There sit the ruins of Castle Dunkenny, and ruins shall they ever remain. Built no one remembers when, those walls were occupied by Celt and Roman, Free Irishmen and English, Parliamentarian and Confederate, British and Republican, Free Stater and IRA.

But none have truly held it.

Often it’s a simple thing that leads the men to leave. A strange scent, foul noises echoing in mossy hallways, feelings of unease where none should be called for. Others have reported being poked and prodded by unseen forces, cut and bloodied as they slept. Many disappeared altogether, with the legends painting them as being found, if at all, in tattered shreds.

Strange legends have grown up about the place, and locals give it a wide berth; all those who have entered since the oldest days have been interlopers from elsewhere, coveting the strategic location amid rich tilled farmland. Only one family, descendents of the lordly family that was among the first inhabitants of Dunkenny, dares farm there.

All this is ancient history to the head of that family, though he does find his way down into the other cellar from time to time (the one hidden behind the preserves shelf) to polish the family collection of bleached skulls.

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