Each grey stone stood a metre high or less and upon each was a disc of green stone with a face carved into it. Each wore a different expression. Some were obvious in their intent: happy, sad, angry. Other faces bore inscrutable expressions or seemed strangely distorted. Taroga Kinna knew them all well.
He stood before one of the Greenfaces, its mouth set in a hard, grim line. Humbly he petitioned it to watch over his wife when he was gone and to grant her peace. Next he stood before another with a mouth full of sharp teeth and a fierce frown. This one he petitioned to grant him the courage he would need to face his enemies. Finally he stood before the smiling Greenface and pleaded with it to keep his daughter Evie from harm.
A Taroga’s loyalty is to the Imperiarch alone. Here in Stonehargh of all places, he should have been safe. It was not so. He turned to see six men standing in his garden. They were people of no importance, but he knew what they had been paid to do.
The Greenfaces granted the boons Kinna had asked. As the men approached, he did not draw his sword and engage in a futile and undignified struggle. Instead, he turned to the Greenfaces and bowed to them, in acknowledgement of their many years of friendship.
The Greenfaces are natural rocks with inset carved faces of green stone. They are not attached to the ground and can be moved, although they are far too heavy for a single mortal to lift.
A petition to the Greenfaces can bring aid, each according to its nature. This aid can take many forms. Sometimes it seems as though mere chance has satisfied the request made. At other times the petitioner may find their own skills and capabilities enhanced to meet the challenge. Or perhaps mysterious and unseen forces will serve the petitioner’s ends.
The origin of the Greenfaces is not known. The workmanship seems to be that of mortals, but the power of the Greenfaces corresponds to no secret ever known. They are rarely encountered and the dozen which stand in Stonehargh are the largest single group to be found anywhere.
The Greenfaces expect offerings in return for their assistance, though not necessarily physical. Nor do they take a particularly mercenary view of offerings. Love, friendship and respect is more likely to elicit their aid than a sacrifice of great value.
The Greenfaces do not assist with all the power at their disposal. Indeed, the limits of their power are unknown even to those who live alongside them. Instead, when they choose to act they do so where possible with the lightest of touches. Only in rare cases is their true strength exercised and not necessarily corresponding to their petitioners’ most desperate need. Indeed, the motivations of the Greenfaces are entirely unknown, which can make them seem capricious or even uncaring on occasion.