Saloondrian Short Stories, by Blake Propach
Kingdom of Saloondria by Michael Kuroda
A curse was not always so common. Nor was it so evil. There was a time, long forgotten, when to curse was to create. To curse was to protect, to cure. That time is no more.
Once, there were no curses, and the Plague Lands flourished under some other name. The land beyond the plague was once connected to the lands of Saloondria, and great nations lost to our histories dealt with us, sharing technologies and culture. In the Plague lands themselves, farmers reaped bountiful harvests from healthy soil. Forests and rivers, plentiful wildlife, a paradise in a different world. The Cursed King changed this. And in so doing, changed our world forever.
It began as evil often does. Quietly and from the shadows, creeping on the innocent and unexpecting. At first the reports were strange but not unprecedented. Horses and cattle began to come back fewer and fewer from the pastures. Strange lights and frequent fires emanated from the forests, but no search parties could find their sources. Some search parties lost men in the darkness, and some entire groups never returned.
The townspeople had explanations for such occurrences. The wolves were more active that year. The native peoples had become bolder, pushed further into the lands of the civilized. But some things they could not explain. The cemeteries were emptying. A mass graverobbing had begun. But whoever it was that was responsible, they were not taking the valuables. Jewelry and finery were strewn across the stones as if they had been discarded by the unhappy ghosts. The bones, however, were missing. And the holes were not square, as if they were not dug out from above, but rather from below.