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The Count's Keep in Rotomagus may have been intended as a stronghold fortress, but its current occupant, Lady Poppa of Bajocassi, was more concerned with comfort than defense. In part, this was because she did not fear attack, for she had married Hrolfur, the chief of the vikings who were considered the greatest threat to the region. But Hrolfur was far away at Kirkjuborg for the moment, and Lady Poppa ruled in Rotomagus. She plainly considered herself civilized; the Keep was luxuriously appointed with fine furnishings and works of art, a place to hold court like a Gaunorrani noble, nothing like the primitive longhouses of the viking chieftains. This was the impression the Count's Keep made on Isidore and Layla when they answered the summons of Lady Poppa.


Isidore and Layla were an unlikely...

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