Return to the Keep on the Borderlands
The History of the Keep
The Keep was founded some thirty years ago by Macsen Wledig, a successful adventurer who, having reached the stage in his career when he had begun to attract followers, decided to retire and build his own stronghold with the proceeds of his exploits. He chose an area on the fringe of civilized lands where he could carve out his own little fief. Having chosen a readily defensive spot not claimed by any lord, he proceeded to build a stronghold atop a low flat hill, not too far from an important trade route. He planned to drive all the monsters from the land, save for a few which he intended to allow to skulk in odd corners, feeling that the occasional monster-hunt might prove good sport when he began to miss the old days of dungeon delving and deeds of valor.Then, peasants and freemen attracted by the protection of his fortress would settle nearby, and within a few years he would have his own village at the heart of the region of well-defended farms and fields, the beginnings of his own barony.
Such, at any rate, was his plan. In the event, Macsen found that retirement agreed with him. He devoted all his time to managing the affairs of his garrison and the Keep, leaving the region beyond untouched, save for the occasional patrol, and even these grew less frequent as the years passed. It was left to others, themselves aspiring young adventurers even as the Lord of the Keep had once been, to clean out the humanoids of the nearby Caves of Chaos, raid the lizard men of the swamp, and eliminate those threats to his little settlement. Eventually the decimated lizard men became so few that they were shy and rarely met with, the emptied caves offered neither treasure nor glory to explorers, and would-be heroes out to make a name for themselves moved on to other regions.
Thus things remained for many years, until the disaster of war overtook the land. The Keep itself was unaffected, being far from the centers of civilization and the other prizes of war, but Macsen could not stand by and watch his homeland far to the north be destroyed, not while he was still hale enough to wield a blade. Gathering all his troops except for a few whom he left behind to man the Keep until he returned, he marched away and was never seen in the south again, falling in battle with all his men around him. When peacecame at least, word of the disaster finally reached the Keep. The castellan long held out hope that the rumors were false, but at last had to admit that his master, and almost all his own comrades, were dead.
Fortunately, Macsen had chosen his castellan well. Devereau was a faithful henchman, an archer who only remained behind because of a crippling wound received in an early adventure; had he been able to march alongside his lord he would have died with the rest. A more ambitious man might have declared himself the new Lord; a less deliberate one would have recruited new troops and thus brought in strangers, forever changing in character of the original settlement. Devereau did neither. After calling a meeting attended by every man, woman, and child in the Keep, he discussed their situation and put before them three options: to abandon the Keep and each return to his or her homeland, dividing the remaining treasury equally; to invite a new lord or lady to come and to obey his or her will as they had Macsen’s; or to appoint a new leader from among their number. Following much debate, they chose the last of these, asking Devereau to continue as castellan and see them through the difficult times ahead, renewing his appointment at a town meeting at the end of each year.
In the years since, the Keep has slowly rebuilt its strength. The professional garrison of the past has been replaced by a militia, with every farmer and craftsman (and -woman) serving a stint of guard duty in rotation. Much of the old barracks and parade ground have been transformed into vegetable plots (the better to feed the population in time of crisis) and living quarters for inhabitants of the Keep and their families. The wisdom of this policy has been tested and proven: Three times the Keep has been attacked or besieged by humanoids or bandits, and each time it has held out and overcome its foes. Today it is a small but thriving community once more, less populous than of old but warded by people who have invested years of hard work into making this their home and been willing to defend it to the bitter end.
This is a play-by-post campaign. Desired post frequency is once daily but all of us are busy people with many other responsibilities. For terms of combat advancement, round will be resolved in two days if only one team member hasn’t posted and in maximum 3 days, irrelevant of how many posts are missing. Outside combat, advancement will probably be less often.