Lestrange Family

No one is certain just when the first Lestranges arrived in Mith-Ih-Kwuh Valley. Did they follow the other settlers of the Oregon Trail? Were they there all along, lurking in the deep woods where even the Miluk dared not trespass? There are no records to confirm just when they appeared, and the Lestranges haven't offered any insight on the subject. However, history does tell us about the first encounter with the Lestrange Family in Oregon, and the consequences of that fateful meeting.

A Lestrange Encounter

Edgar Walker and Abigail Rocklin were star-crossed lovers from feuding families. In the summer of 1855, the teen-aged couple made a habit of slipping away from the settlement for private liaisons in the eastern hills. They had heard the Miluk tales about those forested hills, which were supposedly teeming with evil spirits and deadly creatures. But they wrote it off as superstition, and counted on those legends to keep others away. For the most part, they were right, as nobody from Mythic Wood ever discovered their meetings. When they were discovered, they would soon come to wish that their parents had been the ones to find them.

During a walk in the woods, the youths became distracted in conversation and lost their way. It would later be described as if the forest itself were changing to try to confuse them. For hours they wandered, trying to find the path home again. When they finally discovered a large cabin, they thought they were saved. They knocked on the door, hoping to find someone inside that could guide them back to civilization. When they received no answer, the desperate couple let themselves in to get out of the cold. They started a fire in the fireplace and huddled together under some blankets, and before long they fell asleep.

The historical records become more vague about exactly what happened when Abigail Rocklin awakened. What is known is that she described awakening in the cabin, but the fire had gone out. The only illumination was a pulsing green light that she couldn't see the source of. She was surrounded by several figures in black robes. Her scream roused Edgar, and then she said there was a flash of light, and several of the robed people stumbled backward. Edgar pushed Abigail toward the door of the cabin and told her to run, and to go to his family and tell them that "the Lestranges are here". She didn't understand what it meant, but she was terrified and obeyed her beloved Edgar. The cabin was far out of sight before she realized that Edgar was not with her.

Abigail was lost in the hills for two days before a search party found her. At her insistence, they took her to the Walker Ranch, and she delivered the message to Edgar's father, telling him what had transpired. Whatever it meant to the Walkers, it spurred them to immediate action. They rounded up an enormous posse, including several Rocklins, and marched east into the hills.

The posse eventually located the Lestrange cabin, where they found Edgar's body nailed to a tree some fifteen feet off the ground. The word "MUDBLOOD" was carved into the trunk over and over. The records become surprisingly sparse when describing what happened next. The Lestranges appeared, with conflicting reports on their numbers describing anywhere from five to fifty of them. A battle broke out, and the people of Mythic Wood were badly beaten and sent running back to the village to lick their wounds and bury the dead that they were able to bring back with them. Later the same evening after the battle, the Lestranges turned up in the village. Several buildings burned that night, and at least twelve people went missing, never to be seen again.

After that first encounter with the Lestranges, the people of the valley didn't dare to confront them again. The bizarre hill people became the stuff of legend; bogeymen to haunt the residents' dreams and keep their children well-behaved, "or the Lestranges will come and take you away". The entire settlement had a new pall cast over it. To make matters worse, Abigail Rocklin took her own life several weeks later, and the feud between the Rocklins and the Walkers ignited to new heights, each family blaming the other for the loss of their child.

Of course, the wizarding population of Mythic Wood remembers history differently. Those with ties to England and France remember the Lestrange family's history with the Dark Arts and reputation for questionable sanity. How and why they came to Mith-Ih-Kwuh Valley remains unknown, but is generally assumed to be the same strange quality that attracts all manner of wizards and magical creatures.

The Celestial Dusk

The Lestranges still live in the eastern hills to the modern day, and their relationship with the town is no friendlier than it ever was. In fact, the situation has grown more dire, as it has become apparent that the Lestranges are the central figures in a cult called the Celestial Dusk. The Dusk's people live all over the eastern hills, making their territory difficult to define. This lack of specific borders has led to far too many tense encounters over the years, as the Duskites rarely tolerate trespassers on what they consider their land.

The Celestial Dusk reveres the Lestrange Family as prophets, and has sometimes described them as angels, come to lead the way to what they call "the New Dawn". What little else is understood about them is that this New Dawn will be some kind of promised land or golden age after the unbelievers are purged. For the most part, they keep to themselves, but there have been instances of Duskites leaving their territory to steal supplies, even engaging in the occasional highway robbery. Though rare, these crimes have had violence and casualties involved when things go badly.

Law enforcement is basically powerless to do anything about the Celestial Dusk, as the Duskites know the hills better than anyone else, and their numbers are so uncertain. Besides, there is also the matter of the Lestranges themselves. Running into a few Duskites can be dangerous, but even they can be overpowered (and on rare occasions, reasoned with). But nobody wants to attract the attention of the Lestranges.

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