Athena - From The Ashes
A fort created in a strategic location in the desert, with a step cliff to the southwest, large rocky outcrops from the northwest to the northeastern side and a supply of water via an unusual fountain, this place seems like it would hold out very well against any would-be attackers.
Looking at the average number of bandits per tent, an estimate of 50 bandits currently occupy and patrol the fort, not counting the amount available in the captain’s shack as well as his own (probable) personal guard.
Considering the existence of a secret tunnel and the fact that the fountain seems to have been carved from the outcrop (in a shining, polished marble, no doubt), one can deduce that the fort is only relatively recent addition to this location. Additionally, observing the convenient difficulty (for the defender) of the small, sloped ramp up towards the main gate and, eventually, a well-built kill zone, the fact that the “secret tunnel” was carved through solid sandstone indicates that it used to be the actual entrance to this outcrop.
The Hercates Font
An item of legend, safeguarded and respected by generations of traders and desert wayfarers, the Font of Hercates is perhaps the only reason why a trading outpost was set up around this area, being so close to the town of Granicus.
This Font is also the very reason why the bandits took this place by force, even going so far as to getting their “best people” to build walls and guard towers around the area, as well as having set up a fearsome siege weapon should any attacker be foolish enough to try sieging this place and wrestle it from the Bandits’ grasp.
While perhaps not quite granting the drinker “the strength of a thousand men”, the waters that the Font yields are undeniably potent and restorative, being able to allow the drinker to recover from dangerous illnesses, dehydration and wounds in a mere fraction of the time, as well as making the drinker as if they actually had greatly increased strength (although at the very least their health and vitality had increased).
However these restorative properties are not without their downsides. If the drinker decides to rely on the healing powers of the water, they will suddenly find themselves dependant on it or they will find themselves to become easily sickened, bleeding profously from simple scratches and become easily exhausted. Some believed this to be a judgement from the Gods lest anyone try to be greedy with that which should be shared equally and used only when needed.
It seems like the Bandits were planning on sending large amounts of the waters from the Font back to their camps to the west in the Lawless Lands. The bandit captain was apparently the first one to discover this location and it’s secrets, so was given charge of establishing a fort and his own contingency of men to command. The raids on the nearby town of Granicus seem to be his own “little side project”, however it is unknown if this was actually an order from his “superiors” or he wanted to keep this secret and have his own breakaway faction.
Granicus Bandit Camp