Steelhold, officially known as the Barony of Steelhold, was a penal colony founded in 251 by the Impisoned Crew, a group of prisoners of the strangely-titled dwarven kingdom the Gloves of Admiring. It lasted until the spring of 262, when the fortress fell whilst under the fragile 'rule' of Uristador.
- 1 History
- 2 Non-Canon Events
- 3 Overseers (In Chronological Order)
- 4 Other Notable Residents
- 5 Notable Architecture
- 6 Groups
- 7 Military
- 8 Currency
Founding & Loss of Control
Steelhold was founded by decree of Queen Brasswords in 250, although the expedition did not reach the site itself until 251. Unexpectedly, the first (and last) warden of the fort, Jackal, fell in love with one if the prisoners, starting the breakdown of order within the fort. By the end of the year, he and Modi were openly romantically linked, and control of the fort had been seized by the mad butcher Sarrak. Supply caravans were regularly robbed.
The following year, Modi (styling herself the captain of the guard) seized control of the fortress, ruling through a regime of harsh, physical punishment and continued her predecessor's fondness for theft. Sarrak, who had been severely wounded fighting off a goblin invasion before the coup, was locked in her room and forgotten, leading to her death and subsequent unlife. However, by the end of the year, Modi had managed to accidentally beat one of her subjects to death, allowing Lenehan, then mayor and openly her political enemy, to seize control of the fortress himself.
The Reign of Lenehan & the Day of Reckoning
Following Modi's imprisonment and removal from the Captainship of the Guard, the Elf Party under Lenehan seized control of the fortress and promptly began attempting to indoctrinate the dwarves into their pro-elf agenda, which met with rather limited success. Lenehan's position was considerably strengthened however with the deaths of Modi and Jackal during Atu's Siege and his subsequent elevation to the position of Baron.
Lenehan's increasing frusturation with the pace of elf-ization of dwarven culture led to him to attempt to alchemically transform the prisoners into elves in what would become known as the Day of Reckoning. This attempt was ultimately rendered unsuccessful by an alliance of Asmoth, a mysterious prophet and the temporarily-reanimated Modi. Following the failure of the attempt, Lenehan was driven mad and committed suicide-by-giant-tick, though rumors persisted that the Masked Dwarf was in some way involved. Following Lenehan's death, the fortress fell into chaos.
Restoration of Order
Following Lenehan's death, the fortress had no effective ruler, although the most powerful faction by far was Maskdwarf's Demon Cult. The cult however neglected the task of governing, concerning itself primarily with the acquisition of adamantine ore. This allowed Rhaken and his gang to grow in influence, and eventually (albiet with the explicit approval of Maskdwarf) establish control over the fortress.
Rhaken ruled the fort for 1 and three quarter years, during which he raised a succesful army, revamped the fortress defenses and perfomed many personal feats of heroics. The dwarves began to refer to him as King Rhaken, and believed that under him they would eventually achieve full independance from the mountainhomes. Rhaken began the practice of fooling inspectors into believing that Steelhold was still a well-ordered penal colony. Eventually, however, the FractalEntity began to unite dwarves through appealing to their basic greed (and lack of foresight) against Rhaken's reign. Thus a complex plan was born to fake Rhaken's death (with the assistance of Melek and Corley) and to arrange a power-sharing agreement between Rhaken, Fractal and Emdief, but this fell appart due to the supernatural interferance of Maskdwarf, leaving Rhaken temporarily invalid and prompting Emdief to temporarily abandon his plans.
Revolutions & Religious Intolerance
Fractal promptly began to rule with his characteristic extravegance and eccentricness, doubling the size of the complex itself and undergoing a massive construction project. Eventually, it turned out that this project was the creation of an elaborate adamantine portal that stabilized the universe (and fixed the graphics) before it cracked under the strain of accomodating the Entity. However, the fort's defenses were compromised, and quality of life began a marked decline, allowing Emdief's Faction to seize control in what, if not for Fractal's execution/banishment (although he managed to return later through unknown means) would have been a bloodless coup. The Steelhold Council was put in power, although Emdief effectively ruled with absolute power.
Emdief, with the assistance of Lorius Zane and a recovered Rhaken, began a systematic persecution of the cultists, severely curtailing their numbers. The military and the outdoor fortifications were also rebuild and expanded, bringing security back to the fortress, Quality of life rose again as garbage was collected and Fractal's expansions were quietly completed and the credit stolen.
Emdief, however, was increasingly paranoid and absent minded. This was probably at least partially since Fractal had accidentally killed Emdief during his rule and brought him back to life as a woman. After initiating the construction of the Revolutionary Monument, he/she surrendered control of the fort back to the council and retired from politics.
Armageddon, Vampirism & the Purge
Corley assumed control of the fortress after Emdief's retirement, reclaiming the authority of his father's position as Baron and instating a charter that effectively stripped the Council of its powers. Corley set about building a series of defensive trenches, a mint, and a railroad connecting Lower Steelhold to Steelhold proper. He also reogranized the military into his Baronial Army, which took considerable losses due to poor lever organization and training accidents.
Corley also finally began the process of forging adamantine, which mysteriously had not occured before despite the adamantine being available for 4 straight years. Greed for more adamantine led to further excavation of the rare mineral, which unfortunately led to a demon invasion of the fortress. Rhaken, Lorius Zane and almost all of the military was killed in the effort to contain the demonspawn, which also took many civilian lives. Corley, fearing retribution for this accident, installed Asmoth as overseer.
Asmoth commenced rebuilding the fortress and its defenses. Queen Brasswords, in the meantime, arrived at the fortress for a visit, expecting to be protected by Corley's regime. The Queen was immediately prevented from leaving or exploring the fortress 'for her own protection' with the extremely reluctant cooperation of her royal guard, who had no other way to ensure her safety.
Asmoth then undertook her greatest project - transforming the entirety of the fort's population into vampires. This succeeded with only feeble resistance; the Marble Faction, the only organized group in the fort with the power to resists failed to discover the plot until it was too late. At the end of Asmoth's reign, the fortress had been secured against the demons, but the dwarves themselves were no longer dwarves. Asmoth resigned to focus on her vampiric research, forcing the dwarves to find a new leader.
They found their new leader in a recently arrived soldier named Karius Durtis, who upon seeing the utter monstrosity that was Steelhold locked up the majority of the vampires and flooded the chamber with magma, a move that woudl become known as The Purge. Karius kept the surviving vampires segregated from the population on permanent militia duty. The lack of dwarfpower, collapse of living conditions and the abandonment of the military outside the fort led to a rather serious drop in morale. Karius then left to pursue the Masked Dwarf, whom hunting had been the primary reason for comming to the fortress in the first place.
The Fall of Steelhold
(For more information, see the Fall of Steelhold)
Uristador attempted to retake the fortress following Karius' departure, but low morale led to an inevitable bout of rioting and mass insanity. This escalated into a second demon outbreak and utter anarchy as vampire fought vampire for supremacy. Eventually, the fortress was destroyed by the death-scream of Oku Constructcudgel, becomming a massive obsidian crater.
In early 255, Steelhold fell into a state of particular disrepair. The lower levels flooded with sea-water and certain areas became overrun by goblin soldiers, forcing the surviving denizens to flee to the upper levels. At this time, Subi Fernrevered, a travelling vampire, paid a visit to the lower halls, where he was slain by the wandering invaders.
Overseers (In Chronological Order)
The Original Thread
The Second Thread
Other Notable Residents
- Queen Brasswords
- Oku Constructcudgel (also known as The Masked Dwarf)
- Karius Durtis
- Emdief (twice, actually)
- Lorius Zane
- Urist McDead
- The Revolutionary Monument
- The Portal (partially deconstructed)
- Lenehan's Tomb
- Modi's Tomb
- Rhaken's Tomb
- Emdief's Tomb
- The Silver Tower
- Lower Steelhold
The following groups were known to be active in Steelhold at some point in time.
- Main Article: Military
The following military factions were known to be active in Steelhold at some point in time.
- See also: Coin Denominations in Steelhold
As part of his plan to better organize the fortress, Corley had several coins minted in 259, intending them to serve as the official currency of the fortress. These coins never achieved wide use, and no more were minted after Corley's reign.