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    Postfest V, Part II: Turning the Devil's Stone
    Posted on Mon, August 08, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "The Devil's Stone rests unquiet in Uskarn in southern Nyrond. Every year, its great mass must be moved and the stone turned, or else evil will grow in the land. So say the legends. The dark rock defies the curious to resolve it mystery.

    Turning the Devil's Stone
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Date: 25th Readyíreat
    Location: Uskarn, Nyrond
    Type: Local

    The Devilís Stone is like no stone ever seen in southern Nyrond. It is big and heavy, weighing nearly a ton and being about six feet long and four feet wide. It is black, shot through with rock crystals and metal flecks. Hammers bounce off it. Chisels break. Magic doesnít work within one hundred yards of the stone. When the first Oeridian immigrants arrived in what is now southern Nyrond, they found the stone used by degenerate Flan tribes of the area, shunned by even their brethren further off, as a ďmoot stoneĒ or meeting stone. Despite the ominous warnings of the Sea Flan tribes near Wragby and the evidence of their own senses, the Oeridians settled the lands beneath the Gnatmarsh among those Flan the Sea tribes called accursed, for the harbor at Uskarn was ideal. When Oeridian babies began to disappear on dark nights, the Oeridians put the local Flan to the sword in a terrible slaughter. That ended the matter, except for the Devilís Stone, as it was now called, which continued to exude a palpable aura of wrongness.

    To combat the malign presence of the stone, the people of Uskarn declared that none might build too near to where the stone rested upon a slight hillock, that they might thereby avoid becoming tainted by its presence as the local Flan had been corrupted. For a half mile around, the Devilís Stone was left to abide by itself. To further secure the safety of the village, churches and temples were erected at the half-mile, at the foot of the hillock, and the land upon which the stone sat was blessed and declared church property. Thus, did matters abide for some years. The taint of the stone, however, bore strange fruit over time. Babies once again began to disappear. Where their bones had once been found near the Devilís Stone, they were now discovered in church and temple basements. Foul rites, not unlike those of the corrupted Flan, looked to have been performed by priests and clerics, corrupted by the Devilís Stone. The scandal that ensured was murderous but quietly hushed and new clerics came to bless the desecrated temples and churches, staying on to see to the spiritual needs of the shaken people of Uskarn.

    Attempts to be rid of the Devilís Stone proved unavailing. It could barely be moved. It took every manís bent back just to turn the Devilís Stone. That proved to be enough, however. Casting auguries, it was determined that every year the Devilís Stone must be turned and in this way prevent itís evil from settling in and growing enough to taint the village. Thus, on the 25th of Readyíreat the village of Uskarn performs The Turning of the Devilís Stone. Since this practice began, Uskarn has had no recurrence of the sordid events of the past.

    There is scholarly speculation that the Turning of the Devilís Stone may be related to the Nessermouth custom of Tolling the Devilís Knell. Arguably, both customs serve a similar function. However, Black Tom, which tolls the Devilís Knell, is made from a material unlike that of the Devilís Stone, which is also distinct from anything known to have been discovered at Soothill above Relpool. Still, the coincidence of the proximity of such a number of odd sites and customs leads not a few to imagine a connection, a connection that simply awaits discovery. Relpool sits at close to a geographic center of the area but is itself untroubled, though both the people of Nessermouth and Uskarn give Relpool a wide birth, saying ďWe ainít like them,Ē doubtless referring to the mixed racial character of Relpool where the early Oeridian settlers mixed with the native Flan of the area.

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