Elmwood Keep

From World of Charun

-Castle Stern-

The ruins of Elmwood Keep
The ruins of Elmwood Keep

Crumbling towers and stonework walls are all that remain of one of the Third Age's most important landmarks. Elmwood Keep stood strong for nearly 800 years, serving as the heart an soul of a nation, and so much more. It was an important trading port, and a center of human activity that rivaled even the Three Isles in scope. It survived a several wars, numerous attacks, and the dissolution of Elmwood itself upon which it was renamed Castle Stern, only to be undone by the Cataclysm.

While the keep survived much of that fateful day, most of the surrounding farmland was renderred infertile by the disasters that rent Charun. Combined with the death of Baron Stern and many of his followers due to a conflict with a group of heroes, the Keep's infrastructure was damaged irreperably. Most of its inhabitants fled north and east afterwards, leaving the Castle to fall into disrepair over the next few centuries. By the time anyone thought to reclaim the site, the damage was so extensive that repairs would have been too costly to have been feasible. And so it was abandoned for good.

Today, Elmwood Keep is little more than a nest for smugglers, pirates, and other ne'er-do-wells. It's broken walls still provide servicable cover and fortification for anyone looking to lay low for a while. A literal maze of decaying buildings and shattered stonework exists, making it possible for one to spend a lifetime there without ever crossing paths with another soul, if they so desired.

But the maze on the surface is merely the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the the Keep's deteriorating shell lies a monolithic series of tunnels. Secret passages once used in some shady underground business meet up with the city's extensive sewer system to form the framework for this system. Broken walls and frequen collapses have turned even the most straightforeward of tunnels into a labyrinthine morass of irregular passages and redoubts. As if that weren't complex enough old goblin warrens have broken into the sewers in many points. These narrow twisting tunnels lead even further, reputadly into deeper caverns, and no one really knows for certain just how far or deep one can go. Tales are often told about the strange horrors that can be found within these tunnels, and few are brave enough to test their mettle there.

More about: Elmwood | Cataclysm

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