The Argond (Q."Arondo", "High Rock") was a late-Arnorian castle built on eastern side of Dol Caladir about a days ride from Tharbad it was said to have been the once most beautiful castle in all of Cardolan.
- Type: Castle.
- Inhabitants: 50% Dunmen or Eriadorian, 40% Cardolandrim ,10% Dúnedain
- Population: 60
- Origin: Finished by the Prince of Dol Caladir in TA 887
- Purpose: A stronghold and administrative center for rural lordship.
- Symbol: Three Swords (Blades Up)
Though it appeared formidable, the Argond was not designed with defense in mind. It's questionable defensive arrangement had yet to stand the test of a full siege.
The Argond about T.A. 1640
The home of the Prince of Dol Caladir, the Argond is an ornate, three-storied, hollow tower forty miles from Tharbad. The castle takes the shape of an octagon with slender spires at each corner. Each tower contains six landings and numerous arrow slits. During happier days, its dull granite walls were sheathed with copper, and the Argond is now a most striking hue of green. Built on a solid outcrop of stone, the Argond lacks a basement. The citadel has yet to be seriously tested by a siege—which is just as well, since some of its defensive arrangements are questionable.
I. Entrance. Elegant marble steps lead up to a sturdy door (forged of High Steel), provided with seven deadbolts. Practically speaking,it is impossible to force this door without an enchanted ram. The entry hall opens on to the first tower, and the central court yard. Internal defense is mainly provided by the two dozen murder holes in the ceiling. Four guards are on duty at all times.
2. Guard Barracks. Eight guardsmen sleep here when off duty.
3. Entrance Hall. The prime entrance to the interior of the castle. Two guards are stationed here. The chamber is furnished in unusual pastels and paisleys.
4. Hall. The portraits of former rulers are displayed on the walls. The stairs in the adjacent tower are the most commonly used.
7. Guard Barracks. Similar to those described above (#2) There is an exit to the central courtyard, usually open and watched by one guard.
8. Servants Barracks.
9. Secret Room. It is too cramped to serve as an effective guardroom. The door is virtually impossible to find as it is hidden by a tapestry. If tapestry is removed, it is only Hard. The lock is Sheer Folly, requiring the simultaneous operation of three keys. There are no traps. Finduilas III of Dol Caladir likes to spy on visitors from the small room and then rush up the stairs in the first tower to greet them on the second floor.
10. Central Courtyard. Finduilas had the ancient tiles and pools removed and replaced them with herb borders. Her interest in herbs has diminished, but the servants ensure the garden remains in excellent condition.
II . Great Hall. Stairs ascend to the Great Hall from towers two, three, and four, with a guard at each. The hall is primarily a reception area, decorated with the heads of the many beasts killed by Finduilas' grandfather.
12. Secret Door. Connects with the adjacent guardroom (#18). Extremely Hard to detect the narrow door. Its lock is deceptively Easy to open. There is a Medium needle trap in the lock poisoned with lus. A Hard to detect trap in the lintel drops three similar needles. However, the greatest danger is when a wire has been rigged to the cauldron of hot oil always bubbling in the guardroom. With but a little careless tension, the wire pulls a plug, causing the oil to spew into a slight recess in the floor leading to the secret door.
13. Paintings. This end of the Great Hall is decorated with surreal works painted by Finduilas' father.
14. Feasting Hall. The furniture is a delicate, filigreed brass supporting carved pieces of white marble.
15. Door. The entrance to Feotar's suite. Two guards are stationed here. The door is locked— Extremely Hard to unlock.
16. Feotar's Office. His two bodyguards must sleep here. The most notable feature is Feotar's desk, a massive piece of cast High Steel. The desk holds four drawers, one cubbyhole, and one cupboard. Each has a distinct complicated lock and complimentary needle trap tipped with lus. Two of the drawers (selected randomly) and the cupboard contain Runes of Petrifaction. These compartments are crammed with papers documenting their owner's nefarious activities. None link him with the disturbances in Tharbad. The cupboard also holds a sack containing 150 gp, 30 mp, and 12 large river pearls worth 20-40 gp each. Egress to the stairs in the seventh tower is blocked by a High Steel door with similar locks and traps.
17. Feotar's Bedroom. A jackdaw's collection of precious articles are tastelessly displayed. The door is similar to that in Feotar's bedroom (# 16) as is the entry to the stairs of the eighth tower. Feotar has an Elven dagger that detects malice and/or hate hung over the door. It will glow green when such a person is in the bedroom or the adjacent guardroom (#16 or #18).
18. Primary Guardroom. The four guards stationed here have 200 slender wooden javelins that can be dropped through the murder holes into #1 and which strike as daggers. They also keep a 4 gallon cauldron of oil bubbling at all times. The oil can be poured through the murder holes (with ladles or by dumping the cauldron on the floor, or out over the main gate). Each pint of oil that strikes will hit as a Fireball though any criticals will repeat for three consecutive rounds.
19. Storage Room. Feotar placed a Rune of Invisibility under a trunk filled with linens. He will flee to this storage room and hide if he feels threatened. Finduilas has glued a packet containing papers linking him to the Tharbadian rebels to the bottom of the trunk that Feotar has not and is not likely to notice.
20. Armory. Several complete sets of weapons and equipment.
21 . Guest Rooms.
22. Suite for the Castellan. He will be evicted for particularly important guests.
23. Sergeants' Quarters.
24. Captain's Chamber. He heads the castle guards.
25. Fool's Chamber. Finduilas retains a fool in her retinue.
26. Storage Room.
27. Bodyguard's Chamber. Finduilas retains a bodyguard. A secret door allows access to her mistress' suite. It is Very Hard to find. The door is not locked or trapped, rather it is operated by a powerful spring. It is Absurd to attempt to wedge the door open.
28. Finduilas' Parlor. The stairs in the seventh tower ascending from the second floor are plastered with warnings in many languages—alerting the climber to beware of Demons. Stepping on the sixth stair from the top initiates a programmed illusion of a Demonic Gate opening with three powerful Demons emerging to fight. The illusion is very well ensorcered . Welcome guests are warned not to react. Those deploying and engaging the demons will inevitably brush against the walls which are covered with myriad minuscule needles. These are imbued with the refined essence of tartiella—brushing just a couple will give the wary guest a thorough dose. The lock on the door is only Medium in difficulty, but it requires a series of operations. A loud chime will sound when the door is opened; it is Sheer Folly to attempt to silence it. Finduilas receives few guests, and the room is strewn about with her very impressive collection of magical lore. There is an unmade bed for her to nap on, and it will take a high perception roll to deduce that this is not a sleeping apartment.
29. Finduilas' Bedchamber. The secret door fits completely behind an ancient full-sized chart of the Essence centers of the body. It is Extremely Hard to locate, and a tactful invader should be reluctant to risk the ruin of this precious heirloom in examining the portal. It is operated by moving the latch of the center courtyard window of the parlor back and forth three times, and placing light pressure on the left shoulder of the chart. The bedroom is a tidy contrast to the parlor, but Finduilas has kept no evidence that incriminates her even in her inner sanctum. The secret door leading to the storage room (#19) is only Hard to locate; however the door is magically operated. One must place a pencil sized stick of wood into the old mechanical keyhole and cast a Charge Wand spell