The citadel sits on a chunk of generally unprofitable land surrounded by poor farming land, making it unappealing for most nobles. It generally sits quiet and cold, manned by a small garrison at most, a skeleton staff of four to six men and a single priest out of favour with the church at worst.
Baron Nichol Ondrae never cared for the family's scheming and machinations to overthrow the last dynasty, and after the last attempt on his life, possibly from Duke Augh-enryn, or perhaps his own cousin Enoch, it was time to put some space between himself and the fractious infighting of the capital.
So when the Black Pox created a opening for custodian of the Citadel, Nichol took it as a sign. The gambles of remaining too close to the capital (and family) have become too rich for his blood. Time to take in a new view. With a few loyal retainers, and what second-rate soldiers were begrudgingly offered for the post, Nichol took his family and moved west to the isolated outpost.
So now he overlooks the windswept dry coastal plains. The lands may be barren, the farms and their associated tithes poor, but that itch between his shoulder blades has (mostly) subsided. Not that he doesn't still take a few precautions from 'visits' from the capital...
Baron Nichol Ondrae, Thane of Cinolth, Ftr 7, 27HP, AC 2 (Plate/Shield), +2 longsword, 'Windbreaker' (once per day the bearer may invoke the sword to release the equivalent of a gust of wind spell). 900gp, gems worth 130, 140, and 600gp, tooled leather headband set with topaz and opal (200gp), potion of neutralize poison in vial around neck.
Ondrae brought his wife, Elyea, and his daughter, Kalia.
Elyea chafes at the isolation and desolation of the post, longing for the intrigues and bustle of the cities. She did not approve of this move. She spends most of her days reading from her substantial library and writing letters to family and friends back at the capital. She does love her husband, and is concerned about his fears, but believes him to be a bit too paranoid. (Noblewoman, 6HP, jeweled dagger (50gp), jewelry, major pieces worth 50, 80, and 110 gp, personal library, cumulative value 1,500 GP, with a number of valuable volumes of court histories and first transcripts of epic poems.)
Kalia is a silent, thoughtful girl. Both of her parents worry that she will not receive the mental and social stimulation necessary to become a proper member of a court, and have brought their family tutor, Per Glennis, to teach her philosophy, ciphers, and the harmonium. Kalia is actually quite happy to wander the dry countryside around the Citadel, collecting plants and animals for study with the help of Glennis, and has amassed a fair collection of 'stone fish' from the shale cliffs below the Citadel. Her parents consider this an adolescent fancy, and expect her to eventually turn her mind to more courtly matters. Kalia, on the other hand, has recently learned of cliffs up the coast that are rumored to calve out the bones of dragons or sea monsters, and is plotting an adventure...
Ondrae is accompanied by his most loyal (and dangerous) retainer, Ferris Ridol. Ferris campaigned with Ondrae, and has since become an indispensable member of the household. In spite of the remote environment, Ridol's flute and jokes fill the halls, even bringing an occasional smile to Elyuea's face as he recounts old court tales and gaffes. The clever jibes and smiling eyes hide a much more calculating and scheming soul, and Ridol periodically returns to the capital for news of the latest court intrigues on Ondrae's behalf, and sometimes to keep practiced in more visceral interventions... (Thf5; 16HP, AC6, +1 short sword, 'Rat-bite' (5% chance per hit of causing wasting disease), poisoned dagger (save or die), masterwork thieves tools (+10% to Open Locks), 400gp, gems worth 8, 9, 60gp).
Brother Lyeskelas ministers at the fortress' church to its inhabitants, as well as to a few adherent locals and travelers. The reasons for Lyeskelas assuming the station here are not public knowledge, but rumors among the staff range from his secretly worshiping a demon in the cellar of the church, to being driven out of the urban church for impregnating the daughter of a rival church leader, or perhaps just a bad habit of pig buggery. (Cl5, 14HP, AC5, Mace, Ring of Protection from Evil, 500gp, silver censer with enamel inlays (50gp), jewerly worth 12, 30, 110gp). At Ondrae's behest, he always keeps a few extra detect poison scrolls on hand to survey imported and delivered foodstuffs.
The Citadel is equipped to provide modest material support for the surrounding farmsteads and occasional travelers and couriers moving out to the coast settlements or beyond. A smithy and cartwright is capable of minor equipment and transport repairs. The Citadel also includes a small commissary provisioning travelers. Basic items (e.g. rations, lamp oil, lanterns, sacks, rope, waterskins, spikes, torches) are usually available at 3x book prices, there is a 30% chance that the stores will include other items, also at inflated prices. A baker makes simple travel-breads for the errant.
The fortress is garrisoned by a captain, two sergeants, and twenty-four men. The men weren't selected for their abilities or loyalty, but to get them out of their assigned units due to sloth or insubordination, as well as the hope that one or more would turn against the disgraced baron. So far, the isolation and abandonment has, instead, united the ragtag garrison.
- Captain Emil Risen, drummed out of his unit for alleged cowardice, Ftr4, 22HP, AC2, greatsword, potion of cure light wounds, 218gp, gems worth 9, 50gp.
- Sergeant Caina Hons, demoted for being sickly and a devotee of an out-of-fashion god, Ftr3, 9 HP, AC4, short bow, longsword, 96gp, silver-embroidered prayer rug (200gp).
- Sergeant 'Fisher' Bel'per, lazy, but has a good tactical mind, Ftr3, 16HP, AC4, heavy crossbow, mace, 72gp, Inlaid urn with grandfather's ashes (100gp).
- Men-at-Arms, 0-level, 4-6HP, AC6, half armed with polearm and short sword, half with shortbow and hand axe.
Ondrae knows that the puny garrison will not offer much resistance to a significant assault, and relies on the Citadel's stout gates and the inhospitable surroundings to deter any potential siege. Fortunately, there is little indication of foreign intentions on such a surplus piece of territory.
Instead, Ondrae watches much more diligently for a more veiled threat, perhaps a solo assailant from the city bearing a silent blade or vial of poison.