The Second Great War and other stories
The oldest of the three major Fortresses defending the Borderlands from the Savage North, the Diamond Fortress is also tasked with guarding the Diamond Pass. The fortress garrisons a full regiment of soldiers – one thousand – and nearly three hundred civilians, with a visitor capacity of sixty. The fortress is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible, and includes its own farms, smiths, and siege equipment.
The Diamond Fortress’ outer walls are twenty feet thick and forty feet high, made of solid unmarked stone, and are kept magically greased at all times to prevent scaling. The keep’s walls are only ten feet thick, but are still forty feet high. Each sentry tower has an armed catapult on top of it at all times, as does the gatehouse. The keep has four armed catapults, one on each corner. The inner courtyard of the keep is surrounded by arrow slits and oil kettles, and have an experimental spell turret mounted next to the solaria, which is supposed to help take down flying creatures. The ground underneath the keep was studded with steel spikes, to stop creatures from burrowing or earth gliding underneath the keep.
The keep contains one of the few solaria outside of the dwarven regions. Solarias were originally an elven invention, but they had little use for them, and the elves consider the building of solarias a lost art. The Diamond Fortress solaria is ten feet wide and surrounded by four wells of flying, which are used to travel between different floors in the Fortress. The top of the solaria concentrates sunlight onto a magical gem, which then transmits that sunlight down the solaria’s shaft to the bottom, where another gem spreads it out over the basement. Thus, the basement of the Diamond Fortress’ keep contains over a third of an acre’s worth of farmland, secure from any attempt by enemy forces to destroy it.
In essence, the Diamond Fortress is one of the most impregnable fortresses imaginable.
This is why the hobgoblin takeover of the Fortress was so unexpected. Approximately two weeks before Tulak Azuri’s return, eight hundred hobgoblin soldiers mounted on rocs swooped down out of nowhere to assault the Fortress. By doing so, they managed to bypass almost all of the Fortress’ defenses, but they still lost almost three-quarters of their number, between the spell turret and the heavy room-to-room fighting. The hobgoblins only managed to take the Keep – the rest of the regiment rallied fast enough to keep the hobgoblins in. With two hundred hobgoblins still inside the keep, a relief force was sent, including Knight Aemaea Vargen. Since her father was the Lord Commander of the Diamond Fortress, she knew of the secret tunnel leading directly into the keep. While the regiment kept the hobgoblins facing outside (to heavy casualties), and the advancing army sent as many soldiers as they could to join the fight as quickly as possible, Aemaea led a small elite team of twenty men and women to the keep’s escape tunnel and into the Fortress. Aemaea personally decapitated the hobgoblin general, and the hobgoblins were quickly defeated. Aemaea’s promotion to Silvered Knight came soon afterward, and she left to pursue the hobgoblins that had slipped south during the confusion.
Map of the Diamond Fortress