Let me tell you the story about the village and the beast.
The village where I live, Perrimor, is an ordinary and quiet village. It has some farms, a bakery and an inn. But what my village is known for, is the wizard tower in the forest. Far above the trees you can see the top. It is a magnificent sight and people travel miles just to see it. But the thing about the tower is, that no one who ever entered the forest has ever reached the base. You can walk an hour in the direction where you think you'll find the tower, only to see the tower is miles in another direction. It is not that the tower vanishes, it seems to move. People took compasses into the forest and drew maps all without result. Some people even think it is all an illusion or a joke. I myself sometimes travel through the forest. When I take a break I always search for the tower on the horizon. I like seeing the tower. It's like it follows me. It feels like it watches over us.
One day something strange happened. A traveler came to Perrimor. We are used to the travelers over the years. They usually rest and ask around for a bit before they enter the forest. They see it as a fun trip, some kind of adventure. Some of them even claim to have seen the tower. I always ask them how the tower looked and they all tell a different story. The idea of an unreachable tower attracts crazy people. We got used to it. But when this traveler arrived he did not rest, though he seemed he could use it. He just continued through town. I jokingly asked him if he was on his way to the tower. He just said he got called to it. He acted distant and didn't look me in the eye. so I just pointed to the southern road. From the village the tower always seemed to be directly south, but of course when you go on the southern road you never find it. He told me he knew the road, and that the southern road wouldn't take him to the tower. Then he left. I watched him enter the forest not thinking a lot of it. He would turn up later that day, like they always do. We feel responsible for our visitors. so we keep an eye out for them. But he seemed to take his time. It eventually became evening. We stood watch and burned a fire the entire night. We even tolled the town bell every few hours. The man never returned.
One morning there was some commotion on the street. But when I walked outside I already saw what was going on. The tower had disappeared. me and the other townsfolk stood around confused. We discussed what could have happened or what it meant. But eventually we went back to work. but we had a hunch that something wasn't right. some kind of hollow feeling. As the day progressed nothing changed. We even had to disappoint some travelers. some of the townsfolk who had been traveling through the forest hadn't seen the tower anywhere. But then a man came walking out of the forest. I immediately recognized him as the man who disappeared into the forest.
'I’m so glad to reach a village’, he stated when I walked towards him. He was smiling and raised his arms thankfully.
I asked him where he came from.
'I have no idea, I found myself walking in the forest'.
He looked around.
'This is Perrimor, right?'
I told him it was and that he came through town in search of the tower some time ago. He looked at me confused and said he couldn't remember that.
'Where is the tower anyway?', he asked.
‘Well I hoped you could tell me', I said, 'It disappeared this morning'.
He turned around and looked at the forest.
'To be honest, I have no idea! Last thing I can remember is that I was at home'.
He paused for a second.
'Wait... How long ago did you see me passing through town?’
'Well it's probably a few years now', I said. I saw panic rising in his face. He looked straight at me with terror in his eyes. But then his face softened until there was only sadness left.
'I think I am in need of a drink', he said and he walked off into the direction of the Inn. There I stood, looking at the towerless forest for a while. I found myself doing that the next couple of weeks. Somehow it felt like everything changed, but at the same time nothing has changed. We actually didn't know anything about the tower, and now I fear we are never going to.