Ardent Keep (formerly Harpshield Castle) is a fortification located in the southeastern section of the Ardeep Forest. It is estimated that the castle was originally constructed in the 900s DR, but fell into ruin and have only been recently rebuilt in late 1492 DR. The keep is located atop a large hill, with roads connecting the fortification with Nightstone to the west, and Daggerford to the south. Ardent Keep currently is host to its namesake, the Ardent, an adventuring company founded in late 1492 DR by Aial Vock Tal.
Purpose / Function
Ardent keep acts as the main base of operations for The Ardent. It is both a base and fortification. The organisation's management and maintenece takes place within the keeps walls. It is also a mustering ground for the organistions teams, and divisions. The keep houses the treasury, where items and revenue are collected, and a dungeon where information is gathered from ciminals and enemies of the organisation.
As the building was once a ruin, serious renovations were completed to restore and extend the walls of the keep, and the dungeon below. Interior alterations were made to the inside of the central keep, creating a hall for visitors and meetings to be made. More housing, and education and training facilities were constructed for new recruits. The alterations let the organisation operate efficiently and effectively within the space they have.
The keep consists of 4 towers and walls, as well as a central keep containing a grand hall. All of these are constructed with stones from the surrounding hills, and stone quarries. The overall design is rather straight and square, with a number of harsh edges around the machicolations and battlements. A large courtyard is within the walls allowing for the passing in and out of horses and carriages. Outside the walls is a number of small gardens where there are herbs and reagents grown.
The keep has heavy walls that are littered with arrow slits, machicolations and battlements. There is a large portcullis that has murder holes, and openings for tar and other harmful liquids to be poured. The keep has open views from the top of its towers, with trained guards and battlemages.
Ardent Keep was originally known as Harpshield Castle, until it was repaired in 1492 DR. Harpshield Castle was named for the Kingdom of Harpshield, one of the successor states to the Kingdom of Delimbiyran. However, in 942 DR, drow raiders swarmed through the kingdom, destroying most of it. The castle fell that same year, and the survivors of the assault fled to what would become modern-day Waterdeep. Those survivors eventually became the Waterdhavian House Majarra, and the abandoned castle was claimed by the elves of the Ardeep Forest. In time, they too abandoned it, and it became home to various creatures and monsters. In 1492 DR, Harpshield Castle was occupied by an adult green dragon. Late in the year, Aial Vock Tal, Sariel Liadon, and Wislaw Jansobski made their way to the castle and slew the dragon, claiming the castle for themselves. Seeing an opportunity, Aial paid workers from Waterdeep and Nightstone to restore and rebuild the ruined castle, upgrading it in the process. After a few months, construction was complete and the renewed fortress became home to the Ardent.