Journal of Urtu the Scribe: The Castles of the Line

From the journals of Urtu the Scribe:

Amateur tacticians often debate the relative strength and wisdom of hypothetical campaigns on the Line. Such talk does little more than keep tea houses busy with custom as the old men talk and shout and arrange the cups on their tables to illustrate their points.

There is, however, one point on which nearly all the teahouse experts agree: if fighting erupts again, it will start in the lands surrounding the Durani Keep of Tel Kubra and the Gudanna fortress of Val Sattra. The argument, as this less-than-puissant scribe understands it, is that both fortresses on this portion of the Line augment the strengths of their masters.

Situated on a wooded plain, the castle town of Tel Kubra is second only to the ancient Tel Zarkara in size and strength. Its walls are almost of a height with ancient Bhira and fixed together so cunningly as to leave almost no joint between the stone. At the top of its battlements, reliquary artillery stands ready to repel attackers. It is a place well suited to the long range of Durani attacks.

Val Sattra, or Healer’s Hall, as the common people call it, is an altogether different sort of castle. Largely underground, or else deeply buried in the strong rock, it was once the monastery of a sect of Zikia healers. Now it is little more than a jumble of ruins, yet ruins have their strength as well!  From Val Sattra, Gudanna troops are well sheltered against the far-reaching attacks of the Durani until just before the walls of Tel Kubra. Within the sheltering crags of Val Sattra, an entire invasion force might enjoy complete cover from Durani attacks.

It is strange to walk between these two places, in the muddy farms of the poor people doomed to be destroyed by warfare. Is this the place where the war will finally be reignited?