THE CAELTAKKAR KEEP
One of the main Santharian strongholds which were constructed after the end of the Third Sarvonian War in order to keep away orcish invaders from the southern Sarvonian continent. Caeltakkar Keep is located at the southern feet of the Tandala Mountains, in the northernmost Santharian province of Nermeran. There it serves mainly as an outpost for Nermeran's second biggest city, Astran.
Image description. The nowadays peaceful view at the mighty stronghold of Caeltakkar. Picture drawn by Reegen.
The annals tell us that the keep was erected soon when the terrible Third
Sarvonian War had finally found its end. The process of building the castle lasted more than 20 years
- begun in approx. 205 b.S. by the Tharanian king Wolphmor II., the castle was
ready for military use in 185 b.S., at the same year as Wolphmor abdicated due
to his bad health in favour of his only son, ThaŽl the Cunning. In the decades
to follow Caeltakkar was extended even further so that it finally advanced to
the main training ground and headquarters of the
Order of the Fallen. At this time the Order was still a young association of
Tharanian knights, but already famous as well as notorious for its strict rules
and the unyielding loyality to the kingdom. The latter was
already proven when in 167 b.S. (two times) and in 161 b.S. major
orcish raids could be repelled successfully.
Caeltakkar Keep is a really huge, strongly fortified castle, but not all of its hugeness is visible from the outside. Below the castle cellars hundreds of interconnected tunnels are set into the mountain, some of them leading to the ancient, nowadays abandoned Mines of the legendary dwarf Yloss. These mines had been used by the orcs during the Third Sarvonian War to cross the Tandala Mountains and to infiltrate the unaware Astran. Caeltakkar Castle was also mainly built to keep the entrances of these dark tunnels under military control, securing further invasions of unwanted visitors from below. However, nowadays many of these worries can be accounted as fears people only had in the past. The stronghold still exists, currently serving more as a nice theme for today's artists instead of an outpost keeping away menacing hordes of orcs.
As for the origin of the keep's name: Caeltakkar initially was called the Greyrock Castle after the mountain on which it was placed, being part of the Tandala Highlands. However, people prefer to call it the Caeltakkar Keep refering to the commander of the barbarian forces who assisted the orcs in the Third Sarvonian War in the vicinity of Astran. Caeltakkar was a terrible foe who fought with his troups at the entrance to the Ylossian Mines during the whole war. He had abducted many women whom he kept as his personal harem for several years. He raped and mistreated them several times before he finally decided to kill and eat them, sending away his soldiers in search of new flesh. At the end of the war Caeltakkar's victims were avenged by Astran's remaining soldiers and the barbarian was mutilated and finally hung by the mob above the entrance to the mines - on the same place where the keep was erected later on.
Information provided by Artimidor