Decades ago this quaint location was used by Delerion nobles as a place to discretely offer comfort and care to their “afflicted” children. A collection of cottages constructed by a nearby lake would make for a serene sanctuary away from the harsh public eye, or so said the wealthy investors who commissioned the project. Here, tucked away in the Andron Mountains, those born into specific wealthy families with mental illness, disease, deformaties, or disciplinary issues were sent to the Ridges and kept under the watchful eye of the Sisters of the Hand—acolytes of Krymara, the Goddess of Healing.
Over time, the inhabitants of the Ridges grew older, and despite promises made by the Delerion nobles to provide money for supplies, additional shelter and general care, soon the flow of gold into the quiet camp ceased all together. With many of the Sisters abandoning the camp, unrest began to stir amongst the inhabitants as the Ridges turned from a place of comfort into a hidden asylum with increasingly dangerous denizens.
The first known murder was committed by a boy of sixteen named Joachim. Sister Tyrell had never been known as a tender heart, but what set the brutal act off remains a mystery. She was killed just outside the perimeter of the Ridges, bludgeoned to death with a stone, and perhaps out of fear of being caught, Joachim attempted to hide her body in a nearby cave. Deep within the dark confines, he found the perfect location to conceal his crime: an ancient archway that outlined a yawning abyss. How could the boy have known about Fey Ways or the myths and legends surrounding them?
How could he have understood the sacrifice he was offering?
The body was thrown in, and a devilish fey entity was awakened. When Joachim left the cave he carried more than a murderer’s guilt—he carried the spirit of an evil monstrosity hungry for mortal blood.
Madness erupted shortly thereafter and the inhabitants of the Ridges fell victim to the murderous will of the possessed Joachim. Death claimed uncounted victims, and those that escaped did so screaming into the surrounding woods.
From the open Fey Way, additional creatures slipped out like sinuous shadows to occupy the cabins and cottages once held by the “afflicted.” Here they fed off of the residual anger and trauma that lingered from years of abandonment and neglect. They took the tangible form of the most horrifying thoughts long kept hidden in the inarticulate vaults of the inhabitants’ minds. Murder and madness bred and gave birth to new terror.
Soon the Ridges fell quiet and time slipped by. Some say the former denizens still wander the wooded region, lost in a perpetual nightmare or perhaps possessed like Joachim. The cabins and cottages still stand, though time and elements have been cruel. Within, the gloom conceals the atrocities of yesterday as sleeping monsters drift ever closer to waking.
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