I was running through Glenbrook in Drustvar on may way to hand in a quest when I heard a little girl singing from somewhere.
It was a nursery rhyme tune that sounded familiar but when I stopped to listen harder, the words were anything but a lullaby.
I had to check my chat pane to ensure I had actually heard the words correctly and reading them back, holy shit, it was so creepy!
I turned my horse around slowly, ignoring the glowing wolves that were trying to chase me down and searched for whoever had been singing this. I found a little girl skipping around in the devastation that this village had become. There were more of these dark wolves handing around where she was skipping and that was enough to make me feel on edge that something was going to happen.
I approached her and she told me that she was lonely and she needed someone to play with but only after I had helped her gather her toys for a tea party.
Okkkaaaayyyy. The toys themselves were easy enough to find but the village was also giving up its own secrets. There was blood everywhere. Dead animals and destruction. More importantly there was no one else here…
Where did Abby come from? If there’s no one else here, where are her parents?!?
I found her toys and then her cat who was sitting next to a notebook that was supposed to list the inhabitants here. Yet a few of them were crossed out. As much as Abby wanted me to play tea party with her, I had to know what happened to the owners of the names that had been crossed out.
I guessed that it would mean that they were dead but not how. I went off to find out what had happened to the people who had been crossed off in the notebook.
First off was Sam. I went out and found his skeleton out in the woods. All that was left was his axe. His corpse had fallen in front of a small witch wooden thing that he had apparently gone to chop down. The rest of him had been picked clean by the unnatural animals that now inhabited the forests around Glenbrook.
When I approached him, Abby started with her sing-song voice again and told me what happened to him.
His swine where the ones that were laying dead in the mud and their own blood back in Glenbrook. They had been slaughtered and left to rot… which would explain why Abby was so happy when I found her toy pig in Sam’s pig sty and she told me that at last the doggies would be able to eat after Sam had spent so long trying to keep them away from his pigs…
I carried on, heading to a cave to locate the owner of the next name, Jonathan.
I turned over the body and inspected it leading me to discover with horror that he had been left intact apart from the gaping hole in his chest and his missing heart that had been ripped clean out.
Abby came in with her rhyme as I stared at the body.
A witch… Cue heart rate going up. What the fuck was going on here? There was no sign of any witch possession in the hamlet. There were no signs up anywhere or stuff on the floor like what you saw in the other towns that were under a witch curse. It was just a ghost town, everyone had been killed or run away but this revelation kicked up the anxiety over what was happening or going to happen.
Jonathan was clutching a note, written to his wife. It felt strange reading it but the note was an undelivered one to his wife, where he was pleading with her to return home and telling her that he loved her.
The next name on my list made me fell slightly sad as I started out of the cave where Jonathan’s body was and stopped to mount up on my horse. The next name was Mary Hayes, his wife. He had been begging her to come home yet she could have already been dead. Even if he had managed to get the letter delivered before his demise, she wouldn’t have been able to accept it, let alone reply to him.
I trotted my horse over to the next cave and entered to find Mary. I didn’t find her right away but I found her ‘lair’ and her note book. Abby appeared behind me to whisper the tale of Mary.
Oh god. Mary, the woman who Jonathan was married to and begging to come home wasn’t lost in the woods or had left him after an argument, she had gone because she was practising black magic on the village. He was trying to use his love of her to get her to stop, before she took his heart. She ripped out her husbands heart for a ritual.
Her lair when I stumbled upon it told me everything I needed to know about her. Yet, I felt slightly more at ease than I had done earlier as this was the only actual major sign of witchcraft I had seen all over Glenbrook aside from the small one that Sam was trying to chop down.
I leafed through her journal that had been abandoned here and found an entry that may explain why there was an absence of witchcraft in Glenbrook.
They were done with it? They slaughtered everyone here and then left to turn their attention to a town more fitting for their purpose? Also the mention of ‘my sisters’ made me wonder how many of them were there? And if this is the remnants of one of them, where are the others?
I set off to try and find Mary’s body. Upon entering a cave, I found another woman kneeling over the body of what I presumed to be Mary. There was blood all over the floor and all over the woman. But she was not ‘all there’ for want of a better phrase.
She had hollow and empty eyes and wouldn’t talk to me to begin with. Abby crept close and told me her tale.
So this woman is called Annie and she refused to join the witches, so they cursed her? Kept her in chains? Was Mary her keeper and she has just killed her?
The notebook I picked up earlier said that Mary was already dead if that is what the crossing through of names symbolised, so what happened had this Annie woman been kneeling over Mary’s body for days, weeks even?
Abby called to me and said that it was time for that tea party.
I turned my back on Annie and followed Abby back to the village. She skipped ahead to the already laid out tea party and I froze. My heart decided to miss a few beats as I looked over where she had set up her party.
That rune was not there before. Abby must have drawn it and set out the candles while she disappeared when I was searching for the missing villagers.
The cat I had found was also dead. She had sacrificed the cat that she had begged me to find for here earlier? He was helping her with the tea party… If he was helping her by being dead, how was she expecting me to help?
She raised her hand, covered in the same black magic that the local wildlife was infected with and I looked around, trying to work out what was happening and with a sense of dread, where the ambush was going to come from.
Out of the rune on the floor came the twig covered wolf, the hexed animal that resembled something that you would expect to appear in the Blair Witch Project. It instantly attacked me even with Abby’s instructions for it to ‘play nice’. It turned out that her instructions were not as innocent as they should have been.
Abby had already told me that she was lonely but her idea of company was to ensure that I didn’t ever leave. After battling with the hexed wolf and coming out victorious, Annie, the villager who had been in a daze, startled me by approaching as I was gathering my thoughts over what had just happened.
She was surprised as I was. She stuttered when she saw Abby and fell silent for a moment before gathering her thoughts and telling me that they had believed Abby had died two years ago.
She was dead? I had followed the malevolent spirit of a dead little girl who had succumbed to the black magic permeating the forest around what was once her home?
Annie broke me away from my thought by thanking me for breaking her out of the curse that had bound her to these lands and gave me the advice to get out while I could. She was leaving and she was not going to be looking back. Ever.
I mounted up and followed her advice. I didn’t turn back. Galloping to the next inhabited village as though I was being chased. I don’t want to see that little girl again.
Credit to Rocsanna for uploading the video clip of Abby Lewis singing her disturbing remix of ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’