Holding the Border
The Spine has always been a hostile place, more so for the Mountain Kin
that live on it. Which often forced them to move from place to place across the Savage Cliffs
and beyond. Causing many of them to migrate where they can from north to south across the treacherous mountain range that lied before them. Many of these tribes would find themselves in the south into Ardania and would raid and pillage where they could before being pushed back to their icy homes. This could all change however with the formation of the Mountain Guard as they began to fortify the mountains to repeal this threat. But it would often be an upwards battle quite literally in this case as the barbarian's numbers seemed endless as no matter how many were killed more would take their place when they migrated south. But it was not until a discovery was made that would change the outcome greatly.
It was discovered by Mountaineers that there was only one accessible area of the mountains that allowed clear access to the south from the north and there was no way around it as it was too treacherous for anyone to traverse. It was here that the pass would be fortified with a large fortress that would act as a wall to repel all barbarians that would try to get through the pass. The construction was harsh as the conditions and the material needed for the project were hard and costly as many workers succumbed to the cold, famine, accidents, and barbarian attacks to build the gateway that would keep them out. It would take over half a century until it was finally finished but in the end, it was all worth it. A massive fortress that would act as the wall that would repeal all threats would dare try to cross in Ardania and it would be called Blood Stone Gate for it was built with blood and it would be stained with it for all those foolish enough to try and get past it.
Against the Hordes
Since then the gate has been successful in repealing many barbarians from getting past it often dealing with large hordes using whatever they can to keep them out. But every time they attacked they began to adopt more and more to find ways to exploit any weakness that the fortress might only to end up dead like many before them. It is even said that many of the bodies that attacked the gate as still there as the cold have frozen them solid and preserving their corpses for centuries as a warning to all who dare end its domain. Many have died attempting to break the gate, but all have failed with no real success. What many thoughts were impossible became possible as the barbarians had been held back and had no way to get past them practically at least. Soon enough the defenders of the gate discovered that the barbarians created crude gear to help them climb the rock faces in the attempt to get around the gate with small amounts of success. This was quickly corrected as outposts were set up to watch places that allowed people to climb more easily and adapted the climbing gear with better improvements to better adapt to their terrain.
Barbarians were not the only threats that they had to face from time to time. There were beasts such as Mountain Drakes
that managed to get into the pass and tried to get past the gate and fight such creatures were never easy, but they failed and ended up being a meal for the defenders. Then there are special cases that have happened over the centuries that no one would expect, such as foreign invading armies. The first one being an undead horde during the Night War
trying to get in Ardania through the mountains, how so many manage to get up there in uncertain as the cold greatly affected them. Though it didn't matter in the end even if they had Vampires
on their side or that many of those killed at the gate were resurrected to serve their undead masters they all fell they went right through a kill zone from the defenses built up over the centuries. Then there was the Martari Wars where a delusional general believed that he conquered the south with his large army, only to lose a third of it and the rest of it be wiped out when the tribe to take the walls, they did a little better than most others but they were unable to adapt to the cold and we're no match for harden defenses, at something good came out of it the loot they left behind fetched quite well when it was sold. But that was the last attempt by a foreigner to do so in a while.
Isolated and Alone
Not much happened for many centuries as the gate kept away all from entering and that would not change. Then the War of the Raptors
happen which caused the garrison in the gate to be on high alert to combat any imperial forces that might try to invade through the mountains. Which they did considering the strategic value it had if we're to be taken. But unlike previous attempts by those before them the empire send in small forces of their Ice Breakers to cause small breaches in the gate’s defenses to weaken it for a larger force to take it later on. This would result in a guerrilla war between both sides as they attempted to defeat their enemy. It was not until an imperial legion came that a real battle took place. The Battle of the Blood Gate would last for weeks as the imperial forces tried to breach the gate and they almost certainly did, but despite the siege equipment and the discipline of their forces, the attrition and the rising casualties were too much for them and they were forced to retreat and another attempt would not be made. The gate had suffered its losses as well during the fighting and considerable damage was done to the gate but it remained to stand as its defender began to rebuild as much as they could.
It was getting harder for them as time went by and routine supplies came less and less as the war went on. Resulting in harsh rationing and discipline for those that remained. Some even resulted in cannibalism as they feasted on the dead when the hunger was too much for them. It was not until a group of mountain guardsmen finally arrived after a year that they heard the news that the war was over and the horrors of what the survivors did to keep themselves alive. But they had no place to and to leave would most certainly mean death. It was from here that the garrison now being a much smaller force than it once was began acting as an independent settlement and began to gain control of the surrounding area to gain resources better their chances at survival. But have gained the ire of local tribes in the area and skirmishes could happen at any time. But to ensure that the gate is properly man and not overrun by barbarians and imperial forces they often send out parties to look for more remnants to join their ranks. Even adopting a form of raiding on barbarian tribes that attacked them often killing all the men and taking the women and children captive and brought back to the gate in an attempt to repopulate if they remained here for decades by taking wives and raising children as if they were their own. But they have become paranoid over the years as they try to maintain order and discipline in a land that is out to get them with even those among them that could turn on them at any moment and have no access to communication to the outside world making them truly on their own and alone.