Piet de Vries Windmill Edit
Perched on top of a small hill in the farmlands of Bacas County is an enormous windmill. It hasn't aged very well; the weatherboarding along its sides blackened by weather and time and the cloth that once covered its sails hangs limply in rotten rags.
In a country where windmills are rare and certainly not seen in such considerable size, this grandiose building stands out not only as a curiosity, but also as a remarkable landmark. It is by far the largest structure in the region, towering over the farmlands like an obsidian tower. The locals call it Moara Olandezului - The Hollander's Mill.
Piet de Vries was a young, reluctant magus from the Netherlands who came to Transylvania based on a recurring dream. For years, he had been haunted by the same dream - supernatural monsters of all kinds engaging in bloody, open war against each other. He alone stood in the centre of the battle while the monsters went in big circles around him and avoided coming close.
Although trained in the magic world, de Vries was uncomfortable with his powers and unfamiliar with occult creatures. He recognised vampires of various kinds, knowing them from several stories of intervention around Europe even if he had never faced one himself. But there were others, unknown beasts and creatures. Tree-like monsters, living fungus, hordes of twisted, undead creatures, monsters using machines unlike any he had seen before.
To the young magus, the dreams were at first ordinary nightmares, but as time went by, he felt they were telling him something, urging him to a task he had to do. Puzzled that something like this would happen to him - a quiet, introvert and unwilling magus- he chose to not tell any of his peers about the calling, and instead packed his things and travelled around Europe alone, in hope to find the source of the visions.
As a lone traveller, he risked scrutiny from regional governments, highway robbery or worse, but he eventually safely found his way to Bacas County in Transylvania, Romania. Here, in the peaceful, rural landscape, he felt the vibrations of occult powers. He knew this had to be the goal of his journey. Settling down in the small village of Harbaburesti, the locals got to know him as an eccentric, but friendly person. He never told anyone about his magical powers.
The dreams didn't let up, and de Vries was unsure what to do. He knew he was in the right place, but apart from superstitious locals, there was no more magical war waged there than back in the Netherlands.
Years passed, and he got the idea of building a windmill. The further he got, the more vivid his dreams became and he became so obsessed with his masterpiece he decided to erect the largest windmill anyone had ever seen in Eastern Europe. Windmills are very rare in Romania. Villages would use watermills to grind their flour instead, so the already eccentric Dutchman was now the source of much amusement for the locals, who thought him crazy to start such a foreign project.
Four years after the building commenced, the windmill was finished. Four years of thinking of nothing else, reduced to a hollow-eyed fraction of his old self. A portion of the forest had been cleared, roads had been laid out and several locals had been employed to help with the construction. Finally, Piet de Vries' monument was done. It was never a beauty, but it was functional and would serve the local farmers for many years.
Without knowing why or to what end, de Vries put several massive protective spells on the windmill. This was his one, true magical talent - blessings, barriers and shields.
The nightmares stopped and were replaced by friendlier dreams in which all kinds of creatures from local folklore thanked him for his efforts. In these new dreams, he saw the same battlefield as in the nightmares, but without the opposing forces fighting on it. In the middle stood his windmill like a beacon - a safe haven for those who would need shelter.
De Vries himself would never find out what the meaning of his dreams was or what purpose the windmill would eventually serve. No one would, not for another two hundred years. He remained in Bacas County and lived a long, happy life, removed from the hustle and bustle of a large city and the internal politics of secret cabals.
Eventually, when he passed away, others took over the production at the mill, but the amateur design and construction of the mill soon showed, and as it constantly malfunctioned, fell apart and eventually stopped working, people reverted to the smaller, more trustworthy watermills along the rivers and lakes of the region.
It wasn't until recently that the nightmares of Piet de Vries came true and the strength of his spells have proven important. With the recent vampire invasion, Bacas County has become the battlefield on which a war between the powers of good and evil is fought - and in the middle stands the dilapidated windmill, its protective spells still active, and serves as a temporary shelter for those who are trying to escape from or fighting the monsters of Transylvania.