Lynaen Citadel

Better known as Castle Lynaé, or just Lynaé, the Lynaen Citadel is little more than a ruin, but one could hardly find a more monumentally massive ruin anywhere in the world. Lynaé is an enormous ruin, a once-impenetrable fortress abandoned by the people of Arumthar when they raised their cities above the earth and had no need of such mundane defences any longer. Lynaé sprawls languidly over a broad valley in the southern fringes of the Yurendel Forest, and the forest has moved in to the wide cleared area around the citadel to slowly pull the massive edifice into obscurity. Still, it remains by far the most intact of all Arumthar’s ancient fortresses, and the largest. This monstrous, labyrinthine edifice has been abandoned for centuries, and entire galleries have collapsed in on themselves, rendering the ruin almost impassable, and looters have never found a way to pass into the ruin, so much of what is inside must be, presumably, untouched since the breaking. No one knows what exactly happened at Lynaé on the day of the breaking. Refugees passing the fortress report it being in ruin when they passed and no survivor has ever appeared to tell the story.

Covering the entirety of three hilltops, this massive ruin is entered by a single broad, raised causeway that straddles a shallow river gorge that surrounds the ruin on all but the north side. The causeway remains mostly intact, though choked with thick, furry moss making the masonry slick and hazardous. The drop into the gorge is no more than fifty feet, but the stream that runs through it is stagnant, brackish and shallow, doing little to break a fall. The causeway passes through the monstrous front gates, the immense stone doors stand open. Too heavy to be practical, no one knows how they may have one been opened or closed, the secret remains long forgotten.

The causeway then passes up through a series of three fortified baileys, each overlooked by its own keep and reinforced battlements. More great stone doors stand open, up to the great blocky central keep at the highest point of the citadel. From the keep the rest of the citadel sweeps down in fortified cells inside the walls on either side of the great entry baileys. The monstrous keep directly abuts the north wall, where the walls are unprotected by the shallow gorge that surrounds the rest of the citadel. Here the walls are sheer, and stretch the impossible height of the great keep. Though it is crumbling and over-grown this monstrous hand carved mountain remains mostly intact.

The keep itself has remained sealed by the same great stone doors that lie open in the rest of the citadel, since the fall of the cloud-cities. No-one knows what lies within Lynaé’s walls and no one has ever penetrated them. Treasure hunters who have spent days scaling the walls report that four inner baileys exist, an upper and lower on the eastern and western sides of the causeway, and those who have scaled all the way to the top of the summit of the keep tell of enormous shadowy chambers glimpsed through tall, narrow windows and of the very peak of the keep, where the two great towers, rent in the middle, stretch like massive shoulders, where the peaks of the Yrelldors and the Daliens can be clearly seen and one can cast one’s eye along the entire coastline of the broken kingdom, and even to far over the Aruman Sea on a clear day.

The architecture resembles all of the great fortresses of old Arumthar, with everything being build from massive, meticulously hand cut, undetailed blocks of sandy-grey granite. The structure is based around massive, narrow alleyways that guide an attacker, always under constant assault, towards the great keep. The outer walls slope very very gently, remaining unscalable but giving them strength at the base. In contrast to the featureless slabs of the exterior, the interior courtyards are works of art, with long stone banner holders protruding, enormous carved mosaics, ornately arched and decorated balconies, layers of different coloured stone, and even intricate fountains and water-gardens. Along the central causeway colossal humanoid statues hold the walls up on their vast backs, with broad fortified archer-posts at their hips. The Arumtharn dedication to impossible, dizzying height and domineering size and grandeur is at it’s finest at Lynaé, with the top of the intact eastern wing of the citadel towering a staggering four and a half thousand feet above the foot of the causeway, enshrouded by thick cloud unless the skies are clear. Understandably no record exists of any army ever laying siege to Lynaé. It is likely that in good repair it was the single most impenetrable fortress ever built by the race of men, though some have hinted that were it ever brought into service it would be practically useless thanks to its sheer size.