Harrowstone is a 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.
Harrowstone 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. The fire that caused the tragedy was,
in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners had rioted
and gained control of the prison’s dungeons immediately
prior to the conf lagration. It was only through the selfsacrifice
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.
The Whispering Way
The Five Prisoners
Originally, Harrowstone housed only
local criminals, but as the prison’s fame spread, other
counties and distant lands began paying to have more
dangerous criminals housed within this prison’s walls.
At the time of the great Harrowstone Fire, the number of
particularly violent or dangerous criminals imprisoned
within the dungeons below was at an all-time high.
The five most notorious prisoners
in Harrowstone at the time of the great fire were Father
Charlatan, the Lopper, the Mosswater Marauder, the
Piper of Illlmarsh, and the Splatter Man.
The Lopper (Vance Saetressle)
When the Lopper stalked prey, he would hide in the most unlikely of places,
sometimes for days upon end with only a few supplies to
keep him going while he waited for the exact right moment
to strike. Once his target was alone, the Lopper would
emerge to savagely behead his victim with a handaxe.
The Mosswater Marauder
The Piper of Illmarsh (real name unknown)
Before he snatched his victims, the Piper taunted his
targets with a mournful dirge on his f lute. He preferred
to paralyze lone victims by dosing their meals with lich
dust and then allowed his pet stirges to drink the victims
dry of blood.
The Splatter Man (Hean Feramin)
Professor Feramin was a celebrated scholar of Anthroponomastics
(the study of personal names and their origins) at the
Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental
association with a succubus twisted and warped his
study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became
obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use
it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation
was ruined, he’d lost his tenure, and he’d developed an
uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between
a person’s name and what happens to that name when the
person dies. Every few days, he would secretly arrange for
his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood,
perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully
arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim’s name,
he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess
using a complex trap or series of rigged events meant to
look like an accident.