Märchen

"When I was still a child, my family and I lived in the lower area of Germany in the town of Eisenbreche. Our small town was located in what you know as the Black Forrest" right beside the Schluchsee reservoir lake. There are many tales told about this area and many of these tales hold more truth than you can know. As children in those times, we never wandered far from our homes unless our parents were with us and even then, never after dark. There were dark places there, forbidden places where things of the night resided and humans were not allowed. Some of these creatures, these fairy-tale monsters were not content to lay dormant or keep away from us however.

Many are my sad memories of other children, close friends and even a cousin who disappeared into the night. Some were taken, screaming while others simply vanished silently. Worse even than these losses, were the occasions where certain folks, people who could not bear their losses, armed themselves and went hunting for whatever dark creatures that stole away the children.
My parents did their best to shield our eyes from the horrors that came next...the bags and skins of blood left hanging in the village square one morning or the confusing symbols carved and scratched into the stone of outlying buildings. Warnings they seemed to me, to stay away, to spread terror and fear in us all.
This all ended in a terrible night of fire, when a small number of men returned after weeks of being gone. Most were badly injured bearing deep scratches and bleeding from their ears and eyes. Only minutes after they collapsed in exhaustion did the darkness begin to flow into the town square from the Forrest, seeming to be chasing the men and daring even our many torches and gaslights to come after them.
I will never forget the monster that then appeared. A tall, gaunt man it seemed. Impossibly thin with long arms and legs that were very hard to distinguish from the trees in which he lurked, watching us. More figures, smaller and more human shaped streamed out of the trees and bushes around him, running towards us like madmen. The events that unfolded are hazy and blurry in my mind, they have always been so. The night came alive with fire all around us as people from my village lit trenches filled with pitch and tar.
When dawn finally arrived I do remember looking around in numb horror at the destruction my people had inflicted on the surrounding Forrest, charred rubble and blackened remains of trees stood in stark contrast to the morning gray mist and curling clouds of smoke cast off by fires still burning.

No bodies were ever recovered to bury and it seemed like we had won or at least driven off whatever forces that were attacking.
Years did pass and no more children were taken and while we as a people were happy of that we remained watchful and ever cautious. A celebration was held on that date, every year since then on the Winter's Solstice, a feast to honor the slain and to show respect for the strange enemy we encountered. Our town elders thought it a happy joke, to begin wearing funny and scary masks during the celebrations, to give a face to the great and tall faceless being we all feared so much.

Only after many years did anything out of the ordinary happen again, when soldiers arrived to draft young men for war and build a fortress in our area. Railways were to be built to move supplies and troops for this war. It was on these Railways and trains that the Doctor first arrived."

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