A castle only in name, Castle Penthios is a palatial manor house set on the north-western shores of the Desolation of Hissh, renowned for its verdant and colourful gardens, a stark contrast of the landscape of the rest of Ymeris and the Mangeno Woods which immediately border the castle to the south.
DemographicsThe serf population of Castle Penthios are predominantly made up of Halflings, Gnomes and creatures with a link to the Fey. The main reason for this appears to be the personal taste of the Penthios’ lord Synioppe Penthiosital, but one thing that is common across all of the serfs is a knack for horticulture, which is passed down from generation to generation in the serf population, and which is deployed to keep the castle’s extensive gardens and orchards in pristine condition.
Ruling LordCastle Penthios is ruled by the Vampire Synioppe Penthiosital, a favourite of the ruler of Ymeris, Linniara Istarital, to the point where she has been given the esteemed title of ‘Venerable’, meaning that her station has been elevated within the Midnight Court’s society above that of many of her older, and therefore usually more influential, elders. Synioppe is regarded as Ymeris' key diplomat, and she often travels to other nations and receives envoys in return. The main reasons behind the verdant and expansive gardens of her home is to allow Castle Penthios to be used as the main location where envoys from foreign nations are entertained, the idea being that they feel more at ease in a place that less starkly reflects the much less welcoming nature of the Desolation of Hissh.
The Chrysanthemum PalaceIt is Castle Penthios’ extensive gardens, along with its ruler’s penchant for Chrysanthemum flowers that has given rise to the place’s nickname, the Chrysanthemum palace. As Castle Penthios is still well within the borders of the Desolation of Hissh and its unnatural perpetual twilight, a mixture of horticultural skill and powerful arcana allow the flora planted within the boundaries of the castle to grow as if exposed year round to their most ideal conditions, and it is rare to see the castle’s flowerbeds without a riot of many blooms. In addition, large orchards also extend beyond the more formal flower gardens that immediately grace the foot of the castle, and their apple, pear, fig and orange trees produce fruit year round, which is kept for the consumption of the serf population and the castle’s guests rather than for export. Indeed, any produce or plant taken from the garden and beyond its borders withers and rots within hours, as the magic sustaining its pristine form fails when too far from the castle itself.
Castle Penthios has no wall and its main structure is that of a sprawling manor house, as opposed to a keep or fortalice. Instead of being protected by stone, the castle is instead protected by a large, deep moat that completely encircles it, and joins the waters of the Icefang Ocean at its northern extremities. In addition, there are innumerable magical wards to protect the castle and its inhabitants from those that mean its inhabitants harm, something that is a rather necessary precaution to fend off the foul and hungry creatures of the Mangeno Woods to the south.