The full moon lit the higher parts of the clearing when Davite and I awoke to snapping and gathering noises below. The floor of the forest was alive with shifting animal darkness. It was the blue black fur of the Dread Wolves I recognized from earlier on our raft. We said nothing and kept the sack at hand which held our bane-weed wrapped clubs. I squinted and search for any anaviation, perhaps even one not of the nine known races that populated Mash'ta, but all I saw were wolves.
And how many wolves? We could not count. It was they who gripped branches from the trees and snapped them off, clearing the the circle and ensuring the light from above the canopy to reach that blackened and rusted stone at the center below. Behind them, somewhere in the woods, was the pained scratching of a bird I could not identify.
No fire nor lamp gave light and nothing brighter than the ground or the pelts of wolf would indicate the presence of those who seemed to train the dogs that catered to the clearing. I began to realize it was the wolves themselves that kept the place in it's eldritch savage order and must be to the wolves that worshiped there, if you can imagine.
As I thought this, the center of the clearing widened, the beasts making way for some ritual, and all turning to face the stone in the middle. The rusted stone almost glittered under bright moon light. The screeching grew louder and louder as the wolves parted and formed a path as one edge. Walking the new path was a wolf holding an injured fowl securely in its mouth. The creature placed the poor damaged bird hard on the stone as another wolf came close, gently put it's muzzle close to sniff, and suddenly ripped one of the wings off the still living victim. Another wolf came from the other side and repeated. And another for one of the victim's legs. And another for it's final leg.
And the thing on the stone that once was a bird, was left to flail and screech and cry and beg as the full moon looked down above the hole in the sky. A shining eye on the horror show below. The bird bled on the rusty stone and all noses of the wolves shot up giving a loud, synchronized, horrifying howl!
The greatest horror, my friends, was from the center wolf, the one who brought the bird, and who had a scar from his left eye tearing back to the side of his face to his mutilated ear. That scared eye fixed itself in mid howl directly on me and my companion.