Prisoners of Harrowstone
PRISONERS OF HARROWSTONE
Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) checks can be used to research the prisoners of Harrowstone.
- 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.
- Names of interest you have discovered in your research include: Alexandre Corvinus (a prison guard), Gurtis Vortch (a murderer who, oddly, was not sentenced to death but to life), Ispin Onyxcudgel (the Mosswater Marauder), Benjen Ereska (executed via blast furnace).
- There were five notorious serial murders awaiting execution at the time of the great fire: Father Charlatan, the Lopper, the Mosswater Marauder, the Piper of Illlmarsh, and the Splatter Man.
- Father Charlatan (Sefick Corvin): Of the five notorious prisoners, only Father Charlatan was not technically a murderer, yet his crimes were so blasphemous that several churches demanded he be punished to the full extent of Ustalavic law. Although he claimed to be an ordained priest of any number of faiths, Father Corvin was in fact a traveling con artist who used faith as a mask and a means to bilk the faithful out of money in payment for false miracles or cures, almost all of which resulted in his patients untimely deaths. He became known as Father Charlatan after his scheme was exposed and his Sczarni accomplices, members of a clan known as the Nisrochi, murdered a half-dozen city guards in an attempt to make good the group’s escape.
- The Lopper (Vance Saetressle): When the Lopper stalked prey, he would hide in the most unlikely of places, sometimes for days or weeks 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. His victims numbered in the thirties. The heads were never recovered.
- The Mosswater Marauder (Ispin Onyxcudgel): Only 5 years before his hometown of Mosswater was destined to be overrun and ruined by monsters from the nearby river, Ispin Onyxcudgel was a well-liked artisan and a doting husband. When he discovered his wife’s infidelity, he f lew into a jealous rage and struck her dead with his hammer, shattering her skull and his sanity with one murderous blow. Wracked with shame and guilt, Ispin became convinced that if he could rebuild his wife’s skull she would come back to life—but unfortunately, he could not find the last blade-shaped fragment from the murder site. So instead, Ispin became the Mosswater Marauder. Over the course of several weeks, the cunning dwarf stalked and murdered nearly 20 people while searching for just the right skull fragment. He was captured just before murdering the daughter of a visiting nobleman from Varno,and was carted off to Harrowstone that same night.
- The Piper of Illmarsh (real name unknown): The Piper lives on as a folk tale and bedtime story in the area surrounding Illmarsh. The Piper’s favored victims were young children, particularly girls. 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. His convictions number 17, with rumors of more unconfirmed killings.
- 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. After selecting a victim, 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. In later murders, these letters were often spelled in the blood of the victim’s friends or loved ones. 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. These elaborate events would often involve sadistic choices, the death of family members, or self-mutilation. The Splatter Man’s targets were chosen seemingly at random, though a disproportionate number of academics and university graduates were among his targets. He was officially convinced of 40+ murders, with many more disappearances attributed to his reign of terror.
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