The Bloody Bonnets: Part I
Origins of the jack 'o lantern. Part I of the Chronicles of the Bloody Bonnets, as recounted by Dahlchus Mithryen.
Official Report by Dahlchus Mithryen to the Imperial Governor, East Sindar Region:
Arrived in Barrowmarch without incident from the port at Lake Kine. The common folk chafe at new taxes for the Imperium. Banditry and superstition are common.
From the personal journal of Dahlchus Mithryen:
The Barrowmarch is a land of moors and mist enshrouded by the shadow of the Sindar Mountains, a place where it is easy to become lost in and hard to escape.
When I arrived, I assumed I would be warmed at the hearth of the new Chieftain at Lairdsmont. The wood-and-hide stronghold, modest by our standards, sits on a crag overlooking the trading town of Lairdston below. Yet high as his redoubt may be, Master Dunald Cumber sits uneasily on his throne there. His fledgling overlordship is conditional upon delivering a promised but as-yet unrealized bounty from the Barrowmarch’s suzerainty to the Amal Court. From what I’ve seen of the local unrest — brigandry, theft, murdered men-at-arms, and worse — Dunald’s efforts to win his seat may cost him far more than just the allotment of wool, timber, and spirits he owes to the Empire.
As I waited on Dunald to see me, I asked some wretched servants what the cause of the strife was. Why had the locals so vociferously objected to Dunald’s rule? Most would not deign to answer. Yet one wench did begin to tell me of a curious local custom of carving grinning faces into harvest gourds. It had something to do with “the Bloody Bonnets,” whoever they are. I did not hear the rest of the explanation, as an overseer intervened, dragging the poor servant out. She returned later — blackened and bruised — uninterested in speaking further with me at the meager welcome feast, except to squeak the blasted phrase, “‘Tis the Bloody Bonnets” once again before scurrying off.
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