Thorn Island

Thorn Island is a small island in the Bay of Phlan. Its most prominent features are Sokol Keep - an old military installation dating back hundreds of years - and a lighthouse. The lighthouse is operated by [[House_Sokoll?]] on behalf of the city.

Sokol Keep

Thorn Island is dominated by Sokol Keep, a large stone fortress clearly built for defence. The castle is old and it has been repaired extensively in some areas.

A large mansion built by House Sokol has replaced almost half of the original structure and nearly all of the wooden outbuildings. The mansion is quite comfortable though not very defensible, with large glass windows instead of arrow slits. The outside doors of the mansion are made of thick oak, and generally kept locked.

The wings of the mansion are blocked off, due to the small number of people who reside within. Rooms in these areas are dusty and cobwebby, and have furniture covered by sheets. However, the parts of the mansion that are not blocked off are clean and well-maintained.

The grounds are well-maintained and in good repair. The open courtyard contains practice dummies used by the Black Fist garrison.

History

Sokol Keep was originally built by the priesthood of Tyr. It is unknown when Sokol Keep was first constructed, but it was present in the city at least as early as 1306 DR when the city was destroyed during the Dragon Run, and at that time the priesthood present on Thorn Island were all killed, and the Keep fell into ruin along with the rest of the city. The ghosts of the slain priests continued to haunt the island.

During the period of Ruined Phlan (1306 to 1340 DR) the ghosts of the island, headed by the spirit of Ferran Martinez, “Last Priest of Tyr”, began attacking ships coming to “New Phlan” (the small civilized quarter near the docks from which attempts to retake the rest of the city were being organised). This resulted from a misapprehension - the ghosts thought the ships were supplying the demon Tyranthraxus, who lorded over Ruined Phlan. A delegation from New Phlan convinced Martinez the ships were supplying a new centre of civilization, including a new Temple of Tyr, and Martinez relented. At that time it was thought that the curse of Sokol Keep was ended, and its ghosts released to their afterlife.

At some point following the reclamation of Phlan, most likely after the conquest of Phlan in 1375 DR, the newly-raised House Sokol took control of the island, taking their name from that of the keep. They restored the keep and somewhat extended it, adding a mansion to the keep grounds.

In recent years, House Sokol themselves have been largely unable or unwilling to make use of the keep, due to the recent political unstability in Phlan. However, Sokol Keep’s lighthouse is a reliable source of income for the house and important to the city’s maritime trade and defence. So the family has left a token few retainers to maintain the fortress and ensure that the beacon is operational. Up until recently, the leader of this group was Igan Sokol, a junior member of the family. In addition, the Black Fist keeps a small squad of soldiers at the keep, ostensibly to help with defence.

Locations of Note

The most important feature of the keep is the lighthouse, located at the southern end, right at the edge of the water. It is a slender, round tower about 80 feet tall, consisting of three floors with the upper part being a large open space with a staircase running along the walls to the top. Originally it was a simple watchtower, but when House Sokol took over the place they refurnished it as a lighthouse. The top level is accessed by a ladder, and has a wrap-around balcony which gives an excellent view of the surrounding area including Thorn Island and the City of Phlan. A crystal and brass beacon stands in the centre, which operates magically to cast light. The ground floor of the lighthouse is the quarters of the Black Fist garrison.

The quarters of Igan Sokol lie on the second floor of the mansion, overlooking its courtyard, adjacent to the (unused) master bedroom. They comprise a three bedroom suite, with a sitting area, a sleeping chamber, and a small office, each with a room that overlooks the courtyard below. Bookcases adorn the walls, along with artwork depicting scenes of heroism and sacrifice. Since Igan’s death, the quarters have been maintained as Igan left them, except that dust sheets have been thrown over the furniture. The door is usually kept locked by the servants.

The East Tower lies directly behind the mansion and is part of the old keep. Prior to the Dragon Run, the whole of the East Tower was filled by a vast library. Much of that library remains today, albeit dusty and poorly maintained. The space is also used to store furniture.

A small, well-hidden shrine of Tyr lies within the East Tower. It features a beautiful gray statue of Tyr, a small stone altar, and a set of brass scales. This shrine is haunted by the ghost of Harae, a female cleric of Tyr killed during the Dragon Run.

The West Tower is located on one of the higher points of the island and is wholly empty save for dust and cobwebs.

Caverns underneath the keep, accessible through a trapdoor in the West Tower, contain an ancient shrine to Dagon, featuring a large jade statue of the Drowned God.

Personnel

The Sokol holdings on the island are maintained by Darvag, Shandra and Rorin, servants in House Sokol’s employ. Since the death of Igan Sokol, they also operate the lighthouse.

The Black Fist maintain a small garrison of six guards on the island.

Appearances

Define external redirect: House Sokoll