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A legendary bastion of Puddleby's dominant Orga tribe. For many years, the Stronghold was considered a myth or fable, an indistinct goal without actual form. Many rumours swirled through the exile community about the nature of the Stronghold; some claimed to have been there, witnessing the Orga chieftain Bartok and great ruinous halls that had supposedly been constructed by the Winged Centaurs.

The Pitch Assault Group pursued the dream of the Stronghold by cutting deep into the Pitch and Slate Caves. Eventually they found a ladder leading upward, with a crumbling lid blocking their passage. A furious, constant tattoo of drumbeats was heard overhead. Several moons later, Puddleby began to experience frequent incursions of Orga Warlocks raiding the Temple. This began a period known as Bartok's Resurrection, which ended in Bartok being summoned from Purgatory, and leading a multitude of Orga in a retreat across the Orga forests to the west end of the Foothills, where he slipped into a previously unknown path between the trees.

The period before the Stronghold's exploration is chronicled here:

The discovery of the overland entrance to the Stronghold marked a period of new optimism, as such a path inward had been all but written off by those hoping to track down the way into the Stronghold. This entrance proved perilous indeed, being heavily defended by all manner of spellcasting Orga. Having not made much progress through this entrance, the Pitch Assault Group soon discovered that the lid blocking their passage from the Arachnoid caverns had disintegrated entirely, allowing them passage into a slightly more hospitable region of the Stronghold.

As progress was gradually made into the Stronghold, it revealed itself to be a heavily fortified region of deep woods, mobbed with all manner of dangerous Orga, from the shamanic Mudang to the towering Loathing. The forest's twisting passages are such that Orga can stand shoulder-to-shoulder across ways through, blocking passage and holding exiles at bay while the Orga Catapults are armed and fired, raining devastating fire on those who intrude. Before exiles were able to make serious progress into the deeper reaches of the Stronghold, the Pitch Assault Group had to make an alliance with the Exploration and Adventure Team to bolster their strength— and so they did. The combined team was able to strike far beyond the reach of PAG or EAT alone.

The Stronghold makes greater use of infrastructure than other known Orga holdings, utilising the crumbling walls of a long-past civilisation as barricades, erecting palisades from roughly-hewn wooden stakes, and using the height of a muddy plateau to Orga advantage. Many new and frightening types of Orga defend these makeshift fortresses, wielding new types of lightning to catastrophic effect. Further enhancing the defensive arrangements were the catapults, engineered from the stolen Catapult and its plans.

Still seeking these plans was Katpus, who was found cowering in a cave in the northeastern Stronghold. She told exiles that she had been exploring a network of caves, when a cave-in behind her had trapped her at the mouth of the cave opening into the Stronghold. Also sensed nearby was the famous pathfinder Trillbane, but he has not yet been found.

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Page last modified on March 12, 2009, at 10:35 AM