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Author Topic: Three Arcs Keep (The Mallister's Manse)  (Read 2282 times)
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Gundioc Mallister
The Bear
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« on: January 04, 2011, 07:38:39 PM »

Overview

Nestled in the shadow of Mount Maccom, Three Arcs Keep was a once-bustling industrial fort, easily defensible and a bastion of hope during the Southern Wars, never falling to the fury of the Thairians. Since that time it has fallen to ruin, no more than a sad and dejected-looking vestige of better times. Decrepit buildings lay strewn from the base of the mountain to the tired and crumbling walls of the keep proper, carved partially into the very knees of Maccom, and now the only habitable architecture for strals. Today, those who have ventured deep enough into the desolation of the Tolonian Heath to even find the castle know of it as a haunted place, either by the spirits of those who died in the folly of assaulting it, or by the mortals who have gone to great lengths not to be found. The years have seen a great many transients, vagabonds, criminals and otherwise unwanted peoples die at each other's hands in an attempt to secure this choicest of hiding places. And now, with the blessings of the Graven of Greywold, who employed them to purge the keep of a band of rebels, the brothers Mallister reside, while far-away civilization remains mostly oblivious.  

Location

Three Arcs Keep is perched on a small, mostly-natural terrace on the northwestern face of Mount Maccom on the edge of the Tolonian Heath, in the southern part of the province of Manthria. It is over one hundred strals from the nearest settlement; Greywold and Klinsor being nearly equidistant from its blackened walls. The nearest road, stretching through the heart of the Tolonion Heath from Greywold to the Black Cross Fork is also quite far, nearly twenty-five strals; a small but dense forest obscuring its view of the keep, and to an extent, Mount Maccom, even on a clear day. The only remnant of road from keep to highway is nothing more than a footpath, marked with a toppled column of stone, and barely suitable for wagon or cart, it being just as expedient to disregard the road altogether and ride through the heath when approaching Three Arcs. Most travelers increase their pace as they pass this fork, where the summit of Maccom peeks at them from over an ashen, somber forest.  

Description

For a few strals beyond the darkness of the lonesome wood which separates the highway from Mount Maccom, only the soft crunch of the Tolonian Heath keeps one company until finally giving way to a more maintained trail. It is from here that Three Arcs Keep can be seen for the first time with any sort of clarity, clinging to Mount Maccom as a sickly child to its mother's bosom. The trail-turned-road continues onward through burnt husks of wooden buildings and the charred remains of stone ones. From this barely-recognizable shell of a village at the foot of the mountain, the road narrows to five peds and rises, gently curling about Maccom's wide base, flanked on each side by steep faces of rock. Rubble and stone litter the road occasionally due to relatively minor rock slides.  It turns suddenly, and ascends for seventy-peds, then doubles back, ascending again for nearly one-hundred, before giving way to its third and final arc. One more climb of another hundred peds, and then across the threshold where there once may have been a gate, puts one squarely back on level ground in the outer courtyard, where piles of stone are far more prominent, having fallen from the collapsing and collapsed buildings nearby.

Walls, that once protected hundreds of soldiers and refugees during the siege of Three Arcs Keep eight centuries ago, stand in decay at the precipice of the terrace, doing their duty lazily now, with huge segments having fallen claim to war, disuse, and time. Rotting shacks and rusted architectural accoutrements lay haphazardly about, a swath of cobblestones cleared through the rubbish the only sign of any sort of maintenance. The approach to the entrance of the inner courtyard and Three Arcs Keep itself is depressing. The leftmost guard tower has fallen outward in recent battle, reaching outward toward the cleared path, as a hand grasping for the help of any passersby. Tens of small, white stone piles, intended as burial mounds, sit silently on the great blocks of the tower's own carcass. The ruin is unable to be traversed, and therefore the gate, a portcullis actually, yawns open without luster, obviously in disrepair. Its teeth point wickedly down from the stonework, rusted and red, like some massive mechanical maw.

