Helaman's Play By Post Carrion Crown
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Jaru Toth asked: “Can you tell me more of this ruined prison? That is where the Professor perished, correct? Is it dangerous? I have been told it is even illegal to go there.”
Father Grimburrow answered.
“Illegal? Aye – tis that. Thats been a standing law since about a week or so after the Great Fire or so it is rumoured when some sticky beaks were injured by falling stone work. Its been bourne out again and again that bad luck comes to those who trespass and strange noises heard… personally? I boil it down to stupidity and the wind blowing through the place. I’ve ventured up there once more than twenty years ago – WITH permission mind you and found nothing worthy of my attention.”
“Harrowstone is the name of the ruined prison — partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place. IF it was haunted I doubt that my acolytes and I could do much about it. I’m not exactly in my prime. And I doubt that they’ve even a ‘prime’ in them – that said? I don’t hold with stirring up the place and neither do the locals here. Best left alone I say.”
“Harrowstone itself was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison’s underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact. The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occurred. A statue commemorating the warden and the guards who lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy — that statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.”
“Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav’s executions during that era were carried out. It was that many of the principalities of Ustalav would send their worst down here to Harrowstone.”
“The fire that caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, or so the stories go, for the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison’s dungeons immediately prior to the conflagration. It was only through the self sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping — the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.”
“As for Lorrimor? Yes tis’ where he died. I kept the body from decay with blessings from Our Lady until the funeral. The Sheriff found him – a piece of stone had crushed his head and face. Wasn’t pretty. Death seldom is but given I knew Petros, it was especially sad for me to see him so.”
There is a monument in the outskirts of the town, near the river.
Ravengro’s most distinctive landmark is a 25-foot-tall, moss-covered stone statue that overlooks the river. The statue depicts a proud, muscular human man dressed in leathers and wielding a truncheon—a depiction of Warden Hawkran. A total of 25 names—the guards who died in the fire of 4661, as well as the warden’s wife, Vesorianna—are chiseled into the statue’s stone base.
The memorial is a popular meeting spot for late-night trysts among Ravengro’s young lovers, for it has just the right mix of tragic romance and spooky ambience without actually being on Harrowstone’s supposedly haunted grounds.
Baradlon “Nighteyes” also uncovers the following account on the Harrowstone fire.
“At the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.”