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Typhus Porlock Weir to Culbone

Welcome to the Storywalk - Typhus.

At Porlock Weir through the forest is a tale ready to be unravelled. The Faux Faery has escaped her confines and taken refuge amongst the stunted oaks of Culbone. Her army is amassing but will you be able to help?

The tale starts at Porlock Weir and then travels the coast path to Culbone, it is about a mile and a half long, and worth every inch.

At Porlock Weir, park in the main car park and walk onto the stony beach to find the dug outs, and the first part of the story will reveal.

At the end is a hidden geocache journal which you can sign and re-hide for the next walker.

Enjoy

C Jelley

Instructions

 
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Chapter one

Faery Fogue

Typhus steps over the edge of the faery fogue hole and slides in beside you, he is little taller than a boy but has age in his eyes. It was funny as you did not see where he came from, there was know one on the beach when you slid in!

Thank you for coming, he says

I have grave news for the Faux Faery Queen has escaped from the Dunster compound. I knew the jail would only hold her for so long, but she has broken free sooner than we all expected.

He looks weary and drawn.

He nods towards the hill.

She hides here in the forest, and raises her army as we speak. If you are to go there then you should take precautions. The forest is full of trickery and deception, to see through this you will need a talisman.

Each must take a stone from the beach that is small, flat, and no bigger than a stag beetle.
On this stone scratch your initial and carry it with you on your journey. You will need at least half a dozen between you if not more, scratch initials on these also.

Typhus looks over the ridge of the faery fogue and then turns back to you. Show me your stones, he says, you all hold them out towards him with open palms and Typhus leans in. He appears to do nothing but breath upon them but something changes in you. The stones throb and resonate in your hand and the talismans are prepared.

There is another preparation required before your departure into the forest, you will need a key. Scout about the beach until you have found a suitably twisty twig, at least as long as your finger. Collect more if you can find more but one will suffice, keep it safe for it will be indispensable on the quest ahead.

A large black bird lands on the shoulder of Typhus, and then hops down onto the stones by your side.

This is your guide.

Typhus then jumps out and is gone, leaving you with the Raven, and the sound of the sea rolling through the rocks.

All the Raven says is caw, but you understand and follow off the beach towards Toll Cottage.
Chapter two

Directions

Toll Cottage is a little way from here, it is best to find the foot path which passes to the right of the pub. It is a way marked trail to Culbone and you will pass a couple of fields before the next chapter.

The sea will be to your right and the hill to your left.

The next chapter to trigger will be at a wide gate just before the track rises up onto the road.

If you have got to Toll Cottage already then you may have gone too far! I recommend you open the missed chapter using the help below rather than doubling back.
Toll Cottage is a little way from here, it is best to find the foot path which passes to the right of the pub. It is a way marked trail to Culbone Church and you will pass a couple of fields before the next chapter. The sea will be to your right and the hill to your left. The next chapter to trigger will be at a wide gate just before the track rises up onto the hard road. If you have got to Toll Cottage already then you have gone too far I recommend you open the missed chapter using the help below rather than doubling back.
 
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Chapter three

Gate Stone Plinth

Ahead Typhus is waiting by the gate.

The journey into the forest is a simple one, but retuning unscathed is a harder task all together.

Beside Typhus is a stone plinth, he requires you to place one of your blessed pebbles upon it.

This is the breadcrumb trail, without it you would be lost forever within the forest, for routes that may appear true may be false, and false trails may be true. Only the pebble pathway will guide you straight and true, trust nothing else, I implore you.

Will you be travelling with us? you ask Typhus

Unfortunately no, I cannot I have duties pressing and the Faux Faeries army is strengthening.

What is happening, can we help?

When she blows out come wasps, where she steps even weeds die. We must recapture the Faux Faery before her army is released and her poison runs further than mortal dreams.

Go now to Toll Cottage and leave another stone on the wall beyond. I shall see you in the forest proper hopefully. Let the Raven guide you.