After being swallowed by that final, grisly gateway, Three Arcs Keep stands lonely yet triumphant. Having withstood ten years of active siege, and over a hundred more of bloodshed and battle before finally being abandoned, its personality is undeniable. Grim, bleak, without any reason for life or living save its pride. A fountain graces the small, inner courtyard, though no water flows from its stained stone and where one could at least hope for tepid murk is only soil and the faint smell of excrement. Smaller than many of its counterparts, Three Arcs Keep's highest point is the only remaining guard tower, which rises a modest three stories, and connects to the remaining, and surprisingly useable wall, which arches over the gateway, enclosing the keep. In the tower and wall's shadow, the stable and smithy sit squatly, daring any visitor to extend their stay by inquiring after horseshoes and hay. Though there is a side entrance through the tower, it does not seem to be used often, excepting the glinting glass shards and miscellaneous waste obviously thrown from the door or dropped from the higher windows. A well sits half-hidden near this door, but is thankfully covered by a conical roof and seems to be serviceable.

Three Arcs sits, connected to the guard tower, like the smaller, meaner companion of a couple holding hands. Smoke rises from its chimneys and clings to the rock face of Maccom for some time before finally being wafted away. The keep rises only two stories, and half of it sits tucked into the side of the mountain, but it appears large, perhaps due to its sheer defiance at having lasted so long. Newer-hewn stone in areas recently repaired contrasts brightly with the ancient, dusky blocks of the original keep, giving it an almost  gap-toothed countenance, though not in an untoward way. A few stone steps lead to a stone landing overlooked by two, massive, reinforced Eur'Oak doors, pitted and scarred from centuries of abuse. Heavy, blackened metal knockers hang sullenly as a dead dwarf's whiskers, one from each door, approximately one and a half peds high.    

Layout

First Floor

  • 1. Gate
  • 2. Broken Fountain
  • 3. Stone well
  • 4. Smithy: Communal metalworking area where armor, weapons and other miscellaneous items are crafted, repaired or modified for the inhabitants of the keep. Although there is no permanent blacksmith currently, the empty pallet within suggests the position is available.
  • 5. Stable: Because the main stables of the keep, located in the outer courtyard, have long-since been in ruin, these smaller, private stables now serve to house up to five horses.
  • 6. Gundioc's private chamber: Broken furniture, clothing (men's and women's) lay scattered about the rug-strewn vastness of the tower's first floor, where the current master of the keep makes his abode. A great four post bed (though only two posts remain) sits in the center with myriad hides and furs spilling off it onto the floor. Wineskins, aleskins, flasks, bottles and barrels, all in varying states of emptiness lay where they have been wantonly flung in drunken rage. A large armoire, bookshelf and many small tables are crammed into the opening leading upstairs, along with bits and pieces of miscellany; an obvious deterrent for anyone looking to wander in from above, although this is quite unnecessary as it is well-known throughout the keep that these chambers are off-limits.
  • 7. Great Hall: Upon first entering the keep one is greeted with an eyeful of tapestries and other such lordly decorum, all remnants of previous owners' taste and interior design. Long, worn Aeruillin Red carpeting stretches the hall's length and breadth, worn in places, but otherwise in good condition. A high-backed Eur'Oak chair sits rather sullenly between two fireplaces at the south end. It is rarely occupied and usually only serves as a cloak rack for Gundioc if he has somehow managed to enter the keep from this direction.
  • 8. Bathhouse: Conveniently located near the well (but be careful of the broken bottles which litter the ground outside), this bathhouse used to be the old armory, but was converted some time ago to allow for easier access to water. A large stone bath (with room enough for four or five persons) dominates much of the north end, while two smaller, personal tubs of cast iron sit on the southern side. There are shelves and tables with towels, washcloths, and other bathing items unceremoniously piled into and atop of them.
  • 9. Common Room: Essentially a lounge, with chairs, tables and a couple bookshelves. A perfect place for a pipe, cards, dice, or conversation. On the off-chance there is a visitor, this is where they would most likely spend  most of their time.
  • 10. Kitchen: Two stone ovens blaze forth along the eastern wall, any number of smells accompanying. A small pantry is tucked away in back, perfect for late night snacking.
  • 11. Storage: Dining supplies, such as silverware, earthenware, chalices, jugs, and the like are kept here, as well as rags, towels, candles and cleaning supplies. It is not uncommon for one not to find what they are looking for here, however, as brooms, chalices and the like often go missing for periods before mysteriously turning up, usually in states of misuse.
  • 12. Banesh's Room: The dwarven cook sleeps in this closet converted into a modest bedroom.
  • 13. Dining Hall: A longtable of darkened oak sits squarely in the midst of this room, surrounded by a plethora of differing chairs and benches; with a large, high-backed, cushioned chair at its head, nearest the fire, which is almost always lit. Tapestries also hang in this room, although many seem to be the brunt of some violence, with holes, tears, and cuts mottling their craftsmanship, perhaps the victims of drunken dagger throwing.
  • 14. Door to Cellar: Perishables within.

