Rondeith stared at the massive tree before them. It was the size of a house, and it had fallen across the road some time in ages past and now it was an obstacle between him, his fellows and whatever it was that the adventurers wanted on the other side. A tall, thin fellow, Rondeith tried to hide his lack of muscle in clothes too big for him. His jumper hung off him as if he’d lost huge amounts of weight, and his jeans were scuffed and frayed at the end because they were too long for him. Mixed with his long shaggy hair, he looked like a misbegotten and unkempt child wandering through the shadows of the forest.
“It was barricade supplies wasn’t it guys? That the Old Man wanted?” Rondeith speaks low, trying to remember what it was they were looking for.
“Yeah, that’s what the he kept asking about anyway. Seems he’s worried something will attack us tonight.” That was Hermione. Generally quiet, it seemed she got more talkative the longer the shadows got. Her broad shoulders hunched as she looked about, and though normally 6 feet tall, she seemed dwarfed by the forest around her. Her normally bright blonde hair seemed somehow duller and less full of life the further into the forest they went. Rondeith wasn’t sure how long it would take for her to break, but he was certain he didn’t want to be around when she did.
“Will you two be quiet, Im trying to see if theres any of those gigantic spider things under this log. Ya know, the ones Fletcher told us to be careful of.” That was Harrien. Tall, thin and easily unnerved, he looked nervous as he peered into the shadows under the log. To be honest, the more that Rondeith thought about it, the more he thought they might be the scrawniest most easily terrified folks in this forest.
“Why’d we even go through the portal,” he mutters. Each of the three scavengers is dressed all in white, with weapons they barely know how to use strapped to their backs, and a pack with a days’ worth of food in it. They are only out for a quick trip to a hovel, and they don’t expect to be long. Eventually, Hermione gets sick of standing around waiting for Harrien. Impatient with dread, she shoves past and scrambles over the tree, whispering as she goes “If you’re so worried, go over the damn log. Fletcher didn’t say the critters hung out on top of trees”.
“That’s cause they said that the damn things were everywhere. Honestly, I thought they were joking at first, the way they smirked, but this damn forest is starting to worry me. Every time I see one of those dead folk just lying on the street, I swear it shifts about. Or the air about it shimmers and buzzes or something. I cant really be sure.” As Harrien says this, he looks about nervously.
“why don’t you go check one out then if they’re making you nervous”, Rondeith couldn’t quite keep the snark out of his voice. “Why don’t you” Harrien snarls in reply.
“Enough, I can see the hovel. Lets get in and out quick, I’m sick of this forest already and it seems like it’s getting dark”, Hermione can’t make it through the whole sentence without losing the bravado she started with.
The hovel in question is a squat, two storey yurt like structure. Once it would have been a proud little house, but now the walls sag, the door hangs off its hinges and the whole places reeks of decay. The walls are overgrown with vines, the floor littered with random pieces of broken furniture and the windows are covered in dust. The place looks as if no one has moved within for an age. An in truth, no one has. Part of the devastated village of Le’Hasherabe, the hovel hasn’t been lived in for hundreds of years. It’s a miracle it stands at all. The village itself is sequestered within the Ba’Adenu forest, and over the years has become an overgrown, swampy mess. In the dry season it’s not so bad, but during the wet months the streets run with streams and the ground becomes a muddy mess. The passing ages have wiped away the terrors of the past so thoroughly that not even the cowards of the world would fear Le’Hasherabe. Which is a pity, because fear it they should. Unlike the evidence, the terrors of the past are still very real, and these hapless three have just stumbled blindly into one of their snares. They will not make it through the day…