by A.M. Wilson
The place and myth are both fictional.
| Silent Moor is a wasteland; one of Wildernessâ€™ greatest unanswerable questions is why a town sprang up right in the middle of it and why itâ€™s still plum full of people. The town itself is like the weeds that thrive in the muck of the moor-not pretty, not useful, but not going anywhere neither. The people raised in this town are hardy folk, with the same strange air of both fancy and gravity that haunts their environment; the moor is a place where your feet get stuck in the mud and as grounded as they can get, and yet it brings your most fearsome chimeras to life. The oppressive gloom that never leaves would break a weaker, foreign man, but the natives, they breath it in as babes until their eyes fill up with it, and it starts leaking out like invisible tears. Such is the nature of the moorâ€”it melds with the soul and becomes you, and likewise you become it.
The moor is hungry. The empty land reflects its empty gullet. Mud pits form where it has finally begun to devour itself in its starvation, brown holes filled with muck hardly distinguishable from the solid ground. One misstep and it will greedily suck animal or man down into its maw. There is no escaping from the jaws of the moor once youâ€™ve wandered into its mouth. A fool would tell you to accept death as the end, but the natives, they know the moor far better than that.
A normal soul, once its body is ruined, departs for worlds unknown, whole and unharmed. But who knows how many maimed shades the moor has sent into the beyond, for even they, intangible as they are, cannot easily free themselves from the ooze that killed them. Parts get ripped off, left behind, like a coyote chewing its own leg off when caught in a trap. But unlike the stump of a paw, a soul will not rot away with time. Even the tiniest piece will live on, losing the ability to cross over. Having no other choice, it remains within the remnants of its own corpse for all eternity, trying desperately to keep its only shelter together by patching up natureâ€™s decay with the very muck that was its ruin. And the more of the moor it piles on itself, the more it becomes the moor, and the more hopeless its situation becomes.
And thus, the Half-People are born.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Half-People have retained any vestige of humanity. Do not mistake them for living beings with hearts and emotions. They are miserable things; a bane on this world with no purpose and only the ability to spread their woe among others. They have no memories; they do not know who or what they once were, or are now. They shun sunlight, as it furthers the destruction of their bodies. Heat and fire do much the same. Winter nights are their time of greatest strength. Their eyes do not see, their noses do not smell, only a slight sense of touch remains to them. The only sense they truly keep is that of hearing, and even the softest sound causes them unbearable pain. Such pain sends them into a rage, and they mindlessly attack the source of the noise which plagues them, be it sheep, boy, or leaves in the wind.
With such terrible beasts wandering about under the moonlight, it comes as a surprise that any town, even one as peculiar as the one upon the moor, would be able to survive. But the people of the moor learn quickly. There is but one rule in this townâ€”one inviolable tenet that even the livestock must obey. When the sun begins to set in the lonesome sky, all work ceases, all talking stops, and the town sinks into a state of absolute quiet until the coming of the morn. It is this event, that occurs like clockwork and with absolute perfection that has earned the place its name. The name Silenttown.