End of an Age
The Moddey Dog
The Legend of the Moddey Dog
In the year 874 AoA, in the dead of the coldest winter these lands had seen in almost a century, war was brewing, and Pell Castle there was constantly garrisoned by soldiers. The guard room was just inside the entrance, and had a passage that led from it, through one of the old churches, to the Captain of the Guard’s Room. At the end of each day one of the soldiers would lock the castle gates and carry the key through the dark passage to the Captain. The soldiers used to take turns doing this.
About this time a big black dog with rough curly hair had wandered into the town, and had started begging for food. Noone knew where he had come from, as those kind of dogs didn’t live around these parts. He was a rather unfriendly dog, and would bark, snap, and bite at anyone who got too close to him. After a few weeks of him wandering around, pestering people for food and trying to attack them when they gave it to him, one of the guards, a dwarf named Thermitt Braughbringer who was as big and burly as they get, decided he’d outstayed his welcome. He went out that evening, caught the dog sleeping, and quickly stuffed him in a bag. Braughbringer took the dog to the blacksmith’s forge, and emptied the bag right into the fire! They say you could hear the dog crying and yelping all the way to Crossroads.
Now, you might think that would have been the end of the dog, but as it’s told, the dog leapt from the fire, still burning, tore out Braughbringer’s throat, and ran off. The guards said they could see the dog from the flames, running out into the hills for half an hour before it disappeared from sight.
6 months later, a large black dog started appearing in the guard house, sometimes in one room, next time in a different room. He did not have fur, but instead was covered in charred flesh, looking almost like scales. Noone knew how he got in or out, but every night, when the candles were lit in the guard room and the fire was burning bright, he would come down the dark passage and lay himself down by the doorway. He would come no closer to the flames, but lay there as if to stay warm until the break of day, when he would then get up and disappear into the passage.
The soldiers were at first terrified of him but after some time they were used to the sight of him and lost some of their fear, though they still looked upon him as something more than mortal. Whilst he was in the room the men were quiet and sober, and no bad words were spoken. When the hour came to carry the key to the Captain, two of them would always go together – no man would face the dark passage alone.
One night, however, one foolish fellow had drunk more than was good for him and he began to brag and boast that he was not afraid of the dog. It was not his turn to take the keys, but to show how brave he was, he said that he would take them alone. He dared the dog to follow him.
‘Let him come,’ he shouted, laughing; ‘I’ll see whether he be dog or devil!’ His friends were terrified and tried to hold him back, but he snatched up the keys and went out into the passage. The Black Dog slowly got up from where it lay and followed him.
There was a deathly silence in the guard room; no sound was heard but the crackling of the wood in the fireplace.
After a few minutes, there came from the dark passage the most unearthly screams and howls, but not a soldier dared to move to see what was going on. They looked at each other in horror.
Shortly after they heard steps and the rash fellow came back into the room. His face was ghastly pale and twisted with fear. He spoke not a word, then or afterwards. In three days he was dead, and shortly after, one by one, each and every member of the guards, as well as the citizens of the city began turning up dead. A few tried to escape to other cities, but it did not save them. Within a month, every last person who had lived in Pell Castle and it’s city had been slain.
Not only has the castle sat in ruin ever since, but the Black Dog, the.. Moddey Dog, wanders these hills to this very day, hunting those who have ever harmed an animal.. And he’ll come, late at night, when you’re asleep, and he’ll creep soundlessly into your camp, and when the fire’s low, and noone’s looking, he’ll wrap his jaws around your throat, squeeze you tight so you cannot so much as whisper, and drag you off into the darkness. The only sign your loved ones will have of what happened, will be his hate-filled howl, echoing throughout the land.