There once was a rich valley protected by the embrace of the northern mountains. A single pass led into the northern wildlands and the folk of the valley, elves humans and dwarves, all worked together to build a fortress to guard them from the monstrous creatures who came down from the rough northern region. The valley grew ever richer in trade with the southern lands and the fortress grew ever more mighty. The goodness of the valley dwellers led them to build extensive prisons beneath the fortress where the pitiful creatures they captured could live out their natural lives. Even giants and dragons were brought to heel by this industrious folk.
Unbeknownst to the valley people, a war was brewing high above them in the astral sea. A demi-god fought for control of his realm against a usurper in an extra-planar battleship. The demi-god’s defense was successful and the battleship spun wildly through the dimensions to crash into the fortress, splitting the mountain open in its fiery descent and carving a hole into unknown depths. The fortress crumbled and the surviving monsters, humanoids, and fell beasts escaped from their prison cells, led by an orc called the War Duke.
The War Duke’s ever swelling army of evil descended upon the helpless valley and slew or enslaved all its people. from there, the Evil Overlord went on to threaten all the surrounding lands with unending bloodshed. The civilized world banded together and fought back over a war lasting many grueling years, until they finally beat War Duke back to his fortress, his prison. There he was slain, and the war brought to a close in a great bloody battle and the ruined fortress was ransacked and abandoned. Few people returned to the valley, and what survivors remained scratched out a meager existence.
Four great hordes, each led by an Evil Overlord, have erupted out of the northern mountains and claimed the ruined Fortress in the thousand years since the Valley Folk were defeated. Four times the world has teetered on the brink of unquenchable bloodshed.
Still the ruined fortress of the Evil overlord remains, a blight upon the world, as indestructible as the mountain itself. It is full of the wealth of a hundred plundered kingdoms, and vomits forth an endless stream of vile monstrosities.
Description: The low peak at the head of the mountain pass was carved into the shape of a helm, with the nose piece being long stairs leading to a three-tower castle built at its crown. Large open chambers like eye sockets, held siege engines overlooking the pass and stairs. The castle was composed of two smaller parapet topped towers leaning like wide shoulders against a tall central tower. When the demonic battleship crashed, it struck the mountain top at the base of the central tower, causing most of it to collapse into the hole the ship bore through the mountain. Over the years, the face of the mountain has been carved to more resemble the skull of an orc.