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Fort Hobart Pass

by Robin
by Greg Weatherup

I had just always assumed that Fort Hobart patrols the "narrow" area (roughly 16 mile gap) between Alfheim and the Mountains to keep the humanoids from the north from passing. Reading an old thread on here made me remember the depiction of a long wall blocking a valley near Hobart, ie as a physical barrier, not as a patroling base, so I was curious as to which it was. I looked up the entry in the Gaz, Ft. Hobart is described as "Situated in a narrow pass that is the only route south from the Orclands, Ft. Hobart blocks the pass completely with 15-high walls of stone." The map on page 39 shows the pass as maybe a quartermile wide or so at most (I can't tell if the scanned copy was resized, and I don't want to dig out my physical copy to actually measure it, but It looks like even calling it a quartermile is drasticly overly generous), much shorter than I remembered. If we are being generous and say it is a quarter mile long, What make's the other 15.75 or so mile unpassable going North-South? Why don't the humanoids just (try to) go around it?

I had hoped that the History of Eykaivial and the Dwarfgate Mountains Region article might address the issue, but I guess Hobart is too recent a construction.

I know on Robin's 1 mile hex map of Alfheim, which included Hobart, she has a cliff blocking off the West side between the fort and the Forest, and it could be argued that the rivers to the East make a V-chasm, but even that still leaves a few miles between the river and the fort. She added outlying adjunct forts to control the area, but If we want to keep the description of Hobart as being on the only pass, what could explain the other few miles not being passable North to South?

Here the map

I fought then making the map with the same conflict.

I used the canon Darokin map of Fort Hobart from Gaz Darokin(as good displayed in this site the scale of the map reveals the distance of the wall coverage less than 500 yards) being clutched betwee a cliff (Hobart's edge)in the west (black cliff line)and steep rising hills in the east(yellow line).
The small outlook towers Dobarry, Adelbert, Tieripoint and Dikemar I added are connected by a trail and the thick dotted line on the map is the major trail towards the Dwarven Pass (and later the course of the dwarven Train). These towers are always manned, and have a vey good view over a great distance due their height and high placed locations, and see up to the forest around lake Hobart and the most southern Doulakki ruin
It is a very irregular terrain where within this province the Bugbears are the main menace. Many small rivers rolling from the mauntains cut through the hills , and are difficult to cross.
The ruins in the north of the priovince where dwarven, giant or Doulakki, most destroyed by Bugbear conflicts. The large Emyn Eglain in the heavily forested part of the Canolbarth forces more small rivers to convene and make fuctional use, passage or settlements difficult. The bugbears do the rest.

That said, as visible on a 1 mile scale, there is always enough space to traverse, however, the east of the province Hobart is clutched against the mountain, and difficult to pass. The west is the Canolbarth and the high hills there. It is this very logical that the fort is created on the one best passable area.
The towers (probably stone or High wood) are manned by Elven (infravision) allies, Darokin troops on mountain trained horses using the trails between the fort and the towers regularly to patrol and change troops(never stay too long in one placce or you will ease down and see less is a Hobart soldier saying), The border to Alfheim and Rockhome maybe strict on paper, in reality it is much less strict and the Dwarven ruins north against the mountains and elven scout patrols here are proof of that. The most conflicts here are betweern elven and Bugbears, dwarven and bugbears and sometimes dwarven vss elven or visaversa
The fort is indeed reasonably recent (i believe 970AC or later), and directly relieved Selenica of attacks, eased the Dwarven-Elven tension, and alowed the southern areas to become more cultivated.
And do not forget the active protection radius of a fort like Hobart was a days to three days horseback riding, Troosp are easily sighted and systems will exist to inform the fort to react accordingly.

The forest north of Lake Hobart are regularly passed by dwarven which have a very good contact with the Darokins and a sort of agreement not to make real war in the region with the elves. their mutual distrust and dislike does not resist them to make regular peaks of attacks by small groups up to each nation, yet these are never bad enough to ensue greater conflicts or war. (actually only confirm each of the dislike they have of the other. The Bugbears are in between, and it is this balance which kept the Bugbears in line...more or less.
As I suggested in The Demise of the Great Canolbarth Forest (1004-1250 AC) and The fall and Rise of the Canolbarth, the decilne of the canolbarth did increase the growth of the bugbears and already in 1020 much of the dead remains of elven trees there were burned, or used to make forts/housing for the many humanoids invading the rich area. The bugbears however, were dispersed in this onslought of chaos, and only when in 1150AC, the Canolbarth slowly became large made them to group togeyther, fight the Aspis nort of Former Feador, and this enabled the Bugbear Ushurpurs to establish a realm in this corner for his own kind (only bothered regularly by the Orc, Kobold and Ogre tribes in the west The large hill and the slowly encroached new canolbarth disbled then to invade darokin by selenica...however,several attempts would surely have been, and some woulfd indeed have bypassed Fort Hobart through what remained of the former canolbarth.

