Despite this place being in the middle of nowhere and a literal hell it is the only home we go and we will protect it whatever the cost. - Rebel
Purpose / Function
The fort act as a buffer zone between the higher mountains and the lowlands of Ardania. This was due to the mountain barbarians that often came down from the mountains to raid the plentiful lands in the region. With this, the Mountain Guard of the region could intercept them and chance them back to their caves whenever they could. Along withstanding attacks if they decide to attack the fort. It also acted as a relay outpost to deliver information to other forts in the lowlands in case barbarian activity was happening elsewhere and could be warned of impending attacks. Now the fort is a rebel stronghold for remnants that belong to the Mountain Guard and Banors with a few royal army forces as well along with their Mountain Kin allies that make up the Ice Stone Pact . It has become a staging ground for raids on imperial forces. It also harbors refuge camps for anyone who manages to make it up to the fort that is.
The fort was once just a small base with a few buildings and a stone wall around it. Then more buildings were added to it such as a stable and great hall. With several watchtowers for a better view of the area to identify who is coming before they get too close. Then as more troops were needed to guard the area the fort was expanded with a wall made of wood which later on turned into three layers of walls with each area having its buildings. Checkpoints and guard posts soon followed to keep the fort secure from any threats. Caves near the fort were used as well to store food and weapons later on the fort started to reach the mountainside near them. Some are being used as lodging and prisons. An extra wall was built as well in order more living space as more buildings were being built to tend to the needs of the inhabitants. A few buildings also are outside of the wall, but they are mostly for military purposes.
Building MaterialThe fort is average by Ardanian Standards as it is made up of stone and wood much of the original buildings that were built are made up of stone to last longer. The newer parts of the fort are made up of wood as it is easier to maintain than stone. It is also used in repairing parts of buildings as looking for new stone material takes too long to find in cold conditions.
EnvironmentThe cold often causes much of everything to be covered in ice and fade creating a reflective surface when light hits it to create a natural camouflage. Its ice is also used as an extra layer of protection making it difficult to set things on fire or to grab on things. Special ice traps are made as well as icicles are used to impale enemies and ices sheets to make them lose their footing.
DecorationBanners often are seen around the fort that is worn and fades after many years of use. Poles are used to create carvings that are traditional to Ardanians in the region to remind them of home due to the isolation. Even grass and soil were brought up to make living here a little more comfortable. The grass of course was native to the area resistant to the cold and crops that could adapt to the cold were used for food.
Several walls have been created around the fort to ensure a proper defense could be made to ensure if an attack could be held off no matter the numbers. The fort has its defenses as well as it has murder holes and mechanisms to reign down the ice that has become stuck to it to reign down on its besiegers among many more traps waiting for them.
A Rough StartBefore the fort was ever built it was original an outpost in the middle of nowhere built to warn forts of impending barbarian attacks. This was not that effective as the outpost was often attacked first as it was lightly defended and then the barbarians would come down the mountains to attack settlements. Then the idea to build a fort was thought of and it was quickly built in a matter of months. This ensured that the barbarians could not be able to easily attack it or go around it. The first few years after it was built was difficult as the tribes in the area didn't like seeing foreign forces in the area and attacks were common. Which lead to the need for more soldiers and expansion to be required to maintain it. Attacks became less common as well did raiding parties as the troops stationed their often managed to attack them first or scare them off. Allowing peaces to exist for the settlements of the lower mountains to be maintained as long as the fort remained to ward off attacks.
IsolationThough the fort was important to the safety of settlements in the region it was not easy to stay there. The fort was far away from any known civilization and very few people ever came up to it. Supply wagons often didn’t show up for more then a month or so as it was dangerous just to travel up them since the weather was unpredictable. Leading to the fort’s occupants to having to live off the land and be self dependent for survival. Lack of comforts lead to boredom and made many steer crazy as they had nowhere to go. The cold did not help either as being outside or exposed could lead to possible frostbite and many soon forgot what warmth was like whenever they weren’t by a fire. Some even took their own lives as they could not take it any longer and those who deserted did get too far as their bodies were found later as they succumbed to the cold or were killed by the wildlife. Giving it the nickname “Frozen Hell” as being there was more of punishment rather than a duty. Those in the Mountain Guard who break the rules are often sent there to be taught a lesson and this has created high discipline as no one wishes to go there.
An Unexpected Safe HavenWhen the War of the Raptors concluded with the defeat of Kingdom of Ardania at the hands of the Vatian Empire. Much of it's military was scatter and hunted down one by one in a short period of time. A few remnants of the Mountian Guard fled to Fort Kalren as it had been untouched by the war and many others survivors joined them as well to make the journey. At first no one knew what to do as they were had no support and they were now fugitives of the empire. Then it dawned on them that this the best place for them to be as the fort's isolation made less likely for anyone to come after them and they could sustain themselves as it had the resources. In only a matter of months the once great " Frozen Hell " became something of a thriving community as settlement began to be built around it as refugees sought safety in the mountains. With it civilization began to spring up all around it and life seemed to become a lot more bearable as they were considered safe from the empire. This was due to the fact that the Imperial Legions of the empire would be unable to besiege the fort as the the weather conditions would not let them last long in large numbers. Along with the troops in it that knew the terrain better than them. Then the Ice Stone Pact was formed and soon Mountain Kin tribes made their homes around it as well as aiding in their ongoing war against the empire. The fort has become one of the pact's main strongholds and its leadership often plans the next attacks from here a well. Many of its raiders would often bring back imperial supplies in order to make their lives easier. As of now the fort and it inhabitants have become something of a independent nation that has managed to hold off the empire for the last few years, but just for how much longer still is uncertain.
Frozen Hell, Ice Fort
Hey Jester%, I'm liking your work,I also like the Header Pic. Aemon