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Valsinore Castle lies on the edge of the Sourstone Peninsula, on the northern coast of Ruddlestone, near the village of Sleath. It is the ancestral home of the Hero of Night of the Necromancer.[1]

Structure and Defences Edit

The castle consists of walled Outer and Inner Wards, separated by a three-storey gatehouse called the Barbican,[2] and a Keep built on a small spur of black rock rising out of the Diamond Sea, accessible only via a bridge over the so-called sea-moat.[3]

The Outer Ward is a large courtyard, containing the blacksmith's forge in the south-eastern corner, the stables against the western wall, the gatehouse in the south wall and Barbican to the north. The kennels are to the east of the Barbican, below the steps to the battlements and to the west is the sturdy stone guard barracks.[4] The Outer Ward is surrounded by high walls topped by battlements,[5] the passage through the Barbican is controlled by a heavy portcullis[6] and the Outer Gatehouse is protected by a pair of sturdy gates, a heavy iron portcullis, murder holes, a seige ballista and a second portcullis.[7] It is also possible to enter the castle via a culvert in the east wall that lets waste water and filth out under the wall and down over the cliff edge into the sea.[8] Similarly, there is a secret passage from a guard privy under the battlements in the east wall into the Inner Ward.[9]

The more densely defended Inner Ward contains the feast hall and kitchens against the western wall, the castle chapel and graveyard in the north-eastern quarter and the stone-clad well-head to the south east. Beneath the graveyard lie the castle's ancient and extensive catacombs, constructed centuries ago during the first age of the castle. They are accessible via the chapel or through a passage at the bottom of the well, into which the Sourstone Worm slithered to die, after being fatally wounded by Agravain. The gatehouse leading to the bridge over the sea-moat is to the north and the walls of the Inner Ward are reinforced by towers, one of which, in the eastern wall facing the sea, is in ruin after the upper levels were destroyed by a bolt of lightning long ago.[10] The Inner Ward also contains the solars and private quarters of the castle's noble residents and guests.[11]

The Keep was gutted by the Chamberlain Unthank whilst his liege was on crusade in Bathoria, but once had several floors and internal walls and contained the skeletons of beasts slain by the lords of Valsinore.[12] The castle's dungeons are cut into the bedrock upon which the keep sits.[13] The Keep is protected by Gargoyles which defend against aerial assault.[14]

Inhabitants Edit

At the time of Night of the Necromancer, the castle's chamberlain was Unthank, placed in charge by the lord or lady of Valsinore, with orders to protect Oriana, the sister and heir to the demesne.[15] The Captain of the Guard was Cador, a courageous warrior and doughty commander.[16] Bertild was the blacksmith, a tall, heavily muscled woman with an eye-patch over her left eye due to an accident at the forge.[17] The castle porter, Falstaff, was ruined by drink[18] and the fool, Toadstone was driven insane,[19] probably as a result of witnessing the nefarious goings on in the castle during the Bathorian Crusade. Father Umberto was the holy priest of Telak,[20] assisted by the gravedigger, Yorrick.[21] An obese, blubbery man called Ingelnook was the cook[22] and Blondel, the Bard.[23] The gaoler Iago, unpleasant in temperament but honest, was in charge of the dungeons[24] and the castle also contained numerous guards and servants. Finally, Korzen was the beloved wolfhound of the castle's noble retainer.[25]

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Night of the Necromancer - p.11
  2. Night of the Necromancer - 414
  3. Night of the Necromancer - 94
  4. Night of the Necromancer - 414
  5. Night of the Necromancer - 201
  6. Night of the Necromancer - 323
  7. Night of the Necromancer - 242
  8. Night of the Necromancer - 6
  9. Night of the Necromancer - 366
  10. Night of the Necromancer - 94,5,232
  11. Night of the Necromancer - 57
  12. Night of the Necromancer - 178
  13. Night of the Necromancer - 205
  14. Night of the Necromancer - 214
  15. Night of the Necromancer - p.11
  16. Night of the Necromancer - 330
  17. Night of the Necromancer - 180
  18. Night of the Necromancer - 271
  19. Night of the Necromancer - 115
  20. Night of the Necromancer - 268
  21. Night of the Necromancer - 195
  22. Night of the Necromancer - 335
  23. Night of the Necromancer - 130
  24. Night of the Necromancer - 315
  25. Night of the Necromancer - 43

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