Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
In the year 1239 DR, the Duke of Arcata appointed a lesser-known family, the Surinaks, as protectors and lords of the village of Ostrav north of his capital of Valls. At the time, Ostrav had only about 200 residents. Though most other settlements in Arcata were mining towns and outpost in the Galenas, Ostrav relied on farming.
The Surinaks used their connections to bring prosperity to Ostrav. Soon the town became a major stopping point between the Barony of Bloodstone and the capital of Heliogabalus. The Surinaks also worked with the other settlements of Arcata to funnel the outputs of their mines through Ostrav, often with lucrative contracts. With their newfound wealth, they began construction on their manor house, northwest of Ostrav.
In the year 1252, Baron Lucius Surinak betrothed his son, Marcius, to Sadiri Dioso, an influential family out of Heliogabalus, increasing the power of both noble houses. Marcius was an adventurer and returned from an expedition to the jungles of Chult betrothed to a woman he didn’t know, or very much care for. Returning with him was a young boy named Luca, who he introduced as a fallen friend’s orphaned son. The people of Ostrav commented on Luca’s resemblance to Marcius, but nothing more was said about it. Shortly after his return, his father’s sudden death required that he accept the title of Baron and wed Sadiri despite their mutual dislike.
Soon after their wedding, Luca died from eating a deadly dose of poisonous berries from the baron’s garden. The Baron and Baroness became withdrawn and secretive. A wall was erected around the Estate, built by workers brought in from other settlements. At the time, no one questioned that those workers disappeared after the construction was finished.
Soon other servants and wayward children started disappearing, then young vagrants and apprentices from Ostrav itself. Though the Surinaks took care to get rid of the bodies and other evidence, the idea that they were consorting with demons became an open secret among the villagers. On a fateful winter day in 1266 DR, while the baron and baroness were conducting business in town, an angry mob attacked them and other members of House Surinak, and hanged them without a trial. The town then descended into chaos as residents turned on each other, accusing their neighbors of colluding with the hated nobles. Eventually, the crisis waned, but the town paid a high price in blood that it still remembers today. A grim reminder of the past, the town still maintains its gallows in working order, waiting for any sign of the returning Surinaks.
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