Caer Dineval

Overview

Caer Dineval is one of the smaller towns of Icewind Dale situated around cliffs on the shore of Lac Dinneshere. The focal point of Caer Dineval is the “castle” that sits atop the Cliffs of Dinev overlooking the harbour at the bottom of the cliffs. A single path winds around the bay in a spiral and down to the lake with houses built alongside the path until it reaches Lac Dinneshere at the bottom of the cliff.

History

Caer Dineval is technically the oldest settlement of Icewind Dale, originally founded in 1050 DR by the exiled noble family of Dinev from Arabel in Cormyr. This family with their loyal retainers and hired mercenaries established a base atop the defensible Cliffs of Dinev and began building a fortified base from which to explore the rest of Icewind Dale in search of lost treasure.

The stone fort was completed within a few short months and immediately attracted the attention of nearby goblinoids and from as far away as the Spine of the World mountains. After years of assaults, Dinev Castle succumbed to a tribe of orcs and forced the cormyreans and their sellswords into the wilds of Icewind Dale.

It took a further decade for the surviving Cormyreans to retake Castle Dinev, but their numbers were now too few to hold it and they abandoned the castle within a year, fleeing into the wilderness before the next tribe of goblinoids.

Castle Dinev fell into ruin, regularly changing hands between goblinoids, giants, and other monsters. The dwarves of Valladrul regularly cleaned it out of infesting creatures only for it to become occupied again a few months later. When the humans of Illusk arrived, they learned to avoid the ruins until more refugees from other lands came to Icewind Dale and the population began to swell.

Refugees from the Moonshae Isles arrived in 1278 DR when their ships became trapped in the Sea of Moving Ice. With the help of warriors from Targos and Bremen, the ffolk and norl raiders easily cleared out the ruins at the top of the Cliffs of Dinev. Together the ffolk and norl rebuilt the ruins as Caer Dineval and the town prospered greatly.

Within a decade the divisions between ffolk and norl had begun to cause friction in the settlement and when Konig proposed the norl establish an outpost at the end of Icewind Pass to watch for goblinoids, the entire norl population left on the expedition. The norls returned two years later after parts of Caer Konig collapsed during a goblinoid assault, but left the following summer to retake Caer Konig and have not returned since.

Since the time the norl left, the people of Caer Dineval and Caer Konig have been antagonising each other, arguing over fishing rights, patrol routes, trade practices, path maintenance, etc. The only thing that unites these two settlements is the worry over the growing power of Easthaven, and so they actively work together on the lake and in the Council of Speakers to block Easthaven from accessing “their” fishing territories.

Politics

Who Rules: The ffolk are a law abiding, industrious people that respect good and virtuous people. The people of Caer Dineval are mostly of ffolk origin, and have generally elected honourable (if not always wise or capable) people to the position of Speaker. Jensin Brent is the current Speaker, a brave and honourable warrior.

Who Really Rules: The Nightsword. Before Jensin Brent, the Speaker of Caer Dineval was in control of the settlement, everyone obeyed his edicts as though they were law without question (unless they were obviously unjust or evil). However, since Jensin Brent became Speaker, he rediscovered an intelligent and evil sword lost in the cellars of the castle since the time the Dinevs lived here.

Heraldry: A crenellated stone watchtower (three merlons, two crenellations) on a dark blue field, with a horizontal red fish facing right beneath the tower, representing the town’s vigilance, harbor, and proud fishing tradition.

Plots: The people of Caer Dineval have an ancestral rivalry with the northmen of Caer Konig which continues to the present day in the form of continued arguments over fishing territories in Lac Dinneshere. The Speaker of Caer Dineval will always vote against any proposal by the Speaker of Caer Konig (or any proposal supported by Caer Konig) with one exception as noted below.

Since the growth of Easthaven as a commercial rival on Lac Dinneshere, both Caer Dineval and Caer Konig recognise the threat to their traditional way of life (and rivalry). As a result, both Caer Dineval and Caer Konig will always voted against any proposal motioned or supported by Easthaven, even if that means voting with their traditional rival Caer Konig.

Defence

The Caer: The primary means of defence for Caer Dineval is the castle itself, which is more than large enough to house the entire population of the town for an extended period of time (several months if the cellars are well stocked).

Militia: The ffolk of Caer Dineval are not naturally aggressive, but they are a practical people, and there are about 25 of the townsfolk that spend one of every tenday training in the castle. The current Speaker was chosen from among this group of militia for being a particularly trustworthy and courageous individual.

Knights of the Black Sword: The Knights in service to Speaker Jensin Brent are training to be a formidable fighting force which at the present maintains a veneer of nobility. Gradually they are becoming more and more bold (or violent), looking for any excuse to fight, but should any force threaten Caer Dineval, the Knights of the Black Sword will fight against them to win notoriety and popularity for their leader.

Important Sites

Dinev’s Rest: This inn is situated in a shallow dell at the base of the cliff, marking the point where the path diverges to the harbour in the east or heads north and then east up and around the Cliffs of Dinev.  It is said that Dinev’s Rest is built atop the final resting place of the last patriarch of the Dinev family (slain in 1058 DR fleeing the orc attack). Drunk patrons are occasionally found digging in the earthen floor of their room, but no-one has yet found Garren Dinev’s body or his famous sword.

Uphill Climb: This tavern is situated at the very top of Cliffs of Dinev next to a short trail leading to the caer itself. It has a spectacular view of the rest of the town and Lac Dinneshere, and caters to regular patrons from Caer Dineval as well as to the more upmarket merchants that occasionally journey here and visit with the Speaker. There is nightly tradition of patrons from Dinev’s Rest racing uphill to the Uphill Climb, with the loser buying a round of drinks for everyone.

Caer Dineval: The caer itself is a two story fortification consisting of a number of traditional ffolk round-towers built around a central keep, all of which is modelled upon the original foundations of Castle Dinev. The central keep is made of stone, with the round towers built out of a combination of stone and timber.

The original cellars of Castle Dinev have been lost and rediscovered and lost again over the last century. Every few decades the current Speaker decides to expand the cellars and discovers a long lost portion of the original Castle Dinev, stones marked with a black sword are commonly found among the cellars but no-one knows their meaning or purpose.

Most recently, 2 years ago, Speaker Jensin Brent discovered a secret safe-room in the cellars, within was the skeletal remains of a teenage girl holding a black bladed broadsword. He mentioned the find to no-one, and has thus far been careful not to bring the sword out of its scabbard in public, he is finding that his fighting skills have improved while using the sword, but he has not noticed it slowly twisting his personality, making him more violent.

Important NPCs

Hethyl Arkorran (Neutral, Dwarf – Shield, Expert 1): Hethyl is a middle aged dwarf woman that came to Caer Dineval 30 years ago and has run Dinev’s Rest ever since. She is a kindly old woman that drinks with her patrons and carries the more inebriated ones home at the end of the day but maintains a distance from everyone, letting no one truly know her thoughts and feelings.

Hethyl also has a gift of foresight, able to see the deaths of those she touches, experience has taught her to stay apart from everyone, never forging friendships. The constant loneliness has turned her into a drunkard and forced her to leave Valladrul, and is slowly souring her personality with despair.

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