You don’t need to ask anyone where the city’s fortress is. It’s incredibly clear without having to get directions; no matter where you are in the city, you can see the great stone exterior rising up from the hillside. Once you’ve made your way through the city, you pass through the Cannonade, as it’s called. Two large stone walls tower on either side of you, each topped with large ballista and cannons. Thankfully they’re trained on the area just before the Cannonade; if they were trained on you, you’d get the sense that you were unwelcome here. It doesn’t take you long to head through the iron gate and into the fortress proper. You need to be directly underneath the walls to understand their sheer size. You look up, and up, and up, and about a hundred feet above you, you finally see a guard looking down at your small retinue. He motions to someone and the portcullis begins to rise.
Purpose / Function
The Council of Britaxian Lords does their business from the floor level of Greystone Keep’s inner keep. In charge of the realm’s peace and prosperity, their chamber is the great Hall of the Dragon, the former feast hall of the Baron of Shakida. Their long debates fill up the hall with lords from all over Britaxia. Greystone Keep is the most well-known fortress in the world. Tales claim that only the surprise attack of the Sea People at the beginning of the Drowned Years was the only time the fortress was sacked. Its thick walls and powerful guard have prevented invasion after invasion.
The fortress is constructed from a dark grey limestone from the Vale of Tac'norä. The fortress easily towers over the rest of the city, having been built on a hill and having walls that are 20 metres high in some places. Five large towers peer out over the walls, roofed with the distinctive green shingles of Shakidan architecture. Between the iron gates of the fort and the beginning of the ascent to it is the Cannonade. This long string of ballista, cannons and guards on top of a tall stone wall is meant to discourage direct assault. This means that any would-be conqueror must have a clever plan to break into the fortress. In the centre of the structure is one large donjon of immense size. It lords over even the gigantic exterior walls, a large drum of great size. It is there that the Council of Britaxian Lords meets. It is also the location of the Baron of Shakida’s residence.
HistoryThe old stones at the base of this structure show that the complex used to be a smaller fortress belonging to the Baron of Shakida in the Second Era. Long before there was a Britaxia or even the large city that Shakida has become, the grakonlar settlers of the region built a small stone keep. Eventually, later barons added onto the keep, building its walls higher and making them more ornate. As time went on and the prestige of the Barony of Shakida grew, the central keep got taller and taller to its present form. The attack of the Sea People in 3E 501 is the only sour note in the keep’s long history. The strange folk came from the ocean side and scaled the structure, slipping in at night. They then were discovered by guards and a short scuffle ensued. After that, the victorious Sea People threw out the Baron’s family and held the fortress for several months before being forced to flee.
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