This past week, Stormstead found itself plagued with invaders. This time around, though, the village’s pains were not due by a raiding party or angered warband of natives. No, this time it was restless spirits and phantasms. In fact, the entire jungle was rife with incorporeal activity. From what little information we at the Rumour Mill have been able to parse and piece together, it appears the spirits that rose up were ancestral spirits of the forest – a link to the enigmatic Ame Moei.
It all started in earnest when eerie earthen totems of sinew and animal bone were planted around the jungle overnight. Someone was even brave enough to sneak into Stormstead and stake a couple within the borders of the village. Whether these were meant as a warning or an implement for some form of ritual, it was difficult to ascertain for sure. Those knowledgeable in the ways of spellcasting studied them, but found nothing out of the ordinary. Shortly after these totems were erected, word started filtering through the island that a new leader of the Moei Asing had stepped up. It is very likely that these two events are related in some fashion.
The Moei Asing have been leaderless for several years now. Ever since the sudden violent death of their previous leader, Myan Thiha. The native alliance’s cohesion swiftly fell apart without her leadership and the villagers of Stormstead were able to gather a collective breath. Having struggled with a lack of leadership themselves, Stormstead had been losing a battle to shore their defenses against raiders and Thiha’s warriors alike. This unintended peace allowed both groups a period of regroup and regrowth.
Returning to present days: Something momentous, likely whatever the totems were foretelling, occurred. Something or someone empowered the local ancestral spirits. They all rose up as one and began running rampant throughout the jungle. Villagers of Stormstead spent the better part of the week ducking pottery and furniture being tossed around. Rope bridges snapped and dunked residents into the Kuvari and luckless villagers became possessed. Somehow the spirits even caused a landslide to nearly engulf the tavern and injured several who were caught inside.
The angry spirits that haunted the village aired various grievances with Stormstead. Some just blindly attempted to cause as much destruction as possible, while others demanded penance for the transgressions of the past ten years. Others still demanded gifts. The apparition of Myan Thiha herself appeared briefly before the newly appointed leaders of both the Asing and Stormstead. She didn’t claim to preside over the spirits that were wreaking havoc, only to warn Stormstead that they should follow the ways of the Asing and ultimately their deity, Ame Moei. She in no uncertain terms predicted doom for the entire isle if faction relations continued as they were.
Desperate to appease the spirits or, at the very least, subdue their violent desires, Stormstead held a grand blessing ritual outside the Salty Swallow tavern on Saturday. Many members of the village gathered to participate as barkeep and druid, Wanton Aime, presided over the blessing. Seed was cast about the earth by those in attendance and a brazier was lit for the burning of sacrificial offerings of jewellery, trinkets, coins, rich food and finely brewed arrack. The village founder, Valorian, also made an offering of his own blood to the brazier. Afterwards, folk offered feats of bravery by walking over a bed of coals and then feasted and danced into the early evening. Fortunately, no one was seriously harmed by the fire walk, although several were eager to run several more yards into the rain and mud to cool off afterwards.
By all appearances, the blessing was a large enough gesture to satisfy the ancestral spirits. Since then, there has yet to be another village haunting as far as our reporting has noted. What this portends for the future of Stormstead, the Asing, and Eyr at large is anyone’s guess at this point. Presently, I’m going to enjoy the current respite as best I can and hope that you readers can too.
Article written by Farah Hannu