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Crosswinds Keep

By Darrin Drader

01/13 The Orb of Isolation
01/06 Heroes of Crosswinds Keep, Part 2
12/30 Heroes of Crosswinds Keep, Part 1
12/23 Upper Floor and Catacombs
12/20 Crosswinds Keep Proper
Astral Encounters Archive

Return to Crosswinds Keep
Crosswinds Keep and Environs

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Astral Encounters
Return to Crosswinds Keep
By Darrin Drader

Crosswinds Keep Proper

Crosswinds Keep serves multiple functions. Travelers use it as a stopover point, those pursued by astral raiders and other creatures use it as a safe haven, and those who stand in opposition to the githyanki presence in Elserryn Cluster use it as an armed outpost. Thanks to a magic item called the orb of isolation (see Part 5), the flow of visitors is tightly controlled, and they can access the keep from only two specific points.

The outer walls form a rectangle and are constructed from the same type of stone that makes up the god's head that the keep is built on, though the material for the walls was taken from another large chunk of drifting rock approximately five miles away. The walls are 15 feet thick at the base and stand 30 feet tall. Guard towers at each corner stand 35 feet high. The keep itself is constructed from the same gray stone as the walls, although the floors possess a hardwood cover and the interior walls sport numerous banners, wall hangings, and curtains.

The following is a list of the various areas in and around the keep:

A. Homes

Each of these homes belong to individuals who decided to settle on the god's head. Permission to build here was granted by the owners of the keep. While they are under the protection of Crosswind's Keep's forces, each household is well-armed with inhabitants who can defend their homes in the event of an invasion.

B. Guard Post

The guard post is the primary outpost for the guards who monitor the guests as they come and go. They are responsible for checking in every guest as well as keeping out those who have been banned or otherwise appear to be troublemakers.

C. Stables

Although Crosswinds Keep doesn't see a great number of guests with mounts, the occasional horse or flying mount is brought here by travelers who need a place to store them. The price for storage for one night starts at 5 sp (for horses) and goes up to 3 gp for more unusual mounts. The money received pays the stableman's wage and maintains the structure.

D. Portcullis

This portcullis is the only point where people can enter the keep. Entering the keep costs each guest 2 gp and is collected by the guards at this point.

Portcullis, Iron: hardness 10; hp 60; break DC 28; Open Locks DC 28.

E. Entry Point

The entry point is the only place where visitors can arrive on the god's head due to the orb of isolation (see part 5). Travelers aboard astral ships often rappel from the deck of their vessels to this point while those traveling the Astral Plane without the benefit of a vehicle simply arrive here.

1. Foyer

The foyer is a simple room used to greet guests. A vast carpet stretches over the floor and several comfortable chairs are grouped in clusters.

2. Common Room

The common room contains a fireplace in the northwest corner as well as tables, chairs, and a bar. Visitors come here to drink, be merry, and socialize with other guests. Most drinks available on the Material Place are available here at the one and a half times the price listed in the Player's Handbook.

3. Public Dining Room

This room is primarily used by guests and servants of the keep. Meals are served every 5 hours and cost 4 sp for a common meal and 7 sp for a good meal.

4. Entertainment Room

This room is filled with chairs and has a dais on the east wall. Notable bards often play here, as do the occasional acting troop that passes through.

5. Guard Room

This room contains a stairway that leads to room A1 in the catacombs below. Four guards are stationed here, and only the residents of the keep are allowed below.

Guards (4): Male and female human warriors 8; CR 7; Medium humanoid; HD 8d8+16; hp 52; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +8; Grp +10; Atk +11 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 longsword); Full Atk +11/+6 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 longsword); AL LG; SV Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Climb +8, Intimidate +10, Jump +8, Swim +3; Cleave, Great Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack.

Possessions: +2 full plate armor, +1 longsword.

6. Kitchen

This is a standard kitchen where food for room 3 is prepared. An oven is located on the west wall.

7. Food Storage

The food storage rooms are stocked with foodstuffs. A magical field keeps these rooms cold so that meats and other perishables can be stored. Once per week a servant uses plane shift to get to Waterdeep where food is purchased and brought back.

8. Guest Storage

The guest storage room is located near guest chambers and can be used to store valuables.

9. Luxury Guest Suites

The most luxurious guest room on the main floor of the keep contains a king-size bed. Guests who stay here are taken care of by a servant devoted entirely to their wishes. It costs 10 gp per night to stay in this room.

10. Guest Rooms

Each standard guest room contains a queen-size bed and costs 3 gp per night.

11. Storage

These rooms store common goods needed throughout the keep.

12. Private Dining Room

The private dining room can be rented for 7 gp per night and is often used to host parties and other low-level affairs. The food for the guests is prepared in room 6, and banquets can be requested. These cost 15 gp per person attending.

13. Chapel

The nondeity-specific chapel is open to guests of the keep. The only rules are that evil gods should not be worshiped here, and religious differences should not be discussed among those who worship different deities. Violating either of these rules results in immediate expulsion from the keep.

14. Shop

One of the servants attends to the shop. Most items listed in the Player's Handbook can be purchased here at one and a half times the standard rate.

15. Library

Visitors to the keep can use the common library. A pair of servants watch and make sure that none of the books wander away with the guests.

16. Prison Cells

Once in a great while a guest proves to be too disruptive to remain with the other guests and too dangerous to release. Such visitors are often held here until it is decided what to do with them.

17. Servant's Quarters

This room houses the fifteen servants who care for the keep. Each are paid 1 gp 4 sp per week and serve by choice. They may end their employment at will.

18. Construction Chambers

The construction chamber is a massive room where various items are constructed. Astral ships are built here in pieces and then assembled outside. Other more mundane items are built here as well. The roof covering this chamber is retractable and can allow things to be lifted out if they are too large to brought out the double doors on the west wall that lead to the outside.

19. Guarded Stairways

Both the room on level 1 and level 2 are staffed with six guards at all times. Within, a spiral staircase links the two main floors. Guests may not pass beyond this point unless they are invited.

Guards (6): hp 32, 35, 37, 38, 42, 45, see stats above.

Bringing the Parts Together

Characters who come to stay at Crosswinds Keep will undoubtedly have dealings in this floor of the keep. The keep is a popular meeting place among astral travelers and is also a good place to establish contacts native to other worlds, planes, and locations within the Astral Plane. They should become well acquainted with the layout and the features if they spend any more than a day or two here. The masters of the keep can also be encountered here regularly.

Coming in Part 2 of Return to Crosswinds Keep

Next week, we take a look at the upper floor and catacombs of the keep.

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