This town’s official name was Brachenford, for it was once the only safe ford over the Brachen River. North of Red Hold, across the Brachen River, are the Malorian Hills, a rich source of iron and other non-precious metals. The first lord of the town, Sir Hugador Linak, built an iron tower atop an ancient Balutheran ruin. The old tower still stands and is used by the current lord’s wizard.
A bridge spanning the Brachen was eventually built, and a century after that, the great iron keep was constructed around the motte, the site of the great iron tower (irreverently called the ‘great red erection’ by the lewd). So rich were the iron mines that hill after hill were devastated by the mining efforts, leveled for ore to sate the greed and arrogance of old Duke Meracan Linak, Hugador’s great grandson. Meracan did not live to see his great black iron keep’s completion. Consumption took him in his waning years, but his son Mercan the Younger honored his father’s wishes and had the hold completed, an undertaking of over sixty total years. The mines still pay much of the current liege, Sir Lucian Linak’s owed revenue to his lord, Baron Fallowdown. The ore finds its way into the hands of the finest masters of both the Metalsmiths’ and Weaponcrafters’ Guilds.
Today the great iron hold stands strong, but the battle against the ever-present rust has failed, and the walls now glow red in the sunset light. The common name of Red Hold, so named for the starkly beautiful facade of the keep, had over the decades become so widely used, that the old Brachenford name went into disuse.
At some point, a shallow wet moat was dug and filled from the Bracken. It currently surrounds the keep as well as a portion of the town. The current liege is Sir Strom Linak, Lord of the Brachen. His current wizard is Stongwise Noremberlin DuShane, originally from the Kingdom of Le Fleur. Sir Strom can count on fifteen regular knights during war, and income from their holdings during times of peace.
Red Hold Inn
The Red Hold Inn is a one-story, stone structure which resides in the portion of the town that enjoys the protection of the moat. Upon entering the robust inn, stairs lead down into what seems like a dungeon. This is where patrons may book a room, and enjoy the great hearth in what the proprietor calls “The Plaza.” but which in reality is a small sitting room, and is the warmest room in the entire inn. A grand wooden staircase leads back up to the main floor which holds expensive, spacious private rooms. Beneath ground level are two basement stories with many tight rooms which spread out farther than the confines of the building above. The rooms are small and very cold, but each room has a very small fireplace. The upstairs rooms are more expensive. The inn does not serve food.
Local legend states that the “basement” stories are refurbished chambers of what once was a Barutheran Ruin, for it is said this town was built atop such ancient ruins. A tale or two which the proprietors do not promote talks of forgotten secret passages which lead even deeper beneath the earth. These passages supposedly lead to cursed temples and the realm of the Shadowfolk of the Ungaard (underdark). The tales also speak of great lost treasures hidden just beneath where the patrons lay their heads at night. Digging around or searching for such passageways or secret chambers will result in those caught by management to become evicted, without refund. This is, of course, an easy way to deal with undesirable patrons. The beadle gladly harangues such miscreants and will gladly show them the inside of the gaol, should he be met with resistance.
Food is not available nor allowed inside the inn, but may be found at the Red Hall (a feast hall) or from local food vendors set up outside in the square.
The Silver Temple
A sizable temple dedicated to Myraginee was constructed over forty years ago. A striking monument to religion, its marble facade and pure white columns stand a stark contrast next to the high rust walls of the keep. Proctor Highburn, a pantheist priest sits the holy throne of the temple. Highburn is haughty and self-righteous and is generally disliked. The Silver Temple sees few worshippers, as most of the townsfolk do not like traveling up the hill and into the keep, only to be looked down upon by the snooty Proctor. As a result, the graveyard chapel is filled to bursting for every Attday service.