Hi! We're Project Derailed! Making nerdy content on the internet!

Fables Around the Table: Curse – The Ties That Bind

Disclaimer: The Curse of the House of Rookwood is a tabletop RPG published by Nerdy Pup Games. The following text is supplemental material created by Fiona L.F. Kelly for the podcast Fables Around the Table: Curse, an actual-play podcast that uses the Rookwood system. This is the material distributed to the players about the book mentioned in episode 3 of the podcast. As much as we love Rookwood, this document is fan-created for the lore of the podcast and is not official Rookwood material. You can listen to Fables: Curse wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to check out the full Rookwood rulebook upon its official release!

The Ties That Bind: A History of Rookwood Family Ghosts and Curses, by Michael Rookwood

Part One: Ghosts

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Please reference the official Rookwood rulebook for more information on ghosts]

Rookwood Ghosts

There seems to be a correlation with the family curse and the power of Rookwood ghosts. I fear that Elias (I), the most present and well-known ghost in the family, is perhaps the most powerful ghost I have encountered in all my years. With another family, one less acquainted with the supernatural, the house would seem unlivable from being far too occupied. There’s always the feeling of something watching. Something lurking.

There’s always someone standing just out of view or standing next to your reflection. However, the Rookwoods are luckily quite adept at weird, and other people, if they don’t want to believe, simply won’t.

The family ghosts are mostly well behaved. Some come out situationally. Poor Kelly Rookwood is trying to always protect outsiders from us. However, the sweet girl is usually not powerful enough to actually intervene. Though I think she may provide a great deal of comfort.

What do these ghosts want? What is their purpose? Truthfully, they seem to simply want to protect or advise the family. Elias in particular seems content to just watch. In my dealings with him, it seems he simply wants the family to go on the right path.

All across New England—and even the world–the supernatural are rising up. The absence of the Rookwoods has been noticed by more than just the Rookwood family ghosts. As a final note, I’ve come across something peculiar in my research. Though this is normally seen in the Curse of the Fading Echo and Forgotten Memory, the Rookwood family ghosts seem to be able to pull others through the family history to show it to them. It appears that only the most powerful, like Elias, are able to use this ability. It is a remarkable quirk that merits further study. It is unclear if it is related to the curse.

Part Two: The Rookwoods

The following dates are estimated from family documents and journals

Elias Rookwood I

Circa 1660- September 15, 1705

Curse of the Dryad

Wood harvested for house, tree stump in rear of house

You may have heard of Elias Rookwood.

After all, Elias was a famed monster hunter—a respected, if whimsical, profession in his time. Though history may have started to forget him, there wasn’t a person in the latter half of the 17th century that didn’t know his name.

You see, in those days, people still knew about the supernatural. The things that are now just quaint folklore and stories to scare children were known to be fact. People knew that there were dark things out there. Powerful things. Eerie things. As everyone knew at the time, to deny witches and ghosts and demons was to deny an almighty God.

Elias Abbot was born in 1660 in London, England. His father was a playwright, and his mother died in childbirth. From a young age, Elias showed a great deal of physical and mental aptitude. His father, being an artist himself, was open to whatever career his son decided to pursue, though he had to admit his shock when Elias was scouted by and subsequently joined Rookwood.

Rookwood was an elite group that many thought didn’t really exist. They sought to protect the world from the supernatural. They were the most elite group of monster hunters in all of England.

Though they may have thought this offer was a joke at first, they quickly found out it was very real. At the young age of only 15, Elias left his home for his training. As was tradition, he left his old life, and his old name, behind.

For the next decade, he acted as an apprentice. At first, his tasks were simple and even mind-numbingly boring. He swept the floors and studied the dullest texts about sigils and theory. However, as time progressed, he started to learn the truly fascinating details about the supernatural and how the world really works.

Elias was well-liked. He was charming and whip smart. He surpassed his peers, and even some of the younger of his mentors in ability. When it came time for his final tests to leave his apprenticeship, Elias passed with flying colors.

Elias was adept at solving physical problems. He could get close enough to a vampire to stake it, and he knew how to best restrain a werewolf until sunrise. However, he found these tasks boring and tedious. He liked the challenge of a more complicated supernatural pest. He enjoyed reading through newspapers to find evidence of a boogeyman or solving a particularly complex haunting. So, it surprised no one that when he jumped at the opportunity to study witches in the new world.

In 1692, while Elias was in his prime, across the ocean, in Salem, Massachusetts, Abigail Williams and Betty Parris succumbed to massive fits. The town physician was called, and declared the fits to be the results of powerful witches. For the next fifteen months, The Salem Witch Trials would occur, leading to the execution of 20 citizens of the town of Salem.

However, this was not the first instance of witchcraft in New England. In Connecticut in 1647, Alse Young was hanged for the crime of witchcraft. A serious bout of influenza ripped through the town, causing a great deal of fatalities for which witches were blamed. Thirty years later, her daughter, Alice Young Beamon, was tried and hanged for the same crime in Massachusetts.

Elias and his monster hunting order were intrigued by the goings-on of the new world. In these New England settlements, it seemed that witchcraft was rampant. Though the pilgrims traveled far to remain pure of heart and soul, corruption ran deep within their communities. Elias went to the new world representing Rookwood to purge it of witches, but, in his journey, there was temptation.

