The Legend of Artill Chapter 8: Impending Chaos

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Year 220 Gadrann Calendar, Fall
In Artill's village the signs of fall had already been made present: the sun was shining brightly above the clouds, on the hanging branches of trees the tips of leaves were showing marks of browning, children were skipping around and playing about, and villagers were carrying out their random daily tasks. If a person were to observe the village, then it was the perfect example of a tranquility and peace.
The village chief, a mature woman, grinned widely from nearly ear to ear. She was staring out the second story window of the townhouse. The townhouse was the local government house that oversaw the village as a whole, where the village council conducted it meetings and organized the affairs of the village. She possessed the airs of mystery. Her girthy smile became more wicked and her eyes squinted in anticipation. For another gift had presented itself after three years of research.
When Artill had been revived she felt the magical energy waves surging from the area of his rebirth. After Artill had been brought back she saw an opportunity to explore the location of the magical source. Uncoincidentally, it was the exact location that Artill had been reanimated. As she had examined the site a discovery was made, it was a black patch of land the size of a coin. She could feel a negative magic force emanating from it and it was powerful. She herself was a witch, practicing her arcane arts far away from prying eyes in a small village. She thought the appearance of the dark energy was a gift from gods, which found a way onto her lap.
As the village chief, she banned the area as a dangerous zone, along with the majority of the village council. Many had felt that the location was a bad omen, yet none them knew that they were all too correct.
A year had passed and the corrupted soil grew further, so she began conducting experiments with it. The soil itself was tainted with negative magical particles and the presence of the magic was extremely dense. After a year of studying the blackened soil, she could finally extract the energy present within the soil into a stable liquid form.
She began testing the energy through feeding living creatures, mostly stock animals: chickens, pigs, boars, cows, etc., but the result was all too shocking. The animals become malicious beasts that were exceedingly aggressive and creature's physical attributes were enhanced by the dark energy. Not only this, but the animals also emanated the same dark energy in small magical waves from their body. However, if larger doses were given to an animal then eventually the creature explode, due to the magical overload of dark energy.
After the successful experiments of the animals were done, her goal was to record the effect of the dark energy on humans, but she was limited by her lack of test subjects. It would be too suspicious if she were to take anyone from the village because there were too few villagers and everyone would grow weary if even one of them were to disappear.
For the next year she had tested the effects of the dark energy on non-living organisms. She found that whenever the dark energy came into contact with an inanimate object the dark energy would try to attach itself to the object and change its properties. Usually the object would become magically enhanced, emitting small waves of magical energy, become physically stronger, possessing more resilience and density, and the color of the object would become darker.
She contemplated absorbing the dark energy herself, as she concluded that the dark energy could enhance her overall constitution, but decided that the energy was too volatile to test on herself first. That was when an opportunity had presented itself at the village entrance. A small army of knights had marched itself right to her doorstep.
She notified the council of the situation and appointed herself as their own emissary. Before notifying the whole village, she took a horse and hurriedly greeted the soldiers. The leader introduced himself and declared,
"I am Ostfer Hordunn, leader of the 179th company of the Gadrannian Empire hailing from the kingdom of Andisia. We have come here on urgent government business. Under the authority of the empire you will provide to us accommodations."
The village chief responded politely,
"Sir Hordunn, we will gladly show you our hospitality and provide you and your men with whatever you need. Please follow me to our spare houses where you can find an area for rest and warmth."
The leader of the company of soldiers shouted orders to his men and followed the woman to the spare housing. As they were going to the spare houses many of the villagers gathered around the roads to see what the huge commotion was. The leader and soldiers were analyzing the small crowds for a certain grey-haired boy with red eyes. Fortunately for Artill, he was still recovering in the woods and had not yet returned to the village for many days. The leader had quite the impression of the young man, who had escaped from him and his men.
By the time night had fallen, the company of soldiers had set up a base of operations. Tents encompassed the spare housing they were given and food was being delivered right into their bellies from the village stocks. The leader had set up a house as his own personal quarters. The leader had also made plans to gather information from the villagers and send scouting parties out to investigate the area in the morning. Unbeknownst to him, things were going to more difficult for him in the near future.
The elderly woman, after she had escorted the soldiers to their temporary homes, had rushed back to her own home. Running into her home she locked the door behind her tightly and she flipped her bed onto one side and pulled away the carpet beneath it, revealing a trap door. She opened her trap door and took a ladder down into her basement laboratory.
Her laboratory was spacious, having an entire floor of room and a total of three underground floors. She began preparing vials of dark energy and equipment in preparation of live human experiments. As she readied her materials a maniacal grin had reappeared on her face. Hideous cries of laughter were echoing throughout her lair, yet no one in the village could hear it.
That night Artill had woken up from the nightmares of a woman's evil laughter. To him it was nothing more than a dream, but the future of his village grew ever darker.
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