The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (Mavrickindigo)
In the spring of 4681, a Hellknight named Emos Varden passed through Southwood shortly after a gang of brigands had set fire to several farmhouses on the outskirts of town and carried off the hapless families living there. Varden belonged to the Order of the Pike; he was bound for the Worldwound to battle against demonic hordes and wasn’t particularly interested in the troubles with outlaws. But the people of Southwood scraped together enough gold to hire him as their protector, and Varden decided his crusade could begin here.
Varden and his 30 seasoned troops embarked on a months long campaign of viciously eradicating banditry wherever they found it. Any brigands his forces found on the road were killed and nailed to trees as a warning to others. By the beginning of summer, no outlaw dared show his face within 20 miles of Southwood.
When the town council approached Varden to offer their gratitude and payment, the Hellknight announced that he would not be continuing to Mendev. During his campaign, he had realized the need to secure the region for other pilgrims and crusaders on their way to the northern battles. He announced the establishment of a Hellknight stronghold and informed Southwood’s council that he was placing the town under martial law. Taking the title of “lord commander” to signify his command of the Hellknight garrison and his obligation to protect the town, Varden dissolved the town council and began construction of a permanent citadel— Fort Inevitable, named for the inevitability of order’s triumph.
Lord Varden ruled with a heavy hand, but the town flourished in many ways. He and his Hellknights constructed a city wall and a stone keep, making Fort Inevitable the best-defended town on the Crusader Road. Varden participated in several expeditions to Mendev, but always returned to Fort Inevitable.
Five years ago, Varden’s reign ended when an assassin struck him down with a crossbow bolt.