I hope this clarification helps

by Greg Weatherup

ah, so the yellow line is not a contour line (isohypse) then? (actually looking closer that makes sense) but rather a continuation of the steep slope shown on the north-east of the fort map. That would indeed put Ft. Hobart on the only North-South pass.

I take it that for the area between Ft. Hobart and Elmorebrook, Fort Hobart could see anyone trying to scale the slope to the South-east and Dikemar is positioned so it could spot anyone trying to scale the southern end? Also I take it there is a waterfall South-west of Dikemar where the Elmorebrook crosses this yellow line?

I always assumed, that it was a roughly 400 to 450 yards pallisade wall, with the fort behind it. They were already prepared that this wall would be broken and passed so created several large traps. Something any enemy after falling into once would know. Also, the enemy might decide to pass by the fort to the south.
I think this is the reason 5000+ soldiers are stationed here, some in the towers, regular patrols, and probably large cavalry units to attack passing by forces. Luckily humanoid forces are rarely exceeding 500, as such need order and regulations, something a chaotic race rarely uses (Thar is THE exception, and mayby Kol, yet he is not a real offensive one, asnd does not controls the whole horde. No the humanoids here would be more splintered so numbers would be limited, and easily witheld by the forces of the fort.

And as the the yellow line. See it as steep hill inclinations. Not passible by horse, and even on foot difficult, and as Mike so clearly explained prone to accidents.
Yes The waters should have a symbol for water rapids, not a real waterfall, but still.
Indeed that is the reason Dikemar was placed there. I envisioned the area when making this map. and viewed how the altitudes and now and former functions (as the Doulakkin ruin on the cliff) would have been used. My mapping skills have since this map greatly improved; I would now have added some flat spots (of former farms like the Doulakki ruins where in bygone times farmlands have been, or top of hills) to the map and added the rapids. And I would have made more variation in the Hills (added some broken lands, cliffs, badlands, sandy/gravel spots, rocky spires, and some splintered trees (some Dead) in the lower areas where water passes by). As the map has a serious hex shift flaw in the Selenica corner, which I discovered in the Karameikos map making, the whole map will be updated, and then this Hobart area will be somewhat clearer and slightly more varied.
That said, Tower Dikemar (altitude about 200') was placed first and has a open view to the fort, the mountains, Tieripoint and the main trail going nnorth
Tower Dobarry (named after a local elven hero, and also 200' high) was placed only a year later and has a clear view to the lower Wente Dobarry fluvial depression, it also has a good view to the Doulakki Ruins, the whole fluvial area of the Dobarry Stream. Only due the tower;s height it can see up to Tower Adelbert.
Both these towers are mixed stone and wood. the lower 120' feet is a sturdy dwarven build foundation andon top of that there has been created (with elven help) a wooden spiralling top.
Tower Adelbert (fully wooden tower of 60' on a stony ground) is placed on the top of the hills between the creeks (adelbert creek and the unnamed one). This tower due its placement has clear view to tower dobarry, the whole fluvial area of the creeks up to the Doulakki ruins.
Tower Tieripoint was orginally a hunting encampment at 3300' altitude, and as such several wooden buildings were grouped together with a pallissade wall (of sorts). On these buildings(or actually through it) a 125' wooden tower has been created giving open view to the Tower Dikemar, Tower Adelbert, can seen far over the northen forest and see Lake Hobart. Several hunting trail riddle thse woods. Dear, boar and Bear are the most hunted.
Fort Hobart sees clearly Tower Dikemar and the top of tower Dobarry. with lanterns(night)and smoke torches(day) signals are given.
Each tower would be manned by about 40 men, which never placed permanently (thus vary between the towers and fort). The Tieripoint would also have an additional 10 to 30 regularly returning hunters who are eager to fight if need be. (some of these are ex adventurers, who mostly live alone or have familiy in Selenica, but can't resist the lure of action, so go hunting.