Lao's Teeth

Population: 225 foot infantry, 125 archers.
Leader: Captain Ragni Abimael (Fighter 5)
Important Locals: Johan Gruber, priest of the Maker (Cleric 3/Fighter 1), Saida, arcane advisor (Wizard 3)
Military Forces: The 350-man garrison, but they will not leave their post at Lao's Teeth unless ordered by the Ministry of War.


Lao's Teeth is a square-built stone keep set on a small knoll near the eastern end of the pass known as Lao's Cut. Unlike many forts, there is no service village in front of its gates, nor any lean-tos propped against the walls. Buildings inside the wall are made of stone as well, with the center of the keep dominated by a tall square tower that overlooks the surrounding hills.


Founded in 27 AL, Lao's Teeth marks the eastern end of Lao's Cut- a narrow pass heading west into the Godbarrow Mountains. The pass supposedly leads straight to the western uplands that are all but unknown to Xianese. The truth of this remains to be proven, as any intruder larger than a fieldmouse can expect to be spotted and slaughtered by orcs before getting more than an hour west of the fort.

The circumstances of the founding were inauspicious. After pushing this far west during the initial surge of refugee colonization in 5 AL, resurgent goblinoid tribes in the Mantle Peaks and Altgrimmr range fell on the army from the rear, forcing it to turn about and fight its way back east to rescue Xian itself. While a tale much beloved of bards and poets, it left the High Banner district completely exposed to the tender mercies of the goblinoids for almost twenty years afterwards. When the eastern confederacies were finally broken in 27 AL, the army returned to a district that viewed them as little more than betrayers and occupiers. Lao's Teeth was started that year, and construction finished a year later in 28 AL.

Ever since, Lao's Teeth has stood as the western gate of the Godbarrow hills. The posting is a notoriously unpleasant one, with little pleasure to be had at the fort, constant fighting with the mountain orcs and bugbears, and a civilian populace animated chiefly by resentful spite. Even so, more than a few officers have sought postings here and the surety of enough fighting to earn glory for future promotions. The soldiers have no such consolations, and only the brothels and drinking stews of Altburg to ease their sour discontent. Despite this displeasure, the men of Lao's Teeth have repeatedly shown their courage and experience in fending off goblinoid incursions from the mountains.


The current commander of Lao's Teeth is Ragni Abimael, a middle-aged officer of a rich mercantile family. He hopes that success in his current position might bring him an invitation to join the daifu class, and he is exceedingly vigilant in guarding Lao's Cut and the surrounding mountains. This vigilance does not generally extend to the villages and hamlets to the east; they despise him and his soldiers, and given that they are too poor even to trouble taxing them, he sees small profit in spending his men's lives to keep them safe. Ragni is an uncommonly skillful commander and usually more than a match for the savage chieftains who bring their men down to raid.

Johan Gruber is a faithful servant of the Eirengarder god known as the Maker, accepting his current post with stoic resignation. His powers are not great, but his experience on the battlefield has taught him how best to use what arts he has to support his comrades. Saida is a young arcanist of uncommon talent for her age, seeing this unfortunately unpleasant post as merely another step to be taken on her inevitable rise to fame and wealth.

Daily Life

Lao's Teeth is a fort, and it's run in a crisp military fashion. The stone walls of the square keep are kept manned at all times, and strangers are interrogated before being permitted entry. Travelers can usually expect to be allowed to sleep inside the walls, but will be expected to stay out of the way of the soldiers and move on at dawn. A quarter of the garrison is on patrol at any one time. These patrols are done on foot, as the rugged terrain makes horses more of a trouble than they're worth.

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