Oaken Tower Building / Landmark in The Sagas | World Anvil

Oaken Tower

You know, there are many stories about how that tree got into this castle, but I think someone wanted some nature where nothing but stone could be seen. -Oaken Tower Custodian

Purpose / Function

The castle was initially built to be the home of a noble. Before it was finished, he died, and the construction would not be picked up until the creation of the Forest Guard, which used the castle to defend the borderlands from the dangers of the Great Forest.


Over the centuries, several expansions were made to the castles to maintain larger garrisons and more capable defenses, along with several towers and murder holes. Training yards, stables, and various other necessities can be found here for the occupants' needs.


The stonework of the older parts of the castle is much different from the newer additions due to the difference in building material and design of how the castle was meant to be. The original design was an older Ardan design that was outdated when it was being constructed and replaced with an early Ardanian design to make up for any flaws that might come with it with brighter stones instead of darker ones.


Walls: Large stone walls surround the castle, allowing for better protection during sieges and keeping anyone out.   Watch Towers: Various towers are found across the fort to keep watch of anyone in the distance and to attack from with a height advantage over their attackers.   Murder Holes: A series of open holes are found across the battlements, allowing defenders to shoot arrows and bolts and drop rocks and scolding liquids on attackers while remaining protected by stone surrounding them.


A Forgotten Ambition

  Long before Oaken Tower was named, it was the project of an ambitious young lord attempting to expand their power; his name and house, however, have faded from memory. As the story goes, he tried to restore his family's name to its former glory and built a new castle to expand their influence. However, before it could be finished, he ran out of money and attempted to marry a wealthy noblewoman to finish the project. When she refused to marry him, he kidnapped her to demand a ransom from her family. Instead of money, they sent an army and surrounded the unfinished castle, demanding that she be returned. However, in this brief madness, he refused and attempted to have a wedding while under siege with a priest he was also holding hostage. The plan backfired when the captured noblewomen struggled to escape from the noble when the ceremony occurred. The ensuing struggle managed to push him away into an unfinished wall. The wall gave way and collapsed on him, killing him after she escaped with the defenders surrendering and spared from the army's wrath at their gates. Afterward, that castle remained abandoned for a few centuries with no claiming, many claiming it haunted the unknown noblemen wandering its halls.   This changed, however, when the Kingdom of Ardania was founded, and the Forest Guard was formed. They took over the unfinished castle due to its strategic position near the Great Forest, and in a few years, it was finished. It took some time to properly renovate the castle, though, due to the nature that had taken over in the centuries that had passed. But one piece of nature that surprised its new occupiers would be left behind: an oak tree. However, not just any oak tree; an Elder Green Oak is a rare species only found in the Great Forest. Rather than simply cutting down the oak to see it for its valuable wood, it was left as its beauty mesmerized all who gazed upon it with a sense of peace and comfort. From then on, the Castle would be known as the Oaken Tower of the towering oak in its courtyard. It would also inspire the Forest Guards banner as a reminder to keep the beauty of nature intact and never abuse it.  

Place of Peace

  While many members of the Forest Guard have sworn to defend their homeland from any threats from the Great Forest, the garrison of Oaken Tower has taken a different approach to this by being peacekeepers rather than enforcing it. In doing so, the garrison and it Rangers have managed to keep good relations with many villages of the Forest Tribes of Ve’tal and a better understanding of the region that they watch over and patrol. It had also become a place of negotiations between them and the tribes if they agreed to meet in the castle being done under the Elder Green Oak. These meetings were often used to renew friendly relationships and create cooperation between both parties to ensure peace. This method has been used for centuries and has proven successful. This allows for much higher success rates in missions for its Rangers, knowing they are in the safe territory to seek aid. Learning the ways of the forest, the tribes have used to understand better and increase their chances of survival.  

Peace’s End and New Management

  The empire's legions laid siege to the castle during the final day of the War of the Raptors. Still, resistance was minimal because many defenders were sent off to fight on the frontlines. However, those who remained refused to lie down and died, doing whatever they could to hold off the imperials. They used every weapon they had to fight back, even furniture, to barricade every entrance they could reach and even throw it at their attackers. The fighting was fierce, as every inch of ground was filled with the dead of both sides until finally, the remaining defenders barricaded themselves in the courtyard of the Old Oak and made their final stand as blood was spilled before the Old Oak for the first time. From that moment, the castle would be under the empire's control, and when the war finally ended, it would have a garrison placed in it. Legionaries now wander the castle halls as they look away from the forest to watch over their region of the borderlands to enforce the imperial rule. The once peaceful atmosphere that the castle once had has vanished completely. Leaving an empty feeling that anyone who once knew this place could feel if they were there. Even the Old Oak, having been spared destruction, has lost its comfort from the horrors it had witnessed since the castle's fall. Leaving only an empty shell of what once was that might never come back as long as the empire remains under its control.
Founding Date
1210 BCA - 821 BCA
Alternative Names
Castle of the Oak
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

The Old Oak

by Jester%
I don't know the reason behind it, but I want to relax under here whenever I'm off duty, away from all the noise, to calm my thoughts. - Ranger
  The Elder Green Oak in the castle's courtyard has become a part of everything that makes them here. Since its discovery, it has stood for thousands of years, with every generation of guardsmen having tended and cared for it in its garden to ensure it remains healthy, many of them simply calling the tree the Old Oak. While a reminder of the guard's duty, it also becomes a center of culture for the residents, an integral part of their lives. Often being used for recruits of the castle to swear their oaths to the guard to be a place of relaxation and peace, as the Elder Green is said to have the power to soothe the most clouded of minds and find comfort by being near or seeing it. It is a symbol that has become ingrained in living memory that no one will forget as long as they live.    

Hidden Place

by Jester%
You know, some of the veterans have claimed to know every inch of this place, but I have my doubts; this place has always had a way of surprising you. -Fredrick Lumbren
  While many doubt the original origins of the castle, some secrets have been discovered long after it was finally completed. Hidden passages were found in some of the older castle areas during construction. Revealing that whoever built the castle wanted to go undetected without anyone knowing. Though no one does that, only those of the upper ranks of the castle know about them and use them to store and safeguard crucial documents and other items for safekeeping, along with storing extra supplies and resources in emergencies without the risk of them being exposed. However, it doesn't mean that some of these officers have never used these passages to catch their men slacking on their duties without them seeing them or needing to get around fast.

Cover image: by MidJourney


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Jan 18, 2023 20:07 by Bryan Bolstad

New Year's Resolution challenge Constructive Feedback: Although the rules said only constructive feedback, I'd like to do a little of both.   I really like the decorative page borders as I opened the article. The image as it first loads is visually appealing and hearing the custodian immediately talk about it create some initial intrigue. I enjoyed the unique font you used as I was able to read each title without effort which is great. This saves time for me as a reader and also not overusing the font helped it stand out as a unique element of the article. When hovering over your links, I liked seeing the additional writing, "Banor" and "Forest Guard" being some examples. These snippets of information help me see the lush environments you've created. The darker paper texture behind the written words gave a slight feeling of it being written on a piece of parchment. Lastly I enjoyed the text for "Hidden Place" as this is a great way to create more secrets and adventure hooks (weather or not that was the goal). Your sentence structure made this article pleasing to read.   For constructive feedback, the image header, I enjoy when I can see the whole image at one time vs scrolling to see more of the image. The only other piece of feedback I have is when you linked a article in your article, I saw that a snippet of one of them, didn't show additional information, but when I clicked on it, it was a fully developed article. I found this under the section called "A Forgotten Ambition" the first link to the "Kingdom of Ardanida". Consider adding a draw-in statement here to continue building excitement of your world.   I hope this feedback is helpful. Thanks again for the great read. Keep up the great work!

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