The Keep Edit
This ancient fortress sits just beyond the edge of the Rainbow Wastes, the only structure within a few miles of that mad desert, or at least the only one with sane people living within. While the high walls of this keep are weathered and worn from age, it is clearly not abandoned as the walls have been reinforced with metal and torchlight can be seen within. The denizens of the keep will grant shelter to weary travelers, but none are allowed in beyond the gate house. Few know what lies deeper within the keep, fewer still have tried to force there way in and lived to tell the tale.
Most people assume that the name of this keep comes from the nearby desert, as the rays of the setting sun often reflects off of the Rainbow Wastes bathing the keep in a rainbow of colors.
Views of the Common People Edit
Most people see the Keep of All Colors as a sort of monastery, where warriors go to hone their skills in hunting the monstrous horrors that plague the land. Seeing a member of the All Color Guard is rare for a commoner (and even for most nobles) and most people would mistake them for adventurers as they do not wear a uniform and carry little to identify themselves.
The All Color Guard Edit
The keep is manned by a group of elite men and women of all races known as the All Color Guard. These people have dedicated their lives to protecting this keep and the surrounding area from monsters and invaders.
New Recruits Edit
New recruits are trained by the veterans of the guard in a variety of combat specializations. These range from fighters to wizards and everything in between (though warlocks are rarely seen among their ranks). After years of intensive training, the initiates are sent out into the world, either as mercenary guards in exchange for goods needed to maintain the keep, or occasionally as adventurers sent out into the world to learn and become stronger by doing good deeds throughout the land. While not all of these initiates return to man the walls of the keep (though most do eventually), they maintain their loyalties and help each other out when necessary. It is seen as sign of wealth in many cities across the land, to have a member of the All Color Guard as a personal body guard as their services do not come cheaply. Most cities can afford at least one member, often to train their own guards better, though wealthier cities are capable of hiring small squads (3-5 members) should the need arise.
Relations with Other Factions Edit
At first glance it may seem odd that nearby countries would allow such a militarized faction so near their borders. The reasoning is simple, there are not enough members of the All Color Guard to warrant any real worry. The members who remain in the keep total less than 300 men and women (often dipping below 200). Such a force, while made up of well trained warriors, is insufficient to wage war on a neighboring city. The keep is not well positioned defensively and would provide little aid in defending the borders of a nation. To top it all off, their mercenaries help keep the cities safe.
What Lies Within Edit
The inside of the keep is one of the best kept secrets in all of Naluri, less than a handful of people outside of the All Color Guard know the truth
To someone standing in the middle of the keep, it seems very oddly laid out. Crenelations, arrow slits, and mounted crossbows all face towards the center of the keep, as if they expect an invasion to come from within, this is exactly the case. This fort is built around an ancient gateway that connects this world to the other planes of existence. It is from this glittering gateway that the keep takes its name, while active every color shimmers and dances across the surface of the portal, bathing the interior of the keep and those around it in a kaleidoscope of colors. Normally a powerful artifact such as this would be a boon to any trading city, but this shimmering portal does not work as you might expect. Every day at dawn, the gateway springs to life connecting to another plane, seemingly at random. Scholars within the order have tried in vain for centuries to come up with a way of predicting or controlling the gateway, but the closest anyone has gotten was through lucky guessing. There is no way to control the gateway, even powerful magic seems to have little effect, causing temporary ripples and fluctuations in the surface of the gateway, but in no way impeding movement through it. As a result, potentially any creature from any plane could walk through the portal, assuming it can fit through of course (the portal is large sized, meaning that huge creatures can fit through if they squeeze).
Everyday, just before dawn, the members of the All Color Guard man the battlements facing inwards towards the All Color Gate. Some days peaceful and friendly creatures make their way through and will often trade with the All Color Guard or help them in other ways. Other days seem to go by with nothing passing through at all. And still other days, it is a near constant battle against waves of demons or other monsters from dawn until dusk.
The Origin of the Keep Edit
The history of the keep goes back centuries, if not millennia. According to the tales from the order, the keep itself was built after the portal, an extraplanar being, often depicted as an angel, though some accounts differ on this claiming it to be some kind of elemental creature and still others claiming it to have been something utterly alien in nature, unheard of before or since. The origin of the portal that the keep protects however, is shrouded in mystery. All that is known is that a kingdom was lost long ago due to the monsters the poured through the opened gateway. Some scholars theorize that the existence of the strange magical phenomena in the nearby Rainbow Wastes implies a common point. Some scholars believe that the event that created the wastes tore open the fabric of space and that powerful magics were used to bind the tear into a portal before reality itself unwound. Others believe that the portal was created by an ancient civilization and that the cataclysmic event that created the wastes damaged the portal, destabilizing it and rendering control impossible. Another, though less popular, theory states that the portals creation was a result of a magical mishap, and that the rainbow wastes were spewed forth from the portal as it slowly stabilized. The only evidence that supports this last theory is the fact that the portal opens West, in the direction of the Rainbow Wastes. Still, many others believe that the proximity of these 2 strange anomalies in the land are simply a coincidence, or at the very least are not directly related, perhaps both a creation of the same civilization.
Hunting Monsters Edit
The reason that the All Color Guard is known for hunting monsters, is that they are often dispatched to hunt down dangerous creatures that managed to escape from the keep. Many extraplanar beings have the ability to teleport or become ethereal, the walls of the keep to little to stop this, and those that escape death at the hands of the guards along the battlements are able to make their way into the world.
The Reason for Secrecy Edit
The All Color Guard is aware that this is not the only way for extraplanar beings to enter the world, but to open it up as free knowledge would make their jobs harder. From the sick and dying pleading for aid from angels, to the cultists and would be warlocks trying to bargain or free their fiendish masters, to the misguided nations or wizards who believe they can harness the power of the portal for their own ends. The All Color Guard has long held the belief that the fewer who know the truth, the safer the world will be from this ever present threat.