Marratharn And Marratharn Keep

The ramshackle stone walls of Maratharn are palsied and pocked with the scars and wounds of war. For miles around the town breached fortifications, broken weapons and dead who no one left living care enough to bury litter the landscape. Even Marratharn Keep looks in a constant state of incompleteness as parts of it are constantly being rebuilt. Currently the main gate and a good portion of the first bailey are caved in upon themselves, supported only by a skeletal framework, with the south tower of the great gates to the fortress completely collapsed. Few days pass without the sounds of battle ringing from in earshot. Few nights don’t see a procession of wounded carried no litters to the apothecaries of Maratharn. And at night the glow of the fires of the goblins of the Burned Stump and the thick greasy smoke from their cooking can be seen from the walls of Maratharn Keep.

Region: Ahlonia, The Earldoms, Earldom of Maratharn
Total Population: 2,010 approx.
Demographics:
Government:
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Tech. Level: 5
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The semi-abandoned, partially ruined town of Maratharn lies about a league to the west of the keep that prompted its founding. Though its size fluctuates with the level of activity along the boarders Maratharn has never been so direly desolate as it has in the past four years. The combined forces of the Goblynking have been striving tirelessly to pound the Earldom into submission and slavery. Marathern is surrounded by stocky stone walls re-mortared repeatedly. The buildings that survive are stone, Goblyn raiders have discovered the effectiveness of a few dozen horsemen with torches, and so even thatching is almost gone in favor of heavy un-tarred shingles and other fireproof precautions. The population of Maratharn has varied depending upon the level of activity along the boarder, but it has never been so low as it has become over the past four years. No trade caravan will come near Maratharn, and the only goods that come into town are those brought by the forces of Shornfar, Galastry and of Maratharn posted in three separate garrisons around the town. The soldiers are the only source of income for local steaders, and such a demand do they put on local farms that almost as many serfs die of starvation as die in Goblin raids. The only real powers in town are the commanders of the three garrisons. Derek Torval is the commander of the Shornfar force. A grizzled veteran of the Shornfar elite infantry division, he is under strict orders to avoid unnecessary casualties, and as a result his men seldom take the field unless there is someone else on hand to do the dieing. The scarred and wealthy veteran was only lured out of retirement with the promise of huge amounts of silver, and his avarice, and his desire to survive to spend the money are blatantly apparent. Galastry’s forces are commanded by Baran Daultin, youngest of Sedric Daultin’s two brothers. A capable leader and blooded soldier, he is technically the ranking officer in town despite having the least experience of the three. His force is also the largest, but since Earl Daultin seems to be using Marratharn as a training ground for his troops Baran is constantly in command of green troops, and his men are unseasoned warriors and tend to break in the face of a mounted charge. Davin Sorden commands the men or Maratharn in the name of Earl Boer in his absence. He is a true veteran, brought out of retirement only because his home is in dire danger. Davin lost a leg from the knee down in his last tour of duty, and despite the strap-on peg he uses, he normally needs a crutch to move around. He is blind in his right eye due to a horrible scar, and shakes uncontrollably in especially cold weather, but he still marches at the lead of his men. The forces he commands are simply a home guard, with younger more able forces posted at the Keep, but a more tenacious group of survivors cannot be found anywhere else in Ahlonia. Davin himself is ill tempered, bloody minded and vicious and has served three tours as a Keeper in the Maratharn regulars, but he has an indomitable spirit and an unusual compassion that characterize him to his men.

If the situation in Maratharn is dire, the situation at Marartharn keep is ten times worse. The once five baileyed keep is reduced to three, surrounded by smoking rubble. The stone of the keep is scorched jet black with soot, so deep that no rainstorm will even begin to wash it clean. The windows are heavily barred with iron. The gates forged completely from iron. What remains of Maratharn Keep has no vestige of the residence of nobility. It is the crumbling ruin of an impenetrable fortress manned by wild, desperate men who have developed an almost sadistic ruthlessness and tenacity. Insane cruelty runs deep through the scorched halls of Maratharn as men sure of their impending doom endeavor only to take as many green lives as they can into death with them, and who live each day only to add to their count of dead enemies. Earl Boer sits in amongst this. His wife and three daughters have long since been sent to Daultin, where they are the permanent guests of Sedric Daultin. Earl Boer, a man in his fifties with hair and eyes like iron and a temperament to match has become a master siege tactician by sheer necessity. He is a survivor, and while the reek of cruel insanity does not hang about him, nor the sense of desperation, he is no less hard than his soldiers. Efficient, pragmatic and somehow deeply melancholy the Earl refuses himself the luxury to think more than a day ahead, and thus will never despair until the day before his assured demise.

Locations of Interest


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