[Entries in chronological order, last few pages missing, torn out]
This craft has proved even more profitable than I had anticipated. Five of the last seven kidnappings ended in success. Only two of the lads had fathers too miserly to ransom their sons. Clearly was more offspring where those came from, so the calculating knaves deemed the captured snots expendable (note for the future: demand a significantly smaller ransom from clients with more than one male heir).
I sent the lads after Anastasia von Bourmann. The lord of Zuetzer Castle is a magnificently wealthy noble and Anastasia is his only child – I smell a lucrative transaction.
The lads returned with the client's daughter that very night. The girl is calm, apathetic, even.
Something strange is afoot in the castle surroundings. Flocks of ravens perch in the trees bordering the courtyard. This morning a new contingent flew in. Two serving maids have gone missing. Could my lads have been responsible? Or did those ravens peck them to death?
[here a giant inkblot covers half the page]
One of my grooms has died. From what the remaining servants recount, he was killed by tree roots that suddenly thrust straight out of the ground! My men are petrified. Wolves howl day and night in the lands surrounding the estate.
Leaving the castle walls means certain death. We have barricaded ourselves inside and live as if under siege. Luckily we've ample supplies of food and water. Perhaps this is some kind of curse?
Franz, the servant who led the unit that kidnapped Anastasia, has hanged himself! Black magic is surely at work! I must search the castle library for some indication what this might be.