Second Floor

  • 15. Mathis's chambers: As Gundioc was unwilling to tackle a stairwell to reach his bed, Mathis seized the most spacious bedchamber for himself. He spends most of his time here in an ancient armchair before the great hearth, summoning anyone he wishes to speak to and having his meals brought to him. Mathis keeps his own private library and armory within, as well as his substantial wardrobe. However, he is almost never alone, as at least one member of the outcasts can be found attending at nearly all hours, scrubbing this or that, keeping every artifact in evidence immaculately clean. The room's seven windows are covered with fresh kari'krimson curtains, newly purchased with the intention of being constantly drawn. A matching tapestry, somewhat faded and threadbare, depicting the violent burning of the Tolonian Wood, hangs behind the desk chair opposite the doorway. All who reside within Three Arcs know to knock audibly before presuming to intrude, and withdraw to try again much later if paid no mind.
  • 16. Library: Though less than half of the shelves are stocked, and the tables and chairs maintain a layer of dust upon them unrivaled by any other room in the keep, the Library's contents are quite valuable. Many scarcely-found volumes and several unique manuscripts, untouched through ages of abandonment, as thieves made off with more attractive loot, can be perused here.
  • 17. Ruil's bedroom: With the doorway tucked in the corner between the library and the privy, the room in which Ruil resides opens invitingly to visitors. Directly ahead is a modest study area, comprised of a small desk and chair, covered in books, tomes and scrolls, and several well-used candlesticks. An arm’s reach away on either side of the desk are two bookshelves, filled with near every form of literature. Standing in the corner behind desk and chair is a guardian in full plate armor, warding off the unwanted. Upon inspection, however, the armor reveals its flaw: a hole punched through the gorget and cuirass, apparently by a spearhead and stained with blood. In the corner opposite the doorway is a cold fireplace, rarely lit due to Ruil’s discomfort with fire. Before it lay a large White Bear rug, its mouth agape in a permanent roar. It, too, faces towards the doorway as if to scare away intruders. And finally, in the final corner, facing the fireplace, rests Ruil’s bed. It is piled with thick blankets and furs, used to defeat the cold of the night in place of a warm fire.
  • 18. Hidden Storeroom: Only accessible through Mathis's chambers by use of a hidden mechanism, this room contains the great majority of the brothers' coin in three great oaken chests, several finely worked but unattractive pieces of art favored by Sir Talos Fargarin, and the choicest of liqours, kept herein by Mathis to keep them safe from his older and often indiscriminately drunk sibling.
  • 19. Privy
  • 20. Chant's bedroom: Habitually uninhabited by its inhabitant, who prefers to be unconfined by roof, wall and door-frame, this room is sparsely furnished and mostly bare.
  • 21. Infirmary: Fortunately enough for the inhabitants of Three Arcs, Nemir is a skilled healer and thus the infirmary, which the Mallisters thought at first would merely become storage space, has actually seen legitimate use. A hardwood operating table is in the center, surrounded by end tables full of candles and sharp implements. Against the wall are two other tables with small, labeled jars, poultices, wraps, and alcohol. Everything one needs to attend to the ill or wounded.
  • 22. Linen closets: Despite the lack of order, the bedding contained within these closets is mostly clean, and even comes in different colors. There are also extra candles, lanterns, pillowcases, and the odd misplaced dagger or two.
  • 23. Nemir's bedroom: Preferring to spend his days at work with some poultice or potion down the hall in the infirmary, Nemir's room is used only for sleeping and scrivening. Several journals are stacked neatly on the desk. I hope you're not thinking of peeking.
  • 24. Guest Bedrooms: Should any visitors actually manage to be invited, much less find, the keep, these rooms are where they shall be quartered. The accommodations are simple and suitable. Two beds sizeable enough for two persons apiece in each, with a small dresser, shelves, chair and table to complement; much like what you would find at an inn.
  • 25. Causeway
  • 26. Barbican
  • 27. Barracks/Armory: The central chamber of the tower, between Gundioc's floor below and the prison above, is the barracks for most of the Outcasts. They sleep in twelve bunk beds arranged along the walls. The center of the room gives way to racks of armaments. Each person is allotted a footlocker to contain their non-martial possessions, which considering they have left their entire lives behind to hide here, is more than ample.

