Thursday, March 9, 2017

The White Orchard (Wermspittle)

But it is here that all concerns of men go wrong, when they wish to cure evil with evil.

Sophocles, The Sons of Aleus

Once it was just another small memorial park, one of those quiet little places wrapped around by a wrought iron fence and with those obligatory stonework gates at each of the three entrances. You know the kind; stout, ponderous and oh so very Pruztian and blocky. Even after the ironwork was stripped away during one of the Occupations or the ornamental statues were broken during the Siege, those heavy stone columns remained steadfastly in place, solemnly marking the boundary of their tiny domain.

Originally it was called 'The Alesian Gardens,' but no one calls it that any more. The old garden beds were overrun by Red Weeds after the Franzikaners abandoned Wermspittle. The Pruztians burned the place to the ground and planted an orchard on the site. The Red Weeds returned, but by then the Pruztians were too busy pulling out of the city to do much about it. Due to an all too common bureaucratic oversight the place was left to its own devices for several decades until an outbreak of the Porcelain Plague forced the local authorities to bury hundreds of unknown, unregistered, unclaimed bodies in the neglected orchard.

Perhaps that was when it all began. Many people think so, but there are other factors to consider, such as the unwholesome influence exerted upon the Orchard by its proximity to the Glowfield. Others like to point out that as part of the original plan for the Memorial Garden there was supposed to be a modest gazebo placed at the center of the place so all the pathways would intersect neatly and all visitors would be confronted by a bronze statue of a warrior holding aloft a glimmering fragment of what is described in the records as 'a fragment of a meteorite's heart.'

It remains altogether unclear whether the statue was ever completed, let alone installed. Despite some measure of curiosity among various academics, not much more is known about this obscure, mostly deserted place.

One minor note; it is said that the trees in this orchard are as restless as the plague-dead tangled up in their roots.

"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places."
Motto on the Vault of Disreputable Texts

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