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Black Keepby Giorgio
Feel free to share your ideas on the Black Keep, Giorgio!
When I finish writing my TR outline I will give you the details in full, but here is a short version and first draft:
-Karameikos extends its influence into the valley in 990 AC, with the mayor of Melinir becoming a Baron and the whole valley his barony.
-The Duke strikes deals with the Dwarves, Elves, and Hobgoblins of the Horned Hills, granting them autonomy in exchange for trade, peace and non-interference deals.
-The Duke knows about the valuable “Blue Steel” and the valleys rich volcanic soil, and he sends troops to the valley to secure it for his realm by building three small forts/garrisons in the valley over the course of the next 10 years.
-Knowing the dragon Scorch was a direct threat to his rule, the Duke hired a well known band of adventurers to slay the dragon. While it was an expensive contract, they successfully defeated the dragon and eliminated its threat to the valley forever.
-The keep of the black knight is assaulted by a combined force of the dukes soldiers, dwarven axe men, elven archers and hobgoblin mercenaries. Taking the keep by surprise, they overwhelmed the defenders, killed everyone to the last man, and razed the keep to the ground.
-With the Dukes financial backing, dwarven engineers and craftsmen, elven magic, and hobgoblin labor, a fortress was built to guard the southern exit in the valley and the entrance the Drake River. This fortification was named Riverguard Keep.
-Riverguard Keep was under constant assault by the orcs of the Bone Hills during all of its construction. Once it was completed the dukes forces took the offensive and waged war on the orcs. It is estimated that another year of heavy fighting would clear the Bone Hills of the orcish presence for good, and allow for the construction of a road linking the valley to the rest of the kingdom.
-With the increased level of security there is a population boom in the human lands, and the valleys rich volcanic soil is extensively cultivated. The increase grain and animal production leads to extensive exports outside the kingdom and increases the wealth of the nation.