The Carrion Crown
- Harrowstone is a ruined prison – partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place.
- Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison’s underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact.
- The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occurred. A statue commemorating the warden and the guards who lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy—that statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.
- Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav’s executions during that era were carried out. The fire that caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison’s dungeons immediately prior to the conf lagration. It was only through the selfsacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.
- At the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.
- The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.
- Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. * The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.
- The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers – the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.
- Exact details on the society are difficult to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way’s goals are discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.