……This could be longer than my usual entries in this journal, what happened tonight needs recording, before the memories begin to fade, or, more likely, my mind tries to forget the things I saw…..
The night (as the festival takes place at midnight – this should perhaps have been my first clue that something about this town isn't quite right( began as normal, many of the town residents were together, chatting and awaiting Izzy and Father Bert to begin the more formal part of proceedings.
Those present asked forgiveness for something they needed absolution for. My own forgiveness, well, I still will never regret killing that bastard. He caused me enough pain over the years, he deserved all he got and more, but I like some of the people in this town, particularly those who cross my palm with money, so I tried to fit in. This was to be the end of anything resembling normality…..
All of a sudden we heard a dissonant chanting – I don't remember much but I distinctly remember hearing "You are not forgiven" loud in my ear, then, if that weren't enough, our shadows – yes even as I write this now, I still can't quite believe it – twisted and began trying to choke us to death, every one of us.
The next few minutes were a bit of a blur. I remember having a distinct feeling of anxiety that has lingered to this point. Perhaps I shall not fully recover my faculties. I know I managed to break away from my shadow, and soon after, I heard a loud bang, and the shadows became, just regular shadows. A few of the other had found some tankards containing weird bits of bone and earth, with some strange purple coloured vines. Now I am no magician, but even I know that some bizarre ritual was happening here.
After a little discussion with my fellow shaken residents, a few of us decided to try and investigate around the local standing stones, as the vines had been seen around there. Accompanying me were the apothecary, the barber, who doubles as the surgeon if needed, the local gnomish tinker, and Stenk, who I had previously watched with disdain, given he was an orc. He had revealed himself as a changeling!! I didn't even know they were real, I had always thought they were told to frighten children into eating their parsnip root.
As we approached the stones, we felt somewhat uneasy, and it wasn't until we got close that we realised the absence of sound, and that we were yelling at the tops of our voices to make ourselves heard to each other.
We crested the rise upon which the stones stand, and saw something even more bizarre than that we had already seen that night. 2 large tusk shaped stones (my companions thought they were bone, but I didn't have the heart to tell them until later) lashed together and FLOATING 5 feet above the water, in the middle of the stones. Not only that, the front faces of the stones reflected our faces. As we walked around we saw tracks that appeared to be human. Unfortunately we couldn't follow them as they disappeared into the long grass. Our tinker friend tried to throw a stone from his sling at the stones from the opposite side, but missed and when his stone hit the water, the ripples appeared muted. We had no real idea what was happening. We decided we needed to get those stones out of there somehow, so the barber waded into the water, and grabbed them This caused the most hideous noise in my ears I had ever heard, fortunately I managed to get the ringing out of my ears in time to see the tinker throwing a slingshot at the closest stone to us – he was gesturing wildly at something we couldn't see – I moved around to see what I can only describe as a mirror faerie. Yes Nessa, when you read this back you are not exaggerating, it appeared to be an elven like being, with a skin of mirrors. I let loose an arrow, hitting it, and it appeared to cause cracks in the surface. We managed to hit it enough to cause it to shatter, but when we saw 4 more trying to claw their way from the stones, we decided we were outmatched, and I am not sorry to say we ran, but not before breaking the stones apart, the barber having been pulled out of the water by the apothecary. This did appear to cause the remaining beings to stop their pursuit, but we did not hang around to check.
We waited at the Town Hall, having been the first party back, the other townsfolk having also gone to investigate potential clues as to the origin of the strangeness.
However, things would just get stranger, as from the undertaker's shadow, a HUGE shadow thing grew, and proceeded to taunt us, suggesting that a malevolent being is behind all of this. I am proud to say that, unlike some people who shall remain nameless (they know who they are) I attempted to fight the demon, but I wonder just how much difference we were making. A couple of the residents, my new companion Stenk included, threw themselves in front of the monster's attacks, losing their lives in the process. Whether through our efforts or perhaps discretion, the monster began to dissipate, but not before throwing out a curse upon the town, the nature of which we had no idea. However just after the monster disappeared finally and said it's last curse words, there was the sound of bells tolling in the distance. I am choosing to believe this was just a coincidence. I cannot countenance the possibility of anything else….
I now need to try and sleep, but whenever I close my eyes, I see Stenk collapsing into his real form…..