Defenses - Serion Keep


here is still time for me to post one more defensive look at, and a fortification discussion set in Greyhawk demands that we look at a castle!

Serion Keep is a proper castle, but it kept its old name and are still called a keep by locals. Lets start with a brief summary of its history. During the reign of Dragotha in the -900s CY a set of caves was being expanded on and turned into a fortress. During the construction a very sturdy keep was built on top of a small hill west of the main range to support the work. The keep was attacked repeatedly by Dragotha and severely damaged but never completely destroyed.  The keeps defenses was bolstered by a new type of defenses called Dragon Chains, which after a series of modifications turned out to be effective against dragon attacks.

It was much later in the 200's it was restored and massively expanded by Count Lardon to fuel his ambitions. It is set fairly isolated on a small hill on the edge of the Serion Hills. It is a bit over 10 stories high with a well dug in base with very thick walls and a several supporting towers, including the original keep.

On the work in progress picture above, only the keep's walls are visible bottom left.

The hills to the east force most attackers to come from the west visible for miles. Despite its appearance, the modern Serion Keep is only to be considered a midweight when it comes to its defenses. It has evolved into a resort for the Lardon to impress its guests as much as being a defensive retreat.  It would still require a sizable force of skilled attackers to take it, which happed in my campaign lat year when the characters took part in an assault of it. with support of two dragons and around 500 Shield Landers the keep fell in about 6 hours.

Lets take a look at its defenses. Lets start with the Dragon Chains, a new and improved set of them was installed when Morginstaler was first sighted in the 570's. Heavy chains with loots of barbs and hooks makes the castle take on an ominous look which seems to suit the current Lardon.

The wall gate is fairly simple with two doors and a portcullis with murder holes above. The gate into the keep itself is where things are bit more improved. In order to get to it you have to go around the southern part of the main keep and then take to 90 degree turns thought another set of doors and portcullises with murder holes, all while you are under fire from a both the main building and  a tower across from the gate.

Serion keep is equipped to take in a large contingent of troops, guests or be a refuge for locals in case of danger. Lots of large rooms accessible by horse and cart even.   The floor above the entry gates are just like the entry floor high ceilings and an open layout to support movement of troops with weapons and gear. The  defenses around the entry points are separated from the rest of the keep to make it possible to delay their use to an enemy even after they have gained entry into the keep. A way to buy time, and an access way to the walls and its keeps are also in the entry section, making it possible for each of the wall towers to continue the fight even after a breach of the main building. This is way to compensate for the lack of a strong main keep.

The weakness comes at the higher levels when comfort compromises starts to take over. Lots of doors and windows to create an welcoming atmosphere for noble guests and be impressive during fancy dinners compromise the defenses.

This was a quick intro to my Serion Keep. A longer version will come with the story of the Lardons and how the keep came to a gruesome end.

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I hope this post on defenses have inspired you to dip into designing defenses for your own campaigns!