The Kerak

The Kerak is an enormous fortified barrier wall built by the Ravinian Empire between 436-530/5.

The purpose of the great barrier wall was to keep out marauding bands of Vilzari raiders from the southern regions of the empire, and its construction was a direct result of a series of bloody invasions of those regions of the Empire by the Vilzari, the most recent of which had ended disastrously in 430/5. Upon its completion, the Kerak stretched east from the coastal fortress of Castle Greyguard to the mountain city of Southcliff in the western foothills of the Redpeaks Mountains.

The walls of the Kerak stood about thirty-five feet tall, and ten feet wide, and were made of pale grey stones, imported from quarries all across the Empire. The wall measured a little over 322 miles in length and was strengthened with 520 watchtowers and 135 keeps. The larger keeps were located every two and a half miles along its length. A watchtower was located every half mile. For each large keep, there were four watchtowers. The seventy-foot tall keeps were the main outposts. The forty-five-foot watchtowers served as defensive strong points and well-stocked garrisons for the small units of soldiers stationed at every one. Each tower had a tall torch pole on its roof that could be quickly lit in warning, if an invader was attacking. Also spaced every 500 yards along its length, were more than 2,000 single story blockhouses on the wall that served as small strongholds for troops to retreat to in time of need. The Kerak took nearly a century to complete. Upon its completion, the Imperial Ravinian Army eventually stationed over 60,000 troops along the wall’s length. The single largest and most powerful battlement along the Kerak was Athos-Gelynar, also known as the Gateway Keep. This castle served to guard the central entrance gate on the main wall, located at the intersection of the Kerak with the Desert Road, which led south to the lands of Vilzar. The Gateway Keep was reinforced by the Fortress of Castle Sandstone located further north.


As a defensive fortification, the Kerak was only moderately successful, in that it never fully stopped any Vilzari invasion of the Empire, and only slowed down their advances for a few weeks at a time. Worse, the Kerak tied down so many Imperial troops that other interior regions of the Empire could not be adequately defended. After the fall of the Empire, the Kerak was abandoned and fell into a state of disrepair. Various kings of Eldara tried over the centuries to repair and strengthen portions of the wall, but failed because of the enormity of the project. At the end of the Sixth Age, Eldara could afford to station only about 5,000 soldiers along the Kerak. More than half of its length was in crumbling ruins, and more than 500 of its towers and keeps were abandoned.