Friday, March 5, 2010

Grunberg`s Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane

The Asylum lies just off the Old West Road approximately half a day's ride from Dertflinghan. In its hay day, the building and surrounding grounds served as a game lodge for the more sporting of Dertflinghan's nobility. Just over ten years ago, the then cutting edge Austrian psychiatrist Dr. Franz Grunberg spent a considerable amount of his inheritance to purchase the property and then proceeded to convert it into a lunatic asylum.

Dr. Grunberg primarily cares for patients who have shown little response to more conventional treatments. Many of the asylum's occupants are of noble lineage and have been sent to this cast-away edifice so that their families do not have to face the embarrassment of having a mad relative.

The Asylum

The main building is a two-story Gothic manor consisting of three wings on the ground floor, a second story private apartment, and according to some reports, vast underground cellars which are rumoured to connect the crypts and sewer system of Old Dertflinghan. The Dr's second story apartment is a veritable fortress, and although a man of science, he has obviously taken steps to foil both immortal and mortal intruders.

The Grounds

Although much of the lodge's former glory has decayed and crumbled over time, some remnants of the gardens and extended park area are still intact. Being something of a horticulturist himself, Dr. Grunberg has taken a personal interest in the care and reconciliation of the garden. He often puts some of his patients to work in the hopes that the repetitive chores of weeding and digging might help to sooth their savage souls.

The Forest Beyond

Like all occupied areas in this land, the asylum certainly has the feeling of a very small island in an infinite sea of darkness and unknown evil. The doctor often enjoys his chamomile tea on the balcony at night as he stares out into the vast expanse of the shrouded forest below. However, as night descends, many of the above-ground inmates cling to the bars of their windows moaning and mumbling incoherently, as if communicating with some unseen presence in the black woods beyond.

Modelled and Painted By: Jason (aka JET)

Thoughts & Commentary

The moral of this story is - stay away from dollar stores! This setting came on rather quickly as I rummaged around in a shop near our house. Three wooden jewelry boxes and a couple of hours of effort saw the beginnings of an asylum, and more importantly, inspired some details of the story which will come out as the campaign advances.

I've been reading Dracula as I've been working on this "set," and the asylum near Dracula's London property was obviously part of my inspiration. I've removed the teeming streets of London and replaced them with a vast expanse of forest, but the atmosphere will stay very much the same. Hopefully many adventure possibilities will pour forth from both the asylum and its residents.

Thanks for reading,


Ozvortex said...

Awesome job!

sebastosfig said...

awesome indeed

SteelonSand said...

I don't know about everybody else, but this narrative is beginning to creep me out - werewolves and lunatics lurking left right and centre... I wish you'd written the film script for that movie Van Helsing... would have been much better than it was! :-0

Can't wait to see more - some really excellent stuff!