Reavstone Keep (Dominaria Supplement)
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The great fortress of Reavstone Keep is the lynchpin to any ownership of Nurim's Gap from the south. The fortress guards the bridge over the River Eldar and mans the locks at the cataracts above the crossing. Until the Dragon's War a decade ago the Keep also guarded the trade town of Garin's Hold, but the town of nearly 25,000 was leveled in a savage assault on the bridge. Though the assault carried the bridge, it faltered against the vast redoubts and defenses of the Keep. Reavstone weathered the assault and the war, and now ensures Amacidian control of the passage north and south.
The original foundations of the fortress are the ruins of Castle Baldon, constructed in the 2nd Age by Clan Baldon of the River Kingdom of Ramosia. The castle was their northernmost defense, and a strong one. It also ably protected their western border, for the bridge across the Eldar is the only major crossing. The castle was a sleepy border post, and developed into a trade hub with Onea to the north and the Cormyri cities to the west. During the campaigns that formed the 2nd Imperium, the castle fell to the Ramosi Kingdom and was left as a ruin. The castle was reclaimed and rebuilt later that Age, at the height of the 2nd Imperium. Sir Timothy Royer of Aryth took the ruin from the beasts that resided within and set up his branch of House Royer in the castle. House Royer worked on the caslte for three generations, building the extensive halls and rooms of the main manor atop the hill and rebuilding the innermost wall. From the vantage of the caslte, House Royer oversaw the settlement of the valley and mines on the west side of the River Eldar and the farmland leading east. House Royer faithfully guarded the pass and worked the surround for several centuries. The castle fell to siege during the invasion of Grand Caliph Suzerain, and this line of House Royer was wiped out to the last. The fields east of the castle were burned out and salted, and the mines were destroyed as well.
The now large castle lay a ruin until the after the second campaign of the Wandering One in the mid 3rd Age. Lord Carmine Reave, a general in the war and respected war hero, was given the ruins and bade repair them and return life to the once prosperous mines and trade road. Lord Reave was given money from the treasury and war chest to do the task. Lord Reave hired the renowned engineer Alex of Kensington and bent every cent he could wring from the treasury into creating the most fantastic fortress in the world. Alex and Lord Reave's engineers created and built a fortress of staggering proportions. The Legionary Fortresses of the ancient Imperiums were large in terms of pure scale, and several citadels in the great cities had more elaborate defenses, but Reavstone Keep was and is still a titanic achievement. The main wall is two-thirds of the way up the mountain, and the approach has been cleared for firing lines. A double gate and fortress large enough to be its own castle guard the only ground level entrance. Beyond the thick walls lie most of the day to day functions of the castle. Living space and workshops and stores and storage fill the first level of the Keep. House Reave's Manor and Cathedral lie on the pinnacle, surrounded by more fortifications and a smaller wall. This too can only accessed by a single gate, but there are many secret ways out.
Day to day life in the Keep is much the same as any small city, only more prosperous and in the ever-present shadow of House Reave. People travel down to the main highway to buy and sell every day, and merchants bound north or south will usually stop in the castle as opposed to the smaller town of Alex's Rest on the road. A massive flood of refugees more than tripled the population in the castle after Garin's Hold burned, but this flood is moving back to rebuild Garin's Hold or start fresh in Alex's Rest. House Reave is providing coin for the refugees to do so but is very firm about getting them out of the Keep. House Reave lives out their lives in and around the Keep. They govern and protect the surrounding area and tax appropriately. House Reave is wealthy from the mining trade and maintains a well disciplined force of knights and footmen. The House worships the goddess Evening Glory openly and their Cathedral is to her death cult.
Government: Lord Aldeman Reave rules Reavstone Keep and the surrounding area in the manner of a feudal lord. He taxes goods twice a year and maintains a roster of men able to fight. He is a hard man and is feared, but he is also canny.
Guilds and Orders: The Cult of Love Everlasting is an order of Clerics devoted to the Evening Glory. The Cathedral at Reavstone Keep is the largest place of her worship on Dominaria and considered a dark pilgrimage by many of her followers. The clerics of the Cult work out of the Cathedral and live in the extensive Rectory next to it. The catacombs beneath are theirs as well. The Fraternity of Order is a mages' guild in the Keep. They reside in a small offshoot of the Keep, a tower and hall with its own wall and gate. They are rumored to study the death arts on the retainer of Lord Reave, but they maintain a small wizards' academy and serve as the city's judges. The Sword of Our Lady is a knightly order devoted to Evening Glory. They form a praetorian unit for clerics or or Lord Reave when they leave the Keep.
Military: The Reaves keep a garrison of 1,200 knights and 2,500 footmen in the Keep and can call around 100 knights and 6,500 foot from the surrounding lands. There are also 200 Knights of Our Lady and several dozen wizards and clerics available when called on. House Reave also has a supply of money and keeps open relationships with mercenary captains in Onea and Amacidia.
Judicial System: The Fraternity of Order serves as House Reave's legal arm. They hear cases in the city and arbitrate disputes in the surrounding lands.
City Relations: House Reave is a Low House to House Arrington, the Crown. The Crown sees Aldeman Reave as a necessary unpleasantry. They also have good relations with House Latimer of Taralon. Other Houses tend to give them a wide berth.