Adelaide Jade Regent
Once a proud fortress that stood against the Northern Hordes, it now serves as a base for the rebelling Ronin.
Five centuries ago, the emperor of Minkai sent one of his most trusted daimyo to put down a rebellious nobleman in the Osogen Grasslands. Hirabashi Jiro’s ancestor, Hirabashi Akikaza, was one of the samurai in service to the daimyo. The daimyo established a camp in a huge cavity in the face of a cliff in the hills south of Osogen, which grew into the headquarters of the daimyo’s sizable army during his 3 years of campaigns against the barbarians of the north.
After his victory, the daimyo created a shrine to the ancestors in the fortress, which became the sacred armory of Seinaru Heikiko. The daimyo’s weapons and those of his warriors were consecrated to Shizuru and sealed into an impenetrable room that only a member of the imperial family could open. Among these weapons was Hirabashi Akikaza’s katana, said to be razor-sharp and utterly unbreakable.
After losing its military importance, the fortress was slowly abandoned. With the passing of decades, even its location in the wilderness was forgotten. Lost for centuries, the fortress was recently rediscovered and occupied by Gangasum’s bandits.
Seinaru Heikiko lies some 50 miles away from the ronin’s camp in a large crack in the wall of a ravine along a small brook that flows into the Kosokunami River about 10 miles upstream of Jiro’s camp. Built in a natural cavity in a 40-foot-tall cliff face, the fortress is partially hidden by a grove of tall pine trees, and is directly visible only from a very short distance away.
The fortress is constructed from a mixture of wood and stone carved out of the natural rock walls. The fortress’s original wooden structures have been entirely replaced and rebuilt by the bandits. A 70-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall log wall (hardness 5, hp 80, Break DC 25) blocks the opening in the cliff face, with only a single 20-foot-wide gate allowing entry (area A1). To the east, another log barrier blocks a smaller, 20-foot-wide gap between a rocky spur and the main wall of the ravine.
A gurgling rill of clear water f lows out through an opening at the base of the wall, feeding the brook that runs through the ravine. Two observation platforms stand high in the rocky walls of the cliff, west and east of the gate (areas A6a and A6b). The platforms are 20 feet off the ground and carved into the rock to look as natural as possible. To spot the platforms, an observer at ground level must be within 30 feet of a platform and make a successful DC 15 Perception check. Climbing the cliff to the platforms requires a DC 15 Climb check.
Access to the fortress is also possible through a rough and overgrown hollow to the east of the fortress, where a secret passage leads inside (area A2).
Unless otherwise noted, the ceilings in the fortress are 10 feet high, both in the wooden structures and in the underground chambers. The doors have been rebuilt using strong wood. The windows overlooking the courtyard (area A3) are wide enough to allow a Medium creature easy passage, and provide cover to creatures inside. All of the windows have shutters, which are kept closed at night.