On the hills of the Wispernbrook river, just east of the Fallen City of Narbuk, there sits a tiny fishing hamlet. Nary a dozen shags dot the slopes, and only a few have not fallen into disrepair. At a glance, it would appear as barren as the land surrounding it, but if one were to approach, they would find a few taciturn, sallow-faced peasants still going about their labors. These people hold little love for strangers, but a bottle of ale and a few loaves of bread may loosen their tongues enough to learn what had befallen Wispernbrook and learn the nigh-forgotten name of Morrigaine.
She first appeared in folklore some years after vengeful crusaders had put Narbuk to the torch. A wise and beautiful woman, Morrigaine was said to have made her home in the forest not too far away from Wispernbrook; there, she lived alone, albeit she did not shy away from the locals if any were brave enough to approach. She helped soothe their woes, whether they needed to treat some malaise, have their fortunes read, or begged her to save their withering crops. The price she asked for had always been fair: a basket of local herbs here, a hen or two there, a lock of hair, or a small sacrifice of blood in later days. Few noticed how quickly the hermit witch became the cornerstone upon which life in the hamlet relied. And when people went missing, none thought to blame Morrigaine, for life near Durham was ever full of dangers.
One day, the Templars arrived. They marched ‘neath the proud banners of the Sacred Order, their hauberks and swords gleaming like the wrath of Lumaya herself. It was a heretic they sought – a dangerous necromancer who had escaped the purge of Narbuk. The people of Wispernbrook rose up against them, one and all, obeying a sudden desire to protect their beloved wise woman. But mere peasants could not stand against Lumaya’s finest. The Templars hewed and burned and cut their way through all resistance till they had Morrigaine shackled and put on trial.
Death alone they named as the price for her many crimes, and so to death she was put. The Templars smashed an ancient tablet of profane lore Morrigaine had in her possession, chained her to its pieces, and cast her into Wispernbrook itself. The river would become her grave. Their duty done, the knights of the Order departed.
Though they had slain many who had fallen under Morrigaine’s thrall, a few escaped the sword. Soon, those desperate fools returned to what remained of their homes and scraped a meager existence amid the ashes ever since. How they could have survived all those decades is anyone’s guess; it is as if some unseen patron still looks after them and guides them.
But the lands around Wispernbrook are not safe – many travelers have gone missing on those roads, their bodies never found. Perhaps it is unwise to search for tales best left forgotten, for no one knows what evil creatures may be drawn from the shadow by the uttering of their name, and what terrible price curiosity may entail.