Boardûm Keep

Not much larger or more impressive than a baron’s manor house the original home of the von Slothjem family is Boardûm Keep. Situated in the depths of the swampy jungles near to the town of Lost Fen the most reliable way to access the private home of the royal family is by boat or flying in aboard the royal black dragons. Even then the approach is made treacherous by both design and happenstance to deter trespassers. The small dock

Boardum Keep lvl 1

1 square = 10 feet

area allows small boats to enter into a covered room whereby passengers and freight can be offloaded into the three-story covered courtyard. To the left of the small dock is a room where guards can train weapons on the occupants of the dock room. The barracks to the right of the dock house the soldiers responsible for securing the dock and courtyard. A simple crane functions in the vaulted courtyard to hoist cargo up to the kitchen on the third level. The foyer serves as a place where visitors can warm up and place wet clothing in front of a large fireplace to be dried out. The great hall is vaulted and from the rafters flutter the various banners representing each of the grafdoms in the realm. This is where visitors spend much of their time in the keep and where any parties inevitably take place. The workshop area houses a smithy and permits armor and weapon repairs as well as other sorts of craftwork. The barracks on either side of the armory house officers that are accompanying soldiers staying in the keep. The armory stores all sorts of weapons for servants defending the keep (visiting soldiers are assumed to have brought their own). The chapel is also vaulted, and was built for use by the adventuring companion of Manfriedreich von Slothjem, a longsuffering cleric who became the first Bishop of Lost Fen.

The bulk of the second level is devoted to open space in the vaulted courtyard, great hall, and chapel. The main barracks are also located here. Soldiers are bivouacked in triple bunk beds in two large rooms. The original garrison was only a few hundred strong, but over time the numbers of defenders grew when the royal family was inBoardum Keep lvl 2 residence at Boardûm Keep so more space was devoted to giving them adequate quarters. More bunks are located in the two circular towers that form the northwest and southeast corners of the keep. Above the dock room is an area that has murder holes in the floor, further adding to the defensive ability of the household to fend off any unwanted visitors. Along the outside walls of the barracks (both outward to the swamp and inward to the courtyard) are plenty of arrow slits to allow defenders ample vantage points to target enemies. When Slothjemia was a new power their enemies were relatively weak and easily dissuaded from attacking this small castle. As it grew the bulk of what could be considered royal life was moved to the new capital of Jordrakenschloss which is far more advanced in its’ defensive capabilities.

The third level of Boardûm Keep contains the master suite where the ruler of Slothjemia actually sleeps when occupying this modest castle. This floor also has the majority of the guest rooms, the main kitchen, and the dining hall. Boardum Keep lvl 3The kitchen has a small door in the wall overlooking the courtyard to allow groceries to be hauled up by ropes and stored in the adjoining pantry. Above the chapel is the Bishop’s suite. Nowadays this is where clergy that are travelling with the royal family will stay while in the castle. The library next to this room houses a great many books not only of religious significance, but also records for all manner of data going back to the earliest days of the kingdom. The dining hall more closely resembles an army mess hall with rows of tables laid out. Unlike traditional dining halls there is no room in the middle for theatrics or entertainment. Jors prefer eating their meals without being pestered by jesters and clowns. If they wanted that kind of asshattery they would spend more time in Geldenreich.

The fourth level has still more rooms for guests as well as most of the housing for the staff of the castle. More important members of the general staff have their own private rooms while lesser membersBoardum Keep lvl 4 will share a room with up to ten other servants. Many of these will be part of the royal retinue so these are not their permanent residences but rather something akin to vacation housing. The keep maintains only a minimal amount of staff to serve as caretakers when the royal family isn’t staying here and they tend to spread out rather than necessarily cram into one room unless it is during winter. The lock room in the center of this level is the closest thing to a vault that Boardûm Keep has to offer. The rocky island that the castle sits upon is ill-suited to having been carved into to make anything resembling a dungeon because of the swamp that surrounds it. While this deters anyone from trying to tunnel in it also limits the ability of the occupants to have any additional storage. The main attraction to this level is the receiving hall where the monarch will sit on the original Slothjemian throne and hold court. Whenever a new ruler of Slothjemia is crowned the ceremony is conducted in this room rather than at the capital. These are the busiest times at the keep because of the sheer number of dignitaries that cram into the keep and the nearby town of Lost Fen.

The fifth level of the keep is devoted solely to the royal family and their personal interests. It has its own smaller kitchen as well as a small dining room.Boardum Keep lvl 5 The Orb room is where the spellcasters that travel with the ruler sleep and also maintain their communication orbs so that the ruler is always in touch with what is going on in the empire. The game room has a billiards table as well as room to play cards or throw daggers (hopefully not at each other). The trophy room has some of the keepsakes gathered by the various rulers of Slothjemia from their numerous quests and adventures. Sliding doors allow this to open up into the sitting room and on to the study to form one long room where the monarch can entertain special guests. Adjoining the study is the sword room where all of the swords collected during royal quests are kept. The only time these can be removed for any reason is if the monarch themselves remove it from this secure location.

The last level of the keep is the flat open rooftop atop the primary building.Boardum Keep lvl 6 Sometimes this is where the royal black dragons will land to allow passengers to disembark, but this is infrequent unless only the Herzgraf is coming to visit  since the Queen never travels by dragon. Other avian guests might access the keep this way but care should be taken to avoid the large ballistae that are mounted on this level to deter any unwanted flying guests. Installed in the early days to fend off wild dragons the ballistae have been continually upgraded to take into account even more dangerous threats such as Romillian skycruisers or spelljammers. The roof of the keep does afford a stunning view of the swamps and at night offers a breathtaking opportunity to stargaze. This is the exact spot where the first king of Slothjemia saw the vision of the midnight skull that led him to embark on his mission to establish Slothjemia. And as they say, it was all downhill from there.