When he arrived in New England in 1692, he discovered a fledgling witch. He pursued and killed the witch. Another from the coven saw this and sent word back to the others. They swooped in and brought Elias out to the woods.

Their confrontation was, shockingly, peaceful. He knew he would be easily overpowered by the coven that already had their roots deep in the New England woods. Because of this, he used his charm and wit to sway the witches to not attack. Luckily, the witches were not interested in physical confrontation. They offered him a deal they could not pass up. Now that there was a monster hunter in New England, the witches simply wanted to be left alone. In exchange, they could offer him incredible power. Power over the unfamiliar woods in America.

The witches had a great deal to offer. Why bother purging witches from the woods when there is great power to be gained? Elias accepted the witchs’ offer.

Anyone who knows how these stories go knows that it is not that simple. The witches held up their end of the bargain. He was gifted with abilities of the dryads. He had power of trees and could send messages through their leaves. It was like he became one with the forest. Elias gained incredible power, yes. However, he could only control the things that he was. It was as if his very soul had become part of the woods of New England.

The gift soon showed its true self: a curse in disguise. Elias had the ability to control trees because he was becoming one.

It started with a bit of twig in his hair. His wife pointed it out over dinner. He reached up to brush it off, but it stubbornly stayed. His young daughter grabbed the twig and pulled, freeing it from his mane. It felt as though she had pulled it from his skull.

However, the incident was quickly forgotten as an oddity. That is, until he found moss and bark growing on him as well.

Soon, great branches sprouted from his head like antlers. He was covered in moss and beginning to stiffen. Even his personality became more wooden.

Despite all of this, he kept up his monster hunting duties, raising his children to fight the supernatural just the same. However, it was written in his diary that the most horrific day of his life was when his eldest daughter’s hair began to grow unimaginably fast and in fanged mats. He knew that the witch’s curse was not just over him, but his family.

Still, Elias had a duty.  He used his abilities to fight the evil creatures that threatened the good people of New England. His children followed suit. However, it was not long until the curse overtook him.

Elias was the first Rookwood to fall.

On the shores of New England, his body tore into the ground, setting roots deep into the earth. His arms stretched up towards the sky. Elias’s body was ripped asunder as his body twisted up towards Heaven and bore down deep into Hell. Elias had finally become the trees that he controlled.

It is not yet known why Elias wandered towards the beaches. Perhaps something deep within him was calling him home. In any case, the great tree was unlike any other to be found in the new world at the time.

Where Elias was planted was where the Rookwoods built their manor. He marked their territory. He stood strong and the house grew to meet his massive size. However, as the family grew, so did the house. The Rookwoods often succumbed to their curse to be frozen in time, like Elias. When a new addition to the home was needed, they took saws to his branches and harvested him.

Elias was left a stump, though his roots are deep in the ground all around the estate. They used parts of him to build a family room. They placed gargoyles and ashes of his children and his children’s children in his walls. For centuries he watched his family grow. He held them up. They stepped on him. Children learned to walk on his floors and then were subsequently used to adorn his walls.

In the centuries since his death, Elias has watched the family closely. He chooses his visage to fit the occasion, usually at varying stages of his curse. When he wants to be particularly intimidating, he shows off the branches protruding from his skull.

Elias is still an active member of the Rookwood family, and he appears as needed. Sometimes he may go unseen for years or even decades. However, make no mistake: Elias Rookwood is always the patriarch of the family. His eyes and ears are everywhere. We are housed within him and should never forget that fact.

In the research conducted, it seems that Elias has come increasingly strong over the centuries since his death. Due to the amount of time he has been a spirit, one must speculate that Elias is extremely powerful. The effect on curses on life and afterlife is not yet fully understood. However, there is reason to believe that Elias has not yet shown the family his full power. If he ever utilizes his capabilities, it would likely be a haunting unlike the family has ever seen before.

Gail Rookwood I, nee Goode

Wife of Elias I, Mother of Penelope I, Virgil I, Elizabeth I, Gail II, Elias II

Circa 1665-circa 1750

Buried on manor grounds

Gail was the original matriarch of the Rookwood family. It was her suggestion to Elias that the family start to go by the surname Rookwood rather than Abbot. After all, the family names are meant to describe the family. What are the Rookwoods if not monster hunters?

Like Elias, Gail traveled from England and settled in the new world. She married into the family shortly before their departure for America. After arriving, she gave birth to Penelope I, Virgil I, Elizabeth I, Elias II, and Gail II.

Not much is known of Gail. However, her impact on the family should not be forgotten. It was her tender hand that cared for each natural-born Rookwood as they succumbed to their curses. In some of the older art owned by the family, she appears as a mother figure, caring for the battle-worn and war-weary Rookwoods.

According to family records, she was buried at the base of the tree that was Elias. His root system is likely too complex to confirm or deny this tale.

