An ancient keep that dominates a narrow valley connecting halves of the Beltway. Seldom-used prior to the Catastrophe, it has become a strategic location with the Great Swamp blocking easy travel.
Bypass is partially built and partially carved into the cliffs of a narrow, rocky valley. There is a thin band or arable land between the massive walls used for gardening.
Most of Bypass is populated by human and half elf. There are also a number of dwarves, warforged, and dragonborn hired on to defend the keep, they are paid well to service but soldiers unaccustomed to waiting for battle.
Several tieflings and genasi, having fled from Grigoran, also make their home nearby. They live in the rural, agriculture villages amongst the other races.
A narrow valley walled off on both sides, the military-men of Bypass made their living as paid soldiers of the state. The Lord-general was also charged with collecting taxes in the form of tolls and tithes, with only a fraction used on upkeep of the fortress.
Since Bypass decaled independence, the keep has found new wealth from its taxes (mostly tolls) but finds itself struggling with food and equipment. The Lord-general has hired his troops out as mercenaries, but is loath to rely on this.
Meanwhile, the small surrounding hamlets primarily make their living supplying the keep with goods, occasionally catering to passing travelers avoiding the Great Swamp and stricter borders.
Built prior to the Catastrophe it has been continually occupied and reinforced. While it has changed hands after prolonged sieges that have starved the occupants, the keep itself has never fallen.
The keep recently separated from Hroth after being ignored for several years. With no new troops or supplies being sent the Lord-general refused to send collected taxes and declared the independent. Hronth, more concerned with the border to Grigoran, has paid this little attention.
With the increasing small settlements bordering the walled keep on all sides, the fortress is quickly becoming a town and the military leaders are suddenly finding themselves dealing with civilian matters.
Bypass Keep – (town, pop. 1,500) Occupying a rocky valley, Bypass protects the easiest mountain route between Hronth and Cellinia. The fortress itself has a series of increasingly thick walls filling the valley on either side of the small keep; it can defend itself equally well from forces coming from either direction.
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