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Pink Veins of Corruption
In the town of Little Mosstle rumors circulate like corrupted blood pumped from the dark heart of Ravinstone Manor through the arterial paths of the Trollingwood. Lord Ravinstone’s tax collectors have been absent for some time. The town council has set the watch to double shifts and double-manned guards on the northern palisade where the fog creeps out of the trees and tickles the rough-hewn logs, and its accompanying breeze raises the little hairs on the neck as it sparks a nagging fear in the pit of the stomach.
Lord Ravinstone was an aloof man in the best of times, although long respected for his lenient demands of both grain and young bodies for service. The Ravin’s Road, slashing through the Trollingwood, was well-maintained, the lord’s meeting room open, the lady sweet and kind to her servants with their eager smiles and trays of sweets offered to those seeking Ravinstone’s boon or blessing. Wearing his customary circlet, the lord was gracious and fair. But over time his aloofness became a cold distance, and as he grew colder and more distant so too grew the demand for grain and bodies, outpacing what the lands around Little Mosstle could support.
Wagon trains from lands far outside the purview of the kingdom brought fresh hands, more than the farms could feed and more than the lord could house. But no one dared ask questions. It wasn’t proper, and Ravinstone never turned his wrath on the smallfolk, nor gave them reason to distrust him. However disturbing the rumors of the wagon trains, they were at least rumors of something. When nothing happened, and nothing after that, and the gates to the Ravin’s Road were closed, it was imagination that ruled the barony of Mosstle.
Three minor nobles, origins unknown, have now deigned to grace the village with their presence, each making a claim to the barony and a generous offer of employment to your company: go forth to Ravinstone Manor and retrieve the circlet. The circlet, a beautiful craftwork of silver and amethyst and heirloom of House Ravinstone, has been worn for centuries by the rightful heir. Retrieve it, prove your client’s claim to the title, and earn your rank. But beware. A glowing skeleton stalks the Trollingwood. A pink and creeping miasma corrupts the dreamless. A stone arch, bloody sacrifice offered, throbs like a festering wound. Ravinstone Manor beckons its newest inhabitants.
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