Blackstone was the name of the Theresparin family manor in Cormyr in the 11th century DR. The family and all their belongings disappeared sometime in the Year of the Dracorage, 1018 DR and the home was briefly rumored to be haunted before it was consumed in a fire only days after the disappearance was discovered.
The Blackstone manor was located on the west side of the Starwater River north of Marsember where the river bent to the south. It was situated on a high stone ridge and overlooked the river. In the 11th century, the hill was covered in dense forest. By the 1370s DR, it was a grass-covered place for sheep to graze.
The building was constructed primarily of stone with wooden beams for roof support. There was also a stable for horses.
The Theresparin family was relatively wealthy and Blackstone was finely furnished. The main dining area was a feast hall surrounded by elaborately carved balconies.
The family business of weaving and raising sheep was headquartered at Blackstone.
Other than stone walls and stout doors, the manor had no special defenses. Years later, after it fell into ruin, the Crown built a watchtower on the site near the rocky remains.
Blackstone was built by the Theresparin family when their fortunes were on the rise, having made good profits from their weaving business and real estate. Naronder Theresparin was the patriarch of the family at the time and, one day in 1018 DR, he failed to show up at an important meeting with court officials. This was unusual behavior for the merchant who had a reputation for paying attention to details. When news of other missed appointments was passed up to the authorities, it became an item on the king's docket. King Arangor decided to send four men to Blackstone to determine the reason for the absences.
The king chose Lareth Huntsilver, Aiken Wyvernspur, Gardrath Roaringhorn, and Aubleth Crownsilver to investigate the Theresparin disappearance because he was impressed with their willing cooperation and resourcefulness regarding the mysterious Harp of Healing incident earlier that year. The four rode out to Blackstone and found it completely empty and devoid of life. The furnishings were gone, the walls were bare, the cellars were empty, and even the horses and their fodder had been removed. They searched the entire house, from rooftop to cellar, and found nothing except a very large bloodstain covering the floor of the feast hall, as if many humans or a number of large beasts had been slaughtered there. Two of them stayed behind to guard the place while the other two rode to the nearest outpost to request assistance from the War Wizards and then returned.
The four courtiers decided to camp in the house, just in case suspected bandits came back to search for well-hidden wealth (which was rumored to be considerable). They set up watches and took turns resting, but no tangible creatures disturbed them that night. However, all four men heard a wavering woman's voice whispering in their ears, saying things like "Gone, all gone away", and "Elven work, without a doubt". They whirled their swords all around the empty space, hoping to strike an invisible being, but made no contact. Lareth Huntsilver reported also hearing a man's voice using a lilting tone to say "The blood calls them down. There is no escaping them." and, closer to dawn, "Watch for the sword that turns into a pegasus. She who bears it can break the gates."
The War Wizards arrived the next day and cast their spells, but all attempted magical means of finding the missing people and their belongings failed to reveal their fate. Having found nothing new, the four investigators and the wizards departed for their homes, leaving Blackstone abandoned. On the night of the following day, the manor house was seen burning furiously like a beacon, despite not containing much in the way of fuel. Just before dawn, the building collapsed into its cellars, leaving nothing but fire-seared stones to bear witness to the intense heat.
Eventually, the Crown took possession of the land and held it in stewardship for the Theresparins in case they ever returned. A watchtower was built on the hill and used as an output for the Purple Dragons.
Rumors & LegendsEdit
Rumors of the haunting of Blackstone were borne out of the experiences of the four investigators who all reported hearing at least one whispered voice during their night of vigil. The large amount of blood apparently spilled on the premises was cause for speculation that the Theresparins were tortured into revealing where their material riches were hidden. According to the family accountant, their riches amounted to at least 80,000 gold pieces and several times that amount in trade bars and gems.