The locals are restless already. I’m used to this happening about a week into my arrival at any new town, but hadn’t been expecting it so soon here. The laborers I had hired to dig at the site have been complaining of hearing strange sounds as they worked, and that howling’s continued every night since we started.
The Stillwood has a couple names, Stillwood is what you’d see on the map, the locals also call it the Circle Wood, the Darkwood, the leafy void, or, commonly heard in the saloon, Those Damn Trees. I’ve been assured by my contact here that despite the howling, there hasn’t been a wolf in these woods for decades, since the Old Empire in fact. I’ve had the pengi put out wolf traps just in case.
The men however have not complained of the howling, it’s apparantly normal enough for them to be used to it.
I had arrived via airship, as there had been issues with the railway, apparantly kudzu vines were overtaking the rails into the Stillwood again. After meeting my contact, a weasely little man bringing to mind one of the Underby’s aside from the fact his last name was decidedly of the mountianfolk, outside the cafe, we exchanged greetings and sat down over espressos mixed with a shot of the local brew. Olunson was his name, and he pushed a parcel across the table to me when I asked what exactly it was he found.
Unwrapping the handkercheif it was wrapped in, I was holding a small carved figure, carved out of some local variety of black stone. The figure resembled a woman, with lines carved into her back and what appeared to be branches.
Olunson sipped his coffee and grunted. “‘S a local spirit eh? dey call ‘er ‘Daur’, some sort o’ old god, spirit, other-thin, ya knows. Used to be, Folks Says she’s what watches de forest ‘ere’. Sends dem plants in tae taje de town, Most donnna Beleive tha’ annamore, but de old tales still’s lingers.”
I tossed the figurine back to him “yes, I’ve researched the local folklore in this region, and have come across the mention of Daur before, but local folklore alone isn’t enough for you to contact me is it?”
Olunson turned the figure around and showed me the markings on the bottom, the writing was familiar from texts I had studied in the university, and some I own in my own library, They named a city that has no business being in this continent, let alone this world, ‘Kadath’
We had hired out local laborers the next day, Olunson brining us to the location the figure was found, deep in the Stillwood. Digging had gone slow, the men refuse to be in the woods after dark, the howling I would gather. By sunset, everyone returns to town and rests before getting up early the next day.
Eventually one of the men hit something. Another day of digging uncovered a square roof, Unfortunatly the work had to cease for the night, as the howling had started unusually early.
The work continued on, unearthing the structure, it was large and square shaped. I would assume it was part of a larger settlement, but it would take awhile to locate and unbury other buildings. From the markings on the wall, twisted, branchlike designs, It could be a temple to ‘Duar’. Unfortunatly work again had to stop as the entrance was becomming uncovered. One of the men, shouting that a tree had ‘looked’ at him, caused the rest of the workers to make some sort of hand gesture as they started packing in their tools and left back for town. I enquired to Olunson what had happened. “They ward against the glare, they may not be willing to work further on this you should know, if one of them was glared at.”
He walked away as I looked at the uncovered building, the howling had just started when the man started yelling.