Baldamont Castle is one of the great Line of Civilization defensive posts created by the vassels of the Great King Arcturus to defend the realm from the Barbaric Northmen. Over the last two centuries, the Line of Civilization has move considerably north, leaving great castles without barbarians to defend against. Yet this castle still defends the realm, not by repelling invaders, but by holding enemies of the state.
The plan of the castle is a quadrangle with accommodation along each side and a tower at each corner. The towers are five stories tall, while the walls and their interiors are only four. The stone work is not too thick and made of grey granite.
Each wall is expanded out, to include living and storage areas. Each wall's interior has a single long hallway. Each room in the wall interior is between the hallway and the courtyard. The exception to this plan is the second floor on the north wall, which is the Grand Hall.
There is only one entry into the courtyard, and that is through a vaulted passage with a portcullis at each end. Inside the courtyard are five identical doorways, each protected by its own portcullis, effectively trapping any attackers who made it into the courtyard. There are small windows that face the courtyard.
It is manned by the First Minister's Men. These are not your normal rabble, semi-permanent mercenaries that the make up most of the army. These consider themselves the Crown's men. They are loyal and they are dedicated. They have the distinctive red coats of the Crown's castle guard. They are not as 'spiffy' as the Castle Guard, but they are not as concerned with appearance.
The 'Guests of the First Minister', euphemism for prisoner of the crowns, are treated according to their station. The Guests are usually noble, knighted, or upper class. Most of their rooms are in the tower chambers, where each will have a suite and a very petite staff. They generally are kept separate, but 'visits' between them are often allowed, and 'occasions' for holidays and such are also done. The guards are professional, discrete, and omni-present. They are always 'just outside the room' or in the corners.
The Guests of the First Minister have been brought here for a variety of reasons. Some have committed treason, some are hostages, other have violated other more common laws, but can not be held in a common prison. Every now and again, someone who is inconvenient to the First Minister finds themselves here. (He occasionally does favors for the Temples as well).
The only non-upper class prisoner here is a scoundrel thief that has escaped from every other prison. Because he is being held for ecumenical charges, he can not be killed. He is delighted in being kept and treated as a minor noble. He may never try to escape.
There are no outside visitors without the minister's word. In the history of the castle, it has been besieged by a noble's men (for the purpose of freeing a prisoner) twice. Both times the Army came in and sorted it out.
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? Responses (9)-9
Oh, I do like irony, and this has a mighty ironic potential, especially when compared to the other filthy prisons. Many possible plot hooks attached.
I could use a place like this in my world.
Plot hook: the PC's need either the lowly thief in person, or his knowledge on how to help escape someone from another prison. Most likely, they will not be able to get him out, possibly even won't get inside to him. Solve that!
Heh I wouldn't mind being a 'guest' in this prison. Sounds rather comfortable even if it is inconvenient to not be able to go where you please.
a gentleman's prison, certainly interesting and a far more positive spin on the political based prison, the only other onw I can think of in literature being the Chatuea D'elf from the Count of Monte Cristo. This is certainly a better place to end up than a black gaol or filthy prison, but to the ambitious men and occassional woman, who find their way here, I imagine any prison, no matter how nice, is going to be a hell. For being nice, it could be twice the since it plays at being civil.
Thank you Cheka.
You know, I could see the First Minister 'tapping' our rogueish guest.
'Could you do me a favor?'
'Why should I?'
'Besides loyalty to the Crown? I could make sure that the ecumenical court never gets hold of you again... thus you could remain a guest here... indefinitely.. all for the price of a few favors.'
NPC: The Guest aka: To Catch a Thief (TV show) in the 15th Century.
That thief was a perfect addition that made the post for me. He probably does escape and he probably is getting paid kingly prices to sneak nobles our and/or to smuggle people in to visit. I can see the intrigue and politics continuing on with little restriction because the warden believes everything is as it should. Little does he know that most all roam and move as freely as they were in their own palace.
Yes, the thief is the standout for this submission. And the plot of attempting to get the thief - for whatever reason - is great.