Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Royal Holding and Toll Bridge
Roughly eight days travel out of Pelargir – City of Ghosts, the fort is a tiny frontier settlement. The Vakhund itself, is a squat stone tower constructed half- of stone and half of oak timbers, and is no taller than the massive fir trees hemming its clearing. Nearby, an ancient but sturdy stone bridge crosses the Treecut Creek. All about, the clearing is trampled and muddy from the constant rains and snow. Stumps of trees mark the edges of the glade, and the refuse from numerous wagon caravans clutters the pasture. Fire rings, piles of half-chopped wood, tethering poles, and broken barrels and crates , shreds of cloth and other debris mark the area around the fort.
The tower is the only notable structure for miles. It has a single heavy iron and timber door allowing ingress, and no windows. The lower level is a workshop and storage area, along with private stables for the local knight’s own horses and some livestock. The upper levels are of wood, and house a large common hall for the garrison and visiting guests, and some storage for foodstuffs, while the upper level is the local knight’s personal chambers, his armory and treasury, and grants access to the over-hanging battlements along the top. It’s cellars are large, holding supplies, spare weapons and spare barracks for visiting troops.
Other buildings in the clearing are a couple of low trade houses along the creek, an open smithy/workshop for visiting merchants, and a pile of roughly chopped firewood.
The local nobleman, Sir Stiegler Stalwart, is a household knight of the realm, haggard from many years of service. Though old and graying, Steigler remains a striking and powerful figure, and takes his calling seriously. His current assignment on this forsaken border has led him to drink, but remains stern and unyielding on collecting the taxes required for passage over the Treecut Creek. He is rumored to lash out violently if slighted, insulted or his authority is questioned. He is likely to throw commoners into the gaol in his cellars for days if questioned.
The fort was established to promote trade to and from Frisia, and is a popular spot to trade information and spend a day or two repairing wagons in need. Goblin merchants from their camp deep in the Celestial Woods sometimes brave the fort and are welcomed if trading openly, but are otherwise shot on sight if trying to sneak about. Orkan raids from further afield by the Swift Axe clans are uncommon, but increasing with the deepening winter and cold. They are known to take prisoners live for some sort of rituals.