Penelope Rookwood I

1694- December 3, 1727

Curse of Medusa’s Veil

Framed hair necklace in family room marked Penelope I

Penelope is the eldest daughter of Gail I and Elias I. She is also famed in family history as being the first to discover the curse, though she had not yet developed her own symptoms. According to retellings of the tale—as well as Elias himself—she, as a toddler, noticed a branch protruding from her father’s hair. This would also later confirm that physical effects of family curses cannot be removed by normal means; they will simply return.

This discovery was not Penelope’s last. Her curse came up before her siblings’. The hair she tried to cut short so she could accompany her father on dangerous missions under the guise of pretending to be her brother, Virgil, grew back in an instant and continued to grow. It was at this point that Elias realized that the curse did not stop with him.

She was taught to read and did so until her hair grew to cover her eyes. In early New England, she was known for her elaborate hairstyles. Her true hair color is likely much darker than has been depicted in family portraits. Penelope was known for using hair powder to avoid having to do the dangerous job of washing her fanged tresses.

She passed with her younger brother, Virgil I while battling trolls after her hair caught fire in the battle.

Virgil Rookwood I

1695-December 3, 1727

Curse of the Burning Heart

Urn decorated with tree carving in family room

Following in his sister Penelope’s footsteps, Virgil manifested the curse of the burning heart and joined his siblings and father in monster hunting.

He was the only of his siblings to marry and have children. Not much is known about Virgil except for his peculiar distaste for certain foods and his unfortunate habit of setting his sister, Penelope I’s, hair on fire. Perhaps this was part of the reason for his estrangement from his youngest sister, Gail II.

He succumbed to his curse in a brilliant flame of victory over trolls that threatened New England. Unfortunately, this burst of flame marked the end of Virgil and killed his sister, Penelope I, in the process.

Elizabeth Rookwood I

1698-April 14, 1750

Curse of the Shroud

Jar in family room marked Elizabeth I

Dear Elizabeth Rookwood followed in her mother’s footsteps in many ways. She was more of a caretaker than a monster hunter, though her propensity for having fog rolling around her ankles provided cover more than once for her more adventurous family members.

Even before her death, Elizabeth seemed rather ghostly. In societal circles, Elizabeth feigned simply being sickly to mask her pale and foggy appearance. Though it is speculated that a beautiful ghostly woman in white urban legends spawn from Elizabeth herself.

Elizabeth is presumed to have succumb to her curse. With the curse of the shroud, it is often hard to tell. While accompanying her nephew on a sea serpent adventure in the Atlantic ocean, a massive fog rolled over the ship, despite the weather being clear just moments before. When it cleared, Elizabeth was gone. Her niece, Felicity I captured a bit of the fog that took Elizabeth I in a jar, starting the tradition of honoring the family members succumbing to the curse of the shroud.

Elias Rookwood II

1700- January 16, 1725

Curse of the Gaping  Maw

Jawbone marked Elias II

Poor Elias Rookwood never could satisfy his hunger. Though his mother, the saintly Gail I, tried as she might to feed him, he grew hungrier and hungrier by the day. He was best known for eating all of the foods his brother, Virgil I, was unable to finish. He speculated in his journals that his brother faked his dislike of many foods so his plate could become more full with his sibling’s scraps.

Elias II is perhaps best known for his extensive journals that chronicle the first generation of Rookwoods. He is also credited with penning much of the family cookbook.

It’s unclear if Elias II succumb to his curse or if he simply cannibalized himself from hunger.

Gail Rookwood II

February 14, 1704-June 24, 1778

Curse of the Abyss

Name in black lead on stained glass west window in family room

Gail II was almost vampiric according to her siblings’ accounts. When her curse manifested, she could not stand the light. She became entirely nocturnal as a result. Of course, this added to the rumors surrounding the family. She was often cared for by her sister, Elizabeth. However, the two could not have been more different. One was light and one was darkness.

Gail had a particular interest in studying and recording the peculiarities of the monsters that resided in New England’s forest. She started the family’s extensive records on monsters.

She appears to the family as a ghost more than Elias I’s other children. Though unconfirmed, many speculate that the whispers coming from the closet of the southern-most bedroom on the second floor are from her.

She succumb to her curse during the solar eclipse of 1778. Some family records at the time speculate that she caused the celestial event. She dictated in her will that she wanted to be honored through stained glass, to recognize the dichotomy of her and her sister. Her name appears, spelled out by shadows of lead between the panes of glass, at the end of each day.

Grace Rookwood I, nee Marshall

Wife of Virgil I, Mother of Thomas I and Felicity I


Cremated, added to Virgil I’s urn

Grace married Virgil I. She had two children: Thomas I and Felicity I. She was known for being a good mother and wife.

She died approximately 1760, comfortably in bed. She was cremated and added to Virgil’s urn.

Thomas Rookwood I

July 1, 1720-June 22, 1760

Curse of the Burning Heart

In urn marked Thomas I in family room

Like his father, Thomas was afflicted with the curse of the burning heart. This was the first time two Rookwoods ever bore the same curse. However, they did not bear the curse at the same time. It was his father’s death that set off Thomas’s curse.

To honor his father’s legacy, Thomas became an accomplished monster hunter. He succumb to his curse midway through battle with witches, setting off fires that nearly burned New Haven to the ground.

