Land of the Peat

May 23, 2020

The Guardians of the Mist

The Druids Lair at Bleasdale Circle seen in the distance

Even today few wander near the crop of trees. It has a permanent appearance of being wrapped in a fine mist even on the best of days. Looking over at the Bowland Fells from the slopes of Pendle Hill induces a disquiet, a shiver, and it runs through your soul. Its malign influence responsible for the sorcery and witchcraft on Pendle down through the centuries.
One hears of these things nowadays but we shake off any notions of other worldliness; of dark goings-on that can’t be explained away by science and logic.

Legend has it that when these fells have an appetite for a traveller’s soul, it shakes off its shroud of mist and its brooding presence to entice the unwary. It becomes a vision of beauty and comeliness.

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Rumours abound of the Twin Guardians that walk these fells, Emma and Caroline; two ancient bandruí names that have become popular again. The druidic circle at Bleasdale their lair of repose and place of sacrifice.


The Peat Hag

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Travelling nearby one bright and sunny day I was taken aback by the beauty and vision of what normally is a cold and unfriendly place. An overwhelming urge to change my plans possessed me and, trancelike, I found myself in the foothills of Parlick Hill. I set off at once to climb it and with great effort made it to the top and was greeted by visions of more comely fells that took my breath away. I wandered for hours in the heat of the noon sun, slaking my thirst in the numerous sparkling streams, a sense of euphoria overtaking me. I walked, I ran, deeper into its bosom and did not encounter another soul.

Bowland is the land of the Peat Hag. Poor souls who have wandered too near and fallen under the spell of the Twin Guardians, the High Sorceresses, Emma and Caroline. By day these Hags exist under pristine mounds of rich, upland earth and rise after dusk to stalk the land. Or summoned by the Twin Guardians, they rise to do their bidding.

Langden Castle

The Hag Dunes

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And in my wanderings I came across a small hairy caterpillar. I say it was small and yet it was large for a caterpillar. I paused to look, not realising the peril I was in. For behind me and approaching fast was a writhe of monster caterpillars, Peat Hag transformations, summoned by the Twin Guardians to wrench the soul from my body and feed the heart of these forlorn hills. My very shirt was torn from my back and piercing shrieks filled my ears ‘devour him, my beauties. Let no mortal soul escape this forbidden land. Feed on his soul and let him become one of us’.

The Twin Guardians, Emma and Caroline, were abroad and their bloodlust unsated. I ran witlessly, with no mind for where I was going, ever deeper into the Trough of Bowland. I stumbled into the Hag Dunes, the very lair of the land, known as Fiendsdale There was no avoiding them, and crawled out only to fall into another. It was hopeless and I prepared to face my fate. But fate had a twist and a glimpse of salvation appeared. An Undead Wraith appeared, a devoured soul, known as ‘d’revers’, appeared and pointed to my path of escape.
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Escape

I bolted where the undead finger pointed and ran and ran. And when I slowed, d’revers in the form of sheep appeared and urged me forward and upward through the wild ferns and scorched heather. And they didn’t stop until I was within site of a farm. They stopped and returned from whence they came, forever to lay themselves in the Hag Dunes and succumb to the bidding of the vengeful Emma and Caroline. I escaped into the farm and looked back to see a land shrouded in mist and heard a faint and chilling screech hanging in the wind.

So be warned. When those hills of Bowland entice you in, when their flanks are bathed in warmth and sunshine, that is the time of your greatest mortal danger. Tread carefully.

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