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Ramblings of Father Grimburrow
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*Some small towns grow up around a university, their shops and other offerings catering to a scholastic clientele. Others boast famous festivals or specialized industries that draw skilled artisans and craftsmen. But in the sad case of Ravengro, the town’s claim to fame is a prison. And not just any prison, for in this town of Ravengro we supported one of Ustalav’s most notorious jails — Harrowstone. Twice a year, a prison convoy rounded up the worst of the worst from smaller, less secure jails across the principality and transferred them to Harrowstone, often to await death by hanging, but always to live out the rest of their lives as prisoners.
In short we had the most evil, the most violent and twisted of Ustalav’s criminals – the town’s old-timers remember well the eerie prison caravans that carried ‘monsters’ through the town. We may have something more in the archives here though any specific records would be lumped among many places. We’ll do our best to help.*
He pauses and thinks.
Jorfa the smith was already servicing the town and prison around that period of time. She may also have something to say, though she is a hard woman to talk to save on matters of work. The older men, boys at the time of the fire, also gather at the inns in the afternoons to drink ale and to sit out in the sun to warm their old bones – they too, approached right, may be helpful. Once you have the names you seek? It should make your search easier.
Father Grimburrow leans back in his chair and carries on in a more casual conversational tone.
Its a matter for the scholars but some say that the fire that destroyed Harrowstone was one of the trigger events that eventually led to the entire region’s bloodless uprising in 4670 — the prison’s loss, combined with the government’s inability to rebuild the site, or more likely, its lack of interest in doing so, certainly disenfranchised the citizens of Ravengro, who by the time the region was ready to abandon hereditary rule were all too eager to accept this new “democracy” thing we see in the Palatinates today.
He continues his history lecture after taking a drink from a nearby cup.
You see, at that time the county of Canterwall did not exist and Ravengro lay in the county of Tamrivena, ruled by the unpopular Count Eigen Lorres. It was the Count’s idea to build a large prison at Ravengro that could house, for a fee, criminals from anywhere in Ustalav. This plan did indeed increase Lorres’ popularity as other parts of Ustalav moved their prisoners to Harrowstone and money started to flow into the county in return. Without that revenue? Well… In time the momentum picked up and it was more than the Lorres’ who lost their ancestral right of rule, the Counts Caromarc of Vieland – Lepidstadt is the most famous of Vielands settlements – also fell from grace.
He gives a dry dusty little laugh.
Forgive me. Lorrimor and I were around for those heady days of change and we too played our roles, though ones that will never be spoken of by any historian or recorded in any text book – young and idealistic we were. I think I told you Lorrimor was my protege, yes?
He rises, stiff from age. You must pardon an old man his ramblings of events long past.* I’ll leave you to your research – anything else?*