28th day of Lamashan, 4710
Like every morning, the fog rolls into Carrion Hill, swallowing up the lower districts. Carrion Hill is a massive city built on a collection of ancient ruins that rise up out of the Wrythe, a massive marshland that lies on the southern banks of the Kingfisher River of Ustalav. For hundreds of years, it has changed hands from men to monsters and back again, once under the control of Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, and his undead armies. Gothic architecture rises high into the sky, claustrophobic alleys wind without and the entire city seems to be cobbled together piecemeal as buildings rise above others, windows open into other buildings, corridors end in sudden walls or reliefs of screaming gargoyles or worse.
Whether or not you've lived in Carrion Hill for a while, are passing through or just arriving, you find yourself walking through the Tangle, the most confusing and built-upon section of the Hill. No one else walks the fog-clouded streets with you, and it seems that no one else is out and about this morning. The entire city gives off an impeccable aura of desertion and fear. Dirty faces of children crowd window sills and cracked doorways, flicking away and disappearing after a glance. Cupboard shops built into the walls of the city remain unapologetically closed, and business carts lay empty and abandoned on the road.
On street corners near squares, small parks, gardens, on top of a box or not, stand men carrying lanterns, dressed in all black leather armor and chains. These are the Crows, the guardsmen of Carrion Hill. As you pass, closely or not, the guard calls out futilely into the morning fog, desperation in his voice-- he's maybe been at this for hours, alone, on the streets:
“Carrion Hill needs heroes! Men of stout heart and bravery are
asked to come to Crown Manor with all haste, there to receive
a task worthy of their skill and talents and a reward of suitable
magnificence. Make haste to Crown Manor! Make haste!”