The Gold Citadel/The Silver Tower

Knights of the Gold Citadel are in constant search of new and exciting game.

The Gold Citadel
The Gold Citadel was built by Duchess Florka Haugen-Castellan as a menagerie and museum for her extensive collection of living and dead hunting trophies from around the world. The continued accumulation by her and her family demanded expansions and so the modest keep has become a sprawling complex of towers, halls and galleries spreading up the mountainside.

Duchess Florka in her pickle jar.

Upon her death at the tentacles of a particularly large sand-kraken she was preserved, as per her wishes, in a class cabinet full of fine white wine form her own vineyard. Her great-great-etc. grand children still parade their prizes past her and her case in the great hall and often share a quiet word with her. Grandmother Florka's hunting advice was always the best.

 Florka's family have continued to occupy the retreat, on down the line. In order to secure a female heir to the duchy pregnant princesses hunt the local banth and eat their fresh hearts, well known for its feminine humors. Alone, on horse back, and with nothing other than a banth pike they will scour the foothills for a solitary male. Giving birth while on this hunt is considered terribly lucky, it's not uncommon for the princess to take extra time so as to  increase her chance of birthing in the wild.

Prince Qadir Haugen-Castellan looking pensive
Knights of the Gold Citadel are hunters first and foremost, but a delicate pallate is just as admired as a strong spear arm and cunning eye. Journeyman knights live as gastronomic tourists, traveling the breadth of the world looking for rare and exotic dining experiences which they dutifully record and rate. No animal is too fierce nor vegetable too remote for them to track down, consume and critique; they value raw and cooked texture, serving suggestions, tracking pleasure, risk/taste analysis, complementary dishes, lairing habits, over-all preparation experience and pelt presentability, to name a few. Special merit is awarded those brave knights who go to the trouble of bringing back live specimens for the menagerie and attached kitchens.

The notebooks of journeyman knights are highly valued by restauranteurs and chefs. They would likely pay exceedingly well for them, no questions asked.

The male knights are made up of the husbands and brothers of the princesses. The brothers are forbidden to marry and so tend towards an itinerant life. If encountering a Knight of the Gold Citadel abroad it will most likely be one of these Princes.

Every year around midwinter select members of the zoo are boiled alive inside a huge copper mold, forcing them into an amalgamated human shape made up of all manner of exotic animals. The multifarious meat loaf is then served to the royal court to guarantee a year of prosperity and lucky hunting. The tributary villages are often gifted the generous table scraps, making the bleak months something to look forward to for the younger peasants who chase each other through the fields dressed in the mysterious jellied pelts found in their meals.

(left to right) Princesses Tasin & Aafreeda Haugen-Castellan
Item: Haugen-Castellan Annual Dining Guide #467
Description: A weather proof illuminated book for the chef on the go. Inside you find hundreds of illustrated recipes for a staggering array of animals, most of which you've never seen before or thought were purely mythical.
Effect: 50% chance to have information on cooking at least one edible dish with whatever animal you have in front of you, no matter how outrageously poisonous it may be.


The Silver Tower

The Silver Tower was built by Agerun the Progenitor (or more accurately by Agerun the Progenitor's various custom built chimeric crimes against nature) as a sardonic mirror of the Citadel. Previously he had held apartments in the Gold Citadel's unparalleled menagerie but had fallen out with the Duchess after the accidental death of Princess Trudel Haugen-Castellan to an experimental pan-dimensional banth/human hybrid. She had commissioned him to build a suitably cunning prey so he had smartly used Trudel's own blood to form the human aspect of the chimera, what could stand to outsmart the hunter but the hunter herself! Plus a very large banth, of course.

Unfortunately it was not to be, as upon releasing it from its plasmic womb to show the princess its progress the creature dissolved into 8 different yet perfect past versions of the young noble and tore her to pieces on the spot. After watching the rapidly discombobulating chimeric children fleeing the citadel with various royal vital organs in tow the wizard wisely decided his time at the zoo was over.

He had already left with his most mobile pets and started to build his seclusium on the far side of Loch Doldrum when the remaining princesses had finished hunting down their doppelganger sisters and resolved to kill the corpulent mage.

In some weeks they tracked him down through his obfuscations and trickeries and toppled the tower into the loch and put his aberrations to the torch. The knights and their militia never found the Progenitor's body so they hunt him still. No one knows better than a hunter the danger of a wounded animal.

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