Depending on who you ask, the origin of the Thrice Keep’s name will vary. Geographers will point to the three sharp crags with their respective towers and explain that “thrice” is obviously a reference to the number of structures.
The local residents of Thriceborough, the village situated in the shadow of Thrice Keep, will tell a different story:
Three generations ago, baron Bernhard Thrice, newly appointed lord of these lands, moved into the keep and dubbed it Thrice Keep. The village below he named Thriceborough. A just and prudent man, he guided his fief into propsperous times. Then, not long after his first daughter was born, a visitor came calling. It is said that this was a cloaked, uncomely figure and that the baron was displeased by his arrival. The visitor stayed for three nights, then left. Only hours later, Bernhard Thrice fell from the topmost tower, smashed to death on the rocks below.
Years went by and eventually Ylma Thrice, Bernhards daughter and only heir, became baroness. Every bit her fathers daughter, she managed both her power and estate wisely, and the lands once again bloomed. She built a wall around Thriceborough, financed the construction of a monastary with library and paved several roads. Then came a cloaked visitor, passing through the village without a glance, climbing the winding roads up to the keep and staying for three nights. Some days after he left, the baroness was found dead in the same place that her father died.
Then, twenty years ago, baroness Ylmas eldest son, Bunon Thrice became baron. He too threw himself from the highest tower and perished after hosting a cloaked, mysterious visitor.
Ever since, the keep has been called the Thrice Damned Keep. The late baron Bunon had no heirs, and no new baron has been appointed by the king. Without any distinct authority, Thriceborough has fallen on hard times. Bandits harass travelers and merchants alike, and monsters growing ever bolder in the mountains and woodlands. Some even claim to have seen the ghost of old Bernhard Thrice up between the crags of the keep.
Possible adventure hooks
- Is there truly a ghost up there by the crags? If so, what does it want?
- Who or what is the mysterious visitor? The deaths appear to be suicide, but are they?
- Can answers to these questions be found by exploring the keep?
- A creature capable of flight might find the Thrice Damned Keep to be an excellent site for its lair. A wyvern or dragon so close to Thriceborough is the last thing the village needs right now…
- …unless Bunon Thrice had a niece or nephew who has come to reclaim Thrice Damned Keep and its lands? Maybe this great-grandchild of baroness Ylma Thrice is a PC or a friend of the PCs?
Attribution: This location was greatly inspired by Leeb’s Fortress created by Dyson Logos. If you like his stuff you should become a patreon like me!