Bells tolled continually, announcing new deaths.
"I hear that he walks the North these days, strides amongst the Silver Firs of those harsh lands. His followers struggling behind in the frost mist. New ones joining the lines everyday the, drawn to him by some mysterious force."
Elias and Manfred are basically a ventriloquist act. However, the major difference between them and other ventriloquists is that Manfred the Talking Cat is a real cat and not a puppet.
Come hither peasant!
A Vampire hunter.
A sweet old Herbalist with a secret, how old is he really?
A mercenary for hire. If you can handle the foul stench of dead dog, sweat and grease.
When did it all start? He would never know for sure, although he traces it, like a finger on a map following the broad river back to the invisible thread of the beginnings, to one evening early winter.
In nature, for instance, a rhino has flies and ticks etc, that live on the hide and live off the blood. Rhino will visit and lie in ponds where turtles will clean the underwater portion of the ticks and a species of bird will clean the the top of ticks and other parasites. What if where the characters camp there were a species of animals that lived off wounds of the creatures. PCs camp. Anybody with wounds on there body are soon covered with small rodent - insect - shadows - whatever. Would immediately see it as a threat I would imagine. But perhaps one of the wounded didn't wake up when it happened, and when they did finally wake they were completely healed. Perhaps somebody was warned of something attacking them but they were able to notice that the wound was actually getting smaller instead of larger. Or maybe they successfully beat the creatures off them and don't notice an improvement, marking this place never to rest at ever again....later learn that villagers send their wounded there but they keep it a guarded secret because they don't want all the attention or traffic and what comes with such a special gift. Could turn into something more too if characters decide to start blabbing about it.