Agenhin Manor is a large and brooding structure built in an area of Tekne that was chartered and built over during the building boom roughly 250 years ago. The center of the manor is a sprawling mansion with 7 bedrooms, 3 parlors, and a grand ballroom. This is serviced by a multi-room kitchen pantry adjecent to the main building. This was done since the kitchens have burned down twice in the building's history. There is a covered walkway and pavillion leading out from the main ballroom that overlooks a deep pond that covers roughly two acres.
Beyond the pond is the carriage house, stables, and the servants quarters. There is room for a score of horses as well as lodging for two dozen servants to live in relative, if cramped, comfort. There are a number of gardens, and a hedge labyrinth that have grown out wild. hidden behind dense layers of weeds and foliage is an abandoned well and a small basalt and brass mausoleum.
The stonework of the building has an motif of arrogance and chains. Religious figures carved into lintels are alternately cruel, holding chains, or themselves cower at the end of steel links. Some might call it a monument of ego and arrogance.
Agenhin Manor was the palatial estate of Baron Abelard Gogh Agenhin, a Tekneian noble of purchased patent. He arrived in Tekne as an educated and penniless man who found a niche working with the city guard. He made contacts with the metal working guild and with some borrowed coin from the Wizard's Cache 2210 he founded the esteemed Order of Chainmeisters. He made a fortune in producing large amounts of chain for use in armor, construction, and most famously, for the incarceration of prisoners.
With patents purchased, and an arranged marriage to a politically connected yet half broke noble family, he laid the groundstones of his manor. It was near the end of his industrious life that his cruelty and perversion came to light. Many of the workers in his chain mills were themselves prisoners, some were even adolescents, and the death rate was high. The bodies were never found and Agenhin eventually died, alone. His wife mysteriously vanished, many claimed foul play, but his wealth and lifelong wrangled political power made him an untouchable. It is said that the Chalice Bearers at his funeral had to be paid twice the going rate to shed tears for him.
The Manor would revert to city-ownership for the next one hundred and fifty years, its grounds becoming grossly overgrown and the building itself falling into decadent decay. The fact that Agenhin had it made of stone saw it's survival rather than the hoped for decay and collapse of most abandoned brickwork structures. During this time the manor became a popular destination for rambunctious youths and thrillseekers as a reputation for hauntings grew around the abandoned grounds.
The Physician's Duration
The Manor was later granted by the city to an enigmatic and eccentric physician by the name of Vanucutt. He was a well groomed and unctuously polite man who had made his life's work the study of the disturbed and those deemed insane. A locksmith saw to the securing of the servant's quarters into a detaining block for the mentally ill, and a hedge was put up around the servant's quarters.
The physician continued administering to the mentally unsound for nearly forty years. This was a boon to the city as it made room in the gaols for criminals, and they paid him a recompense for each person he tended to. Vanucutt's work was cut short when one of his patients slipped free of her restraints and viciously bit out his throat. The resulting riot that followed saw the death of three city guardsmen and 45 of the 50 patients being held on the grounds.
The Second Fallowing
The Manor would be again empty for another 60 years before being reinhabited. By this time, there was a solid set of myths around the building, that it was the house of the Agenhin's ghost, and that Vanacutt had been a necromancer, as well as a slew of other variations on the haunted house theme.
The grounds were once again occupied, and a crew of gardeners hired to clean up the grounds and dredge the pond. The crews worked for one afternoon before quitting, refusing to work anywhere near the pond. The new Delafow family retained the property and in a pique of arrogance decided to fix the grounds themselves. Their stay lasted an epic 28 days that ended when Lord Delafow in a fit of madness took up his maynor axe and slaughtered his entire family down to the youngest daughter. This act stunned the community and the Manor was called cursed and evil, with locals spitting between their fingers when they spoke its name or walked past it's forlorn gates.
The Last 20 years
The manor stands empty again, seemingly both ancient and immortal in the face of time and the elements. The locals tell the stories, each more fanciful than the last, and it is rare to find a family that doesnt claim some lost member to the Agenhin manor, or have some bony relic that came from the pond, or the mausoleum, etc. Teens frequent the grounds, some for the thrill, others interested in the dark arts and the paraphenalia of the damned and dead.
The Horrible Truth
Agenhin Manor was cursed from the day the first stones were laid. The foundation of the main house was formerly a consectrated barrow that was laid down by the now defunct Council of Bone. This barrow was a prison of sorts for the essential salts and ashes of wicked spirits, spirits that some might misname demons.
Lord Agenhin himself was a hard man and during his time though he was tainted by their presence, he never submitted to their will. During his time, he placated the spirits with offerings of blood and bone made through the mausoleum behind the mansion. The Physician Vanucutt did much the same, though his offering was the torment and screams of his patients as they were preyed upon by these fell and dark spirits. The Delaflows were not as stern as the previous inhabitants, and it was only a matter of time before the constant spiritual assault, unseen by even the Delaflows, broke them and led Lord Edgar Delaflow to hack his only family to death in an orgy of blood and glee before turning the axe blade against his own flesh.
Ending the menace of Agenhin manor would be a difficult matter. The unbound spirits would have to be summoned and bound, or exorcised by a competent cadre of exorcists or sorcerers, and the barrow beneath would have to be resealed and reconsecrated by a Bone Witch, of which there are very few left.
Agenhin's spectre still roams about, a potent creature of ectoplasm and hostility. It could put up a major fight against even a well prepared party. The ghosts of Vanucutt and his patients are enough to drive mediums and psychics into fits of madness, facing them could be an ordeal of its own. Lastly, the demons of the barrow, earthbound and swollen with the malice of the manor are almost beyond mortal means to dispatch...
Invitation - The PCs have been invited to spend an evening in the manor at the behest of a local eccentric willing to dole out gold to anyone who makes it. Unbeknownst to the PCs this is his second attempt as no one survived the first.
Legacy - investing plot device X, the PCs are drawn to the manor as Agenhin himself was a member of the secret society behind the dingus for the plot. There are clues hidden somewhere in the manor, perhaps as simple as a book, or as devious as clues hidden in scrollwork on the grand ballroom's ceiling.
Home Sweet Home - The PCs have been granted Agenhin manor and once they make residence, they begin to experience the malice of those who lie below. Fights erupt among the PCs over the gardens, disposition of the wealth of the manor, strange visions seen on the pond, etc.
The Lost - There are dead bodies everywhere, hundreds sunk into the pond, more burned in the kitchen ovens and dumped into the mausoleum ossuary. While zombies and skeletons are certainly very rare, finding a pack of ghouls fattened on the endless bounty, or wailing hosts of ghosts hungry for the warmth of life...
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? Responses (6)
A solid take on an old idea. While nothing is particularily unique, it is well fleshed out and, perhaps more importantly, very versitile.
Did you by any chance get the name Tekne from me? As in Tekneani Empire (Silver Mask of Ssungar and U'dem-land)?
something about nobles powdering their throats, some sort of poison powder I believe it was. Loved the name, but didnt really notice anything about it afterwards. If you dont like it I can change the name.
Very nice! The sordid history of a building. I liked the time-frame flow.
Nicely done. It has history, explanation, and dramatic components. It has embedded several groups, a nice touch. Two paws up