The History of Old Hollow
Early Spring, 1865. The Army of the Potomac has cut a path of destruction through large swathes of enemy territory in its relentless pursuit of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s once-vaunted Army of Northern Virginia. Union cavalry have raided every town, village and hamlet in the Virginia countryside between Petersburg and the James River in search of food and supplies for the Northern army’s men and horses. Every town, that is, but Old Hollow. Even as nearby towns like Cumberland succumb to often savage Yankee foraging, Old Hollow remains virtually untouched, as if protected from the outside world by some unknown, unseen force.
The town’s beginnings are a mystery. No record exists to tell the story of how and when it first came into being. Some in neighboring communities say it was founded by English settlers in the late 17th century who tried and failed to eke out a living as tobacco farmers. Others say its history goes back further, that the town began when a small group of colonists wandered west after being exiled from Jamestown for practicing witchcraft and Devil worship. No one knows for certain.
Whatever its origins, Old Hollow and the outside world are on the verge of a violent collision with the arrival of a trio of Union cavalrymen seeking shelter for a wounded comrade. Led by Captain Benjamin Lawson, the Yankee soldiers think they have stumbled upon a quiet, little town that, some how, some way, the Union Army has missed – perhaps, they think, a result of its remote nature, nestled as it is in the deep woods of Virginia. What they don’t know is that something diabolical awaits them in the dark recesses of an ancient, white tree in the forest north of town. And that something is hungry.
Thomas Farrell’s Mill
When Thomas Farrell inherited his father’s mill, there was only a single grinder, and it was human powered. The hard physical labor meant a high turnover rate, and the mill was anything but profitable.
After the invention of Liquid Lead, and the harnessing of werewolves to do the hard labor, Thomas not only gained a profit on his mill, he expanded it. He added grinder after grinder, in a haphazard fashion, gleefully improving on the equipment and finding ways to streamline his workforce.
Only something happened shortly after he built the sixth grinder. Some say Thomas had a mental breakdown after witnessing one of his human workers be mauled. Others said he fell from the scaffolding that crisscrossed the grinders. Regardless, shortly after the grinder was finished, all talks of expansion abruptly stopped.
The Mill is now a well-known feature of Kanta, with its tall smokestacks and regular influx of trappers for supplies and trade. Behind it’s castle-like walls and guarded entrances, grinders churn all day and all night.
The History of Kanta
Kanta used to be a small city with big hopes and dreams. The people pushed back the wilderness and claimed the land for their own, creating a haven amid the old forest.
Then the werewolves came. They surged each night, and diminished the population in droves, adding survivors unwillingly to their numbers. The streets were stained with blood. Cries could be heard all through the night. Finally, only three buildings remained: the jailhouse, the pub, and the mill. When the city was on the brink of destruction, a madman had a crazy idea.
Thomas Farrell found a way to harness the werewolves’ power. With a concoction he called Liquid Lead, he helped the city of Kanta truly fight back. More than that, he turned werewolf trapping into a profit.
The city is now a destination for survivors, but also attracts scavengers and thieves. The desperate suffer in Kanta and the naïve often meet grisly ends. The werewolves are a blight, but the city of Kanta is truly diseased.