The villagers stumbled from their homes, trying desperately to resist the compulsion that drove them towards the shrine at the centre of their hamlet. They formed a circle around the statue and fell to their knees, each clutching a knife, nail or other sharp implement.
A woman stood at the shrine and smiled at her audience as they gathered, casting each other horrified glances. Children and other younger villagers tried to pull them away, seemingly unaffected by the mesmeric attraction of the stranger.
She removed a black hood revealing a gaunt, pallid and scarred face. Her eyes were laden with dark rings from sleep deprivation.
"Please don't be afraid. I am shepherd of Avacyn."
She ran a finger down the largest of her scars, one that ran from the right of her forehead ton just below the left side of her lip. "This world is a terrible place."
All of the villagers had arrived now. They sweated and gasped for breath, struggling as an unseen force held them in place.
"Our prayers falter in the face of such terror."
Her smile shifted into a frown. "This is a sign. We must stop fighting. We must arop resisting"
"Pa, what's happening!"
A Youth tugged on his father's shirt, trying to pull him away.
"Get out of here Sam. Run to the next village."
His father struggled to speak against the forces clenching his mouth shut.
"She is inviting us to drift into the blessed sleep. To escape the woes of this plane and return to the Aether."
"Pa, come on! Move! Please move!"
Sam began to sob, his efforts waning as his arms weakened. He shuddered and broke into tears, falling to his knees.
"We have ignored her invitation long enough."
She raised her left arm into the air. Cold wind seemed to pass through the hamlet at the motion. The villagers raised their implements into the air.
"Get out of here Sam. Run to the next village. Get to the militia."
"I will lead you to her."
She brought her hand downwards in a fast motion. The village erupted in a cacophony of screams.
"And that's twenty miles south of here?"
"Yeah, as the crow flies."
The barkeep wiped away at a tankard as he answered their questions.
Elinor leant forward on the bar and took another swig of the mead she had been nursing since they had arrived. "Could you describe her again just to make sure?"
"Yeah. She had three big old scars. One from here"
He pointed to his forehead. "To here".
He pointed to beneath his lip. "She wore all black, like she was hiding something. Had a hood. She wasn't bad looking considering."
Thaddeus nodded. There was no doubt she had passed through here. He thanked the barkeep for his service and paid him for their drinks. They would have to leave for the hamlet immediately despite the encroaching night and thickening fog outside of town.
Not really happy with how this came out but if I don't upload something I'll just lose motivation all-together, so sorry if it isn't that good.