The Fortress of Bleakgarden
Great walls cut of dark grey and blue stones loom over the rolling grasslands in the quiet fields that separate the lands of once great Stockton and the lands of Andover. Parallel, though hundreds of miles away from the Isles of Raif, there lies this great wall that stands as a black scar on the empty plain. Within it's cities lies the town of Bleakgarden, a small city full of hard working people and dedicated defenders. Within this city lies a second wall, taller than the first and thicker, within which lies the Fortress of Bleakgarden itself. Three large towers of black stone reinforced by steel rods and deep arcane runes forms the bulk of the Fortress's body. The three towers are connected by a pentagonal structure with a single floor, the workings of the realm are run from this spot and from this spot all three towers unite.
The fortress is populated with a healthy mix of humans, orcs, goblins and half-breeds with a scattered collection of dwarves.
This Fortress is the capital and seat of power for the Archduke of Jusinica.
Bleackgarden's outer wall bares fifteen large, warship cannons that are loaded with 36cm cannon balls and have an effective range of over five-hundred feet. Beyond this, a collective of spell casters exist and operate within the second of the three towers that make up the inner fortress known as 'Stelvarisen' or the Sisterhood of Steel. While the sisterhood and canoneers can deal with most large monstrous threats that sending conventional forces at would be asking for additional casualties the fortress is not without a proper militia. The orc clan; Vrin'gun serves as the defenders of the keep. Through a kinship with the Archduke these orcs, goblins and hobgoblins form a tight-knit military unit with the human militia employed by the keep.
Most people within the fortress work for the fort itself or, produce their own wares acquired from the mine and farms and sell their products to the workers who work for the fort. There is little trade with other cities as the fortress is fairly isolated but it trades as often as is safe with the city state of Coutshou.
Bleakgarden has a deep aquifer of rich, clean water that is pumped up and managed through a simple system providing it with clean water to its homes, sewers and even a small river that turns the one watermill to grind grains, and a small lake that is stocked with fish. Beyond this is a mine that deals mostly in ores and raw stone that is dug out under the fortress away from the aquifer that provides ample materials for crafters, smiths, and the military for whatever needs they may have.
Bleakgarden has access to many large cannons and a reserve of black powder pulled from its mine that is used to defend the outer walls. It's soldiers are equipped with well made steel weapons and armor. A number of general stores operate in the city itself, a well respected apothecary, several schools, a fishery at the lake and a gainery on the river pumped out of the ground. Farms exist in the southern regions of the wall and beyond, the more adventurous of farmers having made small farming communities around the fields beneath the wall.
Founded in the late years of the fourth age, Bleakgarden was originally intended to be the capital of what would become Andover, but, with the growing expansions and the increasing population eventually became its own independant city where the Archduke resided. The desolate and occasional volotility of the surrounding wilderness drew many thriband tribes that lived within the borders of the empire to it as a bastion of trade and eventually many of those tribes began to think of Bleakgarden as home. They expanded the city inside the walls and those that decided to stay nomadic would return to the walls regularly for trade and to visit clan-mates. This has lead to a large number of thriband permanent residents and a lot of half-orcs, goblins and hobgoblins living within the walls as the years passed and the two cultures blended.
The walls around the city and the inner fort are reminiscent of the Great Wall of Hell's Gate that guards the peninsula to Hellsmere, the great city of Aldabryn. But the actual structure of three towers of the proper fortress are extremely unique. Forged from the minds of the Sisterhood of Steel, a coven of spellcasters pulled from the thriband clans and the hardy human northerners its design is ominous and looming; often unnerving those who are unfamiliar with the particular blended styles of thriband and jaralian empire.
Bleakgarden is at a nexus between the three duchies of Jusinica, it is in a deep spot surrounded by a handful of miles of flat plains then it gives way to rolling hills.
Great access to grains, a mighty aquifer and a short journey to the coast for waterfowl and fish provides it's location a wide variety of flora and fauna to consume. A rich mine with hearty stone, great ore deposits and the occasional stream of silver provides more than enough resources for the small city.