Heartland Fortress: Dainhall

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Heartland Fortress: Dainhall

Postby Smyg » 21:54:59 Monday, 13 April, 2015

Heartland Fortress: Dainhall

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Still scarred by the torments of war, Dainhall yet stands proud. According to peasant legend, the original keep was raised by Thure the Ore-Mad, a wealthy petty king of times immemorial who thought to dig passages deep into one of Cambaern's very few crags, in a forlorn search for gold and silver. All learned men - including the Dains themselves - dismiss this as folklore, and attribute it to less mystical lords.

The castle, in its modern form, is a more recent creation. A century ago, by the time of the "Cambaern Chaos" as the bards would have it, it had been reduced to little but rubble after years of strife and disrepair. Restored by Arnulf Dain, raised from a mere Baron to a mighty Duke for his services to the Crown, it was renamed "Dainhall" in his honour. Each successive generation has made more or less significant improvements and changes, and added their mark on the ancestral tapestries of House Dain.

The central hold, its oakwood carefully rendered fireproof after the Siege of Dainhall (of which it still bears marks) and from which two small stone towers emerge, contains a multitude of rooms, somewhere around forty large and small. The Knight's Hall is the heart of it all, around which the kitchen, storerooms, bedrooms, the armoury, private chambers, the chapel, the Duke's study and small library, and many more sprawls wild. To map it all out coherently would be a difficult task - no plan or schematic was followed in its gradual construction. Below it all, a dungeon, and - once more according to folklore - hidden passages, both within the keep and outside. From its top, the fertile flatlands of Cambaern can be seen in every direction, endless fields surrounding the forested Fell on which Dainhall stands. Thanks to springs hidden deep in the Fell's stone, fresh water is available all year round, and the keep's granaries can hold ample harvests.

In addition to the two smaller towers of the central hold, a lone lookout stands accessible only by a small bridge. The robust tower is known as the Belfry. Prior to suffering the blow of a trebuchet during the Siege, it carried a thrice-blessed bronze bell, which was used to call the peasants to war. Its fragments were melted down, and used to fashion crude arrowheads. Combined with the other fortifications - including tall walls, three stone turrets (two circular, one square), as well as one newer turret fashioned out of wood - this means Dainhall's two large iron gates are well defended. Through the northern gate, the slope-road leads down to the local town past two wooden watchtowers guarding drawbridges across minor gorges in the road. The southern gate is surrounded by a small castle hamlet of sorts, where blacksmiths and other craftsmen labour for their lord, all protected by an outer palisade, repaired every five years.

In addition to Dainhall itself, the title of Duke carries with it several prominent holdings in the immediate surroundings (excluding more distant fiefs and other possessions). Among them are the Fool's Hall (a comfortable but undefended town residence built in the Massalian style by the current lord's grandfather, which miraculously survived the days of the Siege) and a hunting lodge by the Fell's foot not far from the Dain household tomb, decorated with fine wood carvings.

As the Year 835 draws to an end, its liege is Duke Arrick, Arnulf's great great grandson and trueborn son of Carlon the Defender. Edinnclif, the far smaller original keep of House Dain, is held by his uncle, Lord Regent Gidion, who spends much time in lamentation for his lost brother. Dainhall has never fallen from outside attack since the days of Arnulf Dain - mayhap it will be an infection from within that brings it down at last.


House Dain

Three crossbows, the weapon of siege defence and peasant levies alike, divided yet united. Blue on yellow.

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Re: Heartland Fortress: Dainhall

Postby Smyg » 22:50:37 Monday, 13 April, 2015

The Ducal Household

Spoiler:
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DUKE ARRICK DAIN, a boy of only eight. Sweet and kind, he became Lord of Dainhall and Duke of Cambaern upon the death of his father, Duke Carlon. Brother of Lady Alyssa. Taken gravely ill, according to hearsay. Watched over by his uncle, Lord Regent Gidion.


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LADY ALYSSA DAIN, firstborn daughter of the late Duke Carlon. A beautiful young woman, with ambitions of her own. Educated for some time in Gerand’s Keep. Betrothed to the influential Count Guedoc.


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LADY LEILA VANCE, second wife and widow of the late Duke Carlon Dain. Mother of young Arrick, and Lady Alyssa. Lady of the household, although distanced from the day-to-day affairs. Her patronage of the arts and engagement in charity has suffered recently, due to her tending to her son.


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LORD REGENT GIDION DAIN, Count of Edinnclif, second son of Duke Marten Dain and brother of Carlon the Defender. A stern martial man of much skill with both sword and lance, who made a name for himself during the Pretender's Strife. Self-appointed Lord Regent of Cambaern following his brother's passing. Unmarried, and entering his mid-forties.