Felicity Rookwood I

September 11, 1722-December 24, 1750

Curse of the Rookery

Name carved into side of Raven Coop

Felicity was the first and only daughter of Virgil I and Grace Rookwood. She is best known for her affinity for birds. In fact, the family speculated she may not be cursed at all–that is until she began to sprout feathers.

Wherever she went, her beloved birds followed, much to the dismay of her other family members. Though not the most stealthy in an enclosed area, Felicity’s ravens were quite useful when fighting the supernatural. However, to the horror of all those around her, Felicity succumbed to her curse by becoming dinner for her beloved birds.

Breaking from family tradition, Felicity’s name is carved into the side of her raven coop rather than being placed in the family room. To honor those on the rookery in the family room, a stuffed bird is placed in the bone cages of those with The Curse of the Oussary. She still shows herself to the family occasionally, mostly caring for her beloved birds.

Margaret Rookwood I, nee Winchester

Wife of Thomas I, Mother of Jamieson I

1720- June 22, 1760

Cremated, added to Thomas I’s urn

Margaret was the first of the non-Rookwoods to also be an accomplished monster hunter. As family legend goes, she met Thomas in battle with a particularly stubborn fey creature. The two fell in love and went on to have only one child together out of fear of drawing the wrong kind of attention to the family as multiple children discovered their curses.

She perished when Thomas succumbed to his curse.

Jamieson Rookwood I

October 27, 1745-November 15, 1799

Curse of the Oussary

Ribs made into cage for raven, hand buried with Olivia I

Jamieson was the first and only son of Thomas I and Margaret I. He is remembered as being eccentric and thoughtful. When he discovered his beloved aunt Felicity weeping over the death of her favorite raven, he reanimated the bird for her. He kept the charade going until the bird became too decayed to fly. In the honor of his gesture, the bird was stuffed and placed in his rib cage after his death.

He kept an extensive list of themed family funerals and memorials, should particular curses come up.

He is the only Rookwood to make the family room his bedroom.

He succumb to his curse trying to reanimate his wife’s skeleton for his son, Jeremy I’s, wedding as a joke. He enjoys telling this story.

Olivia Rookwood I, nee Taylor

Wife of Jamieson Rookwood, Mother of Margaret II and Jeremy I


Buried in back gardens

Olivia was nearly as eccentric as her husband, which marked a strange age for the Rookwood family. Though they were clearly within high society, their odd habits nearly led to them being shun by all of New England. However, it was Jamieson’s marriage to Olivia that solidified the family and added greatly to their fortune.

Olivia dabbled in the occult and was rumored to be able to speak to the dead. Her favorite thing to do was to scare her friends at parties by pretending to become possessed. Though she was the eldest Taylor daughter, a powerful member of a powerful family, there was no one to marry her off to but strange, eccentric Thomas Rookwood. Luckily, the two loved one another.

She died after a short battle with influenza. Her ghost loves to recount the story of when she first died and Thomas chopped off his own hand so he could hold hers for eternity. She does think that Thomas’s prank with her corpse would have been very funny.

Margaret Rookwood II

August 11, 1769-August 12, 1769

No curse manifested

Buried in back gardens

Margaret Rookwood II lived only one day, but her family remembers her forevermore.

Jeremy Rookwood I

December 17, 1770-March 13, 1805

Curse of the Gargoyle

Statue placed next to door, watching who comes in to the room

There was never anyone so opposite to his father as Jeremy was to Jamieson. Where his father was eccentric and warm, Jeremy was stoic and at times, even cold. It is no surprise that he manifested the Curse of the Gargoyle.

Jeremy was focused on seriousness and business. He wanted to bring glory back to his family name. He even spoke of leaving monster hunting altogether. He believed that it would be the key to stopping the family curse. As family legend goes, Elias visited him. Jeremy came out of that discussion with a petrified left arm. He never spoke of straying away from  monster hunting again.

He succumb to his curse in a battle with a bogeyman.

Chastity Rookwood

Wife of Jeremy Rookwood, Mother of ???

April 10, 1773-July 25, 1824

Buried in back gardens

Chastity married Jeremy Rookwood on the suggestion of her family. According to her journals, she resented him and the rest of the family. She fretted over the curses and what it would mean for her children.






Wendy Rookwood I, nee Phillips

Wife of ???, Mother of Elias III

March 17, 1795-July 1, 1845

Buried in back gardens

Wendy married in to the Rookwood family. Family records for the time are somewhat scarce. She bore one son named Elias (III).

Elias Rookwood III

Circa winter 1820- July 13, 1900

Curse of the Mocking Visage

Mirror in family room

Elias took a great deal of pride in being named after the family progenitor. In fact, it was his enthusiasm that got the family back on track, so to speak. Where Jeremy Rookwood (I) had repaired their name with common folk, Elias Rookwood brought fear back into the hearts of monsters when they heard the name Rookwood.

He made trips around New England and even worldwide to suppress dark forces. He was also the first in the family to manifest his particular curse.

Elias lived longer than many Rookwoods. He succumbed to his curse, but many still report seeing him through the mirrors in the house.

