Icemoor Prison

I tell ye... I took a look at th' records t'other day, an' there 'asn't been a new prisoner committed 'ere in over an 'undred an' twenty years. So what do ye think it can be down there that's eatin' all the food we drop in?
— a guard at Icemoor Prison conversing with companion
In the time before the The Great Strife, the First Kingdom of Humankind was a mighty force, but much of its power lay within the Church of the Humanar. Even before the Strife, the Church had a reputation for being rather intolerant for heresies, and for the worship of gods other than the Humanar by those of Human or Halfling descent. (This is an attitude that is even stronger in recent years.) But unlike other intolerant faiths on Cartyrion or other worlds, the punishment for those who dared to sway from the "right teachings" of the Humanar was not death - at least not a swift one.

One of the Tenets of Saint Ancelin reads "Leave the others to their own gods". The Church decided they would adhere to this tenet when meting out penalties for infidelity to the Humanar. The guilty were cast - almost literally into a prison built upon the rocky outcropping at the center of the vast, desolate Icemoors in the north. There was no provision for release from this dreaded place. Rumors were plentiful about the horrors that awaited new prisoners there; these rumors persist to this day.
Founding Date
14073HR (2728 years ago)
Alternative Names
Heretic's Pit
Pit of No Return
Owning Organization
You have denied the protection of the gods that made you. Now may you find comfort in your service to the gods you chose.
— the last words spoken to a prisoner before lowering them into the prison pit


The prison was originally constructed to be the place where heretics would be sent to live out their miserable days regretting their life choices. It served this purpose for the Church of the Humanar (now the True Church of the Humanar) for several hundred years.

At the end of the Great Strife, the prison took on a new purpose. Clerical and military leaders of the Armies of Darkness - including Orcs, Goblins, Kobolds, and Taxlatl as well as Humans - that were captured and survived to the end of the god-war were also cast into Icemoor Prision. Technically, though the structures are almost in complete ruin due to the ravages of time, the Prison is still active, and heretics today face being sentenced to live out their days there. But heresy is rare; no prisoner has been sentenced here in 127 years.


The massive stone structures erected above the rocky outcroppings resemble those of strong frontier castles built by the First Kingdom in their periods of expansion. Stone towers and stout crenellated walls are visible as one approaches the outcrop. A large stone gatehouse with iron portcullis guards the entrance. Stone buildings inside and outside the walls serve as barracks and kitchen for the guards and troops stationed there.

Inside the walls, however, any resemblance the Prison has for a typical castle ends abruptly. A second wall surrounds a deep pit carved into the rocky outcropping, reaching at least 200 feet down into the bedrock. Over the years, prisoners have hewn out crude cave-like shelters in the walls at the base of the pit that are visible from the walls above. How deep those caves extend is unknown.

We have long had a way of dealing with those whose improper devotion to the deites was problematic - and you must all agree that the deeds of this lot fit that description. We will commit them to our Prison upon the Icemoor - let them see if their gods will support them there.
— First Servant of the Humanar addressing the tribunal judging the leaders of losing side of the Great Strife


Prior to the Great Strife, the Prison's history was unremarkable. From time to time, heresies would rise and be quelled, and those responsible would be delivered to the Prison and lowered into the pit. Each day, a basket of bread and sometimes meat scraps would be lowered into the pit, and as long as the food was removed from the basket, it was assumed that there were living prisoners below. Guards watching from the walls would occasionally glimpse these people as well, but prisoners mostly kept to the cave recesses they or their predecessors had dug into the rock walls. If food went untouched for three days, the guards would stop sending it down until the next prisoner was delivered for punishment.

But something changed after the god-war prisoners were cast into the pit. It took almost fifty years to realize this, but it appeared that at least some of the prisoners delivered into the pit for their crimes in the war just weren't dying. This was at first attributed to the fact that some were dwarves, who lived much longer than the humans, orcs, kobolds, and goblins that were sentenced with them, but after four hundred years, the food was still disappearing, and no new heretic prisoners had been delivered. Rumors about what it might be that was keeping the god-war prisoners alive began to circulate. Some speculated that the prisoners were not alive - but weren't dead either. As these rumors spread throughout the kingdom, fear of the Prison increased - something the True Church found useful.

The last Human lowered into the pit was a heretic bishop of the church whose name has been lost to time. But that sentencing took place 127 years ago. To this day, the food lowered each day continues to disappear. Something still exists at the bottom of the prison pit.


Banner Image by Vaclav1960 from Pixabay

Page background cathedral Image by 5163451 on Pixabay
Page background manor house image by Josef Pichler on Pixabay
Page background hut image by PamelaAndrey15 on Pixabay
Page background forest image by Waldkunst on Pixabay
Character portraits by RPGDinosaurBob on Hero Forge®


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