At a Glance
Far off of the main road and between two hills sits a sizable rectangular building. Dulled from sunlight, the faded and chipping red paint hardly clings onto the structure's wooden walls. The roof, a long gambrel, seems to shed shingles. Miraculously, this edifice has seemed to weather storms. The path that leads up and over to the place, is carved with the imprints of wagon wheels. A weathervane creaks uneasily in the breeze. Massive doors meant for horses are on each end of this stable and a human-sized doorway lay right in the middle. Some of the horse-sized doors are split into two to allow the majestic animals to get fresh air. A lonely lantern groans on the rod of iron it hangs upon.
A group of uneasy looking stable hands, begrudged, go about cleaning the floors of the stable's interior. Horses nicker, whinny, and neigh as to communicate with one another and the workers. A woman wearing a fine suit from the city is lead along by a gentleman wearing more humble formal attire as he shows her all of the different horses. A score or so of horses are all ready to be purchased for a hefty sum, as the fellows working snidely remark that the horses are for "nobility" and that the common person couldn't handle the task of riding such a majestic beast.
"Aye, we check the place now and then if we've got a suspected criminal. It's a real popular place to hide when we're looking for folks"
- Captain Jackson Chambers, Farm Ward Guard
The Briar Estate stables are rather calm but Jordan Briar, the head of household, has recently been accused of allowing criminals to hide where the horses stay. There isn't enough proof as such, and Mr. Briar threatens to defund the Farm Ward guard if they attempt to investigate.
"The first Briar estate burned to the ground three years ago, I'd reckon. Terrible tragedy, that; much of the family died along with many housemaids"
- Cayde Lowther, Proprieter of the Bloody Boots Inn
Beyond one of the hills lay the charred stone foundation of a home. Moving about it, hardly anything was intact save the rocks burned black with soot and ash. Within the stones are molded scraps of paper. A closer look at one reveals that there are a handful of prayers from varying gods of the world wishing peace to those that died here. One can't help but notice more of those symbols like the ones within the stable carved deeply into the stones. Further up the hill from this charred foundation is a three-story estate that shadows over the remains of this place. It is grand, and ivory in color with massive pillars of marble to hold up the heavy gable roof. The windows seemed to face towards the burned remains as though to remind the current residents of what happened and to err on the side of caution.
The shape of the stones tell the story of what was once a rather sizable home. One can see that the stones were used to divide rooms. Perhaps a kitchen, a smoking room, a foyer, closet, etc. It is rather clear that their is a cellar, for what one could call the floor of this place is still rather firm. With a quick search, one could find the door to said cellar buried beneath some loose stones.
The cellar of the place is rank with moss and filth seeping their way through the stone walls and floor. Racks that once held barrels are now empty and coated with dust and cobwebs. This underground room is held up with tired wooden supports. It is unusually cold within the room even so for a cellar. A strange pattern is carved into the hard dirt floor. It is a rather massive version of some of the symbols seen in the stable and on the ruins of the home.
Secrets & Rumors
According to many of the locals, the stable is home to a significant amount of gang activity but, in recent years, things have become unusually quiet. Many suspect that Jordan Briar himself has silenced the local guard and threatened them from looking into such affairs.
The people of the Farm Ward warn those around to avoid the stable and the ruins of the first Briar estate, for spiteful spirits are fiercely territorial and attack anyone on sight by flinging stones or unrooting nails. Children are supposedly warned of such things to keep them from getting hurt while exploring unstable buildings. Mothers and fathers mostly don't want their children to have a run-in with a thief or a criminal.
It is said that those who enter the cellar of the old estate never return. A few guardsmen have reported seeing mysterious figures in the evening time disappear within the place and, upon investigation, they are nowhere to be found. Many suspect that the ghosts of the estate are merely continuing about their routines even in death.
The symbols carved in and about the area are said to be nothing more than gang members or children carving messages to honor their beloved ones. Some folk, however, believe that these symbols are far from mundane. It is rumored that some of these symbols are either runic magics, wards, or a lost language used to communicate with the few that can still speak it.
The guards don't exactly make it a secret that people have disappeared or even died here. In the months following the fire that destroyed the estate, people began to steal loot what little remained of the charred home. Further beyond, a handful of belligerent thieves fought over the valuables within the place leading to three deaths. Suspected to be gang activity, those that were killed were identified as criminals with bounties or outstanding warrants.