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Unread 27th of March, 2008, 15:35
Cadrius's Avatar
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Location: The Emerald City
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In the lands to the south, where Sarcosan peasants till their fields, they’re known as murmets. Their agrarian Halflings neighbors have their own similar word—mommet. But it is the Dorns who name them plain and true: scarecrows. Although, from the stories she’s heard the Dornish version is often draped with a cloak of dead crows. Perhaps they recognize the moldering threat of joining that murdered murder.

There are as many myths surrounding the power of scarecrows as there are cultures dwelling upon Aryth. As a child, Aleina’s father had whispered ghost tales of spirits that dwell within the scarecrows’ straw breasts. The Lost, he called them, souls that were caught between the world of flesh and the swirling ethereal nothing. They wandered Eredane, looking for a home, or a body, to inhabit. Even little girls, he had said, lunging at her and making Aleina squeal but not unhappily.

It was all nonsense of course. There are many strange and horrible things in this world, and the Lost are very much real, but they do not live inside scarecrows. Still, it is hard not to feel the malice radiating from these mockeries like heat from the flame. They do naught but hang, yet it is the very threat of that stillness that sends gooseflesh rippling across her upper arms and back.

Questions plague the beautiful Erenlander. That these vulgar creations were garbed in a similar fashion is troubling enough, but it is how the hangman knew to make one for each of them that bothers her more. She, Dun, and Lyr had parted with the others a day earlier and had only just met again a scant few hours ago. Could a mad hermit have the time and the resources to do this? And to what end? Or are these another’s handiwork altogether? The villagers had said the woods were haunted. There could be more that lurks beneath the boughs than the charred dead. Each possibility is a facet that she turns over and over in her mind, searching for the truth.

But no answers come and she is left with uncertainty gnawing in her belly.
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