Tal'Ardoth (meaning "The Crimson Hold" in the Dwarven tongue) was a massive fortress west of the capital of Urguan, Kal'Nikaer on the island of Tahn in Axios. Its imposing stone edifice was carved directly into the mountain, and it was one of the most notable points separating Oren from the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. It was built and run by the dwarven vassal the Crimson Edict, a multi-racial guild.
Carved from the great peak of Mount Ardoth, the fortress began construction soon after the move to Axios, with construction being completed in the mid 1570's.
The mountain was first chosen in the early 1570s. Though the heavy snows and steep mountainside would make construction difficult, the Edict realized the potential value of such isolation. Assaulting such a location would be a logistical nightmare, and so, construction began only a year after the site was chosen.
Many, if not all of the designs for the keep itself came from the desk of Aiantas Tha'un, while the rest of the Edict worked to gather the necessary stone and transport it through the mountains - no small feat in the unforgiving snows. Materials were stored on the mountainside, while members worked early on to carve into the rock itself to provide shelter from the winds during construction. Progress remained steady until the highest levels and towers of the keep, when heavy winds and snowfall made working at heights dangerous. The keep was completed in the late 1570s.
1578: A harpy attacks members of the keep caught out in the open. Fended off until a lightning bolt from a Radningar turns it to ash. All present come out unharmed, though the Edict's Félagi is deafened for several days.
- The sheer cliffs surrounding the main fortress of Tal'Ardoth made foot-travel difficult and the only access by bridge. Siege engines, therefore, were near impossible to bring to surround the castle as they had to be pulled over treacherous, rocky terrain.
- Due to the prior troubles between Urguan and Oren, most particularly the Eighteen Years' War, the placement of Tal'Ardoth and it's imposing structure served as a reminder of guard and vigilance should relations ever sour once again.
The solid stone walls, inset directly into a mountain foundation, made breaching the defenses difficult. Multiple doors and portcullises of solid metal seal the entrances.
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