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Harrowing

Night of Greed

Another bell tolls as the clock strikes midnight, marking the beginning of the Harrowing. The yawning mouth of the Castle of the Damned slowly begins to open, spilling light into the darkness, beckoning all who dare to enter. The stories of old tell of riches beyond measure, of treasure and rarities, but the legends also tell of death and madness, of the castle and its map, the rooms of ruin, of demise, and other things. Greed can lead you into the castle, but greed cannot, and will not, lead you back to freedom.   Skeletal staircases and tilting treads dictate paths and perils. Whether you've been disenchanted or named the Maker's Mark, you will not know until the time has passed. Ashen winds and vines of death hinder your entrance, but the reward of the World's Anvil is too much to ignore. The castle cares not if you stumble upon the Serpent's Swing or whether you find your soul frozen. The Castle of the Damned shows no mercy, only curiousity and death.   For two days the Harrowing stays, reaping the lives of those whose greed led them astray. Bells toll at each midnight and each noon, but those who stay within the castle for any amount of time know that time passes differently inside the castle. Minutes can take hours and hours can take days, but on the outside, nothing has changed. Time moves the same in Káto, the Lost Paths much the same. It is the twisted dark magic of the castle itself that subjects those who enter to this type of pain.   At last another bell tolls, once...twice...three times. This tolling marks the end, another Harrowing passed. Those who observe on the outside make their tallies, counting the bodies that went in, but did not return. As the bell tolls on the midnight of the 2nd of Winter's Noon, the castle begins its descent back into the stone floor of Káto, the Eve of the End beginning its day. Within hours, the visage of the cragged castle will not exist, lost in the dark floor from which it came.

Historical Basis

While the Harrowing is told as a myth, most often to scare children, there are those in Káto that have survived the night and its castle to tell the story. Those survivors are few and far between, leaving their stories more to the myths and legends of ancient instead of actual fact.   The story of the castle and the Harrowing go back to the early days of the Silver Elves, long before the Huntress took her revenge on those that would hurt her dark children. The myth of the Harrowing and its odd events are said to be as old as Káto and the Lost Paths, but no one may never know the truth of the event.

Spread

This myth is known far and wide throughout Káto and the Lost Paths, but it also runs rampant in the Wandering Forest. Most creatures use the terrible myth surrounding the night and the castle to ward others away from the place, especially those that do not possess the heightened vision of Káto peoples.
Date of First Recording
Unknown
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