Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Border Fort of The Mark
Snow-covered pine trees march upward along the edges f the narrow pass towards the ancient watchtower at the apex of the pass, on a small hill on the western side of the valley floor. Towering cliffs rise steeply on either side of the pass, and a few feet of snow blankets the area. Snow swirls blow east from the valley of Cygnus – The Swan Kingdom.
The remnants of numerous campfires dot the base of the tower, with the most recent maybe two years ago. The tower itself has a crumbling stone stair, that determined parties might climb despite the icy nature of the stonework. The interior is likewise frozen and rather inhospitable, at this time.
On the opposite side of the pass, are the ruined brick and stone foundries from the ancient silver mine that once graced the summit. Little more than broken stone walls, they are often the more popular stop by merchants who brave the pass, and bear the remnants of many more campfires, and frozen tracks of oxen and horses. The yawning portal of the mine itself, is a dark, squared 6′×6′ stone passage running hundreds of feet back into the mountains. It is rumored to be the haunt of an elemental creature who slays the unwary.
Once an important guard tower in defending the realms of man, the Summit Tower dates to the establishment of Stonefist – Gateway to The Mark, and was constructed by the same dwarven masons. For years it acted as a toll house and protected merchants fro the fierce weather that sweeps over the pass, until the discovery of silver managed to attract a small thorp concerned with its exploitation. Although short-lived, the boom brought development of the tower and helped pay for the stonework on the roads to extend down both sides of the pass.
When the silver ran-out, the locals moved on, leaving only an impressive stone tower over-looking the pass and trade road, until it too fell to the expeditionary force that went over the pass into Cygnus – The Swan Kingdom. In the decade since, the tower has been host to various bandits, monsters and other creatures, but generally remains abandoned and forgotten.