The Chronicles of Hallowdwell
“Hallowdwell” actually refers to two locations within the Kingdom of Allandria. The most specific use of Hallowdwell would be to refer to the actual castle compound inhabited by the royal family of Allandia. The castle complex is actually a relatively utilitarian affair from the outside, owing to the origins of Hallowdwell as the king’s central command for military affairs in the war against Arktfar. However, the large amount of soldiers that were needed to garrison this post attracted merchants and artisans, who set up camp outside of the fortress walls. In time, the concentration of troops stationed at Hallowdwell also attracted citizens who had lived in fear of Arktfarian incursions into their lands. To protect these non-combatants, a second wall was erected, this time encompassing a large amount of land surrounding the Castle Hallowdwell. This was set up as a city organized under the king’s protection, and took the name “Hallowdwell” as well.
Hallowdwell, due to its history as an impregnable fortress, was the destination of choice for refugees fleeing the Deathwind from Allandria and from Arktfar. Even the shattered remnants of the noble houses of Arktfar took residence in exile in Hallowdwell, their shame at having to rely on the aid of their long-term enemies overcome by their sorrow at the devastation of their homeland and their anger at their own powerlessness at stopping it. Due to the dangers of wandering undead attacking campsites up to the castle walls, all of the refugees were forced within the walls of the city, testing the ability of the town to sustain such a large population in such a small space. As the population continued to grow, epidemics of disease and crime emerged. Resentment from the previous residents in the city, horrified to find filthy refugees with only the clothes on their backs camping in what were once parks, was matched only by the resentment of the refugees at the at-times haughty and condescending attitude the natives displayed. Many feared that the overcrowding, lack of resources and tense emotions would do what no outside army had ever done—cause the fall of Castle Hallowdwell.
Ironically enough, Hallowdwell did not fall during the Deathwind or the unrest during and thereafter. Instead, a decade or so later, an interplanar rift opened over the central courtyard, and aberrations of the Far Realm began a sudden and unexpected invasion. Only the strongest-willed of the castle’s defenders survived the initial assault with their minds intact, and those dedicated their efforts to conducting a hasty evacuation of the castle’s noncombatant residents. King Donovan Xavier himself was slain in the attack; it is not known if his wife the Queen made it out alive or sane. The castle is now an aberrant colony, and the great Human kingdom of which it was the capital lies in a state of confusion and disarray.