King Obould XVII ruled the Kingdom of Many-Arrows from the central chamber in this trapped fortress. Known for its slit-covered, confounding corridors and blind alleys, Dark Arrow Keep also housed the Pit; an arena used by the King to judge his chieftains and mete out brutal punishments.[1]


Dark Arrow Keep was the centre of the Many-arrows kingdom - a sprawling chaotic city enclosed by a palisade resting on earthworks and rubble. Situated 3 miles from the Surbin river bank and around 40 miles north of Mithral Hall, the city may have been be chaotically laid out, but due to the irregular-shaped buildings and walls inside it was hard to get lost. A vast majority of the residents lived in simple tents along twisting, nameless roads. Known for its metal workers, Dark Arrow Keep was the industrial centre of the kingdom.[citation needed]

The CitadelEdit

The Citadel was the largest structure in the city. Made of stone, wood and iron it was constructed to be a fortress within a fortress with a large host of royal guards to defend the King's family. The citadel was built around the throne room, which is the largest open area in the keep. Though The Citadel is better laid out than the rest of the city, it still appeared dark and cramped to outsiders. It was tradition for the Obould dynasty to make their home here, in the political centre of the kingdom, from its founding by king Obould I until the Second Sundering when king Obould XVII fought off all other factions in a civil war to reclaim the throne. The Citadel was stocked with provisions and weaponry to survive a lengthy siege, not just from non-orc opponents, but also from the various native political factions.[citation needed]

The PitEdit

The Pit was a small underground arena used as a punishment for law breakers, political opponents and any others identified as dangerous individuals. The arena housed monsters that were deliberately mistreated and set loose upon lightly armed opponents. Either party or both might even find themselves poisoned before the competition by political factions or the King's subjects. The winners in the Pit were set free, but such occasions were rare as the ogres, hill giants and other exotic monsters brutally dispensed crude orc justice.[citation needed]

The only punishable crimes in the kingdom were those perpetrated against powerful figures such as chieftains or the King. The King, however, had the final decision on whether transgressors found themselves in the Pit and what they would face when they got there. The Pit was also used to settle disputes among citizens and these contests were invariably fought to the death.[citation needed]

The BazaarEdit

During the five months from Mirtul to Marpenoth each year, the Bazaar blossomed with caravans owned by humans, elves and dwarves from Silverymoon and Sundabar trading resources directly with the orcs for useful items. The Bazaar was located in the shadow of the keep itself, formed around a central marketplace. The tent community generally looked in better shape than the ragged assortment found within the keep. The area contained no permanent structures and had no permanent residents.[citation needed]

As the industrial centre of the kingdom, with dozens of forges and iron ore mined from the Spine of the world, Dark Arrow Keep traded mainly in orc weapons, which were functional and lacked elegance.[citation needed]


Dark Arrow Keep was founded as the capital of the new Kingdom of Many Arrows by Obould I after the Treaty of Garumn's Gorge The Keep and Citadel had seen many battles, with invasions and uprisings occurring almost every generation. The location and foreboding look of the fortress was chosen to make neighbouring countries hesitate to try removing the orcs from their new homeland. [2]


  1. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. Template:Cite dragon/429/History Check: Dark Arrow Keep