The Devil's Burden

The Village of the Damned Part 1

Having found passage on a ship bound for France, he Wanderers finally left Plymouth and arrived in Calais intent on Normandy and the village of Colombiere. It took then some days of traversing the bleak French countryside in bad weather, but they finally found themselves on the small road to the village, surrounded by barren fields and gloomy forest. The road was deserted of all other life as if the area was being avoided by other travellers. It was here, atop a small rise before the village that they spied one other traveller on the road – a well dressed, though mud-spattered man on horseback. They attempted to take the stranger by surprise but found themselves staring down the barrel of a loaded pistol. A tense conversation ensued and only after it became clear that similar reasons had brought all three men to this desolate place, did the atmosphere relax somewhat, and the three men agreed to explore the village together. The ‘stranger’ turned out to be a man called Jean and he would reveal little about his past to the Wanderers, except that it was troubled and that he was on the run from the law for some reason. Jean was pursuing a dark sorcerer that he had a vendetta against and his trail had led him to this same village. Jean had one more surprise: his 10 year old daugher, Elise, was also with him and accompanied Jean on his travels. A perilous life for a 10 year old!
Together the four of them travelled the last mile of road down into this mysterious village that had somehow brought them together.
The village at first glanced appeared deserted. Doors were locked and windows latched. The inn appeared abandoned with the only sign of life being the creaking of the sign in the cold wind. But there was life in the village: light flicked from behind doors and there ¬†was a whispered conversation from somewhere. The Wanderers banged on the inn’s door until they were let in by a surly inn keeper who was reluctance to give them lodgings or a meal. His wife hid in the back, too terrified to appear. They Wanderers could not get any sense out of either of them exept that the village was cursed and they should leave the place immediately.
The Wanderers had decided to stay though and wished to get to the root of the evil in the village. They enjoyed a meal of rotten onion soup and watery wine. For all of them the floor began to shake and the walls spun. They had been drugged! Suddenly the room was full of burly villagers all intent upon subduing the travellers. The Wanderers drew pistols and a tense standoff ensued. The villagers were too fearful to attack armed men. The Wanderers spoke to the village elder but he refused to tell them what was going on. Finally a brave girl spoke up and revealed the terrible truth. Six months ago strange men had come to the village. They thought they were priests, but they did some terrible magic out at the old stone circle and brought forth ‘demons’ who had been terrorizing the villagers every since. The demons demanded a sacrifice on the full moon of each month and the villagers had been forced to choose one of their own to save the others. A full moon was due for the following night and right now another girl was being held captive in a barn, ready for sacrifice. The other villagers tried to silence the girl and stop her revealing their shame but the Wanderers forced them to stand back and let her finish. The Wanderers then swore to rid the town of this great evil and they made the villagers go and release the poor captive girl.
At this moment a bestial roar was heard for the street outside followed by a scream. The Wanderers rushed out to see a fallen woman and standing over her, breath misting the freezing air was an abomination: some kind of hulking misshapen goat man with cloved feet and twisting horns. Both Laguna and Jean drew pistols. The thing roared and charged Jean, but Laguna stepped in just in time to blast the creatures brains to smithereens.
The villagers were shocked and awed at this display of power. Perhaps these strange men could save them all? And so it was that Brother Laguna, Jacob and Jean swore to venture into the night to face these demons in their lair and destroy them and rid the village of their curse forever . . .


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