The Raven leads off towards Toll Cottage, and you follow.
Chapter four

Directions

Continue forward up the trail which will lead you onto the road, not far along you will come to Toll Cottage and the footpath passes to the right of this through the arch.
Continue forward up the trail which will lead you onto the road, not far along you will come to Toll Cottage and the footpath passes to the right of this through the arch.
 
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Chapter five

Toll Cottage

Caw, and the Raven lands on the path.

Caw, and he scratches in the dirt with his beak.

Caw, you read in the dirt.

The path into the Faery forest is not an obvious one, how you pass through a place is like a key.

Every key is special and designed for a specific lock. The wrong key will not fit nor open in the desired manner. Here as we cross into the Faery forest do as you are bid and do not deviate from the instructions.

When you pass through the walking gate beneath the arch,

Hold your left ear with your right hand.

The leader must cough three times.

The last person through must tip toe, and leave a pathway pebble upon the wall.

Then on into the forest, the Faux Faeries army amasses.
Chapter six

Directions

Pass through the gate in the desired manner and the trail then raises in a simple manner, the next chapter will reveal before the folly remains.
Pass through the gate in the desired manner and the trail then raises in a simple fashion, the next chapter will reveal before the folly remains.
 
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Chapter seven

Folly Gate

Before you are the arches of the Folly, built many years ago, but this folly hides its true purpose, it is the lock of the labyrinth.

The Raven scratches into the earth.

At all costs do not touch the walls or stones of this place.

The first to pass into the tunnel must be the one in your party with the most freckles.

The last one to pass will have the longest scar.

When you have passed through the first tunnel then await before the second.

Are you all through?

Halt, comes a voice from the folly window.

Who is there you ask?

I am the gate keeper to the lock of the labyrinth, and that is one, he says.

One what? you say

Question. You get three questions and you have wasted two. So what will it be?

You think a while, watching what you say careful for the next question will matter.

What should I do? you ask tentatively, is this too open a question!

The gate keeper looks down upon you in a disappointing manner.

You could have asked for the elixir of life, the secret entrance to the diamond mines of Selworthy, or even the mystery of the Somerset Sasquatch.

But no you ask what you should do. You mortals are very disappointing at times. I wait here years and then all you ask is, what should you do. Well then I will tell you.

You should go home.

The gatekeeper to the lock of the labyrinth then disappears back into the folly and the Raven lands on the path before you and scribes.

You can turn around now before it is too late if you want but there is much at stake, you hold the key to salvation and harmony. Please, we beg you for all the cold terrors of the night are driven by the Faux Faery, and you can assuage this.

There is a small hole in the wall to your left beneath the folly building, put a pathway pebble here and that will guide you home when you need it.
Chapter eight

Directions

Push onwards and upwards, always heading along the coast towards Culbone valley.

The coastal path often changes through landslips and fallen trees, if you find yourself further along the trail without triggering a chapter then use the help button below.
Push onwards and upwards, always heading along the coast towards Culbone valley. The coastal path often changes through landslips and fallen trees, if you find yourself further along the trail without triggering a chapter then use the help button below.
 
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Chapter nine

Gargoyle Recess

The raven stops on the path ahead, there is a stone seat and just before it a little hole in the wall marked by a red cross, he requests you to place a pathway pebble here.

He then scratches in the earth.

Gargoyles are always watching and waiting, they have see weeks pass without even a blink, but you stop and stare and you break their will. Where ever you see gargoyles, a church yard or a manor gate, then sit a while and watch the watchers. You will see they are not as still as the stone they appear to be.

The youngest amongst you must be the gargoyle, and then push on towards Culbone.
The trail runs westwards parallel with the sea, continue along the trail.
 
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Chapter ten

Snake Domain

Before you shadows slide across the path that appear to have no master. Are these ghosts you think but you know it is the legions of the Faux Faery Queen and her powers are amassing. You remember Typhus mentioning the wasps, is this what you see here?

The Raven scribes in the dirt, and asks each of you to flip your stone.

If it lands scribe up then pass the place on the left facing up hill.

