Trophy: Fort Duhrin

Treasure-hunters seeking riches in the heart of the Kalduhr will frequently make a stop at Fort Duhrin, which is a half-day’s journey from the terrible forest. Fort Duhrin is a bustling crossroads community ruled by a Governor and a contingent of elite warriors known as the kingsguard. What else do we know about Fort Duhrin?

@jesseross and I are putting together a standalone book for the Trophy RPG (the game and its many expansions are currently featured in each new issue of Codex). One of the things we’re going to do with this book is include numerous tables that help flesh out the world Trophy takes place in. Keeping with the spirit of Trophy as a community project, we’re going to be crowdsourcing many of the elements that go into these tables.

Today we’re starting with Fort Duhrin, which is mentioned in several places throughout the various Trophy publications. We’re looking for 3 types of contributions to help flesh out Fort Duhrin:
1. Personalities you might encounter in Fort Duhrin.
2. Ways in which the fort has been changed by its proximity to the Kalduhr forest.
3. Rumors heard about Fort Duhrin.

You can submit as many entries as you wish, in any or all categories, by posting a reply here. By submitting here, you agree to let us use your contribution in the Trophy standalone book and PDF (you will be credited as a contributor). Submissions should be fairly brief (no more than a sentence or two). Here are some examples:

“Jacol Pyree is the best fence in the entire kingdom. When something… unsavory is dislodged from the Kalduhr, he’ll not only find a buyer for it, but will get it safely past the kingsguard—and all for an entirely reasonable 50% cut of the proceeds.”

“A cottage industry of heroic, mournful songs about the Kalduhr—and the treasure-hunters who seek to conquer it—has sprung-up in Fort Duhrin. For a few silver, you can make sure your own bravery is immortalized with a verse.”

“Rumors abound that the Governor himself is a former treasure-hunter, and that he built Fort Duhrin not in service to the king, but at the behest of something that lies in the heart of the malignant woods.”

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Patience Davies is a fine lady of Fort Duhrin, observing a due period of mourning for her husband after disappearance on an expedition into the forest. A gaggle of suitors orbit her, and she does not seem averse to picking one of them once propriety allows. Her mystique is enhanced by the traveling mask she always wears out of doors, and reports of her beauty have only grown in the time since anyone else has seen her face.

A few blocks of the city have been deliberately left to run wild, so as to provide training grounds for aspiring adventurers. Half obstacle course, half nature preserve, this bit of urban wilderness has bolstered the hopes of some adventurers and claimed the lives of a handful who were clearly not cut out for the real thing.

It is rumored that the esoteric names of the gates of Fort Duhrin (Blindgate, Soulsgate, Beastgate, etc.) predict the fate of adventurers who leave by them. Competing oracles and fortune tellers advise adventurers using different interpretations of the gates’ meanings.

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Delinia Alger is the hard-nose recruiting agent for the kingsguard. Brash, tough and brutally honest, she holds nothing back when denying one entry into the kingsguard. She seems to revel in telling treasure hunters that their inevitable deaths await them in the forest.

The Othagos fruit is readily available at the fort. The outside resembles a pale green pear while the inside is bright pink and produces a sweet and succulent treat. Most may enjoy this wonderful bounty of the forest, but for those that are allergic, the fruit will cause the breakout of painful boils once ingested and possibly even death. Despite the risk, Othagos fetches a premium from traveling traders.

Despite the bustling nature of Fort Duhrin, the graveyard seems quite small. Rumor has it that most of the dead are carted off to the forest in the dead of the night.

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I hope it’s not too tropy :slight_smile:

Rumor: The former Governor of Fort Duhrin is said to have buried his wife between the stone walls of the Fort… alive. In silent nights, you can still hear her moan. People say that he whose name she whispers on a moonless night through the walls is about to face a long and painful death.

Rumor: “Duhrin” is the name of an ancient Goddess. Some say that she is waiting to be set free to take revenge upon those who once took her prisoner.

Encounters: In the rectangular bartizan of one of the Fort’s garderobes hides a dangerous spider, whose bite injects eggs into the victims’ bodies. Watch out where you take a dump…

Encounters: Drollo, the unseen jester lives there. He loves to play a practical joke on anyone who enters the Fort. You do not see him coming until it’s too late.

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Nothing to offer except excitement about this!! :trophy::trophy::trophy:

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The Scrubbers perform a vital groundskeeping service at Duhrin, working tirelessly to remove the constant growth of moss and plants of the encroaching forest, which continuously attempts to reclaim the land annexed by Duhrin. They are lead by Grumley, who knows the importance of his team’s services and thus leverages a fair amount of de facto political power.

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Old Meg has been widowed several times, though lives a comfortable life thanks not only to generous inheritances, but also her eye for business. She turns a steady profit safeguarding the possessions of those who enter the forest. Her second-hand shop is even more lucrative, selling off the items left by those who never return.

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-Roads outside the gates of Duhrin are lined with small shrines to deities of many faiths, along with a motley rabble of wandering holy men and street shamans selling good luck charms or offering blessings in exchange for coin or alms. Some of the more enterprising can be seen performing dramatic ceremonies of protection for would-be treasure hunters - as much an act of theater as one of faith. The more elaborate the spectacle, the greater a price demanded.

-Fort Duhrin has quietly become a hub of research and trade for herbalists and alchemical practitioners of every sort. New species of flora and fungi are being discovered growing from the stones of the fort every day it seems, each rumored to have a unique potency due to its proximity to the forest. This has fueled a robust black market of experimental potions and tinctures promising cures and protection from every danger imaginable - though verifying such claims may prove difficult, when travellers so infrequently return…

-Whatever dangers Fort Duhrin may have been built to defend against originally, it is rumored that the greatest ongoing threats today are the restless spirits of treasure-hunters. Some come seeking vengeance against those who advised them poorly, some to warn others against entering the forest and meeting a similar fate. Whether or not this is true, observant travelers may notice the prevalence of warding charms throughout the fort, especially near gates, windows and residence of the Governor himself.