Mary Rookwood I, nee Smith

Wife of Elias III, Mother to Gail III, Elizabeth II, Thomas II

June 22, 1826-August 3, 1899

Buried in back gardens

Mary Rookwood has a place of honor in the Rookwood family history. Without her, Elias (III)’s revival of the family line would not be possible. Though Mary knew nothing about monsters when she first married Elias, by the time of her death, there was no better versed monster hunter on the face of the earth. Many of the supernatural discoveries of the 19th century are due to her influence and research.

Her cause of death is unknown, but it is rumored that some of the flowers that arrived at the house after her death were sent from some of the most ghastly monsters the world has ever seen, just to pay a bit of respect to a formidable enemy.

Gail Rookwood III

June 28, 1845-July 23, 1905

Curse of the Ironmonger

Iron lamp on family room wall

Perhaps it was the hustle and bustle of the industrial revolution that made Gail’s curse manifest. In any case, her powers meant that the Rookwoods were able to keep up with the monsters that were evolving with the times. In the older parts of New Haven, some street lamps still bear marks of her twisting and bending them to apprehend the beasts in the night. Though she was hard and cold, she was also quite progressive. She insisted that, if her children bore the family curse, then they would also bear the family name. She had two children: Harlan I and Penelope II.

When she succumb to her curse and turned to iron, her children decided to make her into a wall lamp in the family room.

Importantly, Gail’s lamp was the first electric lamp in Rookwood manor.

Sean Tucker I

Husband to Gail III, Father to Harlan I and Penelope II

April 23, 1840-March 23 1890

Buried in back gardens

Not much is known about Sean Tucker. Though the family kept extensive records, he wasn’t terribly involved with the family business other than to be a father to Gail’s children. He cared for his children and nieces and nephews while the other Rookwoods fought monsters. He died of a heart attack.

Elizabeth Davis II, nee Rookwood

December 30, 1846-October 14, 1910

Curse of Fading Echo

Name carved onto underside of mantle

Like her namesake, Elizabeth was a bit ghostly in life. She was sweet and looked after the family, but at times, that caused her to be overlooked. Perhaps that caused the manifestation of this curse. She was always there with a smile or a warm mug of tea.

She bore three children: Wendy (II) Davis (Mocking Visage), Virgil (II) Davis (Rookery), and Jamieson (II) Davis (Ossuary). She had no grandchildren

When she succumb to her curse, she instructed that those with her curse would have their names carved into the underside of the wooden shelf on the fireplace mantle in the family room. Always present, but sometimes forgotten.

Johnathon Davis

Husband of Elizabeth II, Father of Wendy II, Virgil II, and Jamieson II

October 31, 1845-October 15, 1910

Buried in back garden

If it was possible to be as soft spoken as Elizabeth, Johnathon was. He helped with monster hunting as best as he could, though he was mostly relegated to patching up everyone’s injuries. He died a day after Elizabeth, unable to go on without her.

Thomas Rookwood II

January 14, 1850- November 19, 1930

Curse of the Gibbet

Hangman’s Noose in Family Room Rafters

If there was ever an evil Rookwood, Thomas Rookwood was it. He was off-putting to even look at. Perhaps it was the way he was always adjusting his collar or rubbing at his wrists. He married Kelly Rookwood at a young age. They quickly had a child, Jeremy II (Curse of the Gibbet). However, Thomas had a quick temper. When Kelly went missing, the family closed ranks. Soon, they convinced the town that Kelly had left and abandoned her child. They were comforted by the fact that she could watch him from beyond.

Thomas remarried. With Candace Rookwood, he had three more children—sisters who stayed by each others sides from birth to death. Chastity II (Rookery), Elizabeth III (Abyss), and Felicity II (Gaping Maw) were nearly inseparable from one another. It wasn’t a surprise that when  Elizabeth was taken by the darkness, the others followed quickly after in their grief.

When Jeremy discovered what happened to his mother, he immediately sought revenge. The hangman’s nooses are still in place in the family room.

Jeremy left behind children with his wife, Lorelei. Harlan II (Dryad), Elias IV (Fading Echo), Penelope III (Mocking Visage), and Elizabeth IV (Gargoyle).

Kelly Rookwood I, nee Tyler

Wife to Thomas II, Mother to Jeremy II

August 15, 1852-February 3, 1872

Buried under cellar floor

Strangled to death by Thomas Rookwood. Often appears to look after married-in members of the family.

Candace Rookwood I

Wife to Thomas II, Mother to Chastity II, Elizabeth III, Felicity II

July 7, 1859- March 2, 1932

Buried in back gardens

An unhappy wife to Thomas Rookwood. Though she didn’t care much for her husband, she cared greatly for the other members of her family.

Penelope Rookwood II

June 14, 1874-September 30, 1906

Curse of the Gargoyle

Gargoyle gazing out window onto back gardens

Penelope, along with her wife, Renee, was an esteemed monster hunter. She started monster hunting early in her teen years, so even though her life was short, her career was not. Penelope was serious and stoic, but she was also very powerful. It took a great deal of resources to overwhelm her enough that she succumb to her curse.

Penelope marks the first instance of a Rookwood having multiple resting places. Her statue stayed in an boarding house in New Haven with Renee until Renee’s death decades later. Renee was buried in the back garden and Penelope was placed beside the window, always watching over her grave.

