Tabitha and the Forgotten Orphanage

In the early twilight of that eventful day, wisps of mist rose through the meadows and willow branches. In the distance, only the peaks of the snow-capped mountains could be seen through the haze.

The little village on the edge of a sprawling and musty-smelling trout pond was a pitiful sight. Luck didn’t come here for a long time and it was to stay that way for a long time to come. It was enchanted and the remaining residents shuddered when they thought back to the events of the past few years.

First came the great plague, slow and creeping. No one realized the danger until it was too late. And then came death.
And this small village was not the only one of its kind that fate had horribly afflicted.
Many villages and entire towns and cities had fallen prey to the insidious disease.

It just sneaked up upon its victims and those initially thought they were only having a bad day. Some had a runny nose, others had a mild cough or a stabbing headache. But nothing too onerous. After a few days, sometimes weeks, things got better and people went back to their jobs. All well. Back to the fields, back to the forges and workshops. They met at markets and in taverns and had a good time. Drank beer from the mug and ate meat from the plate. Together, as if nothing happened.

But then, much later, out of nowhere and violently, it came back as if it had never left the body at all. Hidden in the deep innards, biding its time. The fever started spreading. The worst and most terrible thing was the cough and then the feeling that the cough could no longer escape from the body, but also that no new air would enter the vaults of the chest.
Panting and squeaking, the wretches craved a glassful of emptiness, but nothing more than a straw-thin stream of life could be gained. Once, twice and nevermore. It hurt, it burned and the eyes bulged. The pour souls turned blue and gasped until life left them and they just slipped out from where they lay into the life after.

A whole region, full of villages, towns and communities suddenly became very quiet. Except for the whimpering cries of the countless children who were left behind and now orphaned.

Because the curse – it must have been sent by a dark and powerful dark summoner, only struck the residents who were of age and made them die miserably, slowly and without chance of survival.
Where the curse came from and who brought it over the land, nobody in the land of forgotten runes knows yet. 

“Come here, you old mare!! Jingle-Jangle! Move your hooves. I haven’t got all day. I had a vision, a dream and I have the feeling that an adventure is about and we have be in the midst of it.” cried Tabitha, after finishing her sturdy breakfast of oatmeal and fried egg and stepping outside the door of her cozy litte hut in the swampy Marsh.