Thursday, 15 April 2010

calluna moor

To the west of the Losung Highlands is Calluna Moor, a swathe of scrubland where hillocks of gorse and plains of heather paint the land in gold and dusk rose in summer; small eelwood trees (a species of acid pine known for resinous, slippery bark) cling to the edge of stagnant sinkholes murky with rotting vegetation which seem to draw millipedes in great number. Yet the moor has dry hillocks and tors as well. Where eelwood grow, the dead will go is a folk-charm used to warn about the perils of the sinkholes.

Toads are plentiful near sinkholes as are the vipers preying on them. Drier land sees grouse and skylarks hunt searching for beetles and worms while trying to avoid pale-grey merlin who hunt the skylarks in turn. There are a few crofts on Calluna Moor but these are almost all farmers. Growing oats and barley, keeping bees and sheep, taciturn Calluna Moor farmers speak infrequently and dine well. Yet they often carry greatswords as walking canes and know how to wield them. For Calluna Moor is not always as idyllic as it first seems.

In the past, Calluna Moor was buried under glacial ice and a fortress (Dyshuvail) was raised on a tor by rangers to defend against creatures that came with the ice. Dyshuvail is still maintained and can only be safely reached by a strip of land known as The Sheep Run, named as much for it being fine pastureland as it is for the number of times rangers have had to run from visiting giants once they ran out of arrows. The giants know to look for the eelwood and there are few places to hide on the moorland. The rangers and farmers will unite to slay giants who try to gain a foothold on the Moor.

The sinkholes provide an effective method of burial, bodies are often left in them so they mummify. Some are retrieved and buried on dry land, others are left to their graves. The difficulty of retrieving bodies from the sinkhole makes it an occasional place to dispose of murderous evidence. Murder victims have been known to rise again, mummified and eager to avenge themselves. The rangers serve as sheriffs and usually engage in a race against time against the undead to find the murderer to prevent the undead from killing and bringing them into servitude as a lesser undead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Greatest Hits