The Somerset Files: Eldritch Horror in the English Countryside

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Chip The 3rd, Jan 3, 2015.

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    The sleepy town of Glastonbury, Somerset, was home to a great many things. One of those things was the ancient Viking burial mound. And on that burial mound, on the twenty-first of May, a troupe of Morris dancers were rehearsing for the upcoming festival. Badly, too.
    "Johnson, you dropped your baton three times today already," sighed Jordan Barnett, the head of the troupe, "all right, lads, from the top..."

    The music began again for the eighth time that practice.
    "Oh, Bold Sir John was young and fair
    And Bold Sir John was gay,
    He said, 'I'll tread the morning dew
    to take the air and listen to
    the twittering of the birds all day,
    the bumblebees at play..."

    Beneath the ground, beneath the mound, something twitched.

    "So Bold Sir John, he went his way,
    observing nature's farce
    'Dear Mother Earth, oh tell me, pray,
    why elephants live so long, they say,
    your flies live but a day, then they
    drop dead upon the grass...'"

    The twitching became a full-on convulsion, a tremor beneath the earth, and deep underground, something awoke...

    "Now, Bold Sir John, he met a maid
    as on her back she lay
    'Please show respect and come not near,
    for I've seen many a maiden here
    get lost among the new mown hay,
    so doff your hat, I pray!'"

    Upon the final word of the third verse, the ground gave way, and the entire troupe fell straight into the burial mound! However, as they fell, something else, something other, began to arise...
  2. The start of such an adventure filled with fatal perils, action, friendships and perhaps even romance, began for this young collector in a rather modern looking dining room. The boy sat down in his smooth, varnished wooden chair as it let out that authentic squeak beneath him. The curtains of thin, yet barely transparent curtains and a stove, not wooden but gas! A Smith and Philips production which adorned few kitchens, simply an experimental product in the early stages. By my lord was it impressive, no longer half boiling, half smoking the food.
    The boy sat back and placed his plate and saucer down, atop them were a couple of slices of jammed toast and a cup of tea. These were not simply plates and cups, no, these were decorations for the table, glimmering in the eye with their golden filigree over white china.

    The young collector sighed, laying back in his chair for breakfast as he sipped from cup of milky tea before crunching down on his toast. He pulled out his newspaper and began to read, it was just about his only interaction with the outside world these days and sometimes he found it rather amusing, entertaining. However, as he eyed over the front page, down at the bottom a certain topic peaked his interest. "Hmmm" he muttered, gulping down the chewed up piece of toast, letting out a sigh of contentedness as it sated his hunger somewhat before leaning over to read the topic.

    'Not so merry dancers munched by mound!' the heading said, causing a roll of the eyes from the boy, taking his cup and a sip of tea before setting it back down onto the saucer with a clink. A lick of the finger and he'd began to turn the pages as directed to the full article. He raised a brow. How odd, a burial mound was rarely known for simply earth trauma, perhaps an act by god to cease such infernal sound. Miles laughed to himself as he thought such a thing, as he often did. This had some other cause, perhaps similar to an act of God. The boy's mind began to whirr and click, it worked more like a machine than an organ after all. He decided he would set out to investigate, after breakfast.
  3. A knock was heard on the door of Howard's study as he poured over his collection of archaic and rather esoteric books and documents. "I beg your pardon sir, but this may turn out to be an urgent matter" said a voice from behind the door, that of his good friend Winston. "Pray thee, do come in." Howard quickly said. The door opened and Winston walked in with a nervous air about him. "Well, speak man, do not hold your tongue!" Howard urged. Winston slowly proceeded to speak.
    "It would seem that a troupe of dancers were swallowed by the mound, my dear friend." To which Howard rubbed his chin. "If I recall correctly, the mound is one that was used by the Vikings for burial of their dead." Winston nodded confirmation. "So..." Howard began, "Either this is simply a matter of Terra Turbatus, or the spirits don't like to be danced on." he added with a chuckle. "Whatever It may be, my friend, it certainly warrants further investigation." With that said, Howard grabbed his jacket from the hall tree, and proceeded out the door.
  4. The early afternoon crowd at The Leviathan was healthy but not the bustle it would be in the evening, when the men would come in from their jobs and want to unwind with a pint of mild. There were a few young lads, a housewife drinking gin to get away from her child and more than a few veterans who had heard about James' soft heart. Any man saw the Somme and lived had earned his free beer far as James saw it. And they were always grateful for a glassful of therapy.

    When he was wiping down the counter, the bell above the front door rang. A farmhand in a rumbled brown shirt and dirty suspenders came in, fresh from the fields. He had a hollow look in his eyes, a mouth hung low. That was a look James had seen before, on men in uniform. It was the look fresh soldiers had after seeing their first real combat. The look of a man that had just seen another man die. James dropped the wet cloth to the counter. "Harry, Harry, come in lad. Look like you've seen a ghost. Maggie, give him a stout."

    The barmaid does what she's asked and Harry Marten is practically wrapping himself in his drink. It takes a few minutes to get some colour back into his face, to get him talking. "I was walking down in the cattle field, checking on the herd. I saw in the next field over, the one with the burial stones. Barnett, Johnson and their boys, the dancers. They were out practicing. Then the earth gave way and.." Harry kept going, but James wasn't listening anymore. He realized what his hand was doing, idly scratching at the side of his face. There was something going on with that burial mound. Something from the war.

    "Alright, they're going to need help pulling the men out." James sighed, reaching under the counter for his stout revolver and tucking it into his build. He told Maggie to cover the rest of the shift, that he'd be back in a few hours when the police were done with the grim work. He pulls on his tweet jacket and flat cap before briskly striding out into the sunny afternoon. Not quite spring, not quite summer, the sunlight touched softly without scorching or oppressing. The itch is spreading from his cheek, down his neck and shoulder. This wasn't right.
  5. Erin, like most nearby residents, had heard the news of the unfortunate cave-in on the nearby mound. She had no time to actually join the crowd herself until she had finished her work that evening, but until then, she still overheard enough talk about it. The whole thing seemed strange to her, she hadn't heard of any other such collapses, and the region had no history of such incidents, either. In her mind, it was most likely that water over the years must have worn away something inside the mound, leading to the recent events. The dancers were either at the wrong place at the wrong time, or it was their added weight which finally brought the whole thing down.

    When she could later in the day, she made her way over to at least see what had happened for herself and ask around. There were doubtless many other curious onlookers, and the police, no doubt, had the whole hill cordoned off in case of a further collapse. But, it wasn't every day something like this happened, and it wouldn't be unusual for it to be the talk of the town for the coming weeks.
  6. Not long after, a drab carriage hurtled through town, stopping just outside the hall. A few odd-looking individuals stepped out, some with small eyes, large eyes, disproportionate faces, all kinds of deformity. One of them, the first, was clad in concealing gloves and a veil. These strangers had bought some land not long after the Burial Mound Incident...

    ...Immediately after it had happened, actually. City folk were strange like that. This family of the bizarre were known as the Belaires, and they had a reputation for snatching up land that strange things happened upon. In this case, they'd built a mansion atop the collapsed burial mound...
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