Fort Morlass: History and Rumors

Disgrace in autumn's frost
They brought Blood to our door
Invited him in

Now and forever
Fumeiyo inside these walls
They will never rest

This is the first thing a visitor to the fort will see. Carved on the iron-bound and locked doors, the words are usually attributed to the writer/poet Kenu Opiro from Gi. Beyond the fort are a few dunes and then the Sea of Mour, speckled with the seagulls that eat, sleep, and dream, while bobbing on the deep green waters.

The fort appears to be of recent build despite its decay, and so it is. The Morllass family came from Morholt in 1390, although they were reluctant to say from which city or why they left. However, their money spoke for itself and they impressed the rich of Huangjin with their cosmopolitan ways. The patriarch Carraby and the matron Simone, their three grown children, Carraby's mother and Simone's aunt all took residence along with the requisite servants and staff. They fawned over their mido, sending gifts and swearing fealty. Later, it was discovered they had at the same time been currying favor with the families of the old keitai and some of the Bilkan nobles as well. The children, all boys and unmarried, came to be unwelcome at parties for their arrogance and boasting and the cutting mockery they heaped on the simple folk of the city. Carraby and Simone were still welcome since they took the time to learn the proper rules at least; although, they were widely regarded as sycophants.

They imported stone and stonemasons to create Fort Morlass, spending a tremendous sum to have the special carvings and architectural flourishes added to their home that were at odds with the calming, organic architecture of the native Tilmarians. Horses were imported, as were maids and a chef, and the overall impression was that of a family that did not find their chosen locale good enough for them.

Only 2 years after their arrival, the mido died. Then, Bloodstone's army was marching across the island. The Morllasses shut their doors to those looking for shelter, turning away entire families begging for protection against the coming army.

And for reasons no one knew at the time, the army missed them. Many of the families fled as fast as they could to Huangjin, looking for escape, and some even made it. But almost all of the cities and homesteads along the miles-long swath of invaders were razed, except for Fort Morllass. Everyone was amazed at their luck; they blamed the remoteness of their home even though Bloodstones's forces had come around Cyclop's Peak to take out Fort Zakumo, putting them within visual distance of Fort Morllass.

Three months after Gunther took the pendant of mido, an aged washerwoman came to the small building next to the partially-constructed goten and asked for an audience with the mido. The kagi was nearby and asked the woman if he could help. Quietly and with stuttered words, the woman relayed a tale of deals, a tale of special privileges and information passed. The kagi stood shocked, asking her to repeat herself, then immediately whisked her to the mido's quarters.

The following week, a Rofireinite judge was brought over from Corsain. He was sailed to Fort Morllass along with a company of guardsman, two powerful mages, a convoy of food, water and other supplies, a cleric of Toran, and the mido himself. They weighed anchor near the shore, rowing in the cool whisper of morning. The guards took up secure positions around the house. The mages cast a number of spells and one maintained them, while the other sat with eyes closed, scrying the members of the house. The Rofireinite, the Toranite, five guards, and the mido knocked and entered.

They came out a day later bearing armloads of journals and papers, faces grim. The mido himself brought out eight servants and their families and the two pleasure slaves the boys had been keeping, leaving the Morllasses inside. The house sealed, every window barred, every door locked, and the guards to remain until nothing could be left alive inside. The convoy deployed to provide sustenance and shelter to the rotating guards, one mage remained to observe and the other went with the servants, the holy men, and the mido back to Huangjin.

It was announced that the Morllass family had traded secrets learned at parties of the rich and powerful for protection from Bloodstone's army. That this family, taken in and made peers of the land, had spilled the knowledge of some special defenses of Valianto to save themselves; that they had given the blood of children and mothers in Huangjin by revealing the exact number of troops waiting there in order to save their own skins. Proof was being held by the mido, which would be available for viewing by interested and relevant parties upon suitable request. And it was also announced that judgment had been passed by a local Toranite in conjunction and full agreement with an impartial Rofireinite from Corsain. The family, responsible for so much starvation and pain, was shut inside their Fort and left to die when the food and water ran out. And die they did, amongst their gilded splendors and expensive imported tapestries.

Along with the proclamation, the Morllass home was declared fumeiyo, dishonored, unfit to house life and a taint on the land. By this name, it is now called; few remember it once had another name. It is left to rot. Some adventurous youths occasionally wander by on bets or out of the endless immortality of their young years, have heard sounds from the inside of the Fort as well as the smells. In most cases, this is enough to scare them away. But the rumors, not entirely baseless, of great riches inside the home, lure a number of heartier types every year. Once the great oak front door was found hanging open with bloodied scratch marks on the inside; however, nothing was observed to move in the thick dust visible from the doorway. The door was resealed and has not been opened since.