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Salinmoor Sites: Rodeni Manor
Posted on Mon, October 13, 2008 by Dongul
cwslyclgh writes "Salinmoor. The name conjures images of a haunted house on a cliff, the town of Saltmarsh, and strange fogs blowing in off of the Hool marshes.  These things are all worthy of interest, but they are not the only things that Salinmoor has to offer. Take Rodeni Manor for instance, this crumbling ediface hard under the eaves of the Dreadwood is an interesting place indeed.

Salinmoor Sites:


 

Rodeni Manor

 

By C. Wesley Clough



Close to the eaves of the Dreadwood, in northern Salinmoor, this crumbling edifice is all that remains to mark the existence of what was once one of the most prestigious families in Keoland. Abandoned for some eighty years, this legend-shrouded ruin continues to attract adventurers and treasure seekers to this day.

 
The Rodeni family were an old Suel family, one of the oldest and most respected in Keoland. Until they vanished the Rodeni family supported and enjoyed the support of the kings of keoland all through that nations history (with the notable exception of Tavish the Second, who had a falling out with the then current head of the family).  Although they enjoyed significant political power during the history of Keoland, often sitting in on the kings council, No Rodeni was ever given a title above Baron or Baroness.  The baronry that they controlled originally encompassed parts of northern Salinmoor and some of the eastern areas of the County of Eor, but when the family fell from grace under Tavish II their lands were taken away and redistributed, although their title remained, and their castle, Rodeni Manor was left in their hands.  Even after the family rose to political prominence once more, they never recovered their lands.
 
About eighty years ago, the family vanished with out a trace, those Rodenis that had been in Niole Dra at the kings court were summoned home by a missive from Baron Justinian Rodeni, the last Baron Rodeni, that indicated some sort of family crises was at hand.  With in two weeks all of the members of the Rodeni family with in the borders of Keoland had vanished, and Rodeni Manor was deserted, soon afterwards a fire destroyed the small hamlet that had grown up in front of the castle, and the surviving inhabitants fled toward Burle and Saltmarsh.  A small number of Rodenis remain, relations that broke with main family long ago, and dwell in Grand March, to this point none of them have expressed any interest in finding out what happened to their vanished kin.
 
Rodeni manor itself was hardly a modest manor house; in its heyday it was a many-towered castle that sported a moderately famous inn, the Hanged Hobgoblin, within its walls, and a small hamlet clustered outside of its gates. Today, little of the manors former grandeur remains.
 
The entire hamlet that surrounded the front side of the castle burned to the ground around the same time that the Rodeni family vanished.  Now all that remains are some charred timbers and shallow, stone lined foundations not a single building remains standing.  Some of the foundation holes, better sealed then the others have filled with rainwater, which has grown mucky and stagnant over the years. Explores should be wary, for giant constrictor snakes have sometimes been reported lurking in these pools.
 
The many towers that once majestically ringed the curtain wall have mostly broken off, leaving their upper walls scattered outside the castle walls in the form of rubble.  Only one tower is completely intact, its peaked roof reaching some sixty feet, but few of the others still have thirty feet of their height remaining, and most are broken off at about the level of the top of the curtain wall. The curtain wall, itself, is crumbling along the top in some places, but its base is strong, and the wall retains its twenty foot height in most places.  The main keep, a great round tower set into the westernmost point of the wall, is still intact to its flat, battlement surrounded roof, forty-five feet above the ground, rumor has it that a small secret door serves as a postern gate, leading directly into the main keep, but details of its location and operation are sketchy at best.
 
The gatehouse set into the eastern wall is mostly intact as well, the great outer gates are partially open, and have been for the last eighty years, since the place was abandoned.  The gatehouse is well known to adventurers and has been thoroughly explored countless times; as a result there is little of danger or value left there.
 
With in the large open courtyard of the castle there are a couple of places of interest, a small temple, once dedicated to Lydia the Suel goddess of music, knowledge, and daylight, and is completely intact.  However, the altar has been desecrated and the temple is said to be haunted by undead shadows.  What treasures remain unclaimed with in is unknown, although there are persistent rumors of a secret connection to the crypts in the dungeons below that might make this place worth exploring despite the danger that the shadows create.
 
As mentioned above the main keep is another area of interest that is entered from the courtyard, a flight of stone steps leads up to an entrance on the second floor (the main keep has 3 internal levels, the entrance is on the middle level, there is also a ground floor and an upper level).  This area has also been explored quite extensively by adventurers and tales speak not only of a hidden postern gate (mentioned above) but also one of the known ways down to the dungeons beneath the castle that are the main attraction of adventurers coming to Rodeni Manor. 
 
The third and final area of interest in the courtyard is the ruin of the Hanged Hobgoblin inn, no little more then a large foundation hole in the ground scattered with charred timbers. In the center of the foundation a wide, worn flight of steps leads down into darkness, and these steps are the main entrance to the dungeon beneath the manor. 
 
The dungeon is what attracts the most adventurers, for tales of fearsome monsters and fabulous treasures abound.  Few adventurers that enter the dungeon return, but enough have made it back with tales of wealth uncountable that more adventurers are attracted there like moths to a flame.  From these survivors it can be surmised that there are at least six and perhaps as many as eight levels located beneath the ruins of the castle. 
 
The first level down is composed primarily of the long abandoned cellars of the Hanged Hobgoblin and the main keep, along with some natural caverns and a small shrine to Wee Jas.  The second level is given over almost entirely to crypts and catacombs.  The third level is a maze of passages and rooms, few of which have any sort of indication as to their original purpose.  Some adventurers tell of a large natural cavern that holds a free standing temple where rat-men worship Raxivort, while others talk of an underground river that bisects the level and is home to a fearsome reptilian monster with many heads that swims through its dark waters. Of the lower levels little is known for certain, rumors speak of more rat-men (possibly wererats) on the fourth level, and a great maze on the fifth, its twisting halls wandered by undead minotaurs. Rumors such as these aside, what really lurks in the darkness beneath Rodeni Manor is an open question.

"
 
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