Perfectly Legitimate Adventuring Party
The Granite Tower is the capital of Venstra, a massive fortress-city high in the mountains, and home to the Order of Saint Venarik, a mostly-dwarven chivalric body who are the ruling elite of Venstra.
The Granite Tower is massive and imposing, an elaborate complex built out of huge pieces of stone cut so as to lock together without mortar like jigsaw pieces. The walls and towers are festooned with ballistae that can be moved around on rails, with fancy gimbals that let them fire straight up if need be. The fortifications extend inside and well below the ground, with murder holes letting defenders snipe unseen at any potential invader, and decades’ worth of supplies stockpiled.
To a dwarf, it’s a wonder of the world. To most others, it’s over-engineered and in the wrong place, too far away from the farming country or the principality’s borders. Despite its size, it’s also quite claustrophobic inside – the walls are so thick that in many places there’s only just enough room for a large human to get through.
The Tower is built on top of a large cave formation, Venarik’s Deep. It’s never been comprehensively mapped, but it stretches out for miles if not more, and the citadel has defences to protect from attackers below as well as above. Some dwarves live in the near parts of the Deep, but go further and you could encounter just about anything. The denizens have been known to trade metal, gems, and magic with the dwarves.
Getting there from Northport: In summer, the easiest route is to go to Kym’s Harbour, take a riverboat up the Princes’ River to the Black Lake that lies between Venstra and Mestra, then cross the mountains through one of the passes. In winter the passes are dangerous due to snow; the alternative is to sail around the coast to the western cliffs and get winched up before hiking the rest of the way.