiated fear and panic.   Another oddity though, was that the building could not seem to be removed. Many attempts had been made, the most recent being the winter before last. The morale of the town was particularly low, the worst harvest they had in decades was starting to take its toll and many children lay starving in their beds. The town council decided to tear it down, brick by brick. They didn't have answers to the grumbling stomachs and needed to be seen as active, like they were doing something useful. But it didn't work. Every brick refused to move, as if it was being held down by the earth itself. Over a hundred men were employed and together, they couldn't move a single brick. The townspeople gathered around the old castle, watching, waiting, although they didn't know what for. They were disappointed however, nothing was changed, the council soon moved on to trying to import food from elsewhere, and everyone soon forgot about the castle. They remembered the fear thought. That's something that you can't forget that easily.

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