ACKS: In Search of the Unknown
Blackwall Keep is a strong four-storied tower keep protected by a stout wooden palisade and a wide but shallow refuse-filled ditch. The keep is named for a pernicious local lichen that shrouds the tower’s granite walls, giving it a somewhat sinister appearance. The defenses here are sound, and a determined, well-motivated force could easily hold this place against attack.
Several outbuildings also stand within the palisade – stables for the garrison’s mounts and storage sheds – set around a muddy courtyard.
Access to the keep is through a single iron-bound door. The ground floor is given over to defense, comprising a guardroom that is manned around the clock by shifts of militiamen. Under the guardroom lies the cellar, which contains a few cells, further storerooms and a well. A spiral staircase ascends from the guardroom to the upper floors. The first floor is given over to quartering the rank and file militiamen. Here, a single large chamber serves as a barracks, mess hall, and kitchen. The floors above contain private quarters for the officers, a single guest room and an armory.
Atop the keep, two light catapults and two ballistae command the approaches to the keep and Village. The ballistae protect the keep itself, while the catapults are arrayed to provide maximum protection to the village. From the roof, the garrison maintain a desultory watch over the surrounding area. On the lower levels, arrow slits pierce the thick granite walls, providing fields of fire on all sides. The two upper floors benefit from stoutly-shuttered windows, from which boiling oil and water can be rained down upon anyone assaulting the base of the tower.