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Fata Padurii Edit

Right on the edge of the lush forest near Harbaburesti is a small grove sprinkled with flowers and evergreens. A door leads into a rock wall with a perky, red heart painted on its front. At first glance it may look like a cute, welcoming place. Look again

Wildflowers, berry bushes and patches of mushrooms are haphazardly planted in a riot of contrasting colours. Cast-off materials from the farmlands nearby have been used to build the twisted mirage of a snug, inviting forest home - concealing the cold darkness behind the doors

The grove marks the entrance to Fata Padurii's grotto

According to Romanian folklore, Fata Padurii - the Forest Girl - is the child of two spiteful creatures. Neither parents nor offspring harboured any familial love. Instead, this dysfunctional family despised each other; mutual abuse was their usual trot. Eventually, the daughter stole magical abilities from her parents and then left to get as far away from them as she could

Fata Padurii is a demon who tricks young men into following her to her den. A shapeshifter, she uses the form of a young, beautiful woman to enthrall lovesick romantics. Once her prey is within the confines of the grotto - where he expects to discover an embarrassment of sensual riches - she transforms into a hideous monster, kills him and eats his heart

She needs the organ in order for her transformation magic to work, then uses this enchantment to kill more men for their hearts. It's a vicious, never-ending cycle of lust. Most stories about Fata Padurii make the point that while love is beautiful, it can also be deceitful, dangerous and, quite literally, heartwrenching

Like many folkloric creatures, she is dismayed at a world that has grown too leery of myth and magic. After all, what good are legends if children no longer fear them? It is easy to feel weary when no one believes in your import, or worse, no one believes in you at all. The few stories that still speak Fata Padurii's name are crude and hostile. In search of a safe haven, she retreated to Bacas County where the truce between man and mythos was still in effect

Here, she could prey on those who willingly followed her without breaking the armistice. Because she never leaves the forest and only comes out at night, she was not considered a hunting predator, and even the ever-alert Cucuvea and Mosul left her alone

But that was during the truce

Now, with the dark energy of Bacas County whipping the supernaturals into a frenzy, and with all the newcomers to the valley, Fata Padurii is increasingly active. Foolish young men are more likely than ever to find themselves lured into the forest...and never make it home again.

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