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12.14.8 The Festering Bog
The village of Sarh'ael Glade stood for ages within the confines of the swamps south of the Barren Wastelands. Formed by a tribe of Sylayan lost from their northern homes, the simple community of trackers and hunters quickly became a lively village, one that benefitted from Stavenn-bound merchants as much as they did the natural game that inhabited both the depths of the swamp nearby and the plain forest that surrounded it. Renowned amongst plain villages for their expertly trained pack dogs, they survived contently for decades, nestled within their isolated home. One day, a recluse necromancer from the nearby city of Stavenn stumbled upon their home, weary and wounded from the stealthy marauders that tracked the wastelands. Startled at his ability to affect life and death, as well as awed, the village began to dabble in the darker arts, learning what they could of the necromancer before he perished. One specific pupil, the youngest daughter of the village's elder, was particularly adept, surpassing the necromancer and amassing great power in a short time. The villagers became frightened at her mastery over the death arts, and in their fear, barricaded her in a westward cave, her father laying the last stone that sealed the entrance. For nearly a decade they went uninterrupted, until the woman burst forth from her prison, warped and aged from the rigors of her mastery and filled with hatred at what her kin had done. Magickally sealing off the village and the surrounding bog, she unleashed her wrath upon her former village behind closed doors, continuing her studies and pursuing higher power at the cost of her former family. It was only in modern times that the elder son of the village elder, along with his father, managed to escape her wrath, even momentarily. Sacrificing his life, the eldest son released the seal on the village, in a desperate attempt to seek help from the outside world. Gathering his strength but unable to pass the hag's crafts, the elder Ulriead formed a camp on the outskirts, seeking aid from any who would hear his pleas. The former village stands amidst a warped and festering bog, filled with the proclaimed hag's experiments, both those successful and those that failed. Only those brave enough to step into her workings ever know to what extent her mastery extends, and few live to tell the tale.