13th Age: Fort Hope
Established as a joint venture of the Emperor and the Dwarf King as a way of blunting the influence of the Orc Warlord and the Diabloist in the region, these two powers have established a number of towers and fortresses to meet these forces with their own. Against small raiding bands and minor military incursions, Fort Hope is well equipped to handle themselves. Even a medium-sized army can be turned away by the facility’s jointly-trained dwarven fighters and imperial troops albeit costly. Should a demonic army and a full orc horde together march upon the region, however, Fort Hope will slow them down while messengers ride off to warn the larger army some distance away.
Nondrul Runemaker, the dwarven commander in charge of Fort Hope, knows his mission unofficially expends beyond the forces of the Orc Warlord and the Diabloist, but he keeps the troops out of the “little issues” the local people have. However, he does keep a board up in the courtyard area for the people to put up help wanted ads for those looking to hire adventurers. When sheep are torn to shreds or a person goes missing, Commander Runemaker will direct the petitioners to the adventurers’ board. While such adventures may not be requested by the Emperor or other icons, their agents will definitely hear about them and report the adventurers’ actions to those higher up. Current adventurer board postings include a request to help find missing sheep, someone asking for help locating their missing sibling’s corpse, and a reward to stop whatever is leaving dragon-sized filth every night in a massive pile on top of town’s crops.
Hardly a hotbed of magical items, the quartermaster at Fort Hope, Lieutenant Tinia Windflayer is willing to trade magic items of similar power. She believes that magic items in the hands of adventurers loyal to the Emperor will be put to better use than being in a warehouse waiting to be used. Her only requirement is that whatever item being gained by the joint forces must be, in her opinion, of a more obvious benefit to the military than the one she is relinquishing. She is certainly not about to give up a demon-wounding sword for a wand that causes laughter, for example. When she gets a lead on a powerful magic item, she will use her limited budget to hire adventurers to retrieve it for her.
The newest recruit at Fort Hope is Private Chester Tibbins. Chess, as everyone calls him, left the village he grew up in for the first time only last week when he left to serve at Fort Hope. With seven brothers and sisters, he knows he stands no chance to inherit the family farm. Dreaming of becoming a brave adventurer, his parents agreed to let him join the Empire’s forces as a way for him to get some training before striking out on his own. With less than a week’s worth of training, he is constantly pestering those going in and out of the fort’s gate with questions about the outside world. When not on duty, he will follow any adventurers around he can find with almost puppy-like admiration. His mother worries that something dreadful will happen to the youngest Tibbins family member and brings him food twice a week just to make sure he is still in one piece.
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