In the heart of the Afaraq Wastes, far from any habitation, stands a solitary mountain. It is known simply as Grayhold.
Grayhold has a secret.
Buried beneath its cold stones is a complex. It was designed by the finest dwarven minds on Odekor, built with slave laborers who were executed upon its completion. Not long afterwards, the dwarven overseers and engineers succumbed to various accidents and calamities, until the Emperor was certain Grayhold’s secret would remain secret.
Grayhold is a prison. Not an ordinary prison. Cutpurses and rapists weren’t sent to Grayhold. Threats to the Empire were sent to Grayhold. Revolutionaries. Anarchists. Heretics. For three hundred years people deemed to dangerous to simply kill were quietly spirited away by Imperial Intelligence, transported via magic to Grayhold.
Many of the prisoners expected torture and death when they arrived at Grayhold. What they got was much more peculiar.
Upon arriving at the prison, inmates were isolated. Then, one by one, they were escorted by the prison’s adamantine golems to meet with the Governor of Grayhold: Her Grace, Duchess Amaia Rentru.
Duchess Amaia Rentru is a medusa, the last survivor of an ancient branch of the imperial family. Cursed by a demon from the Abyss, the duchess is immortal, intelligent and fiercely loyal to the Empire. Her curse and her loyalty made her the perfect choice to oversee the Empire’s most secret prison.
Indeed, Duchess Amaia’s medusa nature made her an integral part of the facility’s success. New inmates were escorted to her chambers, where her adamantine golems held their eyes open while forcing them to look at Amaia. The inmates would transform into stone, after which they were safely stowed in one of the cubbyholes scattered through Grayhold. Before the War, there were 571 people imprisoned as statues within the mountain.
Since the War and the fall of the Empire, Grayhold remains secure. Designed to be self-sufficient, it has its own sources of water and food. Besides the Duchess, the only living beings in Grayhold are her servants and slaves, beautiful blind elves who obey her every whim.
It is conceivable that Grayhold could endure for centuries, but the Duchess Amaia is not content with mere existence. A powerful wizard, she is probably more aware of what is transpiring across Odekor than anyone else on the planet. She has a plan; she intends to restore the Empire and humanity.
Most of the prisoners in Grayhold are human. With the right divine magics they could be restored to life. And the qualities that led to them being imprisoned, would lend themselves well to restoring the Empire and humanity.
To accomplish her goals, the Duchess spends most of her time scrying. She is looking for someone who can cast the greater restoration spell. Once she has found this person, the Duchess will dispatch two of her adamantine golems to bring them to Grayhold. If necessary, she’ll go after them herself.