Renee Rookwood I, nee Williams

Wife of Penelope II

May 18, 1874-October 31, 1945

Buried in back garden

Renee met Penelope after Penelope exorcized a particularly nasty spirit from her home. Though their love affair was short, it was intense enough to warm even Penelope’s stony heart. Renee remained a valuable resource on the supernatural until her death.

Harlan Rookwood I

June 15, 1870-April 8, 1925

Curse of the Mocking Visage

Mirror in Family Room

Harlan Rookwood was a good man. He rarely uttered a word, as he spoke in reverse, but his wife, Sylvia often managed to understand him anyway.

He was a good father to his four children: Virgil III, ???, Lucille, and Cynthia. He tried his best, as all parents do. He wasn’t the best or kindest Rookwood, but he certainly wasn’t the worst. He did what any can do in life with extraordinary gifts. Perhaps he would have been more affectionate if he was understood. Instead we had only his actions to rely on for his meaning.

He succumbed to his curse when he went into a mirror, and never came out.

Sylvia Rookwood

Wife to Harlan I, Mother to Virgil III, ???, Lucille I, and Cynthia I

May 7, 1875-October 29, 1930

Buried in back gardens

Sylvia was a stern but kind woman. She liked to sip on tea while she read. She greatly valued all four of her children, though her memory seemed to slip on who they were towards the end. Rookwood family history will remember her as the best of us.

She took her role as matriarch of the family seriously. With Renee away and Candace often dealing with her own brood of children and the forever warring Thomas II and Jeremy II—her husband and stepson respectively—Sylvia took it upon herself to bring balance to the family. She made sure the children were as skilled physically as they were mentally. When their curses manifested, it was Sylvia who took the time to explain help them.

She passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Virgil Rookwood III

September 12, 1900 –

Curse of the Lightning Struck

Like all Rookwoods, Virgil is very well educated. In his studies in youth, though he could be absent at times, he displayed great aptitude. He found himself particularly fascinated by electricity. With his brother ???, he went to Tesla’s abandoned radio station. They sailed a dinghy to Wardenclyffe, Long Island. It was there that his curse manifested. Luckily, he was given the gift of supernatural ability rather than being killed.

Also like many Rookwoods before him, Virgil was accepted into Yale. However, his fascination with things not in his studies led to his removal from his program.

Virgil then decided he wanted to abandon both formal education and his destiny as a monster hunter. He spent the next few decades traveling the world. He learned things here and there. However, his destiny finally called him back to Rookwood Manor to care for his nieces after Doris Rookwood’s passing.

Virgil then spent a few decades more tinkering with electric devices in his laboratory in Rookwood manor.

Cynthia Rookwood I

July 13, 1903-July 5, 1923

Curse of the Rookery

Name Carved Into Raven Coop

Cynthia could be hard-headed at times, but she always meant well. As a child, she was rather precocious. Like Virgil, she often got distracted during her lessons. However, unlike the electricity that attracted Virgil, her obsession was much closer to home.

Her love of animals tipped family members off early that perhaps her curse would manifest as the Curse of the Rookery. None were shocked when it presented itself on her 13th birthday.  It was a lousy day. It had rained, and everyone seemed busy with something. However, Cynthia did not lack for  gifts that day. Her birds brought everything shiny they could find—including a very upset neighbor’s heirloom necklace.

From then on, one would never see Cynthia without her birds. Like Felicity Rookwood, she’s most often found in the coop, caring for the birds that feasted on her without a second thought.

Lucille O’Sullivan I, nee Rookwood

October 1, 1907-January 22, 1930

Curse of the Shroud

Jar of Fog In Family Room

Lucille was Cynthia’s constant shadow. In the macabre guessing games family members would play about what curse the little ones would have, they guessed that she would gain the Curse of the Ossuary. Then, they joked, Cynthia’s ravens could stay in her chest forevermore. She used to laugh at these jokes, not fully understanding what they mean. As a child, she would often draw birds emerging from her chest. It was disturbing enough that Sylvia wondered for a moment if the family room was too dark for small children. Harlan, however, insisted it was good training.

Lucille did not, however, manifest the Ossuary curse. In fact, it was The Curse of the Shroud. She manifested her curse on the day of Cynthia’s death. She was the one who found her sister being eaten by her birds. A fog rolled over Rookwood manor so thick that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

Like Virgil, Lucille went off to explore. What she lost when Cynthia died she found again while hunting fey creatures in Ireland. She married her husband, Seamus O’Sullivan at Rookwood Manor. She rarely smiled after Cynthia’s death, but her mist-clouded eyes twinkled as she danced on her wedding day.

Unfortunately, Lucille’s happiness and her life were brief. She succumbed to her curse trying to protect her daughter, a baby named Cynthia (II). Her fog was captured in a jar.

Seamus O’Sullivan I

Husband to Lucille I, Father to Cynthia II

1899-April 10, 1932

Buried in back gardens

Seamus was not the usual type to marry into the Rookwoods. He had no fortune or power to speak of. He was a dock worker in Ireland. However, he was quick to join Lucille on her monster hunting adventures.

Seamus was no stranger to tragedy. He had lost his own parents and brother. He helped Lucille heal. However, whatever hope they had with each other was extinguished after her death. Still, he went on for his own daughter, Cynthia (II).

