The inhabitants of that rough coast were not sentimental and so they had little qualms in selling out to what appeared to be a large international petroleum company Bigoyle Refining Unlimited. There were some raised eyebrows however, when their new neighbor erected an eleven foot high wall that snaked about the countryside separating the BRU property from the rest of Bretagne. The fact it was bejeweled with the skulls of various animals, including humans, cattle, and sheep began to give them some consternation, and the fact that now at night, the dark sky seemed to be awash in the reflected red glow of some enormous conflagration within the BRU property had them soon talking in hushed whispers and warding off demons with their own druidic incantations. What was, after all, going on?
In the following months a few fishermen ventured close to see if they could discover some clue as to the apparently demonic machinations of BRU. They came as near to the coast as to determine that an enormous tower was being constructed within a sea wall a good five hundred yards or so off the shore. An enormous fountain spewed water continuously from within the walls out into the Ocean.
Not long after, the fishermen’s nets became choked with dead things: eels, squids, all sorts of mollusks, and putrefying fish that not even Parisians would eat regardless of how much mayonnaise was employed to cover the foul taste. Sick black ooze formed a deadly skin over all the water and charcoal gray smog covered all the land, completely hiding the activities within the wall of skulls as the locals began to call it.
When men started to disappear from the surrounding villages, a deadly fear seized the rest, and one after another the villages were abandoned, the fields became fallow, the paths and trails choked with brambles. Wild dogs ruled the streets, and derelict cars and homes became warrens to hordes of enormous red eyed rats.
Only one road remained open, the road which led from the BRU property to Roscoff and along it a seemingly endless stream of trucks brought more and more supplies. They passed through the black gaping gates, over laden with cargo, and returned empty. Along this road, seven miles from the BRU property, a small tavern and inn eked outa pitiful existence. The proprietor, one Pierre Saint-Barnabas, was a man of great curiosity and learning. He happened to be a self-taught expert in biochemistry and biophysics who specialized in exotic and rare mushrooms, especially those of Southeast Asia and who had also toyed with various modern Nerve Agents. In fact he had recently been in Singapore attending a conference and had witnessed some unusual events which set his mind to rapid electric pulsation. The strange odors carried on the breeze towards his disintegrating business made him wonder if he had not, perhaps, stumbled on something more sinister than the Dantesque inferno that had sprouted from the verdant terrain might at first suggest.