Part 18 - Dark Harvest
The Nephilim continued their pursuit of the mummers and the Lord of Misrule. As they travelled along a rural road they came across three large sacks sitting in a hollow. Two were filled with apples, but the third was filled with human heads. The necks were stained with blood and dirt.
They decided to follow some tracks that led into the woods. They came upon a village surrounded by bountiful fields. They were impressed by the quantity and health of both the crops and the livestock. Oddly, however, there seemed to be no one around.
Several houses appeared to have been barricaded, but the barricades had been breached. Finally they came across a boy who was hiding in a barn. He attempted to flee, but they were able to catch him. He said that the villagers had been taken for the Great Harvest, as decreed by the Shambler. When asked who the Shambler was, he said that the Shambler was all around them and that he owned these lands. It was because of him, that the land was so fertile, but now he demanded tribute.
The boy led them through the forest to a clearing where several villagers were gathered. One carried a scythe that dripped with blood. In the distance was a grassy hill with several stone plinths protruding from it. As they got closer to the clearing they saw that several dozen people had been buried in the ground up to their necks, and the man with the scythe was methodically decapitating them.
The Nephilim charged and attacked. Much to their surprise, the ground beneath them would shift moving them back away from the ritual. By the time they had managed to reach the clearing, the last head went flying. The grassy hill rose up, revealing to be an ancient creature, the plinths like bone plates along it back. It had long tentacles that ran beneath the foliage that it could use to shift the ground.
Within minutes the crops for miles around began to wilt and the animals became sickly. Asking around, they learned that the mummers had come through the area and had visited the grassy hill before continuing on to St. Nazaire. The Lord of Misrule had apparently awakened the ancient being either to slow the Nephiilim down, or just because he knew the carnage it would cause.