The acting capital of the Black Barony is the squat clifftop bastion of Doraust Keep that overlooks a scattered shanty-town of the same name. Doraust itself was built in a mere six years, but to look at it one would never guess it had such haste in its background. Though certainly not built for it’s aesthetic properties the keep is squat, defensible and daunting. Surrounded on all sides by several meters of jagged roughlands stone that juts from the landscape, the keep is made of a far darker stone, making it appear shadowed. Never exceeding three stories in height it appears low and squat, and with only a single finished tower and flat-roofed buildings within the walls it has a blunt sort of look to it. The Baron’s tower, also the keep, overlooks the town below, but also affords a clear view of the keep’s single gatehouse. This is the only round tower in the structure, and has an unusual domed ceiling built from shattered ship-keels. Doraust’s only gatehouse is perhaps four or five meters from the ground, and a wooden barbican leads up to it on a series of heavy stone pillars. These are kept constantly soaked in tar so as to be easily destroyed in the event of a siege, but this results in the entire keep stinking of hot tar. Maethas’ only stables are situated in the keep, as is the rebel Kings Own barracks, a small diounian shrine and a sizable stockpile of food, resources, weapons and building materials kept under constant guard. This is the bulk of what the Kingsown have taken in raids into the Roughlands, and is used to trade and administered with extreme care. The walls, rather than having traditional battlements, feature an array of steel-clad wooded pavise-like sections that can be repositioned depending on the direction of the threat.

Region: Ahlonia, Maethas
Total Population: 840 approx.
Tech. Level: 5
Major Industry:
Major Religions:

Around the dusty road to the barbican is the settlement of Doraust, springing weed-like from the rocky terrain. This is the elder of the Maethian settlements, and as a result the settlements closer to the road are of uncut mortared haphazardly together, most of it sourced from unwanted stone from the keep itself, while the further flung structures are of clay coloured adobe and are usually more elaborate and larger. There really is very little in to town despite its relatively dense population, and while some people have talents others don’t they tend to merely barter these skills rather than set up places of business. As a result the town is little more than a sprawling collection of ramshackle residences.

Violence is the settlement’s major problem. With bully squads as the town’s only law enforcement agency, and these squads being primarily formed from the worst criminals in Maethas the law enforcement causes more problems than it solves, and most take whatever they want from the residents of their territories. These squads clash frequently in bloodily in either territory wars, or often over who gets to take a criminal to the keep to collect their fee.

The city’s economy is based in the hills around it, where huge fields of coarse grass are kept by the locals and rented out to people with large goat herds to graze there, or else harvested and turned into hay for household with only two or three beasts. While there are a few prosperous herders and field-holders none have really risen to be leaders in their communities, and those who do are generally killed no matter how many of the bully squads they can afford to keep in their pockets. The other linchpin of the economy is the presence of the more established goblyn community in the nearby settlement of Yar Dorash.

Locations of Interest

Location name

Doraust Keep

Doraust Keep is an ugly, flat lump of brown stone that looks like it began as a particularly large pile of rubble, and was half-heartedly converted into a dwelling. And in truth this is not far from fact. Sitting atop a low mesa a few hours ride outside of Kalis, Doraust is the capitol of the rebel barony of Maethas, seat of it's ruler Dietric Kessel, and home to the dwindling number of his loyal forces. The outer walls are no more than stone and shale with little mortar, held together with a liberal helping of clay, and by ancient timber frames. The battlements along the tops of the towering walls reach an impressive, unscalable height above the planes below, but offer little protection from arrows, so wooden shuttered walls are erected along the length of each wall. Each shutter, about three feet apart from the next, has a narrow arrow slit cut in it. When open they allow a full view of the surrounding land, and when shut allow a defender to fire out while still protecting him from attack. A narrow road winds up the side of the mesa to the great gates, massive slabs so large and ungainly that it takes a team of mules to open them, that remain shut for most of the day.

Within the battlements the ground is flat, bare stone and dust. The wood and clay adobe of the rest lazily of Maethas rests against the seeming stability of the walls. A single broad avenue breaks the small settlement in half, leading directly to the only multi-level building in the settlement, the stout, ugly keep. Possibly the only structure in all of Maethas to have had any time or thought put into its construction, the key to the keep is the deep well in its cellars, and the building was put together to defend against a Highdunn backlash that never came. It may be ugly, blocky and small, but the keep could hold out against the combined forces of the Earls of the Tresser Veldt and the Kings Own for months if need be, with as few as thirty defenders. As it is its barracks house the seventy remaining soldiers loyal to Kessel.

Notable Groups and Individuals

Dietric Kessel
Dietric Kessel himself is the absolute authority here, he is magistrate, exchequer, king and general all at once. His warriors enforce the law, and those fortunate enough to enjoy the security of his wall, his regular patrols, and his rationing and light handed rule combined with iron hard justice are glad to be within the walls, rather than down in the lawless streets of Kalis. Kessel keeps no council but his own. His followers all know their roles and follow them doggedly, too tired of struggling to question the status quo.