THE VISTA CASTLE

Santharian castle located in the hill-lands of the outer Rimmerins Ring around the capital Santhala, close to the Anaios Gap. The castle lies exactly within the so-called Hell's Fork of the Thaehelvil River, at the location where the river seperates in two arms. While the one arm leads to the Dark Hills to the south with the Vale of Brownies nearby, the other arm drops thousands of peds into the Anaios Gap, an enormous crack in the surface caused by an earthquake which took place at approx. 1420 b.S. The extraordinary spectacle of the river dropping into the depths as a gigantic waterfall can be viewed in astonishing details from the position of the castle. This is also the reason why Vista Castle always has been an attraction for visitors from far way who don't want to miss viewing the wondrous Anaios Falls.

Vista Castle

View picture in full size Image description: The idyllic sight at the silhouettes of Vista Castle. In the foreground you can see the winding of the Thaehelvil river. Picture drawn by Tanos.

The History of Vista Castle. From the historical point of view Vista Castle also is mentioned several times in the annals of Santharia and - of course - of the ancient kingdom of Eyelia, of which the former Vista once was proud capital. However, it is reported that the terrible earthquake in the 15th century b.S. cut through the thriving town like "an elemental maw from hell opening suddenly in order to devour the falseness of pride and wealth reigning the city" - as written in the "Purgatoria" by the cleric Stinus of Vista from the church of the Silver Cross. Many people who survived the catastrophy left the doomed town immediately, many also turned their back to the kingdom and sought refuge mainly in the eastern, economically rich lands of Serpheloria. Within a few weeks Vista was reduced to a small ghost village. Only the mostly unharmed castle still reminded of the once better days. The Eyelian king and beastmaster Taranthir I. left Vista and his castle as well and moved his residence to the south, in the central Rimmerins Ring, to a place the elves called Es'daín (elvish "Place in the day"). This place should later on be renamed to Santhala and become the Santharian capital.

Though Vista Castle was still maintained after the earthquake it was soon forgotten and several times easily overrun by enemy forces in the Sarvonian Wars. This is mainly due to it's bad strategical position it inherited from the catastrophy. On the other hand the name of Vista is still remembered in the United Kingdom as Vista was one of the first in a series of castles which initiated the re-conquering of the southern Sarvonian continent from the hands of the orcs during SW III. Vista Castle was stormed by united Serphelorian and Avennorian forces in 208 b.S. and aside from a landslide victory on the battlefield the troups also succeeded in rescuing the abducted Iva, the second daugther of the regent Aehlemost and princess of Eyelia.

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