Shimmering Kingdoms True20
The following tale was overheard, and passed on.
The original tale, told by the retired soldier turned merchant Fult Rurg, recounts details of the event that happened many years ago, over fifty, in fact. The tale is spun by the ancient Seitsman with an emphasis on his bravery and contributions. He tells of a gnome engineer, who knocked down a great tower down with “but a single rock, not even as big as my head”. This he conveys with great relish and accompanying sound effects. He closes the tale with the following: “though we searched the wreckage carefully and questioned Brekart most politely, we never did find the money he stole from the good citizens of this area. To this day people go to the ruins of the tower to look for it. But, if anyone has found it they haven’t said a thing.”
The old timer will readily admit that he has gone back a few times since then to look for the coins (“it would be a nice bit of coin for my second retirement”) but will warn any who care to listen, that some dangerous creatures have been known to lair in the ruins and that the last time he was there he and his fellows had to “put the sharp steel to a couple of stupid goblins who were digging about in the ruins.”
Rurg also said “Some say that the vengeful spirit of old Brekart haunts the ruins of his broken tower. I don’t put any stock in such rumors… all the same though, I wouldn’t go there at night.”
Brekart began his adventuring career as many had done before him by cleaning out Bekus’ Pit. After that he undertook a series of adventures that enabled him to increase in power. Unfortunately for Brekart his ambition for power exceeded his abilities. Fifty years ago, using enslaved goblins and orcs for labor, Brekart constructed a tower eight leagues south of what was then Buckhorn Lodge and declared himself the lord of the region. He sent armed “tax collectors” into Buckhorn Lodge and the surrounding villages, and set up toll booths along the area roads.
Not surprisingly, it was not long before word of his activities reached the ears of the Prince in Finsdale. As per tradition, an emissary was sent to Brekart demanding that he submit himself for trial and execution. After Brekart refused the demand a small force was sent against him. The force, consisting of loyal adventurers and a support group of soldiers and siege engineers, made short work of Brekart’s “tax collectors” and surrounded his tower.
The attacking force was somewhat concerned since Brekart occupied what appeared to be a stout and well-guarded tower. Unfortunately for Brekart, some of his goblin troops slipped away in the night only to be captured by the besiegers. In return for their freedom, the Brutes revealed a rather important secret: the goblins, angry at being enslaved, had built several serious, but hidden, defects into the tower. The next morning the besiegers lined up for the attack while Brekart gave a loud speech to the effect that his attackers would be gutted and fed the crows. Just as Brekart got to the part about his “unbreakable tower” one of the engineers let fly with a stone from a small catapult. The small stone struck the fatal weak point of the tower, causing the top section to collapse. Brekart survived the collapse, but found himself all alone at the feet of his enemies.
With his surviving “loyal” followers running as fast as they could away from the debris, Brekart had no choice but to surrender. In accord with tradition, Brekart’s goods were auctioned to repay the cost of the siege and to provide reparations. After the last item was sold, Brekart was beheaded. His head decorated a pike in Finsdale, until it was stolen by a very large raven.
The ruins of Brekart’s tower remain to this day. Over the years various creatures have found the ruins attractive and have set up residence there. Occasionally adventurers visit the ruins to slay any worthy opponents they might find there and to search for the treasure of “tax” money that is allegedly still hidden somewhere in the ruins.