But if the stone lands face down, then run as fast as you can through the clearing to the path further along, and hope for the best.

In either case do not look back what ever you do, and keep your mouth tight shut so as not to swallow the wasps.

Run now and pass this evil place.
Continue along the trail westwards towards Culbone.
 
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Chapter eleven

Diversion

Your path appears to be blocked, there is a tree trunk on the path and the air is black with wasps, where are they all coming from?

Your guide drops down onto the dirt and scribes as before.

Caw.

Follow the diversion that mortals have written, but leave a stone to keep the path free as before.

Place it on the path, a fence post, where ever you choose, where ever feels the most appropriate.

The forest of the dwarf oak begins soon, be on guard, we do not know the true nature of the Faux Faeries army.

Typhus has gone ahead on the lower path, but I am pledged to keep close to you, I know if I search for him then I will be lost forever aswell.

Caw, and the Raven leads you on, there is still some distance to go.
Continue along the trail westwards towards Culbone.
 
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Chapter twelve

Dwarf Oaks

You are deep in the forest now, amidst the Faux Faery stronghold, these trees are stunted and twisted, scrub oak that claws on the impoverished soil. The tangled branches are unfit for beams or planks for furniture, but they are best for hiding the Faux Queen and her legions, and even better for trapping the weary traveller.

Place a pathway pebble before you and wait a while, for you can hear hoof beats approach.

The Raven glides up high and watches from afar.

Through the forest the Faux Faery rides a silver birch steed, its flanks of curling silver bark rippling like muscles. The horses face protruded through the white soft skin of the tree, a dark twisted birch black knot. She pulls the twitching beast up short in front of you, its wooden nostrils flaring, and eyes wild and crazed. How ever the Faux Faery rode this creature was beyond you. She looks about the forest, her eyes seeing but not seeing, you hold your breath for she cannot see you!

Stay very still.

She is dressed in a mossy velvet cloak that flows from her bony shoulders down across the birch horse and on to the earth. Her hair is braided and tied with short twigs sprouting ornate lichens and delicate mushrooms. But her face is like bleached bone, the eyes sharp, cold and controlled.

But it is her lips you cannot draw yours eyes away from, as out from her mouth pours black treacle and dirt, it runs down her chin and onto her bodice where it glistens and congeals. The hard black drips then seem to crawl down her breast, the fluid becoming wing cases and carapaces. At her hips the wasps then take flight into the forest, the air is thick with them.

She looks up into the canopy of the great tree behind you and she smiles, a sinister and self gratifying smile that does not reach her eyes. She then heels the flanks of her silver birch steed and rides off, shedding moss and wasps as she goes.

You wait a while then follow towards Culbone.

A little way up ahead on the right there was once a forked oak with a large hole in it, if you find it then put a stone inside it if you have one, but the trees often go wandering, so it may be elsewhere.
Continue along the trail westwards towards Culbone.
 
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Chapter thirteen

Ashes

At the corner just before the path begins to descend into Culbone valley step up and look down into the dwarf oaks. A strange crackling sound can be heard and would appear to be coming from the oak trees themselves.

There are no wasps to be seen in the air but the trees are dripping with oak apples, a dozen or so cling to every branch. Then you see the closest tree to you split open with that same sound, and the velvet moss is torn wide.

Out steps a single years growth from the dwarf oak and a paper thin homunculi steps forth, twisted and stooped, the muscle of the Faux Faeries army. A single oak apple clings inside the homunculi the Faux Faeries wasp nesting and guiding the wooden beast.

The soldier steps away towards the Church in the valley, called to the Faux Faeries side, which is where you must go also.
Drop down into Culbone valley for the story to conclude.
 
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Chapter fourteen

Culbone Church

As you arrive at the church yard a thousand twiggy fingers lift you from the earth and pass you from branch to branch far above the graves stones. The soulless homunculus do the Faux Faeries bidding, passing you over the ground, you are helpless.

They feed you into the church, then the door shuts behind you.

It is quiet inside and dark as the homunculus knit themselves across windows and doors, sealing you in. You are going nowhere, this is a jail.