Third Floor

  • 28. Prison Cells: The northernmost cell is noticeably different from the rest.  It features a mattress with several blankets on it, upon which Arintheos sleeps when he finally passes out.  The gate to the cell shows signs of frequent use, but the locks have held up, at least so far...

People

Gundioc Mallister: Granted dominion of the keep by the Graven of Greywold, it is Gundioc's royal responsibility to squat amongst its stones and frighten away foreigners.

Mathis Mallister: Mathis has taken it upon himself to begin to restore Three Arcs as best he can. To accomplish this, he has enlisted the help of several willing accomplices.

Ruil Mallister: Though he is more likely to be off at some knightly tournament than in evidence, the youngest Mallister also calls Three Arcs home.

Arintheos Gavalas: Holder of the entirely ceremonial title: "Master-at-Arms," Arintheos maintains a well furnished cell in the tower, safe and sound.

Nemir: A former Dalorin, Nemir was cast out of his coven for "experimenting" with the recently deceased. He has found a place at Three Arcs as healer, steward, and if left alone - trusted castellan.

Laen Chant: Nemir's oldest and fastest friend, a huntsman of the heath. Puts meat on the table and trains the outcasts in archery and survival skills.

Banesh Bonecracker: A gnarled old dwarf that has minded the keep's kitchens as long as anyone can remember.

The Outcasts: Twenty or so vagrants, exiles and vagabonds who have found their way to the Keep and been found to be worth keeping. As long as they keep Three Arcs self-sufficent they will have a place and a purpose.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 05:53:05 PM by Gundioc Mallister » Logged

He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Mathis Mallister
Righteous in Wrath
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 02:03:53 PM »

Completo.
Ready for commentos. graph
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Azalahn
Dance of Sorrow
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 08:39:06 AM »

Quote
16. Library: Though less than half of the shelves are stocked, and the tables and chairs maintain a layer of dust upon them unrivaled by any other room in the keep, the Library's contents are quite valuable. Many scarcely-found volumes and several unique manuscripts, untouched through ages of abandonment, as thieves made off with more attractive loot, can be perused here.

Quote
18. Hidden Storeroom: Only accessible through Mathis's chambers by use of a hidden mechanism, this room contains the great majority of the brothers' coin in three great oaken chests, several finely worked but unattractive pieces of art favored by Sir Talos Fargarin, and the choicest of liqours, kept herein by Mathis to keep them safe from is older and often indiscriminately drunk sibling.

Peeked at the 3 characters, it didn't look like any of them were actually wealthy. A library valuable library, actually any library in a medevil setting  suggests wealth to me. Large chests with coin also suggest wealth.

Rest looks fine to me, but let's have Dek have a look at it for final approval. 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 08:47:27 AM by Azalahn » Logged

Mathis Mallister
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 10:48:33 AM »

I would say that our characters are wealthy, but only through saving. The three brothers are active mercenaries, and Ruil is constantly participating in tournaments - and performing well enough to receive some sort of prize.

The books in the library are mostly left over from the keep's previous occupant, Sir Talos Fargarin or older (thus the ages of abandonment line). In addition to just being plain lucky to have found them, we are likely guilty of possessing stolen property. Speechless
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Azalahn
Dance of Sorrow
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 01:28:37 PM »

Well I think I will just leave it to Dek to make the final decision.
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Mathis Mallister
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 07:55:02 AM »

I eagerly await his opinion.
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 09:11:43 AM »

The one question I was going to raise was about the fact that you had chosen a fort that was on the map already as your house, and the question was going to be whether or not it had been okayed with the people on the development side. On looking over there, I could see that Ruil had already asked about that in 2007. As no development has been done in that that I can see either before or after, I don't see a problem with any part of this.

I am therefore happy to give you my approval!

Congratulations.

Just a question ... what did you use to make the outlines of the keep?

- Dek
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Seeking the truth, whatever the cost! - Deklitch Hardin, Elf Friend
Mathis Mallister
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 09:14:16 AM »

Just some free DnD Gamemaster resources, heavily edited.
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
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