A while back, I made a post about reconciling the original keep from Keep on the Borderlands (1979) with the keep as presented in Return to the Keep on the Borderlands (1999) and my own notes for my Pathfinder-driven Wilderlands of High Fantasy game set in the eastern reaches of the lands controlled by the City-State of the World Emperor. That original post can be found here, but contains no real pertinent information other than saying I was beginning to do this. This post is the fruit of that work.
The Keep, known to most as Bugbear Falls due to the culmination of a battle many years ago that took place on the cliffs where the place now sits. The name originally given by its founder is Dunkiel (dUHn-keel). The path to the place is unguarded but narrow and winding, stretching just a little across the chasm, leaving the keep's (normally drawn, of late) drawbridge to make the difference.
2. The Gatehouse Towers are manned by two sets of brothers, depending on shift (see Bailiff's Tower, below). After brief questioning by the pair, one goes down into his tower to lower the drawbridge, then when he reappears, keeps watch while the other disappears into his tower to raise the portcullis.
Both men are 3rd level Warriors, armored in chainmail with shield, and possessing shortbows and shortswords.
3. The Courtyard is protected by a new set of heavy double doors enforced with steel banding. Sabine Tikaf (Ftr 3; as statted in RttKotB) has ascended to the post of Corporal of the Watch after a string of promotions. She stands on the inside of the door, addressing any who enter through a barred window, letting only those who sheath and peacebond their weapons (or otherwise make a show of not wanting to cause trouble) enter. This dusky-skinned beauty in her early 30s became a widow during the siege of the keep by The Unbreakable adventuring guild (did I seriously not post about the siege?!), and has become bitterly distrusting of most adventurers who wish to enter her city now. She is always attended by a scribe (Com 1), who records all names, stated professions, taxes and tariffs, animals, etc.
4. The Common Stables will house the horses of any within the keep's walls at the cost of 5sp, or 1gp if a rubdown and grain are requested instead of hay. Reesen Ancel runs the stables for Rafe, who is also the smith for the keep. Reesen has been using Rafe's daughter, Tella (Rog 1; as in RttKotB), and the other half-dozen stablehands to build himself a nice little information network and budding thieve's guild.
During the famine that is taking place, the expenses for stabling have risen to 5gp and 10gp, and the stable master will offer 75gp and a quarter of the meat to any who wish to sell their horses to aid during the food shortages. Rafe set the price at 50gp, but Reesen has become grasping with this opportunity to make himself rich.
5. The Common Warehouse is normally used to hold all the kit and trade goods that visitors cannot usually take to their lodgings. Since the siege a year and a half ago, the Vuzughar has ordered it mandatory that all bags (including saddlebags and backpacks, but not belt pouches), boxes, crates, wagons, etc. be stored here until such time as the visitor leaves or makes arrangements for extended stay or residency. Sabine, the Corporal of the Watch, has the only key to this building.
6. The Bailiff's Tower used to be the traditional home of the Corporal of the Watch, but once Vic Tappas (Ftr 3; as KotB) took the office of Bailiff, he decided to keep the tower as his residence. The sleazy, gruff boor has made overtures to Sabine to share the residence, as they now share an office, with him on the upper floor, allowing for her to bring her twin sons, Sabir and Tahir along, if she would like.
The second floor of the tower is inhabited by Charl and Laurl, the day guards of the Gatehouse Towers, and Wort and Joop, the men assigned to nightwatch, while the third floor is occupied by 12 more members of the Watch and the fourth serves as a storage room and the Watch's armory. The ground floor serves as offices for the scribe that attends Sabine, Vic Tappas, and Sabine herself, as well as being the "base" for the Watch.
7. The Private Apartments are occupied by various members of society, detailed in the individual listings, below.
7a. The Jeweler, Samus Eip, and his wife reside here above the storefront he keeps on the ground floor. Samus' wife, Elsidor, and the two guards (War 3) they've had on retainer for years and years hide the fact that the aged merchant is showing signs of "mental wasting (Alzheimer's)", and are afraid what might happen should they have to close the doors.
7b. The Tailor, Cleg Weaver, and his wife Jocelyn, a tanner and furrier of no small skill, only celebrated their wedding a few short years ago, not even a year after the couple met, but the marriage and their mutual businesses, are going quite well as a result of their pairing. Jocelyn, in addition, used to be a hunter, and can give advice on several of the habitats of various wild creatures in the area.
7c. This Empty Apartment is legally owned by the last chartered members of The Unbreakable adventuring company that besieged the keep over a year ago. Formerly the property of one Elomir Nailo, a reputed elven sage, she came up missing shortly after her son was reportedly killed upon taking up the life of adventuring. In the months after, a member of The Unbreakable purchased the apartment and all things in it.
7d. The Cobbler, Reece, and his wife Asgrim make this apartment their home. Reece is said to have served the World Emperor in engagements in another part of the City-State's holdings, but the cobbler is quiet about his past, seemingly content in his simple life as a laborer. The couple have a son, Decius, and have just welcomed their second child, Nadya.
7e. The Schoolmaster & Scribe, Dubricus D'Ambreville (Wiz 1; as RttKotB), is an adventurer by trade, but since coming to the keep a few short months ago, has not been able to find an adventuring party due to the fact that he impresses that he should be leading such expeditions. To support himself, he has taken a job as a scribe and teacher, holding informal classes in his apartment for the children of parents that can pay his fee (1sp/day). He keeps his scrivening work to trade contracts, etc., in order to not interfere with government operation, and thus keep his head low (as he has learned that the rulers of the city do not like arcane casters).
7f. The Milkmaids, Neanne and Opal, as well as Neanne's daughter, Chandry, live here. Since the famine and blight that has affected everything, the sisters have pulled what non-tainted cows they had from their herd and, by virtue of Lady Dilana's good will, have housed the cattle in the lower floor of the Lookout Tower (see 12, below). In this arrangement, the ladies are able to continue their dairy operation at vastly inflated prices, due to shortage, and to cover the rent the Vuzughar charges. It is said that before the Stable of the Rider became the "state" religion of the keep, Opal led a small prayer group on some evenings, but no longer hosts such meetings.
7g. The Baker, "Brother" Martin, has not been a priest in many years. Recently come to the Falls, this middle-aged man spends almost all his time making beers and breads, neither of which are very good (he blames the quality of grain), but mostly whiles away his days drinking and eating his profits. If his religious calling is ever brought up, he becomes violent and chases any away who brought up the subject.
7h. The Woodworkers, Hobbin (a carpenter) and his brother, Asham (a cooper), live here along with both men's wives and their combined twelve children. The household is tense, with so many bodies cramped into one home, but with times as hard as they are, and with workable lumber in short demand after various fires in the area - including the one in Trenth which took Asham's home - the brothers have pooled resources to make due and support their families.
7i. The Bazaar stands empty after its owner, a southerner by the name of Rayyid, turned up missing after his visiting nephew made a supposed attempt on the life of Vuzughar Lago. The government, presumably, holds the rights to the building, but may legally have to wait for lease or some such to end.
There's the first seven entries of the keep proper. I anticipate two more posts before I get through the local map. This went a lot more smoothly than I anticipated when I was putting it together because anyone I hadn't introduced yet could be easily put in, and those that had been before could be altered slightly to fit my needs.
I'm not sure if this is useful to anyone but me, but hopefully someone out there will appreciate not having to look at Return, at the very least! I'll post the next installment as soon as I can. Hopefully right after my next AP post.