Vorcastle Settlement in Kelbonnar | World Anvil


Once little more than a tranquil fishing community on the cliffs overlooking the Sea of Gormallis, Vorcastle has over the centuries of its existence become one of the Empire of Turelion's most heavily fortified bastions. Since the fall of every other major settlement to the forces of Nova Norgantho, Vorcastle has also become the de facto capital of what remains of Norgantho Province.   Since the rebellion and subsequent formation of Nova Norgantho in 490DW, every inch of the city has become heavily fortified, but Vorcastle had become a stronghold settlement long before the murmurings of discontent in Norgantho Province bubbled over into secession.   The city’s remote and naturally defensible location led to it being developed into a stronghold during the Triplet’s Interregnum, where it became a base for Prince Tamen and then his son Prince Citrio in their bid to seize the throne following the death of Emperor Borial ‘the Miser’. Over the forty two years of that conflict, what began as a simple motte-and-bailey castle grew into a formidable citadel, which was the location of the last battle of that war in 137DP – a gruelling siege of several months which eventually saw Prince Citrio’s forces yielding to Princess Renovationia, who would go on to become Emperor Renovationia I ‘ The Peacebringer’.   The people of Vorcastle have seen many wars and much bloodshed over the centuries, something which they will have to continue to endure for many more years to come.


Like most settlements within the Empire of Turelion, Vorcastle is a majority Human settlement, though there is a strong contingent of Half-Orcs and Goliaths amongst its populace, whose presence is promoted and encouraged to provide extra muscle for the city’s armed forces. There is also a strong community of Dwarves and Gnomes, whose natural skills and aptitude for metal work are invaluable within the many forges of the city.   As all other industry has essentially been strangled by the overbearing military presence and implementation of martial law within Vorcastle, most of the city’s populace are considered to be within lower class by the Imperial Bureau.


Whilst most settlements under the rule of the Empire of Turelion, are governed by an Alderman, this is not the case for Vorcastle. The constant war footing that the city has been placed on since the secession of Nova Norgantho, along with the massive expansion of the original citadel to incorporate the whole city means that Vorcastle is instead governed by the Imperial Major Marozina Julia Norganthonia of the Imperial Drakes. Imperial Major Norganthonia has been personally appointed by His Imperial Majesty Belliotrix IV to oversee the security of Norgantho Province and plan a counter attack into the Rebel Nation. As well as being able to draw on the compliment of civilian staff that an Alderman would have at her disposal, Norganthonia, as supreme commander of the city garrison and all military forces within the province, can call on all of Norgantho Province’s military assets as she sees fit.   In addition, the city of Vorcastle has for many years been under martial law. This means that its citizens have to endure curfews, random searches of property and regular stop and search activities by the garrison. All legal processes pass through Imperial Major Norganthonia’s office, with trials being presided over by officers of the garrison. The citizenry are subject to harsh penalties for any crimes, and the Imperial Bureau’s records show that for the last fifty years in a row, Vorcastle’s authorities has executed more people than any other settlement in the Empire of Turelion.


Though it is referred to as a city, Vorcastle is in reality a single vast defensive network.   At the heart of the settlement is the original citadel, complete with curtain wall and towers, built during the years of the Triplet’s Interregnum. Since the war with Nova Norgantho, this central fortification has been augmented with ten other smaller fortalices, complete with their own curtain walls which have been constructed throughout the city. Each of these defensive hubs are connected to each other by a interlocking network of curtain walls and towers which crisscross the entire city and linking up into a curtain wall that encircles the entire settlement. Should this exterior wall be breached and hostile forces enter the city, the complex network of defences means that different areas of Vorcastle can be locked down and isolated as needed, to reduce the spread of hostiles and make any attempt to assault the city quickly become a gruelling war of attrition.   As well as having the entire body of provincial troops posted within it, as the capital of Norgantho Province, Vorcastle also has a compliment of Imperial Drakes, who garrison the central citadel.

Industry & Trade

The proximity of the city to Nova Norgantho and the unwillingness of the current Imperial Major in charge of the city to commit forces to defending its vicinity, means that unlike the vast majority of settlements in Kelbonnar, Vorcastle has no agricultural hinterland to speak of. Therefore no large scale production of crops or livestock takes place in the city, though many of its citizens have created private or community cottage gardens on their property to provide some food for themselves. Almost all of the food and resources consumed by the people and industries of Vorcastle are shipped in from elsewhere in the Empire of Turelion.   Unsurprisingly for a city that regards itself as constantly under siege, the main industry in Vorcastle is the production and maintenance of weapons and armour. Huge numbers of forges belch out smoke across the city, in which hundreds of blacksmiths toil to create armour, shields, swords, axes, spears and arrows. This constant activity means that Vorcastle has some of, if not the largest cache of weapons and armour in the Empire of Turelion, a stash so large that it has even begun exporting surplus stock to the other provinces of the Empire.


Originally, the infrastructure of Vorcastle had little of note to it, but in recent years the landscape of the city has been changed to better accommodate the needs of the garrison, at the expense of the local populace. Roads have been rebuilt, or had walls, fortified gateways or check points being built across them, fortified towers have sprung up at strategic points and housing blocks demolished to make way for fortalices and barrack buildings.   In addition, the sewer network of the city has been turned into an underground highway for troop movements around the city, with walkways, bridges, weapons caches and even bunkhouses having been constructed into the existing network to enable the garrison to move around freely and counterattack anywhere in the city should an enemy force gain entry.

Guilds and Factions

As part of the city being under martial law, formalised guilds and organisations within Vorcastle have been banned, in case they be used as a cover for insurgent activities.


The threat of incursion by enemy agents from Nova Norgantho means that the city authorities, in conjunction with the Imperial Inquisition have decreed that none may travel to the city without either prior approval from the office of the Imperial Major Norganthonia, or without a citizen deemed by the city authorities and the Inquisition to be of good and honest standing vouching for them.


Vorcastle sits on a large peninsula at the north eastern edge of the Worfal Tundra which juts out into the Sea of Gormallis. The city itself has been built upon a natural plateau, with sheer cliffs demarcating most of its boundaries. The city can only be approached from the land from the south-west, but a substantial harbour lies beneath the city, having been painstakingly carved out of the cliff face, allowing travel and imports to and from the city via the Sea of Gormallis.
Founding Date
Large town
c. 8,000
Inhabitant Demonym
Location under
Owning Organization

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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