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Darkwood Congregation

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- The One Who Lurks The Woods...

Noel called the name of his god and swallowed the last drop of the beast brew. He tossed the bottle away and gazed in the dark forest. He heared a branch cracked. Noel smiled and pulled his tattered white balaclava on the head. Thin masked man in a black wool coat and blue cargo pants stood up and extinguish small campfire with dry soil. Noel coughed out blood and giggled.

- The gift is now truly mine. Thank you, The One. 

The man bowed to the woods and left his small camp. He was heading to the North, to the airfield. That's where Igor went, when The One made him his Herald. Igor told, that The One Who Lurks The Woods demanded fingernails from people who live not far from the airstrip. Fingernails for the great altar, the sign of resurrection. That morning Igor was very excited. He was so amused by the fact, that The One chose him to spread his word to those who still have no idea of the Great One. Noel coughed out gooey bloody lump, but balaclava prevented it from spilling out. Leaving only a fresh red splatter on the mask. Noel swallowed the lump and shivered. As Igor told him: "As for he comes! He declared his demand! And he chose me! Me! Me!" Noel giggled, remembering the joy in Igor's eyes. He was happy for him, he was happy because The One started speaking again. The last time Noel heard The One was a long time ago. The first time when he took a sip of beast brew. An old man gave Noel a bottle of watery pink liquid. He told him that was a godly potion that would grant him incredible power and will open his eyes. After a first sip Noel heard a strange horn sound. It was like an echo of primal suffering. Then he saw Him. The giant crooked figure crawled out of the woods. The Thing slowly came down the hill and approached Noel. The stench of rotten meat and spoiled berries barely knocked Noel out. But he stood in fear, stunned by this primordial grace. The One bent his neck down and whispered in unknown language: "B'hmeth zghar ot d'zagh fos met'ha". Then Noel passed out. The next morning he found himself in the forest not far from Berezhki. Noel found a small piece of paper in his pocket. "Beast Brew. 1 red berry, 200 ml of bog water, 100 ml of alcohol. Boil for half an hour. The One Who Lurks The Woods is watching you and your followers, Noel".

Noel met Igor half dead near Berezino. By that time Noel has been drinking beast brew for half a year. Noel took care of Igor. He brought him to Berezhki, treated his wounds and his mind. Noel fed Igor with insanity potion for three weeks. By the time Igor could walk on his own, his mind was already in the hands of beast brew.

**Any local can tell you, that drinking boiled swamp water with canina berries can cause hallucinations and mental breaks. In long term it can affect lungs and provoke minor respiration system abscesses. The drink, that Noel and Igor are drinking is known as "wolf shield" and was used by loacal hunters to scare away wolves and stray dogs. The old man, that gave Noel that recipe was a dying hunter who gone insane many years ago.**

Noel giggled and came back from the memories. The sun was rising and he could not wait to meet Igor. But something was throbbing in his chest. That kind of feeling you get when your younger brother or sister are not home at time. Noel passed abandoned gas station, when somebody said "Hello" behind his back. As he turned around he saw a fully geared man with a rifle waving to Noel. 

- Hello?

Noel coughed out blood and looked at the stranger.

- Are you ok? Oh...

- I am. 

- Wait a second. Are you that guy i saw near airstrip?

- Me? No? Did you see another masked man that way?

The camouflaged man noded and Noel noticed a slight sorrow in his eyes. 

- Yes. People with red armbands shot him.

*I will continue the story if there will be a public interest in it. If not - then i'll ask for deleting this thread.*

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