Greystone

Cartography by Tommi Salama

Cartography by Tommi Salama

The sharp-pointed hills huddle closely together as the land rises inexorably through the deepening shadows toward the Mottled Spire’s looming titanic bulk. Shrieking wind scours the desolate, treeless hilltops and fills the tangle of uncharted steep-sided, rock-strewn valleys cutting through the hills.

Civilisation’s creeping tendrils did not linger long in such a hard place. A century ago, settlers from Languard founded Greystone as a fishing village and rebuilt the shattered ruin of the Shard as a lighthouse and watchtower. However, the harsh weather, isolation and events of a certain terror-filled night doomed their efforts to failure.

Now, the decayed ruins of Greystone yet cling to the vertiginous, landward flank of the Mottled Spire and are still visible from Languard’s ramparts. Most of the buildings are little more than crumbling facades built over the mouths of the numerous caves riddling the rock. Linked by steep and narrow roads hacked from the Spire’s living rock, these homes once sheltered almost 200 souls. Sickly briars and the flotsam of countless winter storms now choke many of the roads rendering them all but impassable—only the nimblest or strongest travellers find the going easy.

A nameless aura of fear and decay hangs over the crumbling, wind-blasted ruins. Seemingly perpetually shrouded in shadow by the Mottled Spire’s looming bulk dark legends cluster thickly about the village. Stories of ghoulish hauntings and myths of the degenerate, inbred survivors of the original settlers lurking amid the ruins along with the village’s isolated position, conspire to keep decent folk away.

History

Born of a foolish, and ultimately doomed, attempt to bring civilisation to the Mottled Spire, Greystone’s history is short and cloaked in sorrow, suffering and mystery. The village stood for only 20 years, before disaster overtook its folk.

Almost wholly dependent on traders for fresh vegetables, grain and other staples, the villagers were often malnourished and ill. A shortage of fresh water further exacerbated the villagers’ health problems. Rumours, however, placed a strange invisible miasma over the village that made its folk sick with its noxious vapours.

Twenty years ago, one night, terror and slaughter engulfed the village. The few right-minded survivors of that terrible night —that told wild tales of their neighbours falling into a wild homicidal rage—fled never to return. Since that terrible night, the village has slowly sunk into ruin and decrepitude.