Deep in a noxious bog, far from all human eyes, there is a tavern.
Its windows are shattered and broken. Its floorboards are rotting through. By day, beams of light slip through the cracked roof to shine on the worn tables and the dusty bar.
But at night, it is always full.
Travelers from miles around journey to this deserted fen, as though pulled by an unconscious impulse, a hidden string. The boots of heroes and clerics tread the rotting tiles. Fighters and mages clamor at the bartender and hoot at the female patrons.
The fiddler rises upon the stage, rises as though he had just been born from the muck and slime outside the tavern walls. Hunchbacked and bent, his hair oozes in soggy, grimy plaits down his back, across his shabby suit jacket. One green eye surveys the audience, balefully, almost pitifully.
A hush falls over the crowd, in which everyone wonders. Is it human? Was it human, once? Does it feel? Or is this just an enchanted nightmare, born from the stench of the fens and the loneliness of the derelict bar?
He straightens up, taking a brushed wooden fiddle from its case. He draws his bow across the strings. All questioning ceases. The music begins.
And the Poison Fiddler plays, until the sun rises on empty tables and moss-eaten floorboards and a bar that is half-eaten by time.
The Poison Fiddler plays on.