"A haunting in Bramble..."
Nearly four hundred years ago, Samuel Pilligrost, a farmer from Bramble who happened into a small fortune, built his palatial home of Pilligrost House, just outside of town. It was his dream house, and one he shared with his wife and four children. Many generations of Pilligrosts grew up in the house, and many died there as well. It began with the stillborn children. It seemed that any child born within Pilligrost House was doomed to either be stillborn or a crib death. As bad as this was, the situation quickly escalated as several generations of grieving parents committed suicide in the house as well. The eventual tipping point involved young Derrick Pilligrost who, after returning from boarding school, took a knife to his family, killing his sister and mother before he could be subdued. Asked what had driven him to murder, Derrick confessed that he had no memory of committing the acts of violence. As the years passed, rumors of disquieted spirits roaming the halls of Pilligrost House grew in both quantity and audacity. It finally got to the point where, roughly two hundred years ago, no Pilligrost would live in the house anymore. For a time, the house passed between multiple owners (and some renters). It operated as a tavern, a gambling hall, even a society lodge for northern explorers. However, it never remained in any single incarnation for very long. People could always tell that something was "off" with the old place. And it drove them out. For over one hundred years, the house sat unoccupied, growing darker and nearly absorbed back into the land. Finally, around eighty years ago a descendant of Samuel's, Morton Pilligrost, decided to do something with the old estate. He miraculously revitalized the old place, cleaning it and rebuilding the fallen portions, room by room, floor by floor. Morton also had a family with him, similar to Samuel's. A wife and four kids. After getting the house into an operational state, Morton moved his family in, with the plan to reopen the estate as a bed and breakfast, or perhaps a tavern. Morton believed the north was due for an uptick in traffic, and he wanted to be ahead of the curve. Where he got this notion is up for speculation, but he was quite serious in this endeavor. He went so far as to hire a bar manager and all-around major domo by the name of Linosius Avendar, or "Lino" for short. It seemed, for a while at least, that the curse of Pilligrost House had been lifted. Morton celebrated a grand opening and business was initially good. Many local and migrant farmers took to the bar, expertly handled by Lino. It became a hot spot for several years. Around this time a strange traveler came to stay in one of Morton's rooms. He was a mage from the Southron lands, and he had an offer for Morton. It seemed he carried a special stone, one said to bring "life and prosperity" to its owner. He sold this to Morton for a price not recorded in any ledger. Morton came to call it his "Life Stone." The life stone seemed to live up to its name only one year later, when Morton's wife Janine gave birth within the house. Suddenly the curse seemed to return. The baby was stillborn. In a daze of anguish, Morton rubbed the stone over the baby's body and miraculously the infant returned to life. All was well, and Morton began to think he was invincible. If anything bad could be said about the last Pilligrost clan and their operation, it was merely that the house began to eclipse its competition in Bramble proper. The unexpected success began to change Morton. He became more withdrawn and arrogant, picking fights with local shop owners in Bramble, and expecting special treatment from the mayor. He certainly didn't make many friends during this period. So it was, when the house mysteriously went up in flames, most instantly suspected arson. Though no culprit could ever be locked down. Also, oddly, the fires started from within, and they did little structural damage to the house itself. However, Morton, his family, and even poor Lino died in the fire. The stone was not able to save him this time. With no further Pilligrosts to claim the deed, the somehow still-standing house went to auction, at which it fell into the hands of Krimko the toymaker. When he set about to catalogue his claim, Krimko quickly discovered the house was overrun by the undead. Charred zombies and ghastly spirits roamed the halls. Most disturbing was it seemed that the undead were Morton and his family. Krimko sat on the property for years, eventually hiring a party of adventurers to clear the house and search for the stone. After ridding the house of the undead and retrieving the stone, Krimko repaid the party by giving them the deed to the house, which they gladly accepted. There was only one hitch. It seemed, though rid of zombies and shambling, rotting corpses, the house still had one uninvited guest. The party was tormented for several nights after moving in. Plates fell from shelves. Chairs rearranged themselves. And finally, a large mirror overlooking what was once the bar had a message written into the soot coating it... "Closing Time." It took some effort and magic but the party was eventually able to ascertain that the spirit was none other than Lino. Instead of attempting to destroy the restless specter, the party managed to parlay with Lino, and discovered that they could reach an agreement with him. All Lino wanted was the bar to reopen so that he might oversee it once again. This was all well and good with the party, so preparation were made to reopen Pilligrost House the way it was under Morton's regime. At this time, the renovations are yet to be completed, but are on track. Has the curse finally been broken? Only time will tell.
Purpose / Function
Once a family home, Pilligrost House was reopened as a tavern and inn. After its owners died in a blaze, it sat unattended for many years. Currently, it is being prepared to reopen as a tavern once more.
Pilligrost house has worn multiple masks over its long and storied years. It has gone from a simple farm house, built for a large family, to an illegal gambling hall, to a rough and tumble tavern, and finally to a "bed and breakfast" styled inn. It's infrastructure wears the wounds from all these eccentric incarnations, as if they were badges of honor.
A two-story wood and brick home, dating back to the early days of Bramble.
The House on the Hill
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild