Thieves & Kings
“Everybody is equally weak on the inside, just that some present their ruins as new castles and become kings."
The bandit hold known as Raider’s Roost, has an older name; “Dongorath’s Hold”, and is located on a rocky series of hills along the western edge of the territory claimed by the Barony of Thornkeep. The height of the hills and the fort’s location at the crossroads between Hexwater, Thornkeep and Darkmoon Manor, has given it great opportunity to watch for trade caravans along Hexwater Road, and has lent greatly to its position as a bandit stronghold. From the central tower of the holdfast, one can see for miles in every direction above the forests.
The local bandit troop was annihilated by the adventurers in late-TR 1049, and today the site is abandoned and largely forgotten by most folk of the region, except for the most adventurous bandits who still sometimes use it for a day or two as shelter from the elements. There is, however, a growing fear among them regarding the site, with the death of the last group, especially given the fact their corpses were never buried, and yet remain unaccounted for.
The enclosure itself is built around what was originally a stone manor and its outbuildings. The main hall sports a small tower that once might have served the hold, but growth among the local bandit membership demanded expansion some years ago. Today, however, the control of the bandits on the region has begun to slip. and membership is on the decline. When first expanded, the two stone towers were raised in height and connected by a thick stone wall. A similar wall connects the north tower with the stables. Across the rear, which is protected by the steepest portions of the hills themselves, two outbuildings are connected by a rough log palisade.
Main House : The main house is a curious mixture of opulence and disrepair. The building measures 20′×25′ and is just over two stories tall (20’). It boasts 4"-thick stone walls, making it particularly effective as both barracks and headquarters for their operations.
The lower level operates as kitchens and commons, with simple furnishings, and little else. There are small 2′×2′ iron-barred windows overlooking the gate and the south tower from the lower level, and two arrow-slits, each wider towards the outside, in each wall.
The upper level is accessed through a narrow wooden stair, which holds the sleeping quarters. A single large room, it has the same sorts of firing slits available for defense, along all walls.
The attached 10’-wide tower rises barely 5’-above the slate roof, and each of its two upper levels is floored with timbers., each of which is reached through a simple wooden ladder from inside.
Hidden in one corner, lies a stone shaft that was constructed long ago, hidden (DC 15) by a simple stone flag. The shaft beneath drops along a 3’-wide shaft for 30’, before entering a 10′×15′ room. From this room, a 5’-wide passage of hewn stone travels generally east, though it has numerous curves and places, sometimes worked, and sometimes not. After about 500’, it enters a small natural 40’ oval chamber with a marked 3’-wide opening. This new passage is 3’-wide and travels roughly 600’ south, slanting down rather steeply. At its end, is a 10′×10′ chamber, with a secret door in the east wall, that opens into the Deep Way, some distance west of Thornkeep.
Spike Trap (Mechanical Trap) : The second rung of the iron ladder leading into the cellars below the great hall is trapped. DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) to locate the odd holes in the masonry, DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation), to disable by supporting the handle with an iron spike. When more than 20-lbs pressure is applied to the handle, it snaps down to activate the trap; a number of iron spikes snap out of the wall on either side, to pierce the leg and foot (or hand and arm) of the one who triggered it for +8 to hit, (3d4) Piercing damage, and making the individual grappled until either the pressure is relieved, once they can either wriggle free, or pull themselves out of its grasp. The trap resets itself once the pressure is relieved.
North Tower : Housing the main entrance to the hold, the North Tower is sealed from the outside through a thick iron-bound oak door and double barred with a heavy oak beam. Beyond the passage, a metal grate holds intruders at bay, that is locked (DC 15). Above the entrance, is a gaping hole and a supply of rocks on the upper level for dropping on intruders.
South Tower : Similar in construction to the north tower, the south tower has three firing slits on the second level.
Stables : The 25′×15′ stables can cram in six horses in an emergency, but are better suited to two or three. It has two 2′×3′ iron-barred windows facing east about 8’-above the ground for ventilation, and can be sealed with iron shutters and simple latches (DC 10). Racking in the upper level allows for loose storage of hay, but little space for grain or oats.
Storage : The 25′×15′ storage shed is a shabby wooden structure that shows recent efforts to improve the site. Usually for holding bulk food stores, such as grain, there is no racking, and it is usually piled about haphazardly in baskets and sacks. The small door into the compound is unlocked, and there are no windows. The floor is, however, flagged with stone.
Walls The stone walls are roughly 12’-tall, the two eastern of which have 3’-wide firing platforms, about 7’ above the ground. They are accessed from ladders in the courtyard. The two rear walls are simple palisades barely 8’-high, and dug into about 3’ of rammed earth.
Courtyard : Usually a morass of broken boxes, barrels and chests, there is a large wood pile for winter and ample firewood, though much of it is broken debris.