Short Stories and Tall Tails
History of the Keep
Here and there, standing on the narrow edge between civilisation and the hungry dark, stand a few bastions of justice and law. Restwell Keep, so named by its current inhabitants, is one such edifice. Under its current management, the keep has kept a sentinel’s post over the Blackened Dale for a little over a decade. It is an outpost of civilisation in a monster-infested wilderness.
Prior to the current inhabitants, Restwell keep served as the base of operation for a band of evil adventurers known as the Six Blades of Fortune. While the Blades fought monsters in the Blackened Dale, they also preyed on other, weaker adventuring bands, and even raided a few caravans. As they were content to keep their depredations far from their base of operations, in time the keep became a small outpost of civilisation. Wanderers, refugees, and other folk in search of a safe harbour settled within the keep. The Blades saw benefit in the growing community within their walls. The taxes they collected paid the mercenaries who guarded the keep, and within five years, a small village stabilised within its walls and became a centre for adventurers heading to the Blackened Dale.
In time, the Blades’ criminal ways caught up with them. They were tracked to the keep and defeated by Lord Peridin Merec, a paladin of Erathis. Lord Merec and his followers slew four of the Blades and drove off the remaining two survivors. While he had planned to leave the keep and its inhabitants to their own devices, he saw that doing so would leave the inhabitants vulnerable without the Blades’ protection. Assessing the threat posed by the Blackened Dale, he decided to remain in the keep as its new ruler.
More recently, the party’s explorations have uncovered a cult called the Believers – originally set up in reverence to a poorly understood dwarfish device for moving large stones, they were subsequently infiltrated by the Black Earth Cult and brainwashed into murdering travelling merchants and working to undermine the Khaedian forces stationed at the keep under the leadership of the cleric Larrakh.
Restwell Keep consists of an outer wall with an interior bisected into northern and southern ends by an inner wall, called the inner bailey and outer bailey respectively. The inner bailey is home to Lord Merec and his coterie of soldiers and advisers. He dwells within a small fortress, the keep’s final line of defence, nestled against the northern wall. A large, open area between the fortress and the interior wall hosts a parade ground and stables for Merec’s cavalry. The outer bailey is home to the bulk of the keep’s civilian residents; most of whom settled here during the rule of the Six Blades of Fortune. Crowded with small buildings, this area hosts an inn, a tavern, a bank and other businesses, along with private residences for long-term visitors to the keep. A small marketplace serves the merchants and farmers who visit the keep to sell their wares, though the ever present threat of monsters from the Blackened Dale prevents Restwell Keep from becoming a thriving hub of commerce. Still, the locals make enough profit from adventurers and the treasures they recover from the Dale to maintain a healthy living. The folk of the keep are by no means wealthy, but neither are they destitute.
- Saruun Guildhouse – An outpost of the Saruun Mages Guild. Overseen by the wizard Cetirian
- Stumbling Giant (Tavern) – The social hub of restwell keep, run by the ageing halfling and zealous Avandrite Mother Aran.
- Chapel of Avandra – a frontier chapel to the wilderness goddess Avandra run by the half-elf priestess Chendera.