As we approached the ghost village that was once Bestle, subtle details that were unobservable from so far away started to take shape.
Metal spikes studded the corpses, reattaching limbs and chunks of flesh, while simultaenously pinning them to the tree, like a grisly insect collection done oh so wrong.
“Oh god. What did i leave them to…” Asla looks close to tears from the horrific images assaulting her one after the other. However she soon hardens her gaze as something dawns to her.
There were a distinct lack of children hanging from the tree, returning to us the hope that the children might remain safe in the church. That hope that was lost upon sight of the tree from afar.
As we finally enter the town proper an impossible amount of blood greets us, coating the entire road in a thin layer of it. I take point, keeping Asla close behind me with my spear held out in front of me at the ready. The squelching sounds coming from our steps is disconcerting putting me on edge. “There’s a fork in the road ahead, which direction is the church Asla?”
She points to the north side of town.
“It’s the tallest building in Bestle, and next to the elder’s house which has a green dyed thatch roof…. Do you think they’re alive?” She asks me with a whisper.
I stop and plant my spear into the road, while turning to her i grasp Asla’s shoulders and say, “I hope they are. But even if they aren’t it wasn’t your fault Asla. This act of brutality is far beyond the scope of what Fuzion was. This was the act of a monster. Even if it was a human.”
We continue our trek through the village remains, assured of our safety by the terrible silence. As we finally near the church I vomit, losing 30 hp and a ton of satiety from my bar. On the walls of the church are the remains of the children.
They had been methodically dismembered, and very purposefully pinned to church. Written out in English was a short letter.
They knew their crime and said nothing.
Now they’ll witness mine and cannot
Love, Jack The Redeemer
Asla and I both break down into tears, realizing that there were no survivors. An entire village sacrificed by a single man, for what, a message? The absurdity of the situation gets to me. I involuntarily laugh, tears still streaking down my cheeks.
“We need to get stronger if we want to avoid this fate.”
“Then let’s start. Come back to my town with me. I don’t feel right staying here.
With that we leave Bestle and it’s dead inhabitants behind.