Fort Hightower Building / Landmark in The Sagas | World Anvil

Fort Hightower

Most of us believed we would fall to the empire in less than a week when they laid siege on us. But somehow, we held on for a month, an entire month. Proving that the empire was not this unstoppable power that all would fall to give us proof that we had a fighting chance. We even destroyed the castle to stick it to em, I would pay good coin just to see their face when all their losses resulted in nothing. - Surviving soldier from the Siege of For Hightower

Purpose / Function

To defend the only clear way into Ardania, known only as the Narrow Path, from foreign threats and guard their region of the Great Forest.


A Lone Castle

  Fort Hightower is considered one of the oldest castles in Ardania, dating back thousands of years to the time of the Banner Lords, which once ruled over the land before the kingdoms were formed. The true origins and the castle's founder are lost to time, but many believe that it was under the rule of Franco Ospern, a prominent figure whose bloodline would later find the kingdom of Arda. Though no one knew why he would build his castle in such an isolated area, the hill it was built on and the rocky terrain allowed for a better defensible position, yet there was no purpose economically as farming was challenging. Very few people living close to the borders left Ardania. Later, Ospern would go on several military campaigns and conquer neighboring lands to expand his influence. Many attempts were made at the fort, but sieging the castle proved difficult, and it would never be conquered no matter how large the army may be. It would be the seat of power when the kingdom of Arda was founded. This would eventually change when its capital, Honnendolf, was built and the castle used as a border fort once the Narrow Path was made and trade with states outside of Arda was made.   Thousands of years later, the castle's purpose remains the same, but under new management, once the Kingdom of Ardania and Banordoms were officially created. It would also become one of the five holdings used by the Forest Guard to defend the region from threats and several attempts of invasion along the Narrow Path. All of this would be repealed with the attacker’s inability to breach the castle walls that had grown stronger and more complex since its creation. It is often unavoidable not to see the castle when traveling into Ardania, nor avoid going around it, as the road is the only way for anyone to travel on flat land towards it due to the rough and rocky terrain surrounding the region. But that's the point since the castle is used as a checkpoint to get into Ardania, to keep contraband and smuggling from happening. Through the use of the castle, the region is well protected from any dangers that might come towards it, along with sending aid if necessary by sending out the Forest Guard to intercept them with the terrain being in their favor. Due to the importance of Fort Hightower, it often is given more funding than all other holdings of the Forest Guard to keep the peace.  

A Final Stand

  Despite the castle having a long and detailed history of repealing invaders, it would meet its match during the early days of the War of the Raptors when the Vatian Empire laid siege to it with a massive army comprising of several legions and a vast array of siege weapons more advanced than anyone could ever imagine. These would constantly cause it to fall to pieces at the hands of Vatian ingenuity and its defenders unprepared to face such a well-organized army. However, the fort held out for over a month against the Imperial Legions that many believed would fall in less than a week. The legions would suffer for every attempt to break through its wall during the Siege of Fort Hightower, with thousands dead by the time the siege finally ended. But the defenders refused to let the castle fall to the enemy and, as they fled through underground tunnels to escape, caused to foundations to become unstable and collapse. Leaving the once grand castle to become a useless pile of rubble as the imperials gained nothing from all fo their hard fighting. Now it remains in ruins with no attempts to rebuild it and becoming a constant reminders of a time in Ardania had long since past.
1524 CA
Founding Date
2021 BCA
Alternative Names
The Old Fort, Stone in the Narrow
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

Secrets Ways

  One key feature that allowed the defenders of the castle to have the edge over any would-be invaders was the fact that there were tunnels running under it. These tunnels are often said to go on for miles and allow anyone who uses them to remain undetected to conduct raids on enemy camps with the element of surprise or for people in a hurry to travel under the rugged terrain. The origins of the tunnels are often debated on how old they are, with some believing that they are a part of the UnderRoot made by the Gnomes. In contrast, some believe they were put in Ospern himself to allow him to move armies undetected and get the drop on his enemies.

Cover image: by MidJourney


Please Login in order to comment!