Friday Lore Post: G’djeck Castle

In the middle of the Catechism War, in the year SC -352, a castle was built in a mountain range on the southern end of the land mass that would later be called Menechit. The castle was built to house a local king named Gustav and, more importantly, the cadre of gods that were taking refuge in the loyalist-controlled land called Ech’kent. 

The castle was called G’djeck Castle, and it served as both the stronghold of the gods and a military fort to protect the plateau from land assaults. It was intentionally constructed equidistant from K’yeck Pass, the only land access point to the plateau, and from the old home of the plateau’s gods, Chavej’dex, the holy mountain, which people had recently started calling Rh’eyltakak. 

G’djeck Castle stood as the gods’ stronghold for only about a hundred years, at which point the gods lost the Catechism war and the rest of the continent was consumed by war between the angels and demons. The human kings of Ech’kent instead directed their attention inward and began worshipping the older gods of the plateau: dragons.

It is during this time period when G’djeck Castle was at its height. Ech’kent, mostly removed from the conflicts in the rest of the world—even after the Catechism War ended—became a kingdom in its own right, with G’djeck Castle as its stronghold. A lineage of kings and queens from a family called Vedyrmark ruled from there, building up the plateau, creating infrastructure projects and enacting trade with neighbouring Hechan, as well as performing rituals to the plateau’s draconic gods.

All of G’djeck Castle’s towers were constructed with the explicit purpose of bringing the human royalty closer to their winged gods. Fertility rituals for crops, rituals to ensure good mining, weather rituals, rituals to herald the change of season and the new year, all of these happened on the tops of the castle towers. 

Steadily, however, the people began to complain that their kings and gods were too distant from them, and to avoid uprising, the rituals were moved to a central altar in Jdinrma-Hash, to be more accessible to everyone. As a result, House Vedyrmark began to live in the city part-time, and upkeep on G’djeck Castle started to be less reliable. 

By the year SC 1302, when the neighbouring kingdom of Hechan decided to conquer Ech’kent, the castle had fallen into sufficient disrepair that it was eventually overrun without much difficulty, and many blamed its poor defences for the destruction of House Vedyrmark and the eventual loss of Ech’kent’s autonomy. House Fyrdeit was installed as the rulers of Ech’kent in their place, much to the plateau’s displeasure, and they chose to live in Jdinrma-Hash full-time. 

The castle was mostly left alone from then on, though it was repaired in SC 1903 and used as a prison for dangerous criminals. It served this purpose until SC 2432, when a new ruler wanted to live there, an idea that was short-lived when the convenience of living near Jdinrma-Hash was taken into consideration and his advisors balked at the cost of keeping up this huge castle. All the prisoners had already been moved out of the dungeons, however, and the castle had been repaired in preparation for the move that never happened. In the year SC 3054, when Hechan was conquered by Kyaine (without a single Kyainese soldier setting foot in Ech’kent), a local family of judges was raised to the status of nobility and became House Arkhewer, and was installed to oversee the plateau, but elected not to move into the castle even though the Kyainese crown paid to have it repaired once again. 

The name G’djeck Castle fell away during this long period when the castle was uninhabited, legends of its time as a place of grand battles and horrific punishments kept alive by local whispers. By SC 3753, it had fallen into disrepair once again, and had also faded mostly from people’s minds except in memories of bloodshed and torment. It was at this time that Solomon the Sorcerer King arrived on the plateau. Solomon moved into G’djeck Castle and rebuilt it, expanding it a little, figuring at first that he and House Arkhewer could coexist if they lived in separate areas. His family has lived there ever since, and has revived it as a site of pain and suffering.

The current Sorcerer King lives in the castle with his husband, the current lord of House Arkhewer, and has no intention of moving back to Jdinrma-Hash. The last time Ech’kent had a royal line living in this castle, it was a period of prosperity for the plateau. Time will tell if history will repeat itself or not. 

From “The Definitive Atlas of the World, Vol. 1: Lands and Locations,” by Pascal Tiberius Naoton Quimbell Haeverine anNatalie, published in White Cape in DN 1997.

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