Briarstone Research

Located on Briarstone Isle, Briarstone Asylum was founded in 4585 with the support of Count Haserton Lowls I and Rozenport’s Sincomakti School of Sciences. The asylum devotes itself to the treatment of patients with mental diseases and those in need of psychological care. Its staff also pursues humane, nonmagical treatments of such disorders. With the exception of restraints, most physical and surgical treatment methods were phased out at Briarstone over a century ago.

Briarstone was originally intended to be a fort, positioned to protect Thrushmoor and trade along the Danver River from pirates sailing Lake Encarthan. The fort’s construction began in 4315 and was plagued by accidents, culminating in the death of its overseer, Captain Anoch Atherton. Construction on the fort was halted and rumors spread that Briarstone Isle was
haunted. To expunge the taint of urban legends, Count Haserton Lowls I convinced the church of Pharasma to perform a successful, island-wide exorcism in 4584.

Captain Anoch Atherton didn’t die in a construction accident. The overseer of Fort Briar’s construction disappeared, only to be discovered a week later, his entrails strewn across the site. After Atherton’s death, work halted on the fort’s construction, but locals still reported seeing lights in the deserted, halfconstructed structure. Rumors attributed the tragedy to the Briarstone Witch and claimed that she’d curse or kill any who trespassed upon her home.

Folklore attributes many disappearances and spates of bad luck in the Thrushmoor region to the Briarstone Witch, an elusive crone said to inhabit Briarstone Isle. The first reports of the Briarstone Witch date to the early 4000s, soon after the founding of Thrushmoor by a congregation of psychopomp-worshiping homesteaders. These tales attribute many good works
to the witch and present her as a figure who helped the settlers survive their hard early years. Some tales refer to the witch’s servant, called the Tatterman.

The Briarstone Witch was not a legend. She was a Kellid interested in lesser-known cults and occult knowledge. As she shared her esoteric knowledge with Thrushmoor’s settlers, she joined them, and as she exhibited her power, she eventually came to lead them. However, in 4050, the report of a Pharasmin inquisitor accused the people of Thrushmoor of engaging in “perverted rites in mockery of Pharasma and her servants’ names.”

Encouraged by the Briarstone Witch, the people of Thrushmoor split from both the church and the national government. When emissaries of the state marched to retake control of the town, they found the entire population had disappeared. Although a few gruesome stains marked buildings across the empty town, no other evidence of the people was ever found. The unsettling event became known as the Thrushmoor Vanishing and hundreds of years passed before Thrushmoor was resettled.

The partial journal of the daughter of one of Thrushmoor’s homesteaders holds an account of life in the town. She refers to the Briarstone Witch as Mother Ariadnah and notes her sitting in council with other town leaders: Father Gierde, Father Weavewood, and Mother Ariadnah. The precocious youth directly asks about the Tatterman. While her parents fearfully hush her, Ariadnah tells her not to be afraid, saying that “the Tatterman is only a dream, and a dream can’t hurt a good girl like you.”

Briarstone Research

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