-The one-eyed Oracle of Da’Kalorr sits hunched, ogre-like in stature, on a pile of bones blooming with flowers and fungi. They wait for travelers to make an offering to the pile before naming three prophetic colors as guidance for the road ahead. Occasionally the Oracle will name other things as well - Hunger, Sadness, Blood, Roots, Mold, Treasure, Revelation, Betrayal, and so on.

-Mother Niavka, a sad-eyed priestess wearing a crown of living vines, is always willing to perform blessings for those preparing to enter the forest. She inspires hope when speaking on the vast, verdant glory of the wild and urges all who will listen to go and learn its secrets. In the end, she tells them, everything comes from the forest, and so must everything return.

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The North Quarter is where gods come to die. The shrines are small and dejected, the last of the faithful sickened and hungry, and an aura of fading hope permeats everything. Those who go into the forest rarely pass by, but those who manage to survive usually end up here, because even nightmares are more faded in the North Quarter.

Marcella of the North Quarter buys and sells nightmares. Those nightmares she sells might offer a hint to the ways of the forest, or the knowledge needed if somebody wants to perform a Ritual. Those she buys the nightmares from never dream again.

They say one of the young princes of Duhrin went into the forest, just for fun, just for a lark, but he returned strange and different. They kept him close and hidden, his family did, until his older sister died, and now they need to find a bride for him. Some even say they already have, but he drove her to her death with his singing.

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My first Gauntlet post! Hope this suits…

  1. Rhyll the landlord greets adventurers warmly and asks of their exploits. But his eyes glaze when they begin to tell him: he’s not heard the tale he’s been waiting for, not yet.

  2. When Old Gar died, it didn’t take the forest long to reclaim his house, roots bursting through basement earth and climbing ever higher. Now, branches jut out of broken windows in the upper floors and the cobblestones in the street have begun to shift.

  3. For a little coin, the bakers of Fort Duhrin can send messages hidden inside the bread rolls that find their way to the governor’s table. For a little more, they can send other things.

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Two small-but-growing activist groups have formed among the people who live in the Fort. The Razers seek to burn the Kalduhr to the dirt, insisting it’s the only way to be safe from the forest. The Preservers believe the Kalduhr must remain pristine, for the same reason.

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Missus Jarazel oversees The House of Fecund Delights, a brothel that caters exclusively to those who have ventured into the forest and returned alive. Their desires seem inevitably to fall outside the realm of pedestrian perversion, and they will pay substantially to have them satiated. Her own trip into the Forest as a girl was brief, but made a lasting impression upon her spirit and body. Don’t ask. You can’t afford her.

Trellises were once required to support the flowers that gave the Bridge of Roses its name, but once the keepers realized the flowers had taken root in the stone of the bridge itself, they removed the splintered slats to serve the orphanage for kindling.

The Orphan’s Watch got its name because children used to sit atop the tower looking towards the return of their foolhardy parents from the Forest. The ghosts of children who died of thirst up there waiting are said to haunt it on the hottest days.

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Augustine Silk is a wispy young man who serves as a valet. Gifted with the Sight, he used to make money on the side telling fortunes. The uncanny accuracy of his prophecies, though, means he has now turned his trade to pointedly not telling people their fortunes, for a fee.

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The best Portrait artists in the realm come from Fort Duhrin. The best pigments come from the forest. Want your mug on a locket for your sweetie? A canvas? Bring me back bark shavings from the South side of a river elm and a pot of clay dug from the heart of a storm struck beech and I’ll paint you fit for a King. Or perhaps a Queen?

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`Look out there, tell me, pay attention. What’s different? How many turnpikes did we walk? How many farmers markets and barn dances did we work to get here? Just look! New boots. Everyone here has new boots. So… where are all the cobblers?’

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Old Auntie Gwen Doubleditch sells more jars of her Ditch-Berry Jam to visiting ladies than you had hot meals. But don’t you touch that jam! I seen what those berries prosper from and you best look otherwise for your sweet treats.

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A bizarre trend has been noted in recent expeditions leaving Duhrin. Young nobles have begun venturing into the forest on “quests”, laden with the most fashionable adventuring gear, elaborate ritual paraphernalia and a complete lack of experience. Each one boasts of how far they will go and what treasures they will bring back - but the few who return only shake their heads and refuse to speak on what they’ve seen.

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While this fad among young nobles is quite noticeable, what is less noticeable is the class of servants who accompany them: Quiet, friendly people with skin the colour of treebark and eyes the colour of needles, small but sturdy, uncomplaining and oddly alike. They carry the nobles provisions, set up camps and help them climb trees if they find that necessary. Not all come back, but most do, and in a week’s time, go out again. Yet they don’t speak, except amongst themselves, and they never tell stories.

It is said that Kalduhn has its own language. Scholars debate what it is, Ancient Kalduhran perhaps, or the tongue of the people who came before. Or maybe just the whisper of the air among leaves. There are no books written in this language. Only the forest itself.

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Terkin Appledove is a quiet, unassuming man who strolls the streets, yards and courts of Fort Duhrin. In his hand he carries a short measuring stick and should he discover a hole he will test it’s depths. If the hole exceeds the stick he will make polite enquiries to unearth those responsible. And they will meet with a force sufficient to mend their ways. No one fucks with the Ditch Diggers Union!

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All stone in the fort slowly transforms to wood, requiring constant maintenance. And the wood has started growing again…

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