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.
It seemed like a great place to camp. The clearing was good sized and sheltered from the wind. The brook just a few feet away. There is a natural hallow to keep the horses.
Then the night came.
It was like it became a different place. The temperature dropped. The wind, which does not seem to disturb cloth, almost cuts through you like an arctic wind. No one can sleep, as the soft ground has turned hard. The horses are uneasy. The Bats are flying over and stopping in the trees.
And then there is the eyes. There are glowing eyes just inside the tree line watching your group. The mages and clerics can detect nothing, but there is still something there.
(yet there is nothing at all... The Darkness will do nothing unless the players do something to it. And even then it will all seem to be a conincidence.)
Of course, in the morning, it all becomes sweet and light.