Nerath Empire – The Keep on the Shadowfell
Nearly two hundred years ago, a cult of the demon prince Orcus purposely created a gap or twist within the fabric of the barrier between worlds… connecting one of Orcus’s unholy Shadowfell sites to the material plane. Skeletons, zombies, and fouler creatures of death flooded through the rift and entered the light of Day… The empire of Nerath dispatched legionnaires to eliminate the threat… The empire’s soldiers destroyed the undead, sealed the opening, and built a Keep to watch over this location and contain the threat. This is the site known as The Keep on the Shadowfell…
Nerath Empire – The Fall
[History] “…and, Due to internal Strife, the once-great human empire of Nerath splintered and collapsed, and of its former glory, only memories remain…”
c. 320 A.H.
The Legend of the Keep on the Shadowfell
[History] The people of Winterhaven avoid Shadowfell Keep. Some leave it alone because of the simple fact that every ancient ruin has a disturbing feeling about them, a feeling composed of lingering memories and unknown mysteries. Some say the place is haunted. Others fear the rumors of goblinods using the place as a lair.
Whatever the reason behind its solitude, one fact is clear. Within two short decads after the collapse of the Nareth Empire, Shadowfell Keep was abandoned and left to fall apart and decay. It was on a grisly night about eighty years ago that the commander of the keep’s garrison, Sir Keegan, put into motion the events that would lead to the keep’s downfall.
Perhaps the Shadow Rift’s malign influence is too strong to resist. Maybe Sir Keegan was an insane monster driven by demons we may never fully understand. Whatever the case, at the stroke of midnight on that fateful day, Sir Keegan began to systematically slaughter every resident of the keep. His own wife and children were the first to fall to his blade, then his trusted advisors, and finally many of the soldiers under his command. Sir Keegan was too skilled for any one soldier to defeat, yet eventually the garrison managed to respond with an organized defense. Although many brave soldiers lost their lives, they managed to drive the mad knight into the passages beneath the keep and, finally, to dispatch him.
The keep became notorious for a time. As one of the last bastions of the fallen empire, there was no one to order it back into service. So, it was abandoned, fear for a time, and eventually, more or less forgotten. An earthquake a few years later collapsed the upper towers and walls, and turned the place into a ruin of tumbled stone.
Rumors persist of great treasures buried beneath the keep, yet few have dared explore the passages over the years. Sir Keegan’s ghost is said to roam the corridors beneath the ruins, wailing in grief over the tragedy of his life. The people of Winterhaven avoid the place, and the mere mention of Shadowfell Keep is considered bad luck by many of the farmers and villagers.
Destruction of the Keep
Having departed the village of Winterhaven, the PCs traveled to the Keep on the Shadowfell where they defeated a grave threat to the region, and prevented the devious plans of the dark priest Kalarel from being fulfilled. Soon after their escape, the PCs watched as the Keep crumbled into total ruin.