437. The secret hamlet

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Kerbol’s Hollow lies hidden in a valley east of the Silaseli ruins in Northern Bangkorai, and is only accessible through a small cave in the hills. I’ve listened to many camp-fire tales about this secluded village, the most intriguing being that it holds the secret to curing all sorts of ailments. Of course these tales are rarely more then bruit and fable, but usually there is pith of truth to be found at their heart.

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As I carefully traverse the wending path down into the rustic village below, I am warned not to stray into the woods beyond, with little more explanation offered then it is for my own safety.

The village square itself is far busier then one might expect for such a small hamlet. The villagers however are wary of my arrival and the mayor offers little more then crisp hospitality and breviloquent responses to my inquiries. The whole village is reticent to outsiders and their questions, yet makes little effort to hide that it has secrets to be kept.

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The thing I’ve noticed about secrets is, people rarely want to keep beauty hidden, only ugliness and immorality.

S.K

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