The Dark Man

The Foresters have always called it the Black Wood, a vast region beyond the Sky Mountains and stretching toward the Great Northern Sea.  The remaining peoples of the Bal'Wren refer to it as the Charred Lands because of the perpetually smoldering, subterranean fire that charred the massive trunks of the Mamre trees.

Hidden within that dark forest, they say born of the smoky fire itself, was the legend for some, the fear for many, known as the Dark Man.  His substance was the smoke itself, the remains of what once alive but had not yet disappeared into death.

He was known as a shudder in the night, a shimmer in the darkness, his shifting form only caught now and then, in the shadows cast by full moons.  When he would pass through the souls of the living, whether it be the spirit of an owl on the hunt or a tree in the sleep of night, or a man lost amongst the shadows, the life of that soul would be snuffed out and would be no more, forever.

This is why the Foresters have always so feared the night and have always kept their campfires burning.  Those small foxfires around which they huddle is their only defense against that which passes through the night, the Dark Man, the Death that Snatches Away the Breath of Life.

 

The End

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