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SYTOS THE BLACK, Knight and Captain of the Guards at Edinnclif. Swordsman and charmer alike. A bastard by birth, he carries the shield of his house inverted - a red hawk carrying a sword, on black. Wields a Kharkhedonian blade, with which he has won many a duel. Companion of the Lord Regent ever since the Pretender's Strife.


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HARELD OF HORNBOW, minstrel in the service of the household on Lady Leila's request. Former woodsman, and skilled archer, in addition to a locally renowned hero of the Pretender's Strife. Aided the royalists during the Battle of Hornbow using his knowledge of the land, and was offered a knighthood for having saved the lives of many Dain bannermen. Refused.


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SISTER SERRA, Woman of the Pantheon, together with several of her charges. All sworn to the service of the Nine-from-Three, which they worship devotedly. Well-educated and dutiful, they have spent several months aiding the local Archdeacon.



Others


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DUKE CARLON DAIN, popularly called "the Defender" for his stalwart refusal to hand over Dainhall to the Confederation, firstborn son of Duke Marten Dain and brother of Gidion. Husband of Hilma (died in fever) and Leila, father of Arrick and Alyssa. Died of an infected wartime wound, which never healed.


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VERIN THE BASTARD, son of Marten Dain and a noblewoman from a lesser cadet branch of House Tremayne. Never legitimized, but acknowledged by his father and granted a minor fief. Squired to a vassal of House Dain, and knighted at a minor tourney. Noted fighter, charming and gallant, popular among the gentry. Father of three trueborn children - Marten, Jehanna, and Coryn.


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SIR EDWYN DAIN, knight and sellsword. Distant cousin of Duke Arrick, belonging to the Dains of Erling's Hollow, a cadet branch of landed knights descending from the third-born son of Duke Arnulf. Serves as an occasional enforcer, and often-times caravan guard captain, of the League of the City of Glass.


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COUNT EMMERICK GUEDOC, Lord of House Guedoc. A largely ordinary nobleman of Cambaern, his family rich in respect if not gold or land. Betrothed to Lady Alyssa Dain, through arrangement by the late Duke Carlon, a good and honourable match in the eyes of most.

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Smyg
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Re: Heartland Fortress: Dainhall

Postby Smyg » 13:08:25 Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

DUCAL DECREE: Call for Proposals


Henceforth, upon decree by the Lord Regent on behalf His Grace Arrick Dain, the Duke of Cambaern, Son of the Defender, all Men of the Realm and the other lands of Tir Bhaile are invited to participate in a competition, in which the best way to accomplish a feat of engineering unseen since Dwarven times shall be selected. Scholars, guildmen, crafters, military engineers and all others who see themselves as fit to accomplish such a task are to dispatch written proposals to Dainhall at once, for selection come Springtime.

The task at hand: Draining the Marshlands of Southern Cambaern. The so-called "Abyssal Mire" - a region which henceforth shall be referred to as the Inner Mire - is a swamp of significant size along the mouth of the Wynriver, on the border with the Kharkhedon Republic. Although its innermost parts are likely irredeemable, the outer parts of the Inner Mire - on the edges of the Outer Mire's heathlands - could most certainly be drained, as has been seen elsewhere in the Realm in times both ancient and modern.

All written proposals, including drawings and other illustrations, which include concepts for how the Inner Mire may be entirely or partially drained - such as using drainage basins, dams, canals, ditches, dykes, windpumps and so on - and the land reclaimed for uses in agriculture and settlement, are welcomed. Simplicity shall be the key, as will cost efficiency. Any and all land reclaimed shall be settled by those willing, with small loans provided to cover the purchase of equipment, weaponry, livestock and other supplies, and a one-year halt on ducal taxation shall be granted. In certain cases, commercial syndicates may be established to promote this settlement and finance the reclamation, with shares going to the local nobility who are the lieges of the land. All of these activities shall be carried out with the armed protection of the Duke's men, and rewards shall be put out for the systematic extermination of beasts both foul and dangerous.

As a reward for the most competent and efficient proposal on how to accomplish the reclamation of the Inner Mire, a significant sum of gold shall be granted to the creator of said proposal, in return for their continued service with the project. Should their ideas be proven to hold true merit, after the partial implementation of it with fully proven success over an extended period, they are to be ennobled as the Baron of the Inner Mire, an honorary and unlanded title, as well as receive a significant and permanent ducal pension in addition to a minor estate in Gerand's Keep. An oratory dedicated to the Woods Witch shall be erected upon the reclaimed lands, the clerics of which shall hold prayers on behalf of the aforementioned winner and their family for years to come. Swindlers, charlatans and other tricksters shall meet an opposite reward, however.

SO PROCLAIMED

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