The sharp-pointed hills huddle closely together as the land rises inexorably through the deepening shadows toward the looming titanic bulk of the Mottled Spire. Shrieking wind scours the desolate, treeless hilltops and fills the tangle of uncharted steep-sided, rock strewn valleys cutting through the hills.
The creeping tendrils of civilisation 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, but the harsh weather, isolation and events of a certain terror-filled night doomed their efforts to failure.
The decayed ruins of Greystone yet cling to the vertinguous, 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 housed 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 place. Stories of ghoulish hauntings and myths of degenerate, inbred survivors of the original settlers lurking amid the ruins along with the village’s isolated position conspire to keep decent folk away.
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. Founded 200 years ago, the village stood for only 20 years before disaster overtook its folk.
Almost wholly dependant on supplies from the mainland 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 in Languard at the time placed a strange invisible miasma over the village that made its folk sick with its noxious vapours.
Such suffering and depredation created a fertile breeding ground for Dagon’s sinister message. By chance, the Alanen’s built their manor over an ancient place of worship of the Shadow in the Sea. Discovered when the foundations were laid, the patriarch of the family—Armas Alanen—became obsessed with the shrine and quickly fell under Dagon’s fell influence. From then, like a disease or cancer, his worship spread slowly, but surely, through much of the populace until—in one terrible, bloody night—slaughter was visited on the unbelievers.
The few right-minded survivors of that terrible night fled to the mainland while the remaining cultists made their homes among the bones of their slain neighbours. With no outside influence working to keep their souls safe from eternal damnation, the cultist’ fall was soon complete and they became degenerate, twisted perversions of what they once were.
Locations of Note
Most of the buildings are little more than stone facades built across a cave mouth. Within, the caves has been improved and expanded to meet the needs of the original settlers. Living spaces, kitchens, storage areas and even craftsmen’s workshops can all be found cut into the Mottled Spire’s living rock. Narrow, rough-hewn tunnels link many of the homes to one another, and these enabled the settlers to move about freely during even the most savage winter storms.
Most of the locations in Greystone are nothing more but the abandoned home of a typical peasant family. A few, though, are of note to adventurers exploring the place:
- Docks: Crumbling and cracked docks, protected by a breakwater of jumbled, slick stones, offer a safe haven of sorts for explorers’ vessels. Thick seaweed of unwholesome aspect grows in profussion here across the stones and rotting wrecks of long-abandoned fishing vessels. Crabs — some grown monstrously large on some unknown food source — dwell in the harbour’s deeper water; swimmers have disappeared in the harbour and few local fishermen will put in here even in the face of the worst winter storm.
- Hall of the Storm Mistress: Dedicated to Serat, Mistress of Storms, the Hall of the Storm Mistress stands close to the docks. At high tide, part of the temple is inundated and it was then her worshippers praised their patron. Now rubble from the collapsed roof chokes the sacred pool and seaweed of an unhealthy hue grows voraciously about the hall.
- Shrine of the Father: Here the followers of Conn, the Father, gathered here to pray. This building has suffered extensive damage and is little more than a shell. One of the only freestanding buildings in the village, it’s remaining walls stand stark against the sky. It will likely soon collapse.
- Forge of the Dead: A small cave-home at the back of this forge is home to several ravenous ghouls.
- Manor House: The heavily fortified manor-home of the Alanen family overlooks the village. Built atop a ledge of sorts, it huddles hard between a precipitous drop and a sheer cliff. The only way to access the place is through a steep, winding tunnel leading up from the village. At two points along its length, great wooden, iron banded doors warded the tunnel; their hacked and scorched remains now do little to deter interlopers
- The Caves: Caves honeycomb the rock, and the settlers used these as part of their homes.
- The Twisted Path: This precipitous path links Greystone to the Shard.
- Greystone Draft 1: This download comprises the first draft of Gloamhold. It is not complete–it doesn’t contain the two dressing pages or maps and artwork. Download it now: Greystone_draft_1