Alestron

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Alestron is a stronghold located in Midhalla, Melhalla ruled by the s'Brydion family. The Siege of Alestron occurs here in Third Age 5671.

The surcoat of an Alestron duke is alizarin (scarlet) and gold.

History

Alestron was originally a Paravian fortress used to defend against Khadrim attacks. After the arrival of humans, the charter for this city was granted by the twelfth high king of Melhalla.[1] The Fellowship will not directly intervene in events that occur inside the boundaries of a town such as Alestron unless the Compact is directly threatened.

This fortress did not fall in the uprising, because of the tenacity of the ruling clansmen and the Paravian-warded walls of the upper citadel. The walls also prevent events inside the citadel from being observed by the Koriathain.

Layout

Outer Town

The citadel towers over a valley in which all timber has been razed to increase visibility. Lookouts in disguised croft buildings and windmills monitor the trade roads and use mirrors to signal up to the citadel.

A steep switched-back causeway leads up to the keeps from the surrounding outbuildings and grazing areas, and the mortar is set with jagged ends of glass. The entrance is a set of three gates with steel grilles and twin portcullises. Beyond this gate is a plank bridge spanning a vertical ditch and additional, tightly-packed buildings. Here in the outer town are the craft quarter and trade precinct. The rock springs and cisterns are also found here.

At the inner edge of the lower town is the palatial residence where Dame Dawr resides.

Paired gates separate the lower town from the inner citadel. To gain access, one must pass through the Wyntock Gate, cross a swaying cable bridge over a gulf, and then enter the Mathiell Gate. From the vantage point of the second gate, one can see the lower town in the valley below.

Sea Quarter

Alestron's sea quarter lies outside of the Paravian walls that protect the upper citadel. An inner harbor is protected by the Sea Gate, which connects to the channel leading to the Cildein Ocean. A chain can be raised to prevent ships from leaving or entering. A system of caverns connects the inner harbor to the citadel's sewer system. The upper cavern can accommodate vessels drawing 15 feet or more, and is used for dry dock repairs. Ships enter and leave the cavern through a system of canal locks.[2] From the sea quarter, the outer town can be reached by means of a man-powered elevator.

Inner Citadel

Inside the Mathiell Gate is the area of Alestron protected by Paravian warded walls. Watch Keep is located here, where Duke Bransian can monitor the outer town and the signal turrets over the harbour.

Deep inside the inner citadel is a slender drum tower. The brothers take care of family business in this tower, up four flights of narrow stairs in a library that's more often used for sharpening weapons. The top chamber is secluded as an eyrie with arrow slits that overlook the upper fortress walls and the outer bastion that rims the estuary cliffs. The s'Brydion brothers keep too few chairs in the eyrie to ensure that wives do not intrude.

A brief walk across the bailey from the drum tower is the keep containing their weapons store, surrounded by a spiked ring of battlements. There are twelve locked posterns and a maze of tunnels between the entrance and the underground armory (in the dungeon), guarded by six of the Duke's men. The final portal consists of a massive geared iron gate, openable only with brute strength applied to a windlass. There is also an upper passage from the guardroom that opens into the upper levels of the armory. The s'Brydion armory is housed in the dungeon of an inner citadel keep. Twelve-foot-high shelves filled with all manner of weapons run from floor to ceiling throughout the room.

Trivia

  • At the time of the Vastmark campaign, Alestron is capable of fielding 15,000 soldiers, most of them mercenaries.
  • By immutable custom, watch lanterns are extinguished after dark in order to preserve the night vision of the lookouts.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 284 (US-Hardback)
  2. Chat Area Post, July 10, 2008