'Reills. E'en the name makes me shudder. That there is unholy ground, cursed by most gods. Not even the demons and devils and the incarnations o' evil dare step foot there. Reills. You know me, I think money likes it in my pocket instead of wherever else it is. But, and I've heard rumors that say this, if theirs treasure on that ground, it ain't going in my pocket on pain o' death.'
-Old Gerald, man in the pub.
Reills is a set of three hills in the middle of a swamp. These hills jut out from the swamp, and form a sort of island. It is in the middle of this island that houses a set of ruins. There are columns, once majestic, now fallen and in disrepair. There are cobblestones, covering the ground, and now with weeds growing in-between. There are walls, once high, now filled with holes and fallen. And covering this whole are is the damp stench of the swamp, and a fog, hiding things, and making the ordinary seem monstrous. The name comes from the location- it used to be called 'Three hills,' but time and people pushed them together, and got ride of the 'h' and the 'th,' making Reills. Throughout the ages, their have been people who have attempted to settle the place- because the hills provide good farmland, and the whole area would be easy to defend, because of the swamp, but each group would seem successful for a little while, but ultimely die, and add more blood to the history of Reills.
The Journal of Elar Thrunsson, explorer
April 2, 358 PT
I have found a place to settle. Soon this place, though desolate now, will be filled with the laughs of children, and mother scolding them. These hills here are suitable for farming, and this large swamp would deter all but the most determined of attackers. Though treacherous to traverse by foot, we could make a ferry of sorts for us to get across. Oh, but I ramble. I have come to simply record the description of some land suitable for settlement, while the clan waits. I must finish my task quickly, for the army that destroyed our old home is surely following. I will set to writing that record promptly. And the first thing I shall write is the lack of animals.
April 3, 358 PT
I have finished my task. I have described the condition of the hills (two good for farming, the southern one capable of sustained logging), and the central valley (where our homes will be). My task is complete. But, there is something... off about this place. Thrice yesterday I have whirled around, axe drawn, at the feeling of something looking at me. But there was nothing. And today, again, I have thought there was something behind me that was never there. But I could have sworn that there were two glowing dots, perhaps eyes, behind me. But I am growing foolish. It is simply the feel of this place. Almost asÂ (the rest of the page is obscured by dried blood. This journal was discovered near the presumed body of Elar Thrunsson was found lacking its head. A skull, lacking a body, was discovered five yards from Elar's body)
In recent times, most feel that Reill was cursed, or simply forsaken, by the gods. Some say that both gods and devils, side by side, have cursed this place, and deemed it forsaken. Whatever the case, the mutually known fact is that the place is better avoided. Unless, of course, you are looking to die. Another fact known is that their must be some sort of monster, though what kind of monster is not known. The truth is, as is occasionally the case, even darker.
The History of the YutherkinsÂ by Ditherford Yrotsih
One branch of the Yutherkins went south. There, they found the Dread Swamp in year 493. They, not knowing of the dangers, simply created some simple rafts, and pole there way across the swamp. They eventually reached Reill. They found a simple island, suitable to their needs. In their records, they noted the lack of wildlife, but otherwise found it possible to settle. They even found a spring, which the previous finder, Elar Thrunsson, had not. And, for a time, the Yutherkins were happy here. That first year showed marvelous creations. There is evidence of farming on the northernmost hills. They made stone buildings by ferrying blocks of stone from the mainland, because wooden houses would soon rot in the damp climate. They created a simple aqueduct, no more than a stream, to ferry the water to the village. Any defenses they would need is the swamp, and they had soon mapped out most of it, giving them the tactical edge on invading armies unfamiliar with the layout. And then catastrophe struck. People began to die in horrific ways. Some were gutted, and left to drag their bleeding soon-to-be corpses to the village. Others had their eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and limbs chopped off. Most died in ways that I feel are unsuitable for this book. I do not seek to upset the reader to harshly. Recently, there was a Yutherkin raft discovered about half a mile off the island. They, too, were killed. The buildings, however, appear to have fallen in disrepair because of time, not by whatever caused the death of those poor souls.
A general pattern in history is that the deaths almost always (the exception being the expedition of 813- they were slaughtered on the first night) occur on the second day in, sometimes much later. The Yutherkin stayed the longest of all, though why this is the case is not known. What is known is that all who have come to Reill have died.
A letter from Renar to his king, concerning the dwarvish exploration of the Dread Swamp. It was found in a pack on his body.
I shall move directly to the point, for I lack the paper to honor you asÂ necessary. In this swamp north of your domain, their is apparently an island. It is about a one and a half miles long at its farthest point, and has three hills, one to the south, one to the northwest, and one to the northeast. In the central valley, there appears to be the ruins of some elder culture. There are also several skeletons in the wrecked buildings. To my unpracticed eye, these skeletons appear to have been attacked by someone or something. Perhaps an invading army had attacked them. Anyway, their always seems to be an accursed fog hanging over this isle. Not even the midday sun has dispelled it. Though suitable for sustained living, I get a feeling that something is wrong on this island. Both the priest and the wizard you sent with me feel this, too, though the wizard's numerous Detect Magic spells have shown that no magic is a foot. But the priest's spells seem to be somehow dampened. When he healed a cut I got when I accidentally cut my arm with my axe, it took two spells to cure that superficial wound. Because of this, I would not recommend settling these parts. I shall send this letter on the morrow. May the gods go with you.
Renar Brightaxe, explorer.
The Secret of Reill:
In theÂ beginning, the world was created by the Ancient Ones. They knew that there most be balance, and thus created the two forces of this world in equal amounts. They created theÂ DeificÂ matter, or theÂ GodlyÂ substance, and theÂ Anti-deity. They then retired their part of the universe, perhaps creating more worlds inÂ theirÂ spare time. The Gods were then born out of the Deific matter, and so did the demons, and good and evil, and all the normal facets of the world. But their was always the Anti-deity, and the anti-gods that it spawned. Something needed to be done about this, because war was shaping up between the two groups. But each side was evenly balanced. No side would have an edge, and the combat would go one for all eternity. Neither side wanted that. And so they poured allÂ excessÂ matter into new life. Both groups together formed the humans, and the elves, and the dwarves, and all life on the world that they built. And they then let the new life choose, of their own free will, which side they would pick. And they picked the gods. In the anti-gods rage at having lost, poured all the anti-deity matter in their very blood upon the earth, dooming the entire world toÂ horrificÂ death. But the gods managed, just in time, to contain the whole force, onto one island in the middle of a swamp. And from this island, from Reill, comes a beast, born of the Rage and Guile and Power of the Anti-Gods, that preys on any of the cursed living that enters its swamp. And the gods could never beat it, for it had all the power of the Anti-gods. And so they simply left it as it was, and called it a day. They never even decided to put up a sign telling people not to go onto the island.
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? Responses (5)-5
Mad props for how you came up with the name, love that!! Fun idea with rumors to start the fear.
An alright idea - except for the nondescript monster, and the splatter. It could use far more Lovecraft horror.
Also, what about fighting the monster? Players will come in, and get murdered by the anti-god monster?
Lots of background, but Echo's comment is spot on. Go here and die. C'est tout!