Raven's Croft - von Zarovich Manor Building / Landmark in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Raven's Croft - von Zarovich Manor

Raven's Croft is a manor house owned by the von Zarovich family. They are descended of Dacian leadership that invaded the eastern regions at one point of Austria, and settled there 200 years ago. It is a recent build being built 37 years ago as part of a wedding gift for one Strahd von Zarovich. It is rarely used by the family after a certain 'Incident' a number of years ago, who believe it is haunted. A small set of servants, all dour of character & quiet in the extreme live there. The region has a large number of ravens living there, and helped give the manor it's name. Many of those who know of it, believe it is an ill-omened place with dark powers living in the manor, along with stories of priceless treasures found throughout the estate. So far no-one can say for sure this is true.

Purpose / Function

Household of the von Zarovich family.

Sensory & Appearance

The manor has a sense of melancholy about it, and in many rooms a slight layer of dust, as they are not regularly used. Some claim to feel cold spots in many rooms, and the feeling of being watched. Voices are heard on occasion with no-one nearby to make them. There seems to be a darkness perpetually about the place and a dullness in the furnishings. Sometimes a dampness can be felt, and the smell of wet earth coming up from the entrances of the cellars.


At least three families live in and around the estate, all dour and extremely quiet. They seem to have lived here for some time, and act as servants & caretakers of the property, serving the remain von Zarovich families who travel here. Nobody is exactly sure as to the names of these people, and if told, seem to forget pretty quickly.

Contents & Furnishings

Expensive looking furniture of all types are found throughout the building, mostly of Eastern European design, and some seems imported from the Italian states & the Byzantine Empire. Each room has specific furnishings depending on what it is used for. Tableware, silverware, and paintings are found throughout. Beds with chests, and sturdy cupboards are found throughout the bedrooms, and the kitchen seems to be well stocked with cooking utensils & food. At least one cellar is rumoured to be filled with vintage wines from all over the continent and beyond.


The wine cellar is meant to be stocked with a large amount of expensive imported wines from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Many of the pictures hanging up are by nobody notable, but there are rumoured to be a couple done by masters of their field. There is also a rumour a great amount of treasure lies below the house, and guarded by gods know what. A few trinket boxes and cupboards have elements meant to have some value , usually rumoured to be jewellery or clothing, again made by masters.


Primarily made of stone & wood with the help of Dwarven stonemasons, it takes in a mix of Dacian & Dwarven features. Ahead of it's time, more stone is involved in the building of it, leading to it being stronger than most buildings in the region. Roman architecture has been took in to a lesser extent to allow for the family to boast of having old expensive roots.


The von Zarovich house is a large manor house, built for the family when the eldest son Strahd was due to marry. They had inhabited the land there for roughly two centuries when their Dacian ancestors raided & settled the valley it is in. It still stands that there is von Zarovich family members in the region and a couple on the border between here and Frankish Austria. The manor itself was due to be part of the grounds that had their castle also, which was built in the adjoining valley. It was to be used as a summer retreat for the court and built and finished in 763. Most of the work took no time, after they paid Dwarves living in mining settlements nearby to help out when they wanted extra money.   The manor is still occupied by many servants & slaves of the von Zarovich family, but hasn't really been used in the 25 odd years since the 'Incident'. At this time, about the year of 775 AD, the ruling family members were passing their titles of Baron to their Eldest son called Strahd. It was declared that he would marry a maiden by the name of Tatyana from a minor noble house from the north. Unfortunately she fell in love with Strahd's brother, with him having mutual feelings for her. This drove Strahd insane with jealousy, and he made an evil pact with beings trapped in amber sarcophagi in a temple in the same mountainous region. Strahd was imbued with great power, and eventually slaughtered all at the wedding ceremony at the castle. Afterwards, these sarcophagi, the von Zarovich castle, small settlements nearby, and Strahd himself disappeared in the course of a night. No-one has seen or heard anything concerning them since.   Eventually the valley itself has become a place of ill-repute, and this stretches as far as the manor house, which still remains unnamed. Distant relations of the von Zarovich still own the land & manor, but rarely visit. When they do, they rarely stay for long, complaining of strange goings on in the building since the incident. Nobody seems to want the deeds to it, or settle there, and the servants are the only ones who do, and are classed as an odd bunch, not given much to talking, and rarely show any emotion.    People who have been there over the years, talk of disembodied voices, cold spots, things moving, and strange dreams of the cellars there as if there is something hidden in below. Many report that they feel that Strahd is still alive, and rules a land similar to where he was from, coming to them in dream form. They also notice that there is a large amount of ravens living in and around the property and have given it the name of Raven's Croft.
Founding Date
Manor house / Meeting hall
Parent Location
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization


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