Wildeacre is an estate in the rural country north of Piskaro; it has long been the seat of the Lacey family. The estate is currently owned and operated by the brother and sister team of Harry and Beatrice Lacey.
There is something rotten at work in Wildeacre.
Beatrice is unduly and obsessively attached to the land of Wildeacre. Her love of the estate and its farmland is a dark, pagan undercurrent of passion; whether through delusion or supernatural agency, the land whispers to her in her dreams.
When Beatrice realized that her brother would inherit the land she loved due to entailment and that she would inevitably be married off and sent to live on her husband’s property, she seduced Wildeacre’s groundskeeper, Ralph, and convinced him to assassinate her father. Once her father was out of the way, she seduced her craven, weak-willed brother Harry, the new lord of the estate, in order to maintain her connection to Wildeacre.
Harry would be an utter failure as the master of Wildeacre if it were not for his sister’s knowledge of how to administer the farmlands. He is over-educated in academics, and under-educated in practical matters. Worse yet, while at Creedhall he fell in a crowd of boys who used him, literally, as their whipping boy. Now masochism is an ingrained part of his personality. Indeed, it was the discovery of his masochistic streak that allowed his sister to seduce him into an incestuous relationship; now she uses her body and a whip to bend Harry to her will–she is the true master at Wildeacre.
But what of Harry’s bride, the child-like and fragile Cecilia? She seems relieved that her husband’s amorous attention is directed elsewhere, but is she truly as naive as she appears? Perhaps she is more involved in the horrors at Wildeacre than anyone realizes.
After Ralph murdered Beatrice’s father, she set a man-trap in his path so she might dispose of her inconvenient lover and assassin. The trap crushed his legs, and Ralph was left to die alone and in great pain. However, his specter continues to haunt Wildeacre, dragging behind it the trap and chains used to end his mortal life.
Complicating matters is Ralph’s gypsy mother, who is known to be a witch. Formerly a tenant of Wildeacre, she disappeared soon after her son’s death. Is she behind the reappearance of Ralph as a haunting shade, or will she seek aid in giving her departed son the peace of eternity?
* * *
All of the above was inspired by and bastardized from Phillipa Gregory’s novel Wideacre. Consider this the start of a Gothic estatebox, a sandbox limited to a single horrible country estate.