[Show us your domain] Astelis (Oce)

You want to hear the story of this fortress eh? Well then, grab a seat, order an ale, and listen closely to The Founding of Astelis…

T’was after the fall of the Carpentarian Empire, many tribes went their separate ways. The Kypiq of northern Tylsia were plagued by sea raiders, these raiders heard that ‘Kypiq’ was sweetest of the other, other, white meats. In the southern duchy of Oakmoon the Neran had also heard this rumour, however they paid it no mind. To them the Kypiq were a diminutive people, and they really did not marble well.

Anyway, I digress. There was a strong trade partnership between the Neran and Kypiq peoples. Kypiq silks were highly sought, and when it comes to furniture, Kypiq ironwood is nigh indestructible. Have you ever seen a Kypiq chair broken over a man’s head in a brawl? Of course you haven’t, it just drives him to the ground!

Again I’m distracted. Well you can’t blame an old man for having pride in his craft.

So the two peoples, they were trading partners, and as you’re about to hear, also military allies. Word came from the north that raiders had started a campaign of destruction. Kypiq settlements were being razed, women and children being carried off as slaves, or worse…

The Neran decided they could no longer stand by and let their partners face this scourge alone. They rallied into three groups, a slow moving fighting force to overwhelm, an armada to attack from the sea, and a sleek vanguard to make haste across the land and aid the Kypiq with whatever defence they could muster.

The vanguard made their journey quickly, however it was apparent they vastly underestimated the size of the incursion. The Kypiq forces were broken, the people were fleeing for their lives. Smoke rose from every point of the horizon, the situation was dire.

The remaining Kypiq commanders joined the companies of Neran knights and decided to fall back to a defensible position. A dilapidated fortress atop a hill between the two duchies. Both groups of fighters set about repairing walls and shoring up gates, while the elite Mokshin units of the Kypiq went to wage guerrilla warfare upon the advancing raiders. They bought as much time as they could, their bodies carrying on longer than they should have been able to. They paid with their blood, all of their blood, but was it enough?

While the Mokshin had been carrying out their bloody work scouts arrived. It seemed the Neran armada had also met unexpected resistance, they were outnumbered two to one by enemy vessels. No ships had survived.

Ah never fear lad, that was not the end of the news!

Somehow, the Neran naval commanders had managed to take almost the entirety of the raider fleet with them. There were many tales of bravery and glory forged on the sea that day, but this tale is of a fortress.

The dawn was broken by battle horns, more than a man could count. Their wails echoed off the unfinished fortress walls. There was no mistaking their message, - you are surrounded - you are going to die -

The enemy crashed against those walls with all their hatred. They screamed and tore at stone and flesh, through the day and into the night. The hastily repaired walls barely gave the fighters within enough of an advantage to stay alive. As each gate fell they would retreat and continue the struggle. They knew defeat was inevitable, though not one of them gave voice to that thought.

Then, on the fourth day, a sound reached the ears of the few dozen surviving men barricaded in the final chamber of the keep. The long clear note of a Neran horn. The Neran force swept in and dislodged the raiders from within the fortress and around its walls, none were spared.

It took years before the raider blight was finally expelled, with their defeat both peoples felt that something new had been born. With the blessing of the Queen of Tylsia the great houses united and the two duchies became one.

The ceremony was held in this very fortress, the place where the blood of our two peoples flowed as one. Perhaps that mixture of blood is what allowed this mighty Ironwood to grow so far south? That’s a question for another time.

And the name of this historic fort? It bears the same name as the new duchy it gave birth to. Astelis.

Backer number 1015