You find you must join hands in the chapel to support each other.

Beyond the rood screen sits the Faux Faery, steadily knitting charms of wart and sour dreams. Her lips are now dry but the blackness from the treacle has stained the bone white flesh of her chin, and the bodice is grim right down to the hem. It shimmers with tiny wing cases like jewels of jet and ebony.

She sits upon a great burr of oak where the alter should be. Its immense weight inside the small chapel appears to bubble with growth upon growth, an impossible twisting of grain folded over and over itself.

You come at last she says, and I believe you have met. She gesticulates to the square family pew in the church, inside there is a single homunculi, the only one in the room. The dwarf oak branches turning in upon themselves, create a cage of oak. Inside crouches Typhus, his boyish form awkward and uncomfortable, a jail within a jail.

This has been a place of refuge and entrapment for thousands of years, says the Faery. The church once exiled people here, lepers were quarantined to trap their contagion, two dozen male Indian slaves worked here for 20 years before their freedom was earned. They cut the trees for charcoal and in many ways seeded my army, her arms lifted encompassing the valley of oaks and her homunculi all about.

But what are we to do with you, she says.

Just then Typhus opens his hands inside the tiny cramped cage, and out spring bird after bird, they fly swiftly about the room and over to the Faux Faery, pecking at her hem and hair. At first she is mildly amused at Typhus and these trifling Robins with their audacious red breasts. But more and more fly from Typhus, and the air becomes thick with them.

The Faux Faeries hair is broken, her dress disintegrating, but more interestingly you see one Robin peck about the homunculi for the wasp that is seeded their inside the oak apple. The bird eats the wasp and the oak cage dissolves into dust in the air.

Open the door, Typhus asks gently.

He stands, stiff from his confinement, and out through the door fly bird upon bird to dismantle the army in the forest.

Typhus turns to the Faux Faery who is distraught with the birds pecking about her clothing, she grabs her moss cloak and sweeps it about herself. Crushing Robins as she does so, but more fly to her still, they begin to pour from your clothes also, out from your bag, your pockets, and even from your hair.

She stands trying to remove herself from the maelstrom but only makes herself more vulnerable to the attack. The floor is now deep in Robins, pecking and pulling about the faery, she knows this battle is lost and the tide has turned against her.

Typhus steps forward quick with the binding chords to jail her once more, but she is quicker. She lunges at you and snatches the twig key you brought from the beach as hers are now stolen by the birds. She slots it into a keyhole in the burr oak throne, Typhus lunging at her but he is too late, the birds set to dismantle her now bar his way and he cannot reach her in time.

It all happens so fast but you see every moment of it, the faery crouching amidst the red feathered bodies of the Robins, turning the twig key in the burr oak throne.

Typhus stretching with the jailing charms to stop her.

The Faery opening the oak throne, and stepping into the burr chest.

The oak closing behind her with a tiny click of the latch.

Then the quiet, a deep hush, such a contrast from the cacophony and frantic actions of the last few moments.

Followed by the realisation that the Faux Faery had escaped, and once again she has slipped away.

Typhus starts to search about the burr oak throne for the key hole, but he can find none.

Outside the birds are singing, and the churchyard is clear of all the homunculus, the Faux Faeries army is gone to dust and the battle of Culbone valley has ended.

Go home now good friends, for your work here is done. But I have much work to do, this battle is won but I know she shall not rest, so neither shall I.

Follow your pebble path home for the Faux Faery is far from here now, she will not bother you more today.

The Raven calls from the Church roof and is then gone.

Caw.
On your return, the path climbs out of Culbone valley then turns to the right and the descent to Porlock Weir begins. Not far along from this first corner after rising out of the valley is a small clearing to your left and on it's furtherest edge is a hollow tree just a step or two down from the path. That is where the journal is hid, please sign, draw a picture, make a mark and thanks for story walking.
 
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Chapter fifteen

The Log Journal Location

Many thanks for walking this Storywalk.

More info at http://storywalks.info

Christopher Jelley

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