They brought fresh flowers to the family room every day to honor her. It was a small way for them to brighten up the macabre wing of the house.

Cynthia (Curse of the Anthousai) manifested a curse not seen before or since. Like the progenitor, Elias I, she had nature-based abilities, but with flowers instead of trees.

Though a curse is always a curse, her curse brightened Rookwood manor until her death. She succumbed at age 8 to her curse. Unwatched, she tried to decorate and brighten Rookwood manor cemetery until she became the garden she tried to create. Seamus died the same day.





Doris Rookwood I, nee Miller

Wife of ???, Mother of Gail IV, Penelope IV

September 17, 1907-August 3, 1950

Ashes in Urn not on mantle

Doris was whip smart and a good wife and mother. She made Rookwood manor into a home after it had seen so much tragedy, and she was always willing to follow along with the family destiny.

She perished in a fire.

Gail Lavalle IV, nee Rookwood

October 20, 1932-

Curse of the Gaping Maw

Gail was the first child of Doris and ??? Rookwood.  Growing up as the oldest in the family was difficult for Gail. She had trouble coming to terms with her role as eldest sister and eventual matriarch of the Rookwood family. Always a people pleaser, she tried her best to keep everyone happy and follow in her mother’s footsteps of making the family manor a home.

Gail often has difficulties with a want for perfection. However, this means that she is very detail-oriented and thorough. Like many Rookwoods, Gail struggled at a young age to balance the need to purge the world of monsters with her want of normalcy. Gail’s parents tried to instill in her the urgency of their gifts, but Gail had trouble grasping the concept.

When her mother died and she needed a caretaker, she stepped up to become the parent figure for her younger sister. She was not perfect, but what teenager would be?

Gail manifested the Curse of the Gaping Maw and uses it to dispose of a revolving door of suitors. Her first fiancé, George Oakland, succumbed to her curse in an ironic twist on the usual family formula, as well as her first husband, Paul Chamberlain (also the father of Jeremy III and Jamieson III), and a subsequent suitor, Timothy Morris.

However, through everything, Gail has tried her best to do right by the family. Though she is misguided, she is not evil.

Gail is currently married to Dr. Alistair Lavalle.

Penelope “Penny” Rookwood IV

18 February 1934 –

Curse of the Rookery

Penny is the youngest daughter of Doris and ??? Rookwood. As a child, Penny enjoyed receiving gifts from the travels her parents took. She enjoyed collecting shiny things and finding every tiny hiding spot in the house. Perhaps this is no surprise with the Curse of the Rookery.

Similar to Gail, Penny likes her habits. She enjoys being a secretary for real estate agents, and she likes to gossip with her nephew, Jeremy (III). She puts a great deal of importance on the collection of seemingly-mundane things.

Though once close with her sister, Penny often fights with Gail. However, she is friendly with her remaining living family members. After her mother’s death, Penelope went through a rebellious streak, experimenting with cigarettes and alcohol. It seems that she still feels too caged in Rookwood manor.

Harlan Rookwood III

July 5 1935-July 5, 1935

No curse manifested

Buried in back garden

Died after a single breath.

Paul Chamberlain

Husband to Gail IV, Father to Jeremy III and Jamieson III

29 March 1930-July 5, 1957

Devoured by Gail IV

No one ever found out what happened to George Oakland, Gail’s last suitor, and the people of New Haven assumed he developed an extreme case of cold feet, and took pity on Gail.  Soon, she was being courted by a new man.  His name was Paul Chamberlain.  Paul was a widower himself, recently losing his wife of a few years to a drowning accident.  He was also an individual in high society in New Haven, being a renowned landscape painter in the area.  Gail was convinced that because Paul didn’t have a business job where he had to go into an office or manage other people, he’d be able to shower her with attention, which he often did.  They filled the hole in each other’s hearts and were married.  Soon, Gail fell pregnant with their sons.  She was convinced she’d finally gotten what she wanted until after she gave birth.  Paul was smitten with their sons, and soon all of the attention that he had once given Gail, he was now giving to the babies.  Once again, the emptiness overtook Gail, and she consumed Paul and Jamieson (III).

Jeremy “J.C.” Rookwood III

July 14, 1956-

Curse of the Mocking Visage

Unfortunately, like many Rookwoods, J.C.’s young life is marred by tragedy. At a young age, he saw through a reflection in a mirror his twin brother being eaten by his mother. J.C. manifested his curse: The Mocking Visage.

From there, he seemed to take on Penny’s rebellious streak. He likes disrespecting his mother and hoarding the dark secret of her son’s death over her. To the public, Jamieson was taken away by his father. No one bothered to check the family cemetery.

Like many other Rookwoods, J.C. enjoys keeping secrets and is bored by school. He is already curious about his powers and what they could mean.

Jamieson Rookwood III

July 14, 1956-November 10, 1959

No curse manifested

Devoured by Gail IV

Jamieson Rookwood was a curious and kind child. He was devoured by his mother, Gail (IV). There is a gravestone for him in the back gardens.

Alistair Lavalle

Husband to Gail IV

February 16, 1930-

Alistair Lavalle grew up in Doncaster, England. He studied at Oxford University as well as Harvard, earning degrees in psychology.

He married in to the Rookwood family hoping to publish a book.

Non-Rookwood Family Members

Though they are not burdened (or blessed, depending on which Rookwood you ask) with a curse, Rookwoods by marriage are important to the family history. They are often asked to wear the hats of both monster hunter and caretaker. They brave battle without the aid of supernatural gifts, and they are often the first to bandage our wounds when the battle is won.

And, of course, without them, the family line could not continue.

Non-Rookwoods are sworn to keep the secret of the supernatural, like the rest of the family. In return, they get children, a comfortable life, safety and security, and the love of the family.

The Family Room

It is each Rookwood’s destiny to be remembered in the family room. The Rookwoods are one with their curses. It is their identity and destiny. The Rookwoods bear a great but necessary burden. In keeping New England clear from the supernatural, we honor Elias’s sacrifice, and the sacrifices of each Rookwood that has been and will be.


Gail Rookwood I (base of Elias Rookwood tree stump)

Margaret Rookwood II (back gardens)

Olivia Rookwood I (back gardens)

Chastity Rookwood I (back gardens)

Mary Rookwood I (back gardens)

Sean Tucker I (back gardens)

Johnathon Davis I (back gardens)

Kelly Rookwood I (underneath cellar)

Candace Rookwood I (back gardens)

Renee Rookwood I (back gardens)

Sylvia Rookwood I (back gardens)

Seamus O’Sullivan I (back gardens)

Harlan Rookwood III (back gardens)

Electric Wall Lamps

Gail Rookwood III


Cynthia O’Sullivan II


Jeremy Rookwood I

Elizabeth IV

Penelope Rookwood II

Hair Jewlery

Penelope Rookwood I

Hangman’s nooses in rafters

Thomas Rookwood II

Jeremy Rookwood II

Jars of Fog

Elizabeth Rookwood I

Lucille O’Sullivan I


Elias Rookwood II

Felicity Rookwood II

Mantle, underside

Elizabeth Davis II

Elias Rookwood IV


Elias Rookwood III

Wendy Davis II

Penelope Rookwood III

Harlan I

Raven Coop

Felicity Rookwood I

Virgil Davis II

Chastity Rookwood II

Cynthia Rookwood I

Rib Cage

Jamieson Rookwood I (and JollyBoy Rookwood [corvus corax]) *Hand buried in back gardens with Olivia I

Jamieson Davis II (and Aphrodite Rookwood [corvus corax])

Stained Glass

Gail Rookwood II

Elizabeth Rookwood III

Trees on grounds

Elias Rookwood I (stump)

Harlan Rookwood II (mostly intact)


Virgil Rookwood I (and Grace Rookwood)

Thomas Rookwood I (and Margaret Rookwood)

Doris Rookwood I

Part Three: Curses

[This list is supplemental to the official curses in the Rookwood rulebook]

The Curse of Anthousai

You have power over flowers and plants, but you their vines will eventually strangle you and their leaves and petals suffocate you.

  • You can animate vines or roots to grasp at something or someone
  • You can poison any leaf
  • You can bear deep into the ground to become unmoveable
  • You can unleash a large amount of plant pollen to make your victim unable to do anything but cough and sputter

Marks of the curse: flowers grow in your hair, green skin, wilts when in the dark for too long, rooted in place

The Curse of the Forgotten Memory

You are destined to be forgotten, but you have power of memories.

You will eventually be presumed lost or dead. Your loved ones will begin to forget your name, how you look, and what you were like. Details about you will start to distort. What isn’t forgotten will be twisted into a false memory.

•             With a touch, you can make people relive significant moments of their life or your life

•             You can manipulate the mind to undo a memory and make someone believe something false, for a time.

•             You have a strong connection with ghosts and they are likely to listen to your commands or seek you out.

  • You can alter records so someone appears to have never existed

Marks of the Fading Memory: everyone forgets your name, presumed dead, no one is sure who you are

The Curse of the Lightning Struck

[The Curse of the Lightning Struck was created by Nick Uroseva]

Unbridled electricity courses through you, but the current is yours to direct.

Electricity is as old and as primal as fire, but while fire was tamed by man eons ago electricity has followed suit only just recently by comparison but it has propelled society forward in leaps and bounds. Electricity can be as devastatingly powerful as a lightning strike or as invisible as sending signals through one’s nervous system. You hold a powerful current within you that has persisted since it was seeded there by a fateful lighting strike.

  • You can engage or break electrical circuits near you with a thought, allowing you to turn off, on, or otherwise control electrical devices.
  • By honing in on and interpreting the minute electrical signals in another’s brain and nervous system you have learned to discern their thoughts and emotions so long as you maintain a closed circuit with them (directly or via conductive material).
  • You can amplify and channel the electrical signals within the nervous system to numb pain and promote faster healing in yourself or others.
  • You can mold the electrical current from a held source into a solid weapon or tool.

Marks of the Lighting Struck: Perpetually Static Hair, Lichtenberg Scars Spread Across Skin, Facial Twitches, Static Touch, Eyes like Lightning, Erratic Speech, Electromania

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard