The Rise and Fall of Glamorfell
There is legend of a moonshiner who lives atop the tallest peak of the fog peak mountains.
They say he is blind, standing nine feet tall- with four arms and the tongue of a dragon. On top of that mountain, the strongest moonshine in all of Golarion is made.
In Galt, the folk are constantly boiling up and over like an unwatched kettle, and orphans of war are ’bout as common as warts on a toad. My mammy somehow managed to find her way out to the fog peak mountains, a refugee from one of those many insurrections, and despite all odds showed up at the cabin. Welp, she died givin birth and I was left in the care of the wise old cracker who was the sole surviving witness to those events.
Bubba ‘Bucephalus’ Bryar was that man, and in the intervening years he taught me everything I know about boozin’, fightin’, and the nat’ral world. He wasn’t actually 9 feet tall, or had 4 arms, but he claimed to have centaur blood in him. And he buried my mother that night on the mountain, in the lonely shadow of a lunar eclipse.
Bein’ as it was just me an Bubba up there in the mountains I never got to fraternize much with the neighbors and such, on account of there was none. We were beset on all sides by fantastical creatures; Frost Giants to the south and east, political unrest to the north, and ice dragons to the west, if rumors be true. I swear that every once in awhile I seen Bubba talking to dwarves out in the dark woods.
Now, despite our isolation, or mebbe on account of it, we spent a lot of time farming and hunting. We was always keenly aware of our precarious situation between monsters and starvation – to that end, Bubba was always experimenting with alchemical snares and weapons, moonshining, and he even had some kind of livin’ fungus growing out in the workshop. We also did a fair amount of what we call drunk forgin’, though we was never very good at it.
I did accompany Bubba every solstice to an area just outside of Bellis- in the Verduran Forest of Andoran. Bubba was part of an ancient order- followers of Acavna who i come to find out was the ancient moon goddess, and he had been habitatin’ in the fog peak mountains as some kinda watchful guardian.
Seems these folk had come to feel that I was kin because of the circumstances of my birth, and on account of some other peculiarities. Anyhow – It seems they were havin’ some troubles with keeping up with their sacred duties – which mainly included keepin’ the wilderness travelers safe in the night time.
They had never been very big to begin with, mostly membership passed down through family lines and such – but recently their ranks had thinned more than was usual, and even the folks still alive were too old, or somehow or other not up to it. The Moon Knights, like Bubba, were all but extinct due to mishaps in the woods, and confrontations with predators. Their ranks had always waxed and waned, but it was a particularly dire time for them.
I reckon thats why they were so interested in me; they needed some new blood up in there!
Well anyway, me and Bubba was on our way back after the last outing when my life changed forever. We just arrived back to our compound on the top of our mountain. I left Waistrell my lazy horse and went to the workshop to check on the alchemical experiments and feed that fungus after so long away.
I hadn’ta been in there more than a few minutes when I heard it – A loud howl. Followed a few moments later by another, and another. They were too close, and sounded kinda like wolves, but bigger. My blood done run cold when I realized it was werewolves- ambush!
Now i had never paid it no mind, but the folks of the moon was always goin on and on about some demon queen named Jezelda, who they was sore afraid of. an part of the reason they was so secretive half the time was because they felt they was being hunted down by her an her minions. My bad.
All my gear was still on Waistrel, so frantically i looked around the workshop for a weapon to defend myself with. I bolted the door and grabbed a few trinkets and steeled myself to go out into the cold. As i approached the door i heard a snarling and growling from the other side and the door began banging wildly.
I stopped short- realizing I could never defeat these big ugly dogs. An’ i decided right then and there to make my stand the only way i could!
I ran over to the kerosine tanks and ripped off the covers, and knocked one over to dump it out. Took a tanglefoot bag and covered up the stairs down from the door real good. By this time the door was all but busted in and I ran around t’other side of the smoke stack to the forge. Soon as those fools got through i whipped my head around the bricks and and threw a smoke bomb to cover up my trap. Just before the smoke went off I noticed there were at least 3 of ‘em just salivating out there, waiting to get in. After the smoke bomb went off, i heard them comin’ down the stairs, the first one fell an’ got hisself in the tanglefoot juice, and then got knocked over in the mad rush of his buddies and trampled. All three of em falling over each other. I hurled an Alchemists fire at them for good measure, and heard em howl in pain as they flailed over each other, flaming limbs twisted in the smoke. I knew that wasn’t gonna stop em for long, Lord- i knows i just made em mad!
Only thing i could do was just git’r’done — and that is just what i done did, son. With a quick prayer i struck my Tindertwig ’ainst the brick chimney, threw it in the direction of the spilled kerosene, turned and dove for cover in the inner belly of the cold forge and covered my head and ears.
Last things i heard were the ‘fwush’ of the flame, an a second later the.loudest.got’dang.explosion. An i blew those bastards back out the way they came in.
My world lit up. I blacked out.
Sometime later, to my surprise, I woke up. Curled up in the fetal position and covered with a good 5 feet of debris- wood and masonry chunks all up in my hair. The main part of the forge had sheltered me, but nothing else had survived- not the building, the chimney, and thankfully none of them walking nightmares.
Once I managed to climb out, i found myself looking on a scene of utter devastation. It appears that the main cabin had also been destroyed by fire. The dawn was just breaking and i could see the Bubba’s corpse clearly enough, ripped to pieces.
Now i knowd this had been a purposeful attack on us. I could only imagine it was because of our affiliation with the people of the Moon. Those wolves musta been layin in wait for us to return. I did not know what else to do, so i buried Bubba next to my mother.
I went and found my horse. He was laying in one of the outer fields. The wolves musta missed him in the fight, or else thought he was dead. I gived him a push to wake him up, but he weren’t having it, so i put the salts to him, that got him up and going like a shot with a crazy look in his eye to boot!
Not knowin who to trust, or where to turn, i grabbed a few things, loaded up Waistrel and headed to the plains in the north, looking to put some distance between myself and this place.