The Lopper

Vance Naetressle


The Lopper was the only one of the Five Prisoners from Ravengro. He was responsible for the murders of nineteen children starting in the year of 4640.

He was the subject of a series of interviews conducted by a young Gharen Muricar that were published and sold throughout Ustalav under the title The Lopper.


From The Lopper: A Look Into the Mind of a Madman by Gharen Muricar:

Naetressle couldn’t remember exactly when, but it seemed to be a few years before the killings that he started seeing a figure in the Watcher’s Wood sometimes during his long walks. He would call out to it, but it would disappear. He soon realized that it was a man, though he never showed his face to him. He wore a long, dark, hooded cloak. Naetressle never felt fear when he saw the man, he just wondered who he was. Every time he would run after him, the figure would lead Naetressle to a circle of large stones and vanish.

Then, that winter, Naetressle began to hear a voice in his head. At first it was at night, and he thought they were dreams. But soon he started hearing the voice during his waking hours, and that’s when he began to be afraid. The voice was an old man, and he would say all kinds of things in many strange languages. Sometimes he would repeat words over and over again. Naetressle never saw the man in the woods ever again, but this voice lived in his head for quite a while.

After almost a year of this voice, Naetressle had lost most of his senses. The voice began to tell him to do things, and he found himself doing them. At first they were meaningless things like sleeping in the cellar for a week at a time. He started to have large gaps in his memory, where he didn’t remember what he had done for a week or he would remember the intervening days differently.

Then, in Neth of 4640, the voice told him to go down to Ravengro and get the first two children he saw. For some reason he found himself unable to resist. UNWILLING to resist. He followed the voice’s directions completely, even when it began instructing him to take more children from the town of Ravengro and kill them. In all, Naetressle murdered nineteen children, sparing one, Gibs Hephenus, a boy who was made to stand in the corner while Naetressle took the heads of the nineteen children with an axe in the cellar of his house.

After the nineteenth child was killed, Naetressle woke up and the cloaked figure was in his room. He couldn’t see it clearly in the dark, but he knew who it was. It spoke to him in the same horrible voice that had haunted his head for more than a year now. It told him he was to kill the last child and then himself, but at last Naetressle was able to resist.

The next day Naetressle woke up and released Gibs. The boy lead the local sheriff back out to the cabin in the wood and found Naetressle standing on the front porch looking dazed and unable to speak. They then found the bodies of the nineteen little children in nineteen graves in the cellar of the house. Naetressle was arrested and convicted of the deaths.

The voice never truly stopped in Naetressle’s head. He didn’t know who the cloaked man was, but he knew that it was a demon of some kind. He was positive that this creature was not from this world. Naetressele never fully recovered his senses. For the most part, he was just a weary man truly sorry for what he did.

Gibs Hephenus was present the day of Naetressle’s verdict in court and cried when the jury convicted the hermit. Naetressle was sentenced to be hanged, but a series of bureaucratic roadblacks kept having it pushed back. He spent the next twenty years in Harrowstone Prison, where he died during the fire of 4661.

As of this writing, the circle of large stones that Naetressle claimed to have been lead to by his demon has never